Winner of the Nobel peace prize Wangari Maathai, in her book ‘The Challenge for Africa’, starts the introduction title as ‘On the wrong bus’. The phrase refers to an action of moving in the wrong direction by taking the wrong bus, being there and being led by others in moving away from your desired place. While her context is completely different but the subject is relevant to all of us in our personal and professional life as well.

Have you ever thought if you are on a bus which is leading you towards your goal, in the same direction where you always have intended to go? Or somehow you have been on the wrong bus which is taking you in the wrong direction and farther away from your goal?

Take the example of Sophie who always desired to be a musician and had a passion for playing the piano but her family wanted her to handle the family business and become a successful career woman. She was advised to pursue music as a hobby, not as a career and not as her main activity. Based on the advice and suggestions given by her own people, she boarded the wrong bus and could never reach her desired goal post.

Sometimes we board the wrong bus just because it is the first available bus or because of the availability of seat on it. It might not be possible for many people to wait for the bus that takes them to their destination and therefore whatever bus is available is taken by them. This is the most common reason for being on the wrong bus. After completing graduation or a professional degree in education, one jumps to the first available job with good perks. Not giving much thought to the long career path ahead, the comfort in the bus makes us much more complacent about the future.

Many people are pushed or influenced by family members or friends to be on the wrong bus because they all are going on that particular bus.

It happens that if some of your friends are choosing a particular college, you also tend to be influenced by their decision to join the same college. Because that keeps you in your comfort zone. The common tendency of everyone is to find a comfort zone to accept the earliest available reward and comfort rather than waiting for delayed success. Who knows what will happen in the future and therefore it’s best to find your place on a bus – people often advise. It is not easy to decide your destination and wait for the required time and withstand all the difficulties that come while waiting for the right bus. People laugh at those who do not board a bus and let them go while waiting for their bus when they are not sure when it will arrive.

So ask yourself, are you on the wrong bus?

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