Author : Dr. Ajit Varwandkar

Laddu Pinto was a brave soldier. He had an opportunity to defend our nation on the borders. As an army personnel, he had experienced a couple of combat actions.

Laddu shared many stories of courage and the challenges they used to overcome day in and day out. He once shared the challenging life situations amidst which our great soldiers survive. According to him, we never get to know most of the difficulties they face while protecting our borders. They are now so used to overcoming bottlenecks that barriers have become a routine part of their lives.

Looking at his unwavering enthusiasm, I was curious to know the secret of his energy. After facing a tough day when the challenge was as huge as survival, I asked him how is it possible for people to get up the following day – refilled with confidence.

Laddu replied – Passion and Commitment are the tonics which never let us lag. Moreover, since we love our nation and take pride in our job, hence our work is never tiresome! He further said, “Not every day is the same. Sometimes we get into such severe circumstances that our life is at risk. Yes, on some days, we do get to move ahead into the next day without any major issues.”

One thing is very sure, we never expect our mornings to show us a peaceful and conducive way ahead. We never hope for any definite form for the day to unfold. We get up every day, fully prepared to face the unexpected. If the day showers difficulties, we sing songs of joy. That’s when we tell ourselves that things shall get better very soon.

He further said it is not just about external circumstances. There are times when members of your team disappoint you. Some fellow might take a crazy decision and let you down. These are the times to maintain the cool.

Our temperament is our biggest asset. We are trained to stay peaceful in the most stressful situations. These are moments when we remind ourselves that no permanent harm is caused to us. We still have the opportunity to set things right. When we remain focused on our self-belief and trust our judgements and opinions, life becomes easy, he said.

There is a lot to learn from our courageous friends on the border. The fact is that life will never be simple. There will always be non-conformities one needs to put up with. To make life easy, one has to be non-resistant and ready to imbibe changes in our thoughts and actions. The bottom line is never to resist what you did not expect; just accept it and make efforts to move ahead.

While discussing with Laddu, he said something heart-shattering and immensely enlightening. He said, at least you civilians are assured that you are moving in a safe direction. When a soldier walks through unchartered territories, he never knows what lies ahead of him in the next moment! The better part of the insight was, “Laddu suggested to start believing in your inner guidance”. He said, “Whenever you are under a struggle phase, your best friend is your intuition. Always believe in it.” This is how a soldier survives amidst crisis! He added, Never breach the basic rules of discipline else the consequences might become much harsh.

Before we parted, Laddu shared yet another experiential gem. He said, “Never think that you are going through the toughest challenge in life”. After completing a combat assignment, the soldiers returned to base camp after a few days. They started sharing their individual stories. That’s when they realised that each one of them had a uniquely terrifying experience. No one could claim that theirs was the most challenging situation! A few of their colleagues could not even manage to remain alive! That is the life and pride of a soldier.

Friends, this was just a sneak peek into the life of a soldier. I must say this is just 1 percent of the tip of the iceberg. However, that is so inspiring. Isn’t it? We are privileged to have safe homes and relatively risk-free lifestyles. Why not learn the success rules from our beloved soldiers?

Do contact me in case you have any career queries.

Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at

This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India