5Ps to a Great Career
Sohan Tiwade

Some of my students at the University where I teach once asked me to talk to some graduating students. They knew me as Professional Speaker who could give them something to take with them as they graduated. So I prepared a talk which was very well received. I thought that it might have a wider audience and help many students in various educational institutes, so I am penning here my talk.

To make it easy to recollect, I called my talk as 5Ps to a great career. Here are the 5Ps:


A person without purpose in life is like a ship without a sail on the sea. The ship is surely going to be at the mercy of the wind. You can wish for a favourable wind to drive you home, but it won’t happen.

You need to decide where you want to end up and then set your sail accordingly. We know Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. His purpose was ‘To put a computer on every desk‘. It is his purpose that made Microsoft and Bill Gates famous. You have to have a purpose; for some, it could be just paying their bills and feeding their families, but for others, it could be to change the world!

Remember, in life, people who have a purpose bigger than themselves and their own needs always make a greater impact. At Saint Pietermaritzburg, Gandhiji found his purpose – to do away with racial discrimination, and that’s what transformed him into the Mahatma (GreatSoul ) that we know him as today.


Passion is like the fuel to a car. Your car cannot run without fuel, and you cannot go far in life without having a passion for your purpose. Mother Teresa was once asked how she could touch the untouchable. She replied, “I see God in his various disguises in the people I help.” That’s the passion for your purpose.

Howard Schultz had a purpose of creating a third place between home and office for people where they could unwind and rewind themselves and be energized with a cup of coffee. Today, his passion has created the world-renowned brand – Starbucks. You have to be passionate, so that others can feel it through your vibes. It should be a dream so passionate that others can see it and feel it through you.

Practice The third P is Practice. Once you are aware of your purpose and catch the passion, now you should prepare yourself and you do that through Practice. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, ‘Outliers’ told us that those whom we respect as masters of their art have at least practiced their art for10,000 hours on an average. He called this the 10,000 hour Rule.

You have to identify what are your talents, what are your skills and area of expertise and you should sharpen yourself in those areas. Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” That is the importance of practice.

In practice, what is conscious becomes permanent in the sub-conscious mind, and it becomes second nature to you. All the years we spent in educational institutes are to prepare us for the world. The educational institutes are giving us the necessary opportunity to practice and be better at what we are called for.


The fourth P is Persistence. You have to be persistent enough or dogged enough not to give up in the face of failure. If you can get up one time more than you fall down, you will succeed. The difference between people who remain average and those who succeed is their persistence not to give up.

Ordinary people, after some failures, give up. The successful are persistent enough not to give up until they succeed. We all know of Colonel Sanders, who made KFC a global brand, but when he was 65 and with only a recipe, he knocked on a thousand doors and was rejected. But he believed in his recipe and was persistent enough not to give up. In life, remember, you need only that one ‘yes’ that can justify all your rejections and hard work.

Positive Attitude

We all know this, and it has rather become a cliche now. But a Positive Attitude can make a difference between success and failure. I am not advocating ‘wishful thinking’. A positive attitude has to be backed up by positive actions. But it is a well- known fact that people with positive attitudes fare better.

You have to see the glass half filled. One thing that a positive attitude does is that it helps us to see the brighter side of things and cultivate gratitude as an attitude. An amateur loses a game, and it affects him for the rest of his career. But a professional looks at it as just a part of his career. He learns from it and performs better the next time. This is where a positive attitude helps one more in life. When you become a person with positive thoughts, words and actions, you attract similar people, events and opportunities to you that help you to succeed in life and your career.

Those are the Five Ps that can be a difference between success and failure in life. Purpose, Passion, Practice, Perseverance and a Positive Attitude are those ingredients in the recipe for success. Students have to equip themselves with these ingredients so that they can fare better in their careers. Here’s to your success – the 5 Ps for a successful career!

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