Expect the Unexpected

Since 1993, Expect the Unexpected has been my baseline to outlook in life. It happened overnight, and life changed. 

What happened ! After a mighty time as a student, like most, I too had a dream, a role I wished to play in life. I had an aspiration of making it in the Indian Air Force. My goal in life was to be a Pilot. My hard work paid off, and my effort was fruitful. I was confident when I appeared before the service selection board and indeed I was selected. It was an incredible moment in my life. There are no words to describe my happiness, excitement, the thought of becoming a Pilot, I was not able to contain myself. As my mind was celebrating, there came the twist. I got rejected. Yes, you heard that right, refused for a rare medical reason, and that too risk factor was minuscule. I do not have a word that could describe my feelings at that time. I was devastated, and the worst part was I had no plan of action. I did not have a plan B for my future at this point, as everything in life was happening by the clock.

What happened next? Dreams shattered, life in disarray, and planned paths unattainable. I went into a shell. For the next few weeks, I was in total shutdown, pondering on my plight, wondering how things can go so wrong, how did this happen to me, and why for reasons so minuscule. I did not prepare myself for a blow of such proportion at this phase in my life. 

As I was dissecting through my failed attempt to reach my goal, I had a strange realization, and it was simple. 

What was it? ‘It is up to me.’ I understood that my life is in my hands, I can choose to direct it wherever I want it to move. It is up to me. It’s my choice whether to complain throughout my life or learn, move on and make the best for the rest of my life. I decided to see what comes next and how I can make the best of it. 

As we all are well aware, ‘the only constant in life is change.’ We all face changes every day. Even though we know plans may sometimes never go as planned, we still get emotional, distressed and within ourselves start the blame game. The key is not to panic and be wise and be ready to embrace surprises in-stored for us.

Here are five key take aways, from my life, they helped me adapt better in life.

  1. Have Self Belief
  2. Get your hands wet
  3. Have your own view
  4. Managing FOMO
  5. Live in the moment 


I had good luck backing up my belief that I could do things wonderfully well when I applied myself to the task. I stepped into my career as a sales trainee with one of the best Indian brands, wholly raw and understood neither nuances of sales, jargon, and techniques nor used to sales discussions and negotiations at the time. It was my self-belief that ‘if I learn the right way, I would be able to manage, deal and cope up.’

It was my self-belief that helped me navigate life through the unexpected blow early in life. This belief helped me with a fresh start in life and assisted me in turning the pages to a new chapter of my life.

Ways to boost self-belief

  1. Know who you are.
  2. Know what you want to be.
  3. Be ready to face your fears
  4. Stop comparing yourself with others.
  5. Take care of yourself.
  6. Avoid toxic people from life.
  7. Be yourself.


The best part of knowing oneself, others, a process, an environment is, getting your hands wet. It is a constant challenge for a person to understand and add value to the tasks we undertake. As there is a saying,“ practice makes perfect,” and this is something I continue to believe. And this has also helped me in changing with the tide and staying relevant. For instance, I have had numerous times where I had to relocate, from Chennai to Kolkata, to Cochin, to Bangalore to Chennai. As my career progressed, change of place was constant. On every occasion, I have indulged myself in understanding the people, discovering the culture, learning a new language, and did it wholeheartedly, which made the acceptance within and around fulfilling. 

Ways to get involved

  1. Be open to do anything by yourself.
  2. Be open to self discovery.
  3. Be ready to commit.
  4. Explore your interests, passion or hobbies.
  5. Be willing to make connections.


Another ingredient for coping with change is to have your perspective on all matters. I learned to hold on to this vital aspect throughout my life. Not only has this helped me adapt to change but also assisted me in being fair and stable in mind. There is a catch. That means you have to own the consequences of your thoughts. Sometimes things may go your way, and on some occasions, it may not be to your liking. Blaming others or the environment for our choices should not be entertained. Be accountable and take responsibility. Own actions with its consequence, it will help in tidying the moments better. 

Ways to hold right perspective on life

  1. Choose wisely.
  2. Disconnect from social media for a few hours. 
  3. Understanding, agreeing to disagree is acceptable.
  4. Stop multitasking, focus on one task at a time.
  5. Stop complaining.


FOMO is a buzzword in recent years, and each one of us goes through a phase where we assume we are missing out. There will be moments of being left out, not being part of something current, not being considered, not being included, and many such situations. How much can we chew? How much should we take on?  We need to ask ourselves and answer genuinely, ‘do we need to be everywhere all the time.’ Could we be part of what we are interested in, and that which makes us happy? We need to be honest with ourselves. 

Ways to overcome FOMO

  1. Slow down.
  2. Disconnect from social media and reconnect with a passion or a person.
  3. Do one thing at a time.
  4. Practice Mindfulness.
  5. Avoid toxic people and places.
  6. Live in the moment.


I am sure many of us would have heard about this and the happy people are the ones who follow it, embrace it as part of their lives. Change is inevitable and how we accept the same and move forward in our outlook, decides our journey in life. So live in the moment, with all that one would aspire, in a manner which gives immense peace and happiness. Roles, positions don’t matter as to who you are. It is important how you feel inside yourself and live the way you choose to live. 

Ways to live in the moment

  1. Give thanks. Gratitude is the attitude.
  2. Smile. That’s your best accessory.
  3. Give support and help others when possible. 
  4. Forgive yourself.
  5. Don’t live in the past.
  6. Dream and work towards your dreams.

To sum up, let me finish by saying, every turn in my life was joyful, and I took every challenge head-on, and what happened in 1993 unexpectedly turned out for the best. Presently, I will and can say with confidence, what happened changed the course of my destination, it has been a journey that I never expected and turned my life around for good. I am glad I had this close encounter with an unexpected failure early on in my life, as this confrontation set me up for life. In short, I made the best out of my situation, as the saying goes, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’  

Sainath is currently Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing & CRM Operations at Provident Housing Ltd, A Puravankara Group Company. His career spans over 27 years in the fields sales, marketing, and CRM Operations, having worked with names like Godrej, Escotel, BPL Mobile, Reliance Communication, & Vodafone.  Sai has worked across many geographies in India.  His interests are in sports, an active badminton player, and an avid cricket player. Sai was an active NCC cadet during college and was part of a youth exchange program to Canada as well. 

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20 thoughts on “Expect the Unexpected

  1. I remember very well 1993 Sai because your story impacted me then and I prayed that you would not go into a tailspin. Catching up with you, encouraged to learn that you soared high in life. May God almighty continue to keep you and bless you and use you to encourage others.

  2. Sai, I do remember the event and I knew you overcame it very well, but had no idea what you had to go through. Very well written Sai! Deep thoughts, the one I liked the most is having your own view. Keep writing!

  3. Inspirational one Sai… like your every action… I have picked up lot of good things from you and helped me a lot in paving my career path..

    Very important one is making friends with cross functional team members… This was the good quality which picked up from you..

    Keep writing and you can aspire many more…

  4. Sai

    The flow of your thoughts, eagerness to share, and an Unfaltering ‘Attitude’ makes you such an unique and mindful person.

    Keep that up.


  5. Truly Inspirational Sainath ! Hope to see many more to come as such which will inspire many minds and souls out……… !

    Connecting friends with cross functional team members which was the good quality in all of us.

    Felt happy reading this……Thank You !

  6. Wonderful write-up from your heart… Out of your experience.. Really motivating Sai.. Your are able to express your feelings in full to the reader.. Kepp writing

  7. Dear Sai

    Happy for you, I take pride in knowing you since 20 years now and I have seen you climbing the corporate ladder with ease assuming diff roles and moving to diff georgraphy
    No doubt that you have grown successful and continue to inspire many with sheer focus and living the moment .
    All the best

    • Thank you Balki for the kind words and you have been a wonderful support all these years !!.. I can’t express it in simple words and have a great bond and respect for you !!. Thnx for the wishes once again.

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