How I Used Meditation To Advance In My Career

CA Pavan Sharma completed his CA, CS at the age of 21 with a Marathi Medium background till class 10. He meditates and practices yoga daily and tells us also to do so!

My Journey

“My school life was very normal as I was a very average student. I studied in a Marathi medium school and continued with the same till class 10, I always felt English difficult for me to understand and interpret,” says CA Pavan Sharma from Nanded who is a practicing CA at VDA & Associates, Pune.

Currently, Pavan is based in Pune and specializes in Bank and Government Audits. He has also done certificate courses in Bank Audit and Forensic Audit and Fraud Prevention from ICAI. At the moment he is preparing for Dip (IFRS) exam conducted by ACCA, UK. He is also a qualified Company Secretary (CS) who secured 2nd rank in CS Professional.

My CPT journey:

“After school, class 11 onwards I joined an English medium college. Now the shift from Marathi medium to English medium was not easy but I knew I had to take up the challenge. In class 12 most of my friends planned on pursuing Chartered Accountancy (CA) and so even I decided to go for it.

So after our class 12 board exams, all of us went to Pune and took a crash course in CPT (1st level CA exam) for 2 months. I cleared CPT in June’11 in my 1st attempt.

As I was an average student (that too from a vernacular medium), I worked on my basics again for CPT. I cleared all my fundamental of class 11/12 and I kept revising.

Since I was not very comfortable in English I would refer the dictionary most of the times as many words were new to me. So understanding the meanings of the words (I never ignored a new English word, I always went to the dictionary to find the meaning!) helped me better and gave me the confidence! I also scored 82% in class 12. That gave me a lot of confidence.

Related Post: Chartered Accountants and Depression - How to mentally approach CA exams

My IPCC journey

Next was CA IPCC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 and Group 2). I gave IPCC in May’12 and cleared the same in my 1st attempt.

While studying with clever students in the hostel and in class I used to feel low at times like a little under confident. I also used to feel low when other students were able to answer in class but I was stuck in understanding the questions only!

Luckily all my friends made me feel so comfortable and supported me. One of the reasons I can say I am successful in life is because of my - Friends! So to everyone out there – Choose your friends wisely.

My Articleship Journey

After clearing IPCC I started with my articleship in Aug’12 at VDA & Associates, a mid-sized firm in Pune city.

Now while I was staying in the hostel a lot of my friends in the hostel were pursuing Company Secretary (CS). So in the 1st year of my articleship, I registered for CS Intermediate (2nd level CS exam. Since I cleared my CPT I was exempt for CS Foundation).

Now I could have joined a coaching class for my CA Final immediately (like an early bird class etc) but I thought to give CS a shot would make more sense. I wanted to make use of my time and not waste it.

Also while doing my articleship I used to work a lot on ROC Compliances so it seemed logical pursuing CS as I could see the practical use of being a CA and CS!

I would work all day, and at night I would study for my CS Intermediate exams. I did not take any tuitions for CS (as most of the portion was covered in CA IPCC) and just referred my friend’s notes. I cleared CS Intermediate in my 1st attempt in June’13.

Around the same time, I got acquainted with Yoga and Meditation which totally helped to transform my mental health. I started practicing Yoga and meditating on a daily basis.

Related Post: Want to start your own CA practice, this is what you need to know while doing articleship

My CA Final Journey

After clearing my CS Intermediate, I started preparing for CA Final. Now when it came to taking coaching for CA Final, I decided to self-study most of it and take coaching only for a few subjects.

My hostel seniors helped me a lot. Time to time they gave me so much of guidance which helped to plan classes, office, and studies. To be honest more than coaching class I preferred Self Study.

I appeared for CA Final both groups in May 2015 but could not clear. I failed by a huge margin of 59 marks! So what mistake did I make, why did I fail? Here it is:

  • Well, my friends, I studied really well for CA Final but what matters the most is – How Much you revise just before your exam that is in that 1.5 days before the exam.
  • During my exam days, I was not able to revise a lot because  - I did not know how to revise in such a short span of time. I had study notes made but did not know how to go about.
  • I was completely lost. It was then that I realized the importance of TEST SERIES / MOCK TESTS.

This failure scared me. Now for CA Final 2nd attempt I prepared well, made notes and gave mock tests as well (writing practice really helps!). Nov’15 I gave CA Final 2nd attempt and cleared the same scoring – 75/100 in Indirect Taxation. In Dec’15 I also gave CS Professional (last level that is CS Final) and cleared the same with the 2nd Rank in Pune.

A lot of people ask me how did I manage to clear CA Final and CS Final together and my answer to them is – By Keeping cool and calm mind.

My Advice

  • The major difference in both the attempt was – REVISIONS. In my CA Final 1st attempt I did not know - How to cover the entire syllabus in 1.5 days’.
  • However, after giving mock tests /test series I realized how to handle things and revise in a short span. During this attempt, I gave 2 test series back to back - One from a Private class and one from ICAI.
  • Friends, IPCC might need coaching but CA Final (last level CA exams consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 and Group 2) can be Self Studied.
  • If you intend to self-study – START EARLY. Early because you will need help from your seniors and others around you. So start with practical subjects and keep taking guidance from seniors.
  • A cool mind is the most important for studies. Taking the burden will never give you the desired success.
  • While studying, our mind should be in the present moment. And because of meditation and Pranayam, my mind was so focused and relaxed even during the exams.
  • For my CA Final 2nd attempt, I studied the same things but I studied it differently.
  • I gave my mental health importance too. We as students forget our health while studying.

Social Work

  • I am a volunteer and teacher of 2 courses of Art of Living - Balchetana (courses for underprivileged children, we go to rural areas) and Navchetana (courses for economically challenged & distressed communities). Here we teach them about meditation and its importance.
  • Even while studying I continued my social work of spreading the happiness and guiding them for the Yoga and Meditation with the Art of Living.

Importance of Meditation for students

  • 2-3 months before our exams we are relaxed but not focused. On the exam day, we are focussed but not relaxed.
  • Meditations help one to stay – Focussed and Relaxed at the same time.
  • So 20 mins of Meditation on a daily basis is of great help.
  • Meditation is a simple breathing exercise without thinking about anything. If thoughts come in, let them pass you just focus on your breaths,” he concluded.

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