Conquer the 3 ‘C’s that are pulling you back.

1. Complaining- Instead of doing something about it.

If you find yourself complaining about others, or even worse, for your own situation in life, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been playing the blame game and have not taken full responsibility for your life, yet!

Except if it’s because of your ill-health and other misfortunes, YOU are responsible for your situation in life.

People who complain often, rarely take responsibility for their actions in life.

They get used to complaining, instead of doing something about it. They don’t take the matter by the horns and wrestle through it to completion; Instead, they’re just comfortable being cowardly, fooling themselves that somehow someone else is to be blamed for their own inability, indecisiveness, and timidity.

Remember, if you’re complaining, you’re incidentally waiting on someone else to solve your problems for you. Agreeing by default, that YOU are incapable of doing anything about it.

Continue reading “Conquer the 3 ‘C’s that are pulling you back.”

Mavericks Explained- What being a maverick is all about?

“The whole world loves a maverick and the whole world wants the maverick to achieve something nobler than simple rebellion!” – Kevin Patterson

A lot of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, such as Steve Jobs (Apple) and Richard Branson (Virgin) are often marked as ‘mavericks’. However; apparently most people do not fully understand the term ‘maverick’, so in this blog post I’d like to explain it in more detail.

What/Who is a maverick?

The word maverick is defined by Wikipedia as “an unbranded range animal”, “One who does not abide by rules” or “one who creates or uses unconventional and/or controversial ideas or practices”.
The word derives from Texan rancher and politician Sam Maverick, who allowed his unbranded cattle to roam semi-wild instead of branding them and penning them in fenced-in ranges. That sort of independent spirit describes the companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders being qualified as maverick. Continue reading “Mavericks Explained- What being a maverick is all about?”

How a single gray hair helped me redefine my purpose in life.

I’ll be turning 25 in a few days. And I found a shiny silver curl in my beard one morning, coinciding my ‘silver’ jubilee birthday.
 My first reactions:

For a moment it was an overwhelmingly humbling reminder of my mortal and frail life. It was as if I could already hear the first faint mocking cries of old age and death from the distant future. 25 long years of innocence, anguish, happiness, beauty, and suffering have passed. I’ve indeed learned a lot in all these years. But I have not the faintest idea of what I have yet to know and learn.

Soon, the existential questions surfaced- Where did all those years go? What have I accomplished in these years?

I reflected back on the years I’ve wasted. Wait a minute, wasted? How do I define life being “useful” and life being “wasted? I realized I bought into the idea I often get advised by people around me, who say that if I’m not working a 9–5 job, I’m “wasting my life”.

But how does working for someone not count as wasting my time? What actions in my life would make it worthwhile to be called useful? What would give meaning to my life?

The actions that made me feel like I’ve wasted my time are the things I didn’t really care about but did nevertheless for pleasing my teachers, parents and the society in general.

Most of it was a complete waste of time, including college. I would have learned a lot in those 4 years of my graduate studies if only I had taken the road less traveled, doing the things I really care and am passionate about.

The only times I wasn’t true to myself are things I regret the most.

Those are the only times i felt like I’ve wasted my time/life on.

The pursuit of purpose: Defining success for myself.

 

These train of thoughts in introspection have led me to define for myself, my own purpose in life. Continue reading “How a single gray hair helped me redefine my purpose in life.”

Why Successful people spend time alone with themselves ?

Creativity and innovation start with spending time with yourself alone.

It is in those moments of silence with yourself that those “Eureka” moments arise. Speaking of Eureka, Archimedes, discovered his principle when he was in his bathtub alone.

When Elon Musk was asked, “What daily habit do you believe has the largest positive impact on your life?”

Musk’s reply was hilarious and practical:

Showering !

how-to-be-awesome-one-habit-at-a-time-30-638

It’s hard to argue with that.

We tend to get our best ideas in the shower because that’s most often the time we all spend privately with ourselves.

All successful people have this in common, once a year, Bill Gates embarks on something called a ThinkWeek, where he disconnects from the internet and moves into a cabin in the woods.

Free of distraction, he can read a year’s worth of books and strategize ahead about the months to come in a state of ultimate productivity.

There are countless examples and reasons why you need to make it a habit of spending quality time with yourself. Taking some time off a few minutes every day will help you re-orient yourself and get you back on track.

So, don’t forget to spend some time alone with the awesome person reading this. 😉

An open letter to my dad

Hey, Dad! It’s me. Of all the other things I thought I would write about, I never thought I would be writing about you.

For the most part of my life, I never had a clue of how dad’s love felt like. I didn’t have a beautiful childhood like most people did. Yet, in many ways, it was a lot better than many “unlucky” ones’.

Although in certain areas you gave me a blueprint on how to raise a child, you also gave me cues on how not to raise one. Except until my 1st or 2nd grade in school, I never really liked you. But since the past few years, I’m able to empathize better and get a glimpse of why you did the things you used to. It’s probably because of the entrepreneurial journey I’ve set myself upon, that I realize how stressful, hard and emotionally exhaustive it is to build and run a business.

It’s no secret I used to love mom more because the results of her work were more readily visible while yours wasn’t. The purpose of her work (like preparing food for eg.,) was evident on a daily basis. My childish mind could understand that it was for ME she was doing it all for. But your work seemed to be always about YOU. I amaze myself of how juvenile that thinking was. I’ve often tried and tested you, gave you many chances hoping that at least THIS time, you’ll prove yourself “caring” for the family, but you didn’t. I guess the whole time I was applying the wrong tests that weren’t customized to test you.

I wonder how for over 44 years, you’ve been dutifully waking up at 5 a.m every morning although you’ve just slept at 12 or sometimes even 2 a.m the night before. You certainly had a lot of horsepower in you, I imagined. But it was also your natural affection for Industry along with a heartfelt hatred for sloth and a loathing for laziness. I still remember the bible verses you used to quote for supporting them. You always seemed highly confident and quite frankly, egoistic too. I guess that kind of ego results as a natural side-effect to people who’ve worked their way through life.

You never went vocal about your concern for us nor even remotely made us feel that you do indeed care for us. I realize now being a man myself, that sometimes we express concern in different ways than women do. Much unlike you, mom used to express often how tired she was from her work, but you never did. I never saw you venting out how hard your work was or how tired you were. Not even ONCE. Was it because life showed little compassion on you? You were only a teenager when you came to our hometown from your native village. You had to stop your education mid-way and abandon your dream of becoming a doctor. After all, what else could you have done? Your dad (My grandpa) lost his crops successively and your family found it hard to even afford their sustenance. Farmers’ lives are hard indeed. In the pursuit of providing food for everyone, they starve themselves!

You never gave us what we wanted may be because you were hardened by the fact that life didn’t give you what you wanted. I learned that we cannot always have it OUR way in life. You were always busy; always seemed so “unconcerned” about the family except when demanding discipline. You never took a day off in all your life nor took us for a vacation. Of course, how could you? Your choice of business demanded that level of time and dedication. You never bought us the clothes we wanted; you wanted us to know what it’s like to live with a single pair of clothing. You always propounded how fortunate we were. How comfortable our lives are when compared to your childhood and how grateful we ought to be for it. (Although I never felt so when I compared myself to my friends who had all the “goodies” despite being poorer). However, i had to go through a lot to realize that you were right; we are a fortunate lot indeed.

You compared us with the workforce in your business. You used to ask us to “EARN” our food. About how they have earned it but how I haven’t; because I failed to wake up at 5A.M, in my holidays. Against my will, you used to wake me up early every morning; even during the holidays and take us to work along with you. Of course, the concept of “consent” was non-existent. What was said needed to be done. No questions asked. Period. How much I used to curse you within myself for that. With mosquitoes swarming my boxer-clad legs, making chai stamping & dancing to try avoiding them biting me was a circus feat of its own. However, I ought to confess, sometimes I felt very embarrassed to wash the cups or clean the tables after they’re done. It made me realize very early the “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” and realize for myself that there’s such a thing called the dignity of labor. I’d often be hyper-aware if any of my peers would watch me then and mock me later in class that day. It developed a great deal of emotional intelligence in me.

Knowing exactly what the workers go through when they work, allowed me to forgive them and often be less demanding.

At the end of the day, when handing over the wages, you’d purposefully ask me to do it. I used to wonder if that’s what a day’s worth of hard, laborious and mundane work would make- a hundred rupees( less than 2$). After which you’d look at me briefly- and your eyes seemed to ask “Do you now understand the value of a rupee?”

I never felt like you had my back, there was no reservation nor privilege of being the heir. In fact, at times I felt I had it even worse than the staff. Because they could take a holiday and escape from you while there wasn’t such a chance for me.

“Worker bees can leave, even the drones can fly away. The queen is their slave.”

— Fight Club

Isn’t it enough that I’m your son?! Do I have to earn my own food and sleep? None of my friends were earning theirs. So, why should I ? Do I need to earn my way out of life? But yes, even if it was unintentional, i’m glad you taught me so, and even now I feel guilt in eating the bread of idleness. Somehow you gave me the impression that I would get nothing from you. You never made me feel comfortably complacent for my future.

I can’t tell you how much I’d need to thank you for making me feel that way.

It made me independent and self-reliant; to work hard instead of relying on your earnings/assets. I still remember how we were afraid of you almost all the time; it was like living with a boss, never with a “dad”(whatever that feels like). We never had the courage to reply you back. Our throats dried up whenever you asked for an answer. We were afraid to talk or open up a conversation in your presence. Candid conversations turned silent at your entry. Like a bunch of 5th graders turning pin-drop silent at the arrival of the principal. You were just that. A hard schoolmaster at home.

I don’t remember asking you for anything, I couldn’t dare to ask. Mom was my ambassador for that. You toughened me up. You were a ruthless and strict disciplinarian with that authoritative and dictatorial tone of yours, you had your way at things. I amaze myself at how “hard-hearted” I’m becoming these days, how I’m becoming more like you! although I never WANTED to be.

Praise be to what hardens us. — Nietzsche.

You know what Dad, now even I feel guilty if I’ve lunch when I haven’t earned it through my work that particular day. I feel guilty if I sleep when haven’t earned it. You were always a hard taskmaster. There seemed to be no softness in you. You were always bold, I never saw you venting out your fear or insecurity. Just like you, at times I too catch myself being hard upon myself. Oftentimes, I find it hard to forgive myself.

I learned — because of you, that the fruit of labor is sweet and that it needs to be earned, not inherited. I wonder what I’d be doing if you’ve given me all the comforts without ever knowing the value of a rupee earned out of a day’s hard work. Thanks to you, no matter how successful I’ll end up, for the rest of my life I’ll treat with the level of respect and dignity that blue collar jobs deserve. Because I can appreciate and understand how hard those jobs are.

The irony however is, now I wish your training was even harder. I wish you were even stricter. Because your military-like training made me simultaneously tougher and empathetic , because of which I can now relate to a lot of stuff most of my contemporaries and many of my seniors can’t.

Finally, I may never know if you did everything intentionally- to train me for life or if it luckily worked out for my good. But the fact that it ultimately did, was undeniably because of you.

Although it’s such an understatement — for all the things you did, and for all the things you didn’t, I just want to say,

Thank you !

18 Lessons I’ve learned from binge watching Casey Neistat’s videos.

Casey Neistat is a professional storyteller and YouTube filmmaker with over 6 Million subscribers.

 

Casey Neistat
He seems like an ordinary guy narrating something about his life. I wondered, “What is it about this guy that makes millions on YouTube subscribe to him?”
 
The next thing I did was to look up Wikipedia about him. I learned that he used to be a dishwasher in a restaurant for 5 years. Later, he rose to fame making a video about Apple Ipod’s irreplaceable battery lasting only 18 months. I began taking a keen interest in the guy and eventually adore him.
 
Ever since then, I binge watch on his videos whenever I get time.

After watching almost all his videos, these are the lessons I’ve learned:

1. Always keep yourself busy and motivated.

“Free time is the enemy of progress.”
casey-lessons-learned
If you have a lot of free time, you’ll not make the best use of it. You could build a city with all your free time if you don’t while away your time, sitting around being bored.
Furthermore, always keep a backlog list of things you have to do so that just in case you have a free moment, you can go back to complete it. 
It’s not that we have a short time to live but that we waste a lot of it- Ryan Holiday.

2. Be a maverick.

“In life, you have two options- you can do your own thing and stand out or do what everyone else is doing and fit in.”
Most often you’re trying to fit into the rules created by someone no smarter than you or me. So if you’re always conforming to the opinions, labels and rules of the society, you can never make an impact.
I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to do what everyone else is doing.

3. Live to express, not to impress.

One of the striking features of his videos is that he never goes out his way to impress the viewers. In fact, he’s very disappointed with modern social media. Instead of representing a digital version of who we are, we display a false sense of identity. Furthermore, Casey Neistat even started “BeMe”- a social media app which forces you to share content without any edits.
 
Quit trying to look “perfect”.
 
Although it makes yourself vulnerable, you’ll allow people the permission to trust you. And that is hard to earn. He doesn’t waste time touching things up to look cool or better. The man loves to be himself, which is also the reason so many of us love him.

4. Find your purpose- without a goal, you can’t score.

In life you should always be doing either of the two things:
  1. Figuring out what you’re most passionate about- what do you want to be doing every day for the rest of your life.
  2. And realizing those dreams and doing that for the rest of your life
If you don’t know where the goal post is, how do you know where to kick the ball.

Continue reading “18 Lessons I’ve learned from binge watching Casey Neistat’s videos.”

This is why you should start a business instead of an MBA

It’s been a year since I quit my idea of joining MBA in favor of starting on an entrepreneurial odyssey instead. So, I reviewed what I’ve learned through the year, pondering the experiences, the hardships, and the excitements of the journey.

If you don’t have a clear end-goal in mind and just want to get a degree because everyone else is doing it OR if you don’t know what else to do to rid yourself of the guilt of “wasting your time”, I hope this will help.  Some people pursue an MBA to mask their in-capabilities and hide behind their big degrees. Don’t be one of them.

DISCLAIMER :

 This article applies to you only if your goal is to build and run a business after finishing your MBA. If working a 10-hour job for a large organization is your piece of the cake, then this might not apply to you.

As for me, I knew what I always wanted to be- an entrepreneur; with or without an MBA degree. I didn’t want to deceive myself in the pursuit of appearing “well-educated”.

Why an MBA degree doesn’t really help for startup founders ?

An MBA degree is designed to teach you how to manage an already established organisation, not how to start and run a new one.

Just the way the same rules of macro physics do not apply at a quantum level, the rules and framework for running a large organization do not essentially apply to startups.

Continue reading “This is why you should start a business instead of an MBA”

This one thing can determine the kind of guy you’ll marry.

If I had to pick one quality that most determines the person you’ll marry it is this – Self-Esteem.

Self-Esteem and Relationships:

When you have a low self-worth, you’ll sell yourself short to some half-smiling wit passing by and allow them to trample over you.

wrong-people
Scene from “The perks of being a wallflower”

Having a low self-esteem makes you vulnerable to crafty men who lure you with unrealistic praises. Ignorant & gullible women blush and giggle at obvious flattering flirtations and fall prey to guys who use them for their own benefits.

Continue reading “This one thing can determine the kind of guy you’ll marry.”

“Do I even look beautiful?” she asked. This is my reply.

 

"Hey, you've seen me, right ? 
 
Do I even look beautiful ? "


Only yesterday, I got this message from one of my friends. As soon as I read that message, I felt truly sorry for her.

not good enough

Here was a late teenage girl who wasn’t comfortable in her own skin;

beauty enough

 

If tomorrow women all over the world looked in the mirror and if they liked what they saw reflected back at them, the cosmetic companies would go bankrupt.

Guys, if a girl ever asks you that question, remember this: She has placed her precious and invaluable Self-Worth in the power of your response and you better be careful and tread lightly. Continue reading ““Do I even look beautiful?” she asked. This is my reply.”

10 Reasons to be grateful if you’re able to read this.

Being able to read this in and of itself is a wonderful reason to be grateful for what you have in life.

Yes,

You read that right!

I’m not being egotistical here nor saying that there’s a reason to be grateful just because you are fortunate enough to stumble upon this article.
And definitely not because it’s MY Blog that you’re reading.

The reason to be grateful, that I’m talking about goes beyond that.

Continue reading “10 Reasons to be grateful if you’re able to read this.”