Words. Wisdom. Winners.

The power of managing your time

Managing time can be intensely hard in today’s distraction-filled world.

I see it as an opportunity to stand out.

The world is going to reward even more, the ability to take control of one’s time and drive your own agenda.

Want to be among the top 1% in the world?

Do these 3 things.

1) Take up difficult things. 

You can earn decently and have your pleasures even when you don’t do difficult things.
But an easy life does not always become a fulfilling life.

Go beyond your comfort zone.
You’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of achieving.

2) Live by your own definition of success and failure. 

So that when you succeed, it is on your own terms. 

When you fail, you know where to close the gap towards getting successful.

3) Don’t care about what others think of you. 

The burden of others’ opinions is not for you to carry. 

Carrying your own life is in itself an act of courage.
Carrying other’s opinions is in itself an act of cowardice. 

Knowing the difference is a superpower.

We often think we have to be cut from a different cloth in order to become the top 1% of the world.

When in reality, just by defining our path and moving towards it consistently, wins us 99% of the battle.

Build a routine in 11 steps

If you’re struggling to build a routine, these 11 steps are all you need to follow:

  1. Start slow 

Our body and mind resists change.
So we have to trick our body and mind, by making the change happen slowly.

For example: You wake up at 8am and want to wake up at 6am instead? 

Set the alarm for 7:50am (10 mins earlier than usual).
Acclimatise your body and mind to this small change for 2-3 weeks.

Post that, another small change.

Over a period of a few months, you would get to a routine of 6am. 

  1. Measure progress 

If you find a way to measure progress along the way, you will enjoy the routine a lot more than reaching the destination.

For example: Reading can be a difficult routine to establish. Because we attach the joy to finishing a book.

Try this instead. 

Read 1 page every day.
And document that progress. 

Put a big calendar on the wall and cross out the day you read a page.

When you see that big calendar with multiple crosses in a streak – THAT will make you feel like a winner! 

  1. The 2-min rule 

The hardest thing about a routine is getting started.

The 2-min rule says – whatever it is that you want to set as a routine, do it for just 2 mins.
Slowly, you will get used to it.

  1. Temptation bundling 

Bundle what you like to do and what you want to do as part of a routine.

For example: You like watching YouTube, but you want to have a study routine. 

So, you could watch your course content on YouTube — tutorials, discussions, animations, etc.

  1. Habit stacking 

Combine what you are already used to with something you want to build a habit for.

For example: Let’s say you want to set a skincare routine.
So you could say, as soon as I have brushed my teeth, I will start my skin routine.

  1. Win the week 

We often want to win EVERY day.
Do everything that we want to do, in a single day itself. 

We can’t. 

Instead, plan your week and try to do everything you want to do, within a week. 

  1. Reward yourself 

If you do what you want to do, reward yourself with something you would cherish.

For example: I have distraction time scheduled for 3 slots everyday, for 30 mins each. 

This is my reward for doing all the things I have to do in the day.

8) Build in public 

Publicly announce your habit.
Make yourself accountable to someone outside of you.

For example: You tell your friend – I will send you a picture of my watch at the time I get up everyday. Or else, I will pay you XX amount.

9) Pre-commitment 

You are more likely to follow an action, if you already have some form of commitment towards it.

For example: Paying in advance for the gym membership, the book club, the sports coaching, etc.

10) Stay flexible 

A routine is not designed to make you rigid. 

It’s okay if you broke the routine today.
Come back to it tomorrow. 

11) What if? 

Close your eyes and visualise what will happen if you are unable to build this routine.

More importantly, if you do build this routine – how will it change your life?

Gentle reminder

You DO NOT need to set up your life before you are 30.

Life is not a scripted game.
Things won’t go as you planned and adding a deadline will not necessarily help.

Take your time.

You have time.

What is happiness?

Happiness is not about experiencing something new or something exciting. 

It is continually experiencing what you already have, in different ways.
And this also means that happiness is rarely about doing more. 

Instead, it is about having the time, space and wisdom to appreciate what you already have.

Change doesn’t happen overnight

We often want to make overnight changes.
But that won’t work.
Because our body and mind resists change.
So we have to trick our body and mind.
By making the change happen slowly.

For example:

You wake up at 8am and want to wake up at 6am instead?
Setting the alarm clock for 6am will work for a few days, until it doesn’t.


Set the alarm for 7:50am (10 mins earlier than usual).

Acclimatise your body and mind to this small change.
Will take 2-3 weeks.
Post that, another small change.

Alarm for 7:40am

Then 7:30am.

Over a period of a few months, you would get to a routine of 6am!

Make your money work for you!

The famous Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai opened in 1903 at Rs. 6 per room.
Today, that same room costs Rs. 26,000. 

That’s 7.2% annual inflation for 120 years! 

If your money is not growing (post taxes) at atleast this rate, it is LOSING value every year. 

I am against FDs as an investment option because it protects your money.
Does not help it grow.

Banks clickbait you by offering stability and security in the form of FDs.
And then, resell the same money to you at higher rates, through loans. 

What DOES help your money grow is investing it in the stock market.
Is it risky? Yes.

You cannot eliminate the risk. 

You can manage it, though.
Through time. 

Consider this — the probability of gaining more than 8% returns, had you invested for more than 10 years in Nifty50 (India’s top 50 stocks on the National Stock Exchange), has been 100% till date. 

You don’t have to be an expert.
You don’t have to pick stocks.
You don’t have to run numbers. 

Just start investing.
Every month — through an SIP — and stay committed for 10+ years.
The Nifty50 Index Mutual Fund is a great place to start.

A brilliant life lesson

This is a story I have always loved to recite, with a brilliant life lesson.

One day, Narad Muni went to Lord Vishnu.
Narad Muni keeps chanting “Narayana Narayana” (which is another name for Lord Vishnu) as he believes that he is Vishnu’s truest follower.

To validate his belief, he asked Lord Vishnu “Who is your truest follower?”
Vishnu pointed below the clouds.
There was a poor farmer over there.

“He is my biggest follower,” Vishnu said.

Narad was shocked!
He used to chant “Narayana” day in and out.
Vishnu was in his thoughts all the time.
He was sure the farmer’s devotion didn’t come close to his.

“How is that possible? What makes this farmer your truest follower?” Narad asked.
“I will answer this question. But before that you will have to do something for me”, replied Lord Vishnu.

“Please tell me. I am really eager to know the answer.”

“You need to take an earthen pot, fill it to the brim, and then take three rounds of the universe. But there is one condition: you can’t spill even a single drop of water.”

And so Narad set out.
With his immense concentration, he did exactly what Vishnu told him.

When he returned, he asked Vishnu, “Now tell me please – how is that farmer your truest devotee?”

Vishnu pointed at the poor farmer and asked Narad to observe him.

Narad saw that even after a taxing day, even in the most difficult circumstances,
That poor farmer used to chant Vishnu’s name every night before sleeping.

Vishnu smiled.
“How many times did you chant my name while doing this task?”

Narad’s face dimmed.
“Not even once.”

He realised it is very easy to do the things we should do when times are good.
But doing what we should do even when times are bad is what defines us as a person.

Do you agree?

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