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Words. Wisdom. Winners.

The importance of a good teacher

This is one of the fondest memories of my childhood. 

My Sanskrit exam was in a week.
And I was certain I would fail the exam.
Our teacher was so boring. Uninspiring.

Ma saw that I was scared.
She wrote a letter requesting the daughter of our temple priest to tutor me.
She had a Masters in Sanskrit.

I topped the exam!

It turns out that a good teacher can change your life.
And that good teacher needn’t be found in school or college.

The right way to seek help

One of the big mistakes people make while seeking out help, is being disrespectful of people’s time.

“I want to be respectful of your time so I will keep it short. I am confused about my career and don’t know what to do. Please help.”

“I am looking for help to connect me to investors. Attached is my business plan. Let me know of your feedback”

Both these examples lack empathy. They make it hard for people to help them.

Because in order to help them, they will have to spend time understanding the context, synthesizing it and then figuring how they can be of help.

Not something most people will do.

The best way to get help is to make it easy for people to help you by being specific.

You need these people in your life

Find the manager who saw your errors and still chose to trust.

Find the investor who saw you fail and still chose to support.

Find the friend who saw your ills and still chose to love.

Find the partner who saw the worst of you and still chose to stay.

“People in jobs are uncool. They have sold their soul.”

This is one of the biggest lies being sold to us nowadays!

In the world of Shark Tank, massive funding and billion dollar outcomes, it is easy for people to think that the only definition of success for someone young is to start up.

Why would you want to work 9-5 at a desk job, for a salary, when you can be free building things, is what they ask. 

And I say to them – a job early on in your career offers something immensely valuable. 

1/ Financial stability
2/ An appreciation for planning, for process, for system
3/ Experience of working with teams, to make something happen

This is what a lot of people want, desire and deserve. 

I know of FAR MORE PEOPLE who have been immensely successful professionally and financially, than I know those who started up. 

You decide what you want.
And you go chase that.
Cherish that.
Grow that. 

You do you.
And that is your success. 

Period.

Saying no is a choice

Each time we say no to someone, we think we are saying no to our capability of helping.
We think we are saying no to our ability to solve problems.

The reality, however, is that we are saying no to someone else because we want to be respectful of what’s important for us.

5 questions you need to ask yourself in tough situations

  1. What else could this mean?

For example, “My boss isn’t talking to me because she hates me!”
Well, maybe that’s true. Maybe it is not.
“What else could it mean?”

Go beyond your most obvious explanations.

  1. What is this telling me?

My teammates are always telling me that I am too nice.
I don’t like that.
But “what is this truly telling me?”

Our emotions/situations/circumstances are always telling us something.
Listen to them.

  1. Forget the world. WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?
    We are often caught up in what we think we should do, or what the world expects us to do.
    Whenever in doubt, ask yourself – What do I want to do?
    Truly want to do.
  2. Will this matter 3 months from now?

Our emotions are real. So real that they seem permanent.
But they are not.

Once the emotions are gone and we have given ourselves time and space, will what we are going through still matter?

  1. What is the worst thing that will happen? Will I be okay if it happens?

Our mind creates worst case scenarios and forces us not to take action to protect us from danger.

Once we imagine them vividly, we realise that most worst cases are not that bad.
It’s just in our head.

The embarrassment tee

It’s a really tight tee that showed all my bulges.

It was gifted to me 10 years back, by my then-colleague (who also became my trainer), Ajay Singh. 

He said, “Wear this tee every day when you go to work out. And look in the mirror.
It should embarrass you.”

“You should realise that you have not respected your body all these years (which was true for me back then) and you have to keep wearing this tee until one day, you feel proud of who you become, for your own self.”

I felt it was a wonderful way to motivate myself. 

I wore it every single day for a year, and every time I feel I am disrespecting my body by eating junk, I wear it to remind myself of who I can become if I decide to!

The beauty about this embarrassment tee is that it isn’t just for fitness.
It is for every walk of life. 

We all can “wear” an embarrassment tee every day – to college, to work, in our relationships.

So that when we look at ourselves in that situation, we know we can become better. 

We know we can feel better.
We know we can do better.
We know we can act better. 

And we continue to wear that tee every day, until we begin to like who we have become.

5 things to do in the first 90 days of your job

1. Avoid the Curse of Intelligence

Smart people directly go to solving problems, when they should rather be asking, “Why do things happen the way they do?”
In the enthusiasm of fixing new problems, we ignore history.
When we ignore history, we end up rewriting it. 

2. Meet people who are nothing like you

Have lunch, build connections, and network without any intent.
Even with those who have nothing to do with your work and are different from you.
You have the most to learn from them.

3. Sharpen your axe

Your goal is not to impress people in the first 90 days.
Your goal is to listen, observe, and take notes.
So that when the real work comes your way, you will have all the arms and ammunition to do a fantastic job.

4. Seek feedback

Unless you do something dramatically wrong, everyone is going to be nice to you.
It is your job to seek meaningful feedback.
The more specific you get, the more value you derive.

5. Do not share your opinions

Your intent is not to change things in a way to challenge or show them the mirror.
Keep your opinions to yourself for the first 3 months, to check if they truly hold ground later on. 

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