Blog2020-08-10T12:31:58+05:30

Does what you’re doing feel shameful?

A kid is told “no” 400 times a day while growing up.  

So as we morph into adults, that behavior gets reflected in everything that we do. It results in “no” being our default response to everything.

This has never been done.
Are you crazy?
What’s going on in your mind that you’re thinking of doing this?

What was taught to be shameful in childhood, might not be the reality.
When we question everything that we think is shameful, we might realize most of those things aren’t.

October 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Is it okay to fire your friends?

Our energy gets drained.
Enthusiasm lowers each time.
There is no feeling of being cared for.

These are the experiences we have with some of our friends. 

However, we were not born into those relationships. We chose them.
Since we chose them, we can also choose to get out of them. 

This isn’t mean or narcissistic. This is to save yourself from misery forever. When we take energy-draining people out of our lives, we stand up to appreciate ourselves. And that’s an act of self-love.

It’s okay to fire your friends.
If we don’t, we are firing our energy, our optimism.

October 5th, 2020|1 Comment

What’s more valuable than IQ and EQ?

More than two decades back, the society revered the ones with high IQ.

Over time, it began giving higher importance to mastering our emotions, and understanding them in others. So EQ became the in-thing.

However, there is a third important thing beyond both of these: focus.

The top minds in the world today are vying for just one thing: your focus.

A tag in the Slack overflow.
An important WhatsApp notification.
A story “mention” on Instagram.
Someone tagged your on Facebook.

Beautiful ways to make you realize you are important.
While nothing is more important than your focus.

If you have the ability to sit and work on one thing at hand for 60, 30 or even 5 minutes at stretch, you have the biggest asset in this world: focus.

Our intelligence and emotional mastery is relevant, only when we have learnt the art of focusing on the subject at hand.
Focus is the new IQ.

October 4th, 2020|0 Comments

Using the hurt to grow

How do we respond when we are hurt?
Do we blame the person who did that to us?
Or carry the baggage of that hurt forever?

Here’s a simple question to ask:
“What is this trying to tell me?” 

We’d probably get nowhere getting to the root cause of hurt. However, understanding the lesson behind each hurt and failure grows us tremendously. 

When hurt, ask for the lesson. Not the reason!

October 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

How do we respond after making a mistake?

We’re entering the elevator from the 10th floor.
Got to go to the 20th one.
By mistake, we press the ground floor button.

In the haste to correct that mistake, we instantly press that 20th floor button. Forgetting that the elevator will go to the ground floor first. It doesn’t care about our mistakes

What if we remembered this while making mistakes in life?
How would our actions change when we knew there’s time to rectify the mistake?
Would we do anything different if we knew there was no need to hurry up?

Probably, we’d help ourselves from making another one.

We always have time to correct the mistake after we’ve made it.
Trying to correct it immediately is another mistake.

October 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

What if we achieve our goals?

We work really hard.
Give up on all pleasures.
Sacrifice a lot.

All in order to get to our goals.

Unfortunately, sometimes we are not able to make it.
Our dreams are shattered.
So does our hope.

And sometimes we do achieve our goals.
One day they become a reality. 

And when they do, we find ourselves asking the questions:
Now what?
What’s next?
Is that all how success feels?

There are only two tragedies in life:
one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
– Oscar Wilde

October 1st, 2020|0 Comments

The messy clean up process

When the ink in the pen gets over, we keep the pen under the tap to clean it.

And that’s a messy process. Ink all over. More than you thought there is. 

However, after that the pen is absolutely clean.
Ready to write again with the newly-filled ink.

Any clean up process in life will be messy.
But as much as we would want to avoid that mess, it is only after that mess that we will see something more beautiful emerging at the end. 

It is not the mess during a clean up, that we should fear.
It is avoiding the mess that we should fear.

September 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Do you feel scared to share your content?

“Your content is really inspirational.
I also want to create content for me.
However, I feel I have nothing to share.”

This is the fear of a lot of people struggling to create content online.

We are constantly thinking what we know isn’t good enough.
What we do isn’t cool enough.
What we have accomplished isn’t attractive enough.

And so we do not share.
Thus allowing someone else’s content to come out.
Someone else who believed their work was good enough.

Sharing what you know isn’t about what you know.
It is about how you feel about yourself.

September 29th, 2020|0 Comments

Do you wait for inspiration to happen?

You see a video and feel inspired.
What if you hadn’t seen that video?

You read a book and feel inspired.
What if you hadn’t read the book?

You meet someone and feel inspired.
What if you hadn’t met that person?

When we leave inspiration to chance , it leaves all those things that depend on our inspiration, to chance as well. 

What if we made inspiration a discipline?
What if we showed up to it daily instead of serendipity to bring it to us?
What if that consistency made it impossible for inspiration to escape us?

Inspiration isn’t just a choice.
It’s a habit that shows up when practiced daily.

September 28th, 2020|0 Comments

Committing mistakes

We’ve all made mistakes.
We still do.
We will continue to.

However, the first mistake rarely brings any harm.
Ignoring the mistake and not learning a lesson from it causes real harm. 

Because we’ve wasted a learning opportunity.
Because we might repeat the same mistake again.
Because we have let a life teacher go by without giving us a lesson.

Committing mistakes is not the mistake.
Not learning from them is.

September 27th, 2020|0 Comments

Are you just one identity?

What is the role that we define ourselves by?

Am I a Product Manager? A painter? An engineer? A leader?

Society has trained us to believe that we should be just one thing in our life. 

However, none of the successful people in history – from Michelangelo to Albert Einstein to Bill Gates did just one thing.
They did multiple things, and that helped them excel in the one thing we know them for.

What if our role was not limited to just one title?
What if we could do everything that nudged our emotions?
What if we made this possible?

We have just one life.
Why live it with just one identity?

September 26th, 2020|0 Comments

Working on your strengths or weaknesses?

Strengths are our trump cards.
We already have an edge over them.
They make us start ahead of everyone else.

Weaknesses are our jacks.
We will have to work more than everyone else to even be at par.

Then why is it that people are told to work on their weaknesses and not on their strengths?

Working on our strengths put us above everyone else.
Working on our weaknesses doesn’t offer that, every bit is a struggle. 

Strengths increase on the principle of compounding, so do our weaknesses.
Which one would you choose then?

September 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Why have we been asked to do what we have been asked to do?

When we only do what we were told to do, we own the output.
If anyone else gets that work done better, cheaper, faster than us they would replace us.
Owning the output makes us dispensable.

However, if we stopped and asked ourselves, “why am I being told to do what I have been told to do?” we will own not just the output, but the outcome as well. 
Owning the outcome will surprise people each time we deliver stunningly more than what we were supposed to do.

Owning the outcome, instead of the output makes us indispensable.

September 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on Why have we been asked to do what we have been asked to do?

What if our work won’t stay forever?

In Japanese culture, there is a painting technique called Buddha Board.

We paint with watercolours.
As the painting dries, the colours fade away, so does the painting.

The work, no matter how beautiful, is no more.

What if every work of ours was on a Buddha Board? It will eventually fade away.
What will we be left with?

Our work is what we become in the process, not what we make it to be.

September 23rd, 2020|1 Comment

Are you a student? Forever?

Given how rapidly everything changes now, I often wonder what is the most important skill of the 21st century?

Is it to code? To become an AI expert? To be a storyteller? 

I believe the most important skill of the 21st century is the ability to learn something new, whenever required. 

If we have the ability to become a student whenever we have to and not think of our school or college as the only occasion to do so, we will have the superpower to face the world.

The future belongs to those who stay students forever.

September 22nd, 2020|Comments Off on Are you a student? Forever?
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The biggest luxury of childhood

As a kid, maybe we were not given everything.
Maybe we didn’t have all the love in the family.
Maybe we did not go out like all other kids.
Maybe we were denied that shiny lunchbox.

However, what we got was something more special: the ability to appreciate everything.
And when we did get everything that we couldn’t as a child, it made us realise its value even more.

Not having everything is the biggest luxury of childhood.

October 11th, 2020|

Understanding that no one understands

When something bad happens, everyone says they’re in a lot of pain.
However, this pain that you are going through, only you can truly feel it. No one else can.

Only you know what’s going on with you.
Everyone else sees the world through their own biased lens.

It is your pain. It is your journey. And it is only your understanding.

October 10th, 2020|

20 books that helped me more than years of college or school ever did

It was 2009 when Vivek Pahwa gifted me 

REWORK by Jason Fried and DHH

The book changed me. Threw open a different way of looking at the world. Came to define “resist the obvious” for me as a life lesson. It remains my most gifted book till date.

 

2016: I had just laid off 80 of my colleagues for no mistake of theirs. And this book came to my rescue

BETTER UNDER PRESSURE

“CEOs must master three essential attributes, realistic optimism, subservience to purpose, and finding order in chaos.”

 

When I first read

GRIT: THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE by Angela Lee Duckworth

I felt like I would want my life to be such a story.

“Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.”

 

Entrepreneurship was made cool by the media. And then came

THE HARD THINGS ABOUT HARD THINGS by Ben Howoritz

“Life is struggle.” I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”

 

As someone who loves to ask questions, this book opened my mind to a whole new set of them

SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari

“Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

 

 

I love autobiographies

TOOLS OF THE TITANS by Tim Ferris

gave me multiple autobiographies in one.

“If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.”

 

I have come to believe that everyone in life requires a coach

THE TRILLION DOLLAR COACH

taught me how

An absolute must for leaders

“Not what happened and who’s to blame, but what are we going to do about it?”

 

Getting to know about Stoicism has helped me immensely in life

A GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE: THE ANCIENT ART OF STOIC JOY

is a great book to understand stoicism

“the easiest way for us to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have.”

 

If I ever write a book, I know it will be on the lines of

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK by Mark Manson

I love its authenticity and realism

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”

 

For the longest time I used to suck at giving feedback.

And then I read

RADICAL CANDOR by Kim Scott

which changed everything for me

“The way you ask for criticism and react when you get it goes a long way toward building trust—or destroying it.”

 

If there is one book I would love everyone to read every year of their life, it will be

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE by Clayton Christensen

“It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.”

 

IMO, one of the most simple yet powerful books of our times is

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”

 

This book shook me to my core and made me realize what is important to me in my life

MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

 

What Nassim Nicholas Taleb did for me in his book

SKIN IN THE GAME

was explain the meaning and importance of risk, like nothing else ever had

“What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.”

 

I started following Kapil Gupta and his thoughts moved me. So I picked up his book

THE DIRECT TRUTH

I was shocked at how little I knew what’s inside my head.

“Why do I get angry when I am insulted? A: Because you entertain the verity of the insult.”

 

IMO there isn’t a better guide to understanding startups, than

THE HIGH GROWTH HANDBOOK by Elad Gil

“In fact, the general model for successful tech companies, contrary to myth, is that they become distribution-centric rather than product-centric.”

 

If there is only 1 autobiography that I would recommend, it would have to be

SHOE DOG by Phil Knight

“The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.”

 

Nothing calms me down than reading Ghalib

Thank you Pankaj Bansal for gifting me

LOVE SONNETS OF GHALIB

It shocks me to read how much Ghalib understood human emotions.

 

Back as a kid obsessed with X-Files (and in love with Scully), the book

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS

added fuel to my imagination

I remain a student of aliens :)

“The positive thing about the skeptic is that he considers everything possible!”

 

The only fiction I have ever read

(and will perhaps ever read) was the only fiction I would ever need to read

THE FOUNTAINHEAD

This is a priceless book.

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”

 

Any other books you would recommend, that you feel I would enjoy and learn from?

October 9th, 2020|

What are we addicted to?

Social media.
Junk food.
Video games
Alcohol
Drugs

Are these the biggest additions?

We are not addicted to these things. We are addicted to the feelings that the things generate.

And all addictions generate a feeling of comfort. Which makes us numb.

When we are addicted to comfort, we don’t get comfortable with failure.
Instead we get comfortable with what we have.
When we are addicted to comfort, we don’t get comfortable with risk.
Instead we get comfortable with safety
When we are addicted to comfort, we don’t get comfortable with challenges.
Instead we get comfortable with appreciation.

The biggest addiction is comfort.
Because we don’t change and challenge ourselves anymore.

October 8th, 2020|

Dealing with haters on social media

When we are real and vulnerable on social media, we are inevitably going to face haters.
And they might end up saying things that affect us..

Whenever that happens, here’s a question to ask ourselves: “Would we go to them for their advice when we need it?”

If we wouldn’t take their advice for anything, it certainly doesn’t make sense to take their hate seriously.

Negativity coming your way, isn’t your choice.
You taking in the negativity certainly is.

October 7th, 2020|

Does what you’re doing feel shameful?

A kid is told “no” 400 times a day while growing up.  

So as we morph into adults, that behavior gets reflected in everything that we do. It results in “no” being our default response to everything.

This has never been done.
Are you crazy?
What’s going on in your mind that you’re thinking of doing this?

What was taught to be shameful in childhood, might not be the reality.
When we question everything that we think is shameful, we might realize most of those things aren’t.

October 6th, 2020|

Is it okay to fire your friends?

Our energy gets drained.
Enthusiasm lowers each time.
There is no feeling of being cared for.

These are the experiences we have with some of our friends. 

However, we were not born into those relationships. We chose them.
Since we chose them, we can also choose to get out of them. 

This isn’t mean or narcissistic. This is to save yourself from misery forever. When we take energy-draining people out of our lives, we stand up to appreciate ourselves. And that’s an act of self-love.

It’s okay to fire your friends.
If we don’t, we are firing our energy, our optimism.

October 5th, 2020|

What’s more valuable than IQ and EQ?

More than two decades back, the society revered the ones with high IQ.

Over time, it began giving higher importance to mastering our emotions, and understanding them in others. So EQ became the in-thing.

However, there is a third important thing beyond both of these: focus.

The top minds in the world today are vying for just one thing: your focus.

A tag in the Slack overflow.
An important WhatsApp notification.
A story “mention” on Instagram.
Someone tagged your on Facebook.

Beautiful ways to make you realize you are important.
While nothing is more important than your focus.

If you have the ability to sit and work on one thing at hand for 60, 30 or even 5 minutes at stretch, you have the biggest asset in this world: focus.

Our intelligence and emotional mastery is relevant, only when we have learnt the art of focusing on the subject at hand.
Focus is the new IQ.

October 4th, 2020|

Using the hurt to grow

How do we respond when we are hurt?
Do we blame the person who did that to us?
Or carry the baggage of that hurt forever?

Here’s a simple question to ask:
“What is this trying to tell me?” 

We’d probably get nowhere getting to the root cause of hurt. However, understanding the lesson behind each hurt and failure grows us tremendously. 

When hurt, ask for the lesson. Not the reason!

October 3rd, 2020|

How do we respond after making a mistake?

We’re entering the elevator from the 10th floor.
Got to go to the 20th one.
By mistake, we press the ground floor button.

In the haste to correct that mistake, we instantly press that 20th floor button. Forgetting that the elevator will go to the ground floor first. It doesn’t care about our mistakes

What if we remembered this while making mistakes in life?
How would our actions change when we knew there’s time to rectify the mistake?
Would we do anything different if we knew there was no need to hurry up?

Probably, we’d help ourselves from making another one.

We always have time to correct the mistake after we’ve made it.
Trying to correct it immediately is another mistake.

October 2nd, 2020|
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