Blog2020-11-09T13:14:34+05:30

The best thing of 2020

2020 was a different year in many ways.

We were indoors not out of choice, still out of choice.
Our trips didn’t go as planned.
So didn’t our plans.

Amidst all this, we survived the least expected year of our lives.
Amidst all this, we held our hopes high.
Amidst all this, we even found solace in memes.

It is all a call of how much we are blessed with.

We need little to survive, and we can flip our lives around for the health of our family and the world.

December 31st, 2020|0 Comments

Is it enough to ask questions?

We often ask ourselves a lot of questions:

Why am I doing this?
Why do I not want to do this?
What do I want to achieve on taking this path?

All are very meaningful, very important questions.

However, are we allowing ourselves to get to the answers?
Or are our lives a big question mark because of never getting out of a whirlwind of questions?

Questions give different directions, answers show the path that drives actions.

December 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Is it cool to quickly get an MBA?

MBA immediately after graduating looks like a cool choice.
We will be a B-school graduate, have a great job, and finally “settle down”.

Gaining some work experience before that is coined as wastage of time.

However, what if the work experience turns out to be fruitful for an MBA?
What if we enter the MBA not to top the class rather understand how business decisions work?
What if we knew that to understand business, it pays to have work experience?

The goal of college is to understand how college can help us. For an MBA that might mean gaining real world experience before college.

December 29th, 2020|0 Comments

What’s the worst case scenario?

When we say we don’t know what to do, it isn’t entirely true.

We always know what to do. We just don’t know whether what we want to do will work out or not.

That fear of failure paralyses us from anticipating even the good that might come out of it.

What if we asked ourselves: What is the worst case?
What if we imagined that worst case playing out in reality?
And when we did, what if we asked ourselves: “Will I be okay despite that?”

If we somehow get to a point where we will be okay despite the worst case scenario actually playing through, the tough decision won’t be tough anymore.

Visualising the worst case scenario doesn’t make the future worse, it just makes the present better by helping us decide.

December 28th, 2020|0 Comments

Performing amidst pressure

There are two kinds of pressures:
Performance pressure and Peer pressure.

Performance pressure is the one we apply on ourselves.That we have to deliver. That we have to win. That we have to achieve.
It is the story in our head.

Peer pressure is the one we experience due to others. That they are doing so well. That there is so much to learn from them. That I too can be just as good. 

We tend to perform better when we are surrounded by performers and achievers.
That is how top athletes train themselves. 

Pressure can make a hard potato soft and a soft egg hard.
Choose your pressure!

December 27th, 2020|74 Comments

Generalist versus Specialist

In our parents’ generation, it was a privilege to be a specialist.
To be the best and fastest in the world at one thing was the only way to survive.

With unlimited opportunities in the information age, things have reversed.
As someone who wants to climb the corporate ladder, our role is managing people instead of core work.
This needs breadth, experience and understanding of work, in addition to core skills.

Thus, becoming a generalist comes with possibilities of broader spectrum and a stronger profile.

If we are a generalist, we have a speciality of taking different paths.

December 26th, 2020|0 Comments

How to find what you want to do?

We’re confused about what to do in life.
And, college education certainly hasn’t helped.

Why not explore our way through life, instead of being in a hurry to settle down?
Try out stand up comedy and share videos, and look at the reactions of people.
Create music if we love it, and see if others resonate with it
Get internships in design or coding, if that is what intrigues you.

It is better to be lost and busy in the chase of finding yourself, instead of being lost and busy in the rat race of never knowing yourself.

December 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Which one to pick?

You have two ideas for your startup, but not sure which one to start with.
Or perhaps two job offers.
Or two career options, and you cannot decide.

You are looking for a solution, but to no avail.

What if we looked for questions instead, whenever we were faced with a dilemma?

Why do I want to make that decision in the first place?
What would change for me because of that decision?
What do we want from that decision?

Looking for questions instead of solutions is about asking questions about the problem.

December 24th, 2020|0 Comments

Dependency

There are some days during the year when Instagram is down..
Sometimes Facebook is, WhatsApp is, Twitter as well.
Very recently when that happened with Google, we all lost it.

“Dependency” was the word of the day.

We suddenly didn’t know what to do. How to spend our time. All we kept doing was check the platform incessantly, showing how much we depend on it.

The next time a platform goes down, try a crazy thing: Go for a walk. Your world is what your eyes see, not what the screen shows! .

We own the screens we own. Not the other way round.

December 23rd, 2020|0 Comments

I don’t have the time!

I will spend time with my family later.
That email is important.

I will say “I love you” to my loved ones later.
That love for work is more important.

I will call my parents over the weekend.
Grind on the weekdays is more important.

I don’t have the time!

However, we will have all the time in the world if we had the time for the most important people in our life.

Time is the only thing that is important. Because we never know when will we run out of it.

December 22nd, 2020|43 Comments

How to help others and be happy

One of the mistakes we make early in our lives is feeling morally obligated to help others.

If we have something that they don’t, maybe we could help.
And when we do offer our help and that still doesn’t help, we feel we must have done something wrong.
Thus starts a vicious cycle of self-blame and self-criticism.

Except that it helps no one.
And certainly makes no one happy.

When we really want to help others, we could start with listening. Not trying to help, instead just listening. .
And being positive.
While we may still not be able to give them “things”, we will still give them the right vibe.

A rather unusual way to help others, is to be happy yourself.

December 21st, 2020|0 Comments

Why do we go to college?

Go to college, get your education, and chill for the rest of your life.

The biggest lie that was ever told and sold to us.

Why do we go to college?
To learn something? Not really, everything is accessible online.
To get a degree? We could do it from correspondence.
To run away from parents? Maybe that would never help.

We go to college not to learn things, rather to develop an attitude – an attitude of a student.
Once we know how to be a student, we’ve taken the best thing out of college

We go to college to learn how to become a student whenever we have to!

December 20th, 2020|1 Comment

My top books I read in 2020

  1. Almanack of Naval Ravikant: What a stunning and thoughtful compilation of Naval Ravikant‘s work and words. I predict that this is going to define a new industry – curating public content of thought leaders and converting them into books.
  2. Waking Up: Search for spirituality without religion Sam Harris provoked me through this book and offered me, an atheist, a lot to think about. Pick up his works!
  3. Psychology of Money: My most awaited book of this year, since the day Morgan Housel announced his book. A must read for all ages, especially those in their 20’s. I predict this to reach levels of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” over the next 10 years.
  4. Courage to be disliked: What a stunner! Challenges most of our tightly-held beliefs and I found myself nodding more often than not through the book. Not for the faint-hearted.
  5. One from many: VISA and the rise of chaordic organization This was the biggest surprise of 2020. I started it with little expectations and was blown away by the story of how VISA came to being. Much read for all fin-tech enthusiasts.
  6. What you do is who you are: Ben Horowitz strikes again, after “The Hard Thing about Hard Things”. This is a different yet joyous read from his earlier book and does the job well of establishing culture as a critical input to business success.
  7. Siddhartha: An Indian Tale This was a long time due book and I am so glad I got to it this year. Any other year I may not have appreciated it as much. Such a powerful book to read and reflect upon. Set during the time of the Buddha.
  8. No Rules Rules: Reed Hastings’ first book. if you have read the Netflix Culture Deck, then this is a great follow up book. A must-read for all founders and business leaders.
  9. Laws of human nature: Robert Green calls a spade a spade. And this book brings all his spades together! It is hard-hitting, it is unapologetically real and it kept me hooked.
  10. The moral animal: The new science of evolutionary psychology This is hands down the most provocative science books that I have read. Gripping read, that tries to explain why we are the way we are!
  11. Range: how generalists triumph in a specialized world If you want the class generalist vs specialist question answered, this is the book for you. David Epstein has written a beauty. One of the best reads of the year for me.
  12. Awareness: They key to living in balance This is was my first read by OSHO and I quite liked it. In more ways than I expected, he made a lot of sense and his ideas were hard to not appreciate. I would surely recommend this to many.
  13. On the shortness of life: I remain such an admirer of Seneca and his timeless wisdom. And every year find myself going back to some form of Stoic reading. This book was my highlight from the year.

I tracked some numbers down for 2020:

  1. This year I read 37 books.
  2. 5 of them were re-reads.
  3. Of the 32 new books, I didn’t complete 9 of them (Autobiography of Yogi being the most important one that I wish I had).
  4. There were 47 days in 2020 when I did not read at all.

In addition to these books, I also converted 5 of my twitter threads in illustrated eBooks.
You can download them for free here.

Here is a thread I wrote about how I read my books.

Here are 20 books that have benefitted me a lot in life

I would love recommendations for 2021 (am building my list right now).

I love reading:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Autobiographies/Biographies

PS: I only read non-fiction.

No – I don’t intend to change that :)

December 19th, 2020|0 Comments

A sneak peek into 2021 resolutions

Most people make resolutions at the end of December, and by 15th January, bam! They are back to square one.

Why does that happen?
Because we did not change who we are, without which it is impossible to change what we want.

So here’s how to make resolutions for 2021:
Don’t sign up for a destination. Sign up for a journey.
Build habits, instead of goals.
And commit to becoming the person who has those habits – every single day.

“The journey is the reward,” said Steve Jobs

The secret to not breaking resolutions is not creating them in the first place.
Rather, building yourself in a way that your daily actions define your results.

December 18th, 2020|6 Comments

How to learn something new

As a kid, three of us from school decided to speak in English, so that we could get better at it. 

Initially it was embarrassing, because what we spoke wasn’t refined.
We were speaking in English when everyone around us spoke in Hindi.
My two other friends gave up on the idea within a week.
I persisted for a year! 

When a lot of people ask me today about my fluency in English, it stems from that one decision.
One decision to continue speaking English, because I wanted to.
One decision to dust myself off, even if it came with being laughed at.

As Naval Ravikant says, “Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”

The way to get the results you want, is to persist even when you aren’t getting them now.

December 17th, 2020|Comments Off on How to learn something new
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Are we using our imagination or vice versa?

What if they don’t respond to my cold email?
What if I get rejected in the interview.
What if people laugh at the content I share? 

What if they do respond to my cold email?
What if I crack the interview?
What if people give me great feedback on my content? 

We can get into the highest state of happiness or create a forever prison for ourselves, just through our imagination.

January 5th, 2021|

Creativity and content

Creating content is less about new ideas on a random day.
It’s more of a process.

Showing up each day.
Documenting what we did.
Being yourself.
Creating content even when we don’t get the muse.

And, listening to the audience about what lights them up.

If we keep on doing it consistently without worrying about it to monetise, the power of compounding will take us places even we couldn’t imagine.

But the universal caveat remains unchanged:

Creativity shows up when we do.

January 4th, 2021|

The extreme emotions

You got promoted..
Maybe getting married this year!
And oh, you got a pet too.

Or you got fired from a job.
Went through a tough breakup.
Perhaps the family went through a crisis.

These are extreme emotions.
People share them all the time on social media.

And there are responses like: “I’m so happy for you”, “So glad to see you like this” or “Extremely sorry to hear that”.

However, no one feels what we feel. No one knows what we are going through. 

No one is as happy or as sad for us as they say they are.
We have only ourselves to know what we are going through.

January 3rd, 2021|

What are we leaving behind?

We are still using some things in life.
Old words. Old thought patterns. Old behaviours.
Just because we have accustomed ourselves to them. They’re a habit now.

They don’t serve any purpose.

As we form new habits, it is also important to question which are the old ones that we are leaving behind. 

A good habit to have is to discard habits that do not work.

January 2nd, 2021|

What’s going to be new in 2021?

90% of new year resolutions are broken by 15th January.
Why does that happen despite our best intentions?

The brain is always looking for shortcuts, and its default shortcut is to go back to what it is used to. Deep down we haven’t conditioned it to act in a manner aligned with those goals.

What if we change what the brain is conditioned to?
What if we create habits because of which it is possible to achieve our resolutions?

When goals go for a toss, habits are always there to catch you safe.

January 1st, 2021|

The best thing of 2020

2020 was a different year in many ways.

We were indoors not out of choice, still out of choice.
Our trips didn’t go as planned.
So didn’t our plans.

Amidst all this, we survived the least expected year of our lives.
Amidst all this, we held our hopes high.
Amidst all this, we even found solace in memes.

It is all a call of how much we are blessed with.

We need little to survive, and we can flip our lives around for the health of our family and the world.

December 31st, 2020|

Is it enough to ask questions?

We often ask ourselves a lot of questions:

Why am I doing this?
Why do I not want to do this?
What do I want to achieve on taking this path?

All are very meaningful, very important questions.

However, are we allowing ourselves to get to the answers?
Or are our lives a big question mark because of never getting out of a whirlwind of questions?

Questions give different directions, answers show the path that drives actions.

December 30th, 2020|

Is it cool to quickly get an MBA?

MBA immediately after graduating looks like a cool choice.
We will be a B-school graduate, have a great job, and finally “settle down”.

Gaining some work experience before that is coined as wastage of time.

However, what if the work experience turns out to be fruitful for an MBA?
What if we enter the MBA not to top the class rather understand how business decisions work?
What if we knew that to understand business, it pays to have work experience?

The goal of college is to understand how college can help us. For an MBA that might mean gaining real world experience before college.

December 29th, 2020|

What’s the worst case scenario?

When we say we don’t know what to do, it isn’t entirely true.

We always know what to do. We just don’t know whether what we want to do will work out or not.

That fear of failure paralyses us from anticipating even the good that might come out of it.

What if we asked ourselves: What is the worst case?
What if we imagined that worst case playing out in reality?
And when we did, what if we asked ourselves: “Will I be okay despite that?”

If we somehow get to a point where we will be okay despite the worst case scenario actually playing through, the tough decision won’t be tough anymore.

Visualising the worst case scenario doesn’t make the future worse, it just makes the present better by helping us decide.

December 28th, 2020|

Performing amidst pressure

There are two kinds of pressures:
Performance pressure and Peer pressure.

Performance pressure is the one we apply on ourselves.That we have to deliver. That we have to win. That we have to achieve.
It is the story in our head.

Peer pressure is the one we experience due to others. That they are doing so well. That there is so much to learn from them. That I too can be just as good. 

We tend to perform better when we are surrounded by performers and achievers.
That is how top athletes train themselves. 

Pressure can make a hard potato soft and a soft egg hard.
Choose your pressure!

December 27th, 2020|
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