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Words. Wisdom. Winners.

“Move on. It’s in the past.”

This is one of the worst things that people can say if you have just failed or lost.

Don’t move on.

Pause.
Reflect.
Introspect.
Make changes.
Then take a step.

Failure by itself does not lead to success.
It is the introspection and action upon failure that leads to success.

The difference between important and urgent

During a 1:1 with my team member, she asked me the meaning of something I had shared online.
“The more you solve for today, the farther tomorrow gets.”

I explained:

There are urgent things:

Calls.
Emails.
Timelines.
Attending to the door.
DMs to be responded to.

And there are important things that aren’t urgent. Still, super important:

Eating right.
Going to the gym.
Calling your parents.

If we don’t train our brain to do the important things, it tricks us into believing that the urgent is the important.

And the more we attend to the urgent, the farther away the important things go.

But as I was explaining this to her, I realized an important lesson.

The last line I said was quite difficult to understand.
It sounded smart, but it didn’t help!

It’s more important to be helpful than to sound smart and intellectual :)

Your first work matters!

“Hey Ankur, I read your blog posts from 2005 onwards and they were quite unlike who you are today.
Why do you still have them there?
Don’t you care that people will judge you for who you were?”

Someone asked me this earlier this week.

I wrote my first blog post in May 2005.
I posted my first LinkedIn content in 2013.
I posted my first YouTube video in Aug 2017.
I sent my first newsletter in July 2020.
I posted my first IG reel in Jan 2021.
I recorded my first podcast in March 2021.

And guess what was common in all of them?
I think they were all TERRIBLE!

I was an amateur.
I was nervous.
I was rambling.
I was not precise.

And whenever I look at my earlier work, I am always left embarrassed.

So how is it that I have never cared to delete any of my previous work?
How is it that I never care to even edit the mistakes I make in my videos – which are often many? 

Because:
My first work reminds me that I started.
My first work reminds me that I took the plunge.
My first work reminds me of how far along I have come.
My first work reminds me of this beautiful quote:

“Courage isn’t about being ready for what you are going to face. It is knowing that you aren’t ready and yet moving forward to face it.”

Here is something you already know of:

Your first work will not be your best.
Your first work will leave you embarrassed.
Your first work will make people laugh, cringe, judge or mock you.

And yet, until there is no first work, there is going to be no other work!

Don’t ask yourself, “Am I ready to start?”
Ask yourself, “Am I ready to improve?”

“2024 is the year I will either make it or break it.”

One of my team members shared this recently, during our 1:1.
As I reflected on it, I realised I was the same in my 20s.

However, over time, I have gotten wiser.

I realised that no one year completely changed the course of my life.
Yes, there were events that triggered a change.
But that change wasn’t sudden, and wasn’t dramatic.
It took time.

So here is a reminder:

Do not put the pressure of making 2024 the make or break year.
If things go your way, you will still face challenges going forward.
If things do not go your way, you will still find success sooner than later.

None of your decisions next year will determine your entire life.
They will determine a part of your life; a small part which may seem big to you today.

Instead of thinking of a year as THE year for you, think of it as yet another year for you.

You are bigger than any one year.
You are bigger than THE one year.

You got this :))

5 cool things to get independence from

  1. Someone else’s definition of success for you.
  2. People who do not support your dreams, instead question them.
  3. The chase for money, that doesn’t let you even enjoy it.
  4. Your own self, whenever you say “I’m like this only!”
  5. The belief that it is too late. YOU have this moment, until you die.

3 lies about money the world tells us

1. Money is the root cause of all evil.

From an early age, thinking about money was not encouraged.
It was the unsaid rule that money is important, but thinking about it is evil.
After all, money was the reason behind the fights, the wars, and the disagreements.

Now I know it is not money that is the reason.
It is the importance we attach to it in our lives.

Money is simply a medium of transaction.
When it becomes an emotion is when it consumes us.

And that is true for all things in life!

2. Be wary of those who are rich.

It was always assumed that getting rich was possible only through exploitation of others, being cold blooded, and twisting the law in your favour.

Those who are rich are the ones who compromised on their morals.

Now I know that for every immoral rich person, there are countless more examples of people who treat money, people and values with respect.

It’s just that, by design, they are not the ones we hear of or speak of.
News covers the abnormal.
Not the normal.

3. Saving money is important.

Of course, saving is important. But we were never told the complete story.
That investment is more important.

Post demonetization, all the money “saved” by our parents came out.
They were lauded for their saving capabilities.

Most “savings” approaches that we were taught, destroys the value of money.
To make money beat inflation, we were never taught how to invest.

5 hard-hitting truths about finding your passion

  1. Very few find their passion early in life. Most find it much later, if at all.

The world convinces us that we should “pick” a passion as early as possible and then settle.

I think all of your 20s should go towards discovering your passion.
Don’t settle.
Explore.

  1. Passion isn’t about money. It is about how you feel.

We are led to believe that if you follow your passion, you will make a lot of money, which will give you a lot of happiness.

The most passionate people I know are simply content.
They are at peace with who they are.

  1. “Quit your job to follow your passion” is poor advice.

Financial stability is important.
When we sacrifice that to follow our passion, we put the pressure of making money on our passion, from day 1.

Our passion then becomes our necessity!
And ultimately dies.

  1. Passions don’t come in templates.

Stop looking for standard answers to what your passion could be.

Your context, your experiences, your habits, your idiosyncrasies – all of them lend to a passion that is uniquely you.

Don’t make someone else’s passion yours.

  1. Our failures direct us towards our passions a lot more than our successes.

Whenever we fail, we seek solace and inspiration.
It is during such moments that our potential passions emerge.

What we gravitate towards.
Where we can truly be ourselves.
And not have to pretend.

The race is within

There was a time when there were no ranks.
No grades.
No scores.
No positions.

You worked at something until you wanted to, or you got really good at it.
And then, the industrial revolution changed it all.

Tests were introduced.
The outcome of the tests was not to measure knowledge or understanding.
Rather to grade.
To score.
And then to rank.

Someone with a 93% was deemed higher than someone with 92%.
And we all got addicted.
Addicted to this race.

Fast forward to today – all of us live in constant comparison.

“Am I the best student?”
“Am I the best employee?”
“Am I the best leader?”

All of us live in constant fear, as a consequence.
Assessing who else is better?

If only we stopped to realise:

“I can never control if I am the best at anything.”
“I can only control if I am the best version of myself, at it.”

The race is not with the world.
The race is within.

Using technology the smart way

Scared about how ChatGPT will replace your job?
Or how technology is eventually going to make you irrelevant?
Or how fast the world is moving and you feel overwhelmed? 

There are 2 choices you have:
1. Continue to feel scared.
2. Embrace the change.

If you chose #2 above, here are 3 small steps to take towards doing so:

  1. Pick up online courses related to the technology you are interested in.
    The Internet allows everyone to be a student and learn from the best teachers available. Do that.
  2. Join an online community around it.
    Facebook groups, Reddit forums, WhatsApp groups, Discord servers – get yourself immersed in the technology you want to master and hang around people who live it and love it.
  3. Pick up projects/internships utilising the technology.
    Do it for free, if needed.
    Just learn. Get challenged. Seek feedback.
    There is no better way to learn.

When you make technology your friend, you prevent it from becoming your competitor.

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