Success (and Failure)
How we think of our problems is how the world will think of our problems.
If we exaggerate our problems, so will the world.
If we are happy despite our problems, the world will help us get happier.
While we (almost always) don’t choose our problems, we can always choose how to respond.
When we rule ourselves, we can never be ruled by our problems.
The biggest misconception people have is that they are the odd one out and everyone else is sorted!
You are what you do.
Not what you say you’ll do.
We know ourselves through our thoughts.
But we know others through their actions.
That is true for others as well.
They can’t read our thoughts. All they see is what we do.
It does not matter what we say.
What matters is what they see us doing.
Commitments are nothing if not backed up with actions.
Persistence isn’t a one-day miracle.
It is a conscious choice translated into habit.
The first few episodes of the Netflix series maybe boring. However, you still keep watching the series. It turns out, a friend told you to stay at it because it gets interesting eventually.
What if we treat our goals and our journey in the same way?
Keep at them, even when they are boring early on, because they will get interesting eventually?
The result of no efforts is nothing.
The result of persistent efforts is a habit where you cannot not do the right thing.
Don’t set targets.
Setting targets instead of habits makes us forget the kind of person we want to become.
We not only want to run a marathon. We also want to get fit.
We not only want to look sculpted. We want to see how disciplined we are.
We do not want to crack just the sales numbers. We want to solve more customer problems.
The more we get the process right, the closer we get to the targets.
The more we run after targets, the more we sign up for feeling hollow once we achieve them.
Habits hire us forever and take us higher, whereas targets tame us and leave us clueless after we achieve them.
Don’t try to minimize your struggle.
Try to make it more meaningful.
You can never minimize your struggle. It will only suppress your emotions.
However, you can always figure out what it means.
Feeling intimidated by a colleague daily? Does it mean you aren’t ‘cool enough’ or does it simply mean they do not make you feel involved?
Trying too hard to find work you love? Does this mean you aren’t worth it or does it mean your efforts are compounding to give you 10X return?
Parents asking you for small things? Does this mean they are poking their nose or does this mean they simply want to lower their anxiety by making sure you’re safe?
When we suppress struggle, it doesn’t go away. It just bottles up making us question ourselves daily.
When we choose the meaning of our struggle, we use it instead of it using us.
Emotional debt has killed more people than financial debt ever will.
The debt of never saying ‘I love you’ to your parents.
The debt of never apologizing to the friend who was always there for you.
The debt of never living for your happiness, because you were busy pleasing others.
Money goes and comes.
We might be in a position to pay those debts off one day.
However, the emotional debt that piles on, will continue to kill us within every single day we live!
If unsure between two choices, picking both is almost always the wrong response.
Do you want money or power?
Do you want an awesome college or an awesome course?
Should you go after the salary or after the brand?
You can say both.
And live a life of compromise or indecision.
Or you can choose the one which you want to do.
And succeed at it.
Or if you didn’t succeed, learn from the courage you displayed.
Picking one, teaches.
Picking both, confuses.
Entrepreneurship is not a profession.
It’s a state of mind.
You can have a job and think of building new things, energizing your team and making sure you are helping the business grow.
Figure out the right problems to solve. Ask for work beyond your job description. Treat your job like your own business.
You do not necessarily need to have a start-up in order to become an entrepreneur.
You can start where you are. Move things that need to be moved. Change the status quo for the better. And you are an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is the most brutal way to discover yourself.
There are initial days of fun of a new office, pristine furniture, and branding.
Then come the finer details.
Building a team.
Developing a culture.
How you handle yourself and your mental state during the times when everything is not a bed of roses, truly determines who you are.
It definitely won’t be as easy or glamorous as you had expected. However, it will reveal so much to you about yourself, that you won’t wish the journey was different in any way.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, nothing shows you who you are as much as entrepreneurship does.
Not valuing your time and treating it like its free.
We don’t know how much our one hour costs.
We don’t know how much we ACTUALLY spend when we watch Netflix two hours a day.
We don’t know how much we should charge for a project.
We don’t understand how our time equals money.
Spending your time on things that are easy to measure money-wise.
We will spend half a day travelling to one end of the city to save Rs 1000, because we know we will conclusively save that amount.
But we won’t spend two hours preparing for our salary negotiation!
Taking too many loans.
We overindex on our future earnings.
And spend more today than we can afford.
Loans tie us down.
They increase our burn rate.
They make us risk-averse.
They make us feel like we are stuck!
Believing that our income is capped.
Our income is not capped. There is no upper limit to how much we can earn.
Instead, it is our spending that is capped. We have to spend a bare minimum to live, to survive.
Instead of reducing expenses, focus on increasing income.
Trying to time the market.
Market is too high. Let it fall.
Market is low. Right time to buy.
No one knows the highs or lows of a market. The best way to invest over a long term is to invest regularly. Irrespective of the price at that time.
Holding a grudge against someone requires a lot of effort.
Think of all the wasted time spent being mad at someone.
Someone broke you into pieces. And now you have decided to trade your peace for seeking revenge.
When we hold a grudge against someone, we do the same thing they did to us: hurt us.
They hurt us once. We hurt ourselves 100x by repeating it in our head.
Every problem in this world can be traced back to a point of miscommunication.
All relationships thrive on communication.
Feeling upset with someone? Why not talk?
Feeling upset with yourself? Why not talk to yourself?
Once we know how to communicate and we do communicate, problems move from being problems to actions to be taken.
There is a big difference between saying thank you and feeling thankful.
Saying ‘thank you’ to please someone. Or saying ‘thank you’ because you were truly grateful.
One shows obligation. The other shows admiration.
We create our relationships by what we choose to give.