Define or Defy

Category: Ideas and Reflections Page 1 of 2

21 Life Lessons at 21

2017 was a blast. Most eventful, most memorable and most intense. Starting with my Cycling journey, followed by my first solo trip, first time anchoring, first Brevet, first internship and ending the first 6 months with a 2nd place at a public speaking competition. The second half of the year was slightly less eventful but nevertheless the same impact on my learning curve. First Half Marathon, first guest speaker appearances, first felicitations. And then, ended the year by completing a series of 200, 300 and 400 km Brevets.

I’m really grateful for an amazing year I had and there were a lot of lessons I learned along the way. A lot of learning and a lot many takeaways. I would like to share some of my learnings with you on this New Year’s eve. And before that, wish you all a very Happy New Year 🙂

Image result for new year quotes

 

1. Life is Ebb and Flow

This might be the most important life lesson. At the start of this blog post, I mentioned all the good parts, the shiny ones. The sunny days.

But everyday is not gonna be like that. There were and there will be sad, bad and worse days. Maybe that’s what life is all about. You shouldn’t get too attached to your happy moments or get too sullen when you are at your trough.

If you think a bit deeper, you wouldn’t have appreciated life if it was all good. Quoting the passengers Let Her Go :

Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home

 

Image result for this too shall pass

 

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZmincS6xTs&w=560&h=315]

 

2. Have a Goal and Use it to your Advantage

 

At Fun and Furore 2017- an annual Toastmaster conference I had the chance of speaking to the keynote speaker Mr. Aditya Maheswaran, who was the runner up at the World Championship of Public Speaking. One particular takeaway was(and in his words) ” Having the goal of becoming World Champion of Public Speaking, had an exponential growth effect on me. All the years of Toastmasters experience was eclipsed by the learnings in that year of the competition alone.”

Looking back, it indeed was true.

  • I was a very timid and shy speaker but then the goal of being the Master Orator Champion had me practice number of times, improve my body language, learning speech structuring and a lot more.
  • I was a leisure cyclist, cycling mostly on only Sunday. But then I put myself a goal of becoming a Super Randonneur (one who completes a series of 200,300,400 & 600 kms on cycle) by 2018. This forced me to watch what I eat, regular exercising, doing the 7 minute workout daily. I might be in my best physical shape now 😛

 

And for my Computer Science friends, if you are still hesitant about jumping into the programming world, why not challenge yourself with this. Make this your goal and put your efforts to it.

Setting a goal is the easy part. Working on it is the hard part. And how do you work on it? By respecting the slight edge

 

3. Respect the Slight Edge

 

No good things comes fast. The only way you can achieve something is to put your efforts day in and day out.

One of the most influential books I read was The Slight Edge. This might be the only self help book you need to read. The whole book can be summarized in one single picture.

Image result for the slight edge

 

 

4. Have An Accountability Buddy

So now you have set yourself a goal and you try to maintain the slight edge. One day or the other you would feel like giving up. If left to yourself, there’s a high chance that you might give up. But what if someone else is gonna push you? Think of a gym. The pumping of the trainer push you to do more reps than what you would have done alone.

But I am not in the gym and I don’t have a trainer, I’m focused on other things, you might say.

Being accountable to someone can be done in many other ways. Let us take my example:

  1. I made a goal of either running or cycling daily. To be accountable for this I started uploading my daily progress in the popular app Strava. Some days the workout just happened and other days I had to drag myself just an hour before the day ends only because I had to honor my word put out in the open.
  2. I usually didn’t wake up early and even if I did, I wouldn’t be consistent for long. So I requested my close buddy to call me up at 5 and I would send a selfie after washing my face and tagged with a quote.

Try it out. Figure out areas where you wanna improve and have someone to be accountable to.

55.PNG

 

5. Discipline is what makes(/breaks) you

We’ve seen the Slight Edge and we swear by it. But there will be days when you feel like not doing things. That’s when you need to be disciplined.

Image result for discipline is

 

As mentioned earlier, I made a resolution 25 days back that I would at least do a 2 km a day. There were days when I didn’t wake up early and the didn’t find time (just an excuse) and it was already 11 pm. I could either give up and do it the next day or I could respect my decision made days ago. I went for the walk.

At Fun and Furore 2016, Mr. Rajdeep- the keynote speaker expressed the same thing. ” Your life is a painting. Every commitment you honor is a stroke and every commitment you dishonor is a scratch.”

Paint the best version of yourself!

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 9.35.29 PM.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 9.35.28 PM.jpeg

 

6. Keep it Simple Silly

Meditating. This was something I always tried to do but never could. 20 minutes was what I set forth and it was too much for me. That’s when I came across this.

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 9.34.37 PM.jpeg

 

Be it meditation or fitness, all you need to do is one single push up or one single mindfull breath. The essence here is to keep the consistency reiterating what we saw in Lesson 3.

 

7. Have a Tunnel Vision

Inch wide, Mile deep.

What does this mean?

I am in my last semester now and I had the thought of either joining a kickboxing class to build my personality or a dance class so as to perform on my college’s annual day. I gave these both serious thoughts but then upon further contemplation realized that these both were just distractions from my actual goals.

I won’t say any further here. Take a read at what Derek Sivers has got to say.

And to end it, Gary Vee says it the best at 0:40

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fx2aKP7UGQ&w=560&h=315]

 

8. Choices & Trade-Offs

 

Life is all about trade offs. All about choices.

Choosing to stay with your family or move abroad for a higher pay and a better lifestyle? 

Eating that yummy chicken zinger for pleasure or watching your diet and feeling good about your body for the real happiness?

Staying in your comfort zone or Stepping out of it and embracing the randomness?

Every choice will have a consequence. And you should be okay with it once it’s been chosen.

 

Image result for harry potter choices

 

9. Take Your Time

There’s usually a recurring character in all our lives whom we compare our self against. They might be the supremely confident ___ or the drop dead gorgeous and muscular ___ or be it the everything planned and perfected ___. We usually stalk them to see what they are up to go into an endless loop of self loathing. Or at least I do.

But one thing to keep in mind is that, you are not taking into factor their circumstances or their resources ( and also your laziness).

Image result for dont compare yourself quotes

I was shy. I was timid. I couldn’t answer if somebody asked me “What are your hobbies and interest? “. but then it has been a good turnaround this last year.
Image result for pellichoopulu i am fine uncle

 

Nevertheless you might still feel a tad bit of jealousy and envy. That’s when you should…

 

10. Practice Gratitude

 

So what is Gratitude?

It has two key components. First, an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. Second, we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people…gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

A couple of weeks back, Agresh and I were having yummy dosas and he told he that he was offered three internships so far and he’s gonna start earning 20,000/- a month in his last semester.
First thought, why didn’t I get that oppurtunity?
Second thought, all my fault. I didn’t work hard enough.
A couple of thoughts later, It’s okay. He deserves it. I’m grateful for the other things blessed upon me.

Jealousy and Envy are natural emotions. But what you do after you encounter them is the crux for either beautiful or sour relationships.

Gratitude is a daily practice. A good start would be the morning journal by Tim Ferris.

 

11. Don’t Focus too much on Yourself

After Master Orator Championship, the Guntoor Toastmasters club invited me to be a guest speaker/Toastmaster of the Day. That was very unexpected and I was elated to say the least. I drafted a speech but I made one huge mistake…I focused too much on myself.
Let’s look it from a macro and micro perspective.

The macro was that the Guntoor Toastmasters was a pretty young club and it had to draw audience(mostly students) and also demonstrate how a good Toastmaster meeting would be conducted.
And what did I do? I focused on the micro. I structured the meet around me, focusing way too much on my speech, my delivery and all my. 

Lesson learnt. Whenever required, try looking at it from a larger scheme of things to have the right perspective. It isn’t all about you but the role you have to play. Focus on playing your role perfectly and also sync it with the other roles.

Before we move on, a question for you. Do you hate your internship or your entry level job or a particular role in your club or community. Maybe you are focusing too much on yourself. To avoid that, be a canvas and embrace the canvas strategy.

 

12. The Canvas Strategy

I was going through a rough phase in my first internship and that did have a mental effect on me and then, I came across the Canvas Strategy in Tools of Titans.
Not much talk here, I insist on you reading the full article here. It hits you like a ton of bricks.

Lesson 11 and 12 go together. Bhavana was the one who invited me for the meet at Guntoor and when we met recently, she reiterated both of these. When you see fame and reputation as your driving force, you won’t hold onto your purpose for long enough. I respect the Guntoor Toastmasters for being a living proof of this.

 

13. Be a Financial Literate

Ever been to a subway or kfc and the bill was close to the ten’s (478/539 etc) and the cashier doesn’t return the change? Did you hold yourself back from asking the change because you would look ‘cheap’?
Happened with me.

Lot of mental slaps later it hit me that I wasn’t respecting money. My parents’ hard earned money. Another concern was that I didn’t keep a tab on my expenses. I didn’t know how much I spent where.

Start by having a financial etiquette. Account for all your expenses. Learn the basics of accounting. Learn how stock markets work.

Having a chartered accountant friend helps 😛

 

14. Never put yourself Low

This was one of the biggest lessons/advice I got this year. I was practicing my script to introduce the guest speaker for our college’s annual day celebrations. This was going on in a room filled with many students practicing for their part – guitar, singing, etc and I was unassertive when talking out my script. That’s when Mehul, my friend told me to “Never put yourself low”. That had a pretty enormous effect on me. That had an immediate effect in my voice and also my demeanor.

Image result for you are who you think you are

 

15. Have A Standard

It all boils down to what things you are willing to accept of yourself.

Do your dress your best and are groomed every single day or do you slack often?

Do you have a standard for your work ethic?

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” – Tony Robbins

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 10.06.47 PM.jpeg

 

16. Increase your Proximity

Other than having a goal, you know what might give you an accelerated learning experience? Surrounding yourself with the right people.

You must have read this somewhere : You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Think about it. Whom are you spending the most time with and how are they affecting you.

If your goal is to improve your public speaking skills, you need to increase your proximity to that environment. Maybe join a toastmaster club.

If your goal is to improve your confidence, increase your proximity to the confident people you already know. You automatically pick up their personality.

If your goal is to improve your coding skills, increase your proximity to the coders you already know. Have discussions with them, ask questions and learn from them.

This really is from a personal experience.

 

17. Prime Yourself

Did you ever realize that the morning is the only part of the day that you can absolutely control. Rest of the day is just reactions to outside events and people. So start your day by priming yourself. And why is that?

When you win your morning, you win your day.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgnu9mapQiQ&w=560&h=315]

 

18. Double/Triple Threat

Best expressed by Scott Adams here :

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 10.12.24 PM (1).jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 10.12.24 PM.jpeg

Just reiterating his words, you need to realize that apart from your technical knowledge you also need to have the necessary communication skills. The world belongs to story tellers.

 

19. First Movers Advantage

2016 and 2017 was the year of Influencers. I’ll take Instagram as an example. Won’t be taking any names and some might have already striked you. They were able to exploit the platform because they were posting content right from the start. They invested time when not many were into this. This is similar to what happened to the Blogging and Youtube scenario back in the 2000’s. Now it’s got harder with more people entering the field and the competition getting bloodier with diminishing returns.

56.PNG

So risk doing or adopting something novel. Risk going into uncharted territories. And it’ll make all the difference.

Image result for and it made all the difference

 

 

20. Build a Brand

Your online presence matters. 

Be it the Instagram and Facebook posts or the whatsapp stories, every online posts creates an impression of you.

What impression do your online friends and acquaintances have about you?

Are you just a person who keeps sharing online memes and videos?

Or are you a person who provides a value. Just a consumer or a creator too?

Try building an audience on Youtube/Wordpress/Medium/Quora. Resumes are a thing of the past. What is your online presence?

And do have a brand name.

 

21. Risk Being Seen in all Your Glory

 

Right when I thought about posting this blog post, a thought flashed across my mind.

What would people think? 

Would people who are more accomplished than me look down upon me or my content?

A few names struck me too, who might probably laugh it off.

So what do I do now? Do I let it be to be more ‘acceptable‘?

I recollected my favorite quote by Jim Carrey and as a result you are reading this now.

Next time you are nervous in a group discussion or a Jam, timid to voice your thoughts and opinions, just remind yourself this. And you won’t be the same.

Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.

 

Image result for risk being seen in all of your glory

 

Class completed. So which one was the lesson that resonated the most with you. Leave it in the comment box and once again a happy new year!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Bullets

  • Book I’m ReadingHooked by Nir Eyal. Do you know why you are so addicted to whatsapp or youtube or facebook or pinterest and all the well-known apps? Because these apps have the ability to form a habit with you unconsciously. Nir Eyal takes you through the four steps of how to form habit forming products and these insights also apply to your personal life in sticking to good habits and overcoming bad habits.
  • What I’m Struggling with
    The 15 Day Blogging challenge has really kept me thinking a lot. Postponing the writing to the evening has really affected my sleep patterns. The quality has been going down since the last two posts. Proper planning and execution is a must.
  • Present Micro Habits
    I’m presently taking a warm shower before going to bed. Started doing this after reading an article on how a shower 45 min before sleep reduces your core temperature resulting in better sleep.
    Another micro habit is the 7 min workout in the evening. Been doing it consistently with some misses here and there. I see an increased chest and shoulder.
  • Excited AboutFirst is the Go-Skate Boarding Day tomorrow. An evening full of adrenaline.
    Second is the application for Microsoft Student Partner which involves me taking a video documenting the journey so far and my contributions to Microsoft till now and hence forth in under 2 minutes.
  • Person I’m following
    Gary Vaynerchuk is a 40 year old entrepreneur and his short videos and podcasts on Instagram and SoundCloud have really kept me going. His videos on You tube are no less than exhilarating.

Small Apps. Big Difference

Today I’m going to share with you 3 very simple apps which have brought a great deal of organisation, productivity and vigor in me. And the best news? All of them are free!!
Each app solved 3 deep engrained hiccups of mine.

 

Procrastination

Everyone suffers from this, but very few do something about it. Google “How to overcome Procrastination” and you’ll definitely find a Pomodoro Technique there. Pomodoros are 25 min chunks of time. When lazy just start your work without any distractions for just 25 minutes. And TIDE helps you in just that. It has 5 different modes- night, rain, forest, muse and café. Each mode has a very soothing natural sound and a timer set for 25 minutes, just enough time for you to gain some momentum with your work. The pleasing music helps you get into the zone. Thus, also helping you get rid of the background noise.
So just put on your headset and turn on Tide and get into your flow! I write all of my blog posts using Tide.

Health

We all know that exercise and proper food intake goes a long way in maintaining a healthy body. Sometimes I just eat all the trash I find and lay on bed the whole day. All I needed was a simple reminder throughout the day to remind me “Garbage In. Garbage Out”.

To Do Reminder came to my rescue. This app lets you puts reminders throughout the day which can be looped.
I have put three major reminders:

* One reminder for every hour to nudge me to drink some water
* A second reminder every two hours to prompt me to have some light food
* A third one in the evening which reminds me to complete the 7-min Workout.

It’s been great so far!

Commute

My institution is 40 km away from my home. That’s a total of 4 hours commute every single day. Two things I always go to during this time are- books and podcasts. And for podcasts, I love Podcast Addict. Tons of content just waiting to be heard. Wide range of topics from history, politics, comedy, showbiz, entrepreneurship, business, markets, etc. My favourite is the Tim Ferriss show where Tim deconstructs world class performers. He’s almost done 250 episodes with over 150 the* best in the world. Some other recommendations would be Freakonomics, Invisibilia and Intelligence Squared.

So please do try out these three apps and I’m very positive that you can improve your life dramatically with these.

TIDE : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.moreless.tide&hl=en

REMINDER: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ToDoReminder.gen&hl=en

PODCAST: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bambuna.podcastaddict&hl=en

If you have any apps which had a similar impact on you, please leave it in a comment below.
Happy with the post? then like and share this post with your friends and family. Thank you!

Prompts

This is an exercise I would like you to try at least for a week. Only two simple steps.

Step 1: Every morning take a neat A4 sheet paper. Fold it and put it in your pocket. Also carry a pen/pencil with you.

Step 2: Whenever a thought worth noting comes across your mind, take the paper and note it down.
Repeat this process throughout the day and daily for a week.

This is heavily inspired from James Altucher. Undoubtedly I had nothing but a very positive experience from this.  A lot of ideas and insights.

If you found this exercise helpful after a week then come back and hit like and also comment your experience below. Share this post with your friends and family too. Thank you 😊

Foot Notes:

* Try writing your prompts only with your non-dominant hand.
* Be specific about what you write. Trust me, you’ll forget what it means after a month or so.
* Image Courtesy : Google.

Cycling Tips

Cycling so far has given me a bucket load of memories which I will cherish forever. Besides being a very sociable activity, it is considered by many as a full body workout. Calorie burner I mean. Cycling has also many other benefits. 
I’ll put down all that I’ve learned so far in the 6 months of cycling I have done so that you will know beforehand what to expect and prepare accordingly.

Note: This will be a brief post and I won’t be going into the mechanics of cycling. If you contradict with any of the below mentions, please leave a comment below. I will be more than glad to rectify myself.

Accessories for Bikes:

When you first start cycling, more than the pain in your legs and thighs (as you would expect) the pain in your shoulders, neck, spine, wrists and buttocks will be greater. If you start taking precautions early, you’ll definitely have a smooth experience.

Considering you will be cycling regularly (long and short distances), you have to buy a couple of things.

* First will be a cycling short. Why? When I cycled long distances the only real bothering was the pain in my butt. A real pain in the ass I mean!
The cycling short adds extra padding to your bottom and helps in preventing discomfort and numbness. It might cost you around 500/- to 1500/- for a good one.

Cycling_Short.jpg

* Your head is your most vital organ. You wouldn’t want to risk its safety. So, take time to buy a helmet. Also, the vents in the helmet help in the air flow and your sweating will be reduced. Remember to put a cloth over your hair to prevent hair damage.

Cycling_Helmet.jpg

* Next would be to buy a pair of gloves so that your palm wont twinge you. I prefer a biker gloves to bicycle gloves. The only problem with biker gloves would be with removing the glove every time you need to use your hands for say eating, handling phone, etc.

Cycling_Gloves.jpg

* If you are the kind of person who’s concerned about the tan ( I am!!) you need to buy a pair of sleeves and also a face mask to protect from the sunlight.
Cycling_Sleeves.jpg

* To carry essential things like some fruits/nuts, phone, keys etc you either should have a rider shirt (which has pockets) or a light weight bag.

Cycling_Shirt.jpg

If you are tight on the pocket, of all the things mentioned above a helmet would be sufficient. Rest of them you can buy eventually depending on your commitment to the sport. I use a helmet, a pair of biker gloves, my laptop bag and a hand kerchief as a face mask.

 

Cycling Types :

 

There are different types of cycles suited for different reasons. For starters, hybrid bike would be a good choice and a good one would cost you 10,000 to 15,000 in INR.

* Single Speed Bikes : These are the regular bikes we see. They don’t have gears. Suitable for casual ride and exhausting on longer ones. I presently own a single speed bike. Bike1.jpg

* Mountain Bikes (MTB) : These are the bikes best known for off roading. It can handle all types of terrains.

Bike2.jpg

* Road Bikes : These are the bikes on which fastest speed can be achieved due to their light weightedness, build dynamics and flatter tyres.Bike3.jpg

* Hybrid Bikes : As the name suggests these are bikes built for both on road (good surfaces) and off road (uneven and rocky surfaces).Bike4.jpg

Shifting Gears:

 

Note 1 :  Might be confusing if you never looked at a gear cycle.
Note 2 : 2-7 means 2nd gear on the front and 7th gear on the back.
Cycle Gear.jpg

Moving on now, what you need to know is how to efficiently shift the gears. If you do it correctly, then you can easily cover long distances without any fatigue. This is what helped me. (with respect to 3front gear + 7rear gear).

* Always shift the gears while in pedalling motion. Do not shift when your legs are stationary.
* Never have a higher front gear(3) and a lower rear gear(1,2,3) or a lower front gear(1) and a higher rear gear(5,6,7). This will create a lot of tension in the chain and it might break. But, for the front gear of 2 you can use the rear gear range from 1-7.
* Never shift directly from 3-7 to 2-7. Go down from 3-7 to 3-5 and then shift to 2-5 and then move to 2-7. Applicable vice versa for moving from 2-7 to 3-7.
When it’s Uphill :

Shift your gears down to 2-5/2-6(front gear-rear gear) 10-20metres before the incline.
If you shift early, then you wouldn’t face the extra effort you’d have to put when you shift late.

As you go up the incline shift to 2-4/2-3/2-2 based on your requirement. If it’s gets too uphill, shift the front gear down to 1.

When it’s Downhill :

Shift slowly from 2-x to 3-5 by the top of the slope. From there on, shift from 3-5 to 3-6 to 3-7. Though you might feel like just letting go, cycle hard in the slope. It makes a lot of difference in the pace you maintain. Trust me.**

Other things to remember :

* To prevent shoulder and back pain, you need to position your back properly. Check online videos for proper posture. Also proper pedal positioning and saddle height are very important.

* Always use your rear brake predominantly and use front brake only when it’s completely necessary.
When you use the front brake suddennly shift your body weight on to the rear wheel by moving your lower body to the back positioning it in the air.

* When I ride long distances, I usually listen to podcasts so that I focus on what’s being spoken and this takes away the pain from my mind. I rode 166km on an MTB for the first time with podcasts playing a major part towards the end. ( I love you Tim Ferriss).

*  Don’t eat anything heavy before riding. Check for proper chain and air leaks.

Thanks to the Hyderabad Bicycling Club I’ve been cycling consistently for the past 6 months and completed 1500 km. My goal for the next one year would be 5000 km.
So, when are you going to cycle?

Hey there, check out this Youtube channel for proper guidance on cycling. Also check Meetup for cycling clubs near you. If you found this blogpost useful please like and put a comment below and also share it with your friends. Thank You!!

Foot Notes :

* Image Courtesy : Google
** Considering you would want the fastest time.

Take Your Time

One of my favourite writers on Quora, Nicolas Cole once wrote in an answer “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Don’t Worry. “. And he’s absolutely right.

Let me give you a couple of excerpts from my life.

** This was back in Dec’15 and I was at a family get together. My cousin from U.S.A asked me what my hobbies were. I was completely stumped by that question and I didn’t have an answer to that. With a hesitation, I replied “I don’t have any”. I really didn’t get anything else to say. He snickered and asked me “How come you don’t have any hobbies”. His chuckle embarrassed me. To be honest, I didn’t have much of a hobby back then. I played football, badminton, sudoku and chess but not frequently to be considered a hobby. So, I responded with a lie. “Well I’m into programming”, I said. The remaining conversation? Too trivial to remember.

** Moving forward to Feb’16. The same question from my brother’s friend. I was better prepared this time. “I blog about chess and web applications”… I lied with a smile on my face.

** My English teacher asked me if I would like to be the Master of Ceremonies/Anchor at one of my college events in my 2nd year of college. I was a bit doubtful of the proposition as I was a very shy and timid person. I don’t have it in me to speak in front of an audience, I thought. I denied.

** Our college did not have a proper football team when I just joined. We formed a team and participated in three tournaments in a period of 12 months. And the results were 0-4, 0-2 and 0-1. Our team never scored a goal.
Too many Failures? Read ahead.

Fast forward to June’17

** Eventually I cultivated some hobbies.
I finally started writing for my blog (Nope. Not about chess and web applications).
I am cycling regularly. Two rides a week at the least. Close to completing 1500kms since Dec’16.
I’m in love with podcasts and books. My favourite is The Tim Ferriss Show  and I’m averaging about 3 books per month.

** Our Football team won its first match on 30th March’17 followed by another win the next day. Felt amazing. ( Didn’t make it to the finals though).

** I also got the chance to introduce our chief guest on our college’s annual day. Finally got to speak in front of an audience. Also giving more presentations in my class and attending many Toastmaster events.
Along with these I also visited the state of Rajasthan three months back. Alone. My first solo trip.

These may not be too grand to call as success but I am proud that I’m making progress. A little late compared to my peers but I’m in no hurry 😊.
Take your time. Don’t rush your life. Things will happen at their own course. Don’t compare yourself or your life with that of others. Everyone is running a different race.

Now stop for a second. Get up from your chair, go to trash can and dump everything I just said in the last 10 seconds. Done?
One thing you should always remember and never forget is that Life is what you make of it. I accept that circumstances [Schooling, College, Friend Circle] play their part, but you need to digest the fact that it always has been and will be so on YOU!! Results are never in our hand, but efforts always are.

I’ll relate again.

** The first time somebody questioned me about my hobbies, I should have introspected and started investing my time in a better way. Cultivating some hobbies. Probably guitar, dance or even beatboxing.
Which I didn’t.

** After refusing the offer by my English teacher I should have taken the time to improve my presentation skills, dialogue delivery and body language.
Which I didn’t.

** When our team lost the first match we should have analysed our game, practised more often and done all the things which would have made us better.
Which I didn’t.

I left all of them to chance.

Life belongs to the prepared. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation” – Arthur Ashe.
** You should not rush through life. But you should seek to be a better version of yourself each and every day. Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret.

** Things will happen at their own course. But you should not leave everything to chance. Even the Gita preaches to never focus on the results but to focus on the efforts. For example, I can’t expect my blog to go viral or reach XXX number of views. But I can put my daily effort into writing, say 500 words per day.

** Don’t compare yourself or your life with others. But you need to know where you stand. What skills the world would be requiring? How can you make yourself more useful? . You should know what strengths you can capitalise on and the weakness to work on.

** Everyone is running a different race. So study their mistakes. Don’t make them. Try to learn something from everyone. Develop a lattice work of mental models.*(1)
You are what you think you are.
You are what you do.
You are what you make of your time.

My next goals?
** A great university after graduation.

** 5000Km on cycle by June’18.

** 250 Blog posts by June’18.

** Make it to at least one football final by the end of the year.

** Work upon the mobile applications which I have been postponing upon.

And I sure as hell won’t leave them to chance.

Hey there, Nicolas Cole is one of my favourite writes on Quora and I look up to him. Do check out his profile and his answers. Very helpful and very insightful. And also please do like and comment on this article below and also share them with your friends and family if you liked it. Thank you 😊

Foot Notes:

(1) Mental Models of Charles Munger

 

15 Day Daily Blogging Challenge

December 3rd was the day I started my blog and it has been six months now. It’s time for some introspection. How has the progress been? Pretty awful I would say.
6 Months and 8 Blog Posts- meaning 1 blog post per month. That’s pretty bad, right?! And 5 out of 8 written in the month of May. More like cluttering all of them at once. Even my close friend and confidant (and the only subscriber to this blog post) chided me for being irregular. What I’m looking for is consistency without compromising on the quality.

I’ll share my blog’s stats with you. Embarrassing!!Capture.PNG

Why am I sharing this with you?
Let’s go the Simon Sinek way with WHY, HOW and WHAT

WHY am I doing this challenge?

Public Accountability. I haven’t really publicised my blog much. A handful of my friends know about this and 1 or 2 might be reading it. Once I do this challenge, at the very least most of my friends and acquaintances would take a look at this. That would mean I have this unspoken thrust to keep my word. My word of being consistent about my blogging. A bit scary. Yes!
But let me move out of my comfort zone. *takes deep breath*

How am I doing this challenge?

I will publicise this particular blog post across social media – Keeping it as my Whatsapp display picture and posting stories of daily progress on Whatsapp and Instagram.
All this was inspired by the Stickk approach :
* My GOAL : To post at least one blog post every day from June 14th to June 28th. A total of 15 blogposts at the minimum.
* SET THE STAKES : In case I miss posting a blog post on any day, I promise to send 50/- on PayTM to whoever observes that I missed it. I think 50/- is a reasonable amount.
*GET A REFEREE : My close friend would be the referee in this challenge seeing that I would not miss my daily deadline. Yes Coach!!
* ADD FRIENDS FOR SUPPORT : I would be really glad if you guys can leave a comment or share the articles which you like (and also ones which you didn’t) with your friends for added motivation.

 

What am I going to post in this challenge?

I have a lot of drafts to be completed which have been pending since December. A lot of interesting ideas too. Content has always been there. It’s the execution that matters. I’m positive that I won’t disappoint you with the quality.
Finally, I would really love if you help me get better in writing by
* suggesting edits/improvements in grammar and sentence formation
* commenting your thoughts on the blogposts you read
* sharing the posts with your friends and family

Hey there, do you have a goal on which you are not acting upon and keep procrastinating? It’s high time you started realising on your goals.
Try the Stickk approach. Very unique, very efficient and very rewarding.

The Art of Journaling

“Journal and Notebooks – properly used, are worth their weight in gold.”

Why to Journal:

I strongly believe that if you reflect on your day each and every day, you’ll be more aligned with your goals and your inner conscience.
Journaling helps you see the positive and negative patterns in your life. One also finds some hidden gems and lessons of the day which  wouldn’t have been found without the introspection. Eventually this helps you in your personal growth. And also, it’s your prized possession of your accomplishments, setbacks, wins and losses. Journals are a truck load of memories which you will cherish once you read it after a number of years.

 

What can you do to Journal:

Daily Journaling is tough. There were days when I slacked and had to write down a week’s journaling in a day. But I now consistently write my diary at the end of the day, no matter how tired I am.

  • First thing would be to buy a good journal. It’s one of the best investments you can make.
  • Try to Journal Daily, preferably in the evening after work. I usually journal twice in a day. Once in the morning and once right before sleeping.
  • In case your diary is not available (Ex: crashing over at a friend’s place, etc), take a sheet of paper. Write the day’s entry and pin it when you get back to your journal.
  • For the Evening Journal.
    When do you sleep?
    Put a timer to ring exactly an hour before. When it does, put away all your devices. Get your journal and sit down. Write your journal for 20mins and read a good book for 40mins.
    If you can’t think of anything, answer these simple Questions.
    Some days, you might be too tired to answer all of them. In that case, just recall your day. Write down the happy moments of the day followed by areas where you could have done better.
  • For the Morning Journal.
    When do you wake up?
    After waking up and brushing, settle down with your Morning Journal at the place wherever you get fresh breeze.

How to Journal:

The Morning Journal is basically a gratitude journal. I started writing it after a suggestion by Tim Ferris in one of his podcast episodes. I follow this format of his.

Morning Journal.PNG

I am grateful for : it may be a relationship, opportunities you’ve had, things you are really thankful for, etc.
What would make today great : make note of the amazing opportunities you have today, the friends you are meeting or the places you are visiting.
Daily affirmations : like ‘ I am very confident’, ‘I am not afraid of …’,etc .

 

And the Evening Journal has me answering these Questions.

So Far, it’s been an year of consistent Journaling. The big one is my main Journal and the small one is my Morning Journal which I had started this February. This habit is one that I cherish most and will continue doing it.
Don’t postpone. Grab a Diary and start Journaling. I also would love to gift you one if you want :).
Cheers!!!!

Jorunaling 2.jpg

 

Hey Guys, have you noticed how I divided the article into Why, What and How. This is a famous approach popularized by Simon Sinek. Do check it out. And please Like, Comment and Share this article with your friends if you liked it.
THANK YOU!!

Questions To Ask Yourself Daily

The following set of questions are something I wrote for myself to be questioned at the end of each day. The important thing is to ‘Begin with the end in Mind’. You have to keep these questions at the back of your head during the day. Meaning you should make sure you met one new person today or you make sure that you meditated and so on, so that at the end of the day you don’t have a negative/blank answer for these questions.

  • Recall your day. ( Jot down the major points)
  • One or two uncomfortable things I did today
  • Whom did I meet today for the first time. What did I talk about. How could I have made the conversation better.
  • 2-3 Things I learned today. From whom
  • Whom did I thank today? How?
  • Did I make someone feel better today? How?
  • Who is the old acquaintance I contacted today?
  • Most Inspiring Moment today?
  • Three Big Wins Today
  • Lessons I learned today
  • Amazing things I came across today
  • Thoughts/Ideas/Exercises brainstormed Today
  • Which moments affected me today? How to overcome?
  • Did I make the same mistakes again? How to overcome?
  • Negative thoughts that bothered me today.
  • 3-5 things that I could have done better today

Slight Edge Questions

  • Did I wake up at 4am/5am today?
  • Did I work out today?
  • Did I follow my Diet today – Morning , Afternoon and Evening
  • Did I Meditate today?
  • Did I have dinner with my family today?
  • Did I read at least 1chapter/10 pages of a book today?

Hey Guys, The Slight Edge was one of the most stimulating reads. Get yourself a copy or you can also borrow it from me. You won’t be disappointed 🙂
Please do Like and Comment on the article and also Share it with your friends if you liked it.
THANK YOU!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercises worth trying!!!

Once in a while challenge yourself with some exercise.
These are a must do for me.

  1. WRITING IN MY BLOG FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS

    This would be a great exercise which would take 15-30 min a day. Inspired by an article by Shaunta Grimes.
    Why?
    I always wanted to write and after much deliberation started this blog, but I have been slacking lately. This exercise would serve me two purposes :
    One, forming a daily writing habit. Two, know the in’s and out’s of writing, get better at it.

  2. BE A BETTER MAN IN 30 DAYS

    Man or Woman. This is a must try exercise. Take a look at it here . Worth trying.
    Why?
    Who doesn’t want to be a Better Man, silly!!

  3. 21 DAY NO COMPLAINT CHALLENGE

    Another must try where you don’t complain about anything. If you do, then you try to become aware of it.
    Why?
    Firstly, you’ll know how much of negative vocabulary you use. Secondly, it will definitely make you more calm. And finally, you focus more on what you can do about something that’s bothering you rather than just complaining.
    I first heard of this on a podcast by Tim Ferris. Take a look at how to proceed here .

Hey Guys, need a good start on mindfulness practice? Take a look at this podcast by TimFerriss . Please do Like and Comment on this article and also Share it with your friends if you liked it.
Thank you!!!

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén