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