Discipline & Impacting lives

The goal isn’t to be better than anyone else, it is to be the best that I can be. It’s about putting the work in, without the fear of consequences or results.

If we embrace the temporary nature of our existence, and how short life really is, then we start appreciating the journey, rather than what lies at the finish line. I think life is beautiful, because it has an end and a time limit, and you never know how or when might be the end of it. It is this beautiful uncertainty where the good things happen. Through the journey of Ironman 70.3, I’ve started to appreciate and value each day, more than what might happen at the finish line. I have started seeing inputs on a per day basis, rather than a long shot, which makes me more productive, active and compassionate. Discipline, for me, is the highest quality of life. Having read Bhagvad Gita, and done extensive research on both Eastern and Western philosophies, a pattern that’s repeated the most is the power of Discipline. Just how Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I feel my best self when I am leading a life that flows effortlessly because I’ve made discipline a habit. I don’t have to ‘control or try’, for a lifestyle that reflects highest quality of life, or the best version of me, is a habit, a second nature to me rather than something I’m aspiring to. It takes days and months, sometimes years to make this a reality, but then it becomes a lifestyle, rather than something on your ‘To-Do List’. Sure, when I started, I wasn’t the person I am today, but it is because of the difference that I’m able to see in myself, that I know what a great personal conquest this has turned out to be.

Another lesson that has come my way, in this journey, is that once you realize and accept that your life is inconsequential in the bigger plan of the cosmos, you stop focusing on the insignificant and petty things. A failed training session or an accident, isn’t the end of your life, you can’t see it that way anyway, for it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Fighting mediocrity is often made to seem a personal conquest, when in fact, it is a matter of impact, impacting others.

The best way to transcend the boundaries of time is to live in a way through which you can impact the most number of people. How I see impact now is to make others’ battles your own, and to fight for the greater good, rather than your own little personal combat. You never exist in isolation, and humans are social creatures that thrive on the feeling of connection, so yes, I’ve come to believe that in order to achieve highest nature of existence, you have to be able to make a significant contribution to others’ lives. If legacy is your goal, and if you want your name to transcend your generation, you should aim at making lasting impressions through everything you do. In a way, this needs to become your discipline.

Once you shift your perception to discipline, you start fighting for reasons bigger than yourself. It is not only your life that you need to succeed in, but you’ve to make others successful through your journey too. It is never about you VS life, but about humanity VS life. “It is but right to wage war against evil oppression. That is the message of the Gita. Perpetration of violence- don’t silently support the infliction of atrocity. “

Be patient, you are never in control, but you have a duty to act, and to act well. If you’ve been following my blog posts, my goal is ‘legacy’, thus, my true goal automatically becomes impacting lives. Through my journey of Ironman, I practiced discipline in a form, I’d never imagined before, and received lessons that make me feel more alive and awakened than before.

Here’s to becoming the best possible versions of ourselves, and leading the highest quality of lives.

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Communication, Mindset & Vulnerability

I often find myself questioning my thought process and my mindset. Is your thinking a product of your own beliefs or of the society you were conditioned in? How much of you and your mindset is really you, and how much has been influenced and shaped by your environment? I’ve realized the importance of spending time alone and living away from home for a while when you’re young, for it helps you choose what you nourish your mind with. You start developing your own ideologies, methods, ways of dealing with elation and stress and life in general. Having that personal code to face life with plays a major role in long-term success, as you know yourself and know what you’re capable of. Once you realize your value and your worth, the question shifts from settling with what’s available to striving for what you aspire. That shift is essential for real growth.

On a personal level, I treasure beautiful minds. I love the feeling you get when you are midway through a conversation, and you can feel the person opening up and letting you in. Once you’re in, you realize how much treasure is hidden behind misguiding appearances. In a single conversation, you’re able to experience life through someone else’s eyes, come face to face with their insecurities, ambition, dreams and failures alike. If the person is set on inspiring and changing lives, that beauty is tenfold.

There are people who have had transformative experiences and strive to live a life that has meaning. Once you discover what ‘meaning’ means to them, you are able to unleash their most sacred possession and develop a real bond with them. The people who feel everything deeply, are the hidden gems of the society, as their intense take on life, can help you live several times in the same lifetime. For them a failure is not an end, a victory is not a celebration, for every morning they celebrate life and every night they end their day in bliss. Bliss that comes from knowing that you gave the day your all, you faced it with resilience and made it through.

These are also the kind of people who know that if they protect their mind, then they have the ultimate control. So when you try to step into their zone, they’ll flinch several times before you make it inside their circle of trust.

I’m writing this for I finally acknowledge the fact that most people live their lives emotionally shut down and stunted. Don’t try and conceal the beauty of your struggle, for every life is a battle of its own. Be better because of your journey, and don’t let the outside ‘noise of happiness’ fool you into believing that struggles aren’t universal. Everyone is fighting something, everyone craves for something more- that’s just how life is structured. While I admit to not being vulnerable enough, I realize that the best conversations that I’ve ever had, are with the people who let others in. I’m challenging myself to be more open and honest, and I hope this inspires you too.

Communication is strategic everywhere- be it business, relationships or networking. Rather than trying to be the person who’s got his/her shit together all the time, it’s better if you admit when you don’t. It helps in creating an environment where you can co-creatively address issues and arrive at solutions. Being more vulnerable personally, will help you thrive professionally by improving your skills of communication.

Conquer the inner dialogue

Conquering the inner dialogue is absolutely the most important aspect of endurance training. There’s often a constant struggle sometimes between your body and your mind that makes you want to give in and stop. However, in that moment if you train your mind to replace the ‘can’t-do’ thoughts with what you hoped to achieve at the onset of training and your goals, you can go on for much longer.

I’ve seen that most people in endurance sports start because of either of the two reasons: they have something to prove, mostly to their own-selves (the dropout rate is high when it involves proving something to others), or they have at one or more points in their life have felt victimized by a certain adversity/mishap and aim to regain control of their lives. Once you feel something on a very deep, personal level, you start trying to make every experience in your life match the extremity of what happened, or what you went through. Most people won’t understand what I wrote above, but those who know, really know. In my opinion, it all comes down to seeking control and power in your personal life.

Nietzsche was of the opinion that all men aren’t equal, as it is ultimately a game of power, with people having different levels of ambition and ‘will to power’. I’d like to suggest that while outwardly power and ambition might be a distinguishing factor, the control of the inner consciousness and self-awareness is what truly differentiates men. The more you tap into the inner power, the more empowered and driven you feel in the outside arena. It might seem preachy and idealistic to not let anyone or anything from the outside to affect your internal game, but the ability to bounce back after a certain influence is what matters. We are human and do not exist in isolation, so it is almost impossible to not let the world affect you, but how soon you gain control on your mind after, is the defining factor.

Having said that, I do believe that some of the endurance athletes I’m lucky to have in my life, are also the most loving and caring people I’ve ever come across. There is a certain charm that these people have because of their passion and their commitment to excellence that makes you feel alive in their company. They make it seem like life is a drug, that they’re always high on and breathe. These people have successfully undone their negative conditioning, know how to stop their thoughts from beating their morale down and can overcome life’s disasters with grit and valour.  These qualities demand utmost respect, and just witnessing them for real in my life, keeps me motivated.

Inner dialogue: I can’t. I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well. I was out late. I have a long day ahead. I am not made for this. I didn’t eat much. I’m sore from yesterday. What are the others thinking? Am I looking okay? Are my clothes the right fit? He/she shouldn’t have said or done that or he/she should’ve. I can’t do this. This isn’t for me.

Replaced with: I’m getting better. I’m going to focus on one step at a time. I can. I’m focused. I want to get better than yesterday. I will keep going. I will try. I will focus on me. My only competition is me. My focus is me and my performance. I’m committed to my vision. I have goals, and I’m going to for them.

Honestly, sometimes just saying the right thing, to yourself, at the right time, can change the course of your whole day. Try to control your inner dialogue, kill the outside noise, and you can conquer it all, I’ve learnt that from the best.

This is not only true for just endurance athlete or sports training, but also for life, in general. Most of the times without realizing we’re constantly telling ourselves how we aren’t good enough, inadequate or powerless. How we can’t do certain things or can’t achieve what someone else has achieved etc. Come to think of it, everybody starts at level zero, it’s your drive that takes you places, you gotta decide where you wish to exit life. If you try to proactively control the inner dialogue, you’ll be able to see yourself for who you truly are: loved, powerful, and absolute.

Questions that I’ve been working on

Most people set out and spend their younger years looking for answers to make sense out of life. I was obsessed with figuring life out too, but a recent realization left me wondering if it is ever about answers at all?

I’ve discovered that it all comes down to the right questions for our own, unique selves rather than the set list that the world sets for us. How can all of us be given the same questions when our capabilities and personalities are each unique? We must proactively create a specific line of questions for ourselves, our lives, tailored to our goals and ambition.

I’ve arrived on some questions for myself, that I’m constantly thinking about, almost obsessively. I feel comfortable sharing them, as I’m doing real groundwork on them, and have now aligned my focus completely to the questions I created for myself.

Question 1: What work should I be doing that will create a significant impact on generations to come? How do I create an organization that shelters and protects my employees and their families’ futures?

Laying a strong foundation based on people as its pillars is important to me, as it is integrity, generosity and ambition that I respect the most. Giving people an atmosphere to grow, to feel secure in, not only for themselves but also their kids is what I’m trying to build. If, in this life, I’m able to do work that empowers and creates prosperity for the people involved for decades to come, I will feel that I’ve had a meaningful life.

Question 2: How do we make technology accessible on a grand scale? 

Our biggest problem is also our biggest opportunity in this case, as it gives us a chance right now, to build the future world. I do agree with Peter Thiel when he says that technology  is the most significant force of our times, even more than globalization. I’m crazy optimistic about our future, but that optimism has to be constantly fueled by work done in the field, we need more lives to feel the positive impact of technology.

Question 3: How do we create new resources that benefit the society? What issues do we need to be working on?

Advancements and progress as a society come from taking bold steps to create a different future. We need to be unraveling new truths, new technologies and new methods of doing things.

Question 4: How do we educate and create jobs for the current generation, while planning for our future generations?

Is the work that we’re doing protecting interests of our current generation? Also, is our plan in place to create a secure future for the next generations?

Question 5: How do I use Aqaya to create prosperity through empowerment?

Aqaya means Eudaimonia, we’re building on ideals of belonging and benefiting others, flourishing, thriving and exercising excellence. How do I create multiple avenues and streams to attract the best talent to benefit people in huge numbers?

Question 6: How do I create and access a platform to interact with the brightest minds of our time?

I’m a firm believer in the fact that what differentiates the most successful and sharpest minds from the masses is their consistency and access to a different wave of information. My efforts are aligned in meeting and interacting with the best in their fields so that I’m always fed quality information.

Most people aspire to lead a certain kind of lifestyle or become a certain someone but don’t want to put the work that demands to be input. Creating ‘something’ (could be anything) while you’re here, is the easiest way to try and leave a mark and legacy behind. In other words, you will only be remembered for your own unique creation, so what’s going to be your contribution to our history?

I’ll close this with something I wrote to myself recently, “How differently would you live if you truly believed that limitless possibilities were under your feet? Better start living that way, cause they are! Your dream is as scalable as your mind believes it is.”

Wisdom = Knowledge + Integration

As an entrepreneur and someone who wants to experience a lot of life, I’ve come to a conclusion that’ll help me stay sane in all of the noise.

You see, when you’re always venturing out into the unknown, trying to meet new people, finding out latest advancements and trying to always be on the lookout for new experiences or what the future’s going to look like, you start missing out on the present moment. ‘Mindfulness’ as they’d call it, and I’d read tons about it, hit me in the face this weekend when I found myself unable to focus at all. You might have experienced the urge to pick up your phone every 15 minutes, getting distracted in the middle of writing an email and completely missing out on an hour sometimes just because of trying to learn ‘new’ things. 

I don’t say present moment, like a guru, but as someone futuristic always trying to look ahead. Where do we draw the line between ‘thinking ahead’ and ‘living the now‘? Why are we constantly losing out on our lives and on what’s really happening? When did it become more important to ‘look like you’re having a great time’ than actually and truly enjoying yourself? It’s a shame that sometimes we forget to realize, sit back and adopt lessons from our learning, as we’re unconsciously devolving to the level of a gold fish.

The ‘missing key’ to everything we learn and actually experiencing or implementing it in our lives, is the fact that we do not integrate. We’re always learning new things, consuming more knowledge, and midst all this new information and facts we forget the fact that the only useful information is the one we choose to integrate into our daily routines.

It is pointless if you know something and don’t use it. I’ve got a hundred books on the book stand next to my bed, and I’ve read most of them however, the shame is that I don’t necessarily remember the essence of the books, or what I liked the most about them- cause I just focused on getting through the pages, not digesting what I read. As we go through life, I think it’s more important to keep coming back to the things that matter, the principles and the fundamentals. What do you actually believe in? What did you really learn from an experience, from your day or your interaction with someone new?

I’ve learnt the fact that we constantly need to evolve through integration and implementation, and I hope to changes things from here on. I will take time to integrate my new learnings. Less is more, when you use the less to your advantage through action. Whatever you might learn, be it in the day or during your week, take some time to see how you can fit it into your life. What differentiates knowledge and wisdom for me, is integration, and I’m going to be mindful of this from here on. 

How do we become superhumans?

How do we reach a state where we act at our maximum potential, and deliver peak performance? As an athlete and entrepreneur, this question has been on my mind for a while now. Being in an environment designed for consumption wherein we’re constantly fed information and data, I feel sometimes we need a reminder to shift our focus back to us, and not the world. We become so conditioned to focus on the external circumstances, that we forget that it is our inner engineering that is going to help us improve and survive in our environments. Also, as our surroundings are becoming more intelligent and smarter, I want to address the question of how do we improve and upgrade ourselves as humans.

If improvement in technology is happening 2x every passing year (Moore’s law), in a decade my generation is going to feel about our future technology as my parents’ and grandparents’ feel about Facebook, Iphones, Whatsapp and the idea of technology, in general. Again, can we afford to be ignorant of the fact that we often do not act to the best of our abilities, that there is room for improvement, and that our peak state is not yet unlocked. Why do we become so complacent and settle for what’s available? Why do we let security and comfort distract us from the bigger picture? Why do we not throw moonshots and challenge the societal and psychological limitations imposed on us?

It’s a shame that many people are shut down to the idea that there is a world bigger than the one that they create for themselves. They get so lost in the daily monotonous routines, that they live for the weekend, a vacation or anything that promises a sweet escape from their routinized and reactive lives. Having adopted a more proactive role in my own life, and opening myself up to this debate of personal development, I realize that there is so much scope for improvement and betterment, internally. I lose interest in conversations that aren’t about ideas, passions, progress, development and building lives, societies, economies.

A commitment to excellence, performance and self-enhancement is what we need to inculcate in the young minds from an early age. As a society, we teach subjects at school, but we miss discussing and encouraging them to think about the essence of a meaningful life. If we keep ourselves out of the debate of reaching our highest potential, we are ultimately not experiencing life in its true magnificence. Often people will restrict a certain person to one particular role, but I want to ask that why can’t we make more polymaths? Why can’t we become ‘super-capable’ and outdo our own personal bests, like we do in races or events. Imagine, a world of people, striving to become the best that they can possibly be..imagine a world of superhumans. 

In all the noise, let’s not lose our own. We think a lot about how others perceive us, and seldom about how we see our own-selves. Are we trying our best, are we trying to make the most of our lives, are we trying to reach our maximum potential? I’m curious to know what my life would look like everyday if I were doing the best I can. I’m working towards achieving my peak state, are you?

What trying to be in peak state means to me: I’m constantly trying to discover the new, beat my own personal bests, challenge what I know to be limitations, physically and mentally and develop newer passions. I hate the idea of confinement, I do not wish to be associated with one particular role, when I know that in an entire lifetime, there’s so much to see, do and achieve. The more I try to experience life, the more I fall in love with experiences I hadn’t had before. I want to keep meeting new people, while I try to be the source of joy and happiness for the ones around me. I want to keep teaching the next generation, and help them see the world through eyes full of hope and unrestricted potential. And most importantly, I want to be known to have lived as a superhuman for my time on this planet.

P.S: This ‘peak human state’ is totally scalable and has tremendous potential for growth. Through research, I will try to come up with a blueprint on how to access the highest and best versions of ourselves. Stay tuned!

How to beat competition every time.

Your ambition has to be greater than the sum of all your fears, inhibitions and doubts put together. You won’t always believe in yourself, but make sure that those moments are far outnumbered by the ones that you feel invincible, almost unstoppable- even when it feels unreal, especially when it feels unreal. Winner’s minds go further than most people’s realms of imagination.

My loyalty is to excellence.

I’m committed to becoming the best that I can be. My vision is of reaching my higher potential, forever evolving for the better. As I meet people I judge them on the basis of their ambition- not their bank balance, and definitely not their appearance. If you’re hungry to go after what you want, if you’re committed to your vision, and if you’re striving – I’m going to hold your hand, and support you till the very end.
I really believe in energy. Everybody we see or meet is bouncing off energies from the walls- what we gotta do is try and catch how they make us feel about ourselves. There are certain people who will leave you feeling drained and tired- the smartest thing is to stay clear of them, for their energy doesn’t resonate with yours. For people who leave you feeling happy, feeling like you’ve got to become a better person- spend as much time as you can with them. But know the difference between people who are trying to compete with you and the ones who wish to see you do well.
As much it’s important to have meaningful relationships, the most meaningful relationship that you’ll ever have, is with your own self. You gotta protect your vision, safeguard yourself from toxicity and negativity that some people will try and add to your life. The whole goal should be to be loyal to your inner being and not get distracted by what happens externally. For one thing will always remain true- nobody expect your own self is going to want the better, the best for you. You’re on your own journey and while people may love you unconditionally, you gotta respect your own self enough to be loyal, committed and focused.
What inspired me to write this post is the feeling that it is easy to get distracted by what people around us, especially our competitors are doing. If you keep looking in the rear-view mirror, you lose out on the opportunity to get further. Keep creating the best content that you can, do the best you can, so that you can feel content because of your efforts, and are constantly fueled by your own motivation rather than somebody else’s performance. Let the others play catch-up, while you show them what potential and capability can do. You have a reality that is your own, and have a life that you can tribute to through your wholesome contribution, keep striving and be loyal to your personal excellence!