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. 

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The “How am I thinking?” Checklist.

The problem with thinking big and trying to challenge the world is the OPPOSITION. Most people give up on ideas and dreams because of how they expect to be opposed, challenged and rejected. Imagine, if everyone started giving up on ideas- there wouldn’t be any change or growth- we’d just do the same things every single day and ultimately die. Change is inevitable, it is important, and sometimes you need to be it! 

Ordinary and mediocrity is essential for a society too, to have great people stand out, but it is always your call to decide which group you want to be a part of. You see, resistance training helps you build muscle by cutting down fat, similarly use that opposition to make your mind and personality grow and cut down on the BS- the world’s got enough in circulation. You can choose your company, your partner, your goals and you are a sum of all those choices- so why not make better and bigger choices?

You DO NOT have to be the smartest or the most intelligent person, you just need to know what you don’t know and channel your thinking accordingly- thus avoiding the mistake of being ignorant and making conscious choices rather than accepting to be at the end-side of the cycle. (No, all awful things don’t target you- you don’t need to constantly crib or be miserable- you can make the effort and be at the deciding end rather than a victim of everything!)

The “How am I thinking?” Checklist is something I found while reading the book ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz. It helps me put my thoughts in order, and aim higher- thought I’d share it to encourage better thinking and decision making.

  1. When I worry:
    • Would an important person worry about this? Would the most successful person I know be disturbed about this?
  2. An idea:
    • What would an important person do if he had this idea?
  3. My appearance:
    • Do I look like someone who has maximum self-respect?
  4. My language:
    • Am I using the language of successful people?
  5. What I read:
    • Would an important person read this?
  6. Conversation:
    • Is this something successful people would discuss?
  7. When I lose my temper:
    • Would an important person get mad at what I’m mad at?
  8. My job:
    • How does an important person describe his job to others?

You know, you don’t have to belittle yourself and get demotivated just because you’re a little behind in the race. I always tell myself, “the race is long and in the end, it is only with yourself.” You need to develop the mindset of a person who likes winning, dreams big and is successful to make yourself push and work harder and get closer to your dreams.

Would you rather talk to a smiling person or a miserable grumpy looking fella? So don’t be the grumpy stuck-up person- look interesting, approachable and generous and try harder to build meaningful relationships and have the deep conversations, and listen. You’ll be surprised by how many people have a life full of interesting stories to share but never get an ear. Instead of turning your head into a book or your latest smartphone, see opportunities in people- imagine what a great read a person could be.

Now go ahead, and be the interesting book that everyone would want to read. Develop the mindset of the change-bringers, the go-getters, the dreamers, the misfits and do not give up just yet. I had the writer’s block for the last week, because of negative emotions in my head about a lot of things. Everyone has those days where you lack inspiration, feel low, and just can’t look at the brighter side- I had a week of that. However, this checklist and my mindset is helping me to get back on track. My dream is to affect millions of lives positively and make a real difference so you see, I can’t let a bad week get in the way of that ambition. Now, that’s how you let go of little things in the light of the bigger picture.

“Make mistakes, make glorious mistakes.”- Neil Gaiman

“Experience is what you get, when you didn’t get what you wanted“- Randy Pausch

Life is your canvas, focus on the bigger picture and paint it however you like.