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.

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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!

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.