To enter the flow state, an idea should completely infect your mind. And that idea should be something that you strongly desire and yearn for. The half-hearted wishes do not let you fall into immersion and experience the joy that effortless action brings. At that moment, one truly understands what the right action is.
At any cost, we should not break the commitments we made to ourselves. Decided to write an essay, run 5 miles, clean up the mess in the room, read a book, or whatever that might be, once you have made an agreement with yourself, make sure to honor it without breaking it. It is critical to your confidence and overall self-esteem. Think twice before the decision if you may, but once agreed upon, there shouldn’t be going back.
3 Things from Rocky Balboa that changed everything.
We all know the famous Rocky speech which he gives to his son about life and how it knocks you down.
The resilience and hard mindset of Rocky are truly inspiring and life-changing indeed.
I saw the movie when I was in high school and since then the wisdom has been around in my ears. Here are a few of them
- 1)Quitting is never an option.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you are hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!—Rocky Balboa.
This is perhaps the most inspiring line I’ve ever come across. Rocky teaches about the value of persistence. It’s easy to quit if you think about it. Life knocks you down with that business failure and you go on alcohol and drugs. That’s simple and a safe way out to your La-La land.
But to continue to dream and standing up is hard because it forces you to accept the responsibility and mistakes you made which almost and always shatters your ego. Being sedated is secure and un-troubling.
No one is immune to failure and has a vaccine shot to prevent hits that life throws at you. It’s part of the process and remember the world is NASTY and very mean. People will stab you and put you down unless you take the charge.
Drink that bitter cup of responsibility and be a champion.
- 2)The Doors of change are open to all.
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” —Friedrich Nietzsche.
This is probably the only idea that matters in your life. It’s not Lao-Tzu-type old irrelevant philosophy but a noteworthy one. Once decided, you can be whomsoever you can be and do whatever you can.
Gandhi was an ordinary lawyer but when he was kicked out from a whites-only carriage in Pietermaritzburg, the incident changed him completely. He changed himself into an activist to stand up against racism and subjugation. That change later liberated millions of Indians from the colonization of the British empire.
Likewise, Siddhartha vexed by life’s shallowness decide to change and sat under a Bodhi tree. Well, he became the Buddha by finding enlightenment and went on to be the light of Asia.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” That’s what Albus Dumbledore wants you to hear to change your life.
- 3)It’s never about winning.
“The journey is the reward.”—Steve Jobs.
Winning matters but what matters more is the process and the journey. Because the journey changes you like nothing else. Take Elon Musk and Tesla. Even if he had failed, his insane work had already transformed him and place him at the peak where the 1% are.
Suppose you worked for 5 years and the writing career didn’t take off as you expected. You still have less traffic and don’t have enough money. But think about your skills. Five years surely means something. Writing skills made you a better thinker and no one can articulate words as brilliantly as you can among your peers. And you can still go freelance or work for a magazine with that skill you got there in the mind.
Never think that all was a waste in the end. You never know how the dots will be connected in the future.
What really matters is how we manage energy in a day. Whether we accept it or not, energy, at least mental, is
a finite resource and that it depletes from the moment we wake up. Hence as we proceed in the day, it
becomes difficult to take better decisions or do hard tasks. Despite being very rational and having a ton
of great mental models under our belt, we will do stupid things and despite being motivated enough, we
push the deadlines for the simple reason that we don’t have energy left.
Track your energy resource and schedule your priorities for the day according to this plain fact. The
the general rule is to do cognitively taxing things and take important decisions first.
3 Ideas from Brendon Burchard To consider Now.
Brendon Burchard is regarded as the world’s leading high-performance coach and an excellent writer who topped the New York Times list of best-selling books 3 times. He is often quoted, googled, watched, and googled on the internet by productive bees who want the best in their life.
His online courses and videos crossed millions and Oprah Winfrey consider him as one of the most influential personal growth gurus of all time. Most people know him through the Brendon show, a wonderful podcast if you want to listen.
There’s a ton to learn from him and here are a few of my favorites—
- 1)Owning Ambitions 100%
Brendon says that most people never own their ambitions 100%. This is a powerful idea and a truth. We usually own it a 50-60-70%. For instance, you want to write a book, run a blog, make YouTube videos and inspire millions of people online and you invest your resources and time in it but we do it half-heartedly. We don’t accept it but deep down you know it in your bones. I failed many times to do hard things like building a rock-solid body, and write a novel. Sure, there are many reasons why I failed but after a lot of reflection, I think Brendon is right.
With just 60% ownership and liking, dreams are hard to come by. So never do this mistake. Chase your dreams only if can own them 100%. Here’s a nugget for you—
“personal power is directly tied to personal responsibility, which most people avoid.”(Brendon Burchard)
- 2)Guilt is good
Brendon comments that guilt is a sign of learning and the first indication that you have a growth mindset. Trust me if you don’t feel guilty after binge-watching that Tv series all night, there’s something seriously wrong with you. If you failed to make that blog post deadline possible, you should think and feel about it. That’s how you realize what your next baby steps are.
I always feel bad when I procrastinate on my Wednesday essay day. But guilt makes sure that I write the next day itself. Own guilt and achieve your dreams by course correction.
- 3)Teach to generate positivity
“You have a clean slate every day you wake up. You have a chance every single morning to make that change and be the person you want to be. You just have to decide to do it. Decide today’s the day. Say it: this is going to be my day.”—Brendon Burchard.
Every morning is a choice to bring positivity to your life. No one can come inside your head and clean it. And positive thoughts won’t come unintentionally. You have to do it deliberately. That’s because the human brain is hardwired to create fear and anxiety. So the machine’s job is to constantly chase you down with 0% probability issues.
This man is worthy to be followed and taken note of him. Go ahead. Great ideas can move you, only if you let them.
These 5 Rules changed “How I see the world.”
Some pills are hard to swallow but only once they get into the system can we grow high in life. We all want to touch the sky and get into that 1% league, for that more than anything we need to first embrace their mindset and then the skill set, heart set, and spirit set, as Robin Sharma puts it in his “5 A.M.Club.”
These truths are not for doubters but for ready embracers who are willing to find their “Ikigai” in life and get unstuck of the rut they are in.
They are discomforting to the core and can unleash mental rewiring.
Nonetheless, if you are someone who can and want to endure short-term pain for long-term pleasure, then they are for you.
- 1) You should be able to handle the criticism.
Nicholas Klein, a trade union activist, said in a 1918 speech, saying, “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments for you.”
The world is full of Skeletors who want to pull you down no matter what you do. It’s a lifelong tussle and hassle that never stops. Get this into your head—you will be judged even when you do the noblest of things in the universe.
Even if people don’t do that, circumstances will belittle you. Bad finances, bad health, and unsupportive partners all come like a storm ready to lift off your pale foundations.
Your baby steps will be hunted down and stopped like highway patrol police. You want to chase your dream but your boss nags you with deadlines that don’t matter.
No, energy will not support you either. You are not a sun to constantly get the support of photons to shine on. And you won’t find any ladder that can pull you up.
The fact is this B.S. doesn’t stop and you should bury this truth deep down in your neural space. The law is—things get worse and worse just at the time when you feel that things are getting a little better.
The good thing is you are not alone and you never will be. Even Buddha had got meditation issues. So when you can’t justify that headspace subscription, don’t worry.
Johnwick has them, Thor has them, and Thanos had them. They all struggled and are struggling to get what they want.
Your job is simply to find a way around, find that little start around that problem. This is not idealism but very very practical. No matter what, it’s your job and your job alone to pull off that rose-tinted glasses and search for a solution like Tintin or Sherlock.
This is easy once know that—
1)Storms come at you
2)I should not be surprised
3)I Simply need that one way out and one hook that I can hang on to.
Look, it’s a skill that we master over time. You need to be aware of this. Only after the Nth time we get knocked down, do we scrape the surface of it.
Put that helmet on and you will be safe.
- 2)Idealism happen to exist only in books.
You never get to choose in life. I’m not talking about your coffee or clothing choices but the life-changing ones, if you know what I mean.
You prepare for the test but the questions are off the chart. You do an all-nighter yet the presentation doesn’t impress the clients.
You think merit alone matters but injustice waits around the corner wearing many hats—racism, harassment, and whatnot.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” That’s Lao Tzu for you. Yes, the old man got the message.
Accepting what is, is not some esoteric-philosophical-fresh from self-help book wisdom. The point is you cannot do anything else.
Yes, we need more money in the account. That’s not happening anytime soon. Yes, you were promised a promotion but it slipped away. And Yes, you of all people deserve a big success but I’m tired of using buts here.
It’s more than clear now that reality differs from movies and fairy tales.
Chris got it in “The pursuit of happiness” finally, however, it’s not for us.
What should we do—save the ranting for yourselves and save the mental energy. Whining and Weeping hard only makes things worse.
1)Correct flaws, if any.
2)Wait for the next opportunity.
3)Stick for a long time. In other words, the “Persistence.”
- 3)Messiah is not coming for you.
Mentors won’t come for you. The dream job won’t fall in your lap and no leader or government will come to save your little ass.
As Winston Churchill remarks—the price of greatness is responsibility.
No Jesus is coming out to change these bad fates for you. It’s been 2020 years and that’s long enough proof for you.
The employer won’t magically recognize your work and give that raise that you’ve been eye-balling. The point is you alone are responsible for your growth. No devil demon is haunting you and no sweet angel wants to help you either.
Accepting this is kind of liberating. And no need to search for blame-shifting. Recognize that you are the trouble maker and it’s you who sabotaged it.
“Only you can pull yourself off the hell.”
- 4)Regrets kill you, like for real.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”—Fulton Oursler.
This self-crucifixion doesn’t move the needle much. Yes, you couldn’t put the efforts that were needed into that job interview and yes, you couldn’t read much when you were supposed to in college.
But that shit happened like aeons ago and you’re still pity-partying over it. Now, that kills your now and future. Do you really think your ideals made this far without mistakes? Are you really that naive?
No one rejected you, they rejected your idea in that sales pitch. No one said “No”, they said “No” only to your mediocre version. How you handle it depends entirely and almost entirely on your ego.
Use the rejection to bring out the best in you.
- 5)Luck never finds you, at least not in my case.
“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”—Benjamin Franklin
Only by regularly working and knocking on every damn door you can find makes you lucky. This means getting lucky is some very ass-hardening stuff.
Newton saw the apple and could find gravitational stuff only because he’s been into it for years and aha-moment came to him when that red thing fell on his head. That’s it, I promise you there’s no divine intervention here.
Inspiration comes only through perspiration. So, don’t get fooled when someone utters the word inspiration from their shiny mouth.
it’s very logical if you can wrap your head around it.
Blogging ideas come only when you constantly blog. The interview offers come only when you apply for lots of them and do your networking thing.
Finally, I leave this hard burning quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson so that your hearts never find sleep
“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
5 Irresistible tips from Daniel Pink on Marketing, Sales and Persuasion.
Daniel Pink has seen it all. From being a speech writer to Vice President Al Gore to a Sales guru and world-class author of nearly half a dozen books. His TED talk on motivation is definitely a worthy one to remember for a long time. Apart from this, Daniel has good command over behavioral and social sciences which is just another perfect reason to learn from him about persuasion and the science of good selling.
- 1)Sales are everyone’s cup of tea.
Nearly everyone is into selling and persuasion if you think about it. Whether it’s convincing your boss about your idea or if you are a teacher then you are persuading your students to stay on the course or if you’re a blogger like me, then you’re into catchy titles so that people read it.
“People spend nearly 40% of their work time on something akin to persuasion, influencing, convincing.”—Daniel Pink.
So mastering your sales skills really matters. Because you cannot push too much to scare the hell out or too little so that your idea doesn’t matter. And we are into sales every day not just that guy or woman in a suit to ring the bell.
- 2)Information Asymmetry is an illusion now.
The new world now is—Information parity. People exactly know what model of car they want with engine power. And they read, watch videos on YouTube about what they want. Consider this, we all google about our disease, see medication and their common side effects and various alternatives to surgery and then go to doctor for treatment. That exactly shows what has changed now.
In other words, you cannot sell a rat when buyer asks for a sheep in this new digital-information age. What people want now from you is your wisdom that is pick out 1 from a 1000 choices that bombard them.
- 3)Find the common ground through attunement.
You need to be a perspective taker. Think through their lens and walk in their shoes. Empathy is very critical now. This is because when you understand their problem then we can tailor the product and become better persuader.
For instance, McDonalds and KFC unless understand food needs and problems of native cultures cannot sell. And MNC’s giving holidays and day-off on holidays in respect of native cultures is an example of good perspective taking.
And Power bossing over employees and brushing off their problems and issues in office isn’t going to work anymore. And even in business meetings he asks to keep aside an empty chair(considering hypothetical customer there) so that we always have customer driven strategies and ideas. That’s a cheap investment high value investment. Use it ASAP.
- 4)Persuasion should be personal.
Selling should be personal and empowering. Your product’s mission should be to improve people’s lives. And persuasion shouldn’t be used to scam people. That will hurt your long term prospects.
And one way to improve performance of employees is to make it very personal. Daniel gives an example in Israel where Radiologists have spend more time on patient’s report when a photograph was attached to it than on reports without photograph. This shows that when people know that their work really matters and they are easily persuaded to do quality work.
- 5)“Loss to you pitch”
Next time you want to sell that balloon blower or hair dryer or even a house. Tell people what they lose not what they gain. This idea is extremely useful and I’ve been using it ever since.
People pay attention when there’s a loss or pain around the corner. Persuade your manager by saying things like—
*If we do this, then sales drop by 60%
*If we hire that guy, then teamwork suffers.
*If we don’t buy this, then our power bill goes up by 12%
*If we don’t upgrade our software, then we lose valuable data like that Tom-Dick-Harry company.
Daniel makes sales a science and persuasion a philosophy. Very concrete and extremely practical. Dig more into his ideas and you won’t regret. His “To sell is human” is a good place to start.
The Aristotle code in 3 sayings.
Aristotle, the greatest student of Plato and the man who tutored the famous Alexander can teach us a lot. He is the father of many disciplines—Logic, Political Science, Zoology, Rhetoric, and a whole bunch of others.
And Aristotle is probably the greatest philosopher of all time and a polymath who surpasses all and hence a worthy man to look into. Let us dive in—
- 1)Golden Mean in life
“Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is an addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is an addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.
Avoiding both these extremes, the Perfect One has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment.”—Buddha.
Aristotle and Buddha have something in common. That is the Middle way or the Golden mean. It is a powerful spiritual tool and a practical way to live life.
The mean path says to avoid extremities in life. Not to be a Hippie avoiding life nor a Materialist who’s sucked into life. Not to be a Moralist who doesn’t care about money nor a Capitalist whose life is run by dollars.
In life, not to show cowardice or rashness but a sign of reasonable courage, And balancing passions and reality. The idea is neither to be in excess nor deficiency but moderation.
Next time, someone snaps at you, don’t be silent or dynamite exploding on him/her but deal with it with reasonable disapproval.
- 2)What is good parenting?
“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”—Aristotle.
The Greek thinker opines that good parents educate children and that’s the only property that they can give which is worthwhile. A good inheritance is worthless unless your daughter is a woman of character and has prudence and probity.
Parents should teach what a good life is and how to be more empathetic and avoid being envious of others. And how to be more courageous, intelligent and compassionate.
A good education imparts humility and many virtues that act as a shield to evil vices around us. It shows how big a responsibility being a parent is and what matters to a child’s good governance of his life.
- 3)Intellectual Humility
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” —Aristotle.
Bertrand Russel, who’s another giant head, wittily said that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Once you have a cultured tongue and a reasonable amount of ideas in your head, that should not make you arrogant. We mortals can never have knowledge that is full and complete. The more we empty the cup, the more we can fill as Bruce Lee would say. Despite so much advancement in science, we could not even unravel the nature of any single atom!
We are still 90% blind to reality and could just figure out some basic things to live.
Another part is to admit we are wrong. Graciously admit where you went wrong and how miscalculated the estimates and move on. Only cowards never accept the mistake. The brave and the wise know that out of 10 things we do, rarely does the number of correct cross 1.
Still, doesn’t have the guts? No problem, at least be the criminal in your court of conscience and do the inner sentence.