There’s a subtle difference between back-answering and making a point. Challenging the status quo, the convention, the commonly accepted. There will be resistance, rejection or even retribution. When in a debate, your goal is not to make the other a convert. Focus instead on making your point clear. compelling and convincing. Though back answering can be exciting, especially fun when the audience is on your side, choose to avoid
You could work for the one big hit, the single break that puts you right on top or you could work for the long tail, delivering consistently over time so it stacks and becomes a body of work instead of chasing the big hit. The catch in working for the long tail is that it takes a lot of time, energy and sanity to ‘arrive’, to get the ball
Seeking the counter argument for a well-accepted theory gives you the choice to make an informed opinion. Do you follow Peter Drucker for creating a democratic organisation or Jim Hoopes who sticks to reality, dumps everything Drucker theorises and promotes aristocratic management. Seek the other, anyways.
Your idea is built by spreading. You may be unwilling to share the granular bits of the idea. That’s fine. But build a story around the idea that a layman can understand, resonate with and share. Let it stir emotions, a little drama helps. They may discuss it to a potential investor, a prospective client or the prospering government or people that will care. Share your idea-story, shamelessly.
Find a way to get paid for the work you do during the initial years. While you are in college build up the nerve to ask for pay for work delivered. Start at home, if you have to. Do the dishes for ₹20 a night. Clean your room and tidy your clothes for ₹30. Earn your pocket money. Start a project at college that can generate cash. It’s ok
A generation ago, It was commonplace to hear, ‘Oh! I’ll do that when I retire’ when one was speaking of his or her lofty ambitions of climbing a mountain, scuba diving in the Andamans, dipping in the Ganges. My generation has replaced it with ‘the bucket list’. Everything that they find amusing, thrilling or even adventurous is tossed into it. It isn’t different from what the generations before us
Slap yourself before the world slaps you. Because you know yourself better. When you want to sleep instead of study, when you are about to delay vs deliver, when you are throwing in the towel and giving up. Slap yourself. And keep going. The winners, the world-class achievers, the change-makers do it anyways. Irrespective of their preferences.
Kite flying is a brilliant example of the network effect. You can fly a kite on our own for a while but it really gets fun, competitive and thrilling when more kites fly through the sky. The network effect gets magnified when families, friends and neighbours crowd the terraces, Verandahs and open fields. This keeps expanding forming a sort of kite-culture. People like us doing things like this.
When participating in competitions, college fests, presentations feedback is more valuable than the prize money. A brilliant opportunity to calibrate your skills, test your assumptions and check your ego levels. Participate for feedback not for figures.