Find the giants to stand on their shoulders

Today it is possible for a common person to find giants and stand on their shoulders!

Not asking them to be a mentor, a guide by your side or a guru but a generous well-wisher whose chiming in whenever she can.

A thoughtful compliment, a connection, a constructive comment will uplift the quality of your worldview, stretch your perspectives and better channelise your resources.

The space around them is cramped but their shoulders have plenty of room.

Go, find them. And when you do, do get on their shoulders and make some Galata!

Point of annoyance

A curiosity-driven conversation has a dangerous pitfall.

In a brain-picking interaction there is a point of annoyance which you need to watch out for.

Here’s how I have prevented the annoyance to build up or have diffused it:

  • Pause significantly between questions. Let her wrap her head around the response. At times she will add a deeper perspective. (It’ll also amaze her that you are giving it a thought!)
  • Crack them up with a silly, scientific or a silent joke. If you are poor at comedy announce a disclaimer!
  • Match their breathing. This connects you two deeply and helps you gauge their comfort levels.
  • Leave them wanting to share more! Stop at a high point. The last impression got to be a lasting one.
  • Like Larry King says, ‘Drop the I from your questions.’

Your prime time – wasted or invested?

Where are you investing your prime time?

The hours where you are fully charged, present and conducive to laser focus. The beginning of your workday, around midnight or early mornings.

Dedicating these hours to working on my business and myself consistently every day (including weekends, holidays, festivals) has been worthwhile.

Drip by drip the key business areas have chugged forward.

Now is a good time to identify the time slot and key business areas where you will laser focus on every day for the next 1-year.

Start small, stay focused and build steady!

PS: If you are a one-person-army (like me!) still do it!

Is there another way?

An obvious thing happened when I was 13. In my eight standard’s examinations, I failed in 5 subjects and gracefully passed the remaining 6!

I was too engrossed mastering heavy-duty games instead of flipping white and navy pages of my textbooks.

But that failure made something obvious: Standard ways didn’t work for me. They were boring. I wondered there must be better ways to learn!

Back then, There was a 50-year lag in the education sector. It would take that long for an innovation to become the norm!

I aggressively looked for ways to learn faster, memorise and recall better. It turned out there were some quirky, fun and smart tools that elite athletes, memory champs and busy executives used that I could emulate effortlessly

Through my 9th and 10th standard I slowly incorporated these into my learning system. (like studying in the zone, pegging, photoreading, mindmaps, NLP)

I ended up topping my class in the 10th finals. Standard methods were indeed for chumps!

There are better tools, ways, approaches out there. Keep yourself open!

Precise practice.

Wrong practice makes you a disaster!

Imagine, a speaker dying in front of a packed room, an athlete slacking at the last moment.

Our practice has become casual. Stepping up during the performance gets more stressful, difficult and taxing!

What if we practised like its showtime? Precisely at 110% every time, time after time, all the time!

A chow chow culture.

A traditional Indian chat like Masala Puri followed up with a fine foreign machine’s softie ice cream surprises me every time!

The largest idli batter maker in India uses machines that were originally meant for mustard paste! (The productivity soared by 1000x)

It’s clear that majority of ringtones in India are devotional!

India is heading towards a culture where the traditional east compliments the technological west.

We are coming a full circle to acknowledge and accommodate technology though with an Indian twist to gain the leverage yet retain the tradition.

Stop inventing silly.

We are always inventing:

  • Things to do to avoid the meaningful work.
  • Excuses to cover-up.
  • Stories to fool ourselves.
  • Comebacks that we will use the next time. (It never comes!)

What if, we paused and inquired: Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?

If it’s a yes, now is a good time to make a not-to-do list and commit to it.

Expiry dates.

It has an impossible task of predicting when the product will be unfit for its intended purpose.

There are multiple factors that influence, for instance, your jar of peanut butter. From cross-country transportation to the neighbours in your kitchen shelf to even the metal of the spoon stored in it.

How then does one determine a practical expiry date? Isn’t the printed one an irrelevant average?

It turns out, we have naturally developed a sniff and taste test to determine the actual expiry!

This lends an interesting metaphor.

What if we tested our assumptions, default approaches and practices instead of merely accepting them at face value?

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