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Made Not Born

Live yourself. Live honest. Live present.

Last week, I was hosting TiE entrepreneurs over “business builder breakfast”. Post the event, I was interacting with a guy and he said “you’ve spoken and answered with such a simplicity that it made us feel like entrepreneurship is nothing except our everyday life. Your words were so close to your heart and we stayed connected throughout.”

My life experience says – live yourself and there are ample amount of people who will connect, conduct and care for you. Live honest and see yourself at the top list when people think of trust, credibility and loyalty. Live present and enjoy the moments as gifted to you and keep engaging, interacting and solving real issues with real self.

Have a blessed day!

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Doing things for the appeasement of eternal self

नानापुराणनिगमागमसम्मतं यद् रामायणे निगदितं क्वचिदन्य्तोअपि।
स्वान्तःसुखाय तुलसी रघुनाथगाथा भाषनिबन्ध मतिमञ्जुलमातनोति।।

“Many Puran, Ved, and Tantra has a mention, and it has it’s reference in the Ramayan, and also has been narrated elsewhere, I Tulsi, writing the narrative of Raghunath for the appeasement of my eternal self.”

Hinduism has a process driven approach to learning – learn/hear, reflect, absorb, debate and then develop your conviction. Tulsidas in above couplet has made the affirmation “I have referred to various available sources, and then I am writing this scripture for the appeasement of the self.”

This kind of work can only lead you to do something which becomes a history, a par excellent work of art, and an ageless reference. To achieve a superior result, do the work for appeasement of self rather than of someone else.

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Turning Lessons  Into Conviction

Four people whom I am indebted for teaching me great lessons that helped me turn them  into conviction.

My father who invested umpteen amount of time and efforts narrating the mythological stories, scriptures and verses during my early childhood. Resting on his lap, sometimes, I used to feel, why is he teaching me such boring things?

My High School teacher who introduced the business by distinguishing two different Pakoda vendors. One who puts right kind of ingredients and fries with right flame to make it delicious and the other one who just uses same ingredients and fries in any flame to get it ready.

My first boss who taught me to work hard, very hard, very very hard. It was so hard that after spending 10 hours in office we must go to his home and work until midnight to help him with report preparations, etc.

My colleagues and friends at Sony Music and the kind of culture that the company pursue. It has left such a lasting impact on me that I dream of making my business closer to Sony Music culture and that would be the biggest tribute of my life.

Subhash Chandra at Zee and his courage to facilitate an unconditional support to allow me to try entrepreneurial acumen.

The lessons from these masters begin to turn as conviction beneath which I have carved my life. Lessons from my father has helped me gain so much of reputation as I can contextually relate everything with teachings of our scriptures and mythological references.

I realise that we should not stop receiving lessons from wherever it may come. Whether we use it today or not isn’t important. The important is that we maintain a lesson bank and whenever we need to solidify our thinking, withdraw some lessons from the bank. Once you experience their usability, it will turn as your conviction. Let there be the conviction.

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What if I am good at nothing? NOTHING.

Absolutely. That’s the exact feeling I woke up with today.

If I ask some people who know me well what I am good at? They will undoubtedly tell me about some or other things that they feel I am good at.

But what if I am not enjoying the things that I am good at?

Shall I continue doing things that someone else thinks I am good at or shift gears and pursue different crafts?

Shall I leave the work that doesn’t feel like work or an attempt at achievement? It doesn’t feel like anything close to what I dreamt about it.

I recall the days when I decided to quit Zee in pursuit of being able to take breaks and not feel pressured to produce results constantly.

It is pretty OKAY to feel like you are good at nothing from time to time so that you can reflect on your own skills, interests, and passions to uncover what you might be good at or enjoy doing.

What do you do for self-discovery and experimentation to find your strengths and areas of expertise to find the pursuits that don’t feel like work and bring you joy?

I am WAITING for your thoughts, ideas, and actions. PLEASE.

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Three steps to become a better person

We can become better not with living in silos and loneliness but with making connections through people, experiences, moments and environment that facilitates open interactions. We need to transform ourselves first so that others can see this transformation and inspire themselves. For me, it’s three steps that acts as my canvas to become better.

First Step: Ability to work with others with motive to learn the new perspective and expand your toolkit.

Second Step: choosing to understand other people perspective instead of feeling insecure about their own technical skills, and

Third Step: Knowing that sometime there is no answer and that is a better answer

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Well vs Lake

You can draw water from a well and depending on it’s quality, it can can serve specific need – if water is of sub standard you can use it for cleaning or washing, if it is clean then you can use for bathing and if it is clean and sweet then you can drink it. However, if you draw water from lake you can use it for all purpose – cleaning, washing, bathing and drinking.

Similarly, you can pray to specific god to attain blessings for wealth, health and other needs or you can pray to the supreme godhead which is present in the form of ultimate wisdom in all of us and then you’re automatically served for whatever your need is.

Think and let me know what you think…

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Life is what you make of it

“Life is not about hard things and soft things; not about good or bad; or evil or gentle. Both has to coexist like two legs. It’s about what you make of it.

As soon as I was conceived in the womb of my mother, I was put behind the prison. My parents were extremely worried about my safe birth and saving my life from the curse of Kansa. I planned and prepared to handle life difficulties while I was being nursed inside the womb of my mother.

You’d have heard that I was born wearing smile. I am a rare child who’s born smiling. It was because I was fully aware of my difficulties and I was prepared to face it.

I was born inside the prison but didn’t live there even for a minute. It was raining when my father took me to Nandgaav, but I asked Sheshnag to protect me. River Narmada was overflowing with flood, but I asked her to give pathway.

I gave you option to choose whatever you want. I gave you energy and capacity to pursue whatever you wish. I tell you to live a life that is closer to your feelings and desires. I tell you not to worry about the outcome. Your life is not a destination, it’s journey. Make yourself so hard that hardship shall hardly matter to you.”

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Do you have ownership of every moments of your business

Secretary, “Sir, prior to joining you as your secretary, I always dreamt of becoming Morgan. Now, after working with you even dreaming about becoming Morgan is like a horrible thing.”
Morgan, “Why? What is the problem? What makes you think this way?”
Secretary, “In your office peon comes at 9.30am, managers come at 10.30am, directors come at 12noon. They all leave office by 6pm. I feel being a peon in your company is more enjoyable than being the owner. You come at 7am and leave office only by 7pm. I don’t know why you are doing it?”
Morgan, ” Oh! You won’t understand the pleasure of being an owner. The pleasure of walking into the office as a owner can’t be compared to come at 930am and work as a peon. Because you’ve not lived this ownership life, you won’t know the pleasure either. The ownership is a kind of enjoyment that only owners can relish.”

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The whole world is my well

A frog born and lived in a well for a long time. One day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.
Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.
“Where are you from?”
“I am from the sea.”
“The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?” and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
“My friend,” said the frog of the sea, “how do you compare the sea with your little well?”
Then the frog took another leap and asked, “Is your sea so big?”
“What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!”
“Well, then,” said the frog of the well, “nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out.”
That has been the difficulty all the while, we all are sitting in our own little well and think the whole world is my well.
Source: Swami Vivekananda At the World’s Parliament of Religions, Chicago
11th September 1893

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You Are Not Good Enough

How many times you have been told, “You are not good enough.”

Most prolific entrepreneurs, artists, leaders, and achievers have faced naysayers. They are everywhere in and they are in all of us.

During my growing up years, I was a bit introvert. I was not expressive. I was told, “You can’t write or speak in Hindi or English for 5 minutes. You are useless.” It took me less than 6 months to start publishing articles in leading newspapers and start speaking fluently in English. I didn’t respond to my naysayer by instant reply. I worked on it. I built the capabilities. I demonstrated that every weakness can be worked upon to convert it into your strength. To date, over 200 of my articles are published on various magazines and addressed over 30,000 people through keynotes, trainings, and workshops.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi

Start believing that naysayers are doing you a favor. They are showing you the blindspot. Whenever you are faced with the naysayers don’t respond to them at an instant. Listen to them carefully, understand why they are saying this to you, thoroughly consider the why, how and what can get you to build your shortcomings into your strength. Move forward with the confidence to work upon it before you go and present your best to naysayers.

Let naysayers be busy making noise, you continue making things happen.

Everyone on the mission meets with people who curse, whin, whing and complain, you can continue to light the candle than curse the darkness.

Others may be busy criticising, but you dare yourself to go out of your comfort zone to fulfill your hunger, ambition, success, and greatness.

Don’t define yourself by your criticism, you refine your strength by disrupting and challenging the status quo pushing yourself to be a game changer.

When elephant walk on the road dog barks, you have chosen to be a big heart – doing righteous thing, giving back, empowering the loved ones and seizing the opportunities.

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Little Bets

Yesterday during the interaction with student entrepreneurs at Nirmala College, I met a student who started his business while being in college. His story is like this:
He thought that he has passion and acumen for photography. He purchased a low-cost camera to start his photography business. Subsequently, he made some money and invested in buying a professional DSLR with the investment of Rs. 80,000 from his profit. Now, he has a dream to setup his own studio.
My own journey as an entrepreneur started with little bets. Selling books, computer stationery, side projects. I call it little bets for a small win to gain the confidence you need to inroad for a giant leap.

Little bets are concrete actions taken to discover, test, and develop ideas that are achievable and affordable. They begin as creative possibilities that get iterated and refined over time, and they are particularly valuable when trying to navigate amid uncertainty, create something new, or attend to open-ended problems.

If you have been thinking about starting up something big, start placing little bets today to experience small win and a big confidence boost. I bet you to place little bets today…

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This alone shall solve all your problems

A hungry, tired, and empty-handed disciple turns to a monk for help. After carefully listening to the pain of his disciple the monk hands him over a shining object. “This alone shall solve all of your problems provided you reach out to the right person.”

The disciple accepted the object and left the place. After a while, he spotted a farmer and offered the precious stone to him, “I am hungry, tired and empty-handed. It would be kind if you’d buy this shining object from me.”

The farmer looked at the shining object, “It is none of my use but since you are hungry, I can take the grains equal to the weight of the object.”

The disciple instantly remembered the words of the monk and left the place without accepting the offer.

After some travel, he met with a grocery merchant. He approached him, “I am hungry, tired and empty-handed. Would you be able to buy this shining object and in exchange give me money.” The merchant looked at the shining object and he thought that it can help him measure the goods faster. “I can give you sugar equivalent to the weight of the shining object.” The disciple didn’t find the offer exciting and decided to move ahead.

He continued his journey further. He saw a jewelry merchant selling many similar shining objects in his shop. He went near the shopkeeper, “I am hungry, tired and empty-handed. Would you be able to buy this shining object and in exchange give me cash?”

The shopkeeper examined the shining object. He thought that he can use it to make more jewelry and earn more money. He said, “I will give you Rs. 10,000/- in exchange for the precious stone.”
The disciple wasn’t satisfied with the offer. He continued his search for another buyer. After a while, he entered a large diamond shop. He approached the owner, “I am hungry, tired and empty-handed. Would you be able to buy this shining object and in exchange give me money.” The diamond merchant was amused holding in his hand the most expensive and rare diamond.

He made an offer, “Gentleman, you are so lucky to own this precious stone. I don’ have enough money to buy it, but I am happy to offer you a partnership. We will make high-quality diamond jewelry from it and sell it in the market. We will invest the earnings to expand our business to become rich and famous.” The disciple was happy to accept the partnership offer. They started working together and over a period of time, they both became rich and famous.

Whether you are in the job or business, you need to connect and network with the right kind of people who discovers your true value. Then only you can leverage your real potential and achieve your goals.

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Don’t die mad, sad, stressed, confused

During our conversation yesterday, she was sounding tired, hassled and exhausted. I quipped, “Why do you sound like you are excessively tired?”
“Yes, I am. Off late it seems I am surrounded with so many things. My sleep time has reduced to a few hours. I feel like I am working in my sleep too.” Replied she.
Me: “Think that you die in a moment from now. Your dead body is lying on the floor and your soul is looking at your body from up above. What would it say?”
After a momentary pause, I continued “Would it feel proud the way you are treating it inside your body?”
She said, “It is a quite new way to think and take stock of life.”
The question that you should ask: When your efforts are not directed at a cause or a purpose, how do you decide what to do day in and day out?
How do you know what to say no to and what to say yes to?
How do you know when you’ve had enough?
Why you’ve gotten on or off the track which keeps you tired, awake, hassled and hungry?

The answer you should find out is that find your meaning, direct your efforts to it, keep that meaning in view. It’s not the activity that
disturbs you, but false conceptions of things that drive you mad. Don’t die mad, sad, stressed, confused.

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God is the ultimate recipient of all the services done to every living being

You face for types of living being:

Happy being who do good, live well and win hearts.

Sad people who are always regretful for their past, unsatisfied for their present and fearful about their future.

Virtuous people are always satisfied with their present and always prepared for opportunities.

Sinful beings who are surrounded with lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy and false pride.

In Chapter 12 verse 13-14, God Krishna explains Arjuna about how to deal with these peoples in life.

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च ।
अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च ।
निर्ममो निरहङ्कारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी ॥ १२-१३॥
सन्तुष्टः सततं योगी यतात्मा दृढनिश्चयः ।
मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्यो मद्भक्तः स मे प्रियः ॥ १२-१४॥

He, who has no ill-will for any being, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from the sense of egoism, and is even-minded in pleasure and pain, forgiving, ever content, self-controlled, unshakable in determination, with mind and intellect dedicated to Me-a Yogi, My devotee, is dear to Me.

Here God Krishna has combined the happy and virtuous into one category and asked his true devotee to conduct them as their friend and treat the sinful and sad people compassionately.

Therefore the Lord declares that the devotee, who has dedicated his mind and intellect to him, is loving to him. No one else at all can be loving to God besides such a devotee.

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How do you remind yourself of your duties

You love to keep setting the goals, targets, agendas, and duties, yet caught up in the day to day urgency, you keep forgetting it. Have you ever asked yourself about why it happens?

Arjuna decides to fight the war. He invites Lord Krishna to become his mentor and charioteer. When he approaches the Warfield, seeing his relatives, friends, and acquaintances gathered there to kill each other, he gets infected by the delusion. He tells Krishna “It would, indeed, be better for me, if the sons of Dhrtarastra
armed with weapons, killed me in battle, with me, while I will be
unarmed and unresisting.” BG.1.46

Many people support the arguments presented by Arjuna citing the reason that we live dutybound in this world to safeguard the well-being of our families and relatives. You may not agree with the point of view of Lord Krishna reminding and convincing Arjuna of his duties.

While your mind is mostly occupied to fulfill the needs and wants of yourself and your loved ones, but the love of God is always directed towards the welfare and benediction of all beings. The fact is, that Lord Krsna did not make Arjuna wage war. He reminded him of his duty only. It was Arjuna, who had invited Lord Krsna, to the war front. But seeing his kinsmen on the hostile side, he was turning away from his duty.
Remind yourself of an incident when you planned to go to some place, but by mistake, you are going in the opposite direction. You then happen to meet a person whom you request to guide you with the direction. The latter,
tells you that you have taken the wrong direction, so you should turn back. Here, the person shows you the right direction.

If you are failing constantly in achieving your set goals, targets, plans or objectives; find a mentor like Lord Krishna who can keep reminding you of your direction whenever you have forgotten or lost your path.

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