I heard some speech the other day. And the speaker was saying, ‘if life throws lemons at you, make lemonade.’
I was intrigued.
Lemonade is much more than just a lemon. You will need water, sugar, a spoon. And most of all, you will need to know how to make lemonade. Don’t you? I have come across ‘Gurus’ throwing such cliches around for a long time. I have been bitten. Now I am twice shy. I don’t take these gurus at their face value these days.
My 20s were the time, where I faltered the most. I was under the impression that, I was entitled to a great job, great life, great salary, great friends, great everything without much efforts on my part. I call this my ‘ego hunch.’
But then, life is not a walk in the park. I realized this the hard way. I would see people with much less talents than me were much ahead in life. Not that I cared much, but this was nevertheless a realization that my life was not on course.
I feel the following are the top areas where I lacked vision and my life went off-course.
#Having no clear Goals will lead you astray:
The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.Michelangelo
The most important realization for me was that, my life had no particular goals. I repeat this quite often…’I was like a dry leaf in the wind…swayed my the gush of winds.’ At some point in life, I was so goalless that I behaved and acted like a robot. Doing the same things over and over. To such a point that I was addicted to being less than average.
My mom would often ask me, ‘what’s happening?’ and my answer would be, ‘everything is good.’ But deep within there was a void in me. I was not alright.
My relationships were worse, I had toxic friends who sucked life out of me, I had let my finances go haywire, I had nothing called spirituality in my life, I was lazy in doing everything to the extent that I would not contact my parents in months.
These things also meant that I had passed up on several positive opportunities in life like joining Toastmasters, Moving to another country on a better prospect, great new relationships etc. I can only mention this in hindsight. At that time, I was so blinded my my one sided story that I could not see these opportunities that showed up at the moment.
#Selecting wrong ‘priorities‘ means you will be overwhelmed:
To change your life, you need to change your priorities.”Mark Twain
The word ‘priorities’ is an oxymoron in itself. It does not serve its purpose. If there are more than one priority, it is no more a priority.
It is surprising that the word ‘priorities’ even exists.
I had no priority in my life, but priorities. That meant, my attention was all over the place. I had not one thing in mind but hundred things. This resulted in dilution of my attention.
I would say ‘YES’ to all the opportunities whether they meant anything to me or not. I joined clubs where my contribution was almost nil, just to please the one who invited me. Eventually I learnt a good lesson that, if you do not know your priority, you are part of someone else’s priority.
There is opportunity cost attached to your time. Make sure that you spend your time doing the high leverage work.
#A life without a Purpose is not worth pursuing:
It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.Winston S. Churchill
I had heard this a thousand times in sermons by Priests in church. And I still didn’t quite understand it. I studied in some of the best educational institutes, but I was unaware of what purpose meant. You can read thousands of books and still be unaware of your purpose.
What do you mean by purpose?
- Why are you on this earth for?
- What the reason for your existence?
This may sound highly philosophical. But, once you realize your purpose, I believe there is nothing stopping you from achieving whatever that is.
Here is my purpose: My purpose is to help 10000 bloggers / writers achieve success online. I am very much committed to this. Everything that I do, leads to this goal.
But, once upon a time, I was not so clear on what my purpose or intention was in life. Once, I realized what my purpose was, I became quite cognizant to my output.
#Your Finances are more important than you think:
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.Epictetus
I took liberty early in my career to spend as I wished. I had a good income. I had not thought about tomorrow. In fact, I had no financial goals. My credit cards were maxed out. This was due to the binge in everything I did in my life; from the daily night outs, partying, traveling.
My income did not keep up with my lifestyle.
And then hell broke loose.
I lost my source of income. And that was a wake up call for me. I did not have any emergency fund to tap into let alone any savings that would help me tide the situation.
Having a broker financial life is by far the most severe trap to come out of. It will spiral into such a tornado and spills into other parts of your life. Many are of the opinion that money is evil or that money does not define who you are. I am of the thought that although money does not solve all your problems, it addresses most of them at least.
The reason for so many ruined lives can be directly tracked back to the mismanagement of the ‘finance’ or ‘money’ area of life. It is of great importance that you come to terms with your finances and have a healthy relationship with money.
#Your Relationships mean everything!
Souls tend to go back to who feels like home.N.R. Heart
I remember the days when I had no particular reason for relationships. I thought I was self sufficient. I did not need anyone to go on with my life.
And my definition of relationship was a convoluted one! I thought relations were the ones which are developed since childhood. I did not know friendship was a kind of relationship. I did not know being a neighbor was a relationship. Being an acquaintance. Being in a team. And so on.
I did not appreciate people in my life. I did not appreciate friends in my life. I did not appreciate a good neighbor. Even a stranger. The ‘ego hunch’ still dominated most aspects of my life.
But when you do realize that life is more than yourself, you will start appreciating the small things in life. And I learnt, what you appreciate, appreciates.
#Health is the Real Wealth:
To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.buddha
Not many of us realize this. Health is indeed the real wealth in your life. A healthy body and healthy mind is the first part of my daily spirituality. I learnt this the hard way.
When I was young, I could recover from anything faster. Most of us think, when we are young that, nothing will impact us. It’s only as the years pass that I too realized that it takes a good relation ship with your mind and body to really enjoy the fruits of your life. All those late night parties and outings have had a toll on my life. I do not say, don’t enjoy life! I am saying enjoy while also being responsible towards your mind and body.
I am sure, you know of many people who are this way. You may be working very hard, trying to earn a lot of money in your job or your business. What good is that wealth if you are not able to enjoy yourself. A huge bank balance is no good if you are bedridden.
Being physically and mentally healthy is a high leverage activity. Take care of it.
What triggered my transformation?
These days, I am a changed man. However, this did not happen overnight. This literally took years of work and dedication.
I realized I need change in my life as many of the people I met kept highlighting that I could do much better in life while I was thinking this was the max I could for myself.
The wake up call was rude. When I did an introspection, I felt that I was not utilizing my skills and talents optimally. And hence began my journey of taking responsibilities into my own hands. Only you can help yourself. Only You.
Following are the ways in which you can transform yourself:
For me this was a no-brainer. Reading books is a high leverage activity for me. To keep this commitment, I at least read variety of books on subjects like Personal Growth, Money, Stock Market and so on. I limit myself to non-fiction books. But you could start with any kind of books that you like.
Books are the easiest way to transfer the knowledge from another person to your brain with low cost attached.
#Taking Online Courses
I regularly take online courses to keep my skills top notch. Take online courses whenever possible. There are many good platforms that provide crisp courses on various topics.
My favorite course topics are Personal Development / Growth, Money, Digital Marketing etc.
Again, this is a cost effective way to learn a new skill.
#Having a Mentor
This world is filled with amazing thinkers, authors, writers, scientists. If you are unable to grasp your life, your career, it is high time that you get in touch with a mentor. My mentor is based in US and I attend the sessions remotely through online video. Proximity does not matter if you are willing to be coachable.
You must accept that you do not know everything.
You may need a coach for different reasons. My coaching is primarily in personal development and writing.
#Networking with People Who You want to be
This was my greatest outcome of my self-evaluation. And following is the lesson:
If you want to be successful at anything, you must know where you want to reach and mingle with the people who are already in a similar position.
This is very simple. But no one tells you this!!
If you want to be an athlete, network with an athlete group. If you want to be an entrepreneur, network with entrepreneurs. This applies to everything. In every group, there will be people you look up to. Learn their story. Live their journey. I am sure, you will reach your destination.
#Setting clear Goals
One area where not many follow meticulously is the personal goals. You may have your goals in your day job or business. But your personal goals are unique to you.
Not many of us have personal goals. In such cases, it is quite hard to define your life path. You give up the ability for your life to go where you want it to and rather let that control go away.
Having definite goals has helped me immensely to get clarity into when I want to say good bye to my day job, what I will do after that, my finances, my relationships and so one.
There are many other ways in which you can transform your life. I have just mentioned the high leverage ones. And everyone is unique. Your ways are unique. Your paths are unique. Your path to success is unique.
Find your sweet spot by introspecting yourself first. I am sure you will find happiness.
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