This is part 2 of the post : 21 lessons learned so far. Read the part 1 here : [Link]
- Do you own thinking.
Often I get advice from people and it never ends. Some advices are good, some are bad. If I had listened and acted on all of them, I wouldn’t be here where I am today. That’s why I love this quote by Robert Downey Jr., “Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” Because in the end, you only take responsibility and credit of either failing or succeeding.
“Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece” ~ Ralph Charell
- Read stories of successful people, don’t adopt their personality.
I started reading few auto-biographies of successful people lately and have found the whole process very inspiring. One can learn a lot by reading biographies. It makes you wise. But, what I fear about immersing myself into such inspiring stories is I will start adopting their personality too which is the first step towards losing my original self.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” ~Judy Garland
- People older than you also have had dreams. Start pushing them towards achieving it.
My mother used to paint a lot before marriage. Gradually after marriage, her pace kept slowing down and after few years it completely stopped. But that passion for painting was never over. Likewise, everyone’s parent must have dreamt something. But over the years, after getting married and sacrificing everything for their families, they have just lost the spark.
I strongly feel that it’s our (child’s) responsibility too to push them towards doing things they always wanted to do. Remember? It’s never too late to start something.
“The stars are not going to align themselves perfectly for you to start any day.” ~The four hour work week
- Keep shuffling your music playlist.
To my amazement, research have shown that listening to the same playlist for long enough kills creativity and restricts thinking. Best solution is to keep shuffling your playlist every now and then to stay fresh and to let creative juices flow in your body.
“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” ~Henry David Thoreau
- Always keep a book to read.
I wasn’t a reader earlier. Not even in a least possible manner. In one of my trips to Varanasi in 2010, my cousin gifted me this book named :The Alchemist, mentioning “this is the book you should read or start with”. 2 weeks later I found that I like this process of discovering something new all of a sudden which gives a new perspective on life and also answers some of the questions. Since then I have read quite a few books. And the experience and knowledge I have gained, has made me more wiser.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
- Getting married can wait. Build something.
There are lot of things we know without having done it earlier. Like we know how marriage works and what are the challenges (almost). We know how it feels to get a job and do a 9-5 work everyday. Seen my dad and many others doing it. And the list goes on. On the other hand building or doing something which no one has ever built or done, be it concept/real product or few years of continuous travel for example, is extra ordinary. Those are few things we have to experience ourselves.
“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” ~Jim Rohn
- Success brings acquaintances, friends and lovers . But above all, don’t loose sight of the end goal.
I designed a concept alarm clock (singNshock) and submitted the image to YankoDesign for publication in early 2013. They liked the design and published it the next week. To my amazement the design was all over the internet within a week after YankoDesign published it. I was flying high, I must say. It brought me a lot of traction and branded me as a designer in the industry. I have now friends from different parts of the world. Some are designers, some are entrepreneurs, some are writers and so on. But above all, that fame was only for the moment.
And fortunately I am surrounded by people who every now and then keeps my goal in check. Never let fame lure you out of what you have dreamt of.
“If you come to fame not understanding who you are, it will define who you are.” ~Oprah Winfrey
- People are smarter than you think. Give them the responsibility and show that you trust them.
While working with one startup few months back I realized that people around us whom we thought couldn’t take much responsibility of (for example) being in-charge of the project and running it successfully, did just the opposite. Not only they completed the project in time, they also added new features to the product which we never thought of implementing. This happened only because we gave them the responsibility and showed trust even when we weren’t sure.
“The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.” ~Gisele Bundchen
- Always smile when you enter a room.
According to Mystery, one of the best pickup artists in the world, “The number one characteristic of an alpha male is smile. Smile when you enter a room. As soon as you walk in a club or a room full of people, the game is on. And by smiling, you look like you’re together, you’re fun, and you’re somebody.” ~Quoted by Neil Strauss in his book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.
“A smile is the universal welcome.” ~Max Eastman
- Networking will only help when you have already done something.
Recently I attended an event named THE COALITION, a platform to support creative entrepreneurs in India. It was a 3 day event aiming to be a platform where new collaborations can happen, people can get to know other creative fields, people can pitch ideas to investors and so on. It took me only 1 full day at the event to realize that this is not my time to be at these kind of events.
I had my designs in place, I had my concepts at place, but in real world ideas alone don’t work. One really need a real prototype of his/her idea. Otherwise everything I say is worthless. That is why I didn’t attended the rest of the event because networking there only have had helped me if I had anything to show, a working prototype of my ideas.
- Practice writing.
Doesn’t matter what I write. I just write about any topic now a days.
Why? Because it has :
- Improved my writing skills
- Improved my reading speed
- Enhanced my vocabulary
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Keep smiling and DO MORE 🙂