5 words for 2013

5 words for 2013

5 words for 2013

Every year I choose 5 words for focus and clarity.

My 5 words for 2013 are

(Be)  strong,  learn, laugh, give,  and  do.

–> IMPORTANT: This post is as much about me as it is about You. There are lots of takeaways for anyone keen to take them away. If you are keen – then go on. I LOVE YOU.

–> [TO SELF: This post is better, thanks to my email exchange with FishingBuddha. Thanks Amit.]

–> [The notes I have shared below are written with intent to help your find focus in your life — if you wish.

I can also come back later — say in 2025 and see how I was thinking in 2013. Like I can now see what I was thinking/doing in  2012, 2011 or 2010 and earlier. I encourage you to write (think about) your 5 words or focus words for this year.]

(Be) Strong.

Strong mind and body

Strong mind in strong body


That’s the motto.

I practiced martial arts a teenager and started meditating even before that. I am sure some of that will come handy in my quest.

Today only, my mom was checking out old books — some of them I bought even before my teen years. Books by Paul Brunton and other Indian sages – guess I will dig into them again.

So it will be meditation, a solid daily routine with focus on sleep, food and exercise.

Also good thoughts, good deeds and good words.

Rest I will research and ask for help.



Young or old – learn new things.

Learning is my way of growing.

To learn, I read, look around and ask questions.

For many years I read a lot — then I stopped totally.

Started again couple of years back.

Last year I read — or at least ordered 🙂 a good deal of books. I went to my regular bookshop for old world charm to buy some of them but Amazon was the bigger beneficiary.

This year I want to take it to a new level.

Sure there will be some leisure reading that I do every day, but most of it will be to implement and do – what I read.

Once I finish reading – I will write to record what I learn. All of it will not be here, but some of it will be – and you will get to see (read) it.

I will also seek help from those who know more – if and when needed.

But reading, writing (and asking questions) will constitute a major part of my learning.

Reading and writing are important activities – so sharing a bit more.



For 3 reasons.

1. To write better.

2. To learn more to be able to run my business well.

3. And, just because I am  curious.

Here my plan of 50 pages a day should work well.


I write,

1. To record my thoughts.

2. To share.

3. For clear thinking.

4. I write also to connect and  ignite discussions.

See how these posts on  starting a business  (60 comments and growing),  TEDx Event (22 comments  and many more emails from across the globe),  student  startup  and making more money  created connections and generated ideas.

When it happens, I feel happy and privileged. Thanks everyone who noticed, asked questions and connected.

5. Writing also makes me accountable.

See how I first shared about my  no metrics experiment and then came back to share results  a month later.

With no accountability, chances of slipping are more. Like these days — when I am again diving deep into metrics but thanks to that experiment I am more mindful when I do that now.

Writing is also part of my why as it helps me uncover and go within the depths of my being.

My goals for writing were different when I started. I wanted to be seen and heard.

Now I write more for joy 🙂 and sense of satisfaction – more than anything else.

[Not that I do not want to be seen and heard any more :).

To be true to myself and to you, I will not be motivated to write here — if you were not reading — so keep reading and also share this post with one or more of your friends if you like it…]



Laugh when you can.. it helps.

I laugh more than many.

Thanks to many (and some very) bright sparkles in my life.

But I feel that over past couple of years — I have worked more and laughed a little less.

So back to laughing a lot.

More so because when you laugh without abandon – it makes your inner light brighter.

I will still work — but find more time to laugh and break bread with those who matter.

The idea is be happy – and give joy to all those you meet.

Does it mean – that I will laugh while negotiating a business deal? May be, we will see 🙂

To make it simple – I will do things that put smile on my face and those I meet. I will do it every day.

Will you give it a shot?

Do you laugh as much you should?

Think about and share in comments…



Give before you get

Give what and when I can.

A major part is of this is sharing what I know.

Help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Help young people find focus in life.

My writing is also my way of giving back.

I learnt a lot by reading what other generous soul wrote and share — and continue to do so.

Now, time to give back.

Though this way I get more than I give, but still it starts with intent of sharing what I know.

I feel happy when you send me emails.

If there is anything I can help you with — write to me here.

We can brainstorm ideas for your startup, discuss growth strategy if you have an existing business or talk about finding focus and setting goals. Happy to share what I know.

Overall I intend to give back to my loved one — I am still thinking of ways, give back to humanity — as  cliched  as it may sound – with an open heart and lots of love.

For me, it is about genuinely helping others – to Be generous with your gifts.

I do it by finding ways ways to help. Better if I do it without  expecting  anything in return. (This is an ideal situation – but worth giving a try).

The goal is to be a mentor first and an advisor later – if at all. Brad Feld said it best, when he asked people to  give before you get.


You can do it.

Yes we can.

All that I have said so far is nothing but words if I do not take any action on it.

Words without are action are better not said.

Doing or taking action is an important if you want to close the gap between dreams and reality.

After you know — what you want to do and why you should do — it is important that you take action.

Ideas without action will not take you anywhere — unless you run an ideation business (a business that generates ideas for others).

It is easy to fall in no action zone, the zone filled with anxiety and only day dreaming.

You need to be alert. I for sure — need to be on toes about it. Because if I am not mindful of my actions — it is easy to slip, because not doing anything is easy — even worse is doing something which looks like work — but is not even close to it. Checking emails — first thing in the morning, surfing the web for endless hours — looks like work because you spend hours engaging your brain — but it is not work.

It is easy to waste time that you have on hands.

So doing everyday what matters is important.

And when I work I know it makes sense to  work better, not harder.

And what matters to me – happiness, success, moving from point A to B – being a better man than I was last year, taking caring of my well being and of those around me.

Making an impact also matters to me – not in a “I am big listen to me” way but in “This is my world and it is my responsibility to make it a better place” way.

For doing work — setting goals is important — setting milestones is important.

If you are a pro like Leo Babauta — you may leave goals aside. Even if you are a pro – jury is still out on this.

But for normal beings like us it make sense to have milestones and goals.

One thing that is really good — is PICK FOUR  and writing your goals down  (Disclaimer: I was part of The Domino Project (TDP) street team, the  publishing  outfit behind “Pick Four”. But I that is not why I recommend it. I do because it works.

I you want to move without it – then go with the simple premise –  pick 4 important goals in four areas of your life. And then do one thing about each one of these goals 5 days a week for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks you would have made progress – far better than you imagined.

It is common sense — and if you do it, it will work.

If you are not sure what to do – then start with just  doing good.

I will come and share how it all is going for me – middle of the year or later, so stay tuned between now and then –  because  you will have more good stuff coming.

If you read so far… do me a  favor  complete  the  sentence  below. By doing so – you will also do yourself some good :).

Now complete this sentence in comments.

In 2013, my focus words are …………………………………………………………….

Photo Credits: 5, strong, learn,  laugh, give, do,


  1. Leah Anderson

    I loved reading this.
    Like many of us I make new year resolutions.
    Still this approach of using focus words – is worth a try
    Not that I do not stick to my resolutions – this one is just simpler.
    After thinking a bit – i’d say my focus words this year are ……….. Money, love, travel…
    thx for doing this!

  2. Jigyasa

    Reading you makes life simpler!

    Though once we finish reading…..the difficulty arrives, nevertheless….I would like to focus on Work, Money, Read, Share & Travel (hopefully)….

    Wish you great times with your 5 words Mohit 🙂

  3. sheila

    Hi Mohit,

    This sounds great! I’m going to join you in accountability by putting it in print.

    In 2013 my focus words are application, nurturing, be strong, be alive

    application- I need to apply what I know and stop collecting new information. Like your “do” focus, this should be my mantra for the year “words without action are better not said”

    nurturing- I want to continue to come from a foundation of nurturing. I see love as nurturing growth in every imaginable way in oneself and others. I often wonder why it is so easy for people to block growth.

    be strong- I don’t think anything works well if your mind and body are not nourished. It’s easy to drop the ball on this and I have at times in 2012. I’m focusing on whole foods that are “alive” because I feel much more vibrant and energetic. I plan on movement 2-3 times a day 20 mins each time via walking, tai chi, bike riding. I want to deepen my commitment to meditation : ) even if I only have 10 mins.

    be alive- I want to do things that take me out of automatic pilot and make me feel alive. Each day, one tiny or big thing that lights me up.

    Good luck with your words Mohit…looking forward to an update!

    I love the name fishing buddha it caught my eye because of a little meditation poem I wrote about 10 years ago when I was feeling a little stuck in my circumstances and I realized the power of meditation. If I may, I thought I would share it.

    Salmon meditation

    If the netted salmon
    meditates hard enough
    he could find a hole.
    After all,
    nets are nothing but holes linked together.
    If he swims upstream to shape-shifting buoyancy
    he may find his other
    krilly self.
    The one that fits through the netted holes
    that catch salmon.

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing it. It’s just that the name fishing buddha made me smile and I thought of it : ) I’m going to pop over there and check it out.


  4. Mohit Pawar

    Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for sharing your focus words and interesting poem – and also for your wishes.

    Wish that you find “a new you” through these words and practice.

    Sure, i will share updates about how it goes 🙂

    – mohit

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