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.]
STRONG MIND AND BODY IN 2013.
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.
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.
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.
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…]
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 what and when I can.
A major part is of this is sharing what I know.
Help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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.
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.
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 …………………………………………………………….