Life, Transformation

How to become a millionaire in 10 steps #Day 22

EVERY BALL COUNTS (1)

A humble submission and resolution for next half of the new year.

  1. I won’t read any self help books
  2. I won’t read any blog or article that begin with headers such as “How to become a millionaire in 10 steps.”

This is at the cost of the blog not being popular or my inability to simplify life and experiences for the mass majority. I guess we lack patience and the rigor to go through the drill. Or possibly, the life too short to be enjoyed as a journey. I feel, we all have unique experiences and each of which makes this planet a better place to live in. If there was a formula, commercialization of this idea wouldn’t have been a problem and it would been biggest funded venture capitalists startup.

Such articles follow a typical methodology

  • They start with a successful personality and trace his life. Put in perspective all his/her hardships etc.
  • They look at few common traits such as courage, optimism, risk taking, etc and comment on the traits. “Taking risk” would be by far the most citied term. And encourage you to take risk and follow path.
  • Celebrate and equate “Risk taking” to amount of wealth generated, the most respected symbol for success.

Reading autobiographies are better because at least it is first hand. At the same time, we are assuming that all the facts mentioned in the memoir are true and verified. Whatever be the consideration, the success outweighs any other factor. By another argument, “Failure”, though a celebrated word in our context, won’t be seen as a successful plot; will have few takers. Have you read memoirs of anyone who has been failure? Probably none, because the chances are more likely that such stories wouldn’t have been written. Though such people in normal life would have demonstrated the same set of traits, courage, optimism and risk taking, however there exists a fine line between success and failure.

I was inspired by one of the section in Malcolm Gladwell’s book that I’m reading, David & Goliath, underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants. He dedicates a section to a Hollywood personality, who had been very successful. He began working very early in his life because his father would ask him to fund half of everything, pester him if he left the light switch on, “We are paying for you being lazy.” His father had a scrap metal business, where he worked and swore that he would never get back there again. So left with no choice he had to chart is own journey of being financial independent. His father had 3 sons who were motivated and did well in their work. I’m sure, few would be interested in the father’s side of the story. And even after reading, they may wonder where is it going. Unfortunately, what is learnt can never be taught.

Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught- Oscar Wilde

Mr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book, The Black Swan, calls such phenomenon as the Silent evidence. He cites the story of drowned worshippers to further elaborate. One Diagoras, a non-believer in Gods was presented with a tablet which had portraits of worshipper, who prayed and survived shipwreck. Diagoras asked a very pertinent question, “What about the people who prayed and then drowned?”. The chances are likely that the dead worshippers won’t be available to pose as model or share the experience. To establish the truth we will take the part of reality that appeals to us the most. According to Mr. Taleb, the neglect of the silent evidence is the endemic to the way we study comparative talent, particularly in activities that have winner-take-it-all-attitude.

Phoenicians are credited to have invented the first written script. They were merchants and need a method to measure commerce. As it is said about the Egyptians, who used tablets to keep a record of treasury. The utility of these method was to facilitate the understanding and not just rely on memory. This wasn’t art, plain simple arithmetic. It served a purpose, it helped us count. It was real.

We may enjoy what we may see, but there is no point in reading too much, because we don’t see the full picture. The only complete picture that we have is of ours, which maybe ordinary, but is true and real. It requires courage to accept it as is.

And there couldn’t be better learning about success than from our own. Each day and every hour and the celebration of the ordinary, the mundane and the inconsequential. It is the most influential story that you can ever write.

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Life

Goal #Day 21

EVERY BALL COUNTS

The England Croatia match would be probably one of the worst semi finals. I was in a sports bar watching a match, where the English fans were outnumbered, not in their voice or spirit. I wish their players played like one.

Good part about being from a country which never makes it to world cup football is that I can support any team I like and at the same time I can change my favorite. England clearly started off as favorites, with the star players amongst whom, Harry Kane would be considered one of England’s all time soccer stars. I have found England to be a one man army. I can recall only single players from memory – Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, and Wayne Rooney, with no recollection of any other member. However, this time, was different. England had few other players, other than Harry Kane, such as Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, and could be considered one of the better England teams. I though they had a chance.

Sadly, England gave the game away, they didn’t go after the ball. They lacked finishers spirit & celebrated victory too early.

I started watching the game, when England had already scored the first goal, brilliant free kick by Kieran Trippier in the 5th minute. Thankfully, I was happy I didn’t see the goal, else I could have changed my mind about England. The English team did pass the ball and had about 4 great chances. Right fully, they could have been 3-0 in the first half. However, it felt like, England had already won the game in their minds. None of the players went after the ball and trying to score another. They didn’t have pace, they didn’t have the spirit. The game went on in insipid fashion; I was only hoping that the game doesn’t go into extra time, which would have been extra waste of time. Credit to the England team, they dominated the first half of the game.

On the other hand, Croatia was much spirited. It took them some time to get their act together, but you could see that they didn’t give up. This was their second semis and they wanted to make it a special one. Croatia team had many misses, but kept on creating more opportunities. Croatia in the 68th minute with Ivan Perisic scored the equalizer. Though their attack was not as fast as French, but they kept the momentum. The English team didn’t see it coming and still played the same way. Harry Kane missed an important pass, he couldn’t see the ball come. Lazy body language.

In the extra time, the better team triumphed. Croatia won 2-1 and deserved every bit of the game. They went after every opportunity, after every ball.

Maybe France will win the world cup, but today was Croatia’a day and the victory of their never dying spirit.

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Life, Transformation

Humility #Day 20

100% (8)

I had been following with the gentleman’s office for almost 10 days, and I got his direct number eventually. Menon was known to be a tough professionally and very straight in talk. I had never met him, and this was my first interaction. Menon’s background indicated that he had been at helm of affairs for a considerable period and therefore a decision maker. He was an important contact and I was convinced that my product and service could deliver him incremental results. My enthusiasm showed in my fast delivery of introduction. He told me to call him back. And so he did the third time.

These interaction were during the Ramadan days, when work hours are short. In Dubai, people are relatively easy at work during these days. There is no pressure, because a large number of the day is spent in prayers. I was determined to call Menon again and so I did. And this time to my surprise, I did get his attention. I again introduced what I did. While speaking this time I got a sense that I very little time to make an impression. And what I did that day goes as a lesson for the rest of my life, not to be repeated. Absolutely.

Menon (sounding hasty): So what do you want?

Me: I need to meet you to explain about our service. I have studied your business and I believe we can deliver you results.

Menon (sounding still hasty): What is your summary?

Me: I can send you the opportunity gaps that we have found, which may help us increase your business.

Menon (completely losing it): You don’t have to tell me what I need to do.

Me: Mr. Menon, I haven’t even started to give you recommendations. Moreover, you can use it only when you have debated internally. It is your business.

Menon: No I don’t need your recommendation or your business. I hope this is the last interaction that we are having.

Me (completely losing it): It is your loss. I hope you do well in your business.

I remember my last emotions; it was anger, contempt and hatred for Menon. How can he deny me without listening to me? He is so fixated. And the thoughts went on and on. Clearly, Menon’s rigidity had made me upset and I was very livid. And it was also true that I had lost the business and an opportunity which may have resulted in large contract. It was not just opportunity loss, it was a deeper regret.

It was a habit that costed me tremendous opportunity and I decided never to do that again. I reacted and that was incorrect. When Menon told me that He didn’t want me tell him what he needed to do, I started hating him for his loftiness. I was saw him as abusing his position of power that he held in this relationship. I felt like a victim, which is where I was defeated.

When you are consumed by emotions, it is not the best time to make a decision. Reaction is even worse. There are more chances that you would regret it later. No matter how bad the situation is, the humility counts.

In the interaction with Menon, and in the heat of the moment, I ignored the good and let the untamed part of me take control. I wished I were more calm and requested if there was another time that I could call back. Maybe he would have thanked me later when he would have witnessed an increased business.

I also lost my focus on the outcome, which was to do business. And this was the larger worry. When we lose focus of the merit of discussion and get governed by the emotions, no one wins. The emotions shouldn’t decide the outcome, you should. Maybe I should have paused and kept the speaker off my ears.

Or maybe I should have just listened. There are many possible alternatives, but the reality stood unchanged.

After few day I shared this incident with my friend. He laughed. I laughed too, I felt lighter. Lesson learnt and time to move on.

Maybe I should write a book with the usual bestseller title: The Subtle Art of Not Taking Things Too Seriously.  

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