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.

Photo & layout courtesy: Canva.com

 

Life, Transformation

Fear #Day 15

5

I was on a long call this afternoon today. As I was driving, I was in midst of intense discussion with two overseas colleagues. I was on my phone,

Fortunately, there was no one else in car with me. However, I was not alone. I could feel that there were at least 3 parts of me at this time. My 1/3 was the driver, who was watching out for cars, ensuring that car was following the traffic laws. The driver was very vigilant, but the second 1/3, the supervisor, was critical of his actions. “Hey you missed giving the side indicator while changing the lane.” The supervisor clearly was not happy with proceedings. And then there was the worker, negotiating on phone while the driver and supervisor were having a go at each other.

Normally the drive to Al Ghurair center in Deira would take about 40 minutes, today I didn’t have a clue.

Maybe the time taken was far more, since I was still on a call. While all this action was going on, I parked the car, in a parking slot that I could find, and I don’t remember; I had a had time on my way back. The simple truth was that the supervisor approved it and therefore the driver parked it, while the worker was still at it. None of these guys had a clue.

While the conversation was still on, I had to get out of the car and get to a hotel for a meeting. So I, take the escalator, get out of the parking lot and go on the road. The hotel was on the other side of the road and therefore it involved going over a zebra crossing. But, my worker  was still in his act, trying to find a better argument. While in this zombie state, I could see that the traffic was considerably more in number, and as I look towards my right, something in me tells me it is not right. I look again and in the nick of time retract, and feel the presence of the passing truck, Ford Raptor. Thank dear God for the sound it makes. I immediately get off the call, I will call you back, I say.

If it weren’t for that sound, I wouldn’t have realized that the truck was within the collision distance and threatening the lives of many, not considering my own. It was a time to reflect.

How many times, have I known the the dangers of using a mobile while driving, and still to this day, my first reaction is not a denial. It hasn’t happened to me yet, so therefore for just one last time. I’m sure nothing would happen. What I forget is that all it takes is one incidence to wipe out all your previous statistics, Naseem Nicholas Taleb, and his celebrated book, Black Swan, explains this beautifully. Citing of one black swan in Australia, disapproved the truth held for so long that the swans are only white.

My mind knows everything, has infinite intelligence and represents flawless craft. Still, it hasn’t prevented me from talking on mobile on road. Driving while using mobile on the road is equivalent to drunk driving. Texting is worst, a study shows that a driver is 23 times more likely to encounter accident than other, because the driver spends a large proportion of his attention on mobile screen than on the road. Somehow, observations and instructions from supervisor does make sense, however hasn’t translated into a behavior. Not yet.

Fear is a very powerful emotion and has one of the most profound impact, provided we use it correctly. To the wrath of my contrarians, who would like to be fearless and would like to extract every ounce of fear you possess, I would disagree. I would like to be left with some amount of fear, because fear is one of the greatest motivator. Fear is the best  catalyst you can find, like a nitrous boost for A Fast & Furious Movie car and with the ability to propel you in the outer-space. If you use fear properly, it can change behavior.

Running was not a natural one-day-out-of-bed event. One of the evening, I realized that I’m becoming a burden with a oversized belly. My father was similar, and had a heart problem, which runs in our family. And what if I succumb to it, what would happen to my family? Gripped with this fear, I realized that there was no better way to get as far away as possible from the situation than running. The fear of losing health and haggardness drives me up every morning, to wake up during hours of the day, when there couldn’t be anything more comfortable than the bed. And then it translated to eating healthy, so that I could run better and lose weight and further on, my gym routine etc. But the truth is it all started from fear, fear of not being around for my family.

We do start our year with big motivation and great resolve, and what I would add to it is a layer of fear. Those few things which you definitely want to do, use fear as the task master with a whip (a.k.a, PK Simmons of Whiplash). I have heard a 1000 Rs. bet, which has been successful in changing behaviors. So the method goes like like this, with someone whom you trust the most, say your mentor, you give him Rs.1000 (the more the better) and commit that if you develop a specific habit, you will ask back for the money, and if you don’t, he/she gets to keep the money. The chances are likely that you would end up changing your behavior because of fear of losing the money (fear of poverty).

The only word of caution here is that, if you fear always, the chances are likely that you may become oblivious to it or it may consume you. You can’t be always on the dark side and you would have to ultimately start enjoying the new found love. You have to start appreciating the new attention that you would get once you lose weight. If you let fear overpower you, it won’t be sustainable, it would be stressful, destructive and self deprecating. You will become a maniac. Use fear well.

For me, today was an eye opener. And if I’m not able to change my resolve of not using the phone, while I’m on the road (driving or walking), I’m going to be using the AED 1,000 wager.

Any takers for that?

Image & layout courtesy: Canva.com