Things I Learnt This Year

Another year has nearly come to an end. A new decade is set to begin. It’s amazing how time just whisks away.

What’s also amazing is how much we can learn about ourself in time just by paying a little more attention to that sound in our head. After a year of pondering and progress, mistakes and accomplishments, I felt that I should share what I really learnt this year:

1. Just do it, and more importantly, do it fucking now! Create stuff that excites you. Do stuff that scares you. And, if you think you haven’t found your passion…

2. …Procrastinate. It ain’t that bad, as long as you have a desire to start somewhere. Most people never follow their dreams because they are shit scared to open their eyes. Start small, grow organically. The key is to start. Start!

3. Never argue with a fool. They will drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience. Same goes for pseudo-intellects and pedants.

4. Health is wealth. I quit smoking for good this year. Took up swimming instead (after a halt of around 10 years). I’m nearing a kilometer of a swim daily, but what’s significant is that mentally and physically I feel rejuvenated.

5. Have positive people around you. I don’t think that people are inherently “bad”, but some people have a tendency to measuredly create naive obstacles to restrain you from doing what they couldn’t or can’t do. If you fail in your repeated efforts to make such people understand the reality, then at-least don’t react negatively yourself. One persons oasis is another persons reality.

6. Wife is always right. But that doesn’t stop me from doing what I want anyway, or so says the wifey.

7. If you are wrong, say sorry. If you are right, shut up.

8. Never do anything for money alone. Do it for a reason you believe in. Do it for your passion. Relatively, don’t be a miser but be frugal.

9. If something doesn’t excite you (makes you say HELL YEAH), then don’t do it. Family commitments are exempted.

10. The most important things in life are not things. An African saying suggests: “If you want to walk quick, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.”

11. Let bygones be bygones. The only way is forward, so move on. If others want to constantly whine on past grievances, then let them do so. Eventually, they’ll see the bigger picture.

12. The most effective productivity technique that works for me is to just have one goal in a day. If you happen to complete it, then have a second smaller goal, but never have more than one goal a day to start with and more than two goals to end with.

13. Make the World a better place. Again, this doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Don’t expect to change the World over-night. Reduce wastage. Help begins at home and neighbourhood. Start small with Kiva and World Vision. Giving is a good criterion of a person’s mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally-ill.

14. Not everybody agrees to the same things as you do. One must always respect other opinions (so please excuse my rant if you don’t really relate to much of it). Great things happen when people share their opinions, discuss them rationally keeping the larger goal in mind, and reach a simple solution. An interesting thing I took from one of my company meetings was that to make things happen (in an organization or with-in a group of people in general) you need 100% commitment but only 80% agreement.

15. Thank people.

Kudos to some really smart people like Paul Graham, Derek Sivers and many TED speakers who inspired me to prune and spruce my thoughts, and put it all to action in my everyday life.

May the New Year 2010 bring you happiness and good health. Merry Christmas.

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