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Category: motivation


Ever got the feeling that you are just faking it in life? As though most people around us are great, always acing their work, while we are struggling to fill our shoes?

We know that this is the imposter syndrome at play.

Is it normal? Absolutely. There’ll always be some level of self-doubt in us, which leads to this. A few famous personalities, nay Gods or superhumans, themselves had imposter syndrome!

1) Lord Rama when he was enlisted by Rishis Vishwamitra and Vashishta to fight some demons that were troubling them.

2) Lord Hanuman when he was asked to cross the ocean and go to Lanka in search of Sita.

3) Arjuna the greatest warrior of all, when he went to the Kurukshetra battlefield, was terrified of fighting.

4) Post the war, King Yudhishtira, Dharma raja himself went into depression and had to be reminded of his kingly duties!

If these maestros struggled with imposter syndrome, then why should we worry? Of course, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prep well before a test or performance or interview and so on. It might also be okay for us to cultivate comfort in expressing our lack of confidence, which in turn displays true confidence and provides reassurance even in professional settings. This approach can help us stay humble and grounded.

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We all know what unconditional love is. Such as the love we have for our parents and spouses and children. There is no condition that is attached. They do not have to do anything for us for our love to exist. This love is not transactional.

Similarly, there is unconditional creation. When creation becomes conditional, we call it “work”, or after a lovely Sunday, we call it “Monday morning blues”.

If we want to make money, that’s good. But our goal of making money is never the end, only a means to an end. Because the money itself is useless. It is a means for us to buy what we want or earn status in society. Thus whatever we create in order to get money becomes conditional. We are creating something to get something else, and hence we can never enjoy the process.

In unconditional creation, we work because we want to. No conditions attached. No T&Cs. Just unconditional chill.

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Lights, camera, action

Have you ever been told that your idea is impossible? Remember the Chinese proverb: “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” In other words, don’t let the doubters hold you back from taking action.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says (Chapter 2, Verse 47): “You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work.” So, our focus must be on putting in our best effort without getting hung up on the outcome.

But let’s be real – sometimes, despite our best efforts, things just don’t go as planned. In those moments: Karma Yoga to the rescue! This is the philosophy that teaches us to perform our duties with dedication and detachment, without getting too attached to the outcome.

So, next time someone tells us our idea is impossible, remember the Chinese proverb, channel your inner Karma Yogi, and go for it anyway. And if it doesn’t work out, well… at least we can say we tried!

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Success comes from where? – part 2 of 2

Yesterday was one take on success and with a couple of examples. All good.

But my Guru provided the real secret behind success recently in a short note he had penned. Pasted verbatim below:

There is only one thing that will catapult you to the skies, and that is MAKE OTHER PERSON WIN. Not once or twice, but all the time, even in a dream! But this is very difficult - Why?  Because we are immersed in ourselves. NO HABIT of praising others. We want praise only for ourselves. We need to praise others every moment. 

That’s the true secret!

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Success comes from where? – part 1 of 2

In his book “Give and Take,” Adam Grant makes a powerful argument for the impact of generosity in achieving success. According to Grant, our success often hinges on our interactions with others, and those who are willing to be generous and giving are more likely to achieve their goals.

One example that Grant provides is the story of David Hornik, a venture capitalist who goes above and beyond to assist entrepreneurs even when there’s no direct financial gain for him. Hornik’s willingness to help others has resulted in a network of successful entrepreneurs who are happy to work with him again in the future.

Another example is the case of Adam Rifkin, a thriving entrepreneur who spends a significant amount of time mentoring and advising others. Rifkin believes that by helping others succeed, he’s also helping himself succeed. His generosity has rewarded him with a strong network and numerous prosperous business ventures.

These examples demonstrate the power of giving and helping others in achieving success. By being generous and offering help without expecting anything in return, we can cultivate meaningful relationships, gain valuable experience, and ultimately accomplish our goals.

The road to success isn’t always linear the way we often expect it to be. Sometimes, the key to attaining our objectives lies in helping others achieve theirs. We could hence strive to be giving and generous in our interactions with others, and see where it takes us.

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Failing to succeed

In an NBA post-match press conference recently, star baller Giannis Antetokounmpo was quizzed by a journalist, on failure. The usual, “would you consider this a failure now that you’ve lost this important game?”

The NBA star countered beautifully.

He asks the journalist if he gets promoted every year at work. Of course not!

And so if you do not get promoted at work one year, then are you considered a failure? Is that year considered a failure? Of course not!

It’s just one stepping stone after another on the path to success.

Nay, traversing the path itself is success!

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Meditating rats

Which God to pray to? What position to meditate in? What shlokas to chant? How many maalas to recite? What time to pray? How many and which all temples to visit? Should one follow a specific spiritual path or explore multiple paths? Can one be spiritual without a traditional concept of God? What happens to consciousness after physical death? Is it better to focus on personal spiritual growth or on serving others? How can one find meaning and purpose in life? Is there a definitive path to enlightenment? What is the role of faith and doubt in spiritual practice? How can one balance material success with spiritual values? Can one transcend the limitations of the physical body and mind? What is the relationship between individual spirituality and organized religion?”

Phew, so many questions, and so few answers.

No wonder then, that a recent comic was so funny, as it read, “I quit the rat race for spiritual well-being and learnt to be content with material wealth.”

Contentment is key ????

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Punchnama – part 2 of 2

While it’s easy to say we need to relax and breathe when the punches flow fast and thick, is there something we can keep in mind to make the process easier?


One, is to practise getting many punches. Keep putting out our best work, and be shameless in seeking feedback, no matter how bad or good.

Two, is to keep moving. Not to evade the punches, but to grow from them. To use the message for improvement, while ignoring the messenger and their mode of delivery.

Three, is to always remember that our work is what we do, and not who we are. If we take things too personally, that’s a setup waiting for disaster. As Keynes said, in the long run, we’re all dead. So no tension!

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Punchnama – part 1 of 2

How do we take punches? Not literal ones. Just the ones where we get negative feedback.

Even though we’ve done our very best, there are things outside our control. Our intent might have been perfect, but sometimes stuff does hit the fan.

Can we do anything about it now? If the answer is no, then it might be a good idea to just relax and take a chill pill.

If you are someone who is creative and imaginative, then it’s likely you are going to conjure up some wild images of the worst that could happen.

As they say, fear is just imagination taking a wrong turn.

It’s okay to get bad criticism. Or negative reviews. It’s not the end of the world. The world honestly couldn’t care less. If we didn’t care much either, we’d bounce back in no time.

But is this all there is to it? More tomorrow!

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Success is yours!

Success in life is plenty about “who you know”.

Everyone knows this, and most people hence try to keep knocking on as many doors as possible, hoping someone will suddenly notice them and give them a pot of gold.

Nope, not how the real world works, according to a book on success that I had the chance to flip through at a bookstore.

“Who you know” comes from “who you are” and “what you have to offer”.

“Who we are” is a function of our values and ethics.

“What we have to offer” is a function of the work we do.

If we work on these two aspects, then everything else, success included, will follow.

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There are many ways to be disciplined.

You can do things every year. Every minute, every hour. Every week, every month.

But none of these are as good as a single day.

The sun rises and sets with a rhythm. It’s observable, and we humans “get it”.

If success is in our crosshairs, all we need to do, is to keep building our body of work, day after day after day, and before you know it, years will have gone by, with all that work having turned to gold.

But is it easy?

As the comedian Russell Brand says, “One day at a time. It sounds so simple. It actually is simple but it isn’t easy: it requires incredible support and fastidious structuring. “

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To a great degree

There are some people who think that education and degrees are everything.

Education and degrees do matter, but context matters more.

If you are stranded in a desert with no water, or stuck in a hostage situation, or some other life threatening emergency, survival often depends on resourcefulness, not on academic credentials.

A great many people remain depressed because their circumstances did not permit them to study enough. Several others are depressed because they studied a lot, but their day jobs do not allow them their freedom of expression.

For many creative pursuits, for entrepreneurship, for forging solid relationships with others, it is empathy and emotional intelligence that is critical. Formal degrees and education may provide some stepping stones, but beyond that, it is all individual passion and grit.

The best work truly comes when done in service (seva) for the sake of a greater purpose and greater good. Those who do not understand this, will keep looking for degrees and credentials.

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Tools for success

When it comes to most people and their work, the thought process is that the more sophisticated their tools, the better they would be able to do their jobs.

It’s probably true to some extent. Like some high tech imaging devices would surely help the medical fraternity and/or the astromoer fraternity and so on.

Tools like our mobile phones with Google-ji in it have replaced many many tasks that we previously had to do manually.

But still, there is beauty in watching someone work their art, especially with limited tools. A world class guitarist can produce mesermizing music from his guitar even if one string is broken, but for a newbie guitar player, even the world’s costliest guitar will be of limited value.

A doctor I went to see recently had the smallest practice room, a stethoscope, a torch, and a magnifying glass – that’s it! But the serpentine queue outside his clinic told me a story no different from the world class guitarist.

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How many will remember us once we are no more?

Maybe a few close ones, and that too for a very short period of time.

Life soon goes on.

People find ways to cope, and over 99% of the people in your life wouldn’t even think about you anymore.

All the stress and anxiety you put yourself through in order to please these same others…. Poof!

It will help to think of all this the next time we stress about something. Who are we really living for?

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Quit or Grit? – part 2 of 2

While we know we should not quit, it is important to identify where all our efforts need to be put in first.

There are many things we chase after – money, status, promotion, bonus, relationships, properties and what not.

We cannot get eveything. But we can perhaps get what we want if we choose wisely and work with full focus.

This choosing, implicitly involves “quitting” some things. Which is great.

But my Guru says that all of these need to be quit. Not necessarily physically, but mentally. All the attachments to the material world need to be quit. It takes an insane amount of grit to do that. More than the grit required to succeed in any material discipline.

So, from a spiritual point of view, it’s really not a question of Grit versus Quit. It’s always Grit and Quit.

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Quit or grit? – part 1 of 2

This is the question posed to us in a very interesting book called Quit, by Annie Duke.

We’ve been told since forever, that we just shouldn’t give up. Perseverance is the key to success. Quitting is for losers. If you give up, the world has no place for you. And on and on, there’s so many of these messages and quotes and what not – we’ve all been at the receiving end of many of such.

But Annie is one of the best poker players in the world, and she knows a thing or two about quitting. If you’ve played poker, you know that no matter how much luck you have on your side, you can’t keep winning every single game.

She summarizes beautifully:

Success does not lie in sticking to things. It lies in picking the right thing to stick to and quitting the rest.

But where does spirituality fit in to this? Find out here tomorrow!

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Don’t wait for…

Was reading an interview by Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft.

The question he was asked was whether early in in his career after joining Microsoft, did he think he would make CEO some day?

Mr Nadella’s answer was awesome, because he said he never even once thought about becoming CEO, as he was focused purely on excelling in his current (at the time) work.

Here’s his killer advice in his own words:

Don't wait for your next job to do your best work. 

We can even remove the words “for your next job” from the above sentence, and it would be great advice for anything and everything we do in life!

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100% successful

Yes, you know who that is? Who’s 100% successful?

Why, it’s you of course!

If you’re reading this, it means that you have succeeded against all odds, all failures, all problems, and have still made it to today.

You are 100% successful at not having been defeated by your worst days.

Isn’t that such an optimistic thought?

What can you not achieve in the future, with such an untouchable inimitable success rate behind you?

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Believe the height? Or hype?

What do you think the ideal height of a basketballer should be? What about the height of a pro basketballer? And what of one who plays for the world famous all star Harlem Globetrotters? 7 feet? Or 6 and a half feet? Or at least 6 feet right?

Maybe you’ve never heard of Mani Love then. His height? Wait for it…

4 feet, 5 inches.

Think I’m kidding? Please watch a few YouTube videos of his. Like maybe this one.

It’s insane what he can do. Some of his moves, no 7-footer can ever pull off.

But if we were limited to 4 feet 5, would we have the belief in ourselves to achieve what he has?

What other self-imposed limitations are impeding us today?

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Raising the bat

Raising the bat is common in cricket, when the batsman scores a 100 runs. A century.

The batters raise their bats if they score 200 or 300 as well, or even more.

But there was one occasion where a batter raised his bat after scoring just 1 run.

Yes, your read that right, one, not one hundred.


Because in his prior 6 innings, he had got out for a duck, i.e. a grand score of zero.

It would have been a problem only if this guy didn’t come out to bat the 7th time around. But he did. And he celebrated that 1 run with aplomb!

A great lesson for me in persistence, and in self-deprecating humor. ????

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