One night, I opened my diary and started writing “Rules to live by” – basically some principles or learnings that have served me well. This is with the hope that tomorrow if my son doesn’t see me when he grows up, he can read these as second best option.
I realized I gave similar lessons to anyone on my team in Google who comes to me for advice. So, I figured I would write it down and put it on my page for others to see if they can find utility. If nothing else, this serves as digital backup of my diary. 🙂
While each of these deserve a dedicated post, I am not sure when I will find time to write detailed posts on each rule but happy to answer questions, discuss anything.
While I wrote these from memory, I don’t claim originality. Lot of these things are probably something I learnt from others over the years.
Here it goes,
Rules to live by:
- If comfortable, change!
- It’s always the people! (Even in hard core machine oriented tech business, it’s still always about people)
- Avoid mediocrity (group think or herd mentality) at all cost!
- Always choose the harder path! That’s where maximum growth exists which will pay leveraged dividends in future!
- Improve daily by some amount, no matter how small! Make time to learn something new every day. (Growth Mindset)
- Grit – don’t ever give up! If you want to win a race of most amount of time on a treadmill – either you win or other person is calling ambulance!
- Pursuit of Excellence! Always set a very high bar for yourself and over time for people around you!
- Lead by example! In everything you do!
- Have fun – always smile and be grateful! Be an inspiration fun loving perrson for everyone who comes in contact with you!
- No complaints! Always look for solutions! And yes, you alone are enough of a solution. Don’t wait for others to change and solve something! If they help, that’s great but don’t expect anything from others.
- Have unshakable Morals!! Don’t ever sacrifice them, come what may! Even if you have to die for them. That’s the definition of Morals!
- Protect your Dreams! Don’t let anyone make you believe you are not capable of something!
- Have no limits! Always keep testing your limits! You are capable of insane things that will only materialize if you push your boundaries!
- Have no Ego! No one gives a fuck about you! It doesn’t matter what others think about you!
- There will always be people who want to use you and your skills for their advantage! Don’t waste too much time thinking about them! Just help them with whatever they want and move on. Make sure you don’t spend more time with such people or even thinking about them. You want to help everyone because that’s a more positive way of life assuming good from everyone rather than second guessing motive of everyone around you!
- Figure out how to identify people with moxie who can be real friends instead of wasting time with losers. Fine to have all of them as acquaintances but allow only select few to call you as their friend and vice versa.
- Amputate all the people in your life who are not postive force on you! Do this audit regularly and be very harsh about the standards. It’s better to be lonely than be surrounded by weak minded people.
- Learn to be very comfortable all alone by yourself. When you are alone, that’s where major growth opportunity exists! Go through all the thoughts in your head with leisure!!
- Success is going through CRAP! While that statement holds on it’s own bur CRAP means:
- C – Criticism
- R – Rejection
- A – Assholes
- P – Pressure
- Be DRIVEN!! Be a student! Relentless focus on doing the best you can do! Enjoy the PROCESS, ignore the result!!
- Develop ability to watch and monitor yourself. Watch your mood, actions, emotions and all behaviors to record them and then to learn about yourself and identify rooms and pockets for improvements!
- Be AUTHENTIC, un-apologetically!! People respond differently to people who are genuine. I know this first hand.
- Avoid prejudices and presumptions. Employ critical thinking to every aspect of your life!
- Never take pride in anything that you didn’t achieve or make on your own! Especially not about the things you were born with!
- Never look down upon someone. Never look up to anyone! You are all alone on your own path to discover the best version of yourself.
- Take RISKS! Avoid over-caution! Amazing discovery about self typically happens on the other side of your comfort zone or what other people consider impossible for you!
- Be FIRE! Light fire in everyone around you! Have insane sense of drive that others start feeling motivated to be better after hanging out with you!
- Employ MYSTICISM! Explore things just for the sake of curiosity even if there is no use for it. It will all make sense later, even if it doesn’t, you don’t have to second guess whether to explore something.
- Actions always speak louder than words.
- Leadership is a form of service, a big responsibility. Never take people in your command for granted and always do everything in your power to take care of them and enable them for bigger and better things!
- Be brutally HONEST! Of course, don’t be a jerk about it but make sure you are clear in your hard message if needed. It might get hard to say truth in the short term, but in the longer term, it’s always the right thing to do!
- When making highly leveraged decisions, always think really long term (10+ years) and do global maxima optimizations.
- Always be patient with yourself and others around you! Have high bar but don’t put hard time limits on achieving that high bar.
- Be RELENTLESS! No amount of failure or obstacles should deviate you from your path! It’s fine to pause and take rest. But, never ever give up!! Don’t stop because you are too tired. Stop only when you are DONE!
- Be BOLD!! Talk big talks! Take bold steps! Always back yourself!
- Never say NO to yourself. World is filled with people and instances to say no to you. But, you should never ever say no or reject any possibility for yourself. You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take! Always give it a shot and let the world say no to you but never you! Always believe in yourself! You are destined to do whatever you set your mind to do!!
- It’s fine to not have a plan for your life! In the grand scheme of things in cosmos, your existence is a rounding error. So, fine to not know what you want from life! Just keep improving, keep taking responsibilities and taking on bigger challenges. Rest all doesn’t matter.
- Be GENEROUS! Have a style of lifestyle where you share the good feeling with everyone around you. E.g. whenever choosing between lower tip amount and higher tip amount, always go higher! Help people without expectations in return!
- Talk to yourself! Develop a positive mindset and talk to yourself and visualize what you can be if you tried your best! Think about how awesome it would be if you make that happen instead of all the ways it can fail.
- No regrets. Don’t dwell in the past. Do an audit and write down the lessons learnt from past failures & successes. Then forget about it all – there is no legacy, nothing to be thought about in the past. Let others judge if your story is worth telling and let them be driven by your story. That’s not your prerogative.
- Always try to have 3 streams of projects or hobbies to focus your time on:
- Hobby or project for Body e.g. swimming, running, etc (any outside sport)
- Second hobby or project focused on left brain e.g. hard sciences, etc.
- Third hobby or project focused for right brain e.g. creative project like painting, writing poems, etc.
- Seek first to UNDERSTAND, then seek to be UNDERSTOOD!!