On drives!

Wrote this yesterday on my newsletter. Subscribe here

Hello!
I continue to fail. Sigh!
But I continue to not give up either. Yay!

That's' how the life of an artist typically is. At least mine is.
Lot of action. Lot of lulls.
Lot of work. Lot of waiting.
Lot of inspiration. Lot of dark periods.

So anyway. Coming back. A Saturday. How's it going for you guys? Yesterday, I slept at 8 PM and I thought I would wake up at 4 AM and get all the pending things done. But then I woke at 1:55. Then I woke up at 4:01 and finally at 7 ish. No, no remorse for sleeping in for 11 hours. I have this drive today (if it happens) where I would be up for some time.

Drives.

One of those things that I am a BIG BIG fan of. If I had all the money in the world, apart from playing poker and teaching, I would own a few good cars (and some bad ones as well) and spend a lot of time on the road. And no, I would not get attached to these cars (I am perfectly ok to drive the car to a far off destination, flying back to my place and then letting a driver bring the car back).

I have no clue what is it about the road and driving that I like. I think it is that feeling of escape from the routine that is so enticing. Maybe it is the chase of the unknown - you know, how us humans have always wanted to push boundaries and unravel the mysteries? Or maybe it is that feeling of control that you get when you are behind a steering wheel. You know, that fake sense of being in control that motivates all those dictators and egomaniacal people?

I think I will never know what it is about these drives. But I do know that these are getting increasingly rare. And because they are getting tougher and tougher to make, I am craving for them a lot more. To a point that I do not leave a single opportunity to go on these. Just that I hope it never reaches a point that because of all the craving, I just give up on em. You know what I am saying?

See, that's the thing with most cravings. They follow a graph.
You experience a new thing.
You get excited about it.
Then you want it more.
You get a lot of it.
You get used to it.
And then when you stop getting it, you get withdrawal symptoms.
And then you do whatever it takes to get that kick.
And then after a point, you can no longer afford to do whatever.
And then either you kill yourself. Or you give up.

In my case, I give up on things. And on people. And on situations. And wants. Probably explains why I am the way I am. Ok enough of revealing my dark sides.

So, the drive is what I am looking forward to this weekend. What about you? What is it that you are working on that is not letting you sleep?

First posted on my newsletter. I try to send one email every day. Subscribe here

Update - August 2019 - Saurabh Garg

I sent this letter to a few people that have helped me grow in my career. I plan to send this every month. If you want me to add you in this list, please do let me know (please send me your email address - you have it with you). I plan to send one letter a month. 

Please tolerate the formatting - I composed this on Google Docs, sent it on Gmail and now posting on blogger. And even though all three are Google products, there is zero interoperability in terms of fonts etc.

Update for Aug 2019

Hi! Good morning!

I am Saurabh Garg.
Of course, you know me!

You are one of the 30 or so people getting this email. And you are getting this because…

A.
You know me from one of the places I’ve been at - MDI, GE, CLA, Gravity, Social Wavelength (aka Mirum now), VISCOMM, C4E, The Nidhi Kapoor Story and at airport lounges, community tables at Starbucks outlets, Twitter threads, and other similar places.

Yeah, I’ve been around a lot.

And because I have been around a lot, I have a lot of experiences and opinions and ideas and thoughts and expectations and ambitions and energy and more ands and lot more ands. You know, the kid in the candy store?

So, I know you. More importantly, you know me (you may not remember me though - if you don't, I don't blame you - I’ve largely flown under the radar). And thus this email.

B.
Newton apparently said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.

Newton never named those giants, but I know who those giants for me are.
You are.
Yes, you!

Each of you has helped me shape my personality and helped me reach where I am. At various times, you have taken an active interest in my career and without your generosity or your shoulder, I kid you not, I wouldn't be here.

Whatever little I’ve done in life is because you allowed me to stand on your shoulders. And no, I don't mean it as a humblebrag. I’ve done very little and I have a really really long way to go - and I promise I will reach there!

From where I stand, I see a lot of hits.
Thank you to each of you for making those hits happen.
Can't stop thanking you!

And even more misses.
And I know I could've done a lot more with the kind of opportunities, time and access I had. If I could not reach where I was supposed to, I am solely responsible for the miss. And oh boy, I only know how many misses I’ve had! I could write a book on those and it would run longer than the Bible!

So, thank you for your shoulder. I feel I owe a regular update to you. And thus this email.

C.
I read this Harvard Medical School study (link, story, TED Talk) that postulates that healthy relationships are key to a long and happy life.

And the age I am at, not young enough and not old enough, I am beginning to think a lot about these things.
Of course, I continue to think about making that dent in the world.

And while thinking about it, it dawned on me that each of you is important to me.
After all, you’ve given me your attention and mindshare.
And backed me up.
And gave me a long leash.
And allowed me to experiment and make mistakes. And grow.
And helped me to develop the ability to master my time (most months, I can get by without worrying about going to an office on a daily basis; few months I need to beg. But that’s ok).
And shaped my personality (all the opinions, ideas, thoughts, experiences, expectations, ambitions, value systems that I spoke about earlier? All of those have happened because of your patronage).

While I continue to wander, in search of that ever-elusive new new thing, that shiny new toy, I realized that I need to work on nurturing existing relationships.

And what better relationship to nurture than that I have (/ had in the past) with you?
You were a teacher / employer / mentor / partner / colleague and lot more and you made me who I am!

And thus this email.

D.
This weird epiphany happened that most of the misses I talk about in B above are a result of two things and two things only.
1, I am / was not a finisher (I am working VERY hard on it and early signs are encouraging).
2, I thought as a “creator” all I must focus on is to create. Even though I am a marketing consultant (to brands, companies, individuals and everything else in between), I never thought about marketing myself. You know, build a personal brand! I even tweeted about this.

So, need to fix these.

Like I said, I am working hard to fix 1.
I pick fewer projects, I have measurable objectives (thanks John Doerr’s OKRs - blog, book) and I have clear deadlines. The number of things that are left unfinished has reduced considerably. I can now proudly dole out the most important advice that Steve Jobs ever did - ‘Real Artists Ship!’

The 2, marketing myself, remains a challenge.
This letter is an attempt in the direction.
And thus this email.

So, clubbing A, B, C and D…
So, like I said, I am sending this to about 30 people that have helped me over time.
So, why this email?
So, what if…
So...

Ok, I so got carried away.

So, well, the agenda is threefold. Lemme use bullets.
I clearly love em!

1. Seek your help as an advisor
I said I am making great progress on the ability to finish things. And I need to accelerate that ability. In the sense that I want to finish EACH project that I take up. By making a commitment to you and holding myself accountable to you (I do NOT want to disappoint you ever), I will increase the odds of me not missing the goal!

This is not peculiar to me but is a universal thing - many research studies postulate that when you make yourself accountable to people you don't want to disappoint, the odds of success go up manyfold!

The other way to look at is to consider yourself as a board member on a company called Saurabh Garg’s Life. I am accountable to you, even though I may not have access to you. You know how Eklavya built a statue of Guru Drona and taught himself and held himself accountable? And became so good that he was better than Drona’s best student, Arjun? That!

So, at the risk of jumping the gun, here’s my first promise to the board.
In the month of Aug 2019, I will…
a. Finish the Show Bible for Book 2.
Yes, I am still working on my second book. And unlike the first one, this time, I am writing the entire story beforehand. In the form of a show bible (what is a show bible?).
b. Lose 1 inch from my waist.
I will do this by focussing on the diet, working out and generally working on my fitness. I met a friend yesterday to take tips on this and he told me that number 1 tool you need to get fit is to get great sleep. So, I will fix that as well.

I will write in September and update you on how I do on those goals. If I get stuck, I will ask you for help! If you have something that can help me work on these two, please do point out.

2. Learn from you!
Thing is, I consider myself a sponge. I love to know more. And I love to know about all sorts of things. And I love it even more when all those things make a connection in my head. You know, when I see the dots connect. And I sincerely think that this ability to use a large information set (howsoever shallow it may be, Feynman will hate me - here’s why) and use inputs from multiple disciplines will be a necessary skill to succeed in the times to come! Jacks will rule the world soon!

When I was with you, I was on this steep learning curve that kept me on my toes. And I loved it! Plus, you are among the most learned, evolved, intelligent people I know.

So, can I request you to please share content (books, texts, links, videos et al) that you loved? That you thought were brilliant? That you would revisit over and over again? That you think I MUST read if I want to become better! May be on email. May be on Whatsapp (click to message me)? Or on email?

3. Give back…
If I could be useful to you in anything you are working on, I would love to volunteer.
No, I don't want anything in return. I really want to help. I want to do good work. I want to be of use to you.

Thing is, I sincerely believe in the concept of Guru Dakshina.
Lemme get back to. Eklavya. Guru Drona asked Eklavya for his thumb as Guru Dakshina (here's why). And as an archer, you can't do anything without your thumb. A regular person would have probably said no. Eklavya did not bat an eyelid before he chopped his thumb and placed it at the Guru’s feet.

You’ve are and have been a Guru to me and I owe you. I don't have a thumb to offer. But anything that you think could be useful to you, I will be very happy to offer! I am pretty nifty with marketing, events, digital, branding, writing, storytelling, content, brainstorming, big-picture thinking, etc. And I have a fairly large risk appetite. You will probably know this if you remember me.

Please do tell me if I could be of use to you.

***

Phew!

So, yeah this is it.

I plan to send similar emails every month, once a month. I know this one is long (1800 words or so). Promise that the next one will be shorter, crisper (not CRISPR) and more concise. I don't know the difference between these words. They just sounded nice together!

So that’s about it.
Thanks again for your patience.
And all the help.

Hope you have a good day and a good month ahead. Please do let me know if I could be of any service to you.

Gratitude and Respect,
Saurabh Garg
+91-9819981337
saurabhgarg.com, @saurabh
Send me anonymous feedback

PS: I understand that you may not want me to clog your mailbox. Some of you probably wouldn't even remember me! So, PLEASE do tell me if you don't want to get these once-a-month emails. I promise to not get offended. I’d understand.

PPS: The intention of this email is not to seek work or connections or something from you. If I need em, I will ask for those things directly. What I seek is continued patronage and an active interest in my life, my career, my ambitions et al. That is it.

PPS: You may use https://forms.gle/28bVP8DYz2WGdHdp8 to give me anonymous feedback on this email. Or anything else under the sun. I will read EACH input and work on it! Promise!

Three things that tell me that life's amazing!

You know how life is amazing?
No?
Lemme give not one, not two, but three examples!

One. 
I told Parijat a few days ago that I want to speak to a large gathering and be good at it. And develop that skill. He mentioned that the only way to do it is to get more face stage time. And like most advice that Parijat gives, it made sense.

So, from then on, I am on a lookout for opportunities to speak on large, public forums.

And somehow Universe conspired and made it happen.

I am going to speak to a group of 120 people about communication and branding.

Now, it is not exactly what I want to talk to the world about but it is a start. And the two other speakers that will speak on the same date to the same audience from the same stage are FAR FAR better than I. And thus, the opportunity is thrilling and scary at the same time. And yes, I am getting paid for it!

So, yay!

Two. 
I've been wanting to make public art for a long long time. And I am keen on establishing myself as an artist. Even though my "art" skills are non-existent and even though I try and write every day, my words are barely passable. And thus, the idea of a being an "artist" has remained a distant dream.

Till I saw this opportunity to exhibit at a museum. See Affordable Art Fest.com. These guys are new and are willing to give an aspiring artist a chance. And a chance is all I want.

The moment I saw it, I knew what I was going to send there. If you are curious, this. I need to work on it and polish it a lot for it to be even considered. After all, these days, every person with a camera is a photographer! 

Of course, I am yet to be selected and all that. But it did inspire me to think more about the "art" and the "artist" in me.

So, yay again!

Three. 
Recently, while thinking about my brand and reputation, I realized that I need to give my words a longer flight. And one of the ideas that I considered was to somehow get into the business of writing songs  I thought if I could make music and put that out, it would be awesome. And this is when I met this singer-writer-composer who is EXACTLY in the same zone as I - Indian, Sufi, Ghazal and similar.

Of course, I got talking to him and found him really affable. One thing led to another and he ended up asking me if I could write some songs that he could compose and sing. And I was like, "Woah dude! this is what I wanted!"

No, I haven't composed any songs. But the opportunity to do so is here.

So, yay yet again!

***

So you see, life does throw opportunities your way.
And it is amazing.
All you need to do is, give luck a chance :)

The Girl In Red Shorts

So, most days, I leave from home at around 645. Some days I am early and some, late. But it is around this time. The idea is that there's no traffic on the road and I like reaching early and getting a head start. Against who, I am not sure. 

Why would I leave home in the first place? Early or late? Cos I cant work at home. If I had my way, I would leave home at 3:45 and reach at 4:15 and get going with things that are supposed to be done. You know, more things get done in the morning. Don't you? 

What is open at that hour? Starbucks close to my place opens at 7 AM. The office is 24 x 7 access, though there's no AC. Which is ok these days. So, there is someplace to park my ass, get the Internet and get some work done.

Ok, I am digressing.

Coming back. When I leave at around 6:45, I see all these young people trying to get fitter - some are pumping iron, some are doing yoga and a lot of them are running around. I also see older folks that are pretending to work out and whiling away time. You know, in life. And then there are those walkers, employed with the sole purpose of getting the dogs to poop at places where no one can spot em. I also see those scrappy young men cleaning cars. And I see sleepy-eyed guards that often do double shifts. Everyone is part of the scenery.

The only person that catches my eye in all this melee is this girl that is running like her life depends on it.

And no, she's not the only one running there. People of all ages, shapes, genders, and sizes run. And they run with varying speeds. And with different emotions. Some are calm. Come are huffing and puffing. Some are enthused about the act of running. The scenery I talked about? Each person is part of the scenery. You see them and you ignore them. They are like furniture that you don't even know you ignored. They are there. To fill the stage for the main hero to come in and perform. Like those filler acts that open for the headliner?

And who is the headliner? The girl I talked about. The girl in Red Shorts. The one that is running like her life depends on it.

For starters, I have this thing for red. The color of C4E. The color of excitement. The color of energy, strength, passion, Coke, blood, danger and lipsticks.

Plus, when she runs, it is a sight to behold. It is an epitome of the beauty of the human body in motion. Don't confuse her for those fashion models that just look great. This woman is in motion. In action. When she's running, she's pushing herself. And her physical limits. It is a spectacle to watch.

Thing is, when she's running, all you see on her face is this determination for the next stride. You can see that she is trying hard and pushing herself. Unlike a lot of other people that run, she is not smiling. She is not relaxed. She is not taking is easy. She is at it. Hardcore man. You know that this running is taking considerable effort for her. And she is putting in the effort required. Which a lot of people will not. They would give up. Heck, I would give up!

I am of course at a respectful distance and not make her uncomfortable with the staring. But for as long she is in the line of sight, she does not stop running man! I wish I could run like her. I don't know her name but I do know that theGirlIn Red Shorts is my inspiration. If she can, I can. In fact, if I had the balls to talk to random women, I would walk up to her and ask her to be my trainer.

Irrespective, I need to get back to running (for the umpteenth time). This entire idea of someone running, struggling at it and yet not giving up is an alien concept. I HAVE to be like her. Right now, I get excited about something, I do it for a few days and then I give up. I need to have consistency in what I do. And in when I do and how I do.

Maybe the Girl in Red Shorts is the inspiration?

Regards,
The guy in black short shorts who does not run at all.

Read other #TheGirlIn stories here.

Thank you, Pradeep (11)

Post 11 of #sg100peopleToThank. More about this series is here. I started this in April and then as things got busy, I sort of forgot about it. Until I was cleaning Asana and saw that I had decided I will write 100 thank you letters. And here I am! 

Thank you, Pradeep!

So, Pradeep Daniel. I don't even know how to describe him as. Before I try to talk about him, lemme give context. At a point in time, I used to work with this events agency as the client servicing / strategy person and Pradeep was the head of the creative team. As two senior resources of the company, we often had to work closely on various projects. And like all other colleagues that work closely, we've shared some great times. And not so great times. 

Of course, Pradeep moved on. And then I did. And there was no reason to stay in touch but like those old warhorses that gather together to relive their battles, Pradeep and I meet often (about once in two years when I am in the same city as he) and talk about the times gone by. 

So, now that you know who he is, lemme try and describe him. Try is the keyword. He is one of his kind. I know this is a cliche and the writer in him would cringe at this. The supervisor in him will ridicule me and ask me to rework the copy and the friend in him will encourage me to think harder. He is not just a senior. He is a friend. To everyone that knows him. 

This still does not do justice to who Pradeep is. Lemme try harder. Maybe Pradeep is someone who could write so well that his email could move you to tears? I remember reading one of his emails when he wanted leave. I distinctly remember wanting to be his driver and drop him to his hotel with my own very hands. In fact, I would look forward to reading his emails - even if they were for work. They were pieces of art. If I were him, I would put those emails on an exhibition. If nothing else, I would publish a book. 

Of course, he is more than a writer. Lemme try harder, as he would say. 

Maybe Pradeep is that original multitasker who taught me that I need to be able to write copy, make my own artworks, get the damn thing printed, ensure that prints have come out alright and follow up with the Production team till those are put up at the event venue! Maybe it is the time that I spent with Pradeep that has made me chase this multitaskness! May be secretly I hate him for being so good that all my life I've chased his benchmarks! 

Maybe he is someone who taught me that I ought to enjoy those long rides home from work (I lived some 50 KMs away from the office. Pradeep, another 10 or so beyond that). In fact, Pradeep made those rides fun (the drive otherwise is way too long, too drab, too monotonous and too tiring). If not for Pradeep, I think I would've quit Gravity long before I eventually quit. 

Maybe he is someone who had the balls to stand up to two super-smart, super-opinionated, super-intelligent people that he reported to. You know that unstoppable force hitting an immovable object? Pradeep was that force. Suvi and Anna were that object. You can not imagine the intensity of that explosion.  And of course, on the way back home, he would glow in the, well, afterglow. And I would catch some radiation. And, well, radiate. 

Maybe he is a magician under the garb of a human being - he has answers to all the life's questions and mysteries. May be is Calvin and he is pulling a fast on us by posting Calvin posts on his Instagram feed all day long. Maybe he is the hero we all need (but do not deserve). 

You get the drift. That's Pradeep Daniel for you. Thank you, Pradeep. For being you. 

Oh, and I have a confession to make. I am guilty of often overlooking the contributions made by Pradeep because there was Suvi around. Each is different. Each is important. But as it happens often, the polite one tends to fly under the radar. Like Pradeep did. I know this is too late and too little. But I have to put this on paper. Pradeep, thank you! 

Till we meet next, Daniel San!

Love,
SG

Others posts in this series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Post Travel Post-Mortem

Hello! So, I was traveling the day before and yesterday. And while that is a good thing (travel always is), what sucked was that this entire thing about Deep Work that am trying to implement in life? It took a back seat. I could not spend time on thinking, I could not write, I could not fill in my trackers, I had no clue what was happening with work. The worst was that the momentum that I had going for last 4-5 days is gone.

As I started the day, I DID check social media while I was on the pot. I did not meditate. I had no clue what I was supposed to do during the day. And I did things that were not allocated on the calendar. And of course, I am distracted AF. In fact, as I write this, I started at 0900 but its 0936 and I've done a million other things but wrote here.

I need to find a way to not slot things when I am traveling. And I need to find a way to get back to work once I am back.

Plus, I think this philosophy of Deep Work that requires you to take regular breaks to recuperate, I don't that would work with me. I have this need to keep busy and be all over the place. And because I know the importance of taking breaks, I will probably do 2-3 days of digital detox. In the sense, I will not work at all on a computer at all. And I will use that time to read, think, eat well, sleep, meditate and generally do nothing.

Of course, the challenge will be to get back to work after that break. Let's see how I do that.

Oh, and I write this, I am listening to Wakhra Swag on loop. Try it. It is addictive AF.

With that, it's over and out. See you guys soon.

Lessons from Anurag Kashyap's Journey in Bollywood

Thanks to Vijesh, I saw this talk where Anurag Kashyap talks about his journey in Bollywood. There are tons of lessons in there. I think you must check it out. This blog post is a list of lessons that I am taking away from it.



Here's a list.
  • Once you know what you want to do in life (that's where I think half the battle is), identify places where people who can help you find work on what you want to work on hang out. Spend time there. Offer them your services for free. Till a point, you become so important that you start getting the work you wanted. Aka, hustle. He says that he worked at Prithvi Cafe because that is where all the film-wallahs would hang out. And once he was there, he started to work for free, as a writer. Because he could write fast and did not ask for credit or money, he started getting work. And with time, he became important.
  • Always be available. Continuation from the first point. 
  • No one owes you anything. If you want it, you better go work for it. Just because you want it, the world will NOT serve it to you on a platter. He gives an example of how people goto him and tell him that they want to make movies and he asks them, "who's stopping you?"
  • He says that each choice has a consequence. And you have to know that you will have to live with and deal with those consequences. 
  • Every time he would see resentment from people around him, he would move out from that clique. 
  • Do things. And not just crib. Do not blame others. Do not abuse others. Don't just cry that things are wrong. 
  • Jugaad. How do you understand people and appeal to their desires deep down and get things done. He gives an example of how he got a digital camera for free by offering a role to the person who controlled the camera. 
  • When you believe in something, you HAVE to stand up for it and fight for it. You HAVE to take responsibilities. This is my biggest takeaway. 
  • Persistence is probably one of the most undervalued traits! Of course, you have to know what you really really stand for in life. And once you know what you believe in, you HAVE to persist with things!
  • When you fail, you don't crib or moan. You go back to the drawing board and restart. As he said, the world does not owe you anything! 
That's about it. Do tell me what you take away from his talk. Over and out! 

PS: This was first written for subscribers of my letters, SoGv2. More about em is here

Hello, themes!

Good afternoon!

So, as I write this, I have just spent one hour of almost uninterrupted time on book2 and trust me, it was HARD. For someone like me (who has an attention span of a Goldfish). It sucked to not reach out for the phone every 1 second. But I am happy that I could do an hour on #book2. Today was the second day when I could work on it. If I go at this rate, I will probably have the bible ready in a month or so (that is what I am hoping to achieve). And why? Because a talent agent has asked me to write the bible - it apparently interests them enough to go pitch to some production houses. Yay to that! 

Like I've been saying, the ability to write (and remain unfazed with negative feedback) has been the largest thing to me. These letters and my blog is ok - these are consumed by friends and family and thus I get immense support. But what I write in my books is for the world at large. And the world at large is anything but kind. I mean the world is kind as well. But there are enough and more that would not cut you slack. But then, those people expand my universe and get me ahead. So, it is worth the grind.

So yeah.

What else? Yeah... apart from this two-day streak of working on #book2, yesterday was a special day. I saw my name on a screen for the first time yesterday, as a producer. Of a short film. The only other thing that I've done before this is helping a musician friend with this music video.

No, can't say much about the short film at this point in time, there are a lot of open ends. But we should be able to talk about it in less than a month. Hope it happens sooner. Can't wait! It is a step in the direction of where I want to move with the theme of storytelling. And been wanting to move for a while.

Theme. Themes.

I think I have finally found a universal word to describe the method in my madness. I like knowing about many things and I love to talk to many people and I want to learn as much about things as I can. There is so so much that I want to do, stand for, push, etc. But I never had the word to describe those things. And often I would get trapped in my own head. And of course, no one would understand what am doing, let alone what am hoping to achieve. I was dancing to a song that no one else could hear.

Not anymore. I have the words to express what I am hoping to do. I call it themes.

Themes.

So, some themes that I have in life are...
  1. Storytelling / Entertainment 
  2. Relationships / People 
  3. Long-term thinking / Compounding 
  4. Longevity 
  5. Abundance / Wealth 
  6. Enabling 
  7. Ambition
  8. Give back / Pay it forward 
Of course, this is an indicative list. There has to be more. There is. And then, once I have a largish set of themes to work with, I will reduce these themes to less than 5.

The list remains WIP. Like I said, with time I will refine these in a manner that they'd make more sense to me (and to the world). The point is that each thing I do must fall under a certain theme.
  • Write books? The theme of storytelling, entertainment.
  • Travel? The theme of exploration.
  • Mt. Everest? The theme of adventure, ambition, inspiration. 
  • Teaching? The theme of giving back.
Think of these as tags. Each thing I do can now fit under a particular "theme" and with time, I will refine these.

Makes sense?

What are some of the themes that you relate to? What can I help you with?

Originally written as a letter to some friends on SoGv2. 

The randomness of success

Remember, yesterday, I talked about the guy that I met that made me think hard? Well, that hard thinking is still happening! In the sense that what he said, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. There are a million threads going all over the place but the one that I keep coming back to, again and again, and again and again and again is the one where he asked me about my heroes and their success. He said, what if the heroes that I look up to (people like Steve, Bill, Elon, Jeff, Paul, Raj, Suvi, Rajesh and others) were not really driven by hard work but by randomness. What if they just got lucky and there is no formula that you can take from their success to apply to your life and get successful.

Now, this is a very new idea to me. I mean am aware of the concept of fooled by randomness and the coin-flipping concept outlined in the Superinvestors of Graham and Doddsville. But I never applied that to the success of people that I look up to. I always thought they were ahead of the curve because they were doing something right. And I've believed that I can reverse engineer their success and create this magic potion that can help me find success.

But this very thought that the heroes that I look up to could be because of sheer luck, it is not cool. In the sense, I want to believe that success is achievable and there is a path that I can walk to reach the end goal. I am not getting in this debate between goals, path, destinations, etc. Hope you get the drift when I say that you can tread a certain path to reach the end goal. 

I tried hard to give evidence against the assertion. I said that if success is random, then how is that some people can get successful at multiple ventures. And before I could wait for a reply from the guy, it dawned on to me that just the law of large numbers can explain people who have multiple successes and people who have nothing. It IS all randomness!

The idea that success is random also sort of questions the very existence of this idea called Saurabh Garg. I mean the inking that I have in terms of what I want to do with life is around enabling others to live their best life and that means I need to help them get successful. But, if I can't decode success and thus I can't enable it, why am I even alive?

The day that was - 11 Jul 2019

Yo. I have nothing special to report. Except that, today was one of those eye-opening days. I met this guy who made me think about the very reason why I am alive! I always thought I had the answer but I did not :(

I mean I know I want to enable a billion people to do better. By setting an example (you know, do tough things like climbing the Mt. Everest, making a billion dollars, etc). And then by connecting them with others that I know could help them. I just don't know how to do that at scale! 

So, he gave me this brilliant framework to think on. And that means I will have to work hard, think hard and probably get hurt as I uncover those patterns that have made me who I am. Task's been cut out for me. Tough thing.

Apart from that one meeting, I did some work, walked almost 13K steps (not that I did not want to - blame it on Mumbai traffic), ate like a pig (need to fix this), published a letter, wrote this post and getting ready to call it a day. Oh, now, when I end the day, inspired by Deep Work, I shut down the laptop and do not even think about things.

So, all in all, a pretty ok day. I just hope that I get to sleep well.

Until tomorrow, over and out!

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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