It’s been a while since I wrote here. I’ve been evolving internally, working on improving my writing skills.
Specifically on writing clearer, encapsulating complexity simply and explaining concisely.
Soon I will be moving towards owning my own distribution in the form of a personal website.
Until then, to get 2021 kicked off. I thought I’d share something that will help with your life forays towards whatever it is you want.
Every year-end I do a reflection, where: I accumulate learnings from personal experience + influences & translate into ‘personal growth principles’.
These principles help with decision making, effort allocation & winning in the year ahead.
“All that is personal soon rots; it must be packed in ice or salt..” — Yeats
Note these are my principles. I’ve found the act of collating learnings and reflecting on experiences to craft personal principles as referral points, most beneficial for exponential growth.
Let me know your thoughts, and even better do this exercise yourself and share your personal principles.
And lastly, if you haven’t already, do check out these folks who have heavily influenced me lately → Josh Wolfe, David Perell, Ray Dalio, Jack Butcher, Seth Godin.
Here is to taking off this year,
- On inefficiency. Inefficiency can be productive too. It is essential for sanity, wellness & happiness
- On conscientiousness. Conscientiousness to constantly do work / be productive becomes one’s greatest and most damaging attribute
- On creating possibilities. Spontaneity and chance physical micro-interactions create possibilities, spur happiness & make life exciting. Get good at asking for what you want/go in with a starting hypothesis if you don’t. This is post maximising what you can research, digest & analyse from your network & the internet.
- On digital diet curation. Curating your digital diet & info intake well can minimize overwhelming-ness, attention waste & misinformation. Take charge of your ‘never-ending now’ as you are what you consume.
- On spending your time well. Multitasking does not work, do deep work & start thinking about + allocating your time in 10 min windows. Not setting time limits on endeavours leads to spillage, innumerable open streams clouting your mind and incompleteness. Make phone/laptop usage majorly intentional. Turn all notifications off, aside from calls / key WhatsApp contacts. Write about what you are going to do on the laptop before you go to do it.
- On liquid modernity. Keeping optionality is not always beneficial for accelerated growth & could be costly. Make a rational choice and run with it. Be wary of ‘infinite browsing’.
- On collaborating & thought diversity. Thoughtful disagreements and radical transparency create alignment & synch. Don’t avoid conflict/hold back thoughts & reservations. Be honest. Multidisciplinary approaches, cross-sector lenses and principled perspectives help build leverage platforms for finding differentiation & alpha
- On making it big. Decoupling the effort in systems from reward is essential for scaling value (build once, sell twice / investing / platforms / automation)
- On personal growth recipes. Open-mindedness, curiosity, learnability, tenacity and hustle are the recipe for growth. Asking leads to getting to do, doing leads to knowledge/expertise gaps, gaps lead to stumbling, stumbling leads to learning, learning leads to growing. The pursuit of growth leads you to great relationships with great people.
- On increasing likelihood of success. Extent of ask clarity, content conciseness & robustness of logically-tight proof backed cases is directly proportional to likelihood of success
- On writing. Externalising your pursuits + learnings through timeless, evergreen content is a free form of permissionless leverage. Do as much of it as you can, being concise and clear.
- On skills. Simplification, Storytelling & Visualization are the most untrained skills. Hustle, hunger & consistency are the most underrated. Gauging this when hiring people & surrounding yourself with people great at them, will pay dividends in the future.
- On helping others & abundance mindset. Being high agency (autonomously) to people, especially when not requested for, is a great way to build trust, grow your network and foster cool relationships. This agency could be in the form of sharing useful content, connecting people & opportunities, contributing to their endeavours. Abundance mindset means not almost enough but doing more than what someone asked for.
- On maximizing opportunities. For situations / sessions where a favourable outcome is desired, putting yourself in the shoes of the audience + decision makers & simulating scenarios should influence the prep work done & approach. Projecting ahead the most probable scenarios mentally, helps you thread backwards to drive towards the most desired outcomes with the right time & capital allocation.
- On finding edge in new spaces. For new/ambiguous / lesser known spaces outside your circle of competence, start by building an overview / map to help you maneuver the territory. Start with a well researched hypothesis view + make critical assumptions and your understanding of the guiding principles clear. Then read + speak to the most influential people & leading / emerging companies in that space. This will help validate your map + guide towards whites spaces / future potential. This will help drive your pursuit for moat / differentiation building opportunities as you form contrarian + paradigm shifting perspectives.
- On personal monopoly. Work towards building a personal monopoly, competition is for losers. Own your distribution too.
- On making initiatives / propositions happen. Success is heavily based on levels of believe-ability, engagement intimacy, external traction and persistence of driving members. Alignment with personal passions / interests helps greatly when overcoming long days and hurdles.
- On the unnecessary. Overlook the trivial and leave to last the admin. It mostly reduces / sorts it self out. Be humble in your pursuits, everybody has a relevant role & significance in the big machine.
- On misaligned work. Sometimes you need to do somethings you don’t want to do and this is unavoidable if you don’t have independence and autonomy. Have the right attitude and just get it done. Experience is what you get when you don’t do / don’t get what you want
- On working against bureaucracy. How you frame things matters. Respect authority whilst questioning it.
- On overcoming challenges. Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things and show our dedication. Don’t complain : work harder
- On not knowing. Don’t be assertive when you don’t know. It’s okay to say you don’t know / are not sure. When you know, you can always improve on the intricacies by listening to credible others
- On teaching / mentoring. Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. Learn from those who you teach.
- On hard times. Don’t bail as the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap
- On attitude. Don’t be arrogant, yes don’t be arrogant — it’s not going to work in your favour.
- On making a ruckus. You have to make some noise, to be heard.
- On the past. Ignore sunk costs. Look ahead — plan, design, ask, do, learn, iterate. Repeat.
- On setting the standard. Be remarkable & maintain high quality. Set the standard of excellence and don’t settle for mediocrity. Your teams’ potential is the difference between your top and bottom tier, what’s mastered could be taught to a certain degree to help raise the average bar (where mostly external perception lies)
- On personal productivity systems. Always ask → ‘How can I best spend my days?’ and ‘What is the highest leveraged thing I can do right now?’. Make sure to optimize your daily effort inputs, be selective + dedicate focus. Add in certain guiding constraints to your week with buffers so you have pleasure time / accommodate for overruns. Evaluate how things are working for you and make the system work to maximise potential upside.
- On hacks. Really keep it simple. Too much of this and that is just not needed.