This close...

If I've ever come close to giving up on the dreams of making it big and working towards the bigness, this is it.

I am this close, as close as it gets to giving up. So much so that I want to pack my bags and leave. To a place where no one knows me and I dont know anyone. Just pack the damn bags and head to a new place, to a new life and restart the goddamn life. Agreed that at 35 I am too old to do this kinda shit but I don't see a way out. I mean don't even see that light at the end of the tunnel.

I know no one else imposed this life on me. I chose this for myself. I made this life. Whatever I have, whatever I dont, all of it is a direct outcome of choices I've made. I can of course cry that I did not get the opportunities that others got. I can whine about the non-existent silver spoon in my mouth. But will the rant matter? No!

All I know is that this is not the life I signed up for (but I probably deserved earned). I need to find the reset button. Or may be, the giveup button. Whatever it is. Need to find it. And hit it.

Work with hands!

One of the things that I had decided I will do #in2018 is to work with my hands. That means I will take up carpentering, painting, guitar, calligraphy, card-tricks or anything of that sort that makes me use my hands. Hands. Fingers.

One may argue that typing is also using hands. Its easy to type and even though you use qwerty and not Dvorak*, its fascinating to see your fingers do the dance on the keyboard. But then writing is for writing. Not for hitting two birds with one stone. You know what am saying?

So, as I think about this, there are few reasons for trying to work with hands. Here's a list.

A. I love action. This essentially means that I need to be able to fidget with something all the time. No no. Not fidgeting with a spinner or a cube. That's just plain consumerism. But fidgeting with something that adds up**.

B. I cant even twist or roll a pen in my hands (you know that thing that a lot of engineers do?). I need to learn that! Or something like that. Why? Why not? Its such a cool thing to do!

C. Finally, its a new skill. I think the day I stop learning is the day I will die. And while I do learn on the job, I do learn with each thing I do, I need to add new things to my repertoire.

I remember a few years back, each month I learnt a new thing (how to solve a Rubik's, remember a randomly shuffled deck of cards, juggle three balls etc). May be I need to bring that theme back? No, none of these will enable me to make a living but these will expand faculties that I don't use right now.


Ok. So I have established that I will use my hands, what would I pick?

There's guitar. That I've tried my hands on since I was in the 9th standard. And I've failed at. Since I was in the 9th standard. Lets just say I don't have what it takes to learn it. Or maybe, I'll pick it up and apply the 20-hour principle? Or may be, I'd do Khartal (that I ordered yesterday).

What do you recommend?

Oh, one more thing. In the end, ladies and gents, the question for you is, what new skill are you acquiring this year?

* I saw a video summary of a book on how to learn any skill in 20 hours. The author changed his keyboard from the start qwerty to a more efficient Dvorak in 20 hours. I don't want to. Because the kind of work I do requires me to work on multiple computers, often in crunch situations. So I want to keep that faculty intact. 

The point is that I can learn a new skill in 20 hours. Why not experiment it on a skill that I requires me to work with my hands? 

**Adding-up has been a consistent theme that has reoccurred in my thoughts last few days. What is adding up? Imagine you were making a pyramid. Every brick you lay makes the wall longer, stronger, higher. Each brick, howsoever small it may be becomes an integral part of the larger wall. Over time, with each insignificant brick, you achieve something large. Think compounding. 

*** Constant learning is the thing that probably gives us the edge. Need to think more on this. Need to talk more on this. 

Writing Off!

Alert. This is a ranty post. Why am I writing this? Because I dont know what else to do about this. I want HAVE to talk about this to someone and get the load off my head. Ideally, talk with a life partner or a business partner. I dont have either. I mean I do have business partners but none of them have any place for emotions in their heads. I also have a few friends and mentors that can lend a patient ear but I am not sure if they understand the battle I go though on a daily basis. Neither do I know if they understand what I am upto in life. I could vent out on the Facebook and twitter but I am not sure what purpose will that serve in all the cacophony around. For that matter, I am not sure what purpose will this blog serve. Once I publish, I will probably forget. But thats the point I guess. To vent out and move on. Here goes. 

So, this stint of working for myself, I started in the Feb of 2015. As I write this, I complete three years of being on my own. And its been one helluva ride. There have been one or two ups and a lot of downs. Its definitely been a great learning experience. Truth be told, I am not really doing that great (compared to how Id be doing if I were working for someone else) but as I think back, I dont think theres anything else that I would have done. There are no regrets, if I may.

However, if I had an option to go back, I would undo a lot of things. Things like never working for someone without taking an advance.

And thats what the rant is about. Stay with me.

In the last three years I must have worked on 20 large projects and about 10 clients (both big and small). And out of those there are 3 clients and 3 large projects that I did NOT get paid for. And I am talking about serious money. About 11 lakhs. In sunk cost and opportunity cost. It may not look like a lot of money to you guys, but to me, its big. Big as in B I G.

The point of this post is to tell myself that I ought to write those off. And write an open letter of sorts to people who get work done and do not pay.

So, here I am. Officially and finally, writing the payment off. I dont really want to name the companies (or the people). Neither do I want to talk about the circumstances which lead to me not getting paid. But there is this thing that I do want to put forth.

Thing is, I am someone who doesnt really have an easily monetizable skill. I am NOT a designer, coder, photographer, fashion blogger, singer, drummer, rich heiress, son of businessman, baker, chef, make-up artiste or anything like that. These people are blessed in the sense that they can make a living whenever they choose and wherever they choose.

Neither am I a career professional who's spent years in a certain industry (or a discipline) with large companies and thus has a CV that can get a super cushy job. Most of my friends from MDI fall in this category.

What I am is a hustler. What is a hustler? You dont know? Stop reading right now. Close the browser. Leave.

People like me, the hustlers, are often the Jacks of all trades. We are aggregators have no marketable skill and often have to fake what we do. We rely on services of others, often working with make-shift teams and arrangements, trying to deliver a great product (or a service) that makes the customer choose us over other more "established" businesses. If I may use a better word, people like me have to hustle and hustle hard to make the ends meet.

And why? For ofcourse the independence. And to make ends meet while hoping that things we do, work on, they add up. Add up bit is important. What do I mean by adding up? That someday all the work we've done, all that we've been through gives us enough name, clout, attention, contacts, relationships, ideas that we can go make that dent in the universe.

So yeah. As long as you get work that adds up, work that continues to pay you and keep the engine going, all is well.

Till the time a client fucks up on the money that is promised to you.

After all, every rupee earned is a tiny step towards that dent. And every rupee lost is a roadblock. When a client decides to not pay, for whatever reasons, they put a roadblock on the path to my progress. In fact I'd say I am dragged back 10 steps - after all, to take up a project I had to let go of other opportunities. No? The other opportunities could mean working on a different project. Could mean that that book I've always wanted to write will have to take the back seat. Why? To earn bread!

In fact, by not paying you dont just put a dent in an individuals meticulous plan for life. But you are an impediment to the whole notion of Karma itself. When you dont pay, you stop, you pull back people like me from realizing their life goals.

You know, the most important commodity is time. And when I invest time... Wait. I dont "invest" time. I "exchange" my time with a client's money. And in this implicit contract, once I have done my part of the deal, I expect and its probably fair for them to hold up their part. And pay up.

But often, they dont. And when that happen that sucks. You are way too small to fight and argue and you'd rather move on. Its just sad.

What makes it worse is that people like me do not belong to the entitled class. We are not big corporations for sure. Neither do we have bankers or VCs on our side to look out for what we work on. More often than not, its an individual like me, trying to hustle hard. To do things, add up and make that dent in the universe.

The simple act of momentarily selfishness by a client stops the wheel of life. And thats not a cool thing to do. No?

So, dear big companies, rich men and other such people, next time you get someone like me to do something, please PLEASE PLEASE pay up! For you its probably loose change. But for someone like me, it could be a shot at a better life.

Thank you!

P.S.: Here's a pledge. I WILL always pay once I have agreed on a number. Even if you take me for a ride, you dont deliver, you do shoddy work, you dont meet expectations, I am willing to understand and give you that extra chance. After all if people like me will not pay it forward, who will? 

Untitled / 11 Feb 2018

One of those posts where I ramble without an agenda. While I decided that I will do these on sgEchoChamber, I am doing this here because I want to maximise the odds of serendipity. How? Topic for a different post. This one, read at your peril. 

Last night two few days back, I wrote this open letter to Steve Jobs. While I havent been ridiculed by anyone for it, yet, while I was thinking about it, when I re-read it, I was like, the fuck dude. I want whatever you are tripping on! Maal must be so good. No?

Thing is, I need to know that life does not work like that. You know that song? The Bittersweet Symphony? You know what it says? "You're slave to money and then you die." That. All you do is try to make ends meet. Everything else is an illusion. Sooner I get that in my head, better it is.

I may want to change the world and make a dent and impact lives and inspire people and all that but fact of the matter is, at this day, I am nothing but an epitome of mediocrity. For the 35 years that I've been here, what is that one thing that I can be super-proud of? Nothing!

I am not successful by any metric -- societal (dont have a family, dont own a house, dont own a car, bank balance runs in low 5-figures, both my companies are small tiny etc), personal (I am unhealthy, get frequent mood swings, have less friends than fingers on my hands etc), evolutionary (dont plan to procreate, I am short, bald etc). All I am is a middle-aged man trapped among voices in my head that bounce around and get louder by the day. The kinds that makes people delusional. Delusional. Thats the word that defines me.

Wait. I may not be that either. The ones that are delusional actually have blind faith in their capabilities and they actually do great things. I dont. I am waddling in mediocrity. And the worst part is that I feel helpless about it. I want to change things but I cant. I am stuck! I think I need more resources - time, talent, people etc. How do I get those? May be if I had money to put in?

Money, Mr. Garg, cant be the root! There has to be more.

I mean I dont know. There are people who start from scratch and zero money and do amazing things. Most startup guys are in this category. They are driven and they keep at it till they make money. Then I know of people who are paupers and somehow get married to rich heiresses and then build their empire on top of the largess that they get from the family (of course they are good and know what to do with that money). Then there are people who get lucky (seated next to a big dude in the plane, etc). And there are people that inherit legacies and then they work hard to make em larger. And finally, there are people like Saul, who build churches atop rocks create empires on top of crimes. Well, not crime as in crime but something that the society would frown upon!

Irrespective of the route they take, people do amazing things. So amazing that the world takes a note. And their work impacts people around them. And in most cases, people away from them. Here's a slide that I use when I speak to prospective hires, investors, partners and others (P.S. this is an always WIP deck and hence this is a WIP slide).

EACH one has had impact on more than just their immediate circle. Hope you get the drift. Drift reminds me that am drifting.

Coming back.

The point is, this post is full of self-doubt and self-flagellation and all that. Which is ok I think. Once in a while I need to be grounded as well. Like someone once told me, "dar mujhe sachet rakhta hai" (fear keeps me aware). Posts like these allow me aware. And make me take a break and reflect and think.

Hopefully, someday, the clouds will part and sun will shine through. And as they say, someday all this will make sense. May be it will not. May be it will remain one of those unfinished things that I will take to my grave? May be I will get to it in 2881 days? Who knows.

What I know is, I ought to keep walking.

Dear Steve,

A friend asked me, "if you were to write to Elon Musk about your aspirations and ambitions and what you want to do in life, how would you?"

This blogpost is in response to that. But before that, few caveats.
  • I will NOT write to Elon. Rather, I would email Steve. Thing is, the outcome and vision and purpose-driven approach of Elon is fascinating and exciting. But Steve, the legend, is what is inspiring. I love the fact that he was a hustler (compared to an Elon that is a tinkerer). 
  • I'd assume that ambition is personal, more tangible. And aspiration is little more altruist. Read more here
So, here's the letter. 

Dear Steve,

Thank you.

For being who you were are. And being an inspiration that makes me want to do more and make that dent. Or ding. Or whatever.

It is you who taught me that our actions must create consequences. Consequences that are larger than self. Larger than our imagination.

It's by following you (and your actions and your words) over the years that I have understood my limitations. And I have found ways and means to overcome those limitations. I still suck at getting things done but I am getting there. All thanks to you.

Thanks to you, I know that the only thing that limits us, is our imagination. You taught me how to think big. You taught me to take tiny steps and keep at it till you reach there. You showed me the power of setting lofty goals and challenging what we thought was possible. Thank you, Steve.

Steve, I write to you to seek a favour. Will you please indulge me? I want to talk about what my aspirations are. And I want to talk about my ambitions and what I want to do in life.

Steve, when I look at the world around me, I see so much potential getting wasted in frivolous things. Things that dont add up. Things that dont add value. Things that dont create. Lemme give you an example. Today, I was coming back from work in a train and I saw a young couple arguing about a mobile game. And they were stuck on the game for the 20 minutes it took the train to reach my destination. And they werent happy. What if they could use that time to learn a new thing (by seeing a TED talk, or by reading a book or by watching a tutorial or something). Or at least debate about how they's plan their finances!

The world would be such a better place if that happened.

You know that's what I want to work on. Make people more aware about our limited time here. You talked about in your Stanford address. I was lucky to have seen it. Someone needs to talk to them as well. And inspire them to do more with their time. Of course someone may argue that its all pointless (we die, our kids die, our kids's kids and the world will eventually come to an end and all that we stand for, all that we create will amount to nothing) but I know that while we are alive, when people are creating, they are lost in the work. They get in the flow and the flow is the closest that it comes to Nirvana. The little things that make life miserable cease to exist when you are creating. Reminds you to Carl's Pale Blue Dot.

Life suddenly starts looking so much better. No?

This, Steve, is my aspiration. This is what I really want to do. Its fuzzy AF. The fuzziest thing that I've ever thought about. But I believe that there's merit. 

And what is my ambition?

I want to push limits.

Physical, mental, emotional. And at other levels that us humans can experience.

I know that I am not sorted in the head. There are times when I am elated that I am jumping with joy for no reason and there are times when I so sad that I just want to sleep. But Steve, most days when I wake up, the world does look like a great, inspiring place. Life looks like a "journey" that is worth taking. There are so many people doing so many things that you thought humans were incapable of. Look at Elon. Wait. Look at Wright Brothers or whoever made the first aircraft. They allowed us to fly. Look at Elon. He will not rest till he has colonised Mars!

While I want to push limits, Steve, I know that I am a drifter. I've never had the clarity in terms of where I want to end up. I also know that I dont have one specific talent that I can dig at till I make that dent. I am a proverbial Jack of all trades and I am happy being one. Thing is, I love this drifting. I love that I can walk the surface of a lot of disciplines. I know this is best suited for someone with a lot of money. But its ok. I will make my money. Ok, I am drifting while writing the letter. Coming back. Steve I want to push limits and in the process, inspire others.

In fact, lately, I have started to realise that I get immense happiness and satisfaction and I sleep well at night when I am able to inspire others. And help others. And enable others. Enabling. Thats where the Gold is. Thats what I want to do. Enable.

Now enabling is too broad. If I were to put enabling in a box, I'd say I want to enable a billion people to live better lives.

Billion people. 
Better Lives. 

And how do I define better? Well, better means that if they are poor, I enable them to live in relative comfort and happiness. If they are unhappy, I put on the red ball on my nose and dance for them. If they need access to opportunities, I want to give them that. If they need  inspiration to do more, I want to inspire them.

I want to be the thing, the jester, the platform that enables people to be better. I hope you get the drift. 

One of the ways in which I can do this, is by doing amazing things and by doing em so well that I inspire people. To do more. To #bebetter. And to #livebetter, and #workbetter.

So, my second aspiration, if I may have more than one, is to make the world a better place. And do it by enabling people to be better versions of themselves. And while I become the enabler, my life (where I achieve a set of seemingly super-tough goals -- each goal must push human limits, such as, make a billion dollars, run a marathon in less than 4 hours, live till 120 and more) and my actions and my conduct become a source of inspiration. Just like your life was, Steve.

Thats about it I guess. Phew.

Thanks for reading.

Your's Faithfully,
Saurabh Garg

The Urban Nomads

So, yesterday day before few days ago at a cruise ship in HCMC, we were doing an event for the Indian offices for a UK based company. And one of the acts was a Filipino band that had two singers, one of them a Cuban.

Picture this. Retro English pop. In Vietnam. Arranged by a French woman who works for a company owned by an American. Artists from Cuba and Philippines. For guests from India and UK.

I dont even know how many countries is that. But I do know one thing. The mobility and opportunities that you have if you are an artist and are talented!

Thing is, I think that talent allows you to live wherever you wish to. And that is such a fascinating life to have!!

You know what am saying? You can choose a country you wish to live in. If you are talented enough, you can make enough to pay for your bills, and then some more. You can make friends that are not just accidental. You can chase your craft. You can hone it while you earn your bread by performing. You can see sex and cash in action. You know, you happen to things, rather than things happening to you!

Lemme park the talent bit for a while and drift.


There is this thing called the Urban Nomad. Its essentially refers to people that live in urban locales and yet are not tethered to a particular location. These people dont own anything that ties them down to one place (immovable assets, large families, a job that requires you to goto office everyday etc etc). You are free to move across borders and all that. And these people are skilled in one particular discipline that is in demand across borders (painters, photographers etc) and thus they can fend for themselves. Oh, and modern world is introducing lot more professions that allow you to become an urban nomad. Think of those bloggers, language tutors, Yoga instructors, chefs, entertainers and more.

And why am I talking about this? Because I have had this fascination with being an urban nomad and at various times in life I have thought of multiple ways in which I could become one. At different points in time, I have considered becoming a designer, a coder, a photographer, a writer, a yoga instructor, an English language teacher and / or more (assuming I can be all of these).

But then I've, sort of, held back myself for three reasons.

A, I know I am way too good to be cast in just one mould (and at the same time, not that good that I am in top 1%ile of any). This means that its in my karma to be never satisfied. I will run from one thing to another and my life will be defined by "chase" rather than "destination."

B. I've wanted / still want a luxurious life for myself. Ok, not luxurious but abundant life. Where I dont have to think for 5 months (or wait for a stupid cashback scheme) to buy an iPhone X (PS: RG gifted me one and I couldn't say no. Thank you, sir). Where I know I can travel business class without any fear (of poverty) or guilt (of splurging when my parents dont even travel in the plane). Where I know I have provided for enough to discharge my duties as a son and a brother and a friend. Where I know that if I were to take off, people would be happy and will not miss me. There is more. But I am sure you get the drift.

C. I dont want to live as someone who came, saw, enjoyed and left. My epitaph has to mean something. I want to give back. I want to pay it forward. I want to make an impact. And that can not happen if I an urban nomad, drifting from one place to another and one opportunity to another.

So yeah. I have wanted to travel the world and see the sights and soak in the experiences and meet new people and taste the different flavours that the world has to offer and talk to new people and learn all I could and all that. But then I've held back.


Coming back. This That evening at the boat where I saw that Cuban lady, the painful memories of the time when I wanted to move out of the country came back rushing to me. To the extent that my heart actually started aching. And ache as in ache. Like I had to sit down and sip on a glass of water.

But then, I realised that am not talented enough to chase nomadic life. Neither am I someone who has what it takes to hold onto a stable job that can pay me well enough to provide for my family. And I am miles away from the impact. So, I cant. And I need to accept it and put this on the list of things that I could not do (other things include play Cricket for India).

Also, I am reminded of this wonderful post by one of the giants that I stand on the shoulders of, Jan Chipchase. He recently wrote about moving to a new place, a new country. He says if you stop learning, you become obsolete and the best way to continue to learn is to move to a place that challenges you and makes you learn. And he says that the hardest part is making the decision.

For me, I think thats where it is. The #lifeGoal.

I want to be a nomad. I want to explore the world. Learn new things and make the fucking dent. But then, how do I...  leave my family behind? run away from my "responsibilities"? do this at this ripe old age of 35? Etc.

Any ideas?

Oh, I believe that I am one of those birds that hates to be caged!

From Shawhank

P.S.: One of the ways in which I can do this is by becoming a famous author. That allows me to make an impact (I will have an audience), travel (to talk about my book, on book tours etc) and provide for my responsibilities (royalty etc). But then odds of getting successful as an author as tiny as me hitting a royal flush on my first hand at the WSOP ME (whenever I get to it). 

On failing. And getting back up.

As the first month of 2018 is officially over, here's a time to look back. Without trying to link back to posts and give evidence of promises, here is a list of things that I failed (and won) at, #in2018.

In no order,

A. I decided to take up the 2019in2018 challenge. Was on it for a few days in the beginning of the year but with time I lost the plot.

I want to end the year at 30" and its going to take superhuman effort from here on. A large part of it will be diet. And a smaller part (not so small) will be working out. I had thought that I will start with daily walks, easing into jogs and then eventually a run. Ending in an attempt at HM. But January has been disappointing. Lets see whats in store for Feb.

B. A few people I know IRL went and came back from JLF. And their twitter feeds tell me that as someone who's interested in the writing scene, I ought to be there. To be honest, not sure if I want to be on the stage at all the litfests around the world but would love to have an opportunity to be at a place where my books are sold.

No, I dont want fame. I merely want to tell stories, create time to write and of course make money. I am ok if my books get published under a pseudonym and all I get is royalties. Actually, thats an idea there. Need to think more.

Back to the point. I want to get the second book out. And I want to get #BetterYou out this year. Both are stuck. Because I dont have time to work on em. And why do I not have the time? Because I am stuck in the rut :(.

Ok. Cribbing.

Point is, need to get back to writing.

C. I wanted to work on my waning mental faculty. For the same, I wanted to start with these app-based games that apparently train the brain. And, I've been able to more or less do this!


So, a win. Phew.

Been playing on Peak and havent missed too many days. And there's a marked improvement in my scores. May be I am getting used to the games that Peak makes me play. May be I am actually improving. Irrespective. A win. Something that is needed to create habits (you know, the trigger, action, reward triad?)

D. I had started posting a pic a day on my instagram last year.  It went well for a few days and then I lost the plot. All those things that they say that make habits if you do something for 21 days? Yawn.

I need to restart it. For two reasons. One, it allowed me to stay curious about the world around me. And, two, it made me a better photographer and a storyteller. Every pic I uploaded, I would think about what the pic meant to me and I would be forced to pen my thoughts bout em.

Did you follow the thread? You want to tell me what you liked about it most?

Just realised that I still have issues with means or meant. Present tense, past tense and all other tenses. Need to fix em. Where do I start? 

E. I dont know if I have spoken about this earlier but I've been tracking each day of my life since (well, most days) 23 May 2017. I started with a daily log of work and all and with time I have expanded it and most days I track 32 variables. Starting 26 Jan 2018, I have started tracking what I eat. And since day before I've started tracking some 20 other tiny things on Nomie (inspired by Thej). I dont know what would I do with all the data but I like the feeling that I will be able to look back at a random date and see what I was upto.

For example, on 12 Aug 2017 (I promise I cooked up this date to give you a case in point), I did the following...

  • Was in Delhi for an event at Andaz (which is an awesome hotel)
  • Met Vanita, Kunal, Ankit 
  • Spoke to Jinal and Parry about things that they are working on 
You get the drift? 

So, net net, its a win. It keeps me grounded. Keeps me going. Gives me a semblance of stability in a world that is in perpetual chaos. 

F. I started maintaining a daily journal at the beginning of the year. Again, after the first week  I havent been able to do much about it. Will restart it. I think I got stuck with it because I did not know to write on it. Do you maintain one? What do you write on it? 

G. I have not played pool in 2 months I think. Before I did that big project at Bangalore last year, I was getting in 2-3 sessions a week. I need to find a way to spend more time around home. May be on the Maker days? Start with a session of squash / yoga, shoot some pool, write and create. Thrice a week. Lol. Wishful thinking, Mr. Garg. 

H. As I write this, I am in HCMC, trying to put together an event for a client. And since I've been here, I havent done any of those "daily" things that I am supposed to do (Peak, photos on insta, writing, daily journal etc). I realised that its tough to do anything when you are on the road. Immense respect to the ones who are on the road and get things done. How?

Oh, and I carried a pair of running shoes with me on this trip, hoping I will go for a run each day. Lol, high hopes. 


So, yeah, that was January of 2018. Not exactly what I wanted it to be. I remain cognisant and aware. Lets buck up in February and beyond. 

PS: While writing this post I realised that the marathon, lit fest and others are all "properties" owned by event companies. Why can't I be the one to create something like this? #note2self and to Team @ C4E

Hello, iPhone

I dont know if you noticed that I moved to an Android phone sometime last year. The objective was two fold. A, I wanted a phone with a longer battery life. This means that iPhone was not gonna cut it. And B, I wanted to be more efficient by not wasting time on social media (twitter, insta etc). And I dint want to just mute notifications but also remove the access to these apps that are big time-syncs.

So, been on Android past few weeks and while I am getting used to the shenanigans of an Android fast, I am going back to an iPhone. Why?

A, Aesthetics. An iPhone offers a far better experience. In terms of navigation, reading, phone features and others. Ofcourse Android allows for a deeper integration with Google Suite (I literally run my life on Google) but I am willing to give it up for usability. And there's a lesson there. Form over function. Lol. In the real life you ought to have a balance of two. More on this some other day, in some other blogpost.

B, Battery. I use a MI Phone as my Android device. When I got it, the battery would outlast the iPhone's. But now, after like 3 months of usage, the battery performance is worse than than of an iPhone. And no, I dont have the heart to invest in a better Android phone for a longer battery life.

So, back to the iPhone and back to being tethered to a battery pack!

C, Privacy. I am told that Apple offers better privacy and protection against data theft, hackers and all that. Not sure. I mean who would want to hack into my life? I gave it up when I queued up to get the Aadhar enrolment done.

P.S.: At this point, lemme take backup of my blog, lest some hacker gets offended. Done.

D, Self-moderation. I want to try self-moderation rather than enforcing abstinence from distractions. I have traditionally sucked at this. But I want to try and see how this goes.

Thats about it. Nothing more, nothing less. Guess its a thing I want to do for some reason and rather than having all the rational answers, I am merely rationalising. And thats' the thing to learn from this post - rational vs rationalising.

P.S.: My average blogpost runs into1000+ words. This one is like 500 words and something seems off. No?
P.P.S.: And no, this is not part of any of the themes that I had said I will write about. So, this goes under #miscBetter. 

Help me help people around me...

Among other things that I have planned to do #in2018, I am gonna work on a non-fiction. The idea is to create something that helps the world, allows me to reach more people and achieve financial independence. A win-win-win. Yes there IS a thing like that.

The starting point of all the above, is a non-fiction book. And for the same, I am looking for a research and writing assistant to help me! 

What is the book about?
Cant give too many specifics for the time being (because I dont have them to be honest; all of it is WIP). But when it does come out, it will be stocked in either the self-improvement or business & management category at bookstores across the world (not just India). In fact, the first month together will be spent on shortlisting the theme, idea etc. 

What I need from you? What "skills" am I looking for? 
  • Understanding of business. If you have studied marketing, journalism, business reporting, you will be an ideal person to work with.
  • Understanding of behavioural sciences. All self-improvement books are essentially about behaviour, decision making and mental models. 
  • Ability to conduct online research, do background research on people, connect dots (like investigative journalists do) and other similar things that will help us make sense of all the data that we gather. 
  • Inquisitiveness and innate curiosity about the world around us. What makes people do things they do? Why do companies fail? What makes an underdog beat a Goliath against all odds? 
  • Handle large quantity of data. This "data" would be things like interviews (that we conduct), research (to back up these interviews), original text (that we write), media (that we will have to consume to work on the book), scratch notes, snippets, thoughts and other things. 
  • Great command over English language. This means that you are a grammar nazi, you know how to fix a badly written piece of text and you can spot a badly written piece of text from a mile. This is probably the most important bit as my command over language is questionable. 
  • Some sense of humor. Please. There's just too many serious people around and we can do with some easy going people. 
  • You would have read a few business, non-fiction and self-improvement books. This means you understand the structure of such books. You also know what is faff and what actually adds value. 
  • Most importantly, you REALLY want to work on a non-fiction in the self-improvement genre. 

You must... 
  • be is in your mid-twenties. I am sure of this unless you are an anomaly. 
  • be willing to work 2-3 hours EACH day. No Sundays or weekends. I dont believe in that thing called the work-life balance. My work is my life. I live to work. I work to be able to make lives of people better, if not make a dent in the universe. 
  • live in Mumbai. You will work from your home / college / office etc. And you will have to meet me once a week for 2-3 hours. 
  • have access to a computer and Internet. 
  • know Google suite really well (drive, docs, keep, calendar etc.). 

And the most important of them all. What's in it for you? 
  • Stipend. I can pay upto Rs. 5K per month. For the duration that we work together. I estimate this to be a 6-month long engagement. If 5k a month is too less for you, I promise that I will give you all the royalty I make for the first 5 years. No conditions. Serious about this. 
  • Credits in the book. As an assistant for sure. And in case you and I click, may be as a co-author. How cool will it be to have written and published a book in your name? 
  • Learning. The book will help people become better (yes, you are staring at a man who wants to be yet another self-improvement and personal productivity guru). And while the ambition is to write a book that helps people, the very process of writing the book will help you as well. Plus I am a great mentor. I am. Trust me! 

In short, I am looking at a Superman / Superwoman. To push me to do well. And make the world a better place. I know I cant do this alone. And I need help. Are you the one? 

P.S.: Found any typos in this post? 

Fork in the road

So, Yogi Berra apparently said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Here's a fork.

Starting today, I am moving my personal rants to a closed blog. No access to it ever. Its like an echoChamber.

This makes the number of blogs I (try to) maintain upto 523321842. Of course apart from this one and the one I maintain for C4E, most remain dormant. I will work on those at some point in time.

For the time being, to know more about the fork, please refer to this short QnA I did with, well, myself!

So what happens to the War of Words? 
It stays! Stays the way it is. Except posts where I get super critical about myself. Those go on my personal blog.

I will not post things related to work here. Those things go on C4E blog. Or may be on S101. Or I dont know where. But not here. This has been and shall remain a place where I park my personal thoughts (dude, all thoughts ARE personal). Fuck all the jazz about building personal brands and all that. This is me. And thats how it will be.

Oh, some posts will go on multiple blogs. But this blog will become a repository of EVERY post that I write. Except the ones that I write for myself, for the echoChamber.

Why this segregation?
As I grow up in life (lol), I am beginning to realise my raison d'etre (though I cant pronounce the word yet, damn French or whatever language is) -- a billion lives, a billion dollars and The Everest. And to do that, I need to be able to get access to people, ideas, opportunities and other things that will enable me to fulfill the purpose.

And that wont happen if I am known as someone who's super critical about things.

Thing is, I think, to do large things, you need a tinge of irrationality, the blind faith in your ability and a big dollop of hope. Not a pragmatic, critical, type A personality - which I think I am. So I need to get out of the mould. And to do that I will have to do some lot of things that I havent done in the past. Such as be conscious of the signals that I send out. No, I dont mean that I will stop being who I am (last few days, have got so many lessons on authenticity that I would be a fool to get away from it). But that means that I will consciously chase things rather than letting them happen to me. And if that means changing how the blog sounds like, I will do it. This year, by hook or by crook, I have to make it big. And I am on my way.

Ok I am digressing. Next question please.

You must be nuts, dude.
You dint know that already?

Actually, more than nuts, I think I am like Louis. And this blog, is like Norma - a consistent echo-chamber that has been around since I think I have started thinking.

Coming back, what about your fans? The ones who read this blog religiously? 
Lol! You gotta be kidding me! Fans hote hain #bhairoxx ke. Humare to readers hai. Wo bhi ek-do. And they'd understand. Any more questions?

How will the shape of this blog change as we go along? 
I dont know that. I gave it a cursory glance and tried to read it like a stranger would. Here's what I think of WoW as a stranger.
First thing is that most posts are long by the snacky-listicles standards that we are used to seeing on the Internet. Boring for most people who spend time online. Assuming that someone does stumble upon something they do want to read, to people who dont know the author, all the posts would remain meaningless. Each posts requires way too much context before someone could make sense. Even if you have "fans" from the book, dont think they'd be keen on reading what you rant about. Agreed there are posts about how you're trying to improve and all that. But then, as a stranger, am I interested? Dont know. 
Also, side note. Most blogs tend to have a theme - say technology, writing, design, marketing et al. This blog has no theme. Its a potpourri of things that the blogger is interested in. I will never bookmark because the interests are so varied that its tough to track. Plus none of the posts is deep. I mean the dude is clearly not an expert on any topic that he writes on. So, why would I read it? 

Ok. So, if I need to chase the ambitions, I need to try and talk to people who's push me ahead on the path of those ambitions. That means I will have to talk about impacting people and inspiring them (essentially about making better decisions, pushing thyself, learning new things, identifying the limitations, failure, life, making the world a better place, et al), money (work, opportunities, ideas etc. P.S: Of course I will not get into specifics. Those will go on work blog. Here, I will talk about lessons am taking home, the mistakes am making and pitfalls that I am getting stuck in) and the Everest (fitness, the journey, baby steps that am taking towards it etc.).

I will need to create deep, meaningful content that has to be contextual to the themes that I am chasing. For example, if I want to write about brands, I need to make it so relevant, so interesting that marketers actually want to read it! Makes sense.

May be the blog needs to get three distinct headers. Say,,, And each talks about a certain thing. Whoever is interested in whatever section can choose to read that section alone and then come back to it. Or not. Depending on how they like it.

Wait. Where do things like poker, travel, short stories et al go? 
Ummm... they could go under personal?

Lol! that's where you started. No? 
Ok. They could go under inspire. And the content could be lessons I learn from various incidents that prompted me to write that particular post.

For stuff like short stories and other projects that I announce regularly, may be I do need to create a section called misc. or something that I can dump everything in. And with time, try and reduce the amount of content I create for the misc bucket.

Yes yes. Makes sense. Carry on.
That's it dude. Nothing else to carry on with. Lets just do it. So 4 sections or themes as we go along. Be Better (inspired by well, inspire), Work Better (inspired by work), Live Better (inspired by Everest) and Misc. You'd probably notice em on the sidebar (for the time being till I figure out the new design etc).

All the best! 
Thank you, it was a pleasure. Oh, if you are reading this, any thoughts? Inputs? Please?

P.S.: Love this echochamber!

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?