One mistake…

Do you have the feeling that the one mistake in life has completely derailed it? 

It can be anything from not joining the job, in which your peer has now become a millionaire, or jumping into entrepreneurship that failed. Or even failing the exam and not getting into college. 

But is it really true? Can a single moment of failure define our life?

If we think deeply we know the answer is no, the reason we failed was not one point of time or one mistake, but we didn’t try again, we didn’t try to do startup again even if it failed the first time. We didn’t try to pass the exam a second time, but we accepted it. 

But that’s the catch, you cannot determine the slope of a line given only one point, as there is no line, to begin with. A single point in time does not show trends.

So how is ur trend after the one mistake you think is life-changing? If the trend with time is not what you want to achieve, then the one mistake does not matter, it’s a series of mistakes all in a row to not achieve what you sort out the most. 

So change the trend – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. And stop blaming the one mistake.

Compassion vs Comparison…

Compassion is a sympathetic concern for others’ suffering.

Comparison is evaluating the self with others well being.

In a way, both are the flip sides of a coin.

In today’s world comparison drives most of our action and compassion drive very few of them.

Why? Because comparison is quick and dirty, invoke it, get it flaunted, drive the wants (Short term fulfillments) and go to the next comparison. Drivers are social media platforms, commercial companies, and media companies. Their motto is to extract as much from social comparison as possible.  

Compassion is dying because no one wants to look weak, no one wants to look in suffering if u are good…I am also good. 

In the war of comparison and compassion, the biggest winner will be these companies and the biggest loser will be us. As we are the ones, running the comparison race without any compassion for each other.

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

Growth Mindset people consider failure a challenge, recognizing that they have flaws and need to improve. Let’s try again harder.


• Growth Mindset people take mistakes as a challenge to improve, they don’t want to be perfect, they want to learn and keep learning.
• Since they are ready to accept failures to improve themselves. They get much more opportunities as they try more.
• The mindset here is to look at continuous improvement, more like a line that goes up or down but not a single dot. It’s continuous though curvy 🙂
• Growth Mindset people take the adverse condition as a challenge to grow further.
• Growth Mindset believes that if they keep doing hard work, things will improve for the better.

Fixed Mindset people consider failure a sin, a conspiracy perpetuated by the whole world against them.


• Fixed Mindset people fear mistakes because they want to be perfect, and flawless, hence they don’t take risks and don’t want to make mistakes.
• Since they fear failure, they are not open to trying more opportunities leading them to be sitting ducks.
• The mindset here is to bet everything on one exam, one interview, which if they fail, the failure is forever. It’s like a single dot that defines and makes all the difference in life. Whereas in reality, it’s the line, not the dot which makes the difference.
• Fixed Mindset people take the adverse conditions as bad luck, cribbing about it and trying to negotiate it without effort, or ignoring putting any effort.
• Fixed Mindset people fear too much to believe in hard work and hence don’t put so much effort further on.

Shallow Thinking vs Deep Thinking…

Our mind is always filled with thoughts, we keep thinking over and over…it never stops.

One study shows that we have more than 6,000 thoughts per day i.e 6.5 thoughts per minute (While awake). 

Moreover, with all these distractions, digital information, and connections, the daily thoughts per person are increasing every decade, just imagine for future generation(s) it will be so fast, vast, and overwhelming. 

We in general have two types of thoughts or thinking, Shallow thoughts and Deep thoughts:

Shallow thinking:

Shallow thoughts are the churn of daily thoughts, it is our day-to-day common thoughts and are a lot in numbers, almost 80% are shallow thoughts:

Everyday musings: 

  • “I need to clean out car today.”
  • “Gotta add oatmeal to the grocery list.”
  • “What a gorgeous day. I should really get out and get some sun.”
  • “This is pending, that is pending, needs this, wants that, mostly thinking or wanting NOT much action.”

Social Comparisons:

  • He is earning so much, I am earning this much, in comparison with others.
  • S/he went on this trip, we didn’t or couldn’t go. Our neighbor’s car, house, etc…Again comparison…

Anxieties/Worries/Fear:

  • “I need to deliver this tomorrow”
  • “I have a job interview”
  • Fear of finance, health, etc

Multi-Tasking:

  • Working on something, while in a meeting – Yes when we are multi-tasking we are shallow thinking.

Shallow thoughts are pensive, negative in nature, and are mostly distractions.

Deep thinking:

Deep thoughts are where we get into the groove, thoughts are deeper, longer, and more meaningful, these are much lesser in numbers and are more creative:

Reading & understanding a book

Doing something productive – Writing code. Building something. Writing.

Gardening, pursuing your hobby.

Playing sports or music etc

Reflection or introspection.

Deep thoughts are more happy and meaningful in nature.

If you notice we have more Shallow thoughts when we are angry, anxious, or worried i.e when we are surrounded by negativity. And when we spend more time in shallow thinking, the lesser happy we are, and more negative thoughts crop in. It kind of goes in a loop…

Whereas the more we spend time in deep thinking, we are happy, our performance improves and we enjoy growing & learning. 

So how to have more deep thoughts, how to move from shallow thinking to deep thinking as much as possible?

Change your mind channel

We need to change our mind channel. Convert our shallow thoughts to deeper thoughts, for that first let’s try this experiment: 

  1. Think about “white bears”(Or anything of your choice) for 30 seconds. 
  2. Then think of anything except “white bears” for the next 30 seconds. You will see that the “white bears” kept appearing in your thoughts. 
  3. Then give yourself a simple task that requires full attention, like sorting a deck of cards by suit in 30 seconds. 
  4. When finished, ask yourself if u thought about “white bears”. The answer will probably be “no”.

This experiment shows how changing our behavior even for smaller thoughts, can help us change our thoughts. You can think of a lot of other healthy ways to “change the channel” – like shooting hoops or baking cupcakes.

So whenever we are in grip of negative and shallow thoughts, change your mind channel by this simple exercise to something productive, to something you love doing. 

At long we will be better, more successful, and more content if we garnish more deep & happy thoughts.

To be or To do?

The ultimate question is whether want to “To be” or whether you want being “To do”

You want “To be” if:

1. You are happy with materialistic things in life, with a low conscience.

2. You like to boast about yourself in your social circles.

3. You want to make others envy. Or be envy with others.

4. You enjoy the end more than the means.

You want “To do” if:

1. You are happy with smaller things, more materials make things complicated.

2. You shy away from boosting in front of others. 

3. Not much impact of others either ways (you don’t care what they have and don’t care what u have in comparison)

4. You enjoy means more than the end.

Off course these are extremes, we generally fall in the middle of “To be” or “To do”, its more like percentage, how much % “To be” and how much % “To do”.

So what you want “To be” or “To do” ?

Why can’t we look at 5 to 10 years ahead?

Looking at the 5 to 10 years ahead in the future is difficult. But if we can do it, we can achieve most of our dreams.

When was the last time you looked at and visualized 5 years ahead, 10 years ahead? 

For career? For personal life? For finance? For your family?

It is rare and not very consistent. Moreover, if someone asks you to plan for it, it doesn’t seem possible. 

But the leaders and visionaries do that successfully.

So why can’t we think long-term? How can we do it? here are the pointers and solutions:

We like short term thinking as its effortless

Our brain is physically is not meant for thinking ahead, most of the brain functions are in current living mode. Maximizing the current, be it eating, be it drinking, be it earning money, etc. And that’s the reason we don’t easily sacrifice immediate pleasures, even after knowing that if we sacrifice now, we will get much better outcomes (In longer terms).

The marshmallow test is the biggest example (Wikipedia) where even a delayed gratification for the next 2-3 hours of getting more marshmallows if you don’t eat now, couldn’t be accomplished by many of us.

Solution

We need to exert self-control and willpower to avoid things even though it seems gratifying now but can have ill effects in the future.

Also, practice thinking towards the longer term. Visualize your long-term dreams because that will motivate us to control our present.

Requires knowledge and hard work to think about future

It requires wisdom, knowledge, and application of your learnings to think about the future. It requires hard work to think about the future.

Let’s do this small mind experiment:

Say you are a cricket fan and don’t know much about football, now if I ask you in the next 3 years where will India be in cricket, you will immediately have some answers based on your knowledge of cricket, current team, etc. But if I ask the same question in football, where we will be in the next 3 years, you will be blank. 

Even though the above experiment is trivial but it shows that we can think of things in the future only if we have the knowledge and wisdom based on our learning.

This also proves that the more knowledge you can gain, the more you are capable of thinking, planning, and dreaming about the future.

Solution

Keep learning hard and understand as much as possible, specifically in the field where you want to succeed, that’s the only way you can see ahead of yourself.

Don’t want to plan the future because of past failures

We don’t see any value in thinking about the future based on past failures and experiences in a particular area or field. It might have happened in past, that you would have planned and executed but failed in it. With these failures in mind, it’s painful to plan for the future in that field. 

But that’s exactly the opposite, the more we fail, the more we gain knowledge in the field, and next time our chances of success are much higher. 

Most successful people are visionaries who can think about the future without getting emotional about pasts.

Failure just implies that the path we have taken may not be the right one, but does not mean that our goal, mission, or dream is untenable.

Solution

We need to let go of our past hindrances and learn from them, do better planning for our future.

I think if we can do these things consistently, we can be long-term thinkers and be successful in achieving our life dreams.

We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost

Grades don't correlate with a student's intelligence - The State Press

Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost

Ans – You lost because you didn’t do anything wrong

Doing something wrong is the most important attribute for success. So let’s be wrong more number of times. Being wrong is most important to succeed and keep succeeding…You can succeed one time without doing anything wrong (By luck maybe) but if you want to succeed and succeed …you need to keep doing something wrong always…