Life Thoughts: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Do you ever feel like the pieces of happiness are right there, right in front of you, you’re just not putting them together the right way? That’s how I feel right now.  It’s so infuriating because I feel like I’m so close and yet, somehow, it’s just evading my reach.

One big thing I’ve realized is that what got me here won’t get me to where I want to be.  What does that mean? It means that I have to chuck every strategy and method I’ve used over the past 29 years and get new ones to get me to where I want to go in my 30’s.

The main difference, at least in my head, is really about feeling. I’m one of those people that avoids feelings like the plague.  I like to compartmentalize, avoid, work over/through and pretend that feelings are some alien concept to me until the cows come home (or populate the streets of Bangalore).  I think it’s because I’m terrified of what I feel. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m feeling, and the other half I pretend like they don’t exist.  I’m terrified of the work that it takes to actually face them head on.  Does this mean that I’ll never be successful? Will I turn into a bag of mush and never be able to leave my house through the sheer lack of will due to the terrible nature of this thing we call the human existence?  (Do I need to redefine my definition of success??)

These are the questions that terrify me and make me want to keep avoiding feelings for all of eternity.  Except…I know deep down that this is a terrible idea.  I know that avoiding my feelings got me this far, but I also know that if I want to be the best version of myself, I need to tap into this part of me that’s been dormant for 29 years.

What worries me? The fact that I already cry like a baby at movies like A Cinderella Story (yes, with HILLARY DUFF THAT ONE JUDGEY MC JUDGERSON). That’s with me TRYING to suppress these feelings.  My greatest fear is that I will be one hot mess that can’t even find the will to get up in the morning.

What do I have going for me? Well, I’ve already been a hot mess, and I figure I can get out of that so even if I do turn into a big bag of mush, I’ve been there.  I mean the hot mess bit.   And I’m sort of on the other side (at least to me it feels that way), so really this won’t be new.

I still think the potential upside far outweighs the downside.  Hot mess vs…a more fulfilled life? Yeah, I’ll take that.

What does this look like? I still don’t know.  But I’m starting from ground 0 again.  And if I’ve done it in a big way before, I’m probably going to avoid it.  Try something new.

What is this new stuff? I guess that will be the content of future blog posts.

To be continued.

#BeastMode: Random Thoughts About Mindset

What’s the one thing that’s going to take me to the next level in my entrepreneurial career? Changing my mindset.  I need to learn to love the process.  Carol Dwek talks about this in her book, Mindset.  It’s pretty great, and the more podcasts I listen to, the more I’m convinced that’s what it takes to get me to where I want to go.

I’ve realized something interesting though.  This sort of mindset requires a lot of focus.  I also believe in the idea of deep work, Cal Newport’s catch phrase.  I think that’s where exercise comes in.  At least CrossFit.  I think if I use CrossFit training as actually a way to practice focus and discipline, I can see how that will help me be a better entrepreneur.  Because going for the sake of physical health is not really doing it for me.  I can be doing a lot of things that are not as intense as CrossFit, and not as demanding.

I have realized that greatness lies in the pushing of intellectual boundaries.  For example, right when I want to stop researching smart metering contracts, that’s when I want to push on for another hour.  That’s where the magic happens.  Because then I discover interesting things and have insights I never had before.  And that requires focus, and discipline.

So one of the habits I want to cultivate is to go to CrossFit 3 days a week.  Learn to not only be ok with the pain, but love it.  And really be present, focus, and get through that hour like a champ.  I’m going to do that for the next 3 months, see what happens.

All Right All Right- I’m Mostly Doing It Because It’s Fun.

I was talking to a friend of mine and he’s like umm.. Anu.  Really? You think this is the easiest way to make money? And what is up with your obsession about money?

Good questions.  I actually have no good reason for my obsession with these things other than I think they are fun to think about.  It’s crazy how little I know about something that literally makes the world go round.  I want to think about making money because it’s interesting and useful.  I also think it’s interesting to put constraints on ways you are going to make money. I want to only make money in ways I find interesting.

So at the end of the day, I’m actually actually not doing any of this for the sake of money.  Because if that was what I was optimizing for, I would be doing so many different things.

I’m really just doing it…to see if I can.  And that’s pretty fun.  Pushing your own boundaries.

Project Self Made Millionaire: Update I

I think these should become more regular, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading/interviews/research on this one.  The book I found most helpful was: The Ten Roads to Riches: The Way The Wealthy Got There And How You Can Too.  These are pretty much the only ways people become millionaires:

  1. Start your own business
  2. Become CEO of an existing successful company
  3. Hitch to someone you believe will be really successful and make you rich in the process
  4. Become a celebrity and turn it into wealth
  5. Marry Rich
  6. “Steal It”- meaning sue someone I think
  7. Use other people’s money to make more money
  8. Invest in future revenue streams
  9. Make money through land
  10. Save a lot of money

I thought it was a decently exhaustive list.  I didn’t really even understand a few of them but you can pick up the book if you want.  It’s a…weird read.  The guy has a writing style all his own I must say.  Anyway, for various reasons I pretty much narrowed it down to start your own business.  The other ones seemed more complicated.  I feel like I have to make money somewhere, and I can either start through a job which I have savings and then invest it wisely and well, or take a chance and start your own thing.  For various reasons, I didn’t really consider the other options (although they are pretty good ones).

I did give this a lot of thought, and to me, right now, I feel like I need to take the chance and start another thing.  Mostly because a) it’s the only thing I know b) I’ve already made so many mistakes it HAS to be better the second time around and c) that seems the most interesting.  I also figure I’m still decently young, few responsibilities, and that’s not going to be the situation forever.  May as well try this now.

 

So now I know the how.  Next post I want to get down to the nitty gritty of the mechanics of this.

Experiments And Projects for 2017: Updates

Turns out, I actually don’t like all my projects this year (she said as Feb is halfway over…)

It’s ok. I’m not really the person to care about changing things in the middle.  I’ll be more clear about what I want to do this year.

Project Self Made Millionaire: This is currently underway.  I totally read a book on this (updates in a future post) and I have a plan of action.

Project Athlete: I decided I’m chucking this.  I actually don’t care too much about it this year.  I felt like I should care about it, but upon reflection, I really don’t. I don’t really care enough to count calories, which is pretty much what it’ll take to make this happen ( I think, after the research/interviews conducted).  I think I’ll definitely take it up at some point in time, but not 2017.  For now, I’m just going to eat decently, and try to exercise but not die of exhaustion.

Project Helping People is now changed to Project Meeting People.  I’m just trying to meet as many people as I can, both professionally and personally.  I’d also really like to dig deeper with each person I meet, and record these events.  Thinking about them makes me happy and I want to just keep meeting more interesting people doing really cool things.

New Project: Learn Hindi.  I just realized how utterly useless I am in any sort of Indian language.  For various reasons I thought I would start with Hindi, and then once I gain more confidence that yes, I can actually learn a language, I can move on to other languages.  But Hindi is the language of the year.

Anyway, those are the updates.

I Love You, But Would You Hate Me If I MIGHT Love My Maid More?

It’s true.  Any woman with a good maid will tell you that a good maid is hard to find.  First of all, I feel very Indian talking about maids.  Like very very upper class, let them eat cake sort of Indian.  Which is weird.  I feel like I try to compensate by making them tea after they clean my house.  Or offering them juice.  It’s the American in me coming out. It just feels wrong.  WHY MUST I ENCOURAGE CLASSISM?! Maybe if I was British I’d feel more ok with this whole maid thing.  But in any case, I don’t feel weird enough to NOT have a maid- lets be clear here.  I’m not that crazy.  I effing love my maid.  She’s the best.  I mean she cooks AND cleans my house.  HOW IS THIS ANYTHING BUT AMAZEBALLS?  She is probably one of the best things in my life.  No joke, if she doesn’t come for more than a day or two, I start to hyperventilate and wonder how my life will go on.  I genuinely question this.  I think about if I’ll starve, and also, where did she leave the mop/dish cleaning equipment (I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THAT THING IS CALLED- is it a scrubber? A dish scrubber? WTF.  I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER)

What really sealed the deal is that my boyfriend is over at my house a lot.  And she hates it.  Like really really hates it.  Because well.  I mean. Lets be super gender biased here and just play out the stereotypes.  She has more to clean now.  I love that he cooks, but she hates that she has to clean his…artwork.  The kitchen definitely looks like a Jackson Pollock painting after he is done.  And she hates it.  To the point where today she kind of said look.  If this doesn’t get better, I may have to go.  She didn’t say it outright.  But there was that threat.

And my first thought was genuinely- GOD DAMNIT HE NEEDS TO BE AT MY PLACE LESS! I CANNOT LOSE MY MAID! I WILL STOP BEING LAZY AND GO OVER TO HIS PLACE! PLEASE MAID DON’T LEAVE ME! I WILL DIE WITHOUT YOUUUUUUUUUU

I feel like that makes me a terrible girlfriend. Picking my maid over my boyfriend. But there. I said it.

What can I say? Basic necessities sometimes may have to win over love.  I’m just saying.  He wouldn’t want me to starve or die would he? Really, I’m doing this for us.

Random Thoughts on What To Plan Vs. What I Can’t Plan

I’ve realized that life itself is really hard to plan.  I liked what my friend Eve said in a comment on the last post- goals.  Goals are important.  My cousin echoed that and gave more clarity on what sorts of goals we can have.  1 year, 3 year,  5 year.  I don’t really know what the 5 year ones are yet, but 1 and 3 seem doable in my head.

But I also realized that goals aren’t planning.  Goals don’t tell you how to do something- they tell you what you want to achieve to make your life meaningful.  They’re also not really binary- even if you only achieve 70% of your goal, that’s still usually pretty great.

Planning is different.  Plans are binary.  They either happened or they didn’t. For example.  I planned my entire day last night.  Nothing went according to plan.  I may still be on track to achieve my goals, but my plans have failed.

I think, the sad truth is that most of us are poor planners.  I’m only saying that because I feel like I am a poor planner (and I also read this article that said as much).  I realize that I didn’t schedule in half the things that I feel are important (sleep, talking to friends, catching up on emails, reading, blogging, eating-yes I started scheduling those too).

Another thought- my excessive planning needs to be diverted to achieving goals.  Goals in work and goals in life.  And getting to be a better planner on how to achieve my goals (and also how to use my time) is going to be key.

Time as a currency.  Being able to understand time.  I feel like there’s something there that I’m missing.

Happy Friday

 

 

I Don’t Know What My Perfect Life Looks Like

I know you’re not really supposed to say that, especially since I’m almost turning 30, but I’m kind of tired of stressing myself out with planning things. I do think there’s some benefit to some life plan, I mean it logically makes sense.  But I also know that I made a plan and nothing (literally, I mean nothing) went according to the plan.  And I love my life. Like seriously, I’m so lucky.  I could have never planned this.  And I spent so much energy beating myself up over having failed plans (or at least my subconscious did) when I could spend my time I don’t know…enjoying my life and being happy as a clam.

Maybe there’s a middle ground. The controlling side of me hates the idea of not planning anything.  And I do think that planning is somewhat useful.  But maybe it’s around the types of things we plan.

Or maybe there’s a different approach.  Maybe I know what I’m optimizing for.  Maybe I know that I’m trying to grow the most as a person, all the time.  Learn about the world and other humans and live a life of wonder and awe.  Maybe it’s around not knowing, but just making sure that there are ups and downs to everything, and you accept whatever consequences life gives you.  I just know one thing. I don’t want to live a life with regrets.

As women (hell, maybe men too) we think about time bound potential regrets:

  • I want to get married (is this one time bound anymore? Probably not?)
  • I want to have a kid

Ok wow. I have ONE. Having a child.  So this is what it’s all about.  I’m also starting to question this idea.  Do I want a kid of my own? Do I want a child? I have no idea.  I think at this point I could go either way.  And maybe that’s enough for now.

I used to think life is like a game of chess.  But seriously, do you really need to be planning the end game when you make the first move? I mean who are you playing against- God? Your higher self? Life is more like…Blackjack.  I think we’re all kind of swimming along and we take it as we comes. Sometimes you nail it, you beat the house.  And sometimes, it just all goes to shit. But at the end of the day, you have to enjoy playing.  Whether you win or lose.

But it kind of sucks if you’re trying to play Chess when really you need to be gearing up for Blackjack.  I feel like the mindspace is totally different for both.  Maybe that’s been my problem.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll have more information in a few years.

Experiments & Projects for 2017

Now that I have the basics down, there’s a few experiments I want to run in 2017.

  • Project Self Made Millionaire: I want to try and become a self made millionaire. Anyone whose assets are worth $1M or more. Cash or otherwise. I’m giving myself 5 years. That’s an arbitrary number. I may reduce it down to 3, but this is the new project I’m launching. Mostly just to see if I can. I hate worrying about money. I want to never worry about money again.

 

  • Project Being an Athlete: I realize that health has everything to do with how you enjoy life. My new goal is to see what it feels like to be at 18% bodyfat. I’m not sure if I will like it, but you know what, you don’t know until you try. What do I need to do? What new habits do I need? What do I need to give up? Do I need to give up anything? How will I feel afterwards? Who knows. That’s the experiment for 2017.

 

  • Project Help People: I want to keep track of how many people I help and how I help them. It can be super basic, or it can be big, but I want to see how I can help more people. It makes me happy and it makes the world a better place. It’s a nice thing to do. I want to focus on people who are within my sphere of influence.

Lets start with three projects for the year and see where it goes.

Kill Your Darlings – Goodbye 2016

I think 2016 was getting rid of a lot of things I didn’t need. Including limiting beliefs.  2017 is about sorting through the stuff that was pretty great in 2016, and moving it forward.

  • Home to me, is anywhere I have people excitedly picking me up from the airport.  So far, I have 2 homes.
  • Love is not reductive, it’s multiplicative.  It’s exponential.  If you leave your heart in one place, it doesn’t reduce your ability to love in another.  It’s like network effects.  It actually gets better the more people and places and things you love. Not less.
  • The best career advice I’ve heard: pick the thing that closes the least number of doors.
  • Don’t be a donkey: You have another 30+ years ahead of you. Remember that and don’t try to do everything at once. Contrary to popular belief, we actually do have time.
  • Sometimes the hardest thing to do is slowing down. I have no problems going fast and working hard, but I have huge problems slowing down and making the right map.  Take the time to make the right map. Know where you are going. You already have the skills to get there.
  • Money is important.  Having more than enough makes sure you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of time thinking about it. Having more than enough ensures you don’t let it rule your life. Tim Ferriss said it better. If you have money to solve a problem, it’s not a problem.
  • We’re all wrong. We should accept it and figure out how to be less wrong. Being right is overrated and..just untrue.
  • Keep track of the things you care about. How do you spend your time? What are you most grateful for? How have you grown?
  • Be open to listening to people. Especially the unpleasant things people you respect have to say. That’s the only way you get better.

 

Things I loved about 2016 and want to keep into 2017

  • I have amazing friends. Beyond amazing. I made an effort to spend time with them and I’m really happy I did. I want keep doing that.
  • Meditating. I’m up to 25 minutes and I think it really keeps me sane. I meditate every day when I wake up and now I pretty much swear by it. It’s gotten me through some tough times.
  • Fiscal responsibility.  This was the first time I just didn’t spend everything that came into my hands. And I’m really happy I didn’t. I felt really empowered when I could actually go on vacations and not worry because I had budgeted for it. Amazing. Who knew.
  • Vacations & Visiting people that I love: I’m really really happy that I get to come to the US twice a year. I love visiting Europe twice a year. I love spending Thanksgiving with my cousin and nephews in a new location.