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Advice Journal

Tips for living a creative life

I found a post titled Fear is boring, and other tips for living a creative life which is apt for the creative challenge I am going through my life currently.

Via the following tweet:

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Fitness Habits Journal Learn Resolutions Thoughts

Master yourself. Help others.

I recently wrote about how  what I do aligns to “Master yourself, help others” philosophy I learned from Derek Sivers.  I loved this philosophy so much that I want to make it my life motto and make sure everything I do fits into either of these buckets.

This motto adds on to the four principles I practice. Here is the complete list:

  1. Master yourself. Help others.
  2. Hell yeah or no.
  3. Believe in Evolution. Not in Revolution.
  4. Rely on Habits and Processes. Not on Willpower.
  5. Base goals on Identity. Not on Performance or Appearance.

For the fun of setting resolutions for 2016, I decided to highlight two things from my /now page.

Master yourself

I am going to work for perfect abs. This not so because I want to show off but for the fun of attempting what I think is difficult to do. Perfect abs means eating really well, great rest of the body and overall fitness.

I reiterate, I exercise to master my body and be healthy so I can give a best shot to my aspirations. External results like lean body, muscle and low body fat are nice side effects I can’t help but enjoy.

Help others

I am going to work hard to be successful in my side project code-named, Chaitanya 3.0.

I am super excited to imagine what is possible in 2016.

Here’s to 2016 and I wish you all the very best for your aspirations.

Categories
Journal Thoughts Yearly Review

2015 in the hindsight

2015 is my best year ever in almost all areas of my life.

I learned a few good ideas, built a great momentum for my goals, and continued my habit streaks.

In October I put everything I have been up to in my /now page. This is the one of the best things I did this year. Writing this page has helped me think about what is important to me so I can say no to everything else. I have based my 2015 review on my /now page because it is essentially what I have been up to this year.

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Advice Commencement Speech Learn

Ben Horowitz’s Commencement Speech at Columbia University

Ben Horowitz’s speech at Columbia University is a great commencement speech I enjoyed in a long time.

It is witty, insightful, optimistic and unconventional.

I loved his main idea: follow your contribution instead of your passion. The next thing I loved is this quote:

As human beings we want to be liked. It’s anthropological. If people didn’t like you in caveman days, they will just eat you. So you really have a natural built-in instinct to want to be liked. And the easiest way to be liked is to tell people what they want to hear. And you know what everybody wants to hear? What they already believe to be true. So the last thing they want to hear is an original idea that contradicts their belief system. So it is very hard to even bring that kind of stuff up. But those are the things – those are the only things; things that you believe, that everybody around you doesn’t believe, when you are right, that creates real value in the world. Everything else people already know. It is just business usual. So it is very important to think for yourself.

A must watch!

"Don't Follow Your Passion": Ben Horowitz's Commencement Speech at Columbia University from a16z
Categories
Thoughts Writing

Where would you rather be?

Did you ever wish that you would rather be in a different place than you are right now? I did.

I think it is normal for all of us to think of some dreamland where everything is going to be exactly in the way we want. A place that is anywhere but where we are right now. And it is often correct.

If someone gives me the power to transport wherever I want, I know where I will go. It certainly won’t be into my past. Not because I hate my past but because my present has always been better than my past. On that account, I will choose to go into my future. I anyway live so much in the future that I often forget to live in the present. So if anyone offers me a ride in the time machine, why not go along?

I think living in the future is a good thing. When you are excited about future, you rank your future self higher than your current self. Isn’t this what self-discipline and delayed gratification is all about? If you are so obsessed with present and believe that now is what all you have, then how are you going to visualize your future and live in way that future self will thank you?

Getting excited about your future self will give you hope, which in turn will give you courage and strength to tread your present challenges. Because you then think that present challenges are temporary and they will eventually pass. They may not really pass but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you believe in taking action and action is the antidote of despair.

So don’t ever feel bad about wanting to be somewhere else. It is perfectly normal. Grass may not always be greener on the other side but it is surely greener in the future. But don’t hate you present though; appreciate it and keep working. You will eventually reach your ideal world.

Categories
Habits Resolutions

New year resolutions

I did not have resolutions for 2014. Instead, I decided to plant and grow few habits that are worth pursuing for years.

To help me get going, I made the following three rules for myself:

  1. Base goals on Identity. Not on Performance or Appearance.
  2. Rely on Habits and Processes. Not on Willpower.
  3. Believe in Evolution. Not in Revolution.

To remind me of these rules, I forked some markup from Codecademy at the end of 2013 and added a timer to it: time.chaitanyamsv.com. This page served me well but as I decided to close my domain, this page will go down as well.

One and a half years later, I no longer need the timer as I systematized my habits in Coach.me and Wunderlist apps. So the habits happen nevertheless. However these rules needed a new home, and this post is it.

Categories
Journal Thoughts Yearly Review

2014 in the hindsight

2014 has been a great year for me with few exceptions.

I did not have any grand resolutions to start with. I instead chose to intensify the tiny habits method I stumbled upon in 2013. As a self-reminder, I forked some markup on Codecademy and created a three point manifesto for myself. I think I lived it very well.

Categories
Random Thought

Iterate until done.

It does not matter whether you fail in achieving your dreams. Failure is inevitable especially if you are aiming for something higher. What matters is whether  you are iterating or not. As long as there are continued efforts backed by refined plans,  achieving any dream is eventual.

I am lucky enough to live three major dreams, all achieved in the last 10 years. Every single one was iterated more than few times.

I am currently working on my next dream and I already failed once.  I am unsure how many more times I will fail given its magnitude. But what I am sure about is, I  will never stop iterating.