Ludwig, the German-American architect famously said, “Less is more.”
We are always running behind something. In the past 10 years of my life, I’ve slowly started to comprehend the fact that less is more, and this eventually became a fundamental value for whatever I do.
Don’t follow anything blindly. By asking questions you’ll learn things at a whole new pace.
Make this a part of your daily habits. Just like you eat, sleep, wake up and shower – be grateful and then start your day. By being grateful not only do you become humble but also get a chance to step back and appreciate what you have.
Make something every day. Click a picture, write something in your notebook or post on a blog. Work on a sculpture, work on a painting, but create something. The point of creating something every day is that it indirectly makes you learn something.
Don’t get stuck on the idea of what someone else may think about you. If you do that, you’ll get into a vicious circle of thinking too much before doing anything and that will slow you down. So don’t think too much about what people will think. Just go ahead and do what your heart says.
The minute you think you are special is when you start digging your own grave. In order to pursue a valuable goal in your life, you have to put in hard work and there will always be a fight between you and your ego. Because your ego is your biggest enemy. I specifically learned this from Ryan Holiday’s book, “Ego is the enemy”.
If you have an idea that you want to execute, you’ll have to get your hands dirty. You’ll have to try doing it. In the process, you’ll fail. You’ll fail many times and that’s when it will become difficult. But, if it’s something you really believe in, you’ll try again. You’ll probably fail again till the time you can’t fail anymore.
In past 10 years, what I have learned is that without a goal you can easily drift from the right course. There can be a long-term goal and then you can divide that long-term goal into shorter goals so that it is trackable. That way you’ll stay on the right track and would eventually reach your goal.
If you work towards something blindly without looking at it from a larger perspective, you might end up moving around in circles and never reach there. So you have to work smart along with working hard.
If you have a long-term goal of writing a book, but instead, you just write a small article on which you get instant feedback – it always feels good. But it will take you away from your long-term goal of writing a book because you’ll never be able to devote the time needed for the book. So don’t trade your long-term goals with instant gratification.
If you are in a meeting or having a deep conversation, you should always have a notebook or your phone ready at hand so that you can jot down points to look at later. We may understand what is being said in the moment, but may forget about it later. So, it’s always good to note things down.
Spend more time with your loved ones because eventually, they’ll be the ones who will be there for you. Others are just guests in your life. Family and close friends are the ones who’ll be there in your hard times as well.
If you are presented with a difficult situation that nobody has much of an idea about, but you feel confident about it, then lead the way. Take it, own it and finish it. Don’t shy away from the situation.
A minimal lifestyle is something I believe in, firmly. Don’t crowd your home with things you’ll never use. Take up a challenge and assess everything you see in your house. If it gives you joy and happiness, keep it. Otherwise, let it go. Donate it or put it in the bin. You’ll see how uncluttered your life becomes. Minimalism is not just about having fewer things in your house. The whole point of minimalism is to unclutter your life and mind, physically and emotionally as well.
Connecting with the right set of people is crucial to your growth. So, learn how to network and be good at it. But don’t fake the relationships you make. When the time comes, this network will help you.
You’ll face obstacles every now and then. And as you reach towards the goal, the intensity of these obstacles will increase. But you need to understand that only by facing these problems will you become better and eventually earn the goal you set your mind to.
Start living in the present moment by practising mindfulness. Set some time aside (whatever you can every day) to do nothing. Just sit back and focus on your breathing. Start listening to your body and feel your surroundings. Some people do it through meditation while others do it through exercise. Whatever way you choose to do it, practice mindfulness every day.
I learned this one the hard way. When we’re pursuing something we are passionate about, we tend to isolate ourselves from reality. Quitting means you are just freeing yourself from something which is not relevant anymore. You can use your energy into something else.
I was introduced to running five years ago and soon became serious about it. If you want to do more, you need to have a healthy body because a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.
If you feel stuck, isolate yourself from that situation for a while and take a step back. You’ll surely be able to look at the situation from a whole new perspective and maybe, you’ll also be able to resolve it with a new solution.
It’s true. Whether it’s a failed relationship or a business or even the passing of a loved one, time will give you strength to cope. You will have the memories forever but time will heal the pain.
When you are working with someone, be helpful and uplift them. Not only is this a selfless act but in process of it, you’ll learn so much too.
Make sure there is some value for someone in whatever you do. If you provide value, then people will respect you in whatever you do.
Be patient. Put in the work and wait for the right moment. When you do that, the universe somehow opens unusual ways to let you reach where you want to be. But remember, you have to put in the work, visualise it and be patient.
Whatever you aspire to do, chances are that someone has already done it before you. So start learning about those people and get inspiration from them.
Of course, the world is competitive right now. But what I have learned over these years is that competition with others is good, but it’s not always healthy. But it’s important to remember that your biggest competitor is you. You need to benchmark yourself and then try to become better at it with each iteration.
The philosophical meaning of zen is ‘now’. If you live in the present moment you will become a better version of yourself. An attribute of zen is to become content with what you have. So when you train yourself to be in the moment and being content, you’ll leap forward towards a happier life.
There are many other learnings like this which have shaped me in the past 10 years. I thought of sharing these with you since some of you might be in your twenties, and would find these helpful. So I jotted down these 26 learnings from the past 10 years that I learned from various books, people and experiences in alphabetical order.
I wish I had known these 26 things when I was 20 years old but here they are for you.
Will you be a master of life if you applied these 26 things? No way. But you will definitely become a better person.
But just know that you know nothing. So always keep learning.