20 Life Lessons...

[Originally written in 2003. Posted here unedited. Does it stand the test of time? You be the judge.]

  1. If you want to you can.

  2. Preconceived ideas is the pesticide of the mind that prevents the growth of new experiences.

  3. The purpose of your life is what you decide it to be.

  4. The price of success in one area is failure to succeed in others. The most obvious example is how personal and family matters take a backseat to career success. Real, kick-butt success only comes to those who are passionately committed to one thing and one thing only. By choosing to balance your life with other interests, you may still be relatively successful, which may be good enough depending on your definition. Match your expectations with your ability and align it with reality.

  5. Success is pursuing your own path – walking to the beat of your own drummer.

  6. Being completely satisfied with who you are – is failure guaranteed, because nobody is naturally successful. To become successful you have to become someone else to a certain extent – a creative tension between who and what you are and what you can be. You have to change your natural inclination and focus your being on a certain track. There is a price to pay, a bit of cheating a bit of acting to gain an advantage. Complete contentment is death.

  7. Commercial success is inversely proportional to amount of evil you are willing to tolerate. No great (and I use the term loosely) business has no skeletons whatsoever in the proverbial closet. There are always deals made that someone wishes they hadn’t, but not making those deals would have also asked for sacrifices that the faceless corporation never makes. There is a good deal of Evil in the world. At least as much as the Good that exists. No CEO or President or Prime Minister reaches the top without being tainted by it.

  8. The only inevitable consequence of growth – is death; that is what you must accept and not confront. Everything else then gains perspective.

  9. People profess to seek truth, but who really wants to confront truth, which can only harshly reflect your own inadequacies. The degree to which you can accept the truth or ignore the truth plays a significant role in your ability to overcome disappointment. A successful person must often be pig headed or naïve enough to ignore the inevitable and to stick to the plan. Occasionally nature might just yield against the stubborn and things turn your way.

  10. Saying what is expected and doing what is accepted guarantees the discovery of nothing but it gets you ahead. This is proof of the rat race hypothesis. No matter how loud the boss argues that they don’t want Yes-men on the team, just see how often they seek to build ‘consensus’.

  11. Doing and thinking cannot exist in the same time-space. Great sportsmen have the singular skill that they can ignore the crushing weight of reality (consequences of failure). Their excellence comes not despite the odds, but because of the ignorance of the odds – to a greater extent than their opponents. Greatness is thus directly proportional to your ability to ignore the potentiality of failure and its consequences. This may be because they have an appreciation for the inconsequential importance of failure of any human endeavour on a cosmic scale – or special talent, or because they are blessed with less grey matter.

  12. You are more able to change your future if you understand your present and your past.

  13. Doing more of the same does not yield the same result twice.

  14. The difference between greatness and mediocrity is not a matter of distance (on a continuum) but it is decision.

  15. There is no future in fear. Fear of failure is debilittating, not motivating.

  16. Talk less, listen more. And then again.

  17. Charisma is nice to have, integrity is crucial. Trust is the currency of leadership.

  18. Success or failure does not determine who you are. How you deal with these inevitabilities does.

  19. Personal success and growth is everybody’s dream. Most importantly, you should align your goals with your ability and a dash of reality. This does not mean you can’t dream about being a movie star, but you might not be a successful model without painful surgery.

  20. Success comes to those who focus on the process – concentrate on the doing, the action, the actual transformation. You become a writer by writing, not dreaming about the goal