Untitled – 28 Jan 2024

Brain dump at a 7 AM on a Saturday morning.

When you open WordPress editor to start writing, they share a prompt – what’s on your mind.

I think I needed this trigger.

So, what’s on my mind?

One-line answer – A lot!

Lemme elaborate. Like most times, I will make a list. Here are the things that I am thinking about and these are making me anxious and unhappy and all that. And yes, these are in an order – these came to my head as I started to think about things! 

What if the run that I am on doesn’t continue in the next year? 
For context, in this year I have scaled C4E (revenue, profits, clients, people) at least 2X compared to last year. While our base is extremely small (we are still a Micro enterprise as per GoI definitions) but to me, it is big. 

So what if this dream run doesn’t continue?

Ok, I am not the one to affect me, normally. I believe this too shall pass. I know we are in a good place. We have a good mix of long-term clients and short-term projects. Team is stable, engaged, passionate and active. And while they are atamnirbhar, as the oldest member of the team, I feel responsible for them. And that’s the challenge. What if I am unable to pay for them?

How do I scale? 
Now that I have seen a good year, the ambitious man in me seems to have started to stir. And this means I need to do more and at scale. And this means I need to work harder. Just that I don’t know which direction to work hard in! I mean we offer communication services to people and there are a million other companies that do this. And they do it cheaper and better. Why would the client choose me? Why would I use my time to build this? Did I learn all I learnt to just offer communication services? No, I don’t mean to be disrespectful. Different people have different battles and a communication agency is not mine. Not at this time at least. Maybe in the future. Never say never. So, coming back to the scale question, I need to work on that. And that is what keeps me up at night.

The chase of cool things. 
If you know me at all, you would know that I love shiny toys more than anything else. I’d rather spend my life in chase and not in actual deep, building of things. My joy is in zero to 1 and not in 1 to 100. This is something that Aditya Sir made me realize long ago! And the world we live in has a million shiny things to be honest and I have access to none of those. So, I am mindfucked about not having access to those cool things. I know that there’s no end to this. And I know better to not make that a pain point!

How do I build distribution? 
I’ve realized that everything in life boils down to one thing and one thing only – distribution. Once you have that, you can touch the sky and reach the moon and all that. Today I have pathetic distribution and reach. I may have 1000 followers on twitter but I don’t have an impactful reach and I need to build that. When I say impactful, I mean I should be able to reach people that matter. And they must know who I am. 

On the internet, people agree that there are a few ways to reach there – 

  • a, create polarizing content in polarizing categories (religion, celebrity, sports), 
  • b, showcase your talent as a person of talent (humor, acting, opinions, wit etc), 
  • c, identify a niche for yourself and create consistently on that, and finally, 
  • d, spend money! 

Now, I don’t have any of these 4. Plus I refuse to be siloed into one category – I am a free bird (lol). And thus the mindfuck. 

How do I ship more things? 
The other question I keep asking is, how do I ship more. I agree that all the things that I have mentioned above need a tiny element of luck but this one, the one on shipping, is pure hard work. No luck. Once I ship, things may not work out or things may bomb or things may be substandard quality. But I know that shipping is single-handedly a thing that I can control! So that.

Maybe once I start shipping things, I will feel good? After all it’s been AGES since I’ve shipped something by myself! 

So that! 

Oh and thanks to this brain dump, now I know that since shipping contributes this much to my happiness, I need to probably amp up my shipping game! 

in2024, I will…

A list of things that Saurabh Garg plans to work on #in2024. This is my annual post where I list my goals and ambitions and dreams and all that.

Hi! I started 2023 with this… 

Originally posted here.

And Obonato became the word of 2023 for me. And for some of us at C4E. Pooja introduced us to the word and it purportedly means “I exist because we exist”.

2023 was a testament to that.

I had a great 2023 because of “we”. We here is an entire village of people who have cared for me, worked with me, trusted me, given me work, allowed me to be me, hosted me, tolerated and even did not like me as much as I would want them to! 

I will come to the review and lessons from 2023 shortly but right at the top, allow me to talk about the word for 2024. It’s “ruthless consistency”. Inspired by AK. I’ve realized that if I have to do more with my life and make the lives of those around me stronger, better, happier, sustainable and all that – I need to be consistent. And that is what I would chase. We’d get to this shortly. For the time being, let’s get started with a report card for 2023. 

Recap of 2023 

I will divide this into the following categories – C4E, SoG, SG, and Lessons.

On C4E

I’ll start with people. Not revenue. And I will end with the direction I want C4E to take in the years to come.

People. We are now almost 15 people strong. This time last year we were 7. We continue to remain a unique business – there are no full-time “employees” and yet most people are married to C4E. We are all partners in the village!

And like in a village, each of us loves each other, respects each other and supports each other. This has to be my biggest win of 2023.

In the words of one of our former clients and ongoing friends, like their company (CynLr), “We are a platform for opportunity exchange”. Each person at C4E has the opportunity to do more and think more and meet more people and chase their respective bliss and choose their own adventure. 

In 2023, we paid at least 30 people EACH month – a fee ranging from 5K to 200K. 5 to interns (we don’t have any unpaid interns) and 200K to one of the partners (most people at C4E are partners). And no, I am not the highest-paid partner at C4E. And this does not include the manifold that we paid to our suppliers. 

All this while, the focus has remained on people and culture. With time we have made our hiring process more particular. If you want to work with C4E – you need to invest at least 2 hours on pre-reads listed on this page, fill in a long form, meet us a few times, do a paid assignment and then you may have a chance to get in. No, we don’t offer perks that even the smallest of companies offer but if you are in, you are treated as a human and not as a resource. And we promise a place that would give shoulders to your dreams. 

Village. I read this quote (apparently by Kabir) and it has left an indelible impression on me. 

साईं इतना दीजिए, जामे कुटुंब समाए 
मैं भी भूखा न रहूं, साधु न भूखा जाए

C4E is an excuse to support the entire kutumb (aka family) and the ones that need it. The best representation of that is in the shape of villages of the yesteryears – where each resident has their own thing and the collective contributes to that thing. And vice versa. More on it here

So, the C4E Village is a safe space for people to experiment, do and learn from different perspectives. If you think you want to support C4E and be a part of the village, please let me know and I’d love to have you around! 

Revenue. In the year that ended on Mar 23, we did almost 2 crores of topline. I wanted to end Mar 2024 with 20 crores. We would end at 4+ crores. So, on one side I failed to get us to 20. And on the other, we did very well to grow more than 2X. All credit goes to people at C4E.

The best part? Our biggest client accounts for less than 40% of the top line. We offer 4 distinct kinds of services and none contributes more than 40% to the top line. So we are well diversified, derisked from ruin and at a great place to scale from here on!

Clients. We added some great names to our repertoire. We now have a mix of startups, global conglomerates, individuals and our own projects. And I love that we are challenged by a wide range of problems. Some of these were… 

  • Brand design / redesign for a global tea brand, a technology outsourcing company, a real estate giant and others
  • Brand consulting for businesses operating in undergarments on one side and enabling solar adoption on the other and many more in the middle
  • Manage social media presence for the likes of a global healthcare giant, a concrete equipment leader, a construction equipment player, a couple of insurance companies, a fintech festival and more
  • Content for the likes of a Tourism department, a Swedish furniture giant, one of the largest global technology companies and others
  • Personal brands for a few CXOs

I am sure there’s more. But these are at the top of my head at this time. 

I am proud to say that we stopped working for a few clients and returned money when we realized that our culture and ethos were not in alignment. We don’t know if they were wrong or we were. But we didn’t see alignment and decided that it was better to part ways.

And if this is of any interest, one of the short films that we made got a famous actor (Manav Kaul) his first ever Filmfare Award! 

As I end the bit about C4E, I maintain that all of us at C4E know that our Mahabharata is around the corner and we want to be ready when we get to it.

Projects. We invest all that we make into projects. These are independent of C4E but are run by people at C4E. Our projects around books, films, podcasts, and women continue to help us learn more and scale. I would’ve liked them to become independent by now but they are not. This is one of my big failings from 2023. As I build more projects, I will be mindful of this and will aim for revenue from day 0. 

Apart from these existing ones, we started one around sustainability and that could not see the light of the day. The ones about alcobev and casting have just started and I should have something to report by the next year. 

If I had to pick highlights from these projects, I would single out Purple Pencil Project. We’ve worked on finding our PMF and the best part is that we are now an accredited Publishing company with our first book on its way already! 

On SoG

SoG is Shoulders of Giants and no, it’s not inspired by my initials! However, I’ve come to realize that this is my life’s work and this was my biggest failure in 2023. Going forward I would fix this.

Here’s what you’d see from SoG in 2024.

SoG Grant. This idea has been pending execution since 2021! Time flies! In 2024, it will see the light of the day. The idea is simple. I will give an equity-free grant to people who want to chase a large goal but are unable to because they need some financial stability.

I am putting in 100K of my own money. Krishna has agreed to put in about 25. In case you want to put in as well, let me know. This is the least we can do to support young people. 

SoG Book. I have AK helping me with this. So odds are, we would ship it. The book is a compilation of letters that I wish someone had written to me when I was young (to help me get wise). Think of Poor Charlie’s Almanack. Or Naval’s Almanack. 

SoG 2024. I need to get more young people to be part of the 2024 cohort. If you know any sharp young people, send them here – SoG Application.

Party of 9, SoG edition. An in-person meetup of smart people. For young people. If you know young people between the ages of 15 and 19, please do send this form to them.  

Apart from these four, I would try and build campus and city chapters for SoG. 

On SG

While I’ve had a great year in terms of work, at a personal level, I haven’t had a good one. I realized that my life is centred around work. I no longer relate to most of my friends. And I continue to spend all my time on things, ideas, thoughts and people from work. So, I may very well be living in an echochamber! 

I did not care for my health, I was not a good son, I failed at keeping relationships, I continue to miss having a special someone in my life and most importantly – I am not consistent at all.

Report card from 2023

I stated that in 2023, I would do three large things – write book2, get fit (do a sub-5-hour marathon) and make money (pay back my debt and pay each person at C4E more than what the market would pay).

I failed at and missed the first two. Truth be told, I’ve been missing them for more than 10 years now. And I refuse to give up! 

On the third one, I was able to pay back a large part of my debt. I had decided that if I could not pay back my debt by the end of 2023, I would quit. I am happy to report that at least on paper, I have paid it all back.  

On people, in most cases, I think I pay more than the market (at least more than their last income or more than what they ask me). I want this to grow as we scale in 2024. 

Apart from these three large ones, I had numerous smaller ones. I got some, I did not get some. And while I can beat myself over those, I don’t want to. I don’t want to overinform here but if you want to know more, a detailed report card is here. 

In 2024 I plan to work on being consistent and one way to do so is to live in public. Here is where I would track various things that I think will make me better. 

So this brings me to the lessons I learned in 2023.

Lessons from 2023

2023 was a remarkable year. I saw a lot of interesting things in action and my thoughts were often challenged. Here are some lessons that I would like to put on paper and share with whoever is reading. 

  1. No one owes you anything. You have to work hard to get it. 
  2. Money talks. This year I made some money with C4E and when the world saw I had money, I saw people change their behavior toward me.
  3. You get the respect that you ask for. Not what you deserve.
  4. Unreasonable people move you forward. I want to talk about two women here. Aastha and Arti. Aastha is the founder of sya and taught me that you could be unreasonable about work and everyone falls in line. Arti taught me the same when it comes to personal goals and milestones. Thank you, ladies.
  5. Time is painfully short, limited and unpredictable. You plan for the next year and before you know it, you are dead. So, do things now.
  6. Karma does not exist. I used to be a big believer in this but I no longer believe in it.
  7. It’s easy to spot people who fake things. So, never fake.  
  8. Actions > Words.
  9. Say yes more than I say no (probably sparked by a recent conversation with friends). All that I have in life has come to me because I’ve said yes more than I’ve said no. This year too I could make money because I said yes. The biggest client came to me because I said yes to cutting my holiday short and meeting the client.
  10. Be the person that’s willing to put in 70+ hours a week. Find more people who can outwork you. If you are not someone that likes this 70+ hours thingy, it’s ok 🙂
  11. You can build luck – my entire life is a testimony. 

So that. 

Ok. 
The 2024 plans, goals, ideas, thoughts etc. 
Here we go… 

The “word” for 2024 – Ruthless Consistency 

The theme for the year is Ruthless Consistency.

Thanks again AK for this. This year I want to become a consistency machine. This year I would start my days with writing and end with chasing the sunsets. I started the first day of 2024 with writing (this letter). And I hope that I can go see the sunset as I end the day. I went today 🙂

I plan to make a WA group to help keep people accountable – we declare what we want to do every day and we post a photo of that task at the end of the day. Right now there are two of us. If you want in, tell me what would you like to do every day and let’s keep each other on track! 

Coming to the goals for 2024, along with the ones I’ve listed already in this letter, here are my top three goals for 2024 on a personal level. 

  • Build SoG – this is the single most important goal I will chase in 2024. 
  • Build brand SG – my personal brand. I’ve realized that if we don’t have distribution, you could do the greatest of things – you would get no ROI. So I want to reach 100K people on various platforms. This may take any shape – podcasts, solocasts, blogs, books, whatever. 
  • Run a sub-5-hour marathon.

On C4E, the goal is just one – make C4E more stable. I will do this by taking the following actions… 

1/ Build people. Obnato will continue to be a theme C4E will only grow if people at C4E grow. And I will do whatever it takes to help my people grow. 

I would also try and detach C4E from SG. Right now, most of the work comes to Saurabh. And SG can choose to work as C4E, B4U, ABC or whatever. I want C4E to stand on its own legs. We have started to action that already. In 2024, more and more decisions on C4E will be taken by the team.

2/ Build design chops. We continue to be without a design leader. I will fix this in 2024. 

3/ Expand in another territory. I will try and set us up in Dubai. Multiple reasons – currency arbitrage, proximity to India, likeness of people, and a few friends. If you know people in Dubai, please connect me. I will be there a lot in 2024. 

4/ Build communities. We already have an interest in books, films and more. I want to expand more on these in 2024 and build stronger communities. 

5/ Build products. We are a services company and like most services companies, we are at the mercy of a variety of opinions. I want to change that. I don’t know how it would happen but building some productised services or a B2B product or some IP looks like a good idea. Need to think more about this. Oh, I would work hard to make Femela a reality. 

6/ Grow business. I will also ensure that we focus on acquiring more clients (and for that, build brand C4E, redo our website, build the scout program, find more partners), quit unprofitable accounts, shut projects that don’t perform, build assets, get prudent about money and all that. I want to end 2024 with 40 crores of topline.

7/ Apart from the 6 listed above, I have a few more things that I want to work on. There is no science, or reason for these but I want to. Here they are… 

  1. Build C4E Base
  2. Chase 100 rejections 
  3. Teach at some college 
  4. Initiate SoG SOTY Award
  5. Be 30” around my waist (lol)
  6. Fix my relationship with money 
  7. Learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube 
  8. Operate from a place of abundance
  9. Put my photo on the internet (maybe) 
  10. Be more groomed and better dressed 
  11. Learn Webflow – I tried in 2023 and failed! 
  12. Scratch my itch to be around creative people 
  13. Learn how to play top-25 most heard songs on Uke 
  14. Put some website / page on each domain that C4E owns 
  15. Design a tool to review life and may be a planner, while I am at it 

Oh, here’s an epiphany. Most of these goals have remained goals for a long time now. And that means I am not growing. I am merely ageing. Sigh! 

In the end 

I’ll end this by reiterating that I want to be ruthlessly consistent in 2024. Please hold me accountable. I will update this sheet and I plan to send a weekly update to everyone interested. Lemme know and I will add you to the list of people that get that update from me. 

Apart from this, I have a few very specific asks. Here they are.

1/ Help me connect with people in Dubai

2/ Help me stabilize C4E – help us in getting more work, introducing us to more people that we can work with 

3/ And the most important ask. Tell me your goal for 2024 and I will do whatever it takes to make that come true. Allow me to help you chase your personal bliss in 2024. 

And yeah, that’s about it! 

Here’s wishing you a glorious, fascinating, fulfilling 2023. May it be the best year of your life.

Thank you for reading!
Thank you for your support and patronage!

Gratitude and Regards,
Saurabh Garg
Jan 1, 2024
Mumbai

Oh, and here are posts from previous years.
Annual Goals – 2023, 2022
2021 – Annual GoalsJan-Feb-MarApr-May-JunJul-Aug-Sep-Oct-Nov
2020 – Annual GoalsJanFeb-MarApr-MayJun-Jul-Aug
2019 – AugSepOctNovDec
Older posts – 20182017201520142013, and 2012.

PS: As I end this, I must credit YearCompass. I’ve been using it for a few years and I think it gives me a great structure to think about the year gone by. 

The Closure

A life lesson, some ways to be a better child and discovering freedom.

TW: Talks of life, death, aging parents, and all that.

On my last trip to Delhi, I met a senior from MDI (let’s call him A) and we got talking about aging parents, time, regrets, closure, and all that.

He and I faced the same dilemma – on one side both of us wanted to be good children to our respective parents who are aging fast; and on the other, both of us wanted to chase our respective bliss (family and career in his case; more travels, money, and dreams in mine). And both of us wanted both things at the same time.

A simple solution could have been to co-live with parents – like families in India have lived for centuries. But the vagaries of modern life, the stubbornness of old age, and the enthusiasm of infinite ambition make it tough.

I mean, at least in my case, I can NOT live in the same city and thus not in the same house as my parents. My work, my life, and my ambitions are in Mumbai (and inshallah, at some point in the near future, out of India). My parent’s whole life is concentrated around a 500-m road, a park, an army of domestic helps that they manage, and neighbors they’ve lived with for more than 35 years now. The only time they leave this geofence is to visit doctors. They go on travels once or twice a year, for about two days, and are content with that.

A’s parents are home-bound as well and they live in a small town about 150 KMs away from him. One of his parents is bedridden and needs 24-hour assistance. His parents also are geofenced to their neighborhood and the townsfolk that they lived with all their lives. ce In my case, this distance is about 1400 KMs. A’s work requires him to be in a city and the parents can’t leave their row house and the familiarity of the town to move, even if they want to be with their kids.

When I met him, he was exasperated at the prospect of staying away. I had a more morose emotion. I was disappointed, sad, and full of guilt that I was not being a good son. I mean I want my parents to be with me. And I want them to be comfortable. At the place I am in in my life, I don’t have enough to get them even a room of their own in Mumbai. Plus I will move out of India soon (I don’t know how to do this with my aging parents needing constant medical supervision). At these times, I think that I should’ve done a Naukri long ago and with time I would have made enough to have a house that my parents would have converted into a home.

Anyhow. Rant.

Coming back.

In that conversation A made a very pertinent point. I don’t recall the exact words he used but here is my articulation of that. He said that we need to be mindful ALL THE TIME that EACH interaction with our parents could be the last one.

When I first heard this, something snapped in me. While I can see my parents growing old and fading, the reality of them not being around me never occurred to me. I know it’s inevitable and I am a hyper-realist, I should’ve thought of it and planned for it. It reminded me of this post by Tim Urban about the time of life. I had read it a few years ago but the chat with A reminded me of it all over again.

So, A further said that since life is so unpredictable and so fragile, you never know what will hit you when, and often you may be left with things unspoken, unsaid, unexpressed. He then said that each time you speak with your folks, you need to get closure on each conversation, however small, tiny, or insignificant it may be.

Again this closure thought had never occurred to me. Like all things in life, I assumed that it was an ongoing relationship that would stretch to infinity. No, I am not dumb and I am aware of the shortness of life (and the importance of the sense of urgency) but it never dawned on me to get closure on simple conversations. Reminds me of my thing with “closing windows” when I sleep. Reminds me of the frailty of human thought and emotion in the wake of uncertainty.

In fact, most relationships go sour when this closure is absent from them. It could be as simple as saying sorry for the time you snapped. Or could be as large as being at the bedside when someone passes away. Even when someone is leaving the city, the action of dropping at the airport and checking in once they have reached is a closure of that “transaction”. I have famously shied away from these. To the point that I find excuses to not be around when someone has to go. I can’t say goodbyes, even when I know that they are going to a better place. And of course, there have been times when I was denied the opportunity to say goodbye. It still inches often. I regret that I could not. For example, when Poo left, I wanted to hug her tight at the airport but I couldn’t do that. Fucking Samaaj and all that. Not just with friends like Poo, each romantic relationship I’ve had since the beginning of time, I have not got closure. And at least in two of those, I did not offer closure. With my conscious as my only alibi, I know that I tried in both cases but I could not. I needed to try harder. Now, it’s going to be too little too late. I mean how do you tell someone you loved with all your head and heart that the neverending, forever love couldn’t stand the test of time and withered away? How do you tell someone you shared a room, a house with that you don’t feel as special about them as you did once upon a time? How do you tell them that you don’t feel loved when you are around them?

Anyhow. Rant. Again. Arrghh. Need to be better. Coming back. To A and our conundrum.

So, in an ideal scenario, both A and I wanted to be able to chase our bliss while keeping our families together (in A’s case he’s got a wife and two kids and then A’s wife’s parents and all that). If the two things (bliss and family) could intersect and coexist, nothing like it. But they clearly aren’t.

So there are a few options that we seem to have…

A/ Give up on bliss and go family first
A decision that millions of people make every day. And there’s nothing wrong with it.

Come to think of it, at the end of the day, all of us are dead and life has no meaning per se. We are all just space dust floating around without a destination or a reason. Don’t want to get started on the raison d’etre narrative. Will take another million words.

B/ Find a way to chase bliss while you are near them.
So, in my case, rather than being in Mumbai (or out of India), build a life in Gurgaon / NOIDA, etc.

This seems plausible but I am not sure if I want to do this. I don’t like the weather (winters I love but am not okay with heat). I don’t like the lack of professionalism. I don’t have the flexibility or the freedom that Mumbai offers me.

Wait. I think all my decisions in life boil down to this one trait – freedom. I don’t know why though. As a child or a young adult, I have always had the freedom to do more and thus I don’t understand what demon am I running away from. Or what goal am I chasing. I mean, in each thing I do, I seek freedom – not wearing shoes, not submitting to a calendar, not conforming to a dress code, not sitting on the window seat in a plane (cos I want to escape from the aisle fast), not wanting to not drive while I am not in a car. I can list a thousand quirks that make me and I am sure I can trace all those back to my want of freedom.

C/ Accept the inability to be a good son and drop that and chase bliss.
Even if I am unsuccessful at it.

I mean I am 40 41 and I still need to scrounge around to make ends meet). Thanks to the people that work with me, I am able to earn some money but if I look at my life and my work independently, I think I can do more. LOT more. I was destined to change the world. Right now, I am having trouble changing the wifi network on my phone.

No, I do not write this from a negative lens or from a place of self-pity. Neither do I expect any slack from anyone. I am very very grateful for my life and how I’ve been lucky. I mean I write this on an expensive laptop tethered to an expensive phone that has two high-speed internet connections, sitting at a premium cafe in probably the most expensive neighborhood in a country that is not home. And I am here for no reason. How many people have this? Few! So, I am ok.

Just that I am aware of the gap between my potential and my reality. And the opportunity that fate has given me. If I don’t bridge this, it would be unfair. Of course, life itself isn’t fair but we all try. No?

The only open window would be that in chase of grandeur, I would have neglected my parents. And that’s not a good thing.

D/ Find a compromise.
What I am doing right now is a compromise. I travel to Delhi as much as I can. And I continue to try and build a life that I like. I am not doing any of these things well but at least I am trying and doing as much as I can.

Like most things in like, you become a reflection of what you tried and what you left behind.

That!

No. I am not clear on which of the four paths I need to take. When I wrote this, I was leaning towards B and C. When I read this again before publishing, I thought D was the best. So, I don’t know. Let’s see what I end up doing. Stay tuned to find out what I did ;P

Lol.

Okay, this became a long rant. If you’ve made it till here and you want one takeaway from this 2000-word piece, let it be this – our lives are fragile, and unpredictable and we need to aim for closure in each interaction we have, especially with our loved ones.

Over and out.

in2023, I will…

A list of things that Saurabh Garg plans to work on #in2023. This is my annual post where I list my goals and ambitions and dreams and all that.

Hi! 2023 is upon us. And this is my annual review of what I did #in2022 and what I want to do #in2023. This will be a long post and for the ease of writing and your reading (if someone is reading), I will divide this into sections. Here…

  • Why this post? What does this post mean to me?
  • How do I do the review and do a yearly plan?
  • What did I plan to do in 2022 and how I fared?
  • Plans for 2023 – Grand ones, small ones and the ones that I would not pursue.

With some disclaimers, let’s dive in!

A. Why this post?

Simple answer. I like the idea of having a sense of control over where I am in life and where I am going. You know, I want me to happen to life (rather than life happening to me) and this review helps me stay the course. All this planning gives me an illusion of control. Of course, it’s a mere illusion. Life has a mind and a plan of its own and there is nothing I can plan or do that will allow me to control it. But I still do this nonetheless.

Apart from this, at a spiritual level, I feel more connected to myself after I have taken time to sit down and do a review and imagine where all I want to go. With all the million dreams and ideas and thoughts, I do get overwhelmed and get scared about the amount of work I need to put in. I do get sad that one life will probably not be enough. And I get to know my limitations as a human and I become a tad more accepting. In fact, recently in a conversation, I told one of my closest friends that I have accepted that I am past. I told her that I have accepted that I will never be the big deal that I have always wanted to be. I admitted that I will die unfulfilled and I would not know what it takes to move the world. So, I need some tethering, some sort of a compass that allows me to not lose my shit.

Plus, I like the idea of living in public. And this public documentation and disclosure help me with a sense of accountability. Of course, the goals I chart for myself are very lofty and I often dont reach the finish line. But that’s ok. I like to shoot for the moon.

With that as the background, let’s get into the how I go about writing this post.

B. How do I do this?

Pretty simple.

I start with my vision board. Then I look at this excel sheet where I have mapped all that I want to do in life. And this document that has my life themes / ethos mapped. I follow it up with a scan of tags like LifeGoals, in2022, in2023, in2026, et al on my notes app (Roam, Apple Notes, Notepads). While I do this, I make notes (mostly on a mindmap). I use Year Compass to help me think better. #in2023 I plan to make a planner of my own. And then I try to make sense of things by putting them in categories of health, wealth, relationships, career, contribution and others. I use the following chart…

Once I have gathered all the information, I go over all those one last time, finalise the mindmap, copy-paste from previous editions and start writing this post.

PS: In case you are interested in knowing how others do it, you may want to check posts from Sahil Bloom, Dick Bush, Shane P and others.

PPS: I need to write a longer post on how I do this. Maybe sometime later. #parkedIdeas

C. What did I plan and do in2022

the top three goals for #in2022 were…

  1. Write and publish book2
  2. Lose weight, get fit (and learn dance, run a marathon etc)
  3. Make money (revenue, debt etc)

The longish post on all that I wanted to do in2022, is here.

Funny thing is that I have chased these exact goals since I can remember and I did not get even close to even one of these.

For book2, I made a few starts (LFWc2, 80K words for AK in the month of Oct) but I was unable to close it.

For fitness, I didn’t even move an inch. I did order a yoga mat in the last week of December!

For money, while I had a few good months, I was back to the same spot where I started the year with (taking on more debt to service expenses). I know what I do and how I operate is not sustainable but I remain hopeful that what I do will someday make sense.

#note2self: The surprising thing is that none of my goals were related to the work I do (brand consulting / events / marketing consulting etc). I mean the money goal is an outcome of work but I did not specifically plan what work I would do to make money.

This year as well, I will keep the three large ones the same as the previous years (book2, health and money). I however will add a few smaller goals (some new ones, some old ones that I haven’t been able to work on at all). I will come to those in a bit, but #in2023, I will put a larger focus on health than on anything else.

And before I get to other things, lemme do a month-on-month review of how I spent 2022. Wait. More than a review, this is a list of highlights and lowlights from the year gone by.

C.1. Month-on-month highlights from 2022

  • Jan – Signed a couple of new clients. One of them would eventually make me spend 3-4 months in Bangalore. More on this in a bit.
  • Feb – FT crossed 100 episodes. Thanks to the effort by AD and the team. While it’s helping us create the noise that we have a popular podcast, it is offering no tangible value. Not sure what to do about it. And no, not shutting it for sure.
  • Feb – Lost a client. This is one of those rare clients where I (and C4E) was let go because I did not perform.
  • Feb – Met Ankesh Kothari. I’ve met him just twice but he’s left an indelible impression on me. I wish I could be friends with him!
  • Apr – Did an event at Indore. Loved it. Wish I could do larger, grander events. I think it will never happen and I will die with this as an unfulfilled wish. And no, I am not ok with it. May be if I get to make a film, that would replace the trill of putting an event together? Let’s see.
  • Jul – Exchanged tweets and got an opportunity to work with a billionaire. While I had the opportunity, I couldn’t convert. This has to be amongst the biggest fails of the year for me. The other thing to note here is that Twitter helps me create grander opportunities than any other social network.
  • Aug – Along with Shikha, produced my first ad-film as a producer. I plan to expand this further in 2023.
  • Sep – DD went live – thanks to the hard work of Chandni, Pooja, Anshika, Vaishnavi and their team. This is one of my most ambitious projects. I hope we can take it to its destiny.
  • Oct – Started to keep a weekly track of what did I achieve at C4E. I should’ve done this sooner. Inspired by the tweet from Elon Musk where he asked Twitter CEO about what he did this week.
  • Nov – Thanks to VG, moved into a house far fancier than my aukaat. My worry is, now that I have lived here, how would I adjust to living anywhere else?
  • Dec – Stumbled upon Zakir Khan’s work. And I am enamoured. Like all his fans, he speaks to me at such a deep level that it feels as if he’s baring my soul on camera! See this for example. And this.

So that was my 2022 in a nutshell. Lemme catalogue big losses and wins.

C.2. Big Losses #in2022

Here is a list. In no order…

1/ I lost three big clients during the year. One I lost because we couldn’t perform. I have learnt my lessons from the loss and I am committed to not repeating. The other two we let go by ourselves. And that’s ok. I am realising that I am not ice cream and I can’t please everyone. I am ok to let go of revenue opportunities if I dont see myself or my team getting respect, learning new things or expanding our luck surface area. Oh, we did get QUITE a few new clients.

2/ I spent good 5 months in Banglaore and I couldn’t capitalise on my time there. By capitalising, I mean I should’ve been able to build a network there. But I. was unable to. As I retrospect, I realise, I made three mistakes.

  • I lived FAR away from the startup hotspots and that meant I couldn’t travel from where I lived to where those events were.
  • I did not carve out time to meet more people. I was lazy and I waited for the magic to happen. No, it doesn’t happen if you dont move your ass.
  • I did not have a personal brand. If I had one, people would have travelled to meet where I was. And would have taken time out at a time when I was available.

While the first two are fixable easily (I will now ensure that I live in the middle of the hotspot and I will invest a LOT of time in meeting people), I need to think hard about the third one #in2023.

3/ Got an opportunity to work with a billionaire and I couldn’t capitalise on it. Truth be told, I did EVERYthing in my power to make it happen. Including wearing a white shirt and shoes to go and meet him IRL but for some reason, I could not capitalise on it.

So this. Now onto the wins…

C.3. Big Wins #in2022

Here is a list. Again, in no order…

1/ Strengthened Team C4E. Against all odds. And I had to take on debt to be able to meet the payroll (I still need to make enough to fund the team on a month-on-month basis). But I did manage to strengthen the team.

This means that people that work with me at C4E are engaged and they like it here. We are building a company that is safe, kind, humane and inspiring. Each day is exciting for people (well, most days, not each day). They enjoy and look forward to interactions with each other.

Of course, I am merely hoping all this is true. The team at C4E may or may not agree with this. If this pic is to be believed, they are happy 🙂

Team C4E and friends. Oct 2022.

2/ Operated from a sense of scarcity. A prime example is point 1 above.

3/ Interacted with two dollar-billionaires. Even if those meetings were of no use and even if they would not remember my name. Just to be standing next to them was inspiring. I hope I can meet more such people. And become one of those 🙂

4/ TRS and PPP started to make money! I have been funding these for years and we finally have cash flow coming in. Whatever they make is still not enough to run their operations but it’s a start nonetheless. Podium anyway makes some cash flow. #in2023, I hope these three (and DD as well) makes enough to break even.

That’s about it. I am sure there are more but these are the ones that I want to highlight as big achievements from the year.

#note2self: All my wins and losses are from work. Maybe I need to think harder about this.

C.4. Lessons from 2022?

So here are some lessons from 2022 (most of these have come from this post where I listed 22 lessons I learnt in 2022; some are new).

  1. You can’t control the outcomes. You need to keep at it. Take steps. One at a time.
  2. You need a marriage of ethos before you can do anything together with others.
  3. People are inspired by things that give them the opportunity to do things larger than themselves. You know, showing them the vastness of the sea?
  4. Community trumps an individual.
  5. Young people are fascinating. We all need to spend more time with young people.
  6. Ready, Fire, Aim is the best damn strategy.
  7. Timing is everything and one must ALWAYS err on the side of action. If you dont act fast, you lose opportunities. And while opportunities are not scarce, that particular opportunity would disappear faster than you know it.

As I work towards my goals #in2023, I hope I can keep these at the top of my mind and act!

D. The plans and goals and dreams for #in2023

I will divide this into large goals, small goals, things I will say no to and other random words.

D.1. Three Large Goals for #in2023

The three large goals for 2023 remain the same as they were in 2022 and in 2021. And maybe in 2020 and earlier.

The point is, there is nothing else that I want more. The other things I already have. I mean I have a family that is as supportive as one would want. I have friends that back me up when I need them to. I have a team that loves each other. I have clients that talk to me with respect. I am slowly building a community of people that have the same ethos as me.

I can’t ask for anything in the relationship department (except for love – I am giving up on that). So, the three goals are…

  1. Write and publish book2
  2. Lose weight (get to 30″ waist), get fit (and learn Bhangra, run a sub-5 marathon, do Killer Boogie etc). Within this, I will focus on health / fitness and add things like yoga, massages, steams, multivitamins, protein shakes, cold showers et al to the routine. In fact, I have promised that this year the only reading I would do would be health-related books. And I will take notes and I will implement those in my life.
  3. Make money (pay back the debt I have on my head and then make enough revenue to pay Team C4E more than what the market would pay them and live to that maxim about enabling others)

If I could add a 4th to this list of three, I would say I want to amplify my personal brand. But let it be in the “other goals”. Here they are.

D.2. Here are “other goals” and plans

Here’s how I will reach these goals. In no order…

1/ Build Brand SG
The goal, the Northstar metric of this is that when I walk into a room, people must know who I am and they must want to get into a business transaction with me.

To be able to achieve this, I need to be known as resourceful, reliable, intelligent, trustworthy, effective and all that. And I need to be known as an expert. On things that those rooms are discussing. I still need to work on what those things are but a broad selection would be Marketing, Startups, Storytelling, Coolness, Writing, Productivity, Creativity, People, Mentoring, Problem Solving, Web 3 and more. I know this is a LOT and I need to reduce this list to a handful.

The tangible goal is to have 100K followers each on Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram. I also want to be more visible on the Internet and in the media. Again, I dont know how to do that but I shall try. I recently created a team to help me with it. Let’s see where we reach.

2/ Preserve my mornings.
I dont think I have issues in waking up early. I will continue to do that.

The change I would make is that no one would be able to reach me before 9 AM. Maybe 10. I would in general take up meetings early (to reach early and avoid traffic). Now, I will try and refuse those. Nothing before 11 if it includes travel. Of course, I know that I may not be able to maintain this but I will do this as much as I can.

3/ Save my energy.
This means I will let go of people and things that take my energy away. Even if I have had years and years of vested interest and investment in those. You know, sunk costs.

While this energy concept is new to me, but as I grow older, I realise that this is an important one. More on this some other day. But I will sort of fade away in the bushes. You know, how Homer does it?

That!

Homer is DA bomb!

4/ Become a People Magnet
While I try and preserve my energy, I also want to become a people magnet. This means I want to attract talented, bright and interesting people to meet me and shower me with whatever they can offer!

I dont have a tangible for this. In vague terms, I need to be the person that people want to meet even if they have to travel miles and miles to meet me.

5/ Eat home-cooked food.
Till the April of 2023, I have a house that comes with domestic help. I will try to eat as much home-cooked food as I can.

Post-April I need to find a place to live and will see if I can afford domestic help at that point. We shall see when that happens.

6/ Get frugal.
I anyway dont spend a lot of money needlessly. But I will become even more frugal with it. I have spent 4528 since morning today (morning of Jan 1, 2023). Lol! And each month, I will save at least 40% of what I make. At least till April when I have to pay just a tiny rent. Post that, we shall see.

7/ Chase 100 rejections
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. I think this year I will try and chase these rejections.

8/ Become a shoulder for others.
SoG will become my life’s purpose, goal, Ikigai, whatever. I need to do more of it. There are multiple things within this – SoG book, SoG grant, Team SoG and more. Each has to become big!

Oh, I will roll out the SoG Grant (I first thought about it in 2021) this year.

9/ Help others reach their goals.
See this tweet and this one. I will try and remind people of these goals each month.

10/ Establish C4E Base
I wrote the following in my 2021 plan…

Adopt an old bungalow and convert it into a cultural hub of sorts that creative people can call home. Maybe replicate it across the world. Like Soho House but far more affordable and far more meaningful. Got inspired by this person. Part of Personal / Curiosity.

Saurabh Garg, 2021 Plan (link)

I want to make this happen this year. This is also in line with my thought on being a people magnet, having more handshakes (compared to Zoom meetings), becoming a shoulder for others and do more!

11/ Do a Startup
What I do at C4E is fantastic but I am still a services company and I need to find a way to not rent my time.

12/ C4E International
In case I am unable to do #11, I will try and take C4E beyond India. The long-term goal is to be out of India and I need to take steps in that direction already.

#note2self: Need to do a similar review / plan for C4E. Apart from international operations, I am thinking about evolving into a collective (getting more people to be a part of the loose network), establishing niche agencies (women, youth, web 3 etc), creating a line of products and more.

13/ A Film Script
I really want to have my name in a film. And I want to do whatever it takes to make it happen. But then I am on the edge on this. The priority would be book2. If I get that out of the way and I am left with time, I may pick this up.

So these are minor goals for #in2023.

I know this is a long list but these are all secondary goals. Ambition is to get the primary ones going!

Other things that I want to do but I am saying no to in2023…

In no order…

  1. Poker. I will get back to it once I have achieved financial freedom.
  2. Pool. I thought about getting back to it. But I realised I am not good at it to be world-class and thus no point putting time and energy into it.
  3. LHV (unless I am compelled to do it for elevating my brand).
  4. Needless travel. While I love to travel and I like the idea of exploring newer places, with a heavy heart, I will say no to it this year. Unless it’s for work or with my family. So, no friendly trips, no needless holidays, no relaxation ones.
  5. Minimalism. I have always liked the idea of having no material possessions and living an untethered life. I will change this. I will acquire things that make my life more comfortable, more convenient and more productive. So for example, I will buy massage rollers, shakers (for protein shakes), hardware for computers etc.

PS: These are the 5 that I can think of right now. Over the year, I will keep adding to this. Maybe I will bring some from the 13 above into this!

Let’s see.

So, in the end…

I’d like to end this post and the year plan with two things.

1/ I plan to live a lot more in public this year. This means that I will share what I am up to on a public forum. This sheet specifically. This is WIP and I will evolve this over the next few weeks.

2/ This is a vision board that my friends made for me on my 40th birthday. I am reproducing it here (have redacted a few things). Before this year, I have never had a team of my own. The only people I have been responsible for (and there too I did not do a good job) were my family. But now I have people to take care of and be accountable to. And thus I will have to work hard to live up to their expectations.

I will use this board as a reminder to self!

This is what the team at C4E made for me. I was surprised that they could capture my ambitions and plans so well, and that too in one document!

The mantra for 2023?

As I end this, I would say that the mantra for 2023 would be…

Me. Enabled by we.
We. Enabled by me.

Here’s a post that I wrote on the last day of 2022 that captures this well…

This is how I would summarise the year that went by.
And how I hope 2023 would be. Posted here first.

That’s about it for the time being.
My review of 2022.
And ambition for 2023.
Apart from this post, I have captured these on a mindmap as well. In case you want a copy, please do let me know.

Oh, and here are posts from previous years.
2022 – Annual Goals
2021 – Annual GoalsJan-Feb-MarApr-May-JunJul-Aug-Sep-Oct-Nov
2020 – Annual GoalsJanFeb-MarApr-MayJun-Jul-Aug
2019 – AugSepOctNovDec
Older posts – 20182017201520142013, and 2012.

Here’s wishing you a glorious, fascinating, fulfilling 2023. May it is the best year of your life.

Thank you for reading!
Thank you for your support and patronage!

Saurabh Garg
1 Jan 2023, Mumbai

PS: Here are a few disclaimers…
  1. I tend to operate on extremes. While planning, I assume that I am God and I can do everything and anything. So I am VERY VERY optimistic about my plans. So if I know that I want to write 100K words in the year, I will plan to write 200K. And while doing a review, I am harsher on myself than I am optimistic. So if I end up writing the 100K words I had planned, I assume that I’ve written just 50K.
  2. Each year, thus, I list down a million lofty things that I want to achieve in the course of the year. And beyond. I always aim far beyond what I know I am capable of. I mean unless I aim for the moon, how do I get to be in the middle of stars?

in2022, I will…

A list of things that I plan to work on #in2022. This is my annual post where I list my goals and ambitions and dreams and all that.

Hello! So a new year is here upon us. And more than anything else, to me, it means that I have a new list of things to do, new impossibles to chase down, new shiny objects to get enamoured by, new dreams to be converted into reality and in general, take new shot at a fresh start.

Thing is, I love the idea of new. New people, new places, new opportunities, new years. The new year specifically to me is an opportunity to reset. To restart. To be a buffoon again. For what’s it worth, I find the notion of a restart or a reset very very cool. Even though I am older by a year and ought to be a tad wiser, most probably I am not. And I am ok with that. For one, I refuse to believe that I am older. At least in my head, I remain a young, fool that continues to believe that I will live forever. And second, I continue to believe that life is malleable per whims.

PS: I must say that even though I believe I would live forever, I am very very aware of my mortality. I know the time is limited. And to make matters worse, none of us knows when our time would be up. So, I am an ageist. I like the idea of doing things here and now. Yeah, I am full of dichotomies and made up of contradictions.

Each year, thus, I list down a million lofty things that I want to achieve in the course of the year. And beyond. I always aim far beyond what I know I am capable of. I mean unless I aim for the moon, how do I get to be in the middle of stars?

PS: This moon and stars analogy is wrong it should be the other way around cos the closest star is the Sun, but you get the drift.

So, in this post, I will try and list down things I want to do #in2022.

But before that, a quick recap of the year gone by.

If I were to summarise 2021, I would say it was a mixed bag. I did manage a few things, some that I have never imagined. Like the trek to Everest Base Camp. And I messed up on more things than I would’ve liked. And I made more mistakes than I thought I was capable of. I would list those on my echochamber. The worst is that I am hurt and guilty that I left a few people in the lurch. I mean my hurt is a thing but they must be angry, livid at me! Thing is, one of the maxims I live by is that I want to do onto others as I would them to do onto me. Thus, if I dont fulfil a promise or honour a commitment, I feel really bad. In 2021, there were quite a few of those. This year, I will try to reduce these mistakes.

PS: Here’s contradiction # 2. While I dont want to make mistakes, I know that unless I throw a million darts, the odds of hitting the bullseye are abysmal. So, I need to keep throwing darts. And that would mean I would make mistakes. And that would mean I would end up leaving people in the lurch. I would probably not be able to honour my commitments. A solution could be that I can tell people up front about the “risks” and potential fault lines of working with me. At least they would know what they are getting into? May be.

So, coming to the #in2022 plan,

There are just way too many things that I do and as a result, the energy and attention are scattered all over the place. To a point that I can’t even seem to make a list of things that I want to work on in the coming year. But then if I look at those things closely, there is this pattern that seems to emerge. There are a few broad themes that I chase in life. No, none of these are unique, neither is the combination unique. Just that somehow I am gravitated towards these, even if I want to move away. So, rather than going against the force of nature, I thought, this year, lemme embrace this!

So this year, I will do something different. I will not make a list of goals public. Rather, I will identify a few broad themes that I want to stand for in life. And thus, rather than chasing a list of goals this year, I will create systems that allow me to be consistent and insync with these themes. And if along the way, my goals are met, I’d talk about those and celebrate those.

Without further ado, here are the themes for 2022…

1/ Network.
The importance of being insanely connected was always known to me but in 2021, I saw it in action. I totally understand, at a deep level, when people say that your network is your net worth. #in2022, I want to work hard on amping my network. If this means I need to send out 1000 cold emails this year to random people, I would (this is an example of a goal that I would typically set for myself). If this means I need to find a system to manage all the people I talk to and conversations I have with them, I would. If this means I need to leave a lot of money on the table, I would. If this means I need to dress well and put myself out of my comfort zone by going to parties and getting into inane discussions about films, politics, food, wine and all that, I would. You get the drift.

2/ Open doors. For self. And for others.
This is a mini-theme in continuation to the one above. I would work to open as many doors as I can for myself and for others around me. Especially for the ones that have put their trust and faith in me. #in2022, I will become a super-connector. I would become like Red, “a regular Sears and Roebuck”?

Brings me to the next thing.

3/ People first.
I am not a creator per se that can work in isolation and create magic. And then hope that those wonders would allow me to earn a livelihood while I sit in a cave. Neither am I a maverick that is so good that I create one piece of work that allows me to earn passively. And I am definitely not the one to create schemes that promise “lessons” to others and profits of that.

Plus, most of the work I get is from connections I’ve made over the years. The key clients that I work for right now, I first made their acquaintance in 2006, 2013, 2014 and 2017 respectively. The most recent client was “acquired” in 2017. 4 years ago. Clear example of the value and utility of long-term thinking / relationships. So, #in2022, I will do whatever it takes to become a people magnet. Attract people. Add value to their lives. Expect nothing. Invest. And let the seed of the relationships germinate and compound. And wait for the fruit.

PS: This is similar to 1 and 2 but there is a tiny difference. While 1 and 2 and more action-oriented, this one is little more open-ended. I mean I dont know what it takes to be a magnet. I have a tough time holding attention of people when we are not talking work and here I am. Trying to a magnet!

Also, this year, I am making a commitment to help a friend reach his life goals.

4/ Do difficult things.
All my life, I’ve had it easy. From parents to family to friends. Actually no. Things haven’t been easy at all. It’s probably my attitude that makes them look easy. Digressing. The point is, I believe I can do even more difficult things than what I do right now. Or have ever done. So, #in2022, I will do things that take me out of my comfort zone. For example, talking to strangers, dressing well, asking for help, calling a spade a spade, leaving behind dead weight when I want to move on, not being afraid of ridicule, chasing rejections, getting into more debates (even if they are public), putting myself out there, etc etc.

In one line, take more shots at things that I know for sure are out of my reach.

5/ Cash flow.
Since I took my first shot at entrepreneurship (no, not the time when as a kid I rented comics), each thing I worked on, with each idea, I would chase everything but cash flow. #in2022, unless I see clear cash flow with things I am working on, I will not work on those.

Except when I get to learn with those ideas. Or when the idea allows me to build on top of what I’ve already built. Or when an idea expands the cohorts of people I know.

So, any new “community” play is out. And yes, more “new” things are probably in.

PS: This is a bit hazy, to be honest. But I hope to crystalise this in a few weeks.

6/ Ship.
This is linked to the one above. Most times, with most ideas, I would merely imagine the start point and the end state and then I would forget about those. This is probably why there was no cash flows with ideas. #in2022, I would ensure that I ship. Enough of talking.

My method to ship remains the same – find partners to work together. I know I cant do things by myself. Just that, this year, I would be more prudent and judicious with how I partner up. All this while, I would look for ambition and passion as the filter. I assumed that I could manipulate get them to see world from my lens. I was mistaken.

Going further, I would look for just the ethos. Once that’s in sync, other things are easier to work on. I for one am very clear in how I operate and what ethos I have and thus I should be able to filter people on the basis of that.

And of course, vice versa. The ones I choose to work with may not like me or my ethos. So, I need to fit in their ethos-system as well. Unless this marriage of ethos happen, I dont think I would partner up.

7/ Finish.
Again, linked to 5 and 6, I am guilty of starting a million things and not taking even one to a logical conclusion. As a mentor (AS) pointed out (way back in 2019), I think I know the path that I need to walk to get to the end line and thus I dont actually do it.

So, #in2o22, when I start a project, I will know the “end state” of that project before hand and I will ensure that I take it to the end state. If a project’s end state is planned for after 10 years, I will know the milestone for each of those 10 years. And aim for each of those. Of course, each idea is like a human being. You imagine it to have some sort of life and in a few months, you realise that it is on a very different trajectory altogether. Which is fine. But when I give birth to an idea, I will ensure that I know the milestones for that. And work towards shipping and finishing those. So that!

8/ Self First
While a lot of what I want to do is for others and by others, I will make myself the centre of my universe. If I wasn’t already. I would also work towards making my word have more gravitas. And I would want to be known for my ability to get things done and open doors.

This was on my list last year also to be honest but I couldn’t work on this.

9/ Grow
This is a simple one.

Will happen automatically if I stick to the themes. I want to grow as a person, as a thinker, as a doer, as a getting things done guy, as a speaker, as a business person etc.

So these are the themes for the year.

Coming to the goals, of course I have a long list of goals that I want to chase this year. Here they are…

The tangible and measurable goals for the year.

For example, I want to be 32″ when I end this year. I have made a bet to get my photo plasterd on a hoarding if I am not. I also want to buy a luxury car this year. That means I need to be in a debt-free state. Then, I want to be Japan for a bit. I want to have more followers on twitter. Publish my book. Run a marathon. Climb a 6K meter mountain. Start playing poker again.

I am not listing any of those here. The top three goals remain the same. These are…

  1. Write and publish book2
  2. Lose weight, get fit (and learn dance, run a marathon etc)
  3. Make money (revenue, debt etc)

Yes, there are other sub-goals within these goals. And there are other philosophical goals. I have a sheet I’ve been using since 2017 or so to list my goals. Should people ask for it, I am happy to open it up and add to this post here. But that would be meaningless as I am sure that I want to chase themes and not just the goals.

So yeah! That’s about it for #in2022. Let’s make this the best year of lives so far!

Over and out!


PS: Like each year, at some point I will write a list of the highlights of the year gone by. And the lessons I learnt. Need a few more days for this. Let’s see when I post that.

PPS: I need to talk about the moonshot and lifegoals and how this years fits into that grand scheme. I need another post for this. For the time being, this is dense enough for me to lose whatever hair I’ve left on me.

PPPS: To be able to write this, I relied on Year Compass, my vision board and my notes that I’ve been taking over the years. The North Star has remained the three large goals that I want to achieve in life – climb the Mt. Everest, have a billion dollars in cash and impact a billion lives.

PPPPS: Here are previous updates from me…

2022 – Annual Goals (this post)
2021 – Annual GoalsJan-Feb-MarApr-May-Jun, Jul-Aug-Sep-Oct-Nov
2020 – Annual GoalsJanFeb-MarApr-MayJun-Jul-Aug
2019 – AugSepOctNovDec

And here are yearly posts from previous years – 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. I may have some data / notes from the years prior to 2012. I can try and pull those out but I dont see the merit and thus they shall remain buried in some drive somewhere.

Finally, to be honest, as I read the updates for 2021 and 2020, I realised those were written so much better. And not a lot has changed. I am still talking about the things that I talked about years ago. I am in stasis 🙁

221021 – Morning Pages

I talk about how my dreams of a nation are getting shattered! And more.

8:54. Some hotel in Gurgoan. Before you ask, no I am not sick or tired of sleeping on a different bed each night. I actually like it. Let’s see how many days this continues.

Ok morning pages. I have to start by “declaring” that today I am fasting. Come what may. And I will not even have coffee. Or Coke. Only water. And chewing gum. I dont feel good. There’s way too much kachra that I have been feeding myself. I mean there’s nothing that comes close to eating the perfect Chole Bhature in Delhi and the after-taste is great and you feel good. But after a while, all the maida sort of blows up my belly. So, I am done. At least today. Not sure about tomorrow. But today, I am on a fast. If I eat something today, I will donate 5000 to a charity of Krishna’s choice.

With that out of the way, let’s talk the real morning pages.

So, unless you live under the cave, you would know that SRK’s son is in jail. And there was this Fab India ad that created a storm. And yesterday I discovered there was another ad by Ceat that made people mad. And I think I mentioned on morning pages that an email exchange on my alumni group sort of showcased the rift in the society and the angst that is simmering just below the surface.

And, it SUCKS. To a point that I have decided (and it’s a #lifeEvent for me) that I will move on. And I regret that I did not move on earlier. I don’t know what I would do (the skills I have are not really transferable) but I will move on. Even if I have to become a cabbie. I know it’s one life and time doesn’t turn back and I am closer to my death than how many years I have been around. I know my biggest “career” bet (with films with TRS, in terms of efforts, money, emotions) is right here. I know that I wouldn’t be able to start from scratch. But I know that I am out. I will probably plan the move. I mean it may take a few months. Or a few years. Or whatever. But I will move on. Here’s a promise to self. #sgLifeGoal. I will not die in India. Unless I can “affect” how India is.

So that.

Here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: :|. It’s tough being who I am. Conflicted. All over the place. Spread out. Etc etc.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 1.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. The fact that I can decide on how to spend my time.
    2. The fact that I can use the gift of the gab decent enough to get things done and create opportunities.
  4. Things that would make my today great. Just one thing.
    1. If I can fast, it would be great. I’ve been up for 40 odd minutes and I’ve just had water. Need to sustain this for another 14 or so hours 😀
  5. A daily affirmation. I can control my urges and wishes. I am the master of my sense. If I decide to stay hungry, I can go for hours. And even days.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. I ate Chole Bhature yesterday. Loved the taste. I realised that I am not as taste-dead as I thought I was.
    2. It was amazing to sit by myself in an empty office of a friend and get a few things done.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. Work. Funnily, there is nothing on the top of my mind but work. I would have loved to get more things done than what I got done yesterday.
    2. Food. If I could control the food that I ate, it would be better.
  8. Quote for the day
    Dar ke aage jeet hai! Lol!

Guess this is about it for the day. And here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 3
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #aPicADay – 14. Yesterday’s here.
  • Daily Journal – 15
  • Money spent – 11268
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 15
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 15

270821 – Morning Pages

I longish post on how work, social constructs, luck, self-flagellation, travel and more. Kind of depressing. Read with caution.

7:05. Lokhandwala. Even though I am mere 7 days away from quitting this place (and I’ve had this for almost a year now), I still can’t seem to call this place home. There’s nothing home-like here. Too many old things from the landlord. Too few people that I would’ve liked to invite to make this into a home. No memories, no routines, no customizations were created. And it’s ok. I dont think I will miss this place at all. This one remains the second most worse house I’ve ever lived in, in Mumbai. The one in Peter Apartments takes the cake. The common thing between the two is that both are old houses with older furniture piled by the landlord to expect more rent. The lesson is that the next house that I move in, has to be empty, barring the ACs. And I refuse to own things till I know I will not have to move. Shifting a house is probably more stressful than managing an event.

Anyhow. It’s gonna be gone in less than a week. I will move most of my things out tomorrow. Leaving behind a change of clothes, a couple of bedsheets, and some toiletries. Will move everything (writing table, books, etc etc) tomorrow. So, the dream of living in a bare house shall come true. I actually did it with the last house as well. I slept in the empty house after I had moved all my things. And it was discomforting and weird and interesting af. Let’s see how is the experience in this house.

So, yesterday was a good day. From 8 till about 3 I was at a Starbucks (not my regular one though) and had some 242 green teas. Then I met a friend for another tea. The highlight of that meeting is that the friend told me that he’s for a membership to the MCA. Wow! So so cool! Also reminded me of the challenge thrown by Rana Sir. #lifeGoal! Among other things, I gave a lot of gyaan to this friend about life and all. And I realized that I enjoy doing that. Who doesn’t 😀

Then I had a work meeting where I had to present something. Oh, and I enjoyed it! It went ok, to be honest, we could’ve done more. But I loved that I was in a conference room, talking about things. I must do it more often. I mean, while I hate this concept of inter-city travel, I love the idea of being able to jam intelligently on things. I wish I could do it more often. I am ok even life makes me a traveling salesman that is on the road all the time talking. I am ok with having no home to come back to. There’s actually nothing I can call home. Probably apart from my parent’s house in Delhi. That too is fading away soon – you know, I’ve been away for too long, I am used to this weird lifestyle where I dont want anything or I want it as plush as an Ambani would have. So yeah.

Post the meeting, went out with colleagues for dinner. Till that time I had refrained from eating. Even though I was on the road. And then I gave in. The time when I had to show my biggest restraint, I gave in. But then, I only ate in that one window. So OMAD nonetheless. Will try yet again today for a 48-hour fast. Lol!

The other thing I realized is that I am unable to hold conversations that are about worldly matters. I did not know the cricket score. I had no clue what is the ideological difference between Taliban and ISIS. And how are they different from others. I had no inkling of the films and Netflix series that they were talking about. But when the topics swung to work, I could talk and I was unstoppable. This uni-dimensionality to my life needs to either become more pronounced. Or needs to go. I don’t know which. But one of these has to happen. #note2self

So that was yesterday.

Today looks a little ok. I mean I dont have any rushed meetings anywhere. I do have a few presentations to make. I do have some slides to write. But that’s that. A lot of time will be spent packing whatever little needs to be packed. So far my life is contained in 3 Ikea bags full of books, a carton full of paper, a big suitcase full of clothes and that’s all. I will probably have one more carton and one more suitcase. Of course the writing-table and all that.

Oh, almost forgot. In the big news, the road trip that I was super excited about for the last month or two? It got canceled. Technical reasons. I will no longer be able to meet all those people that I had promised to meet en-route Delhi. I will no longer be able to do the long-planned atma-manthan. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place? Maybe it will happen while I am walking towards EBC? But then, who knows if that gets canceled as well? You know how life could be. Despite me being a destiny’s child, life does hand me lemons when I least expect it to. I think I should get this “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.” tattooed on me. Apart from “this too shall pass”. Good that I sat with SJ2 and got my will actioned. In case he forgets, in the worst-case scenario, if I am gone, I want my digital footprint wiped. I’d have no way of knowing if that happens but I trust custodians of my will to manage that.

Oh, btw, I decided to make a vlog of the trip to EBC. I am going to buy a few gadgets – a camera, gimbal, battery packs, etc. I am not sure if I want to go all-in and think about the vlog (rather than being in the moment and walking and thinking). But the idea has taken seed. I need to think over the next 5-6 days if I want to do it. Let’s see.

So, I am taking a train to Ahmedabad to meet Krishna. And then from there on, I’ll take a flight to Delhi (will or shall?). This means that all the things that I wanted to dump in Delhi, I can no longer carry. I will have to trust SJ2 or Paras with those things. They are reliable people but then those things are not mine and I am a mere custodian and I want to thus be super careful. Also, I had thought I would take a few things that my parents could use in Delhi (read TV) but then that may not happen. These are the times when I sort of crave for a lot of money. You know, I would’ve bought a car and then dumped it in Delhi. The experience of being on the road for 5 days is what I was looking forward to. Wish I was resourceful enough to do this.

Wait. Fuck my misery.

The talk of resourceful reminds me of the Jeff Bezos quip. He says that the single largest quality he seeks in his partners / teams is resourcefulness. I think he said something like, “if I get trapped in a third-world country prison, I want my partner to be able to rescue me from there.” This is EXACTLY what is happening in Afghanistan. I am thinking if this were to happen in India tomorrow, do I have resourceful people to get out of India? Or if my favorite person was trapped in Af right now, could I’ve got her out? No. And No. So that means, I need to put in more work. And I need to inculcate this in every young person I meet.

To the thing above, if I need a balancing thought, I can say that I did get some help from a couple of loose connections (Jash and another writer) on a new project that I am pitching for. And both of them are willing to work on it without seeking any upfront compensation. So, in a way, I do have access to people that can help me if needed. Even last year when I needed help, I was surprised that loose connections were more approachable and helpful than the ones I share a strong bond with. Life’s funny like that. Actually, not life. Us humans are funny. We look at patterns and try and seek evidence in support of the ones we believe to be true. And I somehow manifest them to repeat. I can put forth a lot of examples. My romantic partners lose interest in me after a bit and consider hanging out with me an “embarrassment” in the worlds they live in. My “boy gang” continues to march forward on frivolous conversations and is hardly around to help with fuckeries of life. I seem to quit work right when I was just supposed to reap the benefits. I’ve lived almost 40 years with this pattern. This cycle. Dunno when and how I would break out of it.

Ok enough. Rant. Damn this promise to live in public.

Guess this is about it.

Felt amaze to write 1000+ words after a while.

Thing is, when I have things to write about, I can write fast and I can make sense. I just need to be able to do this even when I have nothing in my head. That’s when magic would happen!

Chalo with that, it’s over and out. In less than 35 minutes, I have 1500+ words. Well done, Mr. G!

Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 169
  • #noCoffee – 12
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 6770
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 259

080821 – Morning Pages

I talk about being Indian, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal, Speaking Well, Dr. Peterson and more. And some shower-thoughts and wants!

6:34. Long day ahead. Lots of work. That’s what happens when I take a break for a day or so. But then I cant complain about how I spent yesterday. It was a good day, to be honest. I met M and it is fascinating to see her grow and discover and fight for and find her place in the world. I wish I had more understanding when it comes to kids and all that. And I wish I would assert more on how kids that matter to me are brought up. Wishful thinking.

Anyhow. I just wish I had the money and time and lack of ambition to live a day yesterday often. I mean a day spent with leisure and all that. More on #echochamber.

Moving on.

I woke up a few minutes ago. Two things that I am thinking about are, 1, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold medal at Olympics 2020. And 2, this video by Dr. Peterson as soon as I woke up. In this, he talks about how misery could be a source of your inspiration. Lemme talk about these two.

I saw the Tiranga getting raised to the top and then the national anthem being played at Tokyo. It was a heartening sight. Made me think about how things and time change. And how I have changed with time. There was a time when I was as staunch and as hardened Indian as they come. I believed in our supremacy. I was blinded to the mistakes we made as a country and as a society. I would dismiss the apparent flaws in our culture. I would love the “chalta hai” way to respond to things. I would take wows to make us proud and reclaim the lost glory we’d grown up reading about. You know, before the time invaders starting plundering our “great” nation.

But then, over the last few years, something changed me. May be I became more aware. May be I got more “educated”. Maybe society became more extremist, more hardened. May be, I saw how other cultures and societies are “better”.

Somewhere, I lost the fanaticism I had for India. Of course, I remain proud and grateful that I am an Indian. I know I can’t change that about myself. But I do now think and wish and hope and pray that I could live in a different country and a different place. There are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the very meaning of freedom / independence and being an Indian is lost. We are now a country of people blinded by religious dogma and blind extremism around religion. We are now a country where we celebrate the failure of others rather than the success of self. We want to become Atam Nirbhar in conduct and yet turn a blind eye to this conduct when faced with adversity. The right to speech is being taken away. The ability to do things is being made more and more difficult by the day. We are now deeply engaged in plastering everything we have with a photo of a man in a white beard and not concerned that the history books are re-written and laws of the land are being crafted that would put even the cavemen to recede deeper into the folds of the mountains. Even the athletes that are winning the medals are being ignored and the entire nation is captivated by the one phone call congratulating these athletes and their coaches.

Anyhow. I can rant for hours if I have to but I am not as well educated or informed. I am sure there are people that will justify the actions of people. After all, we know how to defend ourselves.

Lemme move on. Saw this video.

In this one, he says, resentment could be a great teacher. I think everything I feel that life’s being unfair and I am getting a raw hand in relationships or work and things, I would do 10 push-ups. Simple. I would make my resentment a road to fitness if nothing else. And then from there on, I will do whatever it takes to sort things.

So that.

I want to talk more about this resentment as fuel for life but not today. Need to start work. I do have to talk about something worth noting though. The ability to speak well. Dr. Peterson speaks so so well. It’s not funny how many times I let my rational / thinking mind ignore what he’s saying just because he speaks so well!

Staying this ability to speak well, yesterday I got talking about some of the best orators of Hindi as a language. Ashutosh Rana (this and this) comes to mind. Then VG told me about Kumar Vishwas (this). Rahat Indori Saab (I dont even know how many to link here) has been among the best orators ever. Even this from one of those nationalistic films is a great case of someone inducing goosebumps only via the power of words.

I really wish I could speak as well as these people.

I think I can decode these. There are two things at play here.

A, the content. I mean, these are great words, great poetry that is being narrated. The words themselves are goosebumps-inducing. The stories are inspirations.

And B, as important, the way they’ve been narrated. The passion, the pauses, the clarity of tone, the breathing, the speed, and all that. Ufff!

I need to get better at it. Point me to some source. PLEASE!

So yeah. That.

Lemme end today’s post with something that I have been thinking about, over the last few days. I even wrote about it on the 4th. The book I have been editing is done. And the time slot from 8 AM to 9:30 AM is now available. Should I just assume that it’s a sign (great proses, Dr. Peterson, my misery, my want for validation, my poverty et al) and create something for myself? I mean I am definitely not a one-hit-wonder and it’s high time I get going and work on something for myself. A book, a film, a large-ish project (like a Jigsaw Puzzle, a magnum opus or something). #note2self. Lemme try and start from tomorrow, even if I am supposed to take a break for a few days in Sep.

Let’s see. What. When. If.

That’s it for the day. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 150
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Tall. Americanos.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 250 + 250 + 1500 + 257 (2257)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 240

PS: I speculated that yesterday that ink in my system has run dry. But then I got back to writing these today, I realized I can rant a lot. Yay!

PPS: #showerThoughts. Had this really cool thought while showering today. Lemme give context. While brushing my teeth, I realized that I have these huge bags underneath my eyes. And this is probably because of the last two-three days of lack of sleep. Which is probably induced by too much coffee. So, what if I go to my local Starbucks and talk to the store manager and ask him that I am gonna sit there for 4 hours each day and NOT buy a coffee. Of course, I dont want to be a freeloader and thus I am happy to buy their merch / food. Or even donate. But I dont want to consume. Would they then allow me to sit at Starbucks and work? Let’s see. Will try on Monday.

080521 – Morning Pages

A longish update on nothing in specific. Just made a list of things that are clouding my head.

7:38.
Woke up about 10 minutes ago. I had literally passed out. I was tired. The day was exhausting af but I did everything that I want on a perfect day. So that’s cool. I ate things I love (a lot of carbs and ice cream to end the day). Spoke to AD, SJ, and even mailed PM. Attended the inaugural session and the first session at docedge – learned so much. If I manage to attend all sessions (which I am hoping to), I can see my life change! Did some work. Got some others to do some work. Walked some (almost 9K). Was tiring. By the time I went to sleep, I was exhausted. I probably slept well. I woke up at around 3, I had some water and then I slept again. So that.

Ok. Strangely I dont know what to write!

Lemme list of things that i am thinking on.

A. It’s VK’s birthday. Wished her. Been one of the closest confidantes. Unassuming, non-judging, stable in the head. Grateful to have her in my life. Got access to her because way back in 2009, took a shot out of my league. Here is the email that I sent her (that probably started our relationship)!

Screenshot of my first email to VK.

As I re-read this email, I realised that I dont recall half the things we talked about but I must have been damn impressed with her to have sent her that email.

Oh, the coffee shop thingy that I mentioned in the end, in 2009 when I quit CLA, one of the ideas was to start a chain of coffee shops. Like every other (pseudo)creative person. 12 years on, I am not any wiser. The coffee shop is a dream. Lol!

B. I’ve got a new person on board at C4E to help me with a project. She must be 30 and while it’s early days, she is a million times better than I. In terms of being responsible, orientation towards work, always-on thinking, and more. I would love to have more people like her on my team.

But then, early days. Let’s see how things pan out with her. If it works well, I will change my hiring thesis to getting people that are in late 20s, early 30s (rather than early 20s). Oh, btw, this reminds me, there are some incredible 16-year olds (16!) on Twitter that are doing some amazeballs work. I need to invest in them and get them to work with me! #note2self

C. While writing this, I realized I do not have boundaries between work and personal life. Which is ok, for the time being. The realization dawned on me when I was trying to figure what to write. While I was thinking, I kept reading about things that needed my attention. I kept checking the Cowin app / website for vaccination. I continued to think about all the work that I can do. Etc etc.

D. Last night evening, I was so exhausted from a computer screen that I decided to not look at it only! That’s new, if you ask me. I ended up seeing shit on my phone. Am I burning out?

E. I’ve found a new thing to trip on and kill time with. Infomercial videos. Ordinary people watch shit on Netflix. Extraordinary people read. Legends watch Taarak Mehta. People like me watch infomercials. I am a big fan of Vince Offer. He’s up there for me, along with people like Shekhar Sumar!

I mean see this Slap Chop video and tell me that you don’t like him!

Even though I don’t have a kitchen, I want to stop having a boring life and I want to order all the Slap Chops that I can imagine! I want the nuts. I want the linguini and the bikini! See it to believe it!

Wait. Here’s a #parkedIdea. Can I make a documentary on the lives of these infomercial stars? Should be interesting. No?

So yeah.

Ok, need to get on with the day. See you guys on the other side. Over and out.

Oh, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 146
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 59
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

050521 – Meditations

Update on things clouding my head. There’s nothing new but usual suspects – life, house, money!

7:04. I’ve been up for a bit now. Actually, I didn’t sleep very well. Why? Well, among other things, I had a coffee yesterday. Iced Americano. After some 55 days. Can’t say I missed the taste but I did like the idea that it could be helpful when I have a lot of work.

No, I don’t plan to get addicted to it again.

It shall only be had on days like yesterday when things on my plate overwhelm me and I need additional help to come up with superhuman effort and knock things off my todo list.

And I will try to have it later than 6 PM. Yesterday I had it at around 8 I think and I was as wide awake as an owl till about 2. And then I had to force myself to sleep.

In other news, in another action item yesterday, I got back on Twitter and Instagram. And I plan to stay active. I may not post too much but I will offer and extend some morsels of help as and when I can. If nothing else, I will support others that are. It somehow dawned onto me that while I am unable to help, and I suck at offering a shoulder, I need to do whatever little l can. Even an iota of help could be useful at this time. Individuals across the world have shown what compassion and willingness to help can do when regulators and policymakers and governments fail. I have now seen the power and impact of an individual’s action. It reminds me of that aasman me soorakh line…

“कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ नहीं हो सकता, एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारों” – Dushyant Kumar

If I could get something tattooed on me, it would be these two likes from Dushyant Kumar. Apart from “this too shall pass.”

#note2self – I must make it a point to read some of the Hindi poets that are no longer around. They’ve some incredible work. I mean I am a fan of late Rahat Indori’s work, especially the way he would narrate his work. Must spend time on listening to some old ones.

Ok. Moving on.

I also saw this post by Rana Ayyub where she talked about how life is sudden and you may not get time to say goodbye etc. I am inspired and I have decided to write an email to every person that I have hurt wanted to apologize but did not have the courage to. I know some of those chapters were closed long ago and my apology will probably bring back bad memories for those people. I will thus be careful and ensure that I am mindful before I send. I will write those nonetheless, even if I don’t send them. I mean, I am sure I will remain safe in this pandemic but you never know what happens next. So I do not want to leave this world without closing some of these conversations. No, I am not premonitioning my demise but I want to not leave without saying a bye to people that have shaped me – in a good way or a bad way. So that.

Oh, how can I even forget talking about this? In fact, I had to start with this. Yesterday Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are ending their marriage of 27 years.

27. Years.

This is the second person that I look up to that has done this (first is Jeff Bezos. He and Scott were married for 25 years). Both Bill and Jeff have been idols for long. Their marriages were #lifeGoals for long. The wives played such an important role while these guys were on the road, building their businesses and all that. I’ve in fact wanted a partner like that. That supports my maddening ambition. Or vice versa (become second fiddle to someone as ambitious). But this announcement just broke my heart. The last time I was this sad for one of my idols, it was probably when Steve Jobs passed away. For some reason, I was not that affected by the cheating and divorce scandal of Bezos.

Anyhow, if I had any faith left in the institution of marriage, this was probably the last nail in its coffin. I mean Bill and Melinda were married for 27 freaking years. They were my ideal couple – make a lot of money and then use the rigor of business in doling out that money to make the world a better place. Plus they are old. I mean Bill Gates is 65. Melinda is 55 something. After 27 years, you probably know so much about each other that even if some doubts creep in about the impending cracks in the marriage, you probably fix it beforehand. You know, it’s messier to separate at that age, especially if you are a public figure. It just reduces the impact that you can have.

Damn you never know what happens behind closed doors!

Someone actually put a tweet out yesterday that said that out of the top 10 richest people in the world, only 2 have not been divorced (Mark Zuckerberg and one of the Google Founders!). Is there a correlation? If there is, I am glad that my plans of not marrying in the first place will not tip the numbers in the list. Unless more people enter the list when I am there. Lol! King of wishful thinking, Mr. Garg.

Also, today is the 5th. When I had to give my landlord notice if I did not want a messy exit from this house. I had wanted to do it for two reasons – a, get to a cheaper place and b, try and move to Goa. Even though I know it’s tough to live and work in Goa, I wanted to have a base there. I know that I will not have the network that I have here. I know that things are moving online and people are ok to meet on Zoom but I am super ineffective on Zoom as it’s been proven a million times already. So that. In one line, I am in that limbo that I’ve been forever.

One option is to move to Thane or something and then use hostels or friend’s couches when I need to be in Mumbai. I will save on the rent, live at a distance that allows for chance meetings and such connections. I don’t know. This inability to decide obviously stems from the inability to spend money and that’s something that I need to work on anyway.

I think this is about it. Have a long day ahead that starts early. Time to move on with things. More tomorrow. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 143
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had one yesterday after 55 days!
  • #noCoke – 56
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0