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?

In 2027

I future gaze and predict what I would’ve done by 2027. No, I am not giving a date. Just the year 2027.

Hola!

After I wrote the last post, the same lady that inspired me to write the last one, asked me to write another one. This time, gazing at the crystal ball and imaging what the next 5 years could be like. And what I would want them to be. So here, is an attempt at that.

Of course, this is like a wish list and I want to get to each of these things. As always, I am aiming very very high and I know I would miss these. But even I miss these, I would do better than what I am doing right now!

By 2027, I would have done the following for sure. These are my life goals, you know.

  1. Made an attempt to the summit. Hopefully, successfully.
  2. Made a billion dollars and used that money to inspire others.
  3. Fall in love. And live-in with that person. I would still be child-less (except M). Unless my partner wants one. Most probably I would not be living in India.
  4. Some of my kids would be millionaires and billionaires. If not all. This is the single most important goal that I want to chase in the next 5 years.

In terms of smaller, more tangible goals, here are the things that I would have achieved. I would’ve (in order of what I “want” right now)…

  1. Released at least one film (at least) that I would have written or produced or both.
  2. Been 30″ by waist at least once.
  3. Made it on the bestsellers list. Hopefully with book2, if not with book3 or 4 or whatever.
  4. Learnt how to become a human flag.
  5. Reached the final table of WSOP. Hopefully I would’ve got the bracelet.
  6. Bought a house. No, I dont think its a great investment. Just that I need a place to dump all the memories.
  7. Travelled to 50. My count as of today is some 40. I am not the one to do all countries. But there are a few that I want to travel to. For example, South America, Japan etc.

So that.

What about you?
What are your 2027 goals? You know, in 5 years?
Can I play some role in helping you reach those goals?

PS: I will use this post as a running one to talk about changes / achievements / failures and all that.

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

230621 – Morning Pages

A ranty post before I start the day. From outside a Starbucks that shut for the day.

7:38. Outside my regular Starbucks.

I came in early. Thinking, it’s a long day and I will get a head start on what I do. I was thinking of crafty ways to allow the Starbucks baristas to let me in early. After all, I am a regular patron. And I can talk my way through most situations.

But no. It’s been booked by a bank for one of its promotions. The entire place. For the entire day. Damn!

What this means is that acche din are back (in the sense banks are spending on BTL promotions). This also means that I need to do more to get things done on this long day. Sigh! 

Now that I have started the day on the wrong foot, lemme talk of all the negatives that have been happening with me lately.

A. I spotted a cockroach at my house. The sole reason for not having a kitchen at my place is to avoid these pests. I hate them. I loathe them. I abhor them. I know I know that these pests are needed for evolutionary change and all that. But not in my house!

Must make a rule to only move into newly constructed houses. Irrespective of the place I go to – Goa, Dubai, Mumbai, etc.

B. Since Friday, I’ve been eating like a man just out of famine. In yesterday alone, I had four full meals – each with a pot of rice. I had 2 Venti Americanos. I even had a Red Bull. And then I whiled the time away on Instagram! Binging on Fauda at 1.5x speed! I mean WTF! Need to get my act together!!

C. I am hating the way I am right now. In the sense, eating like a mad man. Not getting enough sleep. So many incomplete tasks. So many todos! So listless. So lacking in direction.

I don’t know a way out.

One of the friends I spoke to (rr) told me that I need to see a doctor or something. At 38, this is not cool. I am strongly thinking I will go see one. Let’s see when. Will keep everyone posted.

Ok, enough.
Lemme talk of positives.

A. In the morning, I saw this tweet and it made me think. Since I was half-asleep, I sent out the first thing that came to my head.

His question was, “What’s your personal elevator pitch?”

My responses were…

When working for others – “Whatever you hire me to work on, I am resourceful enough to get it done. Come hell or high water.”

When working for self – “Aim for the moon and throw million darts. Few of those will hit the stars.”

Must spend more time thinking about these kinds of things!

To be honest, I think what I wrote is exactly how I feel and think and behave and do. So that.

B. I also got the iPhone fixed. For 5K. In case any of you wants to get broken iPhones (broken screens, software crashes, memory glitches, etc), please do let me know. Can connect to the guy who does it for me. He sends his technician to wherever you are and ensures that it works before he asks for money. Love his service!

I have to say, LOVE the damn phone. I felt so much better, so much at peace as I got back on the iPhone. I felt as if someone has given me my powers back. I could type fast. I could switch apps fast. There was no lag. Things just, well, worked!

C. Attended a session where one of the A-list celebs gave some founders from the Founder Thesis podcast gyaan about how to manage celebrity endorsements. Must create more such opportunities and get people to talk to each other.

And then be bang in the middle of it!

This is exactly what am hoping to achieve with each piece of work I do – from writing to creating networks to enabling people to speaking and even with Long Haul!

Let’s see if I can scale this as I go along. This, to be honest, sounds like a good way to live life!

D. Took a stranger through my notes. Actual notes. Screenshare of my Roam graphs. I realized that I don’t really care much what people think of me or my private thoughts. I guess I am at a point where I am truly living in public.

I think this is about it for the time being. Let’s see how the day goes.

And as I end this, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 192
  • #aPicADay – 1. I posted one yesterday. Now that the iPhone is back, let’s see if I can post one today as well.
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 104
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

230521 – Ennui and my attempt at fending it off!

A quick post on my attempts to fend off the boredom that has set in. And an attempt to find some sanity.

8:13 AM
Woke up a while ago. The alarm first rang at 5. I was supposed to record a podcast at 830 but canceled it last night. There’s so much pain around me that I was in no position to make a coherent conversation. It’s really affecting my work and all 🙁

In fact, the last night I was on the bed for hours and couldn’t find sleep. I was so fried that even playing a game of chess was a pain. I just couldn’t even surf Youtube or any other website. I think ennui is back.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s not ennui per se. I think it was the mental fatigue that you feel after you spend a hard day at work. While it was not a hard day per se, I did do a few things. In fact, during the day yesterday, I had a breakthrough of sorts. Since I was sleeping all the time while I was home house, I decided I will go to a friend’s place.

And I did.

I went to a friend’s place to work. While the table there was cramped and the chair was uncomfortable, I managed to spend enough and more time on a computer. To a point that I even put the writing page live! Of course, I need to add a lot more to this page. But I made the start.

Plus I was not sleepy. I did not sleep. I did not feel drowsy. Maybe it was the venti Americano that I had. And all this despite the place not being to my liking. He did not have an AC in the hall and I was sweating like a pig with all the garmi. But I managed to stay alert till about 6 and I spoke to new people. I was as much in the zone as I would be on a regular working day. I plan to go to his place today as well. Let’s see how today goes. I have to finish three large presentations today. If I can manage these, It would be awesome and I would know that things that

In other news, yesterday, I attended the pitching session of DocEdge. It was awe-inspiring, spell-binding, and eye-opening to say the least. Filmmakers from across the world presented the projects they are working on, on subjects that ranged from personal stories to communities to even national boundaries. I realized that I am living in a cocoon and the cinema I want to stand for is probably in the non-fiction space. I mean I do want to entertain the world and all that but I really want to inspire the world as well and what better way to do that than cinema?

Oh, and in attendance was a filmmaker that has won a Palme d’Or. Adding that to my #lifeGoals!

So that.

Like I said, I have three decks to write today. And attend DocEdge sessions. And think of how I can make a dent in the world. I plan to go over to the friend’s place again today and see how I perform.

So yeah. That’s about it for the day. Over and out. And here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 161
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0 (had coffee yesterday. Will have more today as well)
  • #noCoke – 73
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (did 12 rounds)

Day 6. 161220

On day 6 of my daily morning pages, I write about how poker could be a career for me. And how it may not be! And ofcourse I rant a bit!

16th December. More than half of December is gone. Also, 10 days since I’ve moved to Goa. Probably the longest I have been away from Delhi or Mumbai without any work / agenda. I do have a sense of how this is going (not good, to save you suspense) and I do know how to fix this (get a better Internet connection, fix a schedule, a public space that has 24×7 access, etc) and I will if I know that this is where my base is going to be. PS: I miss this 24X7 bit more than I miss anything else in the world, btw.

But as I write this, at 6:23 AM in the morning and funnily, work and base are not the first things on my mind. I am increasingly thinking about ideas and I am itching to start executing one. I wish I was paid to think of ideas.

I think it’s an outcome of people finding out that am in Goa and then assuming that I am working on my next book (which is based in Goa) and asking me the same question. In fact, at least three people asked me about the book just yesterday (Daku, Kamat, and Aka). High time I get going. If only I can find the time. I think I will have to make time (and not find the time), if I need to get the book out.

Like I said, I don’t have thoughts about any one particular project but about something. Something that I can do and kickstart. It’s been a few months since I did something new. I guess this is what happens when you get bored and the ennui induced by the day to day living makes you restless.

So yeah. That. Apart from this, I don’t know what to write. The heads got a million thoughts but I don’t know what to write. I want to quit this post here but JC says you need to write three pages (or 30 minutes in my world), I will write till it’s 7 AM.

Let’s see what’s been clouding my head. I have to deliver a few presentations today. Each will take me 2-3 hours to deliver. So that. I need to finish editing a book. That will take a few more hours. I may get to play poker in the evening. Not sure though. Poker needs at least 5 players and it’s often tough to find people that like that game like I do, even though I am lousy at it.

In fact, poker could be a thing that I can talk about. Poker is probably as perfect a game as they have invented. There is luck, there is skill. Even with lousy cards, with some skill (bluffing, reading people et al), you can do well. I think Poker could be my sustainable vocation. Just that the learning curve is steep and I need to put in some 10000 hours (or play a million hands) to build a mental repository. It is much like chess. You build a repository and you can play from experience. The difference is that chess is more or less a finite game where each move can eventually lead to a certain conclusion (and thus computers have beaten humans), poker is not.

Poker requires patience. It requires a bankroll (that you can build up with time. Random trivia – I have a record of more or less every poker game I have played since 2012 and numbers tell me that I not a good player).

Poker is excitement. The adrenaline that you get after you win a tough hand? Wow. The validation of getting out of a tough spot? That. The feeling of achievement after you have won? Yes! Tangible results? Of course!

It has everything that I want.

Sense of achievement. After all the results are tangible. With books, films, they are not. You are left guessing about what you’ve written.

Ability to travel the world (COVID-19 withstanding). There are probably as many casinos as there are rich, touristy destinations.

Opportunity to meet interesting people (most poker players have interesting lives, the kinds that make interesting stories).

Better with age. Rather than sports like Tennis and Chess, you get better with time (till a point, of course).

There are a few things missing as well. Here’s a list.

No impact. Even if I become a Kid Poker, I wouldn’t be able to make an impact. May be I will if I go the Chamath or Jason way.

No scale. It’s a solitary game. How do I create a community? How do I do things at scale?

No physical effort. Apart from being able to sit at the chair for long.

I am sure there are more things that I can write on both how poker has everything I want and what is missing. But the point is, it sounds like a thing that I could easily do for a living! Just that I need to make a commitment and then not move from it for 3 years.

Wish I had the means to do so! Damn them means. Have chased means all my life and I am losing the race and I can see that. And I can’t find a way out. If not for friends and family, I wouldn’t know what to do. This Goa trip has been made possible only because Rajesh was kind to give me his house. Nupura was kind to chaperone me. My parents were kind to not frown on my decision to stay away. My sis was kind to fund the last few months (and probably a few more). If not for all this kindness, I wouldn’t know where I’d be.

So yeah. That.

Oh, the thing for the day? Rather than lamenting about lack of means, I am grateful for the abundance of this kindness. Lol, I sound like a Buddhist monk but heck yeah! That’s how it is! That’s that! I am grateful that I can make my fingers dance on this keyboard and express myself. To the void. Or to the world at large. Or may be, to myself!

With this, over and out!

May you live in interesting times!

A rant on how “interesting” the 5th day of ’30 minutes of writing for 30 days’ project was. Read at peril.

This is the 5th day of this new project where I try and write every day for 30 minutes. As I start writing this, it is 11:17 PM (ended at 11:54 – well over 30) and I don’t have a lot of time (have some work) and thus I may not get 30 minutes under the belt. Plus, what I have to say is anyway not going to take much. So let’s see.

Today was an “interesting” day. For a lot of reasons. Lemme see if I can describe the reasons for interestingness in an interesting manner so as to do justice to the grandeur of this day.

A. The Helping Hand

For starters, three different people asked me to help them today.

One wanted help on writing, second on managing time, and third on reaching his life purpose. I know these three people from three different circles (one from MDI, second from Twitter, and third from work). Each lives in a different city.

And yet each of these people thought that I could help them with their respective predicaments.

While I am not sure I can help them, but I am glad to know that people have started to recognize me as someone they could reach out to when they need help. This is definitely a step in the direction of my #lifeGoal! So, yay!

B. The Good and The Bad and The Resolve

I have recently picked a few gigs where I am giving away fixed hours in exchange for money (counter-intuitive to every advice that I have ever held dear about how to get rich). And even though its not even been a month, I can clearly see why its a bad idea. And why its a good idea. Lemme elaborate.

Bad

I believe life is far larger and far meaningful than wasting time by doing things that don’t matter (to you!). Such as, wasting an entire day at an office, only to pick a laptop! And spending your night, working on a presentation that did not require any urgency per se.

Good

I had to pick these gigs cos the work that gave me the money to live a fairly good life? That has dried up (thank you, COVID. And thank you, SG for some really stupid decisions). And if I did not have these “stable” businesses wanting to hire explorers like me, we’d die hungry.

And I also appreciate that there may be people that like the idea of “stable” work that sucks their soul, in exchange for money that allows them to experience grand things in life on the weekends. Even though it is not for me, it’s not a bad tradeoff if you ask me.

So yeah, bad and good.

The resolve?

Well, I promise that I will get back to a point where I work for anyone but myself. The way things are, I don’t think that will happen before a year and each day in the year would be, well, interesting. I’d ideally love to run away from it as fast as a rat runs away from a ship that has hit an iceberg!

But I promise to myself that I would stay for at least a year (if not more). And I will use each “interesting” day to make my resolve stronger. And my hustler, harder. All in hopes that I don’t ever have to see these interesting times again.

C. The Notches

I wore denims and a formal shirt and sports shoes. My typical work attire. Or any formal occasion attire for that matter. And while I did that, I also wore a belt and I realised that I have put on so much weight that I need to add a notch on the belt.

While I should be gunning for removing notches from the belt, here I am, growing (quite literally) in the other direction. When this lockdown thingy started, I had resolved (where did I hear this word recently?) to lose weight, learn guitar, finish #book2 and I dont know what else. Of all the goals, I was fairly confident of losing weight. After all, I am not a foodie. Wait, lemme munch onto this Egg Roll that I just ordered. So, yeah, I am not a foodie and I could have lost weight but I put on weight! And I need to do something about it.

That’s it. That’s the third part. Nothing more. Nothing less. A reminder to self that I need to lose weight.

***

So yeah. This is for the post of the day. A ranty one. But at least I shipped. After all, real artists ship! Even on interesting days.

PS: If someone wishes you that “may you live in interesting times“, you now know what to do. Don’t you?

This is part of the ’30 posts in 30 days’ project. This was Day 5. Other posts are at 301031100111, 0211