Getting out of my comfort zone

I am very bothered by this book by Robin Sharma. It is irritating the fuck out of me! This blogpost is an attempt to vent out.

I hate every word of the book, but still I am painfully trying to read the crap Mr. Robin Sharma has written. The reason why I hate the book 5am Club is the following

  1. It is a terrible cliche and badly written peice of shit.
  2. It is forcing me out of my comfort zone.

So I am in this terrible place, where if i read this badly written book, I will be the bigger loser than Mr. Sharma and if the reason is number 2, that I am avoiding to read the book because it challenges me to get out of my comfort zone. As one of the primary purpose i picked up the book was I want to get the fuck out of my comfort zone. I am sick of the comfort zone!

Now I think I can get deeper than Mr. Robin Sharma

What is a comfort zone?

What if I am already living too much out of my comfort zone?

How does Mr. Sharma know that I am about to be eaten up by a blue whale and will dissolve in the whale stomach acid in minutes?

Anyway!

The blog has acheived it aim of venting out on Mr Sharma and his silly book. I feel like I should troll him by writing a book called 3:30 am Club!

Any publishers here would like to give me an advance?

My Intermittent Fasting Lie

Ok, I wanted to give my stomach a rest. So I thought I will do only one meal a day! The first day I skipped all meals and had my dinner. The result for massive acidity.

So now I do one meal a day, but I snack in the morning, afternoon and early evening. I try to snack something which is just enough to fill the palm of my hand.

Dinner is a bit elaborate sometime, but sometime again it is a small snack. I feel fasting really improves energy level. Heavy meals are a productivity killer. I am extremely wary of over eating and paranoid about over eating.

When people ask me how I am so fit

I am perhaps naturally thin, also I eat less and less. Also I walk like crazy. I love walking. But I am far from fit, stomach bugs, throat infections, tooth issues are my constant companions. But Yeah, I might be looking a bit boyish, which I really cringe at sometimes. I wish I looked more like a grown up man!

But then someone huge men want to look boyish so they could pursue younger women.

Anyway sorry for digressing.

Late 40’s are a crisis. Infact the entire 40’s are a crisis state. I hope 50’s would be much better than this? 40’s is about getting aware of your immortality and your responsibilities for me. I was blissfully carefree till i hit 44 I think.

It is kinda sad, I think i had a privilege life. Some men start earning for their family right at 21.

I just drifted and drifted.

Ok!

What is SOCIAL and CULTURAL CAPITAL?

Let’s get the definition sorted.

SOCIAL CAPITAL – is like a currency. Suppose you have 10 close friends. They are your social capital. Suppose you are respected and loved by your fans and your community that is again your social capital. So social capital increases if your friends and social circle think good of you and decreases if you are not nice to them.

Social capital is a currency whose values increases and decreases as per time. It is dependent on lot of factors like how much money you have, how influential you are. How you treated a friend of an acquaintance.

CULTURAL CAPITAL – Cultural capital is what is your family background, what class you belong too. What kind of education you received. What kind of social parties you attend. Are you a music or an art connoisseur? The food you consume. For eg. Organic food, Fair Trade coffee etc.

Are you smart or just street smart?

Do you often wonder, why the school bully who failed in class 3 and 7 went out to become a millionaire? Or are you one of them.

There is a difference between smart and street smart. A street smart person doesn’t know about what is happening in the world, but he is a very worldly wise person. He knows when is the opportune moment to strike. While the smart person goes on intellectual theories ( being theory it is fundamentally not real).

Here we get the delusional intellectual, who will win a political debate on TV but never win an election. So is being just ‘SMART” not good?

Remember the extremely skilled person can be both i.e A good combination of Street smartness and Intellectual smartness. This is what I am aspiring to be. Since I am writing this Blog. You can guess what kind of ’SMART” am I?

Birthday Wishes

So one more down and not sure how many to go. Preserving the old body takes lot of effort. You have so many things to think off. For eg. how to replenish your gut with good bacteria? how to make sure that your back doesn’t fold up or what is the tingling sensation in the brain? Is it a tumor? Why are my legs aching so much after a short daily walks?

Accomplishments

Anyway, a good ol’ friend called said, he had accomplished all the things by the time he has reached my age. I know that was a soft nudge from him for me to think big.

This nudge got me thinking about my ambitions. I realise that I had lot of ambitions but no fire in the belly. I give up too soon. There is no dearth of ambition and passion, but I don’t want to fight every battle. I choose my battles, I don’t intend to win all the wars. I want to win the war which is critical.

Peak to Peak

This friend gave me an example of how a person’s career can leap from peak to peak without every traversing the valley (failures). It feels that life is taking me from one valley to another. There is no hope of feeling the sun on the face standing at the summit.

My Ambitions

I don’t have any ambitions. Ambitious itself is rather ambitious word. I want to have enough money to provide to my loved ones. And in my old age I want to have some comforts.

Childhood Ambitions

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an industrialist (or marry an industrialist daughter atleast). After a bit of growing, I wanted to be a space scientist or some kind of researcher. My schools and college educatioy wringed out all my ambition. It left me unsipired and dull.

to be continued… on next birthday

Plugin the financial leak

Yesterday, I left the tap a bit open. It was dripping and I was in a hurry to get to work.

Evening I came home and saw that the taps had run dry. I was furious, the overhead tank was empty. I tried to figure out how in the hell could drops of water drain away and entire tankful of water.

This morning I remembered a financial advise of a old friend. He used to say , save a bit, save a rupee and it will help you.

For me the concept of saving is alien. I still am grappling to figure out how to save when the expenses are always more the the income.

Do I have the fiscal equivalent of leaky taps ? Only if things were so obvious when it comes to finances.

The 4 things everyone aspires for but cannot have it all.

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Sleep
  4. Money

These first 3 things are tied to Money and time. The horrible diagram below will explain.

Case 1 – If you have no time and no money. You have nada. You don’t have friends or family and your sleep is fucked up.

Case 2 – If you have money and no time , you can have your family, but say bye bye to any social life with friends. You work 9 to 5 for your family and to pay your children’s fees.

Case 3 – You have no money , but plenty of time, you sleep well Sir.

Case 4 – You have lot of friends and a beautiful family. But you ain’t getting any sleep.

The best case scenario is where you get any 2 some part of the time. Which is the one you are willing to sacrifice ?

Blame Yourself Always

You know this is the simplest rule to remember, but we all forget it.

Let me explain

We all depend on others. We cannot survive in this world on our own. Sometimes the people we trust let us down. They might be doing it to protect themselves, but your interests are getting harmed. You are feeling betrayed.

In this case, the mind like a old tape recorder on a loop, will start the never ending blame game. The mind has taken over your being. You are no longer in control. You wish the other person ill. You wish the other person goes out of your life. You want to end this relationship ASAP.

Take Back the control from your mind.

If you are lucky to be aware in these moments of blame game. You need to tell yourself, that “I wont blame the other person”. I will blame myself for all that is happening between the other person and me. You are now the master.

You can now act, you can change your attitude. You can get more and more control over this other person who you think is affecting your life.

You need to blame yourself for

  1. Selecting this person out of poor judgement.
  2. Not communicating well with the person
  3. Not understanding the type and Psyche of the person.

The list can go on….

Be a mortal and blame yourself. Life is much better this way.

 

I figured out Why the single girl has so much energy.

I get tired all the time. I wake up tired when I don’t sleep well. I wake up tired when I have tummy ache. I wake up tired when I had too much to think.

Single girls are feeling emancipated. The #metoo moment along with wide protest against rapes have made her strong. But these are macro level environmental changes in the lives of the single women. But where does she get her day to day energy from ?

Here is a story of a single girl

Disclaimer : – I don’t know her name? I will barely recognise her face if I see her. But I feel her energy and I don’t like it. Maybe I am jealous of her life.

She hardly sleeps? She steps out of the house to party when I am in my bed trying to sleep. She comes home at 4 am. If she is home she is banging the door till 3 am or her lover is knocking the door. She loves passionately. But when the romance seems to be dying, she accuses her lover of secretly talking to other girls on social network. She fights more ferociously than she loves. But she has a big heart. She forgives also.

What has lately took over my thinking is – Why does this single girl has so much energy? Where does she derive her power from ?

Alas! Today I has an Eureka moment –

Our Brain takes up 20% of the energy. So If you don’t use your brain, you could use that extra 20% of energy. Now that explains why the single girl has so much energy, isn’t it ?

Relationships on Rent.

One of the biggest worry a man has is that if he ever runs out of money, his woman will leave him (or he will have to leave her). Being together is a costly exercise, while one works the other takes care of the social and other aspects of the life. If both man and woman are working even then the responsibilities of social and administrative work is divided. A marriage or making a home together is like building a brand and we all know that making brands costs lots of money. A good branded family has social status and respect in the society than the bad brand family with maybe a alcoholic husband.

Rent Economy

Millennials don’t like to own cars. We have the new shared billion dollar business models like Uber, Airbnb etc.

What these shared assets for hire give you is happiness and convenience. They are available when you need them.

Relationship is another asset, if used wisely it can be a source of happiness and enrichment. In todays precarious times we don’t know, how long we can manage to fund our children’s education or their demands for material goods.

If one is not able to have a full time family can one rent it for Sunday lunches?

The Japanese way

I read in Japan, you can hire people who will pretend to be your friend and spend time with you. All we want is someone who is available to us when we need to talk, isn’t it? Then why do we end up in long term committed relationship? There is also no guarantee that a long term relationship will last forever. Children will grow up, get married and have their own life to take care. A spouse might leave you for heavens for a better place.

The Indian way

The Indian middle class is preoccupied with their bourgeois needs. If there has to be any disruption in the institution or the brand of relationships it will come from the fringe. The outliers, who got busy working and never married. The enemies of the institution of marriage today is social media, cellphone and career.

What about the LGBT people who cannot get married ? They are seeking for equal rights, they are fighting for a place in the society which they don’t like. Will they innovate and disrupt traditional relationships?

Will we see a new social structure emerge and be a alternative to the traditional relationships. What would the brand be called ? How about RnB (Relationships ’n’ brotherhood Co.)

My Bodyguard

I am not telling you the story of some Whitney Houston movie. This is my story. At the peak of my ego trip, someone suggested that I need to hire a bodyguard. Completely over estimating my importance in the world affairs I thought it was a good idea. I was given a guy who had worked for 15 years in the Military. He came in recommended and so there was no reason not to trust him.

I always wanted a brother to work along side. Even though he was hefty 6 footer compared to thin me. I took him under my wings. He was always with me, he travelled with me and we ate together.

I loved our camaraderie. I felt a big support system, I got addicted to his presence. I was the brain he was the brawn. I got him a house and gave him a car too. It was a dream come true for him. He got his wife and kids moved in to the house.

Things started going bad.

Now with his new found status, he started boasting about his new luck to his friends and family. He had become ambitious, he was privy to information and part of the company management. He conspired to wrestle power.

I had to take some divine help. He had to pack his bag overnight and scoot away with his family. I never saw him again.

What began as a journey of 2 brothers ended up in a power struggle and the end of companionship.

Story of Privilege Part 2 continued

What exactly does privilege mean? Isn’t it a rather relative term. Privilege in plain terms is a head start in a race. The privileged person has certain skills, background which gives him the advantage of winning the rat race.

It can be better communication skills, it can be wealthy parents who he doesn’t have to tend to. When we accept that every life is unique than why do we make such hue and cry about privilege? Like Leonard Cohen songs says in his song Everybody knows “The game was rigged from the start”.

Is it possible that a person born in a rich family might not have the tenacity or the fire in the belly to succeed? Is it possible that a person with the best foreign university education might be disadvantaged competing with someone who has learnt on the job?

Here I am trying to unsuccessfully suggest that the under privileged person has some skills which he has acquired because of his disadvantages. What about two people who attend the same college, have similar set of parents? Will they face similar career trajectory? I had a chat with my college friends. One is a industrialist, another is a successfully sales guy, I am coping, and the 4th one is in dumps.

Like someone said, ” A talented person is the one who makes the right choices”. Hiring the right people, partnering with the right person, marrying the right person can mean a lot. Does then privilege give you access to the right people, or the right life partner ?

I think the concept of privilege is not fully explored yet. Anyone has any links to a long from article ?

The History of my privilege – 1

Much is made of privilege. My good friend replaced the word “privilege” with “Luck”. But lets us stick to “privilege”. The connotation of “luck” is “by chance” while privilege is planned.

I knew I was one of those affluent kids in school. I was not conscious that my father was rich, but I would be embarrassed when dad came in his big car to fetch me. My instructions were “ I don’t want to be fetched in the imported yellow car”. I guess I was shy and didn’t want to stand out. You know all eyes staring at you and the big car.

But then life takes a turn, I grew up. I saw that people were getting fat salaries in MNC’s and were travelling all over the world. The narrative of me being a fat rich business owner took a beating when one day the bank my father owned money, tried to evict me and my family. If I cannot provide roof for my family, I must be poor.

The bubble of privilege hadn’t burst yet.

I kept seeing people around me getting richer and richer while I was lost my marriage, my house, my car and all my savings. Finally the bubble burst – I was the underdog, the under privileged.

Was I ?

Why do people with lots of money want to make even more money?

Have you ever wondered what keeps guys like Mukesh Ambani going? I mean why the heck does he turn up at office each day. Hasn’t he made enough?
The answer is chemicals!!! Yes, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. This is not only about Mr. Ambani, but all people who have made enough money, but still keep going stronger than ever.

How does Dopamine play a role?

Now that one doesn’t have to earn to survive. All achievements are only means of a Dopamine Kick. Yes, the same kick you get when someone likes your Facebook status update.
So every deal is a dopamine kick. A rich person wakes up and thinks, well what fun do I get today. oh! Clinch that long over due pending deal.
Now Dopamine isn’t enough. Lets move to Seratonin.

What role does Serotonin play?

Remember, you feel you are smarter than others? Yes, I am feeling that right now. You get a dose of serotonin. Every time you feel better than others a pleasant chemical called serotonin rewards your brain.
Now, I am getting my dose of serotonin by writing. Some other guy might get that by running a marathon in record time and putting the pictures of his achievement on Facebook. Some other guy might post his recent feature in Forbes geek issue about him being the Top 30 under 30. This is quite harmless, but yes serotonin can make you violent. One can even use verbal or physical violence to put someone in his place.
But, Now you are screaming. Love is the biggest emotion and I should STFU. Here comes oxytocin.

When do you produce oxytocin ?

Oxytocin is the touch chemical. When you are in love, you have lot of oxytocin. When you make love, yeah, double dose of oxytocin. Massages, yes, even massages.
Oxytocin is also the tribe chemical. If you belong and feel protected by your tribe, you produce oxytocin.

Now you say, you will be a mahatma and wont get addicted to these three chemicals?

Here is what happens when you don’t get these chemicals. Your body produces Cortisol instead.

WTF is Cortisol?

Cortisol is the stress chemical. It is the fight/flight/freeze chemical. You are sensing danger and your body is in an alarmed state. Too much cortisol means

  1. You won’t sleep at night.
  2. Your appetite will be gone.
  3. You will develop all psychosomatic illnesses.

This is enough. Remember to produce these chemicals for yourselves and others too.

Surrender and indebted

I used to think I can do it all on my own. Live in this world and be the king of my own world. I wanted to be in control of my life. I didn’t want to be in-debt to anyone.

Finally, I threw in the towel. I didn’t ask for help, but help arrived. I didn’t say No. Asking or Begging for help would have been total surrender. I guess enlightenment is still far ahead.

Once you surrender, you feel this tremendous sense of debt along with gratitude. This feeling of debt is a grown up thing. We never feel indebted to our parents for educating us. We love them.

But when you are a grown up and surrender, you feel indebted. Indebted arises out of separation. We are one with our parents, so it never crosses our mind that we owe or in debt to our parents.

Do you feel indebted to your parents?

Conversations from the coffeeshop today…

So I forgot my headphones again, and now I am forced to listen to other people’s conversation. Here are some examples today.

1) A young (lower) middle-class couple on a matrimonial date. The boy tells her (in Marathi), that he likes her nature. The girl in her mind does a small victory dance followed by a high five. They chatter inane stuff for a while and then get out.

2) A bhai looking person with a tattooed arm, is mouthing such bad words without being self-conscious (bhenc.. , la.de) Of course if he were self-conscious he wouldn’t have been a Bhai but would be in a corporate job. (My bad).

3) Two guys from the corporate world come in, if the Bhai’s are a disgruntled lot, then the corporate guys are the over satiated men. They have this overwhelming sense of overachievement. One guy has such an authoritative tone that the entire coffee shop could hear what he is talking, but he goes on oblivious to his surrounding, this is just an extension of his meeting room and not a public space, speak of the sense of entitlement.

Well.. Now I have to get back to work

OVAN / Pexels

I have become the king of Mumbai and how?

screen-shot-2014-11-15-at-1.58.31-pmA long time ago, A friend looked at my kundli and said, I would be the king of Mumbai. Since I had tremendous faith in her, I believed her and had been waiting for a windfall, expecting some Portuguese King to give me a dozen of flats in the posh areas of Mumbai. But that’s not happened so far.

So Its got me thinking, till recently I realised that, people having a lot of houses in Mumbai won’t make them a king of Mumbai. Also, this king and queen stuff is pretty embarrassing stuff to proclaim when there are about 60% of the Mumbai population living in slums.

The right definition for anyone to be the king of Mumbai is someone who can beat the traffic, which is slowly killing the Mumbai-ites. I have achieved the enviable task of beating the Mumbai traffic. A couple of years back, I sold my car because, with services like Uber and Ola around, I found maintaining a car, was painful, you know remember the stuff about servicing and repairs, parking woes in the city.

After moving around Uber and Ola, I decided to try the Mumbai Local Trains, and suddenly I started feeling extremely mobile and empowered, I could have breakfast in Matunga, Lunch in Powai and dinner in Ballard Pier and still manage to meet all my appointments and finish all my work.

The Mumbai local Train is magical, once you master the routes, you can zip around the city, trust me.

I would again reiterate, the person who can travel the length and breadth of Mumbai is truly the king of Mumbai.