How to get unstuck, be happy and live the life of your dreams

I have around 10 blog followers. Very shameful number, as I sometimes call myself a blogger. I had to get that out of my chest.

I was a kid with bad english. Shy, introverted, scared and bogged down by a poor self image. I met a girl, who was fat and ugly but was able to draw everyones attention.  She spoke and people listened like they would to a nightingale’s song on a moon lit night. I was intrigued. It wasn’t hard to decipher that she read a lot of books and had interesting stuff to talk about, which others didn’t know of. Its silly how people think you’re smart when you know something they don’t.

So, I started reading books. I had my fathers library to choose from. It had books with timeless wisdom I thought. One of the very first books I read was Who will cry when you die by Robin Sharma. Very typical self help, but that was my starting point. I read a lot since then. I was still shy and introverted and used to avoid all birthday parties. But I found myself becoming less scared with each book I read. I found myself growing in confidence. I don’t know how, it just happened and keeps happening.

I hope to be able to do this, someday!

 

Inspiration became a drug that I started craving for. I became a magnet to attract good books, inspiring people and how this has shaped me and helped me survive is a topic for an another interesting blog post.

Few things I’ve learnt that I hope will help just about anyone. Especially you & the other loyal blog followers.

A) Read like a maniac

This is overstated and cliched. But it is cliched because its impactful and this is a universal truth. Google 10 people whom you really look upto, its highly likely they write. May be they have a blog. Follow them. List down your interests and find the best selling books in the categories you’re interested in. If you don’t like to read and are a general busy bee, or you think it is too much strain on your eyes. Download audible on your smartphone and listen to books. (I’m doing this lately and loving it)

Some of the blogs I follow:

1. www.jamesaltucher.com

2. www.sivers.org

3. www.oliveremberton.com

4. www.kiruba.com

5. www.brainpickings.org

Few Reading lists

My reading list

The reading list I look upto when I need some inspiration to buy new books

I got an email from Mr. Altucher yesterday, when I thanked him for a blog post he wrote. Guess what, it was a reading list. Here you go: James Altucher’s reading list

B) Give away

There are so many things we hold on to ourselves. It weighs us down. Split everything you have into three categories. (If you do this right, it might surprise you)

1. Emotions

2. Intellect/ideas/knowledge

3. Physical stuff

Further again, wherever it applies, categorise the above into three sub categories.

1. What can you share

2. What can you give

3. What can you discard

You’ll have a cleaner life.

C) Write a thank you email to someone everyday

I was told when I was a kid, if you do something for 21 days in a row, it turns into an habit. I wanted to try this ever since and until this point never succeeded. I tried to use the new year resolution boat to swim me across the 21 day mark and it worked. It’s the 22nd of Jan & I’ve written 21 thank you emails till date this year. The feeling is really humbling. I never knew I had so much to be thankful for.

Results:

1% people had tears in their eyes. 5% people called me sounding elated. 40% people responded. 80% relationships were strengthened & 100% people I hope were made happy! ( Including me, 21 times so far & counting  )

Check out an article on Entrepreneur.com  for writing thank you notes.

D) Follow what James Altucher calls THE DAILY PRACTICE 

It is an everyday ritual to keep yourself completely healthy. It involves healing and bettering your emotional, physical, spiritual and mental self.  Here’s how he explains it.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link and read, I’d still urge you to go read it. If you’re a mega lazy person ( MLP ) here’s what I do, everyday:

Emotional: Write a thank you email everyday, try to complain less, try to stay away from negative people.

Physical: I try to meditate, do yoga or put on a youtube video and badly dance.

Spiritual: I try to be grateful for my life and its happenings. I thank the invisible presence that makes the world go around.

Mental: I push the limits of my brain & write at least 10 ideas everyday. I listen to books on Audible everyday. Yesterday, I wrote 16 ideas for a friend to enhance his career and life. He was blown away and probably couldn’t digest that someone actually spent time to think through ideas for him. He was happy & so was my brain & I.

E) Take Action

I read something today. It opened the locks of my mind. Gave me some action points that I had consciously or unconsciously hidden. We all hide things we’re uncomfortable doing, I guess. I will read the below 10 times and then come up with 10 ideas to act on, IMMEDIATELY!  May I suggest you to do the same?

Here’s what I read: What would you be doing with your life right now if you were madly, truly, deeply in love with yourself? Just sit quietly for a moment with the question. Close your eyes and really think about it.

What would a person in your shoes do if they really loved themselves? I’m talking the kind of love a parent has for their child, the kind of fierce intensity that will drive them to do anything to ensure their child’s wellness and happiness.

F) Live life each day at a time

Many have said, how you spend your days will equal how you spend your life. Ensure you have things sorted in your head, have taken stalk of the situation and have some clarity of the direction you want to be headed in. Channelise energies and time towards your goal everyday. Try to live a unstuck, happy and dreamy life everyday, in every small way possible. You’ll soon be the happy rockstar.

G) Be as daring as Samantha Hess 

I was blown away when I read about the business Samantha had started. What surprised me even more was how she has moved on inspite of so much societal resistance. For the ultra busy ( UB ) & MLP’s reading the post, here’s the story: She once saw two people giving away hugs in the city centre. One was charging for the hugs and one wasn’t. To her utter astonishment, she saw people queued up to receive hugs from the person who was charging for it.

Samantha saw an opportunity right there and started an organised version of this business. It’s called cuddle up to me. They are present in malls and retail spaces with small rooms for clients to cuddle. No sexual touch, just reassuring physical contact. They charge $1 for a minute. She dealt with all the resistance, criticism and the law suits. Today,  18 million people have read Samantha’s story. She’s unstuck, happy & successful.

H) Take regular breaks

Tim Ferriss in his book “The four hour work week” says since there is no surety you will be alive to live through your retirement, enjoy mini retirements today. There’s no guarantee that you’ll remain healthy enough to enjoy the ‘off time’ later. Life comes with no guarantees. So it’s best to seize the moment. Break your retirement life, dream life or whatever life that you desire into small pieces and shove it in today, next week and next month. Taking a break will help you look at your life from a distance and will help you get unstuck.

I) Be around the smartest, positive and happy people you know

The smartest I know and follow, constantly learn from the smartest people around them. Read this post, & please don’t be UB & a MLP.

J) Write your resignation letter

If your job, relationship, client, employee is something that’s holding you from being happy, help yourself and give away.

I’m still trying hard & transitioning from the shy kid that I was, battling the truth of having just 10 blog followers and hope to grow up and be a happy child someday.

This post was my list of 10 ideas for the day.

How to be happy and succeed at a difficult workplace

What is happiness?

Happiness is inversely proportional to stress, sadness, anger, resentment et al. In simple terms the absence of these lowering emotions is happiness.

What does it mean to succeed?

Being able to fulfil most physical, emotional, materialistic and personal needs while being happy & healthy.

What is a difficult workplace? 

Any workplace where the combination of  “Colleagues being true friends/well wishers, A complete control over your working day & unquestionable authority” is lacking.

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Until and unless you are the CEO of Apple, Facebook or the likes, it is highly unlikely that you will call your workplace an easy one after reading my definition of it. In coming to terms with the reality of a typical job life, you do understand that colleagues are never your well wishers, your employers cringe at the thought of giving you authority and eventually as a result you end up having limited or no control over your day.

It has been proved scientifically that working with people you love, having control over your day and authority are the top three ingredients of a happy and successful working life. It has also been proved by research that 90% job goers never have the good fortune of having all three ingredients in the right proportions, rendering 90% of people who work – sore & unhappy. I would also term them unsuccessful, as the absence of happiness means they don’t fulfil my criteria of success.

Of course, exceptions apply but again probability says 99.235 % of people who read this post will nod in agreement.

How do you still be happy and succeed at a difficult workplace?

1. Be humble & try not to spoil relationships: Ever read the garbage truck story, google it if you have not. There will be negative people and moments that will provoke you to burn bridges little by little. Try not to. Until you have a better opportunity, chances are that you will need to deal with the same people day in and day out. Then why spoil terms? Flex your ego muscles everyday, until they are in your control.

2. Cultivate the craftsman mindset: Most of us tend to limit the efforts we take in proportion to the salaries we are paid. This is a wrong approach. Painter Picasso, Actor Rajnikant & Music Director A. R. Rahman always tried to put their best in whatever they did. This yielded them bigger and better opportunities as they went along. The craftsman always first puts his best into whatever he does and gets his fair result afterwards. Be the craftsman/craftswoman at office.

3. Build Career Capital: When you start working like the craftsman,  you end up acquiring skills that are “rare and valuable”.  Over time, this adds up and becomes your career capital. As this balance of career capital grows, you enable yourself to become eligible enough to negotiate with your employers. You are now in a position to demand control & authority. In simple terms, Build your career capital. Trade it for control & authority. Repeat steps 1 to 3.

And then one day when you’re chilling at the beach sipping mango juice, call me. 🙂

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Feel free to share, copy, quote or anything else. Would love to hear your thoughts.

What my photos teach me

I am an amateur photographer, or so I call myself. In fact, I don’t even know if I am fit to call myself that. I never use the Manual mode, which other photographers boast about using. I hardly know how to put ISO, aperture or shutter speed to work. I do not use tripods, lens filters, external flash, lighting equipment, lenses as long as machine guns or other expensive gizmos which seem to compliment a photographers personality.

I love taking pictures and thats about it. As mankind evolved I had the good fortune of using some good cameras and even good editing softwares. People started appreciating my photos and I started clicking more, and got more appreciation and I clicked even more. I guess I keep getting better with each shot I take.

Some of my personal favourites below. Have included a line with what each one teaches me. Now you have something more to love me for.  🙂

Life's a long journey, sometimes you break and it is rough. Eventually it is for good.

Life’s a long journey, sometimes you break and it is rough. Eventually it is for good.

 

Feel the air around you. Be into breezes!

Feel the air around you. Be into breezes!

 

Someone's missing you somewhere, call them.

Someone’s missing you somewhere, call them.

 

Stop and take a closer look, you might be missing something beautiful.

Stop and take a closer look, you might be missing something beautiful.

 

In becoming a a lovely rose, the bud makes its way through many a thorn.

In becoming a a lovely rose, the bud makes its way through many a thorn.

 

 

Harshwardhan Patwardhan – Chappers Footwear

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1. A bit about yourself and how you landed up being an Entrepreneur?

Born and brought up in a business family, my natural inclination was always towards being an entrepreneur. My father owns a transport Solution company based in Pune,India by the name Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions. Though for some years I had assumed I will work with my father in the future, as I grew up I realised the travel industry was not my forte. Being a true patriot, I could not stay in the United Kingdom for more than a year and came back instantly after completing my MSC Management from the University of Nottingham. I had worked in my family business for about 6 months when I started to feel the need to do something different. I thought……Bang..!! I wanted to promote my country. I wanted to do something that would make India stand out. I cannot and will not ever be ready to accept our country as a third world country. I can, all of us can do something to get rid of this tag. This was the start of Chappers.

2. What is Chappers all about? How did you get the idea and what does the brand stand for?

I Love Kolhapuri chappals..! They are so stylish. So unique. Each and every person in our country has bought or wants to buy a pair of Loafers, Moccasins, Brogues etc. While this is not wrong, why does no one want to buy Kolhapuris..?! Just because they are made in India and not in Italy or US..? Just because a pair of needy hands make them, not an expensive machine..? People find Greek sandals and gladiators fancy and expensive, just because the Greeks are proud of their product.! The reality is there is very little difference between Indian chappals and Greek sandals. Its just that we are not proud of our own chappals. Chappers tries to solve this question..! We want to make Indians proud of Indian products first, then the world will follow.

We manufacture Kolhapuri chappal inspired footwear. We have tried to solve the three major problems of Kolhapuri chappals, one we have made them extremely comfortable, second, we have vibrant colours and modern designs, and third, Chappers have an ultra thin hardened rubber sole to provide grip to the user. On top of everything, Chappers are completely handcrafted. We want the Indian youth to start using and promoting Indian products rather than imported goods. After all, we cannot just say “acchhe din aane waale hai” and expect our Prime Minister to change everything. We can change our country ourselves. Lets start it RIGHT NOW..!

3. I understand that you are passionate about what you do. What do you have to say to the people who are unsure of what they are passionate about?

I think any job is not impossible if you are passionate about it. It can be true otherwise too, any small job can seem difficult if you are not passionate about it. As I have been in the stage where I did not know what I wanted to do, I can easily understand the situation of these people. I am 22 years old and I fortunately found my passion at a young age. For people who have still not found out where their passion lies, please hang on. Do not lose hope and start doing anything you do not like to do. Start exploring, start by thinking of 10 things you really like. Analyse if there are any business opportunities relating to these fields. Is there any gap in the market which you can fill ? Is there any product which you can improve ? The most important thing in your life is enjoying your life. If you are thinking of doing something just for the money, think again..! Will you be able to do this all your life ? If not, why do it now..? Instead search for something that will make you feel as though you are not working.I believe, If you are not enjoying your work, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE MONEY..!

4.  Your journey with Chappers so far and the hurdles you faced in the journey you have managed to survive.

Chappers is only 5 months old and the number one problem we have faced till now is dealing with the craftsmen. The craftsmen are very innocent and do not understand contemporary style. They think its okay to deviate from designs and create what they think would look good. They are also very rigid as to how the Kolhapuris are manufactured and are adamant to accept that there can be new and better ways of manufacturing.

Coming from a transport company which operates and owns around 1200 buses and has won many national awards and was featured in the top 100 Small and Medium Companies of India award, it was very difficult to convince the society that I am planning to sell ‘Kolhapuri chappals’, which is considered to be the job of roadside sellers. It was very frustrating at times when even family members thought I was crazy to take up such a job. But, as Chappers evolved, I was able to convince everyone that this might be a very interesting start to my career. The thing that helped me to survive this tension was the fact that I believed in Chappers and my ability to take it ahead. People started realizing that the feedbacks about the product are actually very good and that people are liking the initiative I have taken.

5. What are the next steps with the business and what are your plans for the future?

As of now we are in conversation with some websites and we are launching soon on some websites including Housefactory.net Such websites are a very good medium to reach the masses and establish Chappers as a brand. Chappers will also be entering the retail market and soon people will be able to buy Chappers from various boutiques in their cities. We are also in talks with some agents and retailers in the UK and Australia to promote Indian footwear in those countries.Within the next 3 years, Chappers plans to open its flagship stores in India, starting from its hometown, Pune.

6. Where do you look for inspiration and your advise for other entrepreneurs starting out?

People who passionately do something to change the world are my prime source of inspiration. People like Richard Branson,the founder of Virgin group and Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla motors are people who actually have the vision to change the world for the better. People like these will always inspire young entrepreneurs like me and will eventually make the world a better place to live in. Also, one does not need to find inspiration outside if they have an inspirational figure in their own house. My dad is the most inspiring person for me, as he is constantly on the lookout to reform the transport system of the country. Our company operates public transport buses in cities like Bhopal, Indore, Delhi, Ludhiana, Pune etc with a vision to improve the public transport system of this country. He is a public figure and is the Vice President of the Maharashtra Transport Association, motivating many people apart from me to take an initiative and change India for the better.

The only suggestion I will give young entrepreneurs is to follow their heart. The heart can never be wrong. Never succumb to pressure from relatives, friends etc and do something you do not like to do. Life will be miserable if you do not love what you do. Life will be a blessing if you love what you do. And please please hang on till you find your passion. Keep moving towards it and it will move towards you too.

Request everyone to please visit their facebook page at-  https://www.facebook.com/chappersindia. Feel free to share feedback at mychappers@gmail.com.

Up in the air

Life is a backpack. Imagine all the people, relationships, worries, responsibilities are inside this backpack. You’ve put it on. Try moving. Do you feel the weight cutting into your shoulders? How much of the stuff thats inside, really needs to be in there?

Every now and then, please separate the wheat from the chaff. Please empty your backpack and keep it light. Be a minimalist, if you want to travel far and travel strong. A negative person in life, negative thought, unpleasant memory has 10 times more weight than that of its positive counterpart. Throw these heavy things away, for good.

Now put your backpack on and get on the plane.

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Happy Journey!