30 things I have realized over the last 30 years

I am older than 30 by the way, just that the heading goes well.

As the new year becomes older gradually, I have caught myself looking back time and again reflecting on experiences, learnings and patterns that have uncovered stuff I didn’t realize well enough.
Listing down what I feel we all might know, but the realization kicks in at different points in our lives.

1) Doing a job that you don’t like is as good as living in jail. It may be worse that actually living in jail.

2) Maturity is overrated. Being responsible isn’t.

3) Honesty is best most of the times. Dishonesty is bad all the times.

4) Talent is totally overrated. Many parents undermine their kids’ skills by talking about talent. Don’t worry about talent.

5) Hard work is wrongly labeled. It can’t be hard all the time. You have got to love it. It has to feel easy most of the time.
I feel many of us sometimes don’t do things because hard work is called “hard”.

6) You can learn a lot from Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Meryl Streep as well. Watch their videos on YouTube.

7) Humour is amazing. Standup comedy is as good as meditation. Watch a lot of it. Do everything possible to sound humorous. Mindless comedy is good too.

8) Selfishness is essential. A bit of jealousy too. Little bit I guess.

9) Sports is so good that if you aren’t playing everyday, you are dying. Play something everyday. Walking as a sport rocks too.

10) Your mind is always way younger than you. Pamper it.

11) Introverts who submit to the fact lead unhappier lives than those who work on themselves. Being social is awesome.

12) Working on being more likeable is a great thing to do. Loveable is even better, but harder.

13) “Be yourself” is gimmicky and misleading, fails very badly for somethings. Rapists and paedophiles can’t “be themselves”.

14) There is nothing purer than mother’s love on this planet.

15) Being good at “office politics” is not a skill set. But it is a dirty reality that it matters. Politics is here to stay.

16) Smiling is so so important. We should have a subject on smiling in schools. The biggest hack to masking feelings, feeling good, making friends and spreading positivity.

17) Being thick-skinned is so “life-proof”. Another worthy subject in schools.

18) Life isn’t fair. Expecting it to be unfair is foolish too.

19) We grow as a person the most when no one understands us.

20) Running, cardio, weight-lifting etc teach “pain tolerance”. Damn essential in life.

21) Wanting to be wealthy is a great thing. Money solves so many problems. Life becomes so good with lesser problems.

22) Goals make life easy. A goalless life is really boring and difficult.

23) It’s always always wiser to set lofty goals. Dreaming is so good.

24) 20s are for taking risks. 30s too. Actually your entire life if you can manage to.

25) Keeping your spouse/partner happy is super important. We should have a subject on this too in schools. Breakups teach you stuff, but then so does breaking your leg. Do your best to avoid them.

26) Sense of entitlement is one of the most annoying virtues in most settings.

27) Organisations and especially startups succeed when people are ready to work in “whatever it takes” mode. Set goals and go for them.

28) Customers are “not” always right, but you got to deal with them with utmost respect. After all they are “customers”.

29) Exercising/playing and taking care of your body regularly makes us a better person over time. Less angrier, bitter but more competitive and thick-skinned.

30) Common sense is the only God I know of.
Please add more in the comments if you feel like.

Running & the Boston Marathon Qualification goal

I am starting this blog-series primarily as a hopefully interesting read and insight into training for a tough marathon – The Boston Marathon.

For my age category, the qualifying time to participate in the Boston marathon is 3:10 (3 hours 10 minutes). Given the current scenario of the places getting filled some 2.5 min ahead of the qualifying times across age categories, The realistic time is 3:07.

I will let the rest of the posts in this series do more talking, beginning with why this goal, where do I stand, which run am I aiming for and for how long it has been on my mind.

I am to make the series full of pictures and as entertaining as possible. I definitely want some percentage of non-runners to read it and get inspired as well!

15 solid ways to tap into your worst self

Enough of posts with good advice. Let’s share some bad advice and see what we can learn from them.

1)Let complaining be your most active hobby. The traffic, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the wife, parents, boss, colleague, neighbor, country, economy, selfishness, greed. PM me for more.

2)Sleep whenever you feel like, get up just in time to go to office. There is no dearth of time in life – optimize it for rest.

3) Stay at least 1 hour away from your workplace, 2+ hours is ideal.

4) Take pride in being unsocial – “I love being alone most of the time, I am an introvert”, “I hate people who do x,y…”!

5) If you are the social/fun-seeking type – party every night. Party definitely means consuming alcohol till you pass out. You anyways know all the ways to beat a hangover. Keep a log of the number of days you skipped partying. Don’t let it be below 25 days a month.

6) Lie/cheat whenever you can. You are smart, you wouldn’t get caught. If you didn’t get caught, you didn’t cheat – simple.

7) Be short-sighted and plan only for the next week. You never know if you would be alive the next year, why bother planning for it?

8) Don’t spend on others. The money you earn is just for you & probably your very close ones. Let others pay for you if they feel like. Not you. You save. As much as possible. After all it’s MONEY that runs the world. Save for what? No idea, since you haven’t planned. Probably for a very rainy day.

9) Don’t read any books – in fact don’t read anything except anything written on your Twitter/Facebook feeds. And the hoardings on the roads.

10) Eat only for taste… and optimize your meals – eat all you can in one shot till you get very hungry again.
And never bother about junk food, healthy food – that’s for the diabetics and the ill. Eating time of the day – doesn’t matter.

11)Stay away from sports – your age of playing is long gone. Sports is for kids – it makes you look less mature.

12) If you want to keep the play alive – play dirty office politics. Become a schemer. You will achieve your target of misery very soon.

13) Exercise – come on. That’s for the old and 50+. Or may be for someone less fortunate and agile. You don’t need it. You are gifted to live till 100 without much trouble.

14) Don’t believe in love – that’s for the movies. Life is about having fun and moving on.

15) Don’t care for your parents. You didn’t ask them to bring you into this world. They will be fine. No need calling them very frequently, they don’t have exciting topics to discuss anyway. They are old-fashioned.

Running a marathon should be on everyone’s bucket-list

Especially if you are looking for excitement, fun, pain and bliss rolled into a single unit.
Running as a sport has picked up big time in the recent past and the number of people signing up for events is at an all time high.

I am sure there is some word-to-mouth publicity that running gets which motivates a non-runner to take a shot at it.
After all it’s the simplest activity we all have done since childhood. But then it’s not a very “fun” sport. It can get lonely, boring and lethargic. Why is it that then every 4th or 5th guy/girl you know has just finished a 10k or a half-marathon or may be a full 42.195km marathon?

If you subscribe to the RunnersWorld or Competitor Running feed on Facebook, you will come across countless stories of before and after pictures of people who went from fat to fit, stories of how running transformed people’s lives and so on.
One big reason people run is because it de-stresses. The other strong reason is that there is no better(& faster) way to lose weight than to run regularly. It is almost a magic pill for weight loss.
So you are a regular runner/fitness enthusiast and you look fit, but should you attempt a marathon? How does it matter?

It does. Big time. Here are some reasons why training for and then finishing a marathon is worth it:

1) It resembles life – except that it gets wrapped in a day and you are alive at the end of it. Signing up for a marathon takes courage. Once you do that, and you start training for it, you go through a cycle of discipline(& lack of it), routine, good days, bad days, exuberance and all the emotions you can imagine. Marathon preparation is both a physical and a mental activity – it prepares you for life like no other sport.

2) It makes you feel great about yourself – And we all live for that. We live to feel awesome about ourselves. The feeling post finishing a marathon is undescribable. If self-confidence could be put in a jar, you buy a whole bucket of it post finishing it. You are literally ready for any other challenge. It’s a self-growth exercise.

3) Weight loss/Fitness becomes a by-product of the marathon training journey – I am a big proponent of aiming big.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star”. By the time the marathon day comes closer, you are already in great shape and receiving compliments from people.

4) It makes you humble – A marathon is a “marathon” literally. No matter how well trained/fit you are, you will face challenges during the training and the run itself. There will be someone who will overtake you. Humility is a guaranteed virtue post a marathon.

5) FOMO(Fear/Feeling of missing out) is not a good thing. We all experience FOMO throughout our lives for various things – objects, money, achievements, fame etc. Finishing a marathon puts you up in the “league”. You earn bragging rights and as with any other achievement, it dilutes the overall FOMO and insecurity.

6) You become an inspiration for people around you – which again by our very nature makes us feel good about ourselves.
No matter how self-centered or selfish you may think you are, there is a big part of us wanting to motivate others. Once you finish a marathon, that part of you grows larger than the selfish part.
For a first timer, it usually takes 6 to 12 months to train for a marathon(and it’s risky to try to do it in a shorter timeframe), but it’s an accelerated path to self-discovery.

Don’t rush but make sure you check running a marathon off your bucket list sooner – you will thank yourself!