The Naked Soul Talk Show | A Daily Podcast

The Naked Soul Talk Show: A Daily Podcast

Woohoo! Friends, creatives, seekers, and entrepreneurs! Here it is. Share all you can. Please spread the good news! Coming soon to iTunes/Radio. And NOW AVAILABLE on YouTube.

The Naked Soul Talk Show: Full Human Potential and Daily Growth

Welcome to The Naked Soul Talk Show with Salil Jha and Neha Rizal. Learn with us as we dig deeply into ways to initiate breakthroughs in our personal lives in relationships, health, and body- consciousness, discuss the law of success as it manifests in careers and finances, learn how to attain mastery of any skill, share rags to riches stories, and delve into what it means to have a purpose driven life and how to create one via lifestyle design (the 80-20 rule).

We have guests from all over the world from various ethnic, spiritual, educational, and cultural backgrounds. But all of them have one thing in common: the desire to be better than they were yesterday. Naked Soul is a transpersonal talk show.

Here, we will explore how to realize measurable self-growth and manifest success by turning our dreams into realistic goals and eventual realities. Build your own inner-GPS. Create a map for a success-lifestyle: plenty of time with family, and no bosses, no alarm clocks dictating your day, instead indulgence in creative pursuits and the enjoyment of a free life, passionately lived.

The Naked Soul is a place where we transform our “Daily Grind” stories into “Daily Win” stories. Our goal is to empower each listener so that they live their full human potential.

Are you ready to heal, grow and kick-start your soul-evolution and become world class?

The Naked Soul Podcast Ep. 01: Chris Jones on The Art & Business of Writing

The Naked Soul Podcast Ep. 02: Simone Salmon on Writing Books & Taking a Transformational Journey

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Do you listen or watch podcasts/talk shows? If yes, what are some of your favorite podcasts or talk shows? What kind of podcast would you like to listen to? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests. (The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.)

Read Next

Does Age Really Matter? (When It Comes to Your Life’s Purpose)





A short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages. At the end of your reading, if you feel motivated to take actions and take charge of your life, please share this list with atleast 1 friend who you think needs to read this.

At 19 months, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

At 1, Christian Friedrich Heinecken, the legendary child prodigy, had read the first five books of the Bible.

At 2, speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She would go on to win five Olympic gold medals.

At 3, Wolfgang Mozart taught himself to play the harpsichord.

At 4, Brazilian Formula One race car driver Ayrton Senna da Silva began driving.

At 5, Yo-Yo Ma, world-famous cellist, began playing “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” before bed each evening.

At 5, Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he started composing original music.

At 6, Willie Hoppe, the greatest billiards player in history, began to play pool. He had to stand on a box to reach the table. In his lifetime, Hoppe won 51 world titles. He was ranked number 1 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.

At 6, Shirley Temple became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”

At 7, English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had mastered Greek.

At 8, three-time Olympic gold medal runner Wilma Rudolph took her first step after suffering from polio as a child.

At 9, Daisy Ashford wrote her bestselling novel, “The Young Visiters.” It sold over 200,000 copies.

At 10, Vinay Bhat became the youngest chess master in the world.

At 11, pilot Victoria Van Meter became the youngest girl to fly across the United States.

At 12, Carl von Clausewitz, general and writer of “On War,” joined the Prussian army.

At 12, Anne Frank wrote the her famous “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

At 13, actress, director and producer Jodie Foster wrote and directed a short movie called The Hands of Time.

At 13, Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster.

At 14, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve a perfect 10 seven times.

At 15, Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg dropped out of school to concentrate on tennis.

At 15, Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama. He assumed all responsibilities of being the leader of Tibetan people.

At 16, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley challenged and defeated the well-known marksman Frank Butler by hitting a dime in midair from 90 feet.

At 17, soccer legend Pele won the World Cup for Brazil and then passed out on the field. Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.

At 18, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel proved that it was impossible to solve the general equation of fifth degree by algebraic means.

At 19, Abner Doubleday devised the rules for baseball.

At 19, Elvis was a superstar.

At 20, Charles Lindbergh learned to fly.

At 20, John Lennon (and the Beatles) had their first concert in 1961.

At 21, Thomas Edison created his first invention, an electric vote recorder.

At 21, Geroge R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones sold his first science fiction short stories in 1970.

At 22, Olympic runner Herbert James Elliott, one of the greatest mile runners ever, retired undefeated.

At 22, Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.

At 23, English poet Jane Taylor wrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

At 23, Aryabhata authored of his famous treatises on mathematics and astronomy in 499 AD.

At 23, Beethoven was a piano virtuoso.

At 24, Ted Turner took over his father’s billboard advertising business. He later launched cable news network CNN.

At 24, Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

At 24, Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snapchat, a photo-messaging app, became one of the world’s youngest billionaires.

At 25, Janis Joplin made her first recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over $1 million within a few months.

At 25, Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile record.

At 26, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel in space.

At 26, Albert Einstein wrote the theory of relativity.

At 27, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. left his job at General Electric to become a full-time writer.

At 27, Lance E. Armstrong won the tour de France.

At 28, Jamaican reggae composer/performer Bob Marley recorded “I Shot the Sheriff.”

By 28, Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta”.

At 29, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first complete sentence by telephone.

By age 29, Alexander the Great had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world.

At 30, physicist Armand Fizeau measured the speed of light.

At 30, Elizabeth Holmes, became the richest self-made female billionaire. Holmes founded a blood-testing company, Theranos, in 2003.

At 30, Dustin Moskovitz became billionaire along with Mark Zuckerberg while working on early stages of Facebook. His current net worth is over 8 billion dollars.

At 30, J.K. Rowling finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter. She later became the first billionaire author ever.

At 30, Salil Jha published his debut poetry collection “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems.” In 2014 he started The Naked Soul Blog and Podcast. 

At 31, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta stone.

At 31, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

At 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.

At 32, Oprah started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind.

At 33, Walter Nilsson rode across the United States on an 8-ft. unicycle.

At 33, Edmund Hillary became the first man to reach Mount Everest.

At 34, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At 34, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the speech “I Have a Dream.”

At 35, Sir Frederick William Herschel, an English astronomer, invented the contact lens.

At 35, Marie Curie got nominated and won the Nobel Prize in Physics. She won another Nobel Prize in Chemistry at age 43.

At 36, Barthelemy Thimonnier developed the world’s first practical sewing machine.

At 37, Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

At 37, Vincent Van Gogh died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.

At 38, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.

At 39, Sharon Sites Adams became the first woman to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean.

At 40, Jo Pavey won the European 10,000m gold medal.

At 40, Mark Twain wrote the bestseller “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Later at age 49 he wrote his second most popular work “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

At 41, Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in literature.

At 41, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.

At 42, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest regular NBA player.

At 42, Rosa Parks refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. This became the turning point in Civil rights movement in the America.

At 43, John F. Kennedy became the youngest president elected to office of the United States.

At 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and captured Trenton, NJ.

At 45, Andre Marie Ampere, a French physicist, discovered the rules relating magnetic fields and electric currents.

At 45, Henry Ford launched the Ford T model. This made him one of the greatest businessman in America.

At 46, Suzanne Collins wrote the bestselling “The Hunger Games”. The books were later made into Hollywood movies.

At 47, Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and flew 193 miles.

At 47, Barack Obama became the first African American president in the US.

At 48, Umberto Eco, a professor of semiotics, wrote his first novel, “The Name of the Rose.”

At 49, Julia Child published her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

At 50, P.L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

At 50, Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” came out. As we all know, this book changed the course of science forever.

At 51, Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel “Justine.”

At 51, Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

At 52, Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat normally manned by a crew of six.

At 52, Abraham Lincoln became president.

At 53, Walter Hunt, an inventor, patented the safety pin.

At 53, Ray Kroc bought the McDonalds Franchise and turned it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

At 54, Annie Jump Cannon became the first astronomer to classify the stars according to spectral type.

At 55, Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, “Guernica.”

At 54, Dr. Seuss wrote his most popular work “The Cat in the Hat”.

At 56, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China.

At 57, Frank Dobesh competed in his first 100-mile bicycle ride — exactly 10 years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

At 57, Chesley Sullenberger III was successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived

At 58, Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman, an idea no one seemed to like at the time.

At 59, Satchel Paige became the oldest Major League baseball player.

At 60, playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw finished writing “Heartbreak House,” regarded by many as his masterpiece.

At 61, Charles Cagniard de la Tour, a French doctor, demonstrated that fermentation depends upon yeast cells.

At 61, Colonel Harland Sanders started the KFC Franchise. KFC would later become a multi-billion dollar multi-national enterprise.

At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, “Lord of the Rings.” J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out.

At 63, John Dryden undertook the enormous task of translating the entire works of Virgil into English verse.

At 64, Thomas Bowdler “bowdlerized” Shakespeare’s works, making them “family friendly.”

At 65, jazz musician Miles Davis defiantly performed his final live album, just weeks before he died.

At 66, Noah Webster completed his monumental “American Dictionary of the English Language.”

At 67, Simeon Poisson discovered the laws of probability after studying the likelihood of death from mule kicks in the French army.

At 68, the English experimentalist Sir William Crookes began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.

At 69, Canadian Ed Whitlock of Milton, Ontario, Canada, became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours (2:52:47).

At 69, Ginette Bedard, ran her first marathon. At 72 she beat the world record for her age group by finishing in 3:46. Since then she has been running a full marathon each year. She is 81 and just finished her 12th marathon.

At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

At 70, Jack Lalane performed a feat never seen before. He was handcuffed and shackled before he towed 70 rowboats.

At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

At 71, Lord Palmerston became the oldest person to become PM. Born in 1784, he entered the House of Commons at the age of 23. For 20 years he was a junior minister in a Tory government before changing parties, becoming the most successful Whig Foreign Secretary and finally the Prime Minister in 1855.

At 72, Margaret Ringenberg flew around the world.

At 73, Larry King celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.

At 74, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps began an attempt to construct the Suez Canal.

At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the North Pole.

At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled a bold new play, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,” free of the world-weary tone of his previous works.

At 76, Nelson Mandela became President. Before becoming the President he was imprisoned for over 20 years. 

At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.

At 78, Chevalier de Lamarck proposed a new theory of the evolutionary process, claiming that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to offspring.

At 78, Anna Mary Robertson Moses began painting. She is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad and have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. Moses’ paintings are among the collections of many museums. One of her painting, The Sugaring Off was sold for US$1.2 million in 2006.

At 79, Asa Long became the oldest U.S. checkers champion.

At 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest female Oscar winner.

At 81, Bill Painter became the oldest person to reach the 14,411-foot summit of Mt. Rainier.

At 82, William Ivy Baldwin became the oldest tightrope walker, crossing the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot wire.

At 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest male Oscar winner.

At 83, famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock championed for world peace.

At 84, W. Somerset Maugham wrote “Points of View.”

At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.

At 86, Katherine Pelton swam the 200-meter butterfly in 3 minutes, 1.14 seconds, beating the men’s world record for that age group by over 20 seconds.

At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor.

At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

At 89, Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch became the oldest person to go to the North Pole.

At 90, Marc Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England.

At 92, Paul Spangler finished his 14th marathon.

At 92, Gladys Burrill from Hawaii became the oldest woman to complete a marathon.

At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel and he was knighted the same year. Unfortunately he also died the same year.

At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there.

At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.

At 95, the late Lord Renton became the oldest person to pass a driving test in 2003.

At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, “The Invisible Wall,” three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.

At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of benefits for seniors.

At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.

At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

At 100, Bertha Wood, had her first book, “Fresh Air and Fun: The Story of a Blackpool Holiday Camp” was published on her 100th birthday. The book is based on her memoirs, which she began writing at the age of 90.

At 103, Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish rabbi and social activist helped found the American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey and was named as its president.

At 108, Shivakumara Swami received Padma Bhushana in 2015, the highest award granted from the Government of India for social service and humanitarian work.

At 116, Susannah Mushatt Jones (born in 1899) is the world’s oldest living person. She has received tributes from the United States House of Representatives and from the Alabama House of Representatives “for a remarkable lifetime of exceptional achievement lived during three centuries.” She has lived during the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

At 122, Jeanne Calment from France became the verified oldest human being ever to live in 1997 (the year of her death).

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Comment if you think I should add someone I have missed and is worthy of a note? Also, tell me what YOU are doing at your current age to actualize your dreams? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.

My Quotes from Goodreads | Quotable Quotes

Each time you refresh this page, you’ll see a new quote from me. Give it a try. Refresh the page and enjoy!

Please comment below your favorite quotes or ask me any questions!

Quotable quotes

 

“You are you. You are not a label. As an individual, you have a unique place in my heart and mind.” – Salil Jha
Like what you are reading – please support this blog by sharing with like-minded friends! 

How To Grow As A Person When You Work A Long and Boring Job?

I was there and I am thankful for my fate to endure such long hours.

My life completely changed when I was forced to work in an environment with long hours and a long commute.

I realized I have to do something about it. (I was sleeping earlier but it woke me up.)

How To Grow As A Person

When you have a 10-11 hours long workday, how do you grow as a person? Spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and financially. This is a fair question and an important one.

I used to asked this question to myself and my colleagues. Sometimes this question used to scream at me at night. My job was very technical (debugging code and sql stored procedures) and I was learning and growing as far as my technical skills were concerned.

But, the focused screen time was taking a toll on my eyes and after my job, I did not want to look at any screen which emits light. I was done for the day.

That said, it was also true that I am not a kind of person cut out for a 9-5 or 8-6 job! I am a person cut out for 7-7 (irony?) but as an entrepreneur.

How much do I make an hour? About $200. Will spending one hour to write this blog help me make my hourly rate? Nope, not even a single dime… but here I am. (Because I like doing this and therefore do not mind the hours.)

It’s not about hours, it’s about passion and growth

Why do I do what I do and make my day 7-7? Because, I am passionate about my mission in life and I have the freedom to work on whatever project I want, whenever I want.

It’s Monday, 10:30 am. No problem. I am going to spend an hour writing this blog.

My heart is in answering questions, writing blogs, writing books, running my own company, and investing. I am learning every day. I am growing every single day. On all fronts. Spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and financially.

I try and tend to accomplish at least 20 hours of productivity each day (during my 7-7). I structure my time to do this. I have a routine (even though I work from home). And, I read a lot.

What can you do in your situation? How to grow financially, intellectually, physically, and mentally?

The 5 Point Solution

1. First celebrate yourself
Celebrate the fact that you have a 8-6. A lot of people do not have a job or they have an underpaying job for their skills. You may not realize this but you are in an advantageous situation over many other (reading this answer right now).

May be you are commuting 2 hours daily for your job. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. That is your 2 hours of daily reading. Powerful.

2 hours daily x 5 days a week = 10 hours of reading/week
i.e. 40 hours of reading/month
i.e. 3-4 books each months + dozens of self-development, business, entrepreneurship podcasts

Imagine, after 6 months of doing this how powerful your mind will become! How much knowledge you will have!

2. Meditate, Visualize and Affirmations
When you wake up in morning, spend 10 minutes (not too much to ask for) to meditate (if that’s your thing). If not read a spiritual book (again depending on how you define spirituality and what is spiritual for you).

If nothing comes to mind and meditation is not your thing, just practice deep visualization of how you would want to shape your life. Visualize clearly that everything that you desire have come to the fruition. Visualize them as vividly as possible. Feel the emotions.

You can also read aloud your self-affirmations. An example would be:

“I am a positive person who is happy for my long commute so that I can listen to uplifting audiobooks and podcasts.”

“I am a happy person who likes to learn as much as I can on my work. I am happy for my job because it provides for my family.”

And so on..

3. Meal and life planning
Since you have time consuming job, I would assume it is also stress inducing. You should cook on Sunday evening for your next three days of lunch. On Wednesday evening, you should cook lunch for Thursday and Friday.

If your team eats out on Friday, join them. Make connections. Build relationships.

Stick to your lunch box on the rest of the days. Try to eat on your own (if possible). Or, with other folks. It’s up to you.

Take a small walk. Let new ideas come to your brain whenever you take a break from your work. Be it small tea or coffee breaks or be it a small walk.

Spend these moments alone. Atleast try to. That is when your inner fire will transform your passion into great ideas.

Besides, the above benefits, you are also saving money on lunch dollars if you are currently eating out. This small saving will pay off in big ways in terms of self-discipline, routine, structuring your life and allowing yourself the luxury of having the free time during lunch hours to think hard and come up with ideas that will make your life better.

4. Exercise and evening ritual
If you are in a relationship and have kids, spend time with your family. If you have to drop your kids for classes or gymnastics, you should participate with them as well.

Swimming? How about you and your partner swim as well with your kids. Music lessons? How about you train yourself in music too. Pick up an instrument that you always wanted to learn.

Gymnastics or dance? How about you start training your body just as you are training your mind.

If you are single, you are lucky. Eat light dinner. Go straight to the gym and workout. Give your best. Lift heavy weights. Challenge your body to its maximum limits. Run as if you are preparing for a coming zombie apocalypse.

This is how you grow your physical self. This is how you become mentally tough. This is how you show to yourself, you are serious. That you are committed to transforming your lifestyle.

5. Weekends are yours to keep
Weekends are sacred. Use those 48 hours as if your life depends on it because it does.

Let’s say you are single. (People with family will have a somewhat different structure on weekends. I can cover them in an another quora question.)

Talk to your friends who are equally motivated and positive as you are. Cut off from people who are negative and time-money-and-blood suckers. By now, you probably know who they are in you life.

Limit your Facebook and social media time to 30 minutes each day on weekends.

Take a trip to somewhere new or go for a hike. When you walk, your brain thinks smarter and faster. When you are moving, your brain gets stronger.

During afternoon or in the morning, (depending on your schedule), sit down and come up with ideas on how you can make some passive income.

Think: How can you save more money? How can you cut your overhead cost by 10% and invest that money? How you can earn more money?

Spend some time learning about money, investing and the world economy.

Think about all the hard questions about your life and try to come up with answers. If you do not have the answers, it’s okay. Ask questions to others and find the answer. Your goal is to just explore possibilities at this time.

I can promise that if you do this for just 6 months, you will be transformed into a new soul in a more youthful and stronger body.

 

Now that you are smarter, get a new job
Now, you are ready to look for a new job and start a business on the side. If you are not a risk taker, then you would come up with ideas on smart money management and smart investment techniques and strategies. Business is not for everyone and it’s okay to accept that.

In such case, you would simply want to improve a skill that you have. Assuming, you are already happy with the money.

Or perhaps, you would just like to relax and take things as they come. Whatever you wish or want, you have the mental and spiritual toughness to face it with grace and gratitude.

Don’t forget to cook your meals on Sunday night. Respect money and it will serve you. Learn discipline and it will take you to the next level.

Have fun in the process. Life is too short to spend figuring out everything when all the beauty of this creation is right in front of you. Take it easy and enjoy the process.

Good luck!

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

So are you ready to take control of your life, your finances and your future? What challenges are you currently facing? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to answer your questions.  I would like to help you with your situation. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts.

Secrets to a Long and Happy Life: Live Day by Day





Today, I am going to tell you a secret. The secret was known to few people since the ancient times. In our modern age, the secret is well known to the researching scientific community. But do we really know it?

My guess is you have heard of it but probably not aware of how to bring the changes in your own life. We are going to look into some of the practical steps that personally worked for me and you can give them a try as well.

The secret is:

Live Day by Day

Positive thinking results in development of good habits. Good habits and having an optimistic, positive mindset creates a happy, feel-good emotions. A happy person lives in the moment and is able to enjoy life deeply.

Positive thinking is the result of building good habits. So what are these good habits? Let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. Looking for the big picture.
Life is short. Before you were born the Universe existed for 13 billion years and after you will be home the Universe will keep on going for equally long time. The fact that we are here for a short period of time makes us think of time in a unique way. Life is short. Try to make the best out of it. There is no gain in fighting and arguing. In any adversity, look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself: will this thing still matter 5 years from now? 20 years from now? If the answer is “No”, don’t stress yourself.

2. The attitude of gratitude.
Whatever you have and whoever you are as a person, father, leader, daughter, employee, anyone who you think you are is the product of countless people and their miniature help and support to you. Sure you have done the hard work and the bulk of it but remember the phone you are using is built by someone in China, designed by Apple in California and uses chips and hardware a made in Germany and Japan. We all are living well because hundreds of thousands people are contributing to each other. There is plenty to be thankful for.

3. The Law Of Self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is true that what are you think is what you will attract in your life. This is not magic but science. By dwelling on a thought you are focusing on it. If it is negative and about despair, your brain will automatically give more importance to matters related to despair and hopelessness. Likewise, if you think of learning and education, your brain will automatically start spending brainpower (energy and focus) on things that you want to learn. You will begin to self educate yourself.

4. Association.
A lot of what we eat, do, watch and talk are highly dependent on who we hang out with. If you are into fitness but five of your closet friends (with whom you spend most time) are into pizza and unhealthy food and lifestyle, there is no way you can be fruitful in leading a fit lifestyle. That said, if you start associating yourself with positive people, you will pick up their habit and start thinking positive, talking positive and living a positive life.

5. The Power Of Spoken Words.
The spoken words have tremendous power. Whatever comes out of your mouth shapes your thinking in a major way. Also what you speak (in front of others) crates an image of you. And by your image you shall be reared and judged. If you have set up an image of no-nonsense, cool and happy person, your peers and surrounding will start treating you in cool, fun and positive way. Chose your words carefully. They literally carry the power of life and death.

6. Books.
Read a lot of great books. Read whatever you can afford and get your hands on. Good or bad, all books are helpful. I would add read mostly good positive books but also read a few bad ones. On purpose, but why? The good books will feed your soul. The good books will uplift your soul and will motivate you, inspire you, teach you and tell you how you can become skilled and great yourself. The bad ones on the other hand will teach you what not to do.

Now, let’s talk about living in the moment.

Living in the Moment


Observing life is the key. An active act of observing occurs when you are mindful. Thoughts will arise and vanish on your mental plane, you should just watch them. Dwelling on any thought or chain of thoughts is the root of anxiety.

Buddha’s journey to enlightenment started right after his acute observation of the world around him. People get sick. People get old. People die. Life is short and full of trials and miseries. Happiness is but for a moment. Time is fleeting.

The Big Picture in the Small Moment
Once you get some perspective about life and your humble position in this vast Universe, you’ll begin to appreciate what you have and you will begin to calm down and take things easy.

For example, your friends got an A+ in each subjects; your neighbor married a hot girl; your uncle won a million dollar lottery — yes, so what! Isn’t it good for them? If these would have happened to you, wouldn’t you be happy? If yes, then why are you not happy in other’s happiness? This is a big lesson. Those who learn it early, win it bigger, while smiling all the time.

The lesson is:

It is not other’s life that you should be concerned with but yours own. Be cheerful in other’s success and weep with those who are hurting.

Be a madman. Be mad in love. Be fully present in the moment, so present that you are one with the reality. Be madly in love with seeking wisdom. Workout, love your body. Above all, love this short life. The days may seem longer on some occasions but trust me, you only get to be in your twenties once.

Make love with another human being.

Kiss under a beautiful sky when the sun is touching the horizon.
Let the winter breeze pinch your face.
Have your hands ready for hugging others.
Sometimes cry, you will fall in love with yourself.
Be nice to others, everyone is in some sort of pain.
Above all, be nice to yourself.

 

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What do you think about the connection of positive thoughts with your internal biology? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts. Any other questions or comments please feel free to share below.

The Pain of Perfectionism | Writer Anxieties, OCD and Coping Mechanism

This perfectionism is driving me crazy

It’s getting late, you’ve been working on your article for days now, thankfully, after several “final” drafts and edits, as well as the umpteenth reread, you’re now feeling confident enough to submit your work to your client or ready to hit the publish button.

Moments after you’ve hit “send”, you let out a heavy sigh; you are relieved, elated; and it feels good because the deadline has been met or the project is now complete.
Adrenalin is kicking in, you’re actually even feeling slightly emotional, but happy.

This should be where the chapter ends; the beginning of your mind focusing on something else, or at least, as it’s late, you should be turning in for the night. But when you do, you can’t sleep.

Instead of enjoying some satisfying well-earned slumber time, your mind is slowly succumbing to niggling self-doubt. You let out another sigh, this time it’s one of dread. What if the client hates what I have written? Oh, why did I press “publish” tonight when I could have revised it one more time? I should’ve waited until the morning before submitting.

The Pain of Perfectionism

And so it goes on and on until you finally manage to get to sleep, just as the birds are beginning their chorus. And when your alarm goes off a little while later, the article (or the blog post) is the first thing on your mind. At this point you want to scream out loud and groan, you do both, annoyed and angry at yourself for caring so much.
Sound familiar to you?

Have you ever felt: I am so unhappy with what I sent yesterday, so today I am going to spend time correcting all the things I’ve been feeling unhappy with. In whatever free time you have, you focus on editing until it’s time to take a break, but then the next time you pick up you have lost your flow.

So you re-read the entire thing again before once more, you painstakingly begin deleting words, adding sentences, removing paragraphs and adding other smaller details and arguments to polish your work, word by word, paragraph by paragraph. One page at a time.

Zen and The Art of Writing

Writing well is the formation of thoughts in coherent topics and subtopics. Think of your grand idea as a big house. And your subplots as various rooms in the house. You start with the boundary or the overall description of the house but then you move inside.

You talk about the lawn and the backyard and the fences. Inside each room, you describe what is present there. You do these things until your hands give up due to being tired.

Next time you pick up, you remember the grand plot and move on to the next room and talk about it. You then go on to the kitchen and to the bathroom. But once finished, usually depending on:

1) the completion of the main story,

2) word count goal,

3) time, you edit it

You read your edited work and again find several holes. You find tangential stories which are not really driving the main plot or main argument that you are making. You remove them.

Similarly, you find holes where you are missing information so you find phrases that act like glue, joining the two chains of thoughts or paragraphs into one story. As you find these holes, you re-write and complete your story. You edit it again. Sometimes re-inserting a lot of what you have previously deleted!

You keep working on it until you have no time, energy or emotional interest left in the project. This is when your work is complete. It is not perfect yet, and you realize it will never be.

Creative by nature is anti-perfection. “What is imperfect is complete,” says Zen wisdom. Finally, you re-send the piece, hoping that your client hasn’t been anywhere near the article you have sent previously.

Work-Related Anxieties

I am devoting this blog to this topic because while I am sure many of us feel it, I haven’t seen too much written about it. Anxiety-like this is perfectly natural. It is a working style of the creatives, I believe.

First, you have to let your idea come out. You watch it from a little distance, then the draft is written and corrected. We don’t polish when we create, nor do we know how to complete the full story. Only after 80 percent of it is laid out, do we go on to finish the remainder.

I am not as crazy as those “other” writers

 

My first book Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems was written and published this way. I sent a manuscript with 150 poems and finally selected 95 for publishing. Then I later added 13 more poems (during various rounds of editing) and made changes to the Introduction and book’s back matter.

I sent the book for editing a third time (with my second editor). That’s how the book came out nicely. But ask me today, I can tell you, if the book still exists as a manuscript, I would replace certain words and leave out a certain poem and I would add another one and then rewrite some lines, and so on and so forth.

A book really never ends. There is always something more that you can do to make it perfect, a masterpiece.

 

“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” – Erica Jong

Courage to Write

The “courage” in the above quote is highly important. I think us writers are actually too hard on ourselves at times, but the very nature of the beast dictates that we will be judged.

Writing invites judgment; judgment from others and judgment from ourselves, but we are probably our own harshest critics when we should really be kinder to ourselves.

I believe that writing takes commitment, skill, patience and most of all, courage. We need to remember this whenever any hint of self-loathing or the confidence-wrecking gremlin kicks in.

“A lot of writers believe that the trauma and the angst that you feel is an essential part of the craft.” – Amy Tan

If it leaves a writer in a negative state then I don’t know if I would agree with Amy Tan‘s “essential” part, but normal yes! Is it essential? I am not so sure. It depends (writer to writer).

However, in his book The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear, writer, Ralph Keyes documents many of the anxieties that writers feel and acknowledges that fear and anxiety are both normal. But he, like Amy Tan, also believes that anxiety is an important and essential part of the writing process.

His book includes anecdotes and strategies from other writers (naked writing anyone?) and offers useful suggestions for his readers such as scheduling your writing time into your most productive time of day.

I know that this isn’t always possible, but not writing during your least productive time of day (in my case, late at night), is, and in my opinion, should be avoided at all costs.

Fear is the Opposite of Courage

Other famous writers have spoken about their coping strategies too. In an interview writer Jonathan Franzen confesses that, in the past, he has feared fame and reproach continually. And the way he has taken refuge from himself and transcended his fear?

Well, through writing and trying to create good sentences, which he feels loyal enough to continue with. So, basically, he overcomes his writing anxieties, with, more writing! As he is a bestselling author, this strategy has obviously been working well for him.

It doesn’t seem to matter how little or well known a writer you are, similar demons seem to manifest in so many of us. Author, Cynthia Ozick has also confessed her fears in this quote from brainyquote.com:

“I am afraid that the act of writing is so scary and anxiety filled that I never laugh at all. In fact, when people tell me that such and such a scene or story is comical, I tend to gape. I did not intend comedy ever, as far as I know. It’s probably all a mistake. I am essentially a lugubrious writer.”

She explains how she overcomes her fears stating, “I have to talk myself into bravery”. Cynthia acknowledges that she does fear-setting before she writes, with every sentence and sometimes with every syllable.

In Dan Halpern’s publication: Who’s Writing This?: Fifty-five Writers on Humor, Courage, Self-Loathing, and the Creative Process, an outspoken critic, Susan Sontag, outlined her discomforts and admitted: “the writer is me: not my double” making me both Frankenstein and the monster.

I totally get that. For me, writing is my soul mate but can be my nemesis too, it’s love and hate, success and failure, but I’ve come to understand that the good parts always weigh heavier than the bad.

The more I read up on writer anxieties, the more I come to understand that all writers feel this way at times. Knowing that even extremely well-known writers have felt (and still may feel) the same feelings as we do, can bring some comfort to an anxious author.

Actually, it’s not even just authors I should be addressing here as what I am talking about isn’t only something that affects authors or other creative types (although we might be the ones to beat ourselves up a bit more about our work, etc.)

Even composing something as simple as an email or text message to a person we are trying to impress can encourage negative/self-deprecating feelings no doubt to a lesser degree, but maybe enough to bring on those gremlins.

Work without anxiety or be ready to be punished

What Can Writers Do

What can writers do about their writing anxieties? I’d be lying if I said a “one size fits all” cure was in existence to alleviate every writer’s anxieties. Using a combination of strategies can go a long way when it comes to steering us poor creatives into a better place.

Know Yourself as a Writer

Be aware of the warning signs and distress triggers before your anxieties build up and take you to an impossible place. e.g. If you know you get anxious near deadline time worrying about whether you’ll make the deadline at all, set yourself a deadline one day before the piece is actually due.

Moreover, get a friend to look at your work with fresh eyes one day before you submit it as well, to ensure that it’s grammatically correct, etc. when it’s finally time to hit the “submit” you’ll hopefully feel less stressed.

Tiredness is not your Friend

I mentioned earlier that writing during your least productive time should be avoided. Rise early to complete a piece if the morning is when you do your best work.

If you know that the last time you submitted your work to client during the evening, you lay awake worrying about it, submit during the day instead, that way if you feel low about it afterward, re-writing or re-reading in the day is more productive than feeling overwhelmed at night when the gremlins can take over.

Be Rational

If you don’t hear from a client, see your work on their website or in their publication when you were expecting it to go in, it does not necessarily mean they hate it.

The client may be busy dealing with office catastrophes or scheduling your work to fit into a different magazine issue etc. Or she/he could be at lunch or on vacation. All manner of things could be occurring, so hold fire on beating yourself up. I know, it’s a cliche, but sometimes, no news really is good news!

Step Away from your PC

We all know that things can get more than frustrating when you’ve been working on something for a long time. Fresh air is your friend, go get some then surprise yourself on your return the Frantzen way, by creating some kick-ass sentences to ignite your confidence and lessen the frustration.

Love and Laugh

Ok, forgive me for rounding this off by getting a little sentimental, but writing can be like love in some ways. The reason why we become consumed by love is because we have an overwhelming desire for someone. We let writing anxiety consume us because we care so much about doing a good job once we’ve had the guts to expose ourselves within the writing arena.

And like the love arena, you feel so bad about your work when you don’t know where you are with the client, the same way as being unsure of how things stand with a loved one exposes vulnerabilities. But being elated in either arena can make everything okay (which is why we love and which is why writers write; love is a worthy risk despite its torture.)

Being a writer is a worthy risk despite its torture too. It takes courage to love and courage to write, be proud of yourself for caring so much, despite the pain.

Take it easy, boy

On a final note, try not to take yourself too seriously, laugh lots and enjoy your craft. Whenever you or any of your writer friends need something to ignite a smile, read this edition of the Pessimist about writing:

It will most likely turn every single coping mechanism I’ve written about on its head, but if it’s humorous anxiety obliteration you’re after don’t hesitate and click on the link.

If you’d like to share any coping strategies that I haven’t mentioned here, be sure to get in touch.

 

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Do you suffer from trying to be perfect? If you have relatable thoughts or experiences of having or dealing with the pain of perfectionism, please share. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them via email. So share your thoughts. Any other questions please feel free to share with the community.

How To Get Out Of $50,000 Debt | Tips On How To Overcome A Large Debt

 

Part One of a Three Parts Series

Every time I have lost money is when I have tried to make more money than what I was already making. ~ Salil Jha

Week 1

I have been hit hard (twice now). I have got an IRS bill for $17,000. This needs to be paid in 30 days. Five months ago, I got a similar tax bill from IRS asking for $8000 in various taxes. I took a loan from my girlfriend and paid $8000 thinking it was a big fat check for an expensive business lesson. I thought to myself, I have already learned a lot in my various business venture. But, unfortunately, this was just the beginning.

This is a story of resilience, positivism and making lemonade out of life’s lemons. This is my story. A true story. A story of an immigrant boy trying to chase his American Dream and the mistakes made on his perilous journey.

I started an IT consulting business in Oct 2011. My primary goal to start Precog LLC (the name of the company) was to generate some side income and possibly grow the business to enough profit so that I eventually sponsor my H1B visa and Green Card through it while making good cash.

The goal was also to help recent college grads to find jobs and help them in whatever way possible. There were a lot of bad and abusive companies in the IT consulting realm and our goal was to purge the abuse of innocent and poor college students.

The company was started by Albert Pen, my good friend and me. The company was incorporated in his name, the same month he got his Green Card. I was the man running the engine. Albert was the legal structure beneath our company.

One thing that I did not mention yet is that Precog was not originally conceived as an IT consulting firm.

The groundwork of Precog started in early 2010 when two of my good friends and I thought of building an electronic stretching machine. Our ideas was to make stretching easier to learn for martial artists, yogis, gymnasts, and any fitness enthusiasts.

But, one of my friends had another idea, a rather big idea to build flying drones and sell the idea to state governments.

The Birth of an Entrepreneur

Look, back in 2010, a Canadian company was in fact building and selling drones (UAVs) to DC police. Their product was in $20,000 USD and we wanted to build something for half the price.

We started to work on the first prototype, leaving the electronic stretcher idea on the back burner. As we got more involved in our overly ambitious project, all of us started to realize that we need more capital than what we had initially planned for.

Together we spent $6500 into the project and as you can probably predict from the story line, we lost it all. One of my friend who has spent into a powerful computer took his computer and factoring that still lost about $1000. I lost about $3000 in this failed venture.

So this was the beginning of Precog. And this Precog was about to be transformed into a service-oriented company where you do not have to invest a lot of cash up front.

The Precog LLC Era

I worked very hard building Precog. I created a website for our company and began to advertise our services. Soon, I had several interested students calling me for IT training and assistance in job placements.

I started to teach classes, often charging $500 for each student per course. Initially, I was mainly working with recent college graduates.

The first 6 months were tough. Not for the business but tough on me. I was working a full-time job and I was running Precog part-time. I used to wake up early at 6 AM, do a training session, then get ready for the job.

During my lunch hours, I used to call and screen my students and answer to new inquiries. In the evening, after returning from my job, I used to take another class, sometimes two classes in a row.

I was working with various vendors. I was working with my students over the phone to prepare them for job interviews. I was talking to clients and other marketers. It was an all-consuming job. I believe I used to work ~16 hours a day, maybe longer on some days.

In the first 10 months, I invested almost $10,000 USD without much return. This was the turning point for Precog. It was “do or die”.

One of my friend, Matt Joy, who was trying to find a job came onboard during this time. Matt took charge for saving Precog. He was Godsent. Precog not only survived but actually thrived after Matt joined the team. Soon, we hired a marketer from India. His name was Daniel. And now we were a strong team of three, making some real cash.

The $750,000 Venture

We placed more than a dozen consultants between 2012-2014. We trained a lot of students. We were making some noise. This was late 2012. Things were looking sunny. We did over $500,000 in revenues in 2013 alone. In total, we did almost $750K in business in two and a half years of Precog’s life.

The business was doing great but my mind and body wanted to give up. I was single and occasionally dating. I thought to myself, business and money can come anytime but this is the time to find my life’s partner. My focus shifted from business and money to relationships.

2013 was hard on me personally. None of my relationships were lasting more than 3months. Matt was getting frustrated with me because he was all pumped up and wanted to take Precog forward. I, on the other hand, was distracted between dating and running a company.

I did not have the energy or interest in doing so. By this time I also began to realize the tax and accounting complications that Precog was facing. We had consultants working in 8 different US States.

All the tax paperwork in itself was 20 hours of work per week. The stakes were high, money was rolling in, and the business was getting complex.

 

Week 2

This past week, I have been thinking of ways to repay my $50K debt. The breakdown of my current debts are like this:

$18000 IRS/Business Dissolving Cost

$14000 – Girlfriend’s loan

$18000 – Credit cards debt

—————————–

$50,000  Total debt

 

This past week, I canceled some small monthly payments (to stop the slow bleeding). Subscriptions such as Spoitfy premium, TU Credit Monitoring and Audible membership were the first three to go.

These small monthly savings will not amount in big numbers but it is for the motivational purposes. These steps gave the mental confidence that “I CAN DO IT.” And I have 2 years to clean this mess up without significantly downgrading my lifestyle.

I am not giving up on music, reading or financial know-how. Instead, I am switching to Pandora’s free account, switching to Kindle eBooks (much cheaper) and Credit Karma’s free credit monitoring. I do not have any upcoming big purchases or loan request so I really do not need any credit monitoring at this time.

Next, I gave ultimatums to all other people I have employed on eLance for blog writing, manuscript editing, etc. This is going to save me $140 per month starting May 1st.

However, I have decided to keep one editor to edit my two upcoming books and one Virtual Assistant to help me grow my public platforms. In total, this is $200 per month expense. It is important to note that these costs are not new addition but the continuation of on-going expenses so I won’t feel a blow but will have to suffer the heat, well at least for now, until I find a better solution for my requirements.

I took advantage of Citi double points credit card offer. This will let me use $1700 credit for next 18 months without any interest.

I applied in my girlfriend’s name and got another $6700 for 21 months at no interest. These two credit cards will give me enough credit to use for the next one and half years.

In the coming months, I will be paying off all my existing credit cards where I also pay interests on purchases and existing balance. This way I’ll be saving $30-$40 in interest each month.

My girlfriend and I also applied to TD Bank’s checking, debit and credit offer which is offering $200 cash back and 5x points per dollar spent for the next 6 months. Together, we both will be able to get $600-$1000 back from TD bank’s offer in next 6 months. In the coming months, we will be looking for similar bank offers where we can earn or save a few hundred bucks.

The $10,000 credit union loan that I applied, I am still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, I applied for a $10,000 loan from my local Credit Union in my girlfriend’s name as well. If she will get a better rate from the Quincy Credit Union, we will take the loan in her name with Direct deposit payments. I’ll be transferring the monthly amount to her.

 

The other things I have decided to do are:

1. Call Xfinity and cancel the service in my name and get the service in my girlfriend’s name. Being a new customer, she will be getting better rates than what I am paying right now. If she gets the same rate, then I will cut the TV in our package and only keep the high-speed internet. This will bring in additional $20 monthly saving.

2. Once the free APR Citi credit card arrives, buy a new router and model through our new credit card and ask Xfinity to take off their rented Modem and Router. ($10/month savings)

3. Ask my employer to take off my health insurance ($397/month). Expected savings $280 per month.

Total monthly savings: ~$350 – $500 (per month)

In part 3, I’ll be focusing on selling old iPhones and other electronic devices that we are not using. Also, how meal planning and bringing lunch from home is saving me additional $200 in foods by not eating out.  My goal for part 3 write up (next week) is to save another $350 – $500 each month.

Week 3

Now, I am at a phase where action means more than planning. I have prepared a very detailed plan and now it is all about execution. The key here is quick action.

The first thing I did was email my website hosting company that I will be shutting down Precog’s website (i.e. $375 per year saving). I also listed both the domain and website for sale and auction on both GoDaddy and Flippa. I hope to at least sell the domain name and recover whatever I can from the sale.

I also listed my other domain names for sale which I am not using or plan on using in the next 2 years. In total, I have put five domain names on sale.

Next, I emailed MyLLC (the registrar for Precog LLC) that I would like to dissolve the business. There are some paperwork and a $99 fee. I am working on it and hope to close the business by April end. I found out that I have not paid my 2014 fee for NV and there were several other interests and penalties. In total, I paid $500 due on Precog since Oct 2014. Another $500 bill added to the debt bucket.

My girlfriend and I went to Quincy Credit Union and signed our loans. I borrowed $12,500.00 at 12.65% interest rate on 24 months repayment term and my girlfriend borrowed $7000 at 11.65% interest rate on 12 months repayment term.

I hope to repay this amount back in 24 months and 12 months respectively. I am setting aside $1200 to pay back these two loans. Starting month 13, I will continue paying $1200/month to QCU towards my $12500 loan to cut the time short and save on interest.

The next day I transferred $14000 to Albert and asked him to deposit the amount in Precog’s account. We have $3000 plus change in Precog’s business account and this will take care of the check that we will write to IRS.

I opened all my Credit Cards account and organized my balances and interest rates. I found an interesting thing. I had Credit Cards ranging in 11.15% – 23% interest. Since my big loans are in 11.65% – 12.65% range, I decided to pay off all Credit Cards which is charging me > 12.65%.

Luckily, my girlfriend does not carry any debt on her credit cards and therefore we do not have to factor in any cash there. After looking at all our credits, this is the summary.

Pay Citi, US Bank, and Chase in full and stick with Capital One (11.15%) and Discover (15%). Since the bulk of my credit card debts are consolidated in my Discover card (~11000), I have no other choice but to keep the debt there for now.

This past weekend, I started to find out all the electronic junk and books that I do not need and gathered a pile of items to be sold. I listed both our old iPhone 4S, two old digital cameras, and 2 books.

I have about 20 more books to put. At the time of writing this, I have already sold both iPhones (within 12 hours of listing on Amazon for $95 + shipping) and one book (The Art of War by Robert Greene) for $8 + shipping. I’ll continue to do this until I am rid of all the things that I do not need, use or have touched in a year or so.

Also, anything that I am not using and does not need and that cannot be sold, I will simply donate or throw away.

Keeping your home and mind clean and organized helps you in better managing your debts. I mean, it is not scientific but it works for me and few others.

I called home and explained the situation to my parents and discussed my options with my elder brother. They were stressed by the news but after talking for about half-hour, everyone got calm understanding that the situation is under control.

We continued the meal prep on Sunday and this is our third week on meal planning. I believe, meal-planning itself is saving us ~ $300-$400 each month by not eating out our lunch and dinners.

Meal planning is not only effective to save lunch dollars but also dinners. And when you do eat out, for most of the nights, you can eat at Panera and Chipotle. Note, you have to avoid restaurants because you pay for the meal and then you pay tips and end up getting drinks. So sticking to Chipotle/Panera type food joints works best.

Last week, I also called my employer and canceled my Health Insurance ($397/month pre-tax dollars). I have been on health insurance from January –  March.

If I go out of it (I understand it is a risk but it is a calculated risk that I am willing to take). By going out of health insurance, I will incur MA state tax penalty in 2016 for 9 months.

This fine will be half of the premium amount of the cheapest health insurance. By paying a fine 12 months from now and by paying it far less than what I am spending on health insurance is a better choice for me.

After taxes, this might increase my paycheck by $300 per month. I will also try to take advantage of 3 months no-penalty gap period between health insurance enrollment periods. This way I will buy cheap health on my own in 2016 and not have 3 months of coverage.

I have always had health insurance and therefore I am up-to-date with my physical, dental, vision, and everything. I feel, going out of health insurance for say 12 months is risky but worth the bet given my miserable financial situation.

I called and email all my friends to whom I have loaned money. I explained my situation and they started to pay back. I got $330 from Norm Matthews and $140 from Sean Attitude.

Tim Robert said he will try to pay me back $1410 as soon as possible and Bill Tequila said he would like to pay me back $800 loan from last year. Â In total, this will bring me $2680 in cash. I’ll use this extra cash to pay off the high-interest credit card debts or my income tax liabilities once I do my taxes for 2014 this coming week.

I have ~ $250 in my OptionHouse stock brokerage account. I have to make a decision whether I liquidate my remaining position and get out or leave the money there. $250 is not a big amount. A hard thinking line for me but I hope to come to a decision very soon.

 

 

Week 4

I started this week with some excitement and joy of paying off three of my low balance (but highest interest rate) credit cards. In total, I paid off close to $3000 in outstanding debts. Doing this is going to save me $50 in monthly interest. I also canceled my PostPlanner subscription from May. This will save me $29 each month. Phew right there, just in one day I have saved myself another $80 each month.

 

I put aside these three credit cards (Citi Diamond Preferred, Amazon Chase Visa, and US Bank Visa) on my card box (and out of my wallet). I deleted these cards from all recurring payments and moved all automatic monthly payments to my Discover Visa and Capital One Master Cards.

As of today, all of my credit card debt now reside in three cards: One Citi Double Cash (0% interest, a new card that I applied and got), a Discover card (holding the biggest portion of my debt, almost $12000 at 15% interest) and one CapitalOne card (11.15% interest, the cheapest card in my wallet).

 

I mailed $10,000 check to IRS by a 2-day priority mail so that it can reach on Monday, 04/13. I wrote a letter, signed it and sent it along with all the forms and supporting documents proving my unintentional mistake.

In my letter, I basically requested IRS to forgive my penalty (~ $2500) and to add back my educational credit of $1415. I’ll call IRS in 10 days and check on its progress. If I receive some financial breakdown, it will help.

If I do not receive any financial breakdown, Albert will take on the missed education credit payoff and I’ll pay off the rest of the balance within 5 business days once we hear back the final word from IRS.

Lastly, it is worthy to note that for the past few weeks, I have been tracking all of my expenses in an excel sheet across 50 different areas. This sheet as I continue to fill in and track my daily expenses has been mind-blowing.

For example, even after doing meal-planning, I have spent almost $500 on eating out while my grocery expenditures have been only $125 so far.

This is 4:1 ratio. This clearly shows that there is a lot of room for cost cutting and improvement. I hope to update on this after 8 weeks of tracking. I am sure, I’ll discover surprising findings.

Money you can earn and spend but time – time is a finite resource. You can’t borrow it, you can’t store it. It moves only in one direction and there is only a finite amount that you have got. To be successful, while in debt, you have to work extra hard to make up for not having money. You have to solve each problem creatively. ~ Salil Jha

Week 5

IRS cashed my $10K Precog tax check on 04/15, that’s good news. Who would call loss of $10K a good news? Well, when you have messed up and there is no way out, any little progress (similar to drinking bitter medicine to cure illness).

Now, this IRS bill is not something that I should have paid because, overall, it was indeed a net loss. What went wrong is that during the tax filing, we did not show enough expenses thinking we have already saved on taxes (once our tax due became $0).

We stopped and did not add any further expenses. And now, after IRS did an audit and a match on our revenue, they came up with additional $40,000 in our 2013 income and since we were $9000 in the loss, after doing the simple math, made a decision that our net profit in 2013 was $31000.

This $31K was then taxed at a higher rate (sort of understatement tax penalty) and assessed a Self-Employment tax of 15% (which is ridiculously high). 

Anyways, let’s move forward with our story. I called Discover Personal Loan to check if I can take a loan to pay off my remaining Credit Cards and lower my interest payments.

I qualified for $15K loan at 11.99% and paid off my remaining Credit Cards. After a while, I will seek to refinance this loan again at a lower interest rate, say between 8-9%. How?

Since consolidating your credit card debt into one personal loan often helps in credit score within a few months. This is one reason that I did not try to move my one credit card balance to another credit card with 0% APR.

The goal for me here is to not only eliminate debt (by changing my spending habits) but also to improve my credit score which in turn will open up future opportunity to further lower my interest payments and therefore the overall debt burden.

 

At the time of writing this:

My total credit card debt = 0 (Zero dollars)

My IRS debt = 0 (Zero dollars)

Loan from my girlfriend = $14000

My other loans: $34500

Quincy Credit Union (in my name) = 12,500 ($595 per month x 24 months)

Quincy Credit Union (in my girlfriend’s name) = $7000 ($620 per month x 12 months)

Discover Personal Loan (in my name) = $15000 ($690 per month x 24 months)

Quick Maths

So, as you can see from week 2 (above: my total debt amount roughly remains the same. $48500 instead of $50,000 but now at least I have put up a plan to pay it off in 24 months without changing my employment or sacrificing too much on my lifestyles.

However, my game plan has just begun.

Continue Selling

I continue to sell my electronic gadgets and equipment that I do not use. Books sell as well but they bring on a very little amount of change (when we are talking about $50K).

I sold our two old iPhones (4S) for $200. Tim paid back $500 to me (actually just today). Tim still needs to return me $1115.

I have deposited $7500 in Precog’s business bank account just to wrap up Precog and pay off the remaining bill to IRS.

Both I and my girlfriend received our TD Bank cards this last week which is giving us $200 cash back for spending $500 in first 90 days. We have switched all of our expenses (and subscriptions and/or automatic payments) to TD card to meet $500 threshold.

On the flip side, last week, we also did our personal taxes and ended up paying $5000 and $900 to IRS and $52 and $200 in State Tax to Massachusetts (my girlfriend and I, respectively).

She had to pay a lot of federal tax because of how her I9 and W4 was set up with her ex-employer. She has had already anticipated and planned for high tax amount and therefore these taxes did not affect us financially.

Nevertheless, this was a lot of money going out of our bank accounts. At the end of the day, after paying over $6100 in taxes, we felt broke looking at our checking account balance.

Weeks 6-8

This past three weeks I have been selling my older books and other non-necessity items on Amazon and as a Garage sale in my building. I sold a few electronics toys to my friends and colleagues at work.

I am currently enjoying $0 in Credit Cards debt. As I mentioned above as of today my credit score has jumped from 670 to 720. Having a loan is actually a good thing for the Credit report and not having a Credit card debt is also one of the best things you can do regarding your personal finance.

At this rate, I hope within 6 months, I’ll be able to take loan offers at a much lower rate than what Discover is currently giving me (11.99%).

Conclusion & Next Steps

I’ll end the first part of this story here. I’ll have a second blog post on it with more details in 6 months. We’ll revisit my total financial debt and what new measure I am employing to get rid to the single penny.

Hope this post has been inspirational, motivational and educational in some regards.

Remember, to be successful, to get out of your debt, you have to work extra hard to make up for not having money. You have to solve each problem creatively. This is a blessing in disguise. You will get to exercise all the creative brain cells if there is such a thing inside the human skull.

You have to make sure that you are not losing time by missing out on good opportunities. Remember there is a thing called “opportunity cost”. You have to keep moving forward with time and not wait until you are out of debt.

I hope to shed some light on this topic in my next blog post as well. See you in six months.

If this blog post has been helpful to you or if you have faced a similar situation in the past, please DO SHARE your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in touch!

If you have tried any of above-mentioned methods and/or tactics to successfully get rid of debt (whether a small sum or large), please share your success story. Also if my post has made you laugh or helped you by motivating you or giving you a direction, I would love to hear from you. Any other comments, please feel free to share your rich thoughts with us.

7 Tips On How To Connect With Influencers | The Right Way To Introduce Yourself

Do want to know how to influence an influencer? In this short blog post, we’ll talk about 7 simple, easy-to-do, specific tips (and proven tactics) to help you connect with the influential people in your niche or any well-known expert you admire. 

Whether it is a celebrity, currently in the limelight or a fading star, yet impossible to reach out. You can meet and get in touch with almost anyone if you want to. Even the Mr. President (44th).

But first, let’s talk about who is an influencer? For our blog post, we will call a person an “Influencer” if they’re well respected and highly visible in their industry.

These are the highly successful people who have earned the trust of their audience (or readership) through the content they create and provide.

These are the people who have built their credibility as an “influencers” in their niche for some time. They are well known and they have millions of fans on social media and TV.

For example, Seth Godin and Neil Patel in the Marketing space, Maria Popova, and James Altucher in blogging, Tony Robbins in motivational speaking, Elon Musk in disruptive technology, and so on. The list goes on.

My point here is two-fold:

No. 1, there is no shortage of influencers in any industry.

No. 2, they come in all shape, size, and background. Some are well known by more or less anyone in the general public (example, Bill Gates for Philanthropy and Business) and some are well known in their specific niche but are largely unknown by the general masses (example, Pat Flynn in Podcasting on Passive income).

Nevertheless, an influencer’s blessing can take you or your cause to the next level. Be it a charity fundraising event or a new book that you are publishing or a tech start-up.

How To Connect With Influencers

1. Write about the Influencers whom you want to meet. Write in a newspaper, magazine or simply on your blog.
2. Email these Influencers how you have used their teachings and applied their methods and found success. Send them a success case-study.
3. Engage with them/comment/mention/follow when they do not even know you. Communicate with them on their social media. When they ask for feedback, be sure to leave one. If they are asking specific questions, be sure to answer them.
4. Find where these influencers are teaching and lecturing. A lot of the Influencers also guest speak or teach somewhere. Find out and attend their classes, conference or event. You’ll get plenty of opportunity at the event/class to introduce yourself.
5. Reach out to these Influencers (by email first) and tell them how can what you do can help them to solve a specific problem.
6. Volunteer and meet them where their heart is. If the person you are trying to reach out also happens to support a cause that you are equally passionate about, meet them there — where two hearts are united as one.
7. Organize an event and invite these Influencers to speak or present. Even better, tie it to a cause or charity or for education. For example, a college campus or a local town hall meeting. 

Say Yes to fear and Goodbye to comfort-zone.

I have met a lot of great and wonderful people by doing the above 7 steps. The names are not big enough to drop it here in this post but, let me openly challenge myself in front of the internet public and say this: I am going to follow the above 7 steps and meet some of the big names that I have mentioned in my blog.

Once, I have successfully made an introduction to them and have something more solid to show for, I’ll do a follow up blog post.

In the meantime, how about, some of you take my challenge as well. If you think you have a wonderful plan that will make this planet a better place for everyone, why not try to meet some of the Influencers in your field and share what you are doing to meet them.

Please share your thoughts and stories (success as well as failures) in the comment below.

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in touch!

If you have tried these methods and tactics to successfully introduce yourself to an Influencer, please share your success stories and how this has helped you. Any other comments, please feel free to share your rich thoughts with us.

Best Meta Learning | Rapid Learning | Accelerated Learning Tools, Templates & Methods

Rapid learning is a skill that can be acquired by anyone. Likewise being highly efficient and productive is also a skill and lifestyle habit that can be learned and integrated into one’s life.

Let’s talk about productivity first before we get into the world of #MetaLearning.

How To Learn Like A Machine

Understanding Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

Effectiveness is getting greater or equal output for a given input. Efficiency is having a superior process so that for a given input the output is always exponentially greater.

Productivity 101

80% result with 20% work

1. Create a morning ritual (the first 90 minute).
2. Establish a daily routine (daily structure).
3. Establish a weekly routine (weekly short term objective).
4. One postcard size to-do list (to be disposed at the end of day).
5. Keep a pen, dairy and a voice recorder always handy.
6. Do your most important task during your most productive hours (in terms of mental energy and freshness). Do your least important or auto-pilot work during your weakest hours (again speaking in regards to mental energy).
7. Practice Lucid dreaming and practice conscious dreaming to strengthen your visualization skills.
8. Sleep 8-9 hours. This sounds paradoxical but it’s true that sleeping 33% of your time keeps you super productive for the rest 66% of your waking hours.
9. Seek creative solutions to your complex problem in your dreams. Harness the power of your unconscious brain.
10. Master a ritual or routine that helps you to get into the “Flow state” faster. Get into the flow state as often as possible, and aim to stay there for as long as possible.

Meta Learning Explained

As with most things in life (or word), there is no one best thing or way. One technique might works for someone while another may prove helpful to another.

Also, ion our context of methods to learn faster, the best technique will also vary based on the subject at hand. For example, learning music or musical instrument is significantly different from learning investment strategies in the stock market.

The Word ‘Meta’

The word “meta” comes from Greek and it means “beyond” (or after). This is why we have words like Metaphysics (beyond conventional physics). Etc. Meta also means “self-referential”. In Computer Science, metadata means “data about data”. Metacognition means “cognition about cognition”.

 

Tim Ferriss and Josh Waitzkin

Tim Ferriss‘ DiSSS and CaFE is a good method for learning cognitive tasks such as Language learning, Computer Science as well as for physical activities such as Archery and Brazilian Jujitsu.

Tim’s method is external, dismantling and then rebuilding, and effectiveness driven. This is explored in depth in his new book The 4-Hour Chef.

Josh Waitzkin‘s art of learning (meta learning) focuses on integration, transformation and channeling. His method included conscious unlearning (instead of ignoring).

Josh’s method is systematic but creativity driven. Josh explores his ideas in his autobiographical book The Art of Learning.

Best Rapid Learning Tools and Methods

In my own experience, I have learned 5 languages so far and I am currently learning Nepali (my 6th language).

I am a published poet and I’ve worked as a coder and as well as solar panel plasma depositor.

I am a black belt in Shotokan Karate and at the same time a start-up guy. I am a blogger and also work a full-time job. I have traveled to all 50 US States and 32 countries so far (as of 2019). So how am I managing all this within the constraint of the 24 hours that we all have?

I have utilized both DiSSS, CaFE and Josh’s Art of Learning principle. Moreover, what has worked for me is a combination of everything plus my own experiments as outlined below.

I learned SQL and programming from nothing. I learned dancing from not knowing how to move. True that I had a background in martial arts (a form of dance-like art) and true that I studied engineering and took a few computer languages class. But, still, in my own mind, I was a zero. How did I do that?

Learn fast and have fun in the process

An Effective Meta Learning Template

 

DR. BevO, DaD, Me, MoM & our CAT BiTS

This can be further broken down into three layers (top, inner, and outer) of organized learning principles.

 

Layer 1 (The top layer): DR. BevO

Layer 2 (The inner layer): DaD, Me, MoM & our CAT

Layer 3 (The outer layer): BiTS

 

The top layer: DR. BevO

Step 1: Deconstruct and Dissect.

This step is all about methodically breaking down a body of knowledge in order to study its internal parts and complex interconnection.

What is the minimum useful unit of knowledge? For a foreign language, it would be a word. For a programming language, it would be a syntax.

 

Step 2: Reference framework (to not reinvent the wheel)
Pick a reference framework. To learn a new skill, find out what one you already possess and if you have to teach it to someone totally new, how would you structure your classes and why?

For example, if I have to teach someone Martial Arts, I’ll start with the four most common kicks among the top four schools/styles. Learning most common (& effective) four kicks will put you in top 10% of fighters.

SQL or Programming – Most common functions, syntax and/or statements
Learning most common syntax and statements will make you query work 80% of the time.

Think first and think deep.

 

Find and study the “normal (i.e average)” and the “experts/masters/anomalies”. Ask these questions and write down the answers.

Question 1. What do the average people do?

Question 2. What the experts or master do not do that the average do?

Doing this will help you to determine:
– List for quick reduction
– The goal is to not become a master or mimic a master but to simplify so that you can enter first and then go on to conquer.

 

Step 3: Bird’s Eye View (View from 30,000 ft)
Look at the extreme and center. Do this to filter out whatever intimidates you. You can always come back to the additional learning materials later. Compress the most important 20% or so into a 30,000 ft map (to be used later).

A bird’s eye view map. This step is related to navigation and to correctly size your problem. This step is also to get a reality check. Once you know what you are up against it is easy to fight it by breaking it down into smaller conquerable pieces.

 

Step 4: Order

Order is to sequencing your learning material into modules (linear and later overlapping). In other words, what’s the most effective order for learning these parts that you broke down in step 1 – 3?

 

The inner layer: DaD, Me, MoM & our CAT

This is the second layer of learning. Here it is all about putting the pieces together. This is the battleground. In layer one, you have done all the planning and you have made your strategies. Now, time for the action. Are you ready?

 

Step 1: Draw diagrams
Draw as many diagrams as many you can. Connect the dots. Connect the concepts together. Find correlation. Find overlap. Find opportunities for integration. Find the opportunity for improvements. Question and find the gaps.

The more you draw and trash and draw better knowledge diagrams, charts, and maps, the more efficient you will become at the application of your newly acquired knowledge. This will also help you with the next step.

An example:

Memory mindmap

 

Step 2: Memorization
Memorize the map. Memorize 20%. Memorize the syntax. Memorize the kicks. Memorizing in this step is about rapid memorization.

If some of the things do not make sense, still memorize. Slowly, slowly, you’ll learn to connect the dots. Do not worry about understanding the full theory here, just remember the most basic units of your learning material.

 

Step 3: Mental Maps

Creating mental maps is going a step further than drawing knowledge charts and diagrams. Mental maps are where you start to connect the dots between what you have understood so far. Mental maps also take advantage of your 30,000 ft view to help you understand what you need to do next to reach your ultimate goal. This map is the map for your beginning to end the journey.

Note, mental maps will keep refining as you get better in the application of what you have learned and when you start to understand what you have bluntly memorized.

 

Step 4: Cheat sheet (no bigger than one page)
This is to be made by you. Irrespective of how small or big this gets, you alone must create this. Again, as with the whole theory behind this method, you’ll keep refining your cheat sheet.

A cheat sheet is what you have learned. This contains mostly what you have not memorized and the essence of what you have memorized already. You can also prepare CliffsNotes of any books, articles, etc that deals with the skill that you are trying to learn.

An example of using a diagram to organize information

 

Step 5: Action (& Practice)
Action means to practice in real-time. This is where you get comfortable with the hands-on phase of any skill acquisition. This means real-time coding. This means kicking high. When in action phase, you are NOT to learn new things unless and until you have mastered the things that you have broken down so far.

(You can, however, dig deeper into what you are practicing if time permits.)

Remember iteration is the key concept. If you are learning SQL selects (for one database table) with group by, order by, and all the other basic SQL commands then until you are master in all the variations of select, do not jump to joins (selecting data from two or more database tables).

Practice with the diagrams you have drawn and the cheat sheet. Refine your diagram and cheat sheet as you make mistakes in action/practice phase. Also, needless to say, you are also modifying and improving your mental maps.

 

Step 6: Time it (Distributed learning)
Two things to do in this last phase. Time your learning window and then test yourself. By failing to remember or do something you’ll feel that internal kick which will make your brain in super-receptive mode. Remember, sometimes real learning happens when you have failed a test. So fail many times in mock tests before the real test comes.

Secondly, distribute your learning sessions. Rather than sitting whole night or two days straight, split your session. Do something fun in between or you may even play with something totally different. It is better to keep the primary focus on one difficult thing at once but you can surely have fun with something that does not require high cognitive energy.

Note, you learn well when you are enjoying your subject. That’s how you get into that flow state. And to enjoy your subject, you need that mental energy. You do not want to be fatigued.

 

The outer layer: BiTS

This is the third layer of learning. You need only one of the following three. If you can do more than one, even better. But you must have at least one of these to keep you in accountable and interested in the game. Make learning fun, make it a game.

 

Step 1: Buddy system
Having a buddy whether it is programming or martial arts helps you quiz one another, challenge one another and therefore learn faster. The more fun a new adventure is, the faster you master it.

 

Step 2: Teaching
Find someone whom you can teach what you have learned and what you might not have learned. Teaching others is one the fastest way to learn something yourself. If you cannot find someone to teach, teach yourself. Play a mind game with yourself. Quiz yourself and answer to yourself.

 

Step 3: Stakes

This is all about staying in the game long enough to reap rewards for your hard work. Too many people quit a new skill after some trying because they feel it is not worth it. First thing to note here.

1. Are you motivated by negative outcome (fear) or positive outcome (anticipation of reward)?

If you are the fear type then you need to find out what psychological and social mechanisms can you set up for maintaining your inner discipline?

For example, you can publicly share your goal with your friends so that you feel accountable. On the other hand, if you are internally motivated, perhaps, set up a reward for yourself if and when you achieve a milestone (or mini-goal).

 

Summary:

D = Deconstruct
R = Reference (cross POV)
Bev = Bird’s Eye View
O = Order (sequence)
DaD = Draw Diagram
Me = Memorize
MoM = Mental Maps
C = Cheat Sheet (CliffsNotes)
A = Action  (& Practice)
T = Time it
B = Buddy (Partner)
T = Teach
S = Stakes (& Rewards)

 

Hope this helps in reaching and achieving your goals. Please feel free to leave me your thoughts in comments below.

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in touch!

Do you have a favorite meta learning method that you follow (or have followed in the past)? If you have tried Naked Soul method, please share your success stories and how this has helped you learn a new skill faster. Any other comments, please feel free to share your thoughts with us. 

How to Handle Trolls and Haters Online | The Dark Side of Internet

Trolls and haters lurk in the depths of social media networks and their comments and actions can lead to a variety of emotions including anger, annoyance, frustration, and even hurt feelings.

There is a distinction between these two terms that should be clarified. Trolls are often spam artists and input comments to social media posts that are often not even related to the topic at hand. Haters are those who are out to insult the work of other people and inflict their hatred in social communities and forums among other places.

 

Critics Vs. Haters

However, someone disagreeing with you or your online content (even if they are loud and vocal about their differences) cannot be called a Troll or a Hater.

In a civilized society, ideas are discussed, not individuals. The simple rule here is to stick to the “issue at hand” and refrain from making any personal attacks. In summary: critics are not haters.

For example, if someone has an opposing viewpoint than yours and comments or questions on your blog, YouTube videos or social media posts, you cannot (and should not) label such a person as a troll or a hater. Because labeling someone with such derogatory term is also a form of attack. That’s not good, right! Do we all agree here?

Okay, cool. But we are not here to talk about who is a troll or not. We are here to talk about how to protect ourselves from malicious haters and stupid trolls freely roaming out there in the wild west of internet.

The various ways that trolls and haters represent themselves online were explored in an excellent way in an earlier civinomics blog post. The author described the ways that haters represented themselves in a list.

Haters

1. They always find fault and focus on the negative

2. They express themselves harshly and dismissively

3. They often characterize what others say in broad terms presenting a straw man argument which they then cut to shreds

4. They don’t acknowledge information to the contrary, they do not give thanks when given what they want

5. They are never satisfied

 

Trolls were described as people who “outrage and then tease the gullible into trying to save them, argue with them, prove them wrong, or whatever.” Their representations were enumerated in the following list:

1. They get personal

2. They insult and attack and provide a direct emotional response

3. They escalate to keep the fun going

4. They will never stop unless something more fun occupies their attention

 

Keep Calm and Be a Flower

There are different methods that can be implemented to reduce the influence of the haters and trolls that infect your social media channels, post reviews about your writing, or affect your personal life.

Keep your cool. Shine bright.

A freelance writer, Andrew Hutchinson, wrote an article, “Bullies, Trolls, and Haters: Dealing with Negativity on Social Media” on LinkedIn that explored methods for resolving issues that arise with these types of individuals. These methods included:

1. Listen to all feedback

a. Analyze what has been said about you and your writing, absorb it, and take from it any useful advice.

2. Seek to improve what you can (in line with your mission):

a. Know what it is that you were trying to accomplish with your writing and be confident if you know that you achieved your goal with your writing

3. Accept that you can’t please everyone:

a. Not everyone will like what you produce and thought it may be difficult, it is important to accept it, live with what they said, and try to move on

b. If you understand the path you’re on and what you need to do to achieve your goals, you’ll be more resilient and able to accept the opinions of other individuals

 Mr. Hutchinson provides good insight into being empathetic towards individuals who dislike or insult your work. He says in his article,

Be empathetic – everyone has issues in their life, complications that affect them in ways you can’t possibly know or understand. More often than not, negativity is not about you, keep that in mind and respond with kindness where possible. But also know that some minds can’t be changed. Sometimes you’re better to cultivate the community you have than expend effort on the resolution you’re never going to achieve.

 

Methods of Positivity

Some propose that the best way to handle trolls and haters is to take a step back and be polite when addressing these people. You should never stoop to their level. Do not confront them but instead respond in a way that shows that you have understood their message and will resolve to address the issues they may have with you or your writing.

Haters and trolls may impact your professional life as well. I have had coworkers that have belittled me and insulted my intellectual abilities and although their words and actions did hurt (in the beginning) I was eventually able to move on and realize that perhaps these were not the types of people I needed to have in my life.

To some degree, we are responsible for who we invite in our lives. I realized that I wanted to surround myself with positive individuals who know how to support me (or my work) and accept me for who I am. In any relationship (where two people know each other), mutual respect is not only healthy but crucial.

It can be very difficult when there are negative individuals in your life but it is important to remember that not everything they say about you is true. Try to be confident and rise above the criticisms and insults they hurl your way.

As it was mentioned previously, try to look deeper and find out where the hater’s or troll’s negativity is coming from and there might be issues that they may be coping with in their personal life.

One excellent quote by Jane Roberts that succinctly summarizes what your approach to handling haters and trolls should be is the following,

You should tell yourself frequently, I will only react to constructive suggestions.

This gives you positive ammunition against your own negative thoughts and those of others.

Negativity is an ugly fact of life that we all must cope with at some point in our lives. The key is to try to refrain from letting it impact you in such a way that it takes hold over how you live your life.

Life is too fleeting to let it overshadow the great things that you know that you are capable of accomplishing. I know from personal experience how words can affect you and have learned from others that you can’t let the haters and nay-sayers affect how you perceive yourself as an individual.

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in touch!

So how do you fight trolls and haters? Or you simply ignore them. Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts with us.

Can An Unlikely Person Transform Your Life? You Never Know

Do you believe an unlikely person can transform your life? This is an interesting question with a resounding answer that a person can absolutely change your life for the better.

Random encounters on streets / The Naked Soul Partners

Can An Unlikely Person Transform Your Life

This article will delve into the stories of people who seem like they were destined to meet each other as well as my own personal experiences related to this.

Story of Emmett

Our first heartwarming story emerged from Farmington, Minnesota last July of a three-year-old boy, Emmett, who became friends with his 89-year-old neighbor, Erling, a WWII veteran who had flown combat missions in Europe.

Emmett was only two when he visited the tomato garden of his neighbor because he loved tomatoes and slowly they began to interact with each other in different ways. Sometimes they would race lawnmowers together.

One day Erling set up a croquet set in his yard so he and Emmett could play together. They continued to visit each other during the winter but sadly their visits were put to an end when Emmett’s parents put their house up for sale so they could have a bigger house where Emmett and his little sister could both sleep on the same floor.

Erling would also be moving to live with his sick wife in a senior apartment.

I also developed a close relationship with someone unexpected. I had always had trouble making friends and sat alone during my lunch period in high school.

A lunch aide, Kelly, walked over to my table one afternoon and began talking to me helping to bring me out of my shell.

Every day we would talk and I visited her often in the kitchen. Her company helped me feel less lonely and she looked out for me when I was finally invited to sit with a group of my classmates and students from lower grades.

Whenever we run into each other now, we still make time to talk. I’ll never forget how great she made me feel about myself at a time when I was very awkward and still developing into the person that I am today.

Story of a Homeless Veteran

Our second story is of a young woman who became friends with a homeless veteran named Tony.

Tony hung out near her workplace and over the course of a few months, they began having lunch and snacks together where he would share his war stories and family while she talked to him about her problems and family.

They developed a deep level of trust with each other and when she was going through a very difficult time in her life he listened to her and pushed her to continue working to fulfill her dreams.

What makes this story even more remarkable is what happened one day when she was still full of self-pity. He gave her a watch head and said, “I don’t have much but I wanted you to know that you have done what many others would not, simply by being my friend.”

She realized that by reaching out to him she had received the incredible reward of a beautiful friendship.

Unlikely Friendship of an Imam and a Rabbi

World Peace / The Naked Soul Partners

Sometimes friendships transcend religious differences. This was evident in the story of a rabbi and a Muslim imam who met each other when they were being interviewed by CBS after Pope John Paul II’s death about his interfaith outreach.

Both men at first hid their quiet ignorant beliefs from one another and the rabbi said, I grew up in an environment as an Orthodox Jew where Muslims were the enemy, Muslims were to be demonized, Muslims were not to be trusted. I clearly brought to the table many biases, prejudices, prejudgments.

The rabbi called the imam several months later extending a gesture of peace and deciding to learn how to foster a better dialogue between the two religions.

They organized the first summit of rabbis and imams in New York in 2007 and began a process where the rabbi would speak to congregants at the imam’s mosque while the imam would speak to worshippers at the rabbi’s synagogue.

They co-authored a book about starting an interfaith dialogue entitled “Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues that Divide” and “Unite Jews and Muslims” that breaks down misconceptions about both religions.

Story of Friendships

Friends / The Naked Soul Partners

I developed a meaningful friendship with a coworker who has some personality traits that differ from me. She is more assertive and extroverted than I am but has a sensitive side which she expresses when discussing her family and her dog.

We joke around with each other and she always knows how to get a smile out of me even when I am having a tough day. I never would have expected to develop such a significant relationship with a coworker but know that despite any issues we have with each other, she will always be there to defend me if necessary.

There have been many depictions of unlikely friendships that have developed in movies and television.

Toy Story / The Naked Soul Partners

Many have been in animated movies such as Toy Story where one toy, Woody, serves as a boy’s favorite toy for years while the other, Buzz Lightyear, was a birthday present; Up where a boy scout befriends an elderly man and helps him learn to love again after the death of his beloved wife; and the friendship between the young girl, Lilo, and her alien friend, Stitch, in Lilo and Stitch.

These cinematic relationships show that despite differences between each character, they are able to look past them and develop meaningful friendships.

The most obvious example of unlikely friendships can be seen on the classic 90s sitcom, Friends.

The six friends have unique personality traits that elevate the humor found in each episode from the commitment-phobic Chandler Bing and his Casanova roommate, Joey Tribbiani, to the neat-freak Monica Geller and her second roommate, the more laid-back and approachable Rachel Green.

Romantic entanglements even ensue between characters including the occasionally tumultuous relationship of Dr. Ross Geller, Monica’s older brother, and Rachel and the marriage of Chandler and Monica.

Friends has stood the test of time and in its more emotional moments depicts the strength of a group of companions that can always be depended on.

It is clear then that unlikely people can indeed transform your life. Whether it stems from a chance encounter or an arranged meeting, friendships can begin in many different ways.

Be open to meeting new people as perhaps this can lead to an enduring relationship.

 

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What is Friendship? Who is a True Friend?

friends

A faithful friend is the medicine of life. ~ Ecclesiastics 6:16

To understand the very fabric of friendship, one of my favorite places to look is the Bible. Undoubtedly, the Bible presents the theme of friendship in a very unique way.

In the book of Ecclesiastics, the author Solomon uttered these words “a faithful friend is the medicine of life when he linked friendship with medicine and life. For a greater and complete understanding, let us seek and explore the true essence and meaning of these two words: friend and friendship.

“A friend is, as it were, a second self.” ~ Marcus T. Cicero

So, what is friendship? Who is a friend? A friend is a lover. Love is the essence of friendship. Mother Teresa said, Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own heart and house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living experience of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greetings. Expressing love in such a manner is the way of a true friend.

Est mihi nescio quid quod me tibi temperat astrum
“There is something, I know not what, which yokes our fortunes, yours and mine.”

Literally speaking, a friend is a lover and the one who speaks the truth. The relationship between Latin amcus “friend” and am “I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend” and phile “I love.”

In the Old English language, about a millennium back, frÄ“ond, the word for “friend,” was simply the present participle of the verb frÄ“on, “to love.” The root of this verb is Germanic which is frÄ« -, which meant “to like and love”. That was what meant by “to be friendly with”.

This same root word also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity “Frigg”, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, the day of Frigg. Also, it is worth taking note that in the Old English, freo also means “free.” Therefore, to love, to favor, is also related to being free. Interesting!

In Dutch and Afrikaans, the word for friend is Vriend which come from Old English Freond meaning “to love. In Italian, it is Amico which comes from the root Amare meaning to love.

In French, it is Ami which comes form the root aimer meaning “to love. In Spanish, a friend is Amigo which comes from the root word Amor meaning “to love.

In Albanian, it is Mik which comes from the root Amicus in Latin meaning “to love. In Urdu, the original implication of Dost meaning friend is “lover” which comes from the Persian Dost which also means “a lover”. Therefore, a friend is a lover.

In Tagalog Kaibigan is the word for friend. The root word “ibig“, means “to love.” Putting “ka” before a root word signifies a state of being, such as “ka-ibig“, literally “being someone to love”. Putting “an” after a word makes the focus of the sentence the direction of the action, such as “ibig” “to love with “-an” becomes “-ibigan“, literally meaning “a state of soul to be in love. Thus, “Kaibigan” could literally mean, “the state of being someone to share love with”.

Love can never wound. Nothing can hurt if there is the element of love inside it. Love is the essence of the creation of this world. On the other hand, an insincere and evil one is thus a person who is void of this love. Without love friendship cannot be understood. While many people may be our casual associates in our earthly life, few are those who walk in truth and posses the element of love inside them.

Nos duo turba sumus.
We two are a multitude.

The powerful words of friendship can heal wounds, mend broken hearts, restore peace and strengthen a soul more than ever. Jesus himself called His followers as friends and defined a true meaning of friendship by dying for all of humanity and on behalf of all the fallen creation.

A group of friends can make life so much fun

In the Bible, in the graceful journey of God with man, there are multitudes of words and speaking that have a word “friend” in it. “The Book of Proverbs might almost be called a treatise on Friendship, so full is it of advice about the sort of person a young man should consort with, and the sort of person he should avoid, said Huge Black in his book Friendship.

“It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers.” ~ Persian Proverb

In Proverbs 27:9 we read, Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. The Gospels state that Jesus Christ declared, No one has greater love than this that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

It is not by chance that there is a great emphasis put on friendship in the New Testament, as is the case in any other scriptures. The classical literature is filled with the stories of great friendships. Ancient mythology and legends are deeply woven into the illustrations of great friendship, which in some instances almost assumed the place of a religion itself. The classical example of Krishna and Sudama and Krishna and Arjuna are excellent examples.

Friendship is considered one of the main human experiences, and has been sanctified by most major religions and myths. The Abrahamic faiths have the story of David and Jonathan. Friendship played an important role in German Romanticism.

“An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.” ~ Proverbs 24:26

In philosophy, Aristotle is known for his discussion in the Nicomachean Ethics of Philia, which is usually translated as “to love in friendship,” and includes friendship in a much broader concept. Aristotle’s conception of friendship conceived of three distinct categories or ‘tiers’ thereof. First, there are the ‘business partners,’ those who benefit financially from their friends; second, there are our ‘drinking-buddies’ – people we have fun with; and, thirdly, people with whom we pursue virtue or arete.

Hold a true friend with both your hands. ~ Nigerian Proverb

In Arabic, there three common words for a friend are Sadeeq which comes form Sadaqa to say the truth or to be truthful; Sahib which comes from Sahiba to accompany; and Rafeeq which comes from Rifq which is Kindness. Among the three the oldest and the truest word for friend is Sadeeq which is the one who always tells the truth. He is called so because a friend does two things: he tells you the truth and he believes what you say and vice-versa.

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” ~ Arabian Proverb

Thus we can conclude that in Arabic, the word for “friend” comes from the root “truth”. Because “Who is a friend?” The one who tells the truth.

For many people, friendship is just that trust that someone will not harm them. Thus a friend is a person whom one knows well, likes, and trusts. It is nothing more than that. This feeling and confidence in another human being are truly praiseworthy and essential for the healthy functioning of human civilization.

Be A King: Act Like One and You Will Be Treated Like A King

These are my 25 thoughts on being a King.

Some of them are inspired thoughts that came to me as a result of reading:

a. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

b. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Both of these books are great reading and I highly recommend both (if you have not already read them).

If the following pointers spark your intellect, then do not hesitate in starting a conversation below. I would love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy, hope it helps.

will you be the king?

Be A King

Act as if you already possess what you want. It will surprise others and they’ll think that you have come a long way and “It’s in your destiny.”

 

Never be angry. Anger is a sign of insecurity. Practice calmness and self-assurance.

 

Never be arrogant. Arrogance and being confident are two opposite poles.

 

While you are a self-confident king, remember that you still RESPECT others with dignity.

 

Share people’s goals and values, but never their generality or appearance.

 

Be tolerant and accepting all, no matter what the circumstances may be. You’ll win many hearts.

 

How you carry yourself reflects what you think of yourself. And, this is how people will read you too.

 

It is within your own power to set your own price. Set the highest price.

 

Be overcome by your own self-belief. If you act like a king you are likely to be treated as one.

 

Always act differently from the mass, with a sense of nobility and dignity, no matter what the circumstances may be.

 

Our limitations are actually self-imposed. If you believe you are destined for great things, your charm will radiate outward. Others around will then only notice it and in turn, will amplify and magnify your charm.

 

Your high-expectation and super-confidence is your charm.

 

People feel comfortable in the company of bold and confident people. Be bold. 

 

If you devalue your own self-worth, it might appear amusing at first but then becomes irritating soon to the public. People want to become powerful. If you appear weak you break their hope instead of helping them build their own.

 

If you are big (larger than life), then people expect you to be a bit of showman, to have some unique, creative and confident presence.

 

Come to hold yourself in awe, never losing your self-respect and you’ll have a great destiny. Never show doubt.

 

Always keep a dignified pose (even when attacked publicly or in private), as if completely unaffected. This will elevate your image. Behave as if you have all the time in the world to respond. Being unafraid of time (being extremely patient) makes you extremely powerful.

 

Always make a bold demand. By choosing a great goal in life you create an appearance of greatness.

 

Ask for more and you send a signal that you are worth a king’s ransom. Even those who turn you down respect you for your confidence and that respect will eventually pay off in ways you cannot imagine.

 

Speak less than necessary. Never advice others unless asked. Stop when asked or given hint in simple talking or amusing discussion. Never argue or debate. A king knows who he is and never argues to win others to his side.

 

If you create a mess, don’t try to fix it. If you try to fix it, you’ll only create a bigger mess. There is no mess in this Universe, only purpose and learning. Learn from the Universe. Let the Universe and time take care of your fault. All you carry from an error is a piece of learning and self-improvement. But don’t repeat or create the same mistake again.

 

Respond to all situations (related to people): by love, acceptance, gratitude, friendliness, and non-judgment. Know that, everyone wants to be loved. They all have been intolerated somewhere, judged and not-understood mostly.  If you love them they will open up. Accept them, relate to them and do not judge them.

 

Give people the hope of justice but what actually they desire most is the love. Give them the hope of love and whatever they want if they show patience. Guide them to create something valuable for the reasons they wish must appear. It will not only give them time but it will heal them. Distract them from their problems and you will eventually increase their self-worth and self-confidence.

 

To be a King, you need to rescue a Queen. Just as a queen has some choice and power over her destiny, you too have an innate power to demonstrate. Pursue the queen. Don’t fall for others on the way.

 

A king has a noble battle to fight and an adventure to live. Start loving the journey. A journey full of struggle is far more beautiful than a safe and boring home. Make the journey your school; the encounters your teachers. After you have hit your goals and have rescued the queen, you should settle for a home but only for a little while. Get the queen with you on your next adventure.

 

What belongs to you will eventually come to you, in its own time. There is no hurry. What you want to truly achieve is where you got to put the focus, time, and energy. Once clear about your goals and directions, begin the work! Expect results. But if unrewarded, don’t feel betrayed. The Universe has plans to pay you back.

The End

What do you think? Do you want to add your own thoughts to this list? Until then, stay safe. See you next time.

Alas! Not Blessed Are Those (The 12 Truths Revisited)

Not Blessed Are Those

Alas! Not blessed are the cowards, for they shall miss everything honorable in life.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the gossipers, for they shall never hear anything more than rumors.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the slumbering ones, for they shall miss the purpose of life.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the lovers of money, for they shall have too much stress and anxiety.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the fundamentalists, for they shall never experience true freedom.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the war-makers, for they shall only wound themselves, and deeply.

 

Alas! Not blessed are sexually loose, for they shall never receive the joy of true love.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the liars, for they shall be the biggest fools.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the snobs, for they shall be laughed upon, hated, and scorned.

 

Alas! Not blessed are the greedy ones, for they shall not have any true friend.

 

Alas! Not blessed are those who show-off, for they do not know their own true self.

 

Alas! Not blessed are those who have never suffered, for they don’t possess the will to life.

The 8 Beatitudes

I consider the above 12 truths as the silver rules when contrasted with the eight beatitudes (as preached by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount.)

Matthew 5:3–10
³Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
⁴Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
⁵Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
⁶Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
⁷Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
⁸Blessed are pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
⁹Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
¹⁰Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Share your thoughts in the comments below.

8 Lessons From Surviving My 20s

Lesson from surviving my 20s

I just turned 30. Yes, I know. But, inside, I do not feel anything different. This is my first blog post on the “Grand 30” theme.

I’ll be making a few interesting posts on this topic. But first, here are the quick 8 lessons that I would like to share with you (especially those of you who are still in your teens and twenties.)

Stay Alive and Stay on the Course

I have surpassed these peeps and therefore I am doing something “right!” Extreme of anything is not good. A well-balanced, happy life is a good thing. Tupac & B.I.G (died 25), Kurt Cobain (died 27), Jimi Hendrix (died 27), Jim Morrison (died 27), Brandon Lee (died 28), Heath Ledger (died 28), Caesar Caligula (died 28).

Guess what! I am still alive. I am happy! I have survived a lot of things which could have gone wrong. Enough on this sermon. You folks are smart and know what I mean.

Fail Early and Often

The difference between an unemployed 22-year-old with debt, no girlfriend & no work experience and an unemployed 25-year-old, with no girlfriend, in debt and no work experience is basically negligible in the long run (by the time you are 30).

I wasted my year 20-22 in Delhi and Noida, which eventually led me to where I am today. Guess, my failing for two years straight opened the door to a better future.

I sold Amway for 2 years, ran Precog IT consulting company for 2 years, and taught Martial Arts for 2 years. All of this behind me is only a bag of experiences. This led to my journey into Fitness and better business know-how.

I studied and practiced Church Life, lived a Zen life and learned about all the great religions in my 20s and now I have only peace (plus zero opinion) on matters of religion, faith, the afterlife, et al.

This is like cleaning a huge clutter from my soul. Because spirituality is very deep in us, you can’t skip it. One day you have to face it. The earlier you do this, the better you’ll become in understanding other human beings.

Money Or Job is Not Happiness

Money is good, but wanting money kills happiness. Fame is good, but wanting fame kills your joy. Success is good, but wanting to be great can ruin your simplicity.
Anything good is actually good, but you wanting it, trying to “force” it in your life will basically kill your happiness!

Value True Friendship

There are many types of friends in life: one of them is like when you go away for a long time and come back, it feels like nothing changed.
This is the only kind of friends whom you can call friends. They are there, and they will be there. They like you as a whole. Rest all other kinds — do not stress too much about them.
Mostly, you build friendships over shared interests and these are most fun ones. But these are also the flakiest ones.
Whenever I left a particular church or sports or a city, I also lost all the friends whom I thought were my “true-best-friends”. These people will be quick in judgment, often immature, and shallow.
Understand, like everything else, some people come in your life and share your journey for a while and then part. It is just life.
You cannot force a friendship. This is the time, you gotta make some true friends, invest time and energy.
Make mistakes, have fun, break a few rules, watch movies all night, share music, get into fights, do all sort of things, trust me, you won’t be able to do in your 30s.

Learn a skill (Sharpen a Talent)


Your 20s is the time, when you should really, seriously, try to pick up a skill that interests you. It could be mastering jokes, playing a guitar, dance, a foreign language, anything.
Trust me, you will never regret it and you’ll never get another golden second chance.
Education is important, grades are important too, but they are not fun. You want to have a sidekick, a specific unique identifier that differentiates you.
You anyways, have no freaking clue on what you are going to do with your life, so when the time will come to date a girl, or impress a new hiring manager or being fun on a group college trips or just sitting on the airport, train, bus — this uniqueness will fuel your voice and you won’t act like some shy weirdo.
Most of us are insecure. It is human nature. Having a particular talent will pretty much guarantee that you will feel (and others around you will make you feel) that your life has worth and you mean something.
It is important to have a boosted self-esteem. Later, in life, if you survive the 20s, still alive, you won’t give much damn about these. But it is important when you are single, lonely, poor and still finding your “Self”.

Learn how to say “F***” It

Disclaimer: Okay, this might seem offensive or ridiculous to some. My apologies in advance. But, f*** you! Back to the point: Understand, that the world in general does not cares about you.
The world is a very big place with too many people in it. Everyone is trying to make something out of their time here. You cannot take their rudeness (or indifference) towards you seriously. Nor you should be afraid of unsettling a few apple carts.
Remember that you have a middle finger. The more you will use it (not in a real sense showing it to real people, but mentally), the calmer you’ll feel, the less stress or hurt you’ll bag.
Show it to things and people you do not want in your life. There are literally, asshats out there and many of them will look good and talk good. But they do not possess your best interest. Nor do they give a rat-ass about your existence.
So, f*** all, that causes you harm and insults your soul. Dismiss it altogether. You’ll be doing it billions of time and by late 20s, you’ll really know how important “fcuk” is.

You’ll Face Disappointments

You’re supposed to FAIL and NOT accomplish all of your goals. Okay, this was personally hard for me. But, over the time I realized that 20s is meant to fail (for the vast majority of us, humans. Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is actually an alien, jk).
The more you fail during this decade, the more you increase your chances of getting successful in the 30s and 40s. You are bound to fail in finance, sports, relationships and entrepreneurship, leadership, direction, etc.
During my college years, I started a student organization The Way of Qi (TWOQ) and had a big ambition for it. I left it. I tried my hands in a few business opportunities and unfortunately, I had to leave them all in the middle. Why?
Because I was making mistakes in determining what I really want? Who to take as a business partner? Where to finance my enterprise? There were just too many uncertainties and a very little experience behind me.
I had a fire in me. Having the fire in your chest in what keeps your 20s young. Let that fire burn as many things as it can. Don’t stop due to pre-judging an opportunity.
Guess what, maybe, you are one of the aliens (Zuckerberg Brotherhood) and you can become a millionaire by age 30. But, in short: fail, fail, fail. Take pride in “failing forward.”
And of course, we all know, when you fail 10 times, you also have a few decent WINs in your lap!

Set Ambitious Goals (but Accept What You Achieve)

I had set a lot of goals for myself before I reach 30. The most outrageous of them was having 1 million USD in investment & liquidity and finishing my MBA from Harvard University.
Well, I am far from both and to be honest there are at least half a dozen more which were very personal and I could not achieve them (as of today). The lesson here is by setting these outrageous goals, I got a LOT done in the process.
Instead of crossing them off at 30, now I might do them later at 31, 35, 40, 90… it doesn’t matter anymore.
When we are young, often times, we want to do things because we want to show it to others. Look, I have “it” in me. I can do it. I am somebody. But as we mature in life, we learn that the true goals of life are very personal and intimately tied to our soul’s purpose on this earth.

Turning 30

Anyways, so what am I doing next?
1. I wanted to visit all 50 US states by age 30. I have done 30 already (as of today). My new target is by the end of 2019, visit all 50 US states. (well, finishing at age 35 is not bad)
 
2. I wanted to visit all 29 states of India by 30. I did 15. Now, the new target is by end of 2020, visit all 29 Indian states. (Finishing it while I am still my 30s is not bad)
 
3. And, I added a new one. One even more outrageous and BIGGER. Visit and tour 101 countries of the world in the next 5 years. Then make a book on it featuring one story from each country and a few of the most epic photos from each country.
 
My budget for this one: < $40,000 USD. Expensive?
Not really. A lot of decent commuting cars are more expensive than it. Will I be able to do it in 10 years? I don’t know. But I am going to try! And hard!
Update from May 2019: We have made some progress. Check out my travel goals and journey so far on www.artoftravel.tips and if you are into travel and adventure, check out www.artoftravel.store.
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Your turn. How would you celebrate someone’s 30th birthday? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests.
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