I share the following in an attempt to inspire those of you who are struggling and those of you who think that the struggle in life is over.
I have built an empire.
It looks impressive and it probably is and the results and experience are beginning to sink in.. slowly.
I am not a millionaire… again.. yet. But I am working in that direction and intend to be.
This may sound like a cliche and it may be – but the lessons learned along the way (as my old coach and mentor used to say) are worth WAY more than the numbers or dollars earned or in the personal acknowledgements received.
The lessons are:
1. The job is never done when you look at life in terms of visions fulfilled.
Living a life based on visions (100 million joyful and successful entrepreneurs in the world by 2027 and achieving a Healthy Climate for all by 2050 or sooner) is infinitely more interesting and more ‘earth-jolting-enlivening’ than living based on numbers.
This is not because of some moralistic assumption of mine – it is because frankly… it is WAY MORE JOYFUL.
There it is .. I cannot explain why – just like I cannot explain to an eight year old why it is that falling in love is such an incredible experience. It just is. This renewed falling in love with life has led me to the conclusion that my job in life will never be done – till they declare me dead as a door nail and even then.. I would still want to continue.
2. In order to create sustainable breakthroughs, you must struggle and suffer in the short term.
This is necessary to struggle through. That struggle is what makes a butterfly’s wings stronger – the struggles that made Mahatma Gandhi, Napolean, Churchill, Washington and many more stronger leaders. Those stronger ‘wings’ are what makes a greater leader – one who is flexible, compassionate, authentic, real and ‘non-contrived’. Joy and struggle together in the same room?
You may say “Come on Sunil – you have been smoking way too many cigars.” Joy and struggle leaves one clear that the game is bigger than just being comfortable – it gives a new lease on life where most people strive to retire. Nothing wrong with retiring. It is just that I never intend to now. Life is never done and neither is joy nor struggle no matter where you live or what you do. It is part and parcel of existence – at least an existence worth carrying through. That realization has enlivened me – it does not make life easier – it does not make it more bearable – it just makes life more interesting.
3. Creativity is at the heart of my existence.
Creating goals and creating ways to fulfill them are what my life is about. Darned.. I wish I knew that 20 years or more ago. I would have suffered less unnecessarily. We are all – always creating. Even those of us who think we have mundane jobs.
4. Life is a series of clear choices.
However, you choose to live your life, live it fully. If you choose to sit on the fence and not choose, live that fully and rub your friend’s noses in that choice if you have to. Whatever you choose, own the choice as your’s and let others blame everyone else.
5. Poetry is valuable.
Both to read and to write. In my deepest and darkest nights, I have written poetry. In my happiest moments I have written poetry. Poetry expresses what most of us find impossible to discern or express in normal day to day language. The poetry of struggle and joy is different from the poetry of comfort. Growth, depth and appreciation of our humanity lives in the weirdly contrived stanzas and lines of poetry.
6. Old lessons that persist should be remembered.
We take for granted what we already know and have learned from our parents. Doubting ourselves is healthy – but when it leads to a repetition of the same mistakes, then certainty must step in to convince you that the lessons learned before may have some credence.
7. Pause to reflect when you have expressed much.
My old coach and my father used to stop halfway while telling me some of the coolest, most mind-inspiring-mind-bending stuff. Then they would say “Okay.. enough for today.” Exasperating to a young man I assure you. But I see the wisdom in it now. The real value of wisdom is not in the content of the words – it is in the personal reflection of what you see in them.
That is all that matters. Your personal reflection of what I said above.
So .. enough for today.
Have a great day and a great week.