Today I got caught in a loop of negative emotions that I just couldn’t escape. All I could do was stare at my phone as a wave of anxiety spread like dilute acid in my stomach.
This was unexpected. In the last year, I’ve made tremendous progress in my mental health due to a sustained meditation practice, changes in mindset, and flourishing relationships. All in all, I’m more confident that I know how to cultivate a happy and healthy mind now than I ever have.
And still, all of a sudden today, I was that guy again: tumbling in loops…
Failure is horrifying. It is literally defined as the inability to get what you want, or to get what you don’t want.
So why do I think you should try to fail more this year?
Because failures are crucial to meaningful achievement and self-discovery. And when you can see them this way, failures won’t feel like disaster, they’ll be challenges that help you bring your best to the table. Let me explain.
Failures have two great qualities:
You could not learn as much about yourself from a laundry list of successes as you would from one well-timed, well-analyzed failure.
Trust me, when it comes to talking “goals”, I can talk. I can talk your ear off discussing my strategies for success. I know because I’ve done it so many times before.
I’ve talked about day-trading my money till it’s 16 times what I started with. I’ve talked about writing bestsellers. I’ve talked about building social enterprises that save lives.
In fact, there’s rarely been a time when I haven’t barraged my close friends with plans for future success. And most of these times, I never even ended up trying.
Now, for the first time in my life, I have…
Even though I love the self-improvement genre, I despise its common trope: productivity.
Nobody should strive for sheer productivity, because productivity distracts us from the true goal: doing work that matters. Here’s why:
Productivity is about completing the greatest quantity of tasks possible. A productive day is one spent ticking off a long checklist, a calendar packed with meetings, and an 8 to 12 hour-long workday.
But these tasks have nothing to do with making progress. While productivity is about busyness, progress is about effectiveness.
Progress requires the accomplishment of a few key tasks. Progress is five sales made, ten-pages…
In the span of 70 days, I made over 500 sales calls for the education consulting company I was working for.
Looking back, my first call feels like a disaster. Because, by call 500, I was having more enjoyable and genuine conversations all while getting more customers on-board and having a larger proportion of them eventually buy our premium packages (over $10,000).
The changes I’d made were simple but not intuitive. And they helped me feel like I actually add value to peoples’ lives. I never thought I’d enjoy making sales calls, but I’ve started to.
Below are the specific…
Sometimes, we fantasize about a future version of ourselves-a person who is spontaneous or decisive, charismatic or playful or something else that we want to be. In the fantasy, you simply become that person one day.
But, on our more grounded days, its hard to escape the feeling that the chasm between that person and us is simply unbridgeable. The fantasy exists in the clouds, and there is no conceivable stairway in the world that can get us there.
That hopeless sentiment has weight: our personalities appear persistent. …
The navy-blue night diluted with the dusty, polluted-air of the outskirts of Bangalore city closed in on me as a I stared at the passing traffic — an infinity of humanity stretching blurry red and yellow lights across the horizon. My diaphragm lurching, slow waves of anxiety washed over me as I finally began to acknowledge that an important chapter of my life had just closed — and there was nothing to follow.
Hours earlier, I had been suspended from boarding-school in the last week of my senior year. Jarring from this abrupt end to my school-life I felt that…