Important lessons I have learned so far- Part 2

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(Note: This blog post is a continuation of my previous post)

5. Less is more

Less is more.” Read that again if you haven’t quite understood it yet. Yes, ‘less’ is ‘more’. Words might sound contradictory but reality isn’t. Having less people around you, having less stuff alongside you, having less of everything is always better. Before you get all confused let me clarify a bit more. I used to believe that having more people around me was a good thing. It was never easy for me to let go off people so easily. That, obviously, had a huge demand on my cognitive resources– I had to pay constant attention to their needs, I had to pay attention when they needed help, and I had to pay attention to the fact that I wasn’t not ignoring them. In the middle of this, I wasn’t paying attention to the people who were actually worthy of my time. I wasn’t prioritizing myself either. My constant efforts to keep the relationship going weren’t recognized as well. So, I cut off all the compulsions I had set up for myself. Now I don’t have contact numbers on my phone beyond 20-30. I am very particular about investing my time on people who do not come under the radar of my social circle. I am not saying that I have become cruel or rude. I help people if they need my help. But I don’t keep any expectations. This has literally let me have a lot of peace in life. The same goes for material things. Before buying something, I ask myself, “Is this really necessary?” If not, I move on.

6. Prioritize health

One of the biggest mistakes we often make is ignoring our health and putting everything else first like we can manage to do ‘everything’ with our so called ‘good health’. Actually it’s just poor health if you are not giving it any importance. Compromising on health is equivalent to compromising on life. When we are young we feel like we have the most perfect bodies. We feel sickness can never touch us. It is true when we are young we don’t feel maladies affecting us but as we grow older and older we come to understand that our bodies are far from perfect. Actually, we further realize that our bodies were never perfect or well maintained. Focusing on our physical health is very very important. It can’t be emphasized upon more. While physical health should be a priority we must never forget about prioritizing our mental health as well. A sound mind is just as important as a sound body.

7. Don’t be on social media

Honestly, I hate social media. I am not available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and countless other social media platforms designed deliberately to be addictive. Many might comment that I have a very weak will power and I do not know how to use it moderately. To such assertions I will retaliate that this idea is completely naive. People do not understand that these social media platforms have been designed very cautiously to be addictive. Those cute and vivid colors of the apps, without your conscious awareness, are playing with your brain and eventually you are giving them more time than you are supposed to. You do not realize that the red color you see when a notification comes on your Facebook account is a result of deliberate thinking by some experts. Moreover, there are constant unconscious comparisons that we make through social media and it takes a big toll on our psychological well-being. That is why I have disappeared from social media. That is why my life has become a lot more peaceful.

Interview #1: In Conversation with Aditya Sisodia- Be mindful, focus on yourself and hire a coach

Aditya Sisodia (Picture credits: Quora)

Aditya Sisodia is an executive career coach, business mentor and online behavioral facilitator. He is also a corporate trainer and has worked with professionals in helping them grow personally and professionally. He is a certified coach and a recipient of various awards includingBrave Spirit Icon 2017“, “Youth Icon Recipient 2016” , “National Service Excellence Award 2016” and “National Education Award 2015“. He has also been mentioned in a few leading notable media such as INC42, Femina, Entrepreneur (INDIA), Bangalore Mirror, The Times of India and many others. His experience includes 50,000+ hours that involves facilitation/presentation/training/consulting on a wide variety of topics globally across Dubai, Sri Lanka, UK, Canada, Indonesia, Australia and USA.

Question 1: How does your morning and evening routine looks like?

Aditya Sisodia:  So, there is so much to explore in every waking moment. Talking about myself- I am more of a night owl than an early riser. So what I do is I tend to plan out my things like ‘what is my focus of the day ’, ‘what is my focus of the week’, ‘what is my focus of the month’ and finally ‘what is my focus of the year’. These questions are for me. This allows me clarity in my business as well as in my personal life. I often ask “As a partner friend, how am I using my time?” I know one thing and it’s that I have got the same 24 hours. I ask myself what all can I learn today to make my day productive. And after completing my activities for the day I reflect back on them. Reflection is very important. It is very crucial for the overall well-being of an individual.

There are few things which are totally non-negotiable for me. One of them is exercising every day for at least 60 minutes- be it jogging, walking, stretching, etc. I do check out financial news to keep myself updated. I also follow latest events but definitely in moderation. I also spend some quality time with my family where I just sit with them and we talk and listen to each other. Other than my family there are few people with whom I try to speak even if it is for five minutes because they are my Energizer. I call them my Mastermind group because every time I speak with them it is always a wonderful feeling. These people keep up that fire inside of me.

Question 2: What are some of your favourite books?

Aditya Sisodia: I don’t have any favourite books per say. I am more of a listener. I am into lot of podcasts and the podcasts that I listen to they are dependent on my mood and my focus of the day. One of the podcasts which I listen to is “Valuetainment” by one of my favourite hosts “Patrick Bet David” where he talks about entrepreneur lifestyle and business strategies. There is another one that I listen to- “The Mindset Mentor” by “Rob Dial”. I do have a Kindle and I’ve got a decent collection of books. I feel every title I come across has something to teach me and has something which I can just absorb. I keep revisiting my books and podcasts. I also listen to “Ideacast” by Harvard Business Review where they talk about many case studies. In conclusion I will say that asking me about my favourite book is quite a dicey question.


Question 3: When you feel overwhelmed what do you do to come back to your original state of mind?

Aditya Sisodia: One of the things which I have learned is whenever there is an overwhelming feeling it is important to be mindful and the best way to be mindful is to focus on our breathing. It is about centering us. There are times when while speaking to someone we have some emotional triggers due to a disagreement probably. So, in such times we should focus on our breathing. It helps me relax and recharge myself. It becomes important for me to gain a different perspective.

Question 4: You ran a marathon consecutively for 2 years in 2019 and 2020 after your kidney transplant. How did you prepare yourself for that- both mentally and physically?

Aditya Sisodia: One of the things which I have learned is that to be mentally strong you have to be physically strong as well. It is because your mind is as strong as your body. When you are feeling lethargic your mind won’t be able to think straight and the reason I planned for Marathon 42.2 kilometres is because it gave me something to look forward to. Even now I am competing in 100 Days of running where every day I clock in my hours- be it running, jogging, walking, cycling. The whole idea is to be taking care of your overall well-being. I also try to be mindful of the self-talk and marathon helps me to stay in control of my emotions. I don’t care who gets the gold medal and who takes the podium. For me, finishing the marathon gives me a sense of being a winner because earlier in my life I never ran even one kilometre. I wasn’t an active sports player before and now I believe being an athlete is all about mind game. A lot of mental sacrifice has to be done. A lot of control has to be there on the diet. Lifestyle has to be modified. Overall, it’s all about self-discipline.

Question 5: What would be a word of advice for someone who is trying to make a mark in this world?

Aditya Sisodia: Hire a Coach. Hire a Mentor. Make sure that you invest in your personal and professional development. Do not discount. Trust me, the experience you get while working with an expert in your chosen domain is priceless; something which can never be discounted.  You are able to accumulate years of experience just by brainstorming with your coach or mentor. You will be seeing the results eventually.