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Think big and success will follow

October 5, 2014

Any achievement is preceeded by conceptualization, visualization and then followed by action. If you think big, you will achieve big. I have found time and again that whatever you think – big or small – the universe conspires alongwith you to make it happen. I am not saying there are spiritual forces at work here, but by thinking about something, you open up your mind to observing possibilities and opportunities that will get you there.

Have you ever noticed at times, when you learn a new word, you suddenly start seeing it everywhere, as if by coincidence. The frequency of your encountering the word hasn’t changed, but by learning it, you have now trained your mind to be cognizant and aware of it and hence you now spot it far more often than you did before. The same principle applies to all our thoughts. If you think you can achieve something, really believe it, visualize it, dream about it all the time – then your mind will automatically, sub conciously and conciously spot opportunities and solutions that otherwise would have been invisible to you.

Here is another interesting thing I have observed. Whether you pursue something big or small, you will face hurdles and problems that will require creativity and effort to solve. And the amount of effort it takes your brain to solve problems you encounter when you are pursuing something big versus pursuing something small is nearly the same. Infact your brain is just like any other muscle and once you have routinely exercised it to solve bigger problems, the incremental effort required to solve the next big problem is negligible. Whatever you practice routinely becomes second nature. I have seen this on many occasions in my life. For eg – We hire many software developers each year, and one area we test aggressively is the ability to solve complex logical and analytical algorithmic problems. Time and again we have seen that this is not a test in capability. The students who excel at problem solving are merely the ones who chose to spend more of their time on solving complex problems, as opposed to simpler ones. The difference was not in working harder, but in what they chose to work on. You can choose to spend your time and your life “thinking small” or “thinking big” and both will take the exact same effort but yield completely different results. Sergey Brin, Larry page, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and many others are no different from the rest of us. They have a similar physiology and a similarly gifted mind. However they chose to spend their life thinking about and solving bigger problems and hence achieved bigger results.

Lastly, stretching beyond your limits is what expands your limits. We know this principle well when it comes to building muscle. It is those last reps, and that extra weight, just beyond our phsyical limit, that actually builds our muscle. Our brain works in the same way. If each time, you do not stretch yourself, incrementally beyond your previous achievements, you are not expanding your capability. Thinking big does that automatically. It stretches you beyond your present capabilities and makes the insurmountable achievable.

In summary – just the exercise of thinking big increases your odds of success due to –

  • Automatically opening your mind to spotting solutions which were otherwise invisible to you
  • Causing you to spend your time in solving complex problems as opposed to simpler ones thus exercising your brain and tuning it to being able to solve complex problems easier
  • Stretching you beyond your present capabilities and expanding your limits

I will leave you with some nice quotes on thinking big –

“Most individuals over-estimate what they can achieve in one year, and under-estimate what they can achieve in 10 years”
– Bill Gates

“If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big”
– Donald Trump

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.”
– David Schwartz

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”
– Marissa Mayer

“The universe has no restrictions. You place restrictions on the universe with your expectations”
– Deepak Chopra

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
– Walt Disney


Pursuit of Mastery vs Pursuit of Success

September 7, 2014

I saw a really nice note on a menu at a popular Vegan restaurant in LA (Elderberries). Here is the picture of the note –

friday note

The note got me thinking about the notion of Success vs Mastery (phrase borrowed from another friend). Here are my thoughts –

Success Mastery
Definition Success is the accomplishment of a goal, and the title that the world confers upon us on achieving the goal Mastery is not a commitment to a goal, but rather a commitment to a constant relentless pursuit to better oneself
Time Success is absolute and represents a moment in time Mastery is ongoing
Failure The pursuit of success has a binary outcome. There is no notion of near wins. If you don’t succeed, you have failed The pursuit of Mastery results in continual improvement with no notion of absolute failure. Even a near win takes you closer to achieving Mastery
Ending Upon achieving success, ones journey ends The journey towards Mastery is never-ending


Entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors relentlessly pursue Mastery and never experience failure. Success merely becomes a by-product of this pursuit.  The pursuit of Mastery involves the celebration of near wins, for even when one does not achieve their goal, one gets a step closer to Mastery. The pursuit of Mastery has no notion of “failure”.  Edison’s famous quote in his continuous attempt to try and find a suitable material for a filament of a light bulb encapsulates this philosophy – “I have not failed. I merely found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Go forth and pursue Mastery in life. You will never experience failure, and success will follow you automatically and continuously 🙂

All you have to do to win, is rise each time you fall

July 31, 2014

This is one of my all time favorite poems. I have shared it many a times with many a folk. It still brings tears to my eyes whenever I read it. One the most simple and inspirational poems I have ever come across. I can relate closely with the message in this poem. My father, who I think the world of, and who is in many ways instrumental for my success, drilled this message into my head early on in life. “Never give up!! All you have to do to win, is rise each time you fall.”

The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”

“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

– Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg

Dream it. Do it.

July 21, 2014

In all our lives we always come across many individuals and many reasons as to why something can’t be done. Thinking of reasons as to why something cannot be done comes easy to folks. Sure the chances of getting something may could look small at times. But in most cases the chances of getting something done look small, not because it cannot be done, but because you just don’t have all the information yet or haven’t spent adequate time on it yet. Besides while the chances of getting something done may look slim, they are still higher if one tries, than if one gives up. Humans are capable of achieving the impossible, if they set their mind to it. On that note here is a video of some amazing humans –

Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. Alright? You got a dream? You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Period

Here is the orignal scene of the above quote from the movie ‘Pursuit of Happiness” –

Life is like a camera …

July 14, 2014

Recvd this really nice quote from a friend –

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives, & if things don’t work out, take another shot.”


Winners never quit

June 19, 2014

Here’s a scene from – Lord of the rings – one of my favorite books and movie trilogy. It contains a simple yet powerful message –

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something…”

Protagonists in great stories – the ones that mattered – had more than their fair share of adversity. And folk in those stories had many chances, opportunities and even reasons to give up, to turn back, to quit. But the one common thing that made those stories great, made them worth remembering, recording, and spreading, is that – they didn’t quit. They didn’t give up. They didn’t turn back. They continued against all odds, persevered, and eventually prevailed. Tales of quitters doth not a good anecdote make.

Here’s a quote to sum it all up –

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win” – Vince Lombardi

Success is never ending and Failure is never final

June 19, 2014

I came across this nice parable (that some of you may have read) –

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Like the elephant in the story so many of us continue to remain constrained by past failures, that we fail to account for changes in circumstances, our own learnings and growth, and many other factors. Failure is but a stepping stone to success. Here is a quote I live by –

“Success is never ending and Failure is never final”

Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living

June 19, 2014

I got the below from a friend –

Life is about taking risks, making mistakes, learning from our blunders, and growing. If you are willing to take risks that lead to bigger things in life, you will experience failure. The key to success is using our setbacks as fuel to grow and become stronger.

This short video clip and powerful quote captures this message –

“Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living” – Anonymous

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