Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life philosophies over dinner and for success


Tuesday was a pretty nice day that started with lunch with J at Mango Tree at the Fort (see my previous blog entry) and then continued on to dinner at home with the two guys who traveled with me to Sri Lanka. A reunion had long been overdue and tonight was a window of opportunity for this as I had my first free evening in weeks.

We three hadn't been together since Sri Lanka since we'd all been traveling so much until a few days ago. Suddenly realizing I had a free evening, I immediately texted them both. Fortunately they were free and they quickly said yes, and that's how tonight came about.

Pollonaruwa, Sri Lanka

I didn't have much time to make dinner, but I really wanted to have them over at home as it's so much more relaxing to hang out in the privacy of one's dining room than to sit in some restaurant again -- especially as we're always in restaurants as it is. I made a whole slab of ribs, roasted a chicken with wild rice, and made two kinds of pasta. Everything turned out well although I was still actually full from my Thai lunch with J earlier that day.



A MENTAL BOXING MATCH

Anyway, as I expected, I think we sat at my dining table for around four hours, engaging in more of that mental sparring we'd done so much of in Sri Lanka. We always had lunch at a very nice restaurant somewhere in Sri Lanka, and we would sit for hours just talking or laughing. And Tuesday night was the same. Or rather, the two guys just kept at it while I watched amusedly from the sidelines. It was like a mental boxing match but so much fun.



When these two guys start talking, nothing can get in their way, and I'm happy to just observe and chuck in a comment every now and then. It really made me laugh to hear them keep talking, and I remembered our equally long and philosophical conversations in the middle of nowhere in Sri Lanka.

What did we talk about? When these two are relaxed, they start talking about all the philosophical things in life including how people make choices in life, what defines a successful life, and how one's choices determine one's fate without one even knowing it. Scroll down to read some takeaways from Tuesday night...



ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG

Some of the takeaways from last night's discussions:

1. Know yourself. It's really important to very honestly know what you want and to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. There is no right or wrong answer here and you don't have to voice it out to anyone; but you need to recognize exactly who you are yourself. A happy and successful life is based on knowing following this direction.

2. Real entrepreneurship is tough. And here we mean starting your own business from scratch or really taking over the reins of a company instead of jumping in midway into the family business and then just going into office whenever you want to make some decisions and sign checks.

Lots of people want to become an entrepreneur because it sounds good. However, it's also one of the toughest jobs in the world and more people fail than succeed. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you should honestly assess whether you have the right skills and mental condition for this 24/7 career choice.

3. Financial independence is more important than many people realize. It gives you the power to make your own choices in life. Some people are lucky to be born with money. But for the rest, financial independence is still possible via consistent and disciplined savings and investments over the long-term.

4. Getting something you want almost always means having to give some things up. In a perfect world, this doesn't need to happen; but in most of our lives, we need to sacrifice something to gain something. Many people want to gain things -- the good life, career success, etc -- but they're not prepared for the hard work and the sacrifices necessary to accomplish this. But if you're not prepared to sacrifice, what you want isn't going to happen unless you're born lucky.



5. Focus is the key. Once you know what you want, you should focus on this and make all efforts to be the best you can be in this field or endeavor. It's best to focus on one or two things so that you can harness all your resources on these. Some people are good enough to do a lot of things all at the same time; but most people will end up doing a so-so job on everything, if they persist in trying to do so many projects at once.




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