What college grades taught me about money and passion

When I was in college, I worked on a lot of projects. Some of them were exciting while others were not so interesting for me.

Whenever I got amazing grades, it was because of my interest and enthusiasm for the project. I did the extra work not because I wanted good grades, but because I was genuinely passionate about the project.

When the project was not so interesting, the only reason I would work would be to get good grades. Even if I got decent grades in those projects, I did not feel satisfied.

The same principle applies when it comes to money.

You may earn money by doing a job you don’t care about but it won’t feed your soul.

What would you do if money were no issue?

Go. Do that.

But, what about the practicality of real life, you may ask?

Forget it. Do the work that you would do even if you were not getting paid for it.

If the work that you love doing is not making you money, then find a way to make money until you can make money by doing what you love. That’s what life design is about.

There two reasons why doing things we love eventually allows us to make money:

We do things out of love (not fear)

When we chase money, our focus shifts to the outcome of earning money. But when you do the work out of pure love and passion, it reflects in your work. One day or another, people are willing to pay for your work.

When your actions are completely aligned with your values and desires, you go all in. The love that you put in your work is felt by other people.

We figure out ways to fill in the gaps

Sometimes, we realize that we are not innately so good at doing what we like doing. You find other people’s work way better than yours. But that does not stop you.

If you truly love what you do, you will figure out ways to learn the skills or knowledge to do great work effortlessly. Your work will improve without you even realizing it.

You might be thinking…

“I don’t know what my passion is.”

Here’s the truth about passion. It’s not absolute. That means it’s not necessarily something that you find once in your life and be happy ever after.

Your passion will keep on evolving or it might even change as you change.

Your current passion is right in front of you. You do it almost every day or at the weekends. You must give yourself permission to identify it.

It does not even have to be a skill. It could be something you’re curious about so you keep researching about it.

Conclusion

No matter how hard you keep working, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you’ll do injustice to your work and your soul.

So, do yourself a favor and make time for the work that you love. You will experience inner peace and everything else will fall into place.

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Life Design for Introverts

I don’t know about you but I love being an introvert.

If you’re an introvert and you’re interested in making the best out of your life then read on. This post is for you.

Before diving in, let’s make it clear who an introvert is. Introversion is a personality trait in which a person recharges by spending time alone. The level of introversion various among different people. It can also change as we age or change.

Being an introvert is not easy. It is especially hard around many extroverts who don’t understand your nature. They might feel uncomfortable if they think that you’re rejecting them. But in reality, introverts need their alone time to recharge. Introverts can’t stay social for a long time.

Being an introvert myself, here are my top tips on how you can design your life:

1. Schedule ‘me’ time

It is necessary that you schedule alone time with yourself. This is the time when you’ll be able to recharge your batteries and go through the day full of energy.

While extroverts spend their leisure time by socializing, you prefer alone time for leisure. So, don’t feel obliged to do what others are doing. Spend your leisure time your own way.

Alone time can come in different forms such as:

  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to music/podcast/audiobook
  • Working out
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Learning skills
  • Doing a hobby
  • Taking a shower
  • Cleaning / Organizing / Planning
  • Browsing internet / Watching TV
  • Traveling

You can do many of these activities with other people as well like walking, cooking, eating, watching TV, traveling, etc. But according to your energy levels, you can choose to do the activities alone for recharging.

2. Socialize on purpose

As introverts crave out alone time, it can be easy for them to skip the social part altogether. It’s a good idea to take out some time to socialize so that you form relationships and develop your social skills.

Don’t be afraid to make small talks. Even though you don’t like small talks, you can use it to practice your emotional intelligence and people skills. Just smile, say hello, ask about the other person, be interested, listen and open up.

Social connection is necessary for improved quality of life. Good relationships and being part of a community are an important part of life design. Don’t skip it.

3. Know your energy

If you don’t want to burn yourself out, then you need to know your energy limits. Avoid committing to events that you don’t want to go to. Limit your time at social gatherings.

If you’re out of your energy reserves in a social setting, then it’s best to take a break by going to the washroom or any other quiet place to recharge for a few minutes. If you don’t do it, you will feel drained and people will feel the low energy around you.

4. Have friends who understand you

Let your friends know your nature. They will understand and respect your privacy without hard feelings. If you don’t communicate this, they might think that you’re being a jerk by ignoring them.

If you can, make friends with some introverted people so that you can understand each other. But it is also good to have friends who are extroverted. It will add variety to your social circle and add contrast to your personality.

5. Choose a career that suits you

You like to work in a distraction free, isolated environment. You don’t like to communicate too often while working. So, instead of choosing jobs that require constant interaction with a lot of people, choose jobs that charge you up.

If you let your coworkers know about your preferences, they will understand your style of working and they won’t make assumptions. Misunderstandings between coworkers can lead to bad results so make sure to be open about your personality and respect each other’s preference.

6. Escape the personality trap

Being an introvert is a personality trait. While it is true that the personality trait is part of who we are, it does not mean that we can’t take characteristics from other personality traits.

You can anytime choose to improve your social skills and be a selective introvert. Yes, it will take some time and practice but if you want, you can learn the skills that extroverts can easily do.

So stop labeling yourself and become a slave to your personality. Choose what you want to work on and start working on it. Your personality will adapt.

7. Embrace your nature

Congratulations! You’re an introvert. You can enjoy being alone, you can reflect on your thoughts well, you don’t need too much dopamine to feel good.

Be thankful for your personality and embrace who you are. Enjoy what you truly like doing without the fear of missing out.

Be awesome. Be you.

The cost of following your passion

Start that business. Start that YouTube channel. Start that blog.

We hear it all the time. Some people emphasize on the benefits of making money by doing what you love while others may warn you about the challenges you will face on your journey.

I’m here to tell you the truth. Unless you’re highly talented or you have knowledge of something rare that can solve people’s problem, it will be hard to make money by doing what you love.

Let me tell you how and what you will feel if you have not started your journey yet.

  • You will feel like a failure.
  • You will doubt yourself.
  • You will find reasons to quit and go back to normal life.
  • You will be hated and criticized.
  • You will burn out and feel exhausted.
  • You will be confused and overwhelmed.
  • You will do things you hate.
  • You will make sacrifices.
  • You will waste your time and money.
  • Your life will be uncertain.

Surprised? no? Maybe you’ve heard all of that. But is it that bad as it sounds?

It is worse than it sounds like. When we experience these things in reality, it’s much worse than reading or knowing about it.

So why are we doing all this? Is it worth the effort? Let’s see the opposite side of the spectrum.

  • You will be on an adventure.
  • You will learn a lot of new things.
  • You will learn a lot about yourself.
  • You will do something you’re passionate about.
  • You will fight for your freedom.
  • You will meet new people on a similar journey as you.
  • You will learn to embrace failures.
  • You will learn to handle stress and depression.
  • You will learn to celebrate small wins.
  • You will grow as a person.

You will experience all of the good and the ugly side of following your passion.

The journey of following your passion is a package of good and bad things. The only question that remains is – Are you willing to take the full package?

If you’re only expecting good things, then forget about it and go back to your normal lifestyle. The package is only reserved for people willing to take it fully.

If you choose to live a normal lifestyle, then there is nothing wrong about it. If you enjoy your life the way it is, then you don’t need to take the journey. But if you want to take the risk and write your own story, then I salute you.

You are a badass. Few people have the courage to do so and stick with it even after experiencing the ugly parts of the journey.

Yes, it will be hard and messy. But it’s up to you to make the journey worthwhile.

I accept the full package. What about you?

 

How to get life-changing ideas

Creativity is a muscle. If you want to boost it, you have to train it regularly.

If your creative muscle is well-trained, then you can come with good ideas in any situation of life. Here are a few tips you can use to become more creative and come up with life-changing ideas.

1. Get into the creative state

Stop. Breath. Check in with your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state.

These are negative states you want to avoid:

Emotionally

  • Unsettled
  • Dissatisfied
  • Irritable
  • Frustrated

Physically

  • Stressed
  • Tense
  • Restless
  • Exhausted

Spiritually

Disconnected from:

  • Self
  • Others
  • World
  • Job

Mentally

  • Unfocused
  • Worrying
  • Unsure
  • Distracted

If you find yourself in any of those states then you can do following activities to break the negative state:

  • Go for a walk
  • Change rooms
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Listen to music
  • Exercise
  • Sing, whistle, …
  • List reasons to be thankful
  • Breathe deeply a few times
  • Meditate
  • Reframe the situation, look at it from a positive perspective, a funny perspective…
  • Drink some water
  • Chat with a friend
  • Play a game
  • Have a meal mindfully
  • Write/speak out loud your thoughts
  • Daydream
  • Read

Once you’re in a creative state you’ll feel:

Emotionally

  • Excited
  • Happy
  • Contented
  • Playful

Physically

  • Comfortable
  • Flexible
  • Relaxed
  • Energetic

Spiritually

Connected from:

  • Self
  • Others
  • World
  • Job

Mentally

  • Focused
  • Clear
  • Confident
  • Open-minded

Ask yourself how you’re feeling in each of the state. If all the states are in check, it’s time to create the ideas.

2. Be silly

When you come up with ideas, don’t take yourself seriously. Think less, feel more. Lighten up your mood by finding humor. Think like a kid. For a kid, there are no rules. Playfulness plays a huge role in creativity.

No idea is useless. Even the ridiculously bad ideas have a purpose. They help your mind to get relaxed and then the ideas start to flow smoothly.

If you want to be creative, you have to let go of the fear of coming up with bad ideas. Don’t let bad ideas hurt your self-esteem. Let go of the fear of judgment. If you don’t do that, you may miss the good ideas hidden underneath all the bad ideas.

3. Be curious

Question assumptions and seek for answers. With the help of internet, you can find the answers to the questions that spark your curiosity. If you have a problem that you need to solve, chances are that there has been at least one other person who had the same problem and he/she solved it. The circumstances may vary but always look for inspiration.

4. Diversify your perspective

Hire different perspective to look for solutions in different ways. You can look from the perspective of:

  • Your higher self (Your better version)
  • Your future self
  • Your past self
  • Friend
  • Stranger
  • Expert (different areas)
  • Old person
  • Child

5. Shake things up

Get off of your routine and break life patterns. Experience novelty by trying something new. Notice the small things that you ignore everyday. You can daydream, choose random items to focus on, get on a random bus or try a new activity such as drawing, dancing, playing, etc.

Your mind will get new stimulus and you’ll be filled with new ideas that you may have never thought of before.


Once you have a lot of ideas on the table – eliminate the bad one; mix and match the good one and finally consider the ones which light up energy in you.

Learn to listen to your intuition. Our intuition doesn’t always roar. It sits in silence and waits for us to pay attention to it. As soon as you notice a spark, your state will change and it’s our job to find that little voice of intuition. So, stop. Breath. Listen to the spark and then turn those ideas into reality.

 

Pursue your dreams or die trying

You have only one life.

One life to experience all that you want to do. The regret of inactions is stronger than the regret of actions. In other words, the regret of failing at something is smaller than the regret of not even trying.

Many people who want to start their journey fear that they would lose time and effort on doing something that they may fail at. They would think that they can make better use of that time by watching TV, playing video games, partying, etc.

I’m going to use the word ‘entrepreneur’ for anyone who is taking an initiative or risk to follow their dreams while fighting mediocrity. With that said, let me tell you what you’re missing out on if you choose not to pursue your dreams.

1. The joy of giving

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. We find a problem or a cause and then we try to solve it. The first step of any such journey should be to serve. Don’t get lost in creating your product or service. Start serving today and then shape your product/service accordingly. You will experience what it will be like to give and you will understand the value of what you’re doing.

2. Rollercoaster ride

You will fail. It will be hard. You will feel lost. But on the other side, you will experience what you might have never experienced before. When you start out, moments like – ‘first positive review’, ‘first earning from your business’ will prevail all the moments of despair.

3. New you

After facing your fears and overcoming challenges, you will be a different person. Your self-esteem will go high. Your standards will rise as your character will change. The lessons, personal growth, and experiences will make your journey worthwhile. Just make sure not to fall into the trap of ego.

4. Discovery

You will discover the possibilities that you might have never imagined before. You will meet with people that may become your lifelong friends. You will learn skills that you can’t imagine being skilled at today. Most importantly, you will find the answer to the question of – ‘What if?’

5. Success

Finally, if you persist, you will get the rewards. No matter what your personal goal is (freedom, fame or money), all the hard work and struggles will make the prize priceless. The level of satisfaction and happiness will be profound. You will live your dream life. You will contemplate what you would have ended up doing if it wasn’t for the journey that you chose to take.


In addition to knowing what you want, know what you don’t want. When you will have a strong ‘why’ to pursue your journey, you will do it anyway. All the noises telling you the downside of your journey will fade away.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be frustrating at times. You will be disappointed. But if you can’t afford to not know where the journey will take you, then listen to your heart and take the leap. You have one life and it’s too short to not pursue your dreams. Have the courage to follow your heart.

Go. Start now. Please.

Turn your life into a game

Life is an adventure.

Sadly, many of us don’t treat it that way.

Think of your life as a game. Games are designed to be an adventure.

Your life can be an adventure too if you treat it that way. Does it mean that you’ll always have a good time? No. There are times of struggle and setbacks but we keep on playing those games because that’s what we like about games.

Games have taught me many lessons on how to live a life.

1. Addiction

Games are addictive.

Addiction does not have to be bad all the time. In fact, each one of us is addicted to one thing or another. Writers are addicted to writing. Singers are addicted to singing and so on.

Addiction in itself is not a bad thing. If you’re obsessed with something and you don’t let it destroy you or control you then I would call it a healthy addiction.

On the other hand, if we let out job or business destroy other parts of our life like health, relationships, etc. or we let it control us, it can turn into an unhealthy addiction.

 

2. Objective

Every game has a mission or at least a hidden objective behind it. Without it, there will be no purpose of the game.

In the same way, we all need to have missions in our life. The missions may change or develop as life passes by.

Weak objectives will result into boring or unfulfilled life whereas strong objectives will make our life purpose driven.

There are side quests in life too but it’s up to us if we want to pursue them or not. These side quests are a representation of all the things we want to do in life. The important part is to remember that whether we complete our side quests or not, it should not affect our main objective(s) in life.

 

3. Challenge

Most games are designed to be challenging. If a game is too easy, it won’t be too long before the player quits the game.

If there are no obstacles or enemies, there is nothing to master in the game. Gamers keep on playing a game because they fall in love with the grind.

We need challenges in life. Growth only happens when there are obstacles to overcome. Life will become too boring if we get everything we wanted without any effort. Embrace the challenges.

4. Failure

Our education system has conditioned us into believing that failure is bad. Thanks to games that teach us that failure is okay. All you have to do is retry.

Life is like a game. Sure, there are opportunities in life that can be missed but there is no dead end. No matter how much we fail, there is always a way to move forward in life.

Every time we fail in defeating a level, boss or enemy – we learn new tactics that we can use next time.

Gamers who succeed are the ones who persevere during the hard times. Life is exactly the same. You fail. You learn. You experiment. You repeat until success.

5. Rewards

Every time we overcome an obstacle, games reward us in some way. These rewards give us a morale boost or resources to continue our journey.

Life is no different. If you’re getting paid for your job, then you’re getting resources to live your life.

However, we need to claim some rewards. Gratitude and celebration are the rewards that we need to give ourselves for our efforts or results. These rewards feed our soul.

Progress is one of the core motivation of life. If we don’t track or see our progress, our soul will get drained of energy. Reward yourself and feed your soul.

6. Avatar

Many games allow us to customize our character. We can change their attributes, upgrade their skills, provide accessories or dress them however we want to.

We can treat ourselves as an avatar too. Imagine a greater representation of yourself which is your avatar. What skills does it have? What values does it hold?

The best part is that we can even customize our goals. Games have their own objective while your objective in your life is up to you.

Define your avatar and work towards upgrading your avatar every single day.

7. Hacks

A lot of gamers fall into the trap of using hacks and cheat codes to complete their objectives in the game.

Hacks are like shining objects that you think will make your life better but in reality, they make you worse.

In life, seeking a shortcut to success is a hack. They might get you the end result but you won’t get the skills needed to achieve those results.

When you work on your skills and take the full journey, it’s not just the success that you get in the end. You transform yourself. Your character changes. Confidence becomes part of who you are.

When success becomes a habit, you’re able to repeat the process and thrive in every journey of your life.

My number one priority in life as a 22-year-old.

On 23rd of June 2017, I turned 22 years old.

In the past 4 years, I’ve learned more things about life than rest of the 18 years of my life.

About 4 years ago, I stepped outside my house and started living in a hostel after enrolling in a college. I was away from my parents for the first time in my life.

I was free. I had full control of how I wanted to spend my time and who I wanted to surround myself with.

At first, I wanted to be cool college kid because I was shy at school. I had only a few close friends. I wanted to change my identity and become a famous guy whom everyone loved. Now that I look back, I was insecure. I wanted to be accepted by as many people as possible.

After 1 year of a hardcore trail and error, I was back to myself.

I eventually ended up with few close friends again. But I was happy. I formed great friendships with few people who inspired me in one way or another. For example, I learned to be carefree, have self-discipline, find humor and many other traits that I learned from different friends.

Most of all, I became friends with myself. I gave myself permission to be me. I started my journey to follow the path of personal growth and become a better version of myself.

I started following people on the internet who played the role of virtual mentors for me. I started reading self-help books, I started training my body. I learned the principles of living a life of purpose, growth, and fulfillment.

Soon enough, I was a different person. In essence, I was the same person but I was becoming a better version of myself every day.

As I got closer to my graduation, I started to think about career and wealth. By the end of 2016, I took a pledge to consume less and create more. I started learning about online business and bringing value to other people’s life.

Out of all the things that I learned in the past 4 years about health, wealth, business, relationships, and life; there is one thing that stood out the most. I’ve set my number priority in life based on that.

The number one priority of my life is not my goals. It’s not my career, not my business, it’s not even my freedom.

The number one priority of my life is the person who I am becoming.

At any given moment, I could lose anything. I could fail at reaching my goals, I could lose my arm, I could be robbed, I could go broke, I could be locked up in a prison, I could become sick, I could lose my strength and muscles that I’ve trained hard for.

One thing that no one can take away from me is the person that I have become. My values and my character traits will stay with me.

In the end, my values will determine my story and the quality of my life regardless of the life circumstances. I trust my ability to figure things out and make the best out of any situation.