To judge or not to judge: On receiving success


‘I need your input, Sathya!’ he said when inviting me over for a coffee. He wanted to discuss his new business idea and apparently to get my wisdom. I did feel empathetic about his enthusiasm as well as anxiety over starting a start-up. I have been there. While he did entertain few of my ideas and I felt glad helping a friend.

Three months into his start-up and he invited me for another discussion. I could feel that he had tasted success. It was evident. In fact I felt he was his overconfidence in his tone and mannerism – he must have felt he won the entire world.

While I left the meeting wishing him more success, I had this icky feeling about how about it. It is not just him I guess, but success indeed changed him.

As I was thinking is it failure or success that despises a man? We always were told that a man is defined and judged by how he accepts or receives failure. However I say we should change the definition. We should judge a man on how he receives success. Whether the person is able to receive it with dignity? Whether the person is able to receive it with magnanimity? Whether he is able to see through impermanency of success –that it is just an event and is temporary? Whether he is able to understand that the experience that he gained from this event can always be challenged at a later stage?

Too often with the easier access to success these days, people especially in our generation tend to be over confident about ourselves. We tend to think too big about ourselves and overestimate the effort that we have put into. No, I am not undermining a person’s valour, interest to pursue success but rather on how one changes when succeeds.

How well should we receive?

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two Impostors just the same.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

I believe in taking both success and failure in the same light.

  • Do not change yourselves and respond too quickly of your success or failure. The world has seen enough of it.
  • There is a saying in Tamil that says, ‘Arpanukku Valvu vanthal, a’. It means that a demean man when gets a riches, will wear an umberalla even in night. Be too big to be bothered either by success or failure
  • Be mindful of respecting people when you go through success or failure. Do know that there will be people whom you will need at times when you succeed and failure.
  • Do always be gracious enough to dedicate your success to those people who succeeded. In fact be gracious to credit success to those around you. Yes you were responsible for succeeding – yes you were the one who burnt the midnight oil to make this success happen. And yes you were the one who put the entire show together. People know this, especially those around you. However it is out of humility that raises within you in crediting those success to those around you. Do ensure you do this. People will love you for that. And in fact will work twice as hard next time to bring you success next time.
  • Don’t measure success in terms of getting things done as you planned it to be. Kindly measure it in terms of impact or outcome that your actions contributed. Moreover, ensure you have an internal yardstick to the continuity of this success in spite of your absence.
  • Consistency. People are going to wait for you credit your success to not more than luck. Kindly beware of this. The only other way you could disprove them is to get another success. For that kindly refer the above points.

Let us please not be blinded by the passing clouds of success. Let us remember to be ourselves both in success and failure, in ebb and flow. All the best for your success and receive it well.


On Faith


Faith can take you places that only imagination can limit.

Remember to believe in yourself. Entrust your faith in the universal truth that we are born out of.

For it shall help us evolve. To help humankind reach the pinnacle of its evolution.

It is not far away. Look at the best in the world and in yourself. Because it is already within.

The 11 Principles to make your To-do List Work

‘Sathya! Thank you so much for re-iterating the need to create a daily to-do list to conquer the work day!’ started the e-mail from friend.

After the usual greetings, my friend finally revealed himself, ‘Despite my attempts, I still end up not getting what I wanted to do. At the end of the day, I really feel I still didn’t get myself around doing what I intended to do in the starting of the day. I am simply at lost.’

Basic RGB

Previously I wrote about creating a to-do list, I started getting inquiries. Most of us get the principle behind making a daily to-do list, but terribly fail in getting the process right. Even worse, some even go to the extend of blaming their failure to the tool itself – ‘Go with the flow!’ they suggest. And may be that’s where most of them end up at – with the daily flow of life and not particularly exercising their power to influence it.

 “Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.” ~ Peter F.Drucker

Few suggestions to master your daily to-do list:

1. Set up a weekly 20-minute meeting with yourself. Put it on your calendar, and don’t book over it—treat it with the same respect you’d treat a meeting with your boss. – Gina Trpani, LifeHacker blog

2. Review your day’s work. Spend the last 5 minutes of your day in reviewing what went well? what failed? challenges? successes?

3. Finish your day by making to-do list for tomorrow. It clears up your mind. More importantly you know what needs to be done that day because you made the list previous day itself.

4. Be mindful of boredom/ fatigue. Alternate between tasks – so that you keep yourself excited. I usually try to jump from a work in Sales to Training to Marketing etc..

5. Batch work: I prefer to batch my phone calls/ emails in a particular time. While most of us simply can’t deny being disconnected, we should try to the maximum extend possible to be connected, meaningfully. Few recommend to check e-mail only once/ twice a day. I usually don’t attend calls as it comes, I batch it and schedule it during my pause time. I prefer to be on my feet when I am on a call – first it shakes my nervousness, second it saves me from distraction on my laptop.

6. Differentiate between an event and a task: Whatever is an event, a meeting with your boss/ team/ client, phone call to the Regional Manager, con-calls, appointments, follow-ups but it on your calendar. Remember these are not tasks, but events and would demand scheduling. GCal works for me perfectly – it also allows me get notifications and add/delete events on my smart phone as well. Use it to the optimum advantage.

7. Know the difference between project and a task: I simply kept ‘Writing for blog’ on my to-do list for quite sometime. I went on migrating it from my daily to-do list day after the other. It went to the point that I felt guilty about keeping it on my to-do list and subsided to my emotion saying to myself that, ‘You know what, I am not made for writing’ and my ego even supported it saying, ‘I have got better things to do!’. As it is evident now, I got over it. The trick was knowing the difference between the task and the project. ‘Writing for the blog’ is a project which I converted to ‘Research for the article on ‘daily to-do list’ was on my daily to-do list. Notice that it is not even ‘Write the article ‘daily to-do list’ – it was just research. Chunking as it is usually called is a fantastic liberator for those confused.

8. Know the difference between goal and a task: Knowing that I had hit 30s while it gives a sense of responsibility to your life and it also sometimes feels burden. Particularly I realised that I need to take control of my health. But simply putting ‘Become my best physical self’ on my to-do list simply did not work. I need to break it down – practicing Kayakalpa after bath and after coming back from office. Either this chunking puts it in the habit list or my to-do list.

9. Make a separate Rituals/ Habits Lists: For quite some time, I have been trying to put habits that I need to do that on my to-do list. It unnecessarily clogged my to-do list. Now I have removed it and put it as my overall habits list like Exercising, Meditating, Drinking a glass of fruit juice, etc. I also have to consciously tell myself habit is quite different from my task list, because I got to elated of doing my habit as mastering my daily task list. It was not so.

10. 6 Boxes Focus Areas: This is one of the best secrets I learnt from Peter Bregman. Deciding upon my key functional areas in itself gave a lot of clarity. You can look up into your job description and your contribution to organization’s overall mission could give you an idea to decide upon your focus areas. I usually allocate my to-do lists to the focus areas on the 6Boxes template. This gives me tremendous amount of clarity and focus. Even among the 6 areas, I knew the priority areas like Sales where I have to proactively seek work

10. Pause: I get and walk out of the office once in half an hour or so. I take my phone and make the calls. Or simply walk out and check out what others are doing.

11. Finally, remember it not about getting things done, it is about getting the right things done. I highly recommend reading ‘HBR review’ ebook.

To Do things Don’t do This

perfectionist-620x496Lately I have been infected by this deadly disease (so to say), the disease of ‘over-planning’. It is accompanied by an acute sense of ‘perfectionism’, a very high ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of rejection’; not to mention the shiver of ‘judgement’.

It then dawned me that is has spread to become an epidemic. Almost everyday really smart people fall into this pit of over-planning, trying to control everything.

Do realize that smartness doesn’t help you get things done. Get out of perfectionism and the fear of judgement and failure. Excellence is something one should aim for but perfection – the world is already blessed with it, you don’t have to try to create one.

The best way is to show up and ‘do something‘ rather than just wait for motivation to happen.

W. Somerset Maugham said ‘I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’

You better learn from it.


Instead of…

‘A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.’                                            ~Lao Tzu


Instead of Making a to-do list, try an Anti-to do list/ IDoneThis list!

Instead of Aiming for a goal, have no goals at all!

Instead of Having a high expectation, expect low!

Instead of Thinking positively, think inversely!

Instead of Wanting more & more, say enough!

Instead of Writing a lengthy article, create smaller blog snaps…