BE YOU , BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN

Be you,everyone else is taken. This one step can be liberating.

We are obsessed with what others think of us. We want to be liked, famous and approved. We seek attention because that makes us feel important.

We can easily be put down with unkind words and picked up if appreciated.

In organisations there is a game , it is called “What will the boss think” and yes it’s important because the boss decides the future growth within the organisation or so we think.

We seek approval of our peers because it makes us feel important and we want to belong.

Social media feeds on the inherent human desire to be liked so we post and then look back to check likes and comments.

This wanting to be liked , approved , appreciated, creates a unseen pressure and ties down our freedom , freedom to be who we are .

Freedom comes from being authentic, confident in our own skin , not wanting to be like anyone , not being a copy.

And then we have the rebels, who also are trying to project an identity of being different, rebels . Yet there is the pressure of hold an identity that is not authentic.

What if you could just drop your wanting to be like someone else , anyone else or seeking approval.

There is a famous Hindi film song in India ‘Kuch to log kahenge , logon ka kam hai kehena‘ ( people will always say something, that is their job). And you can never please everyone.

What if you can ignore what others think , and you truly can , just try it now , drop the baggage of wanting approval , and see how it feels.

Do your stuff , rock your boat , be different, be you because you are made different.

Each one of us is unique, and there is no one else like us anywhere in the world. We have our own unique gifts .

What applies to individuals applies to organisations . There is a unique story of each organisation. ‘Why’ it exists. Find that why and live that why.

Carrying an image that is not you is stressful, being authentic is liberating. And when you are genuinely authentic it reflects and you stand out. Not because you want to be liked but because you are who you are , different.

I found being authentic truly liberating experience, I blog because I want to , I express what I want to , I cycle, I sing , I create because that is who I am , I love to create , build on new ideas , grow business, mentor individuals and business to play to potential . This makes me happy.

What will others think stops people from taking the first step , from living their dreams . And it is not worth it , no point with dying with your dream in your heart.

Be YOU because everyone else is taken.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

WHAT CAN I GET ? WHAT CAN I GIVE ?

“I am getting a better salary , so I want to leave.” Any other reason “No, it’s just the salary, I am happy otherwise.”

I have heard this often in my three decades of career in the corporate world and startups I was a part of.

There is nothing wrong in wanting a higher salary . But I have seen that such individuals don’t go far.

And the reason is the attitude is “what can I get” and this shows up sooner or later.

And I feel it makes sense to let such people go because they will eventually move whenever they find a higher salary somewhere.

And their contribution is transactional.

If you see any successful person in any field you would find that the question they ask is “what can I give , how can I make a difference.”

Money is just a medium of exchange of value . So the real question is “What is the value I am adding in the world.”

And you can best add value if what you do is what you are passionate about , because then it is not work.

When you live by ‘Thank God it is Friday’ you are missing out an opportunity to live life Every Day.

“Thank God it is morning and I want to get off the bed and welcome another beautiful day to make a difference” the shift from “What I can get” to “What can I give” is when you truly live.

You don’t move organisations because you get a pay hike rather move the day you don’t feel like getting out of bed for many days in a row.

It’s not worth just surviving , being part of the 9 to 5 crowd because then you are a commodity. And commodity can be replaced by someone or something cheaper sooner or later.

You have but just one life and it does not make sense to be at the end of life and have regrets of not having lived your passion.

You have a special gift , give your gift to the world, and keep asking “what can I give?” each day in every interaction. Get better each day , add greater value .

In my experience with this attitude in life there is no way the universe will not pay you back. Whatever you do , it does not matter , you will always be in demand . Because you are a artist and you love what you do and it will show up.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

EVERY ORGANISATION HAS MANY STORIES , TELL YOUR STORIES

Organisation cultures are built around stories,
founders have stories,
organisations have stories,
employees have stories,
clients have stories
communities you work in have stories,
there are stories around work you do , impact you make in the world.

Tell your stories , because stories cut through communication clutter , stories touch hearts , stories are remembered and stories are passed on .

Stories mean business.
Organisations don’t buy , people buy and people buy stories they connect with .

Leaders tell stories, stories that inspire change , start a movement.

In the digital world, you control the stories you tell , no intermediaries ,no barriers ,you can reach your stories without filters to your tribes across the world .

You can build , engage and convert your tribes with stories you tell .

In a world that has just witnessed a once in a century event of the pandemic. There is a nervous uncertainty. Brands have a role to play in healing , comforting and being responsible.

It is time for organisations and brands to tell stories of a better future, for the people , for the community, for our planet.

Let us tell stories of hope , stories of love , stories of compassion, stories that inspire change , stories that make a difference.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Storyteller , #passionproject

Founder , Crow Tales , Heroes of India

http://www.CrowTales.in

FINALLY WE ALL DIE , SO WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF ?

Many times I noticed I would hold back , not take a step to live my dreams , because of fear . “What will happen if “ is the biggest falsehood that kills dreams .

“What will happen if it does not work out ?” and “what will they think?” stops many from taking the steps to live their dreams.

Finally we all die , so if that is given what is the fear that remains ? And no one cares about your life so no point thinking about what others will think.

If life will end one day and no one knows what that day is why not make the best of the time while we live ?

Why not live fully , love fully and leave a legacy?

Make this life a beautiful adventure, enjoy the journey, live all your dreams. There is nothing like being safe remember in the end we all die.

Love fully not only your family and your friends, but include your community, all the plants and animals in our world. A compassionate life heals.

Leave a legacy , contribute your best gifts in the world. It would be a small footprint in time but it would leave a mark.

No point accumulating as you leave everything behind, travel light , it will add to your freedom to live your dreams.

1. Prepare your bucket list of things you wish to do in life . I have mine and I keep ticking off the boxes.

2. Maintain a journal, reflect every day how you have lived and what you are grateful for .

Don’t die with regrets of not having lived your life fully , not having loved fully . Don’t die with your song in your heart .

Begin Now ! No one knows about tomorrow.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

DON’T TAKE THIS DAY FOR GRANTED

Last year this time on this day of new year 2020 I was at a party with my wife. There was some news about lockdown in a far off place in China . No one in their wildest dreams could have predicted what was to follow.

The world came to a halt , literally , everything stopped as the pandemic spread.

Lives were being lost , the was economic gloom , so many business suffered , people lost their jobs , there was panic across the world.

I had been postponing plans to travel the world and now there was no chance of travel.

During this period I lost my school friend and my mentor. So much changed .

The one big lesson of 2020 is don’t take life for granted. Life can change in a moment . It changed for many families who lost their loved ones in the pandemic and for the countless many who lost their jobs and incomes , who yet struggle every day.

Life changed for the family of my friend who died not out of COVID but due to sudden cardiac arrest. Till the night he passed away he was in touch and in good health then the next day he was gone.

Don’t postpone your dreams , don’t die with your song in your heart , you have but only one life , don’t take it for granted.

Living , loving and leaving a legacy behind is what life is about .

Life is not about playing safe , not living , postponing life to the future. It would be stupid , you cannot be sure of tomorrow.

The heavy baggage of what will happen in the future has stopped many from living now and playing safe . Yet the only certainty of the future is that it is uncertain.

2021 is another adventure that begins today , I do not know how this year will unfold but as I type these words I know this moment I am sharing my gift and that is all that matters .

Sanjay Mudnaney

REFLECTING ON 2020

2020 has been a year like none before, a year when the world stopped. There are a few things I learnt that I cannot forget.

1. THE UNIMAGINABLE CAN AND WILL HAPPEN : No one could have ever predicted that the world will grind to a halt.

One cannot control external events in life one can control how one responds to those events.

2. HUMANS CAN ADAPT SOON : The world quickly adapted to the new normal and moved digital. Non essential consumption stopped overnight.

Be flexible, this is going to happen often in the future, entire industries and jobs would get disrupted. One cannot hold on to Ego of the past and not change.

3. WE CAN SURVIVE WITH A LOT LESS : That I could do without buying anything other than essentials for months was a revelation , it was clear that I needed a lot less to survive.

Often we land up buying things we do not need and then stock them to use at some later date . Clutter is stuck energy.

4. CUTTING OUT DAILY COMMUTE SAVED TIME : Locked down travel stopped completely, this resulted in excess time on hand , while some struggled some made best use of the time to self develop.

Cut all non essential travel , it also helps our planet.

5. THERE WAS NO OPTION OTHER THAN GOING DIGITAL : Even those that were reluctant were now forced to go digital. This is a trend that will continue.

Reinvent, Reinvent , Reinvent .

6. REMOTE WORKING WORKS : That I could service clients from across the world has been a plus . All organisations other than those that need physical presence have adapted to remote work.

Interesting thing I notice is that where innovation is needed and deep collaboration is called for teams have started coming together again while the bigger organisations that have process driven work continue remote work.

If you can move to smaller towns with great views , quality of life matters .

8. MORE ME TIME : The time saved on travel did give me lot more time to be with self and reflect , read books , meditate.

Build an inner practice for calm in turbulent times .

Here are a few more tips on things I will follow .

1. Build a contingency fund for emergencies , one cannot predict events that may occur but one can build a reserve that protects against shocks.

So I plan to build a contingency fund besides two years survival fund aside. Before I spend income I will save for contingency, this is the essential.

2. Cut down the non discretionary spends and focus on what is truly important . I have been fascinated by minimalist lifestyle and now I even know it is possible.

3. Invest on experiences, travel places , explore the world post the vaccination. It was something I had postponed , won’t do that again. And travel can be low budget .

4. Make my bucket list of things to do and tick off each one . Life is uncertain don’t wish to die with incomplete dreams.

5. Don’t take life for granted , live every day fully . This is the most important lesson of the pandemic. Live , Love, Leave a Legacy behind.

6. Build inner resilience it is a must , faith , surrender, prayer , meditation are practices I will continue.

7. Keep reinventing and learning new things daily and always be ready for the new world. This is a habit I will never stop.

Finally don’t take life toooo seriously!

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

HE TRAVELLED 80 CITIES IN INDIA WITH JUST 220 $

He slept in buses and trains and on platforms on his journey.

One day he slept in the slum and the next day he was in a palatial house on 35th floor in Mumbai !

He says he drank water from the taps of 80 cities of India , lived on had street food and if he found the food was expensive he would just have bananas and drink water.

He has a network of friends he has built on social media who he called on during his bag packing journey.

Amit Jain lost his father at the age of 3 , he was moved by the plight of his mother.

From a small village Bhusaval In Maharashtra, India he travelled to the city to for education.

He joined Bank of New York and started volunteering collecting old clothes for the needy .

He gave up his job to start a social venture Mitti ke Rang that provides employment opportunities to widows and poor women .

He has done it all , from travelling from a village to living in a city for education to getting a dream job to starting a social venture to bag packing across cities.

Amit says what he has learnt is that the greatest truth in the world is a lie .

What everyone tells you you can do and not do is a lie , his life is an example he says , he has challenged every norm .

Amit is fearless and believes he can do anything if he sets his mind to it . He lives comfortably with just 32 $ a month !

His advice to youth is work hard , save enough , start a side hustle and when you are confident get out of your job to live your dream .

He advices against loans and does not believe in owning things . He says “if I am going to leave everything behind when I die no point in owning things .” Rather he believes in accumulating experiences.

At the age of 30 Amit Jain had wisdom beyond his years and I am blessed as a storyteller to interact with such amazing individuals as part of my journey of Heroes of India project .

Wish I had heard his story when I was in college.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder , Heroes of India

WHAT STOPS FROM DOING WHAT WE LOVE

The fear of unknown is real . Look at the graves , you find worlds greatest treasures buried , dreams that were not lived due to fear .

Look at a child , you find no fear , dancing, jumping , shouting, all the stuff that kids do and are not ok for us to do as adults .

Who made these rules ? The NO has killed many more dreams than anything else in our world. The “No you cannot do this” , “No you cannot have that” , “No you are not good enough .”

And this is filled with , “you Must do this”, “You must stand first” , “You must win”, “You need to have a big house and a bigger car” . Then there is comparison, “look at your friend , he has topped the class and you ?”

Then we have idols , those that we see up there , in every magazine we see their pictures, they have made it , you see their lifestyle and wish you could be like them.

We pick up a job , get into a loan for that dream house , the car . Now we are trapped , bills need to be paid . The dream has been forgotten for more important things need to be done like , living life , climbing the ladder , paying the bills , getting famous .

Now the fear is real , we cannot do what we love because we need to keep up , follow the dream of the crowd . So we never ever break free because now SURVIVING is important.

Finally you find most of the beautiful dreams buried under the graveyard.

I believe no one must die with their song in their heart. We have but one life , we must Live it .

Love what you do till you find what you love to do. But for that don’t get trapped in the dream of the crowd and drop the fear . You have nothing to lose .

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

ASK THE QUESTION WHY

One of my clients had set a goal in mind , to get a million followers in a defined period. And I told him that is the wrong place to begin.

Why do we do anything , why do we exist , what is the purpose of it all , these are mans deepest questions . Business or career is not distinct from life , it is part of life , it is where we spend most of our time of waking hours once we get past school and college. Yet we see them as distinct compartments. I see life progress in three stages .

If I look back at my own life the three stages I experienced are :

1. Clean Slate : The early years of life are like a clean slate . Nothing is written , and then impressions are formed , by parents , by family , by society , by the education system . What was a clean slate full of possibilities , gets restricted , the open space shrinks . We get defined , what we can do , what we cannot do , what is possible , what is not possible .

The school , the college , everything defines us , we have to be hammered with education and information to fit in , to be part of the crowd. The clean slate slowly gets filled up , possibilities and dreams are killed.

2. The World : We are told now its time to get serious . Till a stage in life we are sheltered by our parents and then we suddenly go out into the world . The period of learning at school and college is over , now we are told yo enter the real world . Finding a career , making money and then more money , running after fame and power , looking for approval .

This is the phase of being on a treadmill that does not have a stop button.

3. Before the End : At some stage the realisation sets in that the pursuit of happiness is an illusion that is shattered by death. We know that all this life as we know it will end some day , we look back at memories . Studies of people at end of life have found that one of the things that most people regret is not having lived their life fully , not having taken the risks , they played safe and chose to follow the crowd .

We see it and yet we do not see it. Before we know the game is over. It’s too late .

So why am I sharing this in #passionproject , because I feel we need to wake up . We do not have unlimited time on the planet earth, we are travellers here . Asking the deeper questions adds meaning to life , to everyday , it is the reason why we wake up every morning.

FREEDOM : When I peel down the layers I find that the deepest desire we all have is for freedom , freedom to live life on our own terms , freedom to find and live expression for our unique gifts , freedom to live from possibility .

CONTRIBUTION : Before we leave this planet , did we make any difference , we were all born with a unique gift . Did we contribute with our gifts ? Did we sing our song .

PASSION : What is that one thing that we are passionate about , that does not feel like work , that we can keep doing whether it is a weekend or a weekday. If we focus on our passion and become the best at something, not in comparison to others but simply perfect our art whatever that maybe we will be deeply fulfilled.

When everyone is running on a treadmill, it is important to pause , get off the treadmill, step back and ask the deeper questions . Don’t just live , but live a meaningful life. You don’t begin with aiming for a number, you begin with asking “Am I singing my song ? and am I having fun on the journey?”

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

WHAT KILLS PASSION ?

There is no scarcity in the world it you stop competing for attention and waiting for likes . If you have an idea there is a tribe out there , create a movement . Go rock the boat.

As children we have no limitations , we can dream , we can travel places in our imagination , we can speak our mind and then system takes over . We don’t carry any judgements , we dance if we have to , we sing if we have to and then comes ‘No’ , you cannot do this , you cannot have this , you have to follow the rules. You soon get into a race , a race for marks , for grades , for being liked .

Likes kills Passion

‘Like’ is not just a social media button , it is understanding the nature of human psychology of being liked . This begins in childhood , we are told what is liked by the society , we do things to please our parents , our teachers . The good remark on homework , the tick mark is what is appreciated . We learn quickly that we have to be part of the crowd , be like the crowd . Being different is not appreciated , is not encouraged , gets you to be ‘not liked’. I accidentally discovered my passion to enrol an audience to an idea in school elocution competition . I remember one day I was very tense before going up an speaking on stage , the pressure of how the audience would react was very high and then something happened , I just dropped the pressure of audience reaction and said to myself “it’s my time , I am going to have fun” and I had fun . I had discovered a secret “do the thing because you enjoy it, not for the audience reaction”.

Today we put up a post and then go back to check likes , I write this blog and then wait for people to appreciate . Parents have been replaced with bosses , we try to do things to please those above us . We wait to get applauded , for others to tell us we did a fine job . We put up pictures on our social media walls to project an image that we wish the world to see , only because we wish to hear the sound of ‘like’ rather the click of ‘like’.

In the chase of likes we forget what we truly love , we fear ‘not being liked’ , we create a pressure to perform . It is the weight of ‘like’ that kills our real authentic self , our passion.

We don’t want to be lonely , we want to belong , be part of the crowd, and so we confirm , we kill our authentic self , burry our gifts , wait for another day , a day when things would get better and then we would live. That day never comes.

Insecurity stops Life

It’s a big bad world out there we are told and as soon as we get from academic life into the work world we see that we are on our own . People get into jobs because that is the way to earn a living . We earn to live , to pay the bills , to take the vacation , to buy the car , the house , the gadget and show the world we have arrived . We kill our passion our dream our authentic self because standing out , rocking the boat doing our stuff would mean being different . Being different and living our gift seems tough , how would one survive rocking the boat , there are bills to be paid.

Yet look around and see any successful person in any field , they have confronted their fears , the real fear is not that you may get fired or that you may fail at business , the fear is that you could miss life ,surviving . Ask any old person do they have any regrets and they will tell you , it is the regret of not have lived their calling .

Our heart sings when we do what we are born to do when we give our gifts to the world . Insecurity stops us living our calling , it stops life. When you wake up every day and you don’t sing you song , it is a day not lived and before you know it life maybe over.

Drop Scarcity thinking

The thinking that there is not enough for everyone in this world , that only one child can top the class , that there is a bell curve , competing all the time to become like them . You can learn from others but you must live your own life .

If an Ashank Desai can come from a poverty in a village to build a global IT company anyone can do it , Ashank does not have more time of more hands , the only thing is he thinks differently , where you see scarcity he seeks opportunity. When the four co founders of Mastek began their journey with no money to form a software company in 1982 no one was doing that , it was unthinkable , so many would have told them it was foolish idea , they are well educated from the finest institutes of IIT and IIM in India of they must get a job. They decided to listen to their heart instead of their heads.

There is no scarcity in the world it you stop competing for attention and waiting for likes . If you have an idea there is a tribe out there , create a movement . Go rock the boat.

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

If you wish to join the global passion project drop me a mail smudnaney@gmail.com with what you do and and what is your passion .