PUT YOUR EXCUSES ON HOLD

The cage is fictional, there is none , we create our imaginary cage .

The day I understood this I experienced freedom.

When you put your excuses on hold the other side is joy.

In school and then college I was always on the stage participating in elocutions and debates.

I loved the stage and the audience in front of me.

When I would be on stage I would be in a zone.

I loved to communicate ideas , enrol and inspire audiences.

I could get those around me find their expression and express more fully.

But then life happened. I put myself on hold.

There were more important things to do.

“I will do it some other day in the future” I said “when the kids are grown up , when I have enough money in the bank , when I am well settled.”

I kept postponing my dreams to the future.

Then I turned 50 and it occurred to me I have finite time.

One day I made a bucket list and I jumped head on.

I wanted to sing , I went ahead and recorded my first song in a studio. It’s there on YouTube.

My first song recorded in studio

I bought myself a professional home studio equipment , now I sing whenever I feel like.

I wanted to cycle . I was warned it is risky and this is not my age .

I went ahead and bought a cycle , I invested in the best I could.

I am now a cyclist, I cycle every day , weekends is for long distance.

When I cycle , it’s just me and the wind on my face , I can feel the freedom.

I wanted to see the stars I went ahead and bought a professional telescope.

That experience of watching the planets was surreal.

Felt the vastness and being one with existence , limitless.

I wanted to write a fiction story book . I did that and self published it . It’s on Amazon .

I got my first royalty check , felt good.

I wanted to teach non profits the art of fundraising with storytelling.

I travelled to five cities and over 500 non profits in India attended my workshops !

I always wanted to start my business.

I kept postponing afraid of the unknown.

I finally jumped in at 55 !

It is profitable and growing.

But more importantly I am doing what I always loved to do , helping individuals , businesses and causes express themselves fully . Live their potential.

I wanted to tell stories of good through films . I had no experience, no team and zero budgets.

One fine day I just decided I will do it . And that too during peak lockdown !

In a few months we have made over 10 short documentary films .

Launched the YouTube channel’Heroes of India’.

We now release two films a month.

I wanted to camp next to a waterfall overnight in heavy rains.

Camping next to a waterfall

I did that , the sound of the water splashing against the rocks and tapping of raindrops was out of the world experience.

From a typical corporate formal life , no fun wardrobe and look , I decided to just be myself.

A small step but one more step in the direction of freedom.

I love being myself

When I stopped my excuses , I truly found my joy.

Have to do it for pay check was an excuse.

Have responsibilities was an excuse.

What will others think was an excuse.

I cannot do it was an excuse.

I am not capable was an excuse.

I will do it sometime in the future was an excuse.

Excuses kept me safe in my comfort zones.

We have reasons , many excuses, why we postpone life.

We make up by trying to live on the weekends.

We trade our joy with a cage.

Sometimes the cage is golden. Yet is after all a cage.

When I look deeply there was no cage , it is all our own creation.

Now I have stopped all excuses , I have started living every day , every moment.

I have no regrets as every step of the journey has been a learning experience.

I refuse to die with my song in my heart.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

P.S – Passion project is a message, life is finite , don’t die with your song in your heart

WHAT IS PASSION PROJECT ?

What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow?

You think that is not possible. Think again .

Thousands lost their jobs suddenly overnight during the pandemic. No warning.

One of my colleagues from the first company I worked at connected with me , he was looking for a job , he was desperate , months had passed with no income and bills needed to be paid.

His wife was seriously sick , he did not even have a Mediclaim and medical bills added to his misery.

On the other spectrum I have heard the term repeated ‘Thank God it is Friday’. Employees postponing their lives to the weekend and the next vacation.

This got me thinking, something is wrong in the way we work and plan our careers.

Why would anyone want to trade life to pay the bills ? And yet find themselves suddenly stranded without the means to pay the bills.

I have been blogging on #passionproject for a while now .

In this blog I will answer why I feel this topic is urgent and why this blog.

#passionproject is URGENT because I see everyone is going to be impacted.

Everyone.

It is about emerging of a new world and the way of work and living.

It is not the future but it is happening now at this very moment.

The rules of the new game are that those who play for survival will have the greatest threat to their survival.

Skills that can be defined will be replaced !

They will be replaced by someone or something cheaper somewhere in the world.

Distance will not matter , the work can go anywhere, remote working is no longer a buzz word .

Not just change but speed of change will add to uncertainty in careers and jobs.

Technology developments will cause disruptions.

Entire industries will vanish overnight, a business can get wiped out in no time.

Jobs can be lost suddenly , there will be zero security , not that there was any earlier.

Adapting , innovating and taking risks will be the only way to thrive in the new world.

What worked yesterday will not necessarily work today and definitely not in the future.

Q: So is there anything that is going to be constant and in demand ?

Ans : Yes and the term I use is ‘Passionate Artists’

Passion for what you do as a quality will never fade away.

The world needs passionate individuals ,teams and leaders.

The future is for those who follow their passion and make their work a piece of art.

Art and artists at work will always be in demand because they cannot be replaced by someone or something cheaper.

Artists do not follow the crowd , they create their own art , their life is devoted to mastering their art .

Their art is valued because of the value it brings to the world .

They will never go out of fashion as they are not defined , they are not boxed and they don’t draw boundaries.

They don’t guard territories.

Passionate individuals stand out from the crowd because they are like none , they don’t hide in the crowd , they stand out.

They will challenge the status quo. They will rock the boat.

Passion project is my small attempt to inspire those that have forgotten their dreams , their passion, their art .

By not taking the risk now , by not stepping up to their possibilities, their individuality they are risking their future.

By being in comfort zones , they risk survival. There are no comfort zones any longer.

I see an urgency because those who burry their dream to survive are hurting.

I have seen friends and colleagues lose their jobs some struggle to survive and yet bills need to be paid . They are up the wall.

Passion project is also a soul journey for me to meet passionate people and discover and live my truth.

We all know this , each individual has a gift and it is unique.

Fear of the future and bills that need to be paid holds them back from living fully.

Comfort zones are cozy.

There is urgency also because the time we have on the planet is limited and no point of dying with your song yet in your heart , with regrets of not having lived.

Passion project is a message to discover and live your passion whatever that maybe.

And it is not about money or success or fame . Those are incidental.

The measures of success we have defined as a society are broken .

Living fully in ‘this momentum’ , NOW is all that is to life.

Doing something you ‘hate’ or living for the ‘paycheque’ is not in alignment with why we are here on this planet.

We are here to share our unique gifts with the world.

Also it is not about a goal . It is about the journey. It is about each day , each moment.

It is about being and living authentic life not a projection of others or the society.

It is about living your possibilities fully . It is about singing your song .

Ultimately it is about freedom to choose and living life on our own terms .

Passion project is a urgent call to be more alive , Free , NOW !

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

DROP YOUR AGENDA TO FULFIL YOUR AGENDA!

I have been reflecting on the subject ‘What is the concept of business and why does all commerce exist ?”.

If we look around most of the time of the human race in the world as we see today revolves around the idea of ‘Money’ .

‘Money’ is central to everything, things we can buy , things we can experience, status , power even health services we can access with money.

Either you are a seller or you are a buyer as an individual or as a collective called the organisation.

Employees sell their time and expertise to organisations , organisations sell services , expertise or products to the masses .

Central to every transaction is “Exchange’ and if we dig deeper there is the concept ‘Perceived Value’.

When you dig deeper there you find there is ‘Agenda’ . “Why do we do anything?” . Every human being at any given point has an agenda.

Why do you do a job , why do you run a business, why do your customers buy . There is an agenda .

The agenda is always about ‘Me’ , break it down people are interested in ‘Self’ . No one is interested in the ‘other’ .

This is an interesting contradiction, all the while when any exchange is happening there are two parties and there is an ‘Agenda’ .

Even every noble cause has an Agenda , religion also has an Agenda.

‘Getting’ and Giving’ are two sides of the agenda . And there is fair exchange.

Agenda of Individuals

1. Survive : pay the bills , stay healthy

2. Thrive : fulfil desires

3. Fame : Get recognised and liked

4. Belong : family , friends, community

5. Contribute : Individual talent that is valued in the world , make a difference

6. Spiritual : ( a false belief , those who truly understand would know the falsehood of ego at play ) Going Beyond self

Agenda of Organisations

1. Maximise Profits and returns for stakeholders ethically

2. Consistently Grow in a profitable way

3. Survive through difficult times

4. Solve a problem in the world

How is this useful ?

Whether it is individuals or organisations they have THEIR OWN AGENDAS.

Yet the interesting part is is to fulfil Your own Agenda , you need to fulfil the Agenda of others – whether individuals or organisations!

It is in this space that VALUE Exchange happens. The question individuals and organisations ask is

“What is the Agenda being fulfilled and what the value they get so what is the value they they are willing to pay for”

Naturally low the perceived value , lower the pay.

Perception is not just the quality and quantity of service and product delivered but a more complex equation of how it is seen in the mind . Perceptions are held in the mind . A label can decide the value . It has to do with emotions. The shoes may come from the same factory but add a label and Value jumps . It’s fulfilling an higher agenda of being seen and liked .

Money is nothing but an exchange measure of the perceived Value delivered .

Where things go wrong is when individuals and organisations focus on personal agendas . No one is interested in YOUR AGENDA.

Do you hear these statements

“I want to grow a million subscribers”

“This year we will make a record sale”

“I want to change the world”

No one is interested in your agenda . Full Stop .

The other place things go wrong is when there is safe play . Playing safe you become a commodity. And commodity will be replaced sooner or later with something or someone cheaper .

When organisations become ‘Me To’ and offer commodities the only way to survive is by offering the lowest price.

The way to Thrive with Your Agenda then is

1. Fulfil the agenda of others – solve a problem for clients , customers , employer , donor

2. Be valuable – Don’t follow the crowd , Stand out , be different, be rare , be authentic

HOW BSR COACH GOT 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN ONE YEAR

Nithya Shanti a close friend had organised a session with BSR Coach a highly successful YouTuber . As a marketeer I am always keen to learn and took up this opportunity.

BSR started making YouTube videos because he was not confident and came from a vernacular medium school. This was his way of getting over that fear of speaking . He started with a goal of making 365 videos on YouTube.

Prior to 2018 BSR had made over 120 videos with fewer than 3000 subscribers on YouTube . He felt demotivated and gave up . He stopped making YouTube videos.

It so happened that he was called for Josh Talks ( equivalent of Ted Talk in India ) to share his experience on succeeding with speaking English. This video garnered over 5 million views. He was surprised. He analysed and understood what he was doing wrong .

He found that lot of people were interested in this content around succeeding with learning English . That was his first lesson . Below are few of the lessons shared by BSR that could be used to any YouTuber to grow a million subscribers.

1. Make content that is being watched , not content you think they like : It is easy to find the content that is being watched by audiences. Do a simple YouTube search . You need to focus on what is already working and watched.

Broaden your audience first before going narrow. If you want to target those with Heart disease take up all chronic health conditions that are being watched along with the narrow focus .

2. Watch time is important: Earlier he would make short videos and that was a big mistake . He realised that algorithms of YouTube looked for watch time and those videos were thrown up to audiences. From 3-4 minute videos he shifted to videos that were above 9 minutes.

3. Consistency : for past one year he has been consistently sharing his videos every Tuesday and Friday at 4 pm . He realised that the YouTube algorithm looks for consistency of sharing, also the audiences get used to the frequency and they expect the video.

4. Time : He found two time slots work for his audience 1. 6 am ( people have some time in the morning) 2. 4 pm ( evening break from work) .

5. Thumbnail: He understood that thumbnail plays the most crucial role . It is not the quality of video but the quality of Thumbnail that is essential. He found colours like Yellow and Red got attention . He recommends text occupy over 80 % of the space of the Thumbnail.

6. Title: This is next in importance , he studies titles that are working on the subject he would take up and puts up those titles and at times he would even copy titles . ‘How to’ , ‘Tips ‘ , ‘Secret of’ , are great title words used in title searches.

7.Language : He found that Hindi language has a far bigger audience and reaches masses rather than English which has a much smaller reach in India . He is clear he wants to reach masses so he uses Hindi more than English.

8. Give freely : He does not mind sharing freely, he is not bothered about anyone copying his content.

9. Negative Comments : He does not bother about negative comments and let’s them be . At first he would get demotivated now he is got used to it .

10. CTA : He has learnt that audiences need to be reminded to subscribe and he does that at the beginning and at the end . “Tell your audiences what they need to do maybe it is to join a program , have clear CTA .” he says .

11. YouTube live : He does long format YouTube live workshops with thousands attending. This also gives him longer watch time.

VIEWS and WATCH TIME are two most important parameters according to him to drive subscribers. One doesn’t need the best equipment and invest a lot of money to be a successful YouTuber he says .

He says all videos will not go viral and there is no way of knowing which will but a few that do go viral will add maximum subscribers. So consistency is important .

Organic way is the best way to increase views and subscribers he says . I have seen his sessions and I must confess that BSR is highly passionate about what he does and this is reflected in his session.

Thank You BSR Coach for sharing freely your success as a YouTuber and Nithya for organising this . May you inspire many more .

If BSR can achieve 1 million subscribers in one year through his dedicated focus and hard work, so can anyone if you pick up the best practices. Begin now and be consistent, no excuses.

P. S – Please do subscribe to the the BSR Coach YouTube channel

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

OVER ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN ONE AND HALF YEARS ON YOUTUBE – AND SHE DID NOT CHASE SUBSCRIBERS!

Subscribers vs Views what must one chase on YouTube? Let us understand this from the case study of Rachana Ranade who crossed one million subscribers I just one and half years without chasing subscribers. So what did she do right ?

I subscribe to over fifty YouTube channels, but the real estate on my phone is just 5.8’ in, so what should YouTube show on my smart phone home screen when I log in ?

This is the challenge for any platform algorithm. The logic says show what the audience watches so they keep coming back .

That would be the objective of any platform- to ‘GROW AND KEEP THE AUDIENCE HOOKED’.

In this post let me take the case study of CA Rachana Ranade an financial YouTube influencer who has been a huge hit , in a short period of just one and half years she garnered over one million subscribers. She is the top female financial YouTuber in the world.

She got there by not chasing subscribers.

So what did she do to get there ?

To begin with she is an expert on her subject , she is a CA and she had been teaching for over 9 years when she began her YT channel . Also her style of teaching simplified the complex world of finance so it would appeal to the masses.

What else do we learn from Rachana

1. She has defined her audience well – her audience is anyone in India who wants to invest in stock markets , her audience is masses .

2. She understood what her audience wants – she simplified investing in stock markets . She identifies the topics that her audience is interested in watching , she adds value to her audience . Her team does extensive research before she selects the topics on which to make videos.

3. Quality videos- each of her videos is well researched , simple yet highly informative and well shot . Most people who watch her videos watch the full length of the video so she gets good watch time which is essential for algorithms .

4. Click Baity Thumbnails and titles – each one of her thumbnails is well researched and gets her audience hooked to watch further . She would have good CTR .

5. Consistent – she has been consistent with her content over the year . Always innovating .

6. Authentic- she is completely passionate about what she does ‘financial education of the masses on stock investing’ , and she has her own style of simplifying the complex world of finance.

7. No Sales – she does not sell anything, she does not give tips , she does not ever show biases , she is completely in the giving mode . She genuinely wants to educate as she says “I am a CA and I am a teacher and I am proud about that” . Yes her audience buys her course but that is not her aim of the video blog . She is building the most important asset ‘Trust’ with her audience.

She understood that The objective of any platform is – “to get more audiences spend more time on the platform.” Full Stop.

She did not chase subscribers. But she chased making good quality content , that is valuable to her target audience , she is chased watch time and she is constantly optimising her Thumbnails and Titles as she knows that the real estate on YouTube is cluttered and her videos need to stand out .

She knows her success on YouTube is as good as her videos , views , likes and comments she knows that YouTube does not automatically show her videos to every subscriber and she knows her subscribers have a choice to watch hundreds and thousands of other videos.

As she says “It is 99% hard work and 1% luck.” and she has completely 100% dedicated time to her YouTube channel.

CTR and watch time are two important metrics to measure for YouTube content creators.

She knows she has a small window of opportunity to show up on the home page of her audience and to get audience to click her videos out of the dozens they see and that the videos on home page are a tip of the tip of an iceberg.

Is there any another way ?

Yes create your own platform and get your audience to subscribe. It could be to your blog or email which will keep them on the latest videos released.

There is another option . Get your audience to click the notification button.

What we learn from Rachna is don’t chase subscribers, chase quality content that is watched in a field where you are an expert and passionate about and keep at it day in and day out . Also don’t forget click baity thumbnails and titles as you need to stand out from the crowd .

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

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

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

I LOST A CLIENT AND THIS IS WHAT I LEARNT

Recently one of my clients backed off just when I thought things were looking up , social media presence was up , engagement was high and now it looked the sales funnel would kick in as we identified the niche and the product offering.

And yet the client backed off , why ? “Don’t have the funds and sales have not yet happened so I am unsure of the future.”

I was disappointed, things were just falling into place and looking up . It had just been three months since we began working on the account and we had even compromised on our fees .

So what did I learn ?

1. WHO : This is the most important question, clearly decide who is your client for the product or service you wish to offer .

In this case even before I took on the client I knew that the budgets were tight and social media needs time to build presence , but I had made the mistake of taking on the business.

Looking back I would rather focus on clients who were in it for the long haul rather than let’s see what happens.

2. EXPECTATIONS : It’s important to set clear expectations . Building a brand on social media is a long term game and if the client was not ready to play for the long run , I could just have avoided taking on the client .

This is also fair for the client as they are clear of what to expect . Being optimist is good but it needs to match reality.

3. LET GO : You could make a mistake in the client you picked up but as soon as you realise that something is not clicking take a quick decision and let go . It saves time and effort for everyone .

Let go of clients ;

1. Who don’t see value and are not willing to pay for the value you add . Better focus on those that see value .

2. Who do not commit to what it takes to succeed . If you are not well and you refuse to take the pill the doctor advised, you cannot blame the doctor. Either convince the client on importance of following the plan and if they yet refuse , just get out.

It is important to FOCUS you have limited time and resources . You cannot be everything to everyone.

I feel It’s a good learning to “LET GO OF BUSINESS/ CLIENTS THAT THAT ARE NOT COMMITTED TO CREATE MUTUAL VALUE.”

#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