One million dollar bet!

I happened to say this to a friend claiming, I will have at least a million dollars by the age of 40. This is not an impossible dream, but it is not the easiest of all either. And he challenged that wasn’t possible. I believe I would not only meet this goal, but also beat this goal by far. I don’t have doubts. I have a plan.


Because there are two types of people in the world. Those who see the thing they want, and those who see the thing that is preventing them from getting the thing they want.

Lets look at my credentials briefly:

Went to Indian institute of technology, where the selection rate is 1 in a 100, passed out from IIT with university gold medal. Worked in India for a pharmaceutical industry. Got PhD in Chemical engineering from University of Wisconsin Madison, and I work for Intel corp as of today.

On this journey that started about 5 years back, I realized several things very quickly. I am going to summarize these here in the hopes that these can help others define their own recipes of successes.

Now that I said the words Recipes for successes: It turns out – that there is no such thing as “one” recipe for success. There are dynamic recipes for successes. Recipes are simple models of success coherently put together to achieve a certain goal.

I read every single paper published in Harvard Business review, in last 3 years, and I constructed 300 such models so far, that can be applied in various types of scenarios in sequences. Today I would present one simple recipe for success. Perhaps it would work for some people. And this recipe is called ‘Follow the best of the best’. So who were my best?

For Steve Jobs, success meant innovating great products for the people and change the world bit by bit. His thought process about changing the world was that the world was created by people no better than you. So if you believed in yourself – you could do it. I learned that the first thing one has to do is to believe. I believe I can do it. I want you to believe you can do it. I want you to make others believe that they can do it. The difference between me and my friend who challenged me with a million dollars is not in the intellectual capabilities, or the schools we attended or our earnings.

Lesson learned: It lies in the belief. I believe.

The next step in my journey was learned from Warren Buffet. It was to “think”. In one line – Warren buffet says – you should spend a lot of time thinking. It sounds ridiculous on its face value, but it turned out, that thinking and reading a lot of material on internet increased my decision making capability and put me ahead of others by 3-4 years. Whether it had to do with buying the house at the correct time, or whether it was putting money in stocks, or succeeding at the work place.

Despite the fact that we all have been blessed with a brain, and equal amount of time, many of us choose not to put their brains to work adequately. I have met plenty of people telling me that they went with the flow, and today they have certain career pathway they do not like. If they already do not like what they do – how would they compete with people who do what they like to do.

Lesson learned: You should spend a lot of time reading, listening, and thinking.

The next lesson I learned is from Elon Musk, and I would rather divert you to reading more about it.

Lesson learned: Work super hard.

The forth lesson was learned from one of the most legendary athletes of all times. Think about a stadium full of 100 thousand people in the game of Olympics. Gun shot is fired and this athlete stands first. Could anyone tell me the name of the athlete that stood second? No! You see, the difference between the one who stands second and the first is 0.04 seconds, but in those 0.04 seconds is hidden the price of “damns” as I like to define it. 0.04 seconds contain No “damns” that people give to the guy who comes second, and everyone gives all his damns to the guy who stands first. The world does not reward the second best adequately. It rewards the best. Become the best. But what goes in behind becoming the best – Eliminate your mistakes.
Lets take the example of Usain. In a world championship game, he accidentally beat the gun shot and was disqualified. That day he cried for the whole day. But then he went home, practiced gun shot 10,000 times during the day, night, evening, rain or shine, under noise, winds and by creating multiple artificial circumstances with his coach. With this hard work, he made sure that he may get migraine, his legs may get cramp, his heart may not remain powerful enough, and one day an athlete might beat him, but there is one thing he would never miss – Gun shot. That’s what makes a winner. Eliminate your mistakes.

You see, the world is a place that judges you on your mistakes. Your boss has absolutely no problems in remembering your mistakes, while he might easily forget the great things you did in the whole year. We are all biologically wired to remember the mistakes carefully.  Lets consider two engineers – one who does 95 jobs with 100 percent accuracy and one who does 100 jobs with 95 % accuracy.

To some people they might look like similar. No No No!

We are talking about two people who have two different career trajectories. They are actually no where close to be similar. These two are two completely different engineers. We are talking about two different persons on planet earth. I already know their destiny. The one who does not make mistakes would be a senior vice president one day. The one who continues to make mistakes may have to retire as an engineer. The difference between the two is – the “damns” that the world will give to the one who is more accurate compared to the other one.

Year after year, the one who is more accurate would continue to get more important work, that would steer him on the journey of success.

Lesson learned: Eliminate your mistakes.

The fifth lesson I learned is – about inspiring. If you cannot inspire others, they would not believe in you. If they don’t believe in you, they would not work for you. No one in the world has succeeded beyond a point without being able to inspire others. Inspiration starts from within, but it extends to being nicer before being skilled. One of the deepest things I judged about people is – that before they judge what you say, they judge you. Make your customers feel good. Treat every person in the world as if you work in a team with him. Help them achieve their goals. You may have to go out of your way, but they would return those favors some day. Martin Luther King went on the stage in ~ 1963 and he said ‘I have a dream’. That inspired many people in the world.

Lesson learned: Inspire others. They would become your team.

The last lesson is about living. Live a good life. Make things comfortable in your life. Cut away things that waste your time. Eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, and use your time wisely. Socialize with people, and put them beyond your own dreams.

Lesson learned: Live happily, and stay fit.

Money is only an outcome of all these actions. Plan your own journey better, and you should not have to worry about it.

Stay blessed, and stay inspired!