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I write to teach myself and hit “Publish” when I think it might help you.

You Don’t Need Extreme Self-Discipline

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In the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy, and humiliation. — Alain de Botton

The demand for online courses industry has shot through the roof.

In 2015, the global market for such courses reached $107 billion. Just two years later, the market grew to $255 billion — a whopping 138 percent growth within 2 years!

But there’s something more. And it’s not good.

A study revealed that the average completion for Massive Open Online Courses — MOOCs — is a dismal fifteen percent.

I’ll admit. I’m…


Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Recently Amit, a friend of mine, quit his job at a consulting firm.

Amit had been outstanding not just as a consultant but also a team player.

Clients loved him, as did colleagues. He doubled up as a shrink for his clients. He went out of his way to help colleagues. He bagged a few new clients for the firm even though he didn’t get a commission.

At his farewell, everyone said nice things. They said they would miss him and promised to keep in touch.

But here’s what happened.

In less than 24 hours, Amit’s email access was revoked…


Unsplash

Here’s an old Indian mythological story that has fascinated me since years.

One day, Narada muni asked Lord Vishnu, “Why is the statue of Garuda (Vishnu’s eagle and vehicle) placed in your temples? Why not mine? Am I not your greatest devotee?”

Before Vishnu could answer, a crash was heard outside the main gate of Vaikuntha (Vishnu’s abode).

“I have sent Garud on an errand,” Vishnu said. “Can you check what happened, Narada?”

Keen on seizing the opportunity, Narada rushed out and returned a few seconds later and said, “A milkmaid tripped and fell.”

“What was her name?” asked Vishnu…


Practice the art of growing steadily without feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

how to get outside your comfort zone
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The world is changing faster than our ability to keep up. The only ones who will survive are the ones who keep adapting to new circumstances.

Adaptability is the ability to become flexible and efficient in any situation. It’s an important meta-skill that amplifies other deep skills like learning, resilience, and decision-making.

Like your willpower, concentration, and biceps, adaptability is a muscle that gets stronger with use. An effective way to use this muscle is to step outside your comfort zone regularly.

But that sounds like a frightening idea. Even successful people feel nervous — if not terrified — while…


In a constantly changing world, only those who adapt can thrive.

how to become more adaptable at work and in life
Be like water, my friend. (Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash)

How do some people stay remarkably calm under pressure? How do some people keep coming up with answers when everything appears stuck?

How do some people keep reinventing themselves regardless of their age or condition?

The answer lies in a trait called adaptability.

What is Adaptability?

It’s the ability to learn flexibly and efficiently and apply that knowledge across situations.

Adaptability is a meta-skill — a foundational trait that activates and magnifies other skills. The trait doesn’t just help you progress in your career. It impacts your relationships, goals, and even daily activities like commuting.

For instance, if we get caught in traffic…


A DIY guide to distinguish yourself and keep reinventing yourself as a freelancer

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The internet and remote collaboration tools have made it possible to make money doing what you’re passionate about. But merely turning what you enjoy into a freelancing gig doesn’t mean the money will follow automatically.

How to Start Working As A Freelancer

Of all ways to earn money — employment, freelancing, entrepreneurship — freelancing is the toughest. Your time is split between:

  1. Acquiring clients — Building a credible personal brand, making cold calls, sending proposals, negotiating, and following up to close deals.
  2. Working — Doing the work, following up with clients for inputs and approvals, holding review meetings, and completing ad hoc requests.
  3. Getting paid — Sending…


Without the Comfort Zone, there can be no learning.

Photo: Susan Williams/Unsplash

In the last six weeks, I’ve witnessed a remarkable improvement in my workouts. My strength has doubled in almost all my lifts. (In some exercises, it has more than doubled.)

When I deconstructed my routine, I noticed three reasons behind this.

First, I give my body plenty of rest between reps and sessions and fed it well. This is why my body doesn’t ache or feel tired when I hit the gym, and I can give my best in each session. As a result, my muscles recover faster and I grow stronger.

Second, while lifting heavier weights or learning a…


3 simple steps to press the reset button.

how to care for yourself in the post covid-19 world
Photo by Luemen Rutkowski on Unsplash

The world has begun taking baby steps to return to normal. Post COVID-19, offices, restaurants, and malls have begun opening, people have begun traveling, and we can finally start pursuing the goals that got derailed in 2020. (Although we’re far from being out of the woods yet.)

Everyone is thrilled. At the same time, many people are secretly dreading the change in routine. After all, we had just gotten used to the lockdown life.

I was bored to tears staying locked up at home. All I did was work, watch TV, and complete a few household chores. I wished things…


Prioritizing yourself is not a sign of selfishness.

learn how to let go
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Last week, I had a horrible fight with a friend. We said nasty things to each other, things people say when emotions suppressed inside them for years erupt like a volcano.

To an extent, we both knew this was coming, and that it would signal the end of our friendship. This might sound extreme — after all, we just fought a few days ago. It might not take us any time to make up.

But here’s the thing. For a long time, I could sense that this friendship wouldn’t last. I think my friend felt it too. But instead of…


How nature can teach you to become a better version of yourself every day.

how to improve yourself every day
Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

During the late 19th century, infant mortality was at a staggering high. One in five babies in Paris died before learning to crawl. The odds for premature babies with low birth weights were far worse.

The invention of the incubator changed all that. Almost immediately, the mortality rate of premature babies kept in incubators halved. As the design improved, infant mortality plummeted further. Between 1950 and 1998, it fell by a massive 75 percent and became standard equipment in all American hospitals.

But the picture remained bleak in developing countries. Over 100 infants per 1000 die in Liberia and Ethiopia…

Vishal Kataria

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