Brilliant Read: Siddhartha

Siddhartha Annkur

You may or may not have got a copy of Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse) from me, but you should definitely go and get one right now. A quick but very powerful read. Sharing two of my favourite paragraphs:

“I have not doubted for a single moment that you are Buddha, that you have reached the goal, the highest goal towards which so many thousands of Brahmans and sons of Brahmans are heading. You have found salvation from death. It has come to you in the course of your own search, on your own path, through thoughts, through meditation, through realisations, through enlightenment. It has not come to you by means of teachings! You will not be able to convey to anybody, O venerable one, in words and through teachings, what has happened to you in the hour of enlightenment!”

—–

“Perhaps that you are searching far too much? That in all the searching, you don’t find the time for finding? … When someone is searching then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, O venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of you.”

– Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

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Being A Good Person

Good article on Medium by Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m just not like that, and that allows me to play through and keep giving. What I love best about this is that it allows me to be extremely happy 99.99% of the time. Lack of expectation and generosity are two very lucky traits I have, and they’re something that I implore more of you to focus on.

 

Miss Universe

I spoke to her in my dreams last night. Calm and curious as always she asked me about life in California, food and people I met. I told her everything I could, even the imaginary cricket match on the beach at half moon bay. Looking for the smile on her face, I wondered if I needed to really ask her anything.

The faint smile on her face hinted something, as if she has completed a race and I am still finding my way. She challenged me with my own philosophies, as if she remembered everything I ever told her. Unusual, yet so polite and honest that I need not feel threatened. I answered nevertheless. Clarified myself for once.

She smiled.

Obamaland, again!

// random personal blog post starts

After the first and rather lonely visit to Ameericaaa in 2010, I didn’t think I would make it back to Obamaland so soon. By some accident I got pulled into a business accelerator in California and ended up spending close to four months there. This time around, I was largely on my own, with no family house to live in and no wonderful cooks to serve me Indian food. Survival was tough.

My age old wish to live on my own could have been a little less challenging though. Finding my way to cheap vegetarian food, looking up accommodation, making breakfast (if time permitted), washing the dishes, laundry and walking down a few kms daily to reach work did take up a good amount of time and energy. Having to spend in USD wasn’t all that easy either. But it wasn’t too bad, weekend getaways to cousins and some very friendly locals made moi life very easy at times.

There are lessons from this travel that I would remember for a lifetime. Some personal, some about the world we live in. Read More

No, we are not greedy!

I just happened to read an open letter by Guy Turner and as I complete my time at 500 Startups Batch 6, I find it hard to digest all of it. Here is the link: http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/open-letter-yc-techstars-and-500-companies-take-fn-money-now-take-all-it

(We @pricebaba are part of Batch 6 at 500 Startups. We are an India business)

Guy’s advice is great. I would happily dilute 5% more at this point and ensure my company survives (oops, I just admitted it). But did any of our mentors or venture partners at 500 Startups told us to maximise our valuation? Not really. We get told often to ‘get the fuck back to work and get more users / customers’

500 Startups never told us to hold the incoming cash and maximize our valuations, they tell us to get a reasonable runway and be prepared if the business takes a little time to pick up or Series A doesn’t happen as easily.

We have also been guided to keep our valuation reasonable. It is kinda weird to tell an angel investor that we are asking for a lower valuation because that’s what our market merits. It also ensures that we aren’t overvalued when raising our next round back in India.

The venture partners at 500 Startups are some of the most wisest people I have met. And no, it is not just Dave McClure. There are a bunch of them helping us out at 500 Startups 🙂 (Hey, Pankaj, Bedy, Rui, George, Parker…).

So on behalf of batch 6 at 500 Startups – GIVE US THE MONEY 🙂 we will take it!

Apologies, typed on mobile while travelling. Updates from desktop soon.

Balance – Quadrant Of Life

I have been guilty of ignoring several important things in life. Starting work at 15 had its downsides that I realise only now. Talking to one of my business partners today, I acknowledged that I have been reckless. And surprisingly I came across this Quadrant of life at 500 Startups office today. My doctor once drew this for me and explained me how I should prioritize things in life. This is extremely powerful. I call it the Balance. Much needed balance. I strive for it more than ever before.

quadrant of life

Remember the ZONE is silent. It never demands from you and it is so easy to miss it.

The Victims Curse

I have been thinking about this for several years now and finally attempting to capture a tricky thought.

We are often a victim in our own story. Several times in life we get cornered into a situation where we feel helpless and we consider ourselves as the victim. It has happened with me at school, college, work, with friends, family … basically everywhere. At the same time I have seen so many of my friends being bogged down by this feeling of being a victim. And knowing how real that feeling is, I always fall short of telling them – GIVE IT UP.

It is easy and a very weak choice to think of a situation from a point of view that ‘I am a victim <insert your sorrow tale here>’.

Holding on to that pain and considering yourself a Victim has a payback. A sympathy value that you give yourself, a reason to not take responsibility for what happened. That’s the Victims Curse. It is only an excuse for living life in a certain way. A seemingly easier way. Over time our memories fade, we reconstruct what happened and only consolidate our position as a Victim.

Do you really want to carry that baggage?

I would also make my first public recommendation for Landmark Education. If you are serious about your life and its impact on this world, you should consider Landmark. Feel free to contact me if you wish to explore Landmark Education. 

PS: Thanks to @arpiit for introducing me and also once pointing out this Curse.