Why have a reading plan

Reading is an activity fraught with choices and distractions. You know how it is when you walk to a book shelf at a library or a book store. Too many books call out to you and you are paralysed. Reading online is more difficult. Apart from millions of articles on a single topic, articles often have a rabbit-hole of hyperlinks leading to other articles or even other topics. In the post, Get more out of your reading, we explained how to avoid distractions and focus on what you are reading. We even suggested that you discard all content that isn’t relevant to your life. We gave you some good habits to follow to keep your reading fun.

What if you can fine-tune your reading even more, so that you get the best results from your sessions? What if you walk into a library and know exactly where to start and how to proceed in your next few visits? What if you set reading goals for your upcoming year? What if you set seasonal topics that you will stick to? What if you are more proactive with your reading, using techniques like note-taking and deliberately practising the skills introduced by your books. This post takes your reading experience to a new level where you will start mastering a few skills that you have always wanted to learn. Continue reading Why have a reading plan

Why thrifty saving is not the same as investing

‘A penny saved is a penny earned’ is an adage you will hear so often that its sheer repetition will make you believe it to be true. But is it really true? Sure, money not spent right now is sitting to be spent on something else later. Economics defines this as opportunity cost. But in this article, I am going to argue against ‘thrifty saving’ as a way to ‘grow your money’ or to ‘get and live rich’. Continue reading Why thrifty saving is not the same as investing

In Praise of Effort

Fact vs Fiction

Baijnath, a small town in Uttrakhand has a complex of 18 temples of Lord Siva and other Gods. The temples may have been built by the Katyuri rulers during the time they ruled this part of the kingdom. The temples are extremely beautiful and are a sight to behold.

Several local myths regarding the temples exist. One that our driver told us was that the entire temple complex was built over night by magic. The ASI and Uttrakhand tourism boards proclaim the different temples in the complex in completely different centuries. This published fact ofcourse never bothered our driver for he totally believed in his story of the over night creation.

I have also heard the same story in Tabo monastery where a local insisted to one of the visitor that the paintings were created by magic in a single night by the grace of Buddha.

Baijnath Temple
Baijnath Temple

Continue reading In Praise of Effort

Four Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Financial Goals

Financial Goals

This is Part of our Personal Finance Education Series. You can check Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV here.

From our expenses Account, we know how much money we spend/need every month. We also know where we stand today in terms of wealth, from calculating our Net worth. The next step is to know where we need to go

What are your short term and long term Financial Goals?

Money is only a means to get somewhere. Instead of simply saving money for the sake of it, we need to clearly define goals against which want to save money for.

Financial Goals
Financial Goals

Continue reading Four Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Financial Goals

The Four Phases of Successful Habit Building !!

You probably already know that building good habits is the shortcut to building success. Determination and Willpower are good traits. But they are fleeting and limited and to count on them for building a habit is like having Hope as a strategy.

setyourselfupforsuccess_grande

Most people rely on their will power to stick to a new habit. No wonder new year resolutions don’t even last a few weeks. We have all set resolutions to get fit, study harder, spend more time with family, travel more, start a business and we clock another year without doing any of it.

How can we create and sustain change? How do we set our self up to succeed ? If will power does  not work, then what works ?

Continue reading The Four Phases of Successful Habit Building !!

How to eat an elephant!!

There is a very popular book by Bill Hogan named, ‘How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time!‘. While the idea of eating an elephant sounds very weird, the metaphor is spot on. The very idea of eating an elephant can overwhelm all our senses at once. However, instead of thinking about how we will ever finish a giant pachyderm in our lifetime, we will inch closer to success, just by thinking about how to eat the next bite. This applies to all our lofty challenges that we set for ourselves. Climbing the Everest, running an ultra-marathon, generating 7 figures of revenue in your business, speaking in front of an audience of 1000, you name it. The common thing about all these goals is that the moment we think about starting on it right now, it is way too overwhelming even just to think about it. So, how do we eat an elephant? Continue reading How to eat an elephant!!

Goal Setting – Process Vs Outcome

My Goals – Hits and Misses:

I love to set goals. I totally believe in the process of goal setting, although I don’t always achieve them. I looked back and saw a pattern on things I get done and things I don’t. The kind of Goals I set seemed to make a lot of difference in the ultimate outcome. My most important learning was about the process vs outcome.

Edwards Deming
Edwards Deming – Pioneer of Total Quality Management

American Vs. Japanese Goal Setting:

This can otherwise also be considered as the American Vs Japanese approach to goal setting. Americans have a very goal oriented approach and are focused on achieving the targets. The outcomes are binary, you either Win or Lose.

However, Japanese are a process oriented culture where they are keen on continuous improvement or Kaizen, the improvements are marginal and always have a scope for improvement.

Continue reading Goal Setting – Process Vs Outcome

How to plug the ‘wiggle spaces’ in your daily rules

We all dream of achieving goals and basking in the glory after having achieved them. That world class product that sells like hot cakes, that Olympic athlete body, that dream holiday and so on. However, just rewind to the days which are spent in trying to work towards the goal and we will see days that are spent toiling, doing things that are boring and routine on a day-to-day basis, such as writing the product spec, writing 10 pages a day for a book draft, going to the gym to do 100 reps, eating only non-sugar, proteins, veggies and fruits. It requires a lot of focus and discipline to keep ourselves on track. Occasionally our minds will give in to the temptation of distractions. Ideally we would want to arrest the temptation and not follow the distraction. However the mind works in funny and contradictory ways and will instead find a convenient justification for the distraction, such that it fits within our goal rules! The book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath describes the potential for such contradictory behaviour as a ‘wiggle space’. Continue reading How to plug the ‘wiggle spaces’ in your daily rules