You want to be great? Don’t be shy. I can smell the truth.
There are various interpretations of greatness. Here is my definition.
Greatness transcends when you can do what you like, the way you want, with ultimate dedication and connectedness – that can help you lead a life full of happiness.
There are four parts to this definition:
- Independence or Autonomy
- Purpose in Life
All play their due role in achieving greatness in life.
Let’s talk about 7 Simple but Powerful hacks in the post, to get you a step closer to Greatness.
1. Make Happiness enhancing Decisions
You are dying to get a new laptop. You have the exact specifications you need. You go in to a shop and check for the options.
- Laptop A, has the exact specifications, looks great, has good reviews and cost $1000
- Laptop B, has the exact specifications and a bit more that you don’t really need. It looks great too, has a brand image and lot of your friends use it. It cost $1500
Which one would you choose?
Laptop A has everything you need. It can certainly make you happy. But Laptop B can do a bit more that you don’t need, but can make you feel proud amidst your friends.
If you would like to make a happiness enhancing decision – you go for Laptop A.
Laptop B can certainly do a bit more, but that has a little impact on your happiness.
Probably, if pride can give you happiness, you should go for Laptop B – but that is transient and fade away soon.
I hope you get the point!
2. Pursue Mastery but realize there is no End Target
How much mastery is true mastery?
Nobody can answer this question.
Is he a master in programming?
Certainly, some indicators can help answer.
It takes a lot of time, effort and patience to achieve mastery in anything of your choice. But remember, there is “no finite end goal”.
For someone who won a body-building competition, can someone exactly figure out the contribution of a day long work out he did several years ago? Probably, not.
Every step you take towards achieving mastery, trains your muscle and makes you stronger. But there is no end target to stop your pursuit.
This one attitude differentiate good from the great!
3. Realize that Money is not an End Goal
I am not suggesting you to embrace sainthood or donate all your money to charity.
But I am asking you to “not” make it an end goal.
Not doing so might make your pursuit towards Mastery, a futile and half-hearted attempt.
Here are some actionable steps for you:
- Take monetary terms out of your vision or goals
- Don’t reject an opportunity just because it is “low paying” in terms of money. Look for hidden benefits!
- Maintain a healthy personal finance situation. This will prevent pre-occupying your mind with “money” thoughts
4. Sleeping and Eating right, are as important as Breathing
A great life is just a myth without good health.
Imagine having millions of dollars in your bank account but visiting the 5-star hospital everyday for your treatment. How frustrating is that?
Though some ailments are out of your control (hereditary diseases for example), others can be managed with a better lifestyle.
Two basic elements of a healthy lifestyle:
- Getting enough sleep, on a regular basis
- Eating the right food
Of course, physical and mental workouts are important – they are of no use without the basic elements.
Remember the rule of SPHoJSSO
- Seven hours of sleep (at least)
- Power naps at work
- Home cooking (at least 3 times a week)
- Junk food at its minimum (not more than 2 times a week)
- Soda, Sugar, Oil (SSO) always in control
Great Life needs a good foundation. Good health provide just that.
5. Have at least 2 Income Streams
Do you have just one income stream? Welcome to the “Single Point of Failure” club!!
Have you heard this proverb: Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket!
It is very relevant here. Having just one income stream is not bad but there is a huge risk!
Now, clear your mind and think of an answer to the following questions:
- What will be your first emotion if you lose your job tomorrow?
- How long can you survive, with the same quality of life, after you lose your job?
- How long will it take for you to start making money again?
What will be your first emotion if you lose your job tomorrow?
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with this emotion. But having a second income stream can help you overcome the shock pretty fast.
How long can you survive, with the same quality of life, after you lose your job?
This is a tough question. Unless your have a second source of income that is comparable to the primary, your quality of life will take a hit.
Even better, if your second source is very mature – you can quickly make it your primary source.
How long will it take for you to start making money again?
The worst answer is: I don’t know.
If the market is good and you are employable with up to date skills, chances are high that you will find a job soon and start making money. But there is always a factor of uncertainty.
The second source of income definitely helps a great life.
6. Early Mover Advantage is a Myth
Do you know how many search engines were in the market before Google?
- 20. 30.
No, a whopping 90.
This is one example to burst the early mover myth. There are many more.
Google did something which others ignored – the focus on “Search”. They made it simple. They made is powerful. They made it efficient. And the rest is history.
What is your lesson?
Don’t suppress your idea just because someone has already implemented it. Find your uniqueness, innovate and build your market. If it fails, move on to the next idea.
Note: It could be an advantage if the move is ground-breaking or revolutionary.
7. Don’t hesitate to Give Away
I am sure you know about Salman Khan. Not the Bollywood fella, but Sal from Khan Academy.
He left his lucrative job to pursue his passion for teaching. And boy, he made it big. But he gave everything away for no direct monetary benefits.
He is not alone. We see many such personalities around us.
The modern era is all about giving. Millions sharing their knowledge on Quora and Wikipedia. Countless engineers work on open source software. Many billionaires give away their wealth for the needy.
Giving away is another characteristic of great people. Always remember this quote from Buddhism.
So to recap the 7 Greatness Hacks…
- Take decisions that enhance your happiness
- Pursue Mastery, but realize there is no end goal
- Sleeping and Eating right are essential for a great life
- Have at least 2 income streams
- Realize that Money is not the end goal
- Early mover advantage is often a myth
- Don’t be shy to give away