The 4 enablers of excellence

We all want to be successful. The excellence, as it turns out, is the vehicle to achieve success.

So what it takes to achieve the success? What are the 4 pillars? What are the four enablers of excellence? Here they go:

  1. Essence: “I chose because that’s how I live my purpose. I’m responsible.” 
  2. Ownership: “I’ll make it happen no matter what.”
  3. Gratitude: “I’m thankful for all what I’ve got. Now let me give something back without expecting anything in return.”
  4. Courage: “If I don’t try, I can’t fail. But then what’s the point? Fear? Sure I do have my share of it. But I choose to feel the fear but do it anyway.”

We were born excellent. Fearless. We had all the above qualities although we did not have the distinction that lets us know that our core is made of pure excellence.

Then they taught us to be obedient. They gave us rules to live by…a sense of right and wrong from the perspective of society. Stories of punishments we will get if we don’t follow the rules became a part of our lives.

What they did not teach us was this understanding: it’s okay to break the rules; it’s okay to create your own rules…and be responsible for what you’ve created!

The result? Mediocre we. Yes, you. And me!

They were none other than our beloved family members, school teachers, elderly people whom we respected in society and alike.

They wanted to see us happy but their understanding of happiness was against bringing the “excellence” out from us.

Their definition of happiness was fulfilled if we get a “secured” job which was predictable enough to raise children, go to Europe tour once or (twice at a maximum) in a lifetime and live an apparently “settled” life.

Now, nothing is wrong with that definition if we are okay with mediocrity. Excellence takes something else.

The choice has always been ours; the choice will always be ours: we can choose to dance on the head of fear and get the sh*t done or let fear dance on top of us.

A choice well made is a choice which we won’t regret on our deathbed. What choice do you want to make?

Power of your words

“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.”~ Steve Martin

The words you choose to establish a framework through which you find meaning in your life.

And our lives are enriched by the meanings we find out of our lives, isn’t it?

We understand the world through words. The words you use determine your perception of reality. Power of your words is unimaginable.

Our perception is specific to us; it is our world, it is our reality. Refer to what Einstein said,

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Label a situation as a “problem” and you are in one emotional state. Call the same situation an “opportunity” and you’re in a totally different state!

The first would cause stress whereas the second would fill your life with hope. The same situation, just change the used words and you will have a totally different perception.

Life has given me good opportunities to connect and learn from many successful individuals, families, and organizations.

One thing I have found common in all of them is the choice of their words. They use the words that radiate hope, passion, and possibility.

They believe in possibility thinking and through their belief, they create a framework that enables them to feel that they are in control of their lives.

Your words have tremendous power. Read and reflect on some of the thought-provoking quotes on the power of words:

See what Patrick Rothfuss said:

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ~  Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

See what Ludwig Wittgenstein said:

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”  ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Socrates thinks below:

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” ~ Socrates

And here is Confucius’s take on the words:

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”  ~ Confucius

Your words shape your world. Choose them wisely.

In 100 Words: Gladiator of Radiance

A Gladiator of Radiance needs courage and agility at the same time.

Two surefire ways to an error-prone strategy are:

  1. Act without thinking enough
  2. Think too much and delay the actions

To avoid making these errors, the gladiator deals with each state as if it were exclusive; applies no predefined rules or is driven by the sentiments.

“Then why do you always succeed?” asked a fellow.

“I have never fought a battle without first thoroughly understanding its purpose; on the other hand, I have never left any battle without giving my 100% and winning it,” answered the Gladiator.

Be unreasonable

So you too want to be unreasonable?

Maybe you’ll say no but what would be your answer to this question: “Do you want to live a powerful life that will offer you unlimited possibilities to create whatever you want to?”

Or, in other words, “Do you want to make a difference?”

The answer is yes but in the back of your mind you’re skeptical: such kind of life and power is available only in fantasies, not in normal life.

That’s the point. I’m inviting you to STOP living a normal life. Consider for a moment what actually happens when you fantasize about something?

You visualize something which might be impossible or improbable in reality.

You hit the bull right. Even the Oxford dictionary confirms: fantasy means an idea with no basis in reality.

Stop living so-called ‘normal’ life is the first step to be able to create something incredible that you wouldn’t be able to, otherwise.

Nelson Mandela did it.  Dhirubhai Ambani did it.  Steve Jobs did it.

If you want to know more about them then Google them and do some research. You’ll observe a pattern: At one point of time, each one of them stopped living a so-called normal life – in order to begin creating what they wanted to and rest – as they say – is history.

Being able to be unreasonable is the key.

“You can do what’s reasonable or you can decide what’s possible.” ~ Unknown

One great source of learning to be unreasonable is the children around us. In Indian mythology, it is considered that a child below five years is a divine form of God. I find that saying to be so profound.

A child doesn’t care about what’s normal and what’s not.  The child would speak something that’s not appropriate, the child would break something which shouldn’t be broken, the child would write something weird on drawing room wall or the child would play basketball in the kitchen.

Many times, the same child would create something which nobody else had ever created. May it be so little or of no value in the ‘real’ world, but creation is a creation, isn’t it so?

Act matters.

Often, reasons are self-imposed or based on others’ experiences which we have heard and based our reasoning – a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong – onto that.

In other words, reasons are sources of limitations. Well, there’s nothing wrong in being reasonable, except the fact that being reasonable is a not so powerful tool to create the future you want.

Being reasonable offers you a sense of predictability and safety.

Predictability is the enemy of creativity. It would be interesting to reflect on what Bernard Shaw said:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adopt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

If you’re trying to create something that will make a difference, choose to be unreasonable.

Or continue being reasonable, remain trapped in what is right and wrong and live an inferior life.

It depends on the choice. I have made mine, you make yours.

Waiter Vs. Grabber

Are you waiting for the right time to start working towards your major career goal?

Let me tell this up front – you’re NOT going to make it happen.

“Now, that’s rude. Tell me the reason or … f**” you might be thinking.

I have a simple answer to this: “You wait. You shouldn’t.”

  • You think it is not the right time;
  • You think you do not have the right skills;
  • You think you haven’t done the necessary research;
  • You think you have a lack of resources.

These thoughts, no matter how valid they seem on the surface, are NOT going to make your life better.

And you told me that you wanted to make your life better, didn’t you?

Still, you think that you will do it one day … when the time is right.

You choose to be a waiter.

When you’re a student, you wait for a significant amount of time to complete your academics. You think you will start doing something when your degree is earned.

Once your degree is earned, you wait for the interview calls. You think you will do better when you get an interview call from the “right” MNC.

Often at work, you do more or less the same thing – you wait for your manager to provide you with an “authority” and a “vision” to buy-in and make something happen.

But a few people, only a few, grab it instead.

What is “it”?

An opportunity!

They grab the best learning they can get, pushing their surroundings for more, finding something to get done, and inventing a new perspective.

Reflect on this powerful quote from Shiv Khera:

Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently.

The grabbers are the winners. 

They acquire more lessons than the minimum, they invent new ways of getting things done and they come out with wonders.

People who grab the opportunities at work – and life at large – are effective leaders, no matter what their titles are.

Did you know that in order to achieve your career goal, you will have to lead?

It is okay if you didn’t but now you know.

Today is the greatest time for the Leaders.  Choose to be a Grabber.  Success will follow!

Fresher mindset

At some point, most software engineers start talking about themselves like they’ve got enough experience.

“Even if it seems right, it is too late to change our focus now.”


“Why do I need to understand the mobile platform now? My twelve-year experience in client-server and web is enough for me.”

Even organizations and families make decisions like this: they conclude it’s just too late to change.

Often the point is missed: It’s distinct for everyone. It’s a choice. It’s possible to start building six-pack bodies at 47, learning computer skills at 65, or change your business with an improved customer collaboration model that transforms the industry.

It’s getting tougher day by day, but that’s the reason it’s worth causing. And, it feels good to be a ’cause’ in the matter. Keep a “Fresher” mindset. Think how powerful that can be in your own context.