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(DAY 26) Personal Playbook

· 4 min read
Gaurav Parashar

Personal playbook

Below is a cheat-sheet for some of the important qualities that bring a lot of structure to life. It can be termed as a Personal playbook and should be relevant in most personal situation.

The following aspects build my playbook:

1. Clarity

A clear sense of direction about the following 4 aspects of life - work, personal growth, health and relationship.

Everything has tradeoffs, all choices come with a cost. At an annual frequency, determining what I want is very important and pre-paying the cost of the choice adds to clarity.

2. Following my gut

Over time, I have accepted that following the gut is who I am fundamentally. My personal mantra has become - not all decisions in life are optimizations or need to be rational. I discuss important decisions with people who I respect, but the final call is always mine.

3. Idealization Visualizations

I have taken some important decisions by fast-forwarding life over two timelines - 2 years & 5 years. In these visualization grids, I run scenarios of the final outcomes being - good, average or bad. Visualizing life in such a grid helps in thinking about upside vs downside in a more long term manner.

4. Being with the right people

Humans are like apes, we subconsciously copy the 5 or so people around us. We tend to gravitate towards the same usage of time and attention.

I have struggled to maintain and make friends who can interact regularly and be a positive influence.

5. Planning for setbacks

Setbacks are part of every aspect of life - work, personal growth, health and relationship. Yes there will be days and months when:

  • I will lose work, shut shop
  • Break a leg or suffer in health
  • Lose relationships or people around me

Planning for setbacks and visualizing life in absence of these aspects makes me more stoic and prepared.

6. Work is worship

As naive as it may sound, I do not feel good about myself if I do not work on any day including Sunday. Work brings structure and purpose - being an entrepreneur - the scope of work is really broad and beyond the conventional working from office routine.

7. Lifelong learning

I wasted a good 5 years in not learning regularly. It made me stagnant as a person. It influenced my mindset negatively and over the last 2 years, I have found learning from the following sources satisfying:

  • Reading new books on Kindle or paperback
  • Listening to books on Audible
  • Listening to podcasts on Spotify

8. Peak to peak

Life is ups and downs. Embrace the downs with open arms as I embrace the ups. The negative emotions and feelings are as important and natural as the feeling of joy. When things are going well, protect the downside and build skills for the next peak.

9. Resilience and bouncing back

If you have to bounce, don't break.

Our daily awareness of reality is like - problems, problems, problems and crisis. Responding to crisis defines the orbits of life. These are moments where I need to be calculated, enterprising and logical. They define the trajectory of life in the long run.

10. Unshakeable optimism

An average human in current times has more luxuries than the average king 500 years ago

Life is beautify and beyond the thoughts in your head, people around you and your fears. Optimism is contagious and has an upward spiral to it. It is limitless.

11. Courage

Ability and willingness to face my fears is my courage. The fears have and will change over time as I get older. Courage is the spirit of moving forward, taking decisions, owning outcomes. An important learning is:

The more I chase security, the less I have it.

12. Self discipline

Self discipline comes with persistence or rather persistence is self discipline in action. The ability to make myself do, what I should do - especially in the long run - 2 years or 5 years is a superpower.

In conclusion, I am not playing a game of life where I choose the outcomes that matter to me and I get to decide how to focus my time and attention around it.

Life is like microeconomics and we tend to live it like macroeconomics.