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Subtraction is the key to joy

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Do away with goal setting. Focus on promises.

Completion comes from the sense of fulfilment of promises — promises we’ve made to people we love.

In “people we love” I forgot to include “me”.

The way I would go any lengths to fulfil a promise made to my daughter, spouse, friend, colleague, management, I never held myself accountable to fulfil the promises made to myself.

Completion is success. Completion is happiness.

Success isn’t chasing a wish or a want — something we don’t have and extinguishing ourselves in the process of reaching out.

There is a good reason why the word “self” is used before “respect”, “dignity”, “esteem” “confidence” and “love”.

Goal setting and what goes wrong

Mostly our goals revolve around health, relationship, self improvement and money.

Subconsciously we have linked the goals to Body, Mind and Spirit.

The truth is that body, mind and spirit can’t be separated- they are conjoined. Any change on one of the elements has an effect on the next two.

So if we don’t meet body goals, most likely we will fall behind money and relationship goals.

There is nothing wrong with goal setting.

The problem is that we don’t set goals with the end in mind — happiness!

If by reaching a goal, we feel nothing or our lives don’t change, it was just a boyish craze of getting the next shiny toy.

I realized my goals had the same problem, they were quantity heavy and devoid of happiness as the end result.

— X kilos to shed

— X amount of money to earn

— X friends to touch base

— X time of meditation

— X books to read

— X courses to learn

— X blogs to write

— X clients to win

How does one keep a promise?

Make simple promises that we can keep FOR SURE

Quality means focus and focus means elimination.

My unfulfilled promises of 2019

Courses I wanted to take up

Books I wanted to read

Some Bucket list items I wanted to pursue

Then towards the end of the year I started sorting out: Things I need to (seriously) finish

Books I wanted to write and publish

More stuff I wanted to invest on

Project 2020

The strategy is to do less, get more impact. Here comes the 80–20 rule.

Some questions during simplification, I asked myself is

  • What is that 20% that will have a large impact on my success — the 80%
  • What activities can I either eliminate or push it for next year
  • Am I close to achieving some sort of mastery in a particular field

We fail to put a stop loss on our thinking hence we complicate any stuff.

I am all for simplification and faster deployment, any given day.

So this is what I am holding myself accountable in 2020, publicly!!

Books I will study

Books for the Spirit

  1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  2. Purana Purush by Shama Charan Lahiri
  3. Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

Books for the Mind

  1. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  2. Mathematics for Class X by RD Sharma (not reading but solving as well)

Books for Career Growth

  1. The 10X rule by Grant Cardone
  2. Will it Fly? By Pat Flynn
  3. Little red book of selling by Jeff Gitomer


  1. The Fountainhead (Audible version) by Ayn Rand
  2. Kabuliwala (Audible version) by Rabindranath Tagore

Note: I intend to give up (restrict maybe) reading English books by western authors in 2021 and 2022.

It’s a tragedy that I haven’t read classics in my mother tongues of Bangla, Odiya, Urdu and Hindi. This will be a daunting project inthe coming years.

Training and Courses

  1. Inner Engineering Yoga Course by Isha Foundation
  2. Data Science (by any respected institution)

In closing..

In this age of to-do lists and productivity, my list might look “aiming low and getting it”.

But, hey, who am I trying to impress? : ))

Let it be, about joy at the end of everything.

It’s a promise to myself that I will get it done.

Did you promise yourself something?

Karmesh, is a Side Hustling Dad, Intrapreneur, author and a blogger on unorthodox sales strategies for tech companies. Lives in Mumbai, loves food, fast bikes and cars.

Get his free E-guide on Getting BPO Clients — click HERE

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