Simple Lessons For A Complex World

Hands holding a diya in a dark background
Photo by Dhivakaran S from Pexels

Why 55? You might ask, after scrolling down to the bottom of the numbered list. Well, that’s the number I got to before I got back into the car after a long hike. I typed this on my mobile while doing my weekend hike. And I must warn everyone that hiking and typing is not a good idea — maybe slightly better than texting and driving, though!

These were just random thoughts that popped into my mind. They are in no specific sequence; a few are famous people’s quotes that I remember, so they may sound familiar to you. I have not made much of an effort to edit or correct them. These are lessons that I have learnt during my life on Earth School for 46 years. They flow through me, since I have tried to internalize them, and I hope they are insightful. Let me know which ones resonate with you:

1. Your network grows by giving

2. Ageing is the best medicine for arrogance

3. Your children will teach you more than any business school

4. Being wise is more important than being smart

5. We overestimate our pain and underestimate others’

6. Money is just one form of currency

7. Grit matters more than education and intelligence put together

8. Value is more important than Valuation

9. Getting married should not be a goal; remaining married should be

10. Success is overrated, significance is underrated

11. Contribution is more important than consumption

12. Giving is not about how much you give, it’s more about how much you are willing to give up

13. Donation is masked as giving; sometimes it is discarding

14. Money is a bad proxy for giving; giving time is more important

15. Becoming a life-long learner is the only way to remain employed

16. Good leaders are secure, incompetent ones are not

17. It is easier to reach the top, harder to stay there

18. There is only feedback, no failure

19. Making your failure-resumé is more important than making one that only has your success

20. When the ego dies, the soul awakens

21. Spend your time and money on experience, not on things

22. You are the average of the people you surround yourself with

23. Your relationships will define you

24. Happiness is a state of mind that money cannot buy

25. The most important things in life are priceless

26. Pain, purpose and progress are correlated

27. Be impatient with results, patient with people

28. Be in the company of good people and good books

29. Optimize for health, minimize for things, maximize for relationships

30. The more you give the more you get

31. The only metric to measure scale is — time

32. Impact is measured by what you do for others, divided by ego (Impact = What you’ve done for others / Ego)

33. Diversity is being invited to a party, inclusion is being called to dance

34. Some people are poor, though with a lot of money

35. Leadership is decisions that we make at our defining moments

36. Life is a delicate balance between what you make happen and what you let happen

37. The worst things you thought about never happened, and the best things were not planned

38. Serendipity is magic

39. The most valuable things are intangible

40. Trust produces speed

41. Intention has infinite organizing power

42. Nobody ever mentioned parenting was hard before the kids arrived

43. You can only do a few things incredibly well

44. Lies are truth that everyone knows except the person who lied

45. We overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year

46. You will never forget your favorite teacher, first crush and first paycheck

47. Never lie to your doctor, lawyer or wife

48. You build trust in drops and lose it in buckets

49. A salaried job makes you a coward

50. A man who can, does; others talk

51. To serve is to co-create, and it is more important than helping or fixing

52. Most fights are never between right and wrong, but between two rights

53. Nothing well done is insignificant

54. Give people light and they will find a way

55. Pain dilutes ego and awakens compassion

Senior Vice President and Head of SAP Academy for Engineering. Inclusion Evangelist, Thought Leader, Speaker, Columnist and Author.