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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

How to become 100x of your current self

For several months now, I've been pondering how I can become 100x better than what I am now. Better at writing, better at business, better at physical health, better at mental capabilities, better in my world views, better in my habits, better in my knowledge, better in wealth. In short, better in every aspect that I care about.

When I start something, it is easy to get better until a certain level. To go beyond that gets progressively harder. And 100x improvement lies beyond it all.

By talking to many people and by thinking how to go about this, I've come up with a list of things that will propel me on that trajectory to a 100x growth. And you might find that most of it will work for you too.

1. Physical Health

The primary thing to address is physical health. If I'm not taking care of my physical health, then everything else that I do is unsustainable. And 100x growth is not a one time achievement like cracking an exam or an interview. It is moving from one plane to a higher plane and staying there. 100x is not a milestone, but a much better way of life. 

So, it is essential that I take care of my physical health. Physical health has several aspects to it - fitness and stamina, nutritious diet, adequate sleep and recovery. All of this, if done right, ought to ward off any form of illness - chronic or otherwise. 

If you are seeking 100x growth for yourself, start by getting your physical health in order.
Are you working out 5-7 hours a week?
Are you eating the right mix of protein, fats and carbs that's needed for you?
Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night?

If not, make this a priority. No matter what you have to give up to do this, do it. 

2. Spirituality

Once physical health is addressed and prioritized, the next most important thing is mental health, which contributes a huge deal to our motivation and decision making. 

100x growth requires a great deal of motivation and objective decision making that will prioritize long-term consequences over short-term consequences.

Motivation can be extrinsic or intrinsic. I used to be heavily extrinsically motivated. I would always want to do things that would make others around me perceive me in good light, without giving a thought as to whether doing that would actually benefit me and aid me towards my goals. When I was extrinsically motivated, I did not have any goals of my own. All my goals were set for me by the people around me (albeit indirectly). Because I wanted to be perceived as "doing well", and in society, money, titles and association with recognized brands are the most accepted signs of "doing well", I went after them. 

But in doing so, I always had a feeling lurking at the back of my mind that made me wonder why I'm going after these and what would really happen if I didn't. 

Exposure to spirituality allowed me to address that feeling and answer that question. Having never known a different way, reading more about Hinduism, Buddhism, Stoicism, Taoism and even the great value systems of Marvel and DC superheroes like Captain America and Batman made me understand that I could draw great levels of motivation and inspiration from my own value systems rather than simply wanting to be perceived as "doing well" by others around me. 

The decisions we make when we are intrinsically motivated by our own strong value systems are so much stronger and better for us in the long-term than the decisions we make when driven by extrinsic motivation. 

It takes a lot of time and effort to build up our own strong value systems and the only way to do that is by embracing spirituality.

3. Habits

A habit is formed when we no longer have to consciously put in effort and convince ourselves to do something. It wasn't always the case for me, but now writing daily is a habit, working out everyday is a habit, reading an hour or more everyday is a habit. 

When we have to convince ourselves to do the act itself, then we won't have the energy left to push the boundaries and do the hard bits.

When writing was a chore, I could never even dream of sitting down and writing long posts or, better yet, a whole book. When running itself was a chore, I could not dream of running a 10k or longer, let alone doing it at an ambitious pace.

Once we form the right habits, it becomes easier to push ourselves to do more and do it better. And that is essential if we are aiming for 100x growth.

4. Mentorship

I've never been great at seeking out help from others. In The Goblet of Fire, Mad-eye Moody (who is actually Barty Crouch Jr) reprimands Harry for being too obnoxious to seek help about the second task and ask Neville, who could have told him about the utility of Gillyweed for breathing under water. I haven't had anyone reprimand me for not asking for help, but I've come to realize the importance of mentorships.

Often, we get stuck on our path and need to figure out how to disentangle ourselves and find a way forward. Often, we miss the forest for the trees. We end up focusing too narrowly on some aspect and miss the larger opportunity. 

A mentor is one who can help us understand that we are in such a situation so that we can come out of it. I have had both mentors who know me personally and those that don't. Those that don't end up mentoring me through their writing and their work that is publicly available. 

We are living our lives 24x7 with no breaks. We are constantly in the thick of things. And that makes it harder to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. And having mentors will make that easier.

Achieving 100x growth requires good decision making for the long-term and it is hard to do that when we don't recognize the larger context and the larger opportunity. And this is where a mentor plays her role.

5. The people around us

The people we spend time with everyday - our parents, our friends, our colleagues, our significant other - all play a big role on whether we can achieve 100x growth. 

There is a famous saying to the tune of "We're the average of the five people we hang out with". And that is true because we become friends and spend a lot of time with those who think like us and those who have similar interests as us. If we're working in a company where nobody pushes hard to up-skill themselves and push to reach the next level, we'll be happy with where we are too. 

The biggest advantage with going to a reputed university and in working at a sought-after company is simply the kind of people we meet there. I've had the privilege to become friends with some of the most ambitious people in the country (and perhaps the world) through the universities I've been to and the places I've worked at. But I've started to constantly look at the people I spend time with the most and evaluate whether they are helping me become better or not.

As James Altucher says, "Always be the dumbest person in the room." 

In saying so, he doesn't mean that you have to dumb yourself down. Instead, you have to always seek out a room where everyone there is better than you. Because, this is how we learn and get better.

In order to grow 100x, we need to constantly seek out people better than us and learn from them.

6. Creation

Constantly put your work in action. Whenever I learn something, or when I come across something that makes me think, I talk to people about it and try to get their perspective on it. I write about it for the same reason. At work, I try to test out the new ideas on customers in order to validate them.

The act of creation is the greatest test of whether we have understood and internalized something. If we can incorporate what we have learnt in our work, in our lives and in our conversations, if we are able to teach it to someone else, then we retain it a lot longer than by simply reading it. Because, in order to create, we need to go deeper and really understand something and not merely skim through it.

In order to grow 100x, create things. Try and incorporate the things you learn into your life.

7. Process

100x seems mythically unrealistic when I look at it from where I am. I'm not even able to articulate clearly what 100x looks like. And that is a problem.

However, I have found that having a process in place helps me overcome that. While 100x is arbitrary and seems unrealistic, it is simply a target to rally my efforts around. The real progress happens towards immediate milestones that I can clearly articulate and work towards.

This is the process in which I identify my goals every year, and approach it methodically by planning every day of my week once a week. The process focuses on daily incremental improvement which will compound over time and eventually lead to the 100x growth. 

But without a process, we can delude ourselves into thinking that we are making progress towards the 100x growth when we really aren't. 

8. Definiteness of purpose

While the rest are foundational in nature, this last one is absolutely critical and brings total clarity to the actions and the decisions we take. 

In my head, it is very clear what things I'm going after, in what priority and why. And this clarity helps at every step of the way when I have to make trade-off decisions, when I have to say no to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, when I have to shed aspects of my old self and when I have to embrace new ways.

Without a definiteness of purpose, I will not be able to do any of the above satisfactorily. 

Conclusion

In order to achieve 100x growth in life, you need to answer the following affirmatively:

Are you working out 5-7 hours a week?
Are you eating the right mix of protein, fats and carbs that's needed for you?
Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night?
Have you defined your own value system to guide your actions?
Are you intrinsically motivated?
Have you formed the right habits?
Are you seeking help when you are stuck?
Have you identified who your mentors and coaches are?
Are you spending time with people that are propelling you to do more and be better?
Are you ensuring you are the dumbest person in the room?
Are you creating new things from what you have learnt?
Are you putting learnings into practice?
Are you teaching others what you have learnt?
Have you identified more immediate milestones to achieve?
Are they in-line with your 100x vision?
Are you following a process to help you achieve those milestones?
Are you absolutely clear on what you're going after, in what priority and why?

Good luck and godspeed!

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