Living your life for success – Flaws in our game

Life is all about the choices you make. You can either choose to go about as everyone else does, and consequently end up wherever everyone else ends up more or less; Or you could set out to find out how the system works, and how you can trick your choices to make sure you come out on top. Yes, life, like everything else, can be ‘hacked’.

Step 1: Get your preferences straight

Decide where you want to reach. Yes, that’s right, you get to decide how successful you want to be.

I know people who want to lead a very cliché life, surrounded by family, and according to social norms, working a decently paying job. I don’t have anything against them, but if that’s your cup of tea, then you don’t have to be reading this.

I also know people who want to settle down in a farmhouse somewhere for the rest of their lives. This is a relatively easy-to-get-to scenario. I hope your grass always stay green, and your cows, fat.

Now that we have the minority out of the way, let’s get to our point. You want to live life the way you want. Sure thing. Go ahead. There is only a single requirement. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. You are thinking along the correct lines now, yes, you’d need to be a selfish asshole and put your success in front of everything else.But hey, if that doesn’t appeal to you, It’s never too late to buy a farmhouse and some cows (unless you are 80 and broke, which I hope not.)

Step 2: Break free

That’s right. You need to let go of anything that would hold you back. If at this point, someone else decides what you do with your time, then you’re doing it all wrong. Once you build up a castle of commitments over yourself, you’ll realize that you can’t walk around with a damn castle over yourself. (castles tend to be heavy these days)

If, say, you have a lot of commitments that take up of your time and would deter you from your quest for success, you just gotta rip that castle apart, mate. Of course, it is extreme, but cute kittens never became successful.

Now, since we have that sorted out, you have to leave wherever you are staying, and travel to a city moderately far from your place. A week stay would do, where you’ll be free from all of life’s beckoning and can write your life story as you’d have it. This week is crucial to your career. You know where you got to reach a few years down the line and this week is all about mapping your way there.

Want to be the billionaire CEO of a multinational corporation? Okay, let’s assess what you have in hand. I’m not assuming much here, so let’s say, high school is all that you have to your name. No problems. You go online, read about the said multinational corporations. You see that they mostly deal in tech. You read a bit more, and you realize that you’ll need to get in there before you can start eyeing the top spot. You can easily learn to program and build up a decent portfolio of code on GitHub in a year of living with no commitments. Even if you are broke, in most countries, you can get by with 3-4 hours of work per day. You are free to follow up on your plans the whole rest of the time. This is something most people don’t know: – If you spend 8 hours a day doing something hands-on for a year, you’ll become one of the best in the world at that. And most companies can’t refuse to hire someone who is the best in the world at what they do. In the same way, you can work your way up in the corporate ladder by learning what is required, be it technical skills or people-mastery.

Step 3: Keep your focus

It’s easy to get too absorbed in your tentative life, which is a mistake which would make it your permanent life. Never settle. If you ever feel that you are losing your initial drive, take a week off. Go to the same place where you stayed while making your initial plans.

Keep doing this until you reach wherever you wanted to reach. I know it’s not easy to pull off, and requires tremendous focus, but hey, at least you found the way. That’s more than most people can claim credit for.

Who can pull this off?

I was keeping in mind audiences from 16 to 30 or so, after which most people can’t bother to break their current lives, and would rather just slither into an easy grave. The younger you set your mind on the path, the better. I don’t think friends and family would comply or even agree, but like I said, you’d need to be a selfish asshole and put your success in front of everything else.


The Broken Monk is a designer undergoing meditation in Mumbai, India. He is rumoured to be capable of sleeping only once every two nights.

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