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TECH TALK: Letter to a 2005 Baby: Advice for Life

June 27th, 2005 · 5 Comments

Dear Abhishek,

Even though the world you will grow up in will be quite different from the one I grew up (separated as we are by 37 years), there are some things which are eternal and will be as applicable to your life as they were to mine. These are learnings from my life so far, which would be useful for you as you grow up.

Make No Little Plans

This quote (via Atanu) by Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect, sums up what I think should be your philosophy for life. Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”

When you are ready to make your mark in the world, keep these words in mind. Too often, we are happy with the mundane, the ordinary. All around, we see mediocrity. People are happy being good. Good is the enemy of Great. We get into a groove, a comfort zone, and stay there. Dont. We live only once. Dream big. We are where we are today only because a few in our past dared to think different and envision a world that could be.

Think like an entrepreneur. Take risks in life. It does not matter if you fail. Success is always built on failure. I have failed many more times in my life than I have succeeded. So did my father. But that did not us stop us from thinking big. We learn more form failure than success. What you have to build is the capability to realise these dreams. Without a dream, there is nothing to look forward to. The goals you set for yourself must have an element of impossibility in them only then will you stretch yourself and in doing so, discover attributes in yourself that you did not know existed.

I remember the time in the summer of 1986 that I decided to go on Himankan, an annual IIT trek in the Himalayas. I was one of the more physically unfit people you could find then! I just decided to do it because I thought I could not. It was a trek where, once you started, there really was no turning back. The first couple days were some of the most difficult I had ever lived. Every step that I would take was a challenge. We would walk through beautiful terrain and I would barely notice, wondering instead when wed reach the next camp. Some time during those first days, the mindset shifted. I had done the first two days so I could do the next ten also. I relaxed, and became more at ease with the world around me. I became confident that I would complete the trek. And I did with increasing ease.

Life will constantly through up choices for you. Take the paths that you think are more difficult.

Tomorrow: Advice for Life (continued)


TECH TALK Letter to a 2005 Baby+T

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