LinkedIn Posts

You Fail Only When You Quit

Every once in a while, an old back injury of mine flares up with excruciating pain, wrecking my workout routine for a week or two. And once the routine is broken, the momentum is gone. With every passing day, you feel even more like a failure, and your strength...

read more

Fixing Exam Formats

When I first decided to write the Civil Services exam, I was horrified at: 1. How sub-par the syllabus was. 2. How random the marking was. 3. How unbelievably opaque the system was. For my optional subjects (Maths & Physics), supposedly at B.Sc Honours level, the...

read more

Quitting is not an option

Whenever I struggle to persevere while doing something hard, here is what I tell myself: Slowing down is an option. Taking a break is an option. Modifying your goals is an option. Reprioritizing is an option. But if you really care about something -- quitting can’t be...

read more

Mind Over Matter

During my stint as a consultant with McKinsey, late nights were the norm. However, after a lot of generalist work, to pursue my passion for finance, I opted for a 3-month rotation with a Corporate Finance specialist group in New York. This new group I was with, did...

read more

Get started

Before joining the Indian Police Service, the most physically intense thing I had done in a few years was climbing the stairs of PK Kelkar Library at IIT Kanpur. Naturally, the upcoming 10-month training at the National Police Academy was making me sweat bullets. And...

read more

Finding Satisfaction in Simple Things

The first time I did pistol shooting, in Mussoorie’s IAS training academy, our pistols all malfunctioned - or so it seemed. Five of us, barely 15 m from the targets, fired a volley of shots, and yet, the targets were practically untouched. Scratching my head, I asked...

read more

Saving Childhoods

At a typical IITJEE coaching center in Andhra, a student wakes up at 6 am and studies till 10 pm. For 16 hours, 6 days a week, they slog, with a few short breaks to freshen up, eat, etc. And they do this for years. Time for sports = 0 Time for extracurriculars and...

read more

Persistence Pays

Once I was talking to a friend whose extended family had built a pharma business from scratch to worth tens of thousands of crores. Now, here is the most interesting thing -- In 40 years, they become multi-billionaires. But in the first 30 years, by comparison, they...

read more

Beyond the Startup Drama

The startup world has today become a circus. Once, ‘startup’ meant innovation. Today it has become this drama of VC funding, valuation, unicorn, week-over-week growth, blitzscaling, and pursuit of the next billion/trillion/quadrillion. Now, there is NOTHING...

read more

The Power of Daily Meditation

I have been working out regularly for more than a decade but it took years of struggle to make meditation a daily habit. Without guidance, it was really hard - every time, I would try but give up after a few days. But once I started reading some of the Buddhist texts...

read more

Handling difficult life-situations

In 2003, I was facing a potentially career-ending crisis. A group of tribals from northern Kerala landed in Trivandrum and started agitating. As the City Police chief, I had to ensure that there was no violence or obstruction. Since these were impoverished tribals, we...

read more

Happiness from Within

In investment banking and Wall Street jobs, the ‘bonus day’ is an interesting one -- everybody gets a cash windfall. Naturally, they should all be thrilled, right? Yet, NOT everyone is happy. Why? Did they not just get more money? Here are the two reasons: 1. Though...

read more

Subscribe to the HabitStrong newsletter

Rajan shares insights from his own life journey to help you build better habits in yours.