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Consistency and Persistence

Yesterday, when I needed some medical advice for my dad, I called my friend Dr. Shankhabrata Bagchi, one of the best doctors I know. And yet, Bagchi has never practiced medicine – he joined the IPS right after his MBBS and was our batch topper. But such is his love...

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Health Over Hustle

When I left McKinsey to move back to India, I promised myself two things: 1. No more working late nights. 2. No more alarms – I would wake up when I had enough sleep. So when I joined a private equity fund in Mumbai, I wanted to make sure that they didn’t work late...

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User engagement

Here is an easy way to destroy your life. Start the day by checking WhatsApp, and then get sucked into a vortex of endlessly checking Facebook, Instagram, online news, Twitter, whatever... Keep repeating the cycle, and by evening, you will be a worn-out, empty shell....

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Excitement is rare and overhyped

Very few professions that look glamorous or exciting, are actually that. During my MBA, I thought McKinsey would be very glamorous. Big clients, global travel and fancy hotels, advising CEOs, yada yada. So here is a reality check. At 11 pm one night, one of my buddies...

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Five Keystone Habits

If you ever find yourself stuck in a rut of laziness, low energy, and lack of direction, these five keystone habits will help you smash through it: 1) Regular workout: More than for physical fitness, exercise is a great medicine for mental well-being. Study after...

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Focus and intensity guarantee success

In 3 months, you can get ahead of almost everyone. Here is how: 1. Every day, for an hour, disconnect your phone from the internet. 2. Pick a learning goal or a task that requires focus. 3. For the next 50 minutes, keep a timer on. 4. While the timer ticks, work or...

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Home is Home

When I quit my job with McKinsey in New York, I moved back to India. And there were many reasons for the move – personal and family. But there was one more reason: Though I loved it in the US and people were exceptionally kind and polite, somehow, I could never feel...

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A Learning Hack

Here is a learning hack I have successfully tried, especially during my MBA exams. I would often wake up very early (e.g., 3 am), study for two hours or so, and then again sleep for an hour or two. I would then go write the exam, and invariably, those 2 hrs of early...

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Career and Contentment

At my last job with a PE fund, one of my bosses (Victor Menezes) joined Citibank as a fresher, later became its global CEO, and retired as the Senior Vice Chairman of Citigroup – a financial services conglomerate. He retired so successful and rich that he donated a...

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Glamour vs Substance

In 2009, when I had just joined a private equity fund, we were invited to the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai for a fancy presentation by a healthcare technology company (I am deliberately not naming it). The company tried to charm the investor community with its presentation...

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Every job deserves respect

Today, I lead a 10-member team at HabitStrong. Many years ago, I headed a team of 3,500 people when I was the Trivandrum City Police commissioner. So which responsibility was harder? Naturally, running the City Police, right? Nope. Even though I had a team of 3,500...

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The Value of Time

In the US, when I had to hire people to help with moving my house, I paid them $25 per hr for the manual work – the money value of time there was quite high. In contrast, physical goods in the US cost the same as in India, and sometimes, even less. I once bought...

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