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 not directly serve clients and hence did not work crazy hours.

In fact, I still remember, on day one, after winding up my work by 6 pm, I was out on the road before dark — it felt so weirdly liberating!

However, I soon got acclimatized to it and one day, on a 9 pm call, I was wondering, ‘Why can’t we do these calls earlier in the day?’

I had so quickly forgotten that at 9 pm, I used to be just getting warmed up for the nightly slog.

And after the 3-month rotation, when I was back on a client project, in no time, 11 pm in the office again felt perfectly normal.

Humans acclimatize very quickly. And here is how one can take advantage of it.

If running 5 km feels hard, push yourself one day to run 7 or 8 km — the next day, even 6 km feels easy. In fact, this is the technique I use for building endurance.

Whatever we push ourselves to do, that is what we get used to. And that becomes the new normal. Nothing is easy or hard by itself – it is all in our mind.

– Rajan

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