Over the years, there are many lessons I have learnt from people who have inspired me in different ways. Here is my attempt at sharing my learnings with you. 

Warren Buffett – I got very interested in stock investments in my 2nd year of college and since then have continued to admire Warren Buffett for his business and life philosophy. He once said that the easiest way to increase your value by over 50% is through communication skills. The other time he was quoted on his definition of success. “If on your deathbed there are no people by your side who love you, then you are not successful.” At times when I get too caught up in the world, in climbing the corporate ladder, in social media (weapon of mass distraction), in great expectations from people, things, myself and God, I try to remind myself that on my deathbed, what would matter most. 

Malala Yousafzai – I remember reading Bill Gates’s blog and him mentioning about watching the movie on Malala with his children. That got me intrigued, I didn’t watch the movie because I don’t really watch movies but I read her book. I learned the power of courage and that age is no barrier because she won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 16. As a young girl nothing could shake her belief that education was her right and the right of every girl, every child. Her story gives me a lot of courage. 

From Jeff Bezos I learned the regret minimization framework that when you’re 80 you don’t want to regret not doing something you really wanted to do. Whether it’s taking time out to play sports, work on interesting side projects or take up spiritual practice, the regret minimization framework has helped me cross the paralysis of analysis and just do it! 

From Copernicus I learned how to think differently. At the time in the 15th century, everyone thought Earth was the centre of the Universe, especially the Church which was the most powerful force in society  but he had the courage to challenge that and his findings led to tremendous advances in how we understand the universe today. It also reminds me of a quote I read on twitter a while ago that has stuck with me.  “A lot of us think we act like Copernicus, where in fact we act like the Church”.

Swami Vivekananda – I had always heard of Swami Vivekananda since childhood but never felt eagerness to learn more about him. Few years ago something inside me really moved me to learn more about him and on a long drive of over 10 hours from Chicago to Atlanta, I listened to his autobiography on audiobook. I still remember how I felt listening to his story, I had moments of tears in my eyes. He only lived till 39 but he was the perfect example of the saying, “It’s the life in years, not the years in life that count”.

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Aditya Shahi

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