In negotiation, the party that can walk away is always the stronger. One of the first times I faced this is applying to colleges. I applied to about 15 colleges and I knew not all will accept. I received 3-4 acceptance and then I chose the one that gave me the most scholarship. Had I applied to only 3-4 colleges that I really wanted to get in, who knows how much misery and suffering I would have inflicted upon myself. 

The same lessons carried over in college applying for internships and jobs. I have seen a very large number of people who struggled at great lengths with jobs and careers. We tend to take things personally too quickly. Facing rejection is a big part of life but how often are we taught how to face rejection? It’s one of those things that is learnt only through experience.

When I was buying Real Estate, I always pursued interest in at least 2-3 properties. When it came to negotiation, I was always on the stronger side because I was willing to walk away from a deal anytime. I did not have any attachment to a particular investment property, for me it was simply a transaction. My goal of investing in real estate was not to amass personal wealth, but to do greater good with the wealth. For the time being, I had to invest my energy into something, something that I was good at and had a high ROI. Real Estate was one of the things for me. In fact, broadly speaking, business and entrepreneurship is that thing for me. It’s akin to Warren Buffett in that he loves the process and idea of investing but is not attached to the outcome. Which is why he has actually donated close to 99% of his total wealth to charitable organizations. 

I just find that having options in life makes it easier to follow the message of the Gita and do Nishkam Karma – performing action without expectation of fruit of action. It’s very difficult to apply to 3 jobs and not worry whether you will get a job or not. 

However when it came to my journey as a seeker, it wasn’t helpful to follow multiple teachers, gurus. I found helpful things from all of them but more and more knowledge from different people only created confusion in me. I think there is a law of diminishing returns – after a certain point more of something is not useful and it was true for me in this case. Eventually I had to pick one and thankfully my heart knew and it was actually very easy to decide. 

Life continues to be amazing, continues to be an enigma – full of ups and downs, moments of joy and pain, moments of happiness and sadness. It continues to humble me, continues to speak every moment and continues it’s play of existence. Let’s dance.

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Aditya Shahi

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