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11 things Shiv Khera wants young India to know

January 07, 2015 09:17 IST

"Winners always put in extra effort even when it hurts."

"Preferences are negotiable, convictions are not."

"Less than 5 per cent people have written goals... the balance 95 per cent work for them."

"Where you will be five years from now shall depend on two things: the books you read and the company you keep."

Bestselling author of self-help books Shiv Khera has these words of advice for young Indians:


1. Take pride in performance

People who take pride in their performance hold themselves accountable to much higher standards than others do.

They always strive to do the right thing, first time every time.

To them, good is not good enough.

2. Get involved

Remember, 'If we are not part of the solution then we are the problem'.

There are people who have a habit of constantly criticising anything and everything no matter where they are.

They only want to criticise without taking any corrective measures.

However, if you don't want to get involved then you have no right to criticise.

Either get involved or shut up.

3. Always put in extra efforts

If you read through the life history of the most successful people, you will find they have all lived by one principle and that is, "I shall always give more than what I get, to my family, my organisation, my customers and my society".

Winners always put in extra effort even when it hurts.

Nobody has become a champion in this world without putting in the extra effort. It is the extra that turns the ordinary into extra ordinary.

This principle applies to any profession; Medicine, Law, Accountancy, Architecture etc.

Would you want to go to an ordinary Surgeon or to an extra ordinary Surgeon?

4. Take a stand

If you look at the life histories of most great leaders, you will find that they were never neutral.

They always took a stand either for something or against something.

They had conviction.

There is a big difference between a preference and a conviction in life.

Preferences are negotiable, convictions are not.

Under pressure, a preference becomes weak whereas a conviction becomes stronger.

5. Be focused

Studies show that less than 5 per cent people have written goals.

This means that they are the only ones who have a very clear destination.

The balance 95 per cent work for them directly or indirectly.

Think about it -- how can you reach a destination that you don't have?

Suppose you go to watch a football game where both teams are enthusiastically charged up ready to play.

Suppose at this point the referee took the goal post away, what is left of the game? Nothing!

They have no goal post, how do you keep the score?

Destination determines direction.

6. Choose your friends carefully

Sometimes you hear that the leader is good, but his advisors are bad.

This statement is not true.

You will find that all over the world, by and large, leaders always choose their own advisors.

Remember we do not get advisors in life of the kind of people we want, we get the kind of people we are.

We don't get friends of the kind of people we want, we get the kind of people we are.

We get attracted to the kind of people who are similar to the kind of people we ourselves are.

Where you will be five years from now shall depend on two things: the books you read and the company you keep.

Today where we are is also the result of the books we read and the company we kept in the last five years.

7. Build high self esteem

Self esteem is defined as the way we feel about ourselves.

You notice that one day we get up in the morning feeling good, the world looks nice, productivity goes up, relationships are a lot better.

The reverse is just as true.

Self esteem is inversely related to egos.

There are two kinds of egos that are destructive.

'The know it all': people with this kind of ego demonstrate arrogance.

They put down and look down upon others.

Think about it, why does a human being put down other human being?

It is sadistic but true, there are some people who feel good when the other person feels bad.

They feel superior when the other person feels inferior which means they don't want to lift themselves up, but they want to pull others down.

The second kind of ego is called the fragile ego, they take anything you say personally and get hurt.

What do both these egos do to team work?

They just destroy it.

8. Build character

Character is something that a person would or would not do even if no one is watching.

It is integrity and authenticity in its true form.

There is a big difference between reputation and character.

Reputation is what other people think about us whereas character is what we know who we are and they can be two totally different things.

Some people are honest because they don't want to get caught telling lies.

They are doing the right things for the wrong reasons.

They are only building a reputation.

Some people are honest because they believe it's the right thing to do.

They are doing the right thing for the right reason. That is character.

9. Live purposefully

What is a purpose?

A lifetime goal is called a purpose.

How do you define your purpose?

Supposing you are aged 100 today and you were to look back at your life, what is it that you want to say, is your accomplishment?

That accomplishment is your purpose.

Have a lofty purpose in life.

Only a lofty purpose has the power to move the spirit.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will become a part of the stars.

A great philosopher once said, "I would rather fail in doing something great then succeed in doing nothing".

There is glory in such failure too.

10. Start your day on a positive note

Why should we start our day on a positive note every day?

It is because just as our bodies need food every day, our minds need positive thoughts every day.

Starting the day on a positive note sets the tone for the entire day.

Staying positive is like fire; unless we keep adding fuel, it dies out.

Similarly if we don't feed our minds with positive thoughts, everyday, positivity dies out.

Many times you hear that success is tough.

My answer is: Try failing and see if that is easy!

11. Make courtesy a way of life

A courteous person who is not very sharp will go much further in life than a sharp, discourteous person.

Courtesy is made up of little sacrifices in life.

Every courtesy has a moral background.

When people practice courtesy as a strategy, they are crooked; they have ulterior motives.

For people with integrity, courtesy is a way of life.

Shiv Khera is an author, business consultant and a much sought-after motivational speaker.

Lead image used for representational purposes only.

Photograph: Bill Dickinson/Creative Commons

Shiv Khera