2013: The Year That Was

Time for the mandatory year-end post; reflecting on the past year, how my life has changed and how I plan to make my existence on this planet meaningful in the coming years, making that proverbial dent in the universe. I tried it before last year (2012: The Year That Was), and it really helps me make sense of my life and put it in context.

2013 has been one of the most eventful years of my life so far. It’s been more than 2 years since I moved to Delhi. Loving the “living alone” part of it a lot. I’ve never been more free and I have no social obligations/responsibilities here.

Work…

The year started on a very good note. It’d been a few months since I started working on hike. In January, I finally got the chance to implement one of my ideas, which turned out to be the best work I’d done in my 24 years on this planet. We saw explosive growth in the month of February, which made us the fastest growing Indian startup and one of the fastest growing internet startups globally.

We’ve been working on improving the product ever since, and have been able to mostly outwit the competition except for one big Goliath which we’ll crush, soon. 2014 is going to be the year of PURE PWNAGE. India is going to witness a massive mobile internet revolution in the coming years, and we’re going to be the ones leading it. Exciting times!

I’m now heading Growth at hike, and a few other initiatives, while dabbling in a lot of other stuff as well. The aim is to become the best “growth” guy in India, and soon the world.

For the most part, I’m never bored on this front, which always seemed like a near impossibility.

Life…

Life has been pretty exciting in the last year. My social life has mostly gone for a toss since I moved to Delhi, so this is mostly driven by work for now. I’ve made a few really good friends, but I’ve been trying to do most things solo, and I’ve liked doing that so far.

I’ve been able to travel only sparingly in 2013, which is not what I was expecting. There has been too much going on on the work front, but I don’t really regret it that much. We’re doing awesome shit. Explored most of Delhi in the last year. Went on a trip to Rishikesh in May with the hike team, and it was a lot of fun. Went on a trip across North India (Kulu – Manali – Kasol) with a friend in June. Kasol was awesome. Great experiences. *wink wink* Tried paragliding in Bir Billing. Awesome. I’ll likely complete a paragliding professional course and get an instructor certification sometime this year. Went to the NH7 weekender in Delhi — overrated. Went to NPC13 in Bangalore. Met and chatted with Nandan Nilekani and a lot of other people I really respect in person. Loved it.

Life

Around the second half of December, I also went for a Vipassana course (inspired by Ben Casnocha). For those who don’t know, it’s one of the best and most efficient forms of meditation, free of all religious bullshit, and most of its underlying concepts are backed by science. For 10 days, you’ve to be completely silent, and just meditate. For those of us who suffer from borderline ADHD (apparently), it’s hard to sit still, focus and meditate, but it does give a lot of time for reflection. If you’re grappling with existentialism / absurdism, it might just help you figure out what you truly want to do in life. I’ll write more about my Vipassana experience soon.

Also started gymming in October, but due to an erratic travel schedule, and being the lazy fuck that I am, I haven’t been able to continue since the last 2 months. That’ll change. I used to think exercising is just a waste of time, but I did find that it makes me more efficient. I do cycle occasionally, need to do that a lot more.

Got into casual flings with a couple of girls this year, but didn’t have much time to work on those. They ended just as quickly as they started, and I don’t really regret them. Good while they lasted.

2014…

World domination – I’ve been planning to work on some of my own startup ideas since a long time. I’ve tried my hand at some small ideas while in college, but it’s about time to work on something big.

For now, I feel quite content working on something which will potentially become one of the biggest players in the Indian internet/mobile space in the next couple of years and eventually the biggest Indian product startup. The eventual goal is obviously much bigger. WORLD DOMINATION, madafakas!

Once we’ve made sure that’s the way it’s going to play out, and once I’ve hit the fuck-you money point, I’ll likely venture out on my own. I have to. That seems to be at least another year away though.

Getting my shit together - In the last year, I could feel retardation creeping into my brain; the feeling that I’m becoming more stupid with every passing day becoming more and more intense. It felt as if I’d stopped using it altogether and my learning curve has been much lower than my expectations. I’m getting pushed farther away from true genius. I’ve learned a lot in the last year, more than most people I know of, but then I also have much higher standards of personal growth than most people I know of.

I’ll start exercising regularly, and possibly even meditate as much as I can (at least 20 minutes a day; but it’s extremely hard to focus). I’m aiming to learn a ton of new stuff this year, more than I’ve learnt in the last 20. I’ve never had anyone I could call a mentor, ever in my life. Now, I think I do. That helps.

Experiences, not things“The things you own end up owning you“

In the last year, I’ve transitioned to a very minimalistic lifestyle. I have drastically reduced the number of materially possessions I have. I can pack everything I own in a bag and move wherever I want to in a day if I want to. “Don’t have anything in your life you can’t walk away from”

Travel more – I’ll be travelling a lot more this year. I’ve hardly explored the world in my life so far, and I need to get every country off my list before I die. That’s another reason I need to get to fuck-you money as soon as possible. I plan to do at least one small trip every month, and a big one every quarter. Kasol again, Ladakh, and two backpacking trips across Nepal and Bhutan for sure. Most likely Goa too. I need to explore all of India in the next 2 years. Bungee jumping, sky diving, scuba diving, <insert other cool shit>, solo trips and much more.

I also really want to go to Burning Man and TomorrowLand. US and Europe. It might be a massive hit to my pocket, so let’s see how that goes.

Read more – I read. A lot. Mostly non-fiction, biographies of people that inspire me. In the last year, I’ve hardly read 20 books. This year, I’m aiming for one a week, more than 50 in all. Reading awesome stuff makes me happier than most other things. I’ll also watch more movies – the really good ones, at least one every two days. It helps me unwind, and it’s about time I crossed the complete IMDB Top 250 off my list. I’m currently at 92/250.

Live more – Most people don’t live, they just exist. I will start living life to the fullest. No fear. Go big or go home. Going big requires a mix of hard work, luck, and genius. But sometimes it’s just a numbers game. I’ll be taking more shots. I’ll be experimenting a lot more; trying to find my true calling. I suspect there will be many.

Most people won’t. I will.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

I finally know the “why”, I think. It’s time to go big or go home. Soon.

Most people work in jobs they hate, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like. I never will.

2014. The year of not giving a fuck about any of the shit that doesn’t matter, and betting everything on the stuff that does.

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