Resuming Life Your Way: Lessons from Naresh Naik

Stress can be overwhelming, especially when it feels like we’re not getting what we always dreamt of. Whether it’s work, school, family, or relationships, the pressures of everyday life can add up quickly. It’s no wonder that sometimes we find ourselves asking, “how do I restart my life?”

But the truth is, life doesn’t stop there. One inspiring example is Naresh Naik, who, at the age of 58, resumed his life his way. Naresh had spent decades working in the corporate world, but he felt unfulfilled and yearned for something more.

So, he decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention. He quit his job and traveled the world, exploring different cultures, meeting new people, and learning new skills. He even climbed Mount Everest, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Naresh’s story teaches us that it’s never too late to start over and pursue our passions. We don’t have to be stuck in a job or a lifestyle that doesn’t bring us joy. Instead, we can take a step back, breathe, and re-evaluate what truly matters to us.

Of course, restarting our lives can be easier said than done. We may face financial or personal obstacles, and it can be difficult to know where to start. But the key is to take small steps towards our goals, and to not give up even when things get tough.

In conclusion, Naresh Naik’s story serves as an inspiration for all of us. We can learn from his example and find the courage to pursue our own passions, even if it means starting over. So, let’s take a deep breath, and begin our own journey towards a more fulfilling life.

Podcast episode below:

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More than 135,000 people commit suicide in India every year. In the age group of 15-29, India has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world with between 30 and 40 people per 100,000 commiting suicide. Out of this figure, as many as 20,000 of them – around 15 per cent, surprisingly take this step due to “Heartbreak”.

We come from a society where everyone in thier lifetime is bound to have one partner. If you look at our cultural influences, from the folktale of Heer Ranjha to most of the Bollywood stories from the 1970s and 1980s, they are about the hero sacrificing himself or the heroine sacrificing herself for their one and only love – all of this is embedded in our cultural memory. In that sense, we are a very romantic race; we believe in the idea of a soulmate. People carve the name of their loved ones on their wrists. It still happens.

We then try to look for solutions to handling break-up in western culture, but it is very clear that they have not figured out how to manage their emotions, right? So what do we do? How do we shape ourselves as individuals and as a society? I think relationships are crucial to that. I think the answer lies in our spiritual traditions, which talk about the love that you have for your partner as being the love that is a part of you. It’s your own energy.

Love is a feeling which might have been evoked by someone else for a while, and now it’s gone and then suddenly you feel alone, but then that love has carved you as a person and made you are today, and if you can connect with that energy without any triggers from external source, there are a lot of opportunities to feel love.

To overcome a break up or a heartbreak, there are two powerful ways: First is to accept that it is over. The second way is to take the time to nurture yourself, to stay connected with people around you, to find someone who you can talk to about what you are experiencing – either a therapist or a close friend. You have to ensure that you are eating, sleeping and getting exercise, and slowly allow your mind to start working. And, eventually, figuring out the true source of the pain, which is not the loss of the relationship, but a deeper insecurity post your break-up that you have been unaware of.

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Overcoming a Breakup

In recent past there had been a lot of noise level around the word “Break – Up” and even there had been quite a few movies and songs made on this topic. Let me share an incident with you. I was working in my office late evening and started getting irritated for no reason.

This was the time when all my team member had left for the day and I was making a presentation for an upcoming pitch. Air conditioner was off to save electricity, but it wasn’t hot either. I was failing to understand why the hell I am getting irritated without any reason.

I noticed that I’m facing a bit difficulty in typing on my laptop and all of sudden my irritation increased further; I yelled inside ‘let me fix this damn chair’ and I just stood up to change the chair. As I stood up, something said in my brain ‘Can’t you adjust it to your requirement?’ I then realized, the chair which I was sitting on is below than its usual height probably because someone used it in my absence and adjusted to his or her height. I
thought within, what a waste of time and energy, after adjusting the same chair to my requirement.

Relationships are much like this. No one is good or bad in this world, it’s all about compatibility to each other’s need. My relatively mature readers (age wise) would agree with me, Divorce or Breakup were very less heard words 30 – 40 years back and it was not because almost everybody was having a perfect relationship, it was because children were tamed since very beginning on the value of relationship, love, compassion.

Now a days, most people in metros and even in developing cities now, are living as nuclear families and they are kind of addicted to their so-called FREEDOM. The teenagers are in hurry to become mature and independent and, I don’t see any wrong in this. But, when it comes to relationship, they are too mild and too young to take any unexpected jolt in their relationship. The same children grow up and become matured but disoriented at relationship.

We need to understand few basic things, what goes was never meant for you and what’s yours will never go.

We have a habit of attaching ourselves very easily to a negative notion/feeling when hurt and that’s natural. We need to tell ourselves in this situation that whatever period of time we lived with the concerned person and if he/ she really mattered to us even for few months or years, we should be grateful to them for being with us for
whatever amount of time.

Love cannot be forced so if YOU REALLY LOVE OR LOVED, let them go and cherish the moments you spent together.

Remember your childhood? When you were hurt in your leg with a stone or something, did you cry forever? or you still cry for that? No, you cried for some time, did whatever you thought was right at that time and moved on.

The same thing has to be done in a relationship as well. Nothing is permanent not even our name nor our so-called identity. When a patient goes in an operation theatre, doctor says – please bring Mr. Sharma inside
and once the person is no more, the same doctor in the same hospital and scenario says, please take the body out.

Life is much bigger and beautiful than staying hurt or blaming someone for our loss. And, if you think still nothing is working out for you, start giving back to the society, community and country in whatever possible way. You’ll certainly feel better
and see a newer and an unexplored world.

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In a mutually interdependent world, none of us has absolute control over everything we choose to do. You are either being influenced by others or exerting influence simply by being who you are.

Nobody is 100% original. Beethoven was influenced by Mozart. Einstein had Michelson. Almost all of our decisions and ideas have been influenced by people we admire, peers, teachers, religion, parents, bosses, etc.

Everything we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, are or are not, that modifies, affects, or changes someone else’s behaviour, thoughts, or actions, consciously or unconsciously, for good or for ill

Influence is key to solving everyday problems and making an impact. In fact, influence is happening all the time at home and at work. Every single day, we are faced with the task of persuading others. And every single day, we face resistance. There are two fundamental paths to influence, according to research — dominance and prestige. When we establish dominance, we gain influence because others see us as strong, powerful, and authoritative.

When we earn prestige, we become influential because others respect and admire us. Direct influence functions linearly — the closer you are personally and physically to others, the greater your influence over them, and vice versa. Influence begins with you. You can’t get good connections if you are not ready to give it. Influencing others is how we get what we want in life and career. It’s how we make and improve relationships. It’s how we win negotiations, sell ideas, and services to others. With or without your permission, you are being influenced by the closest people around you. The more good influences you surround yourself with, the happier you’ll be.

Influence others by modelling positive behaviours

Do you relate well to others? Do people want to support you because they like what you stand for, what you do or who you are as a person?

To win influence others and persuade people, appreciate the good in them. Charles Schwab once argued, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people. The greatest asset I possess and t way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

People like to be appreciated. You don’t have to overdo it. But the more you genuinely appreciate the good in others, the more they are likely to draw closer to you. Never forget to appreciate the people close to you.

Positive objective feedback is important for our growth, but criticism wounds a people’s pride hurts their sense of importance and arouses resentment. You will not win people over if you are a nagging constant in their lives.

There is a natural human tendency to dislike a person who brings us unpleasant information, even when that person did not cause the bad news. The simple association with it is enough to stimulate our dislike. Criticism usually makes us strive to justify ourselves. If you must criticise, call attention to others’ mistakes indirectly, especially if you are having a conversation with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.

Many people fail to notice even the smallest good things in others. Make others feel respected and valued despite their shortfalls.

Empower the people close to you and make them feel confident. When you think of empowering others, think of the good old saying ‘People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel’.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you, ” says Dale Carnegie. People will immediately start liking you if you show interest in them first.

To persuade others, boost your confidence. Confident people tend to rise to the top quickly than those who lack a sense of confidence and are insecure. Work on your social skills and become comfortable in your own skin.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had great influence during WWII by confidently stating “we will win through absolute victory” in his 1941 speech after the attack on Pearl Harbor: “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.”

He sounded more confident and people trusted and believed him.

There is no single right way to influence or persuade others. But in the end, our actions matter more than we think.

Connection with other people is fundamental to our survival. Human connection is better given than taken. Every single one of us can be influenced — but we are also all capable of influencing others. To make real progress in life and at work, you have to improve your persuasion skills.


Influencing people is about understanding yourself and the effect or impact you have on others. Whatever you do, your job will require you to influence people. It pays to adapt and modify your personal style if you want to make a positive influence on others and win their

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Mark Twain once said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” He couldn’t be more right. If you finally accept yourself and your flaws, your life will be much less burdensome.

So what is the antidote to self judgement? We think it is the art of radical self acceptance. Accepting who you are and building on that. Self-acceptance is the ability to accept yourself as you are instead of how you wish you were, or how you wish others percieved you. It frees you from an overly high concern with what other people think about you.

Why is Self-Acceptance important?

The feelings of shame and unworthiness are the source of many problems we experience with our relationships, careers, and creative endeavours. Self-acceptance is the feeling of satisfaction with yourself despite your weaknesses and regardless of your past behaviours and choices. It’s necessary for good mental health.

When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves — not just the positive parts. Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life, yet it’s the happy habit many people practice the least.

In one of our favourite books, “Happiness Now”, Robert Holden talks about how self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of.

For many people we know in our life, self-acceptance is truly a great struggle. They consistently doubt themselves. And with more doubt comes even more negative thoughts about themselves. And more negative thoughts can quickly become your reality.

The bitter is, we will never be free of the feelings of despair, or self-loathing. The good news is, we don’t have to identify with these emotional feelings. You can accept them and still focus on being the best version of yourself.

Let’s now understand the perspective of experts on self-acceptance.

Jeffrey Sumber, Psychotherapist, says that it is vital that we set an intention for ourselves that we are willing to shift paradigms from a world of blame, doubt and shame to a world of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust. It’s not possible that self-loathing or poor self-acceptance will lead to a satisfying life.

Fortunately, self-acceptance is something we can nurture. See it as a skill you can practice versus an innate trait you either have or don’t.

Learning self-acceptance teaches you to focus your mind to provide self-pardon, rather than repeating fear-provoking habits self-judgment.

If you are having a tough time accepting yourself, hone your strengths. Pay more attention to things you are good at.

You can even go a step further by writing your abilities down. This puts things in perspective for you. Start with something basic like “I’m a kind person.” If you are having trouble coming up with things you are great at, ask your friends and colleagues to help you. Sometimes, the people close to us are better at noticing our greatest strengths. Don’t force to write everything at a single sitting. Typically, lists evolve with time. Another kind of list is a list to boost your confidence and appreciate how far you’ve come. Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.

Remember, reading about making lists and thinking about making lists is not the same as ACTUALLY sitting down and makings lists.

Why is it important to remove self-loathing out of your system?

Negative emotions generally require more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones. Typical human behaviour focuses on negative qualities. People who judge themselves harshly process negative emotions more than negative ones. That means they spend more time contemplating the bad stuff and less time on the good stuff. We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths. This can easily become a cycle that becomes difficult to break.

Getting through life happily requires us to understand the balance of positive and negative emotions and work towards accepting ourselves and still become the best versions of ourselves.

Practising self-acceptance requires that you develop more self-compassion. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is self-acceptance.

In the words of psychologist Tara Brach: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing. The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

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Parents today put themselves in two categories- one who considers children a boon and others who feel that it is simply too difficult to raise a child. In a world of unfulfilled potentials, parents often transfer the dreams they once had and expect the children to fulfil it.

This often adds immense pressure to the children. While some thrive in this set of conditions, because of the belief that they are born to be special instilled in them early on, many fail under this kind of pressure.

What can you do as a parent to ensure that you are not putting overdue pressure on your children?

People can often be hypocritical about their parental approach. You cannot expect your children to be angels when you weren’t one during your childhood (harsh, but a fair opinion)

Today, let’s talk about some unfair expectations you can have from your kids.

1. Be grateful to you

Everyone expects their children to be grateful. After all, you are the ones that brought them to the world, took care and provided them food, shelter and amenities. But in all honesty, none of it matters, if you are not there.

If you are a parent who spends very less time with your children, don’t expect them to be any grateful to you. When you are not spending time, understanding their day and their progress each day, you are just a person who is providing them with materials which they can’t procure, for now.

As soon as they start earning, they are going to forget you because remember, you were not there in the first place. A grateful child is one who has been given enough memories and experience to cherish and live life. If you haven’t done that, please do not expect gratefulness.

2. Do as I say

Another expectation that most parents have for their children is utmost respect and humility. Also, listen to your advice without thinking about it.

It does not work like this anymore. Children take in less of what you say and more of what you do. If you are wasting away life, expect them to do the same. If you are strong willed, hard-worker, expect them to be the same.

3. Never mess up.

It can be frustrating how much kids mess up. Whether it’s broken devices or coloured walls, children are going to mess up because they are doing everything for the first time. There will be no kid who did not mess up, not even you. So stop trying to hold our kids to a standard that we can’t maintain ourselves. Mistakes happen, we ALL mess up, that’s life. Children mess up. They lie to us, they’re sneaky, they don’t listen and they know how to push all the wrong buttons. Don’t hold being human against your children.

Children are the blessings of Earth. The undying wellness and hope that they stand for, can only be strengthened by their parents. Stand by them, stand for them. Expect them to be good humans and everything will turn out just fine.

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When you choose to serve someone other than yourself, you are
actually creating a positive environment for yourself. It is this
environment that plays a vital role in building a foundation that
helps you achieve long lasting success.

Let’s put ourselves into perspective. Are you truly happy? When
was the last time you were of service?

Being of service can be anything from showing love to a dog in the
neighborhood to giving food to people in orphanages. It is an
action that will leave you filled with satisfaction and the other
person filled with happiness.

Contribution, to other than yourself, keeps your life in check.
When you choose to be someone who only takes from the world
you live in but no contribute, you are never advancing. You are
going to be forever stuck in survival-mode. This is because you
will choose spend on things you don’t need anyways.

Everyone is living in two states of life today – one where you are
competing. Competing to get what others have.

State 1 – “Saw my friend on Insta stories visiting M&M museum in
London. Saving up for that now”

State 2 – “Now I have worked my whole life and have all the
money I want, but what do I do? I am stuck with myself”

I am not trying to portray travelling is bad, but how about travelling
to Italy, learning the language and coming back to teach poor kids
who can then make a good life out of it?

People are rather choosing to go to factories of colorful packaged
chocolate and this is where the problem lies.

The sheer reality is that, to be truly fulfilled and not have simply
moments of fleeting happiness, we cannot be living just for

You are never going to real satisfaction from simply working in a
high-paid job.

Imagine, I told you that I will pay you 10 lakh rupees a month for
simply making burgers for rich people. You will be excited and happy in the beginning, but what after the routine of flipping burgers is continued for three years and lot of money made?

You are sure to wonder, isn’t life more than this?
Yes it is.

Now imagine being paid 5000 rupees, after all these years, to flip
burgers for poor children in slums around the world? How happy
will you be serving people who would be having the tastiest meals
in their lives?

Start doing things that can impact 10 other lives. Learn not your
self but for others. Live for others. Feed Others. Love dogs that
are on the street, adopt animals. Protect the world. Consume less

Become more sustainable. Use water as if it is going to
end tomorrow. Learn to cook and feed poor kids and dogs. Cook
for yourself.

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Time for some truth.

The mediocrity principle is a gift of the philosophers and astrophysicist to the modern world. It states that wherever you look in the universe, by extension, you are unalterably average.

When thought more – “The Mediocrity Principle is a philosophical notion that states that most of what happens in the universe is a consequence of natural and universal laws. These are rules that apply everywhere and to everything and everyone.”

Now let’s talk about what this should mean to you.

It simply means that everyone you see around you is a consequence of their
actions. They are born average, after which they either chose to outgrow
themselves or stayed exactly the same or worse just degraded over time.
When I talk about the Mediocrity Principle, I wait back to hear their opinions to understand what they have taken away from it. Almost all accept that, YES they are mediocre but yet there is nothing that can done about it. What the principle screams from the other side is the fact that while YES, everyone is born average, you need not die average. You can become whomever you truly wish to be.

The mediocrity principle can free you from all of the modern social pressure to become someone famous or someone special.
The need to feel special forces you to compare to others. Being special is claiming that you are superior and better than others. It’s feeling entitled to
deserve greater things than other people. Or believing that nothing bad
should ever happen to you.

It’s important to remember that you are different from everyone else- not superior.

Feeling superior changes you in ways that will not ever bring
happiness. Get rid of this mask. When you stop trying to be special, you
become your authentic, BEST self. The simple fact about this world, is how it can be moulded and bended according to our will. The best example is Daniel Ludwig.

Most of the people have never heard of him. Even his own neighbours since decades did not know much about it. Daniel Ludwig living like a normal working class American. The only difference between him and other neighbours- He was a few billions rich.

Daniel Ludwig was the richest man in America in the 30’s and 40’s. He
constantly stayed out of the spotlight and often paid the PR firms to keep his
name out of the papers. Daniel Ludwig got out of school and started working in the docks at the age of 9.

He went on to become the biggest manufacturer of salt in the world, opened the biggest pulp factory in the world right in the middle of Amazon. “The Secretive Billionaire” is a book that explores his life. It talks about how Daniel successfully shaped his life from nothing. It talks about how he prioritised hard work and becoming the best version of himself, rather than media spotlight and attention.

Daniel Ludwig believed that you can transform the world just through the way you see yourself.

See yourself as average, someone on whom works needs to be done – ON A DAILY BASIS, then and then alone can you bend this world to your will.

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Afraid of looking stupid?

What is the number one killer of dreams in today’s world?

Doubt not, for it’s the fear of looking stupid.

Rooted in this problem is the fact that often the people who you think will make you feel stupid, or actually do criticise you might the very last people in the world qualified in the world to do so.

When Jenny Quan Zhiya, the high flying tech executive of a Chinese Car rental company decided it was time to go out on her own, most would have considered her venture doubtful. After all who wants to start a coffee chain to beat out Starbucks?

Especially considering the fact that Starbucks partnered with Alibaba to open exclusive Starbucks stores to make you feel that you are in 2040 already. But that did not stop Jenny Quan Zhiya, often known as the woman with the face of Buddha but works works like a thunder, from going after her dream of building up a brand to put up a major challenge against Starbucks.

Fast forward 18 months, Luckin Coffee has 2370 stores ie one store opened every 3.5 hours. It is the first Chinese unicorn in the coffee industry, and Jerry still has a long way to go.

But what if she thought at the start that this was a foolish endeavour?

What if she believed that Starbucks can never be put up to a challenge?

We would never have the worlds first cashless coffee chain with more than a 1000 stores. Most people are living lives in someone else’s terms. Living a life where they try their best to avoid fear, risk or resentment of any kind.

In most of the cases this has been culturally ingrained in us, other times it is childhood memories that haunt us into this hole.

Why you shouldn’t fear looking stupid?

‘Even if a man fails again and again to accomplish his purpose ( as he necessarily must until his weakness is overcome), the strength of the character gained will be measure of his true success. This character will be the basis for his future power and triumphs” – James Allen.

Failure is direct feedback. Failure is knowledge. Failure is true progress.
Life is not about failing or looking stupid, it is about improving a little every single day, because remember, we don’t have the lifespan of a firefly.

The recipe for permanent failure is the expectation of instantaneous success and the resentment that comes along because success never happens on your timeline.

“Do not focus on the outcome, focus on the effort you put into the process. This way you can feel less anxious and less scared, and redirect all that negative energy to building something positive.

Easier to say that done right? Yes, but it is the simple truth too.
“If someone is better at something, it is likely because they’ve failed at it more times than you” – Mark Mansonan

It’s illogical that people are fine looking good in mediocrity than taking the effort to look stupid on the grand road to success. These are the people who have taken embarrassment to be part of their process.

To summarise this with a beautiful quote – “You can’t be an important and life-changing presence for some people without also being a joke and embarrassment to others” -Mark Manson

Fail big, fail fast, all day, everyday.

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