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The mindset shift that I took for 2022

Instead of new year’s resolutions, I decided to take a different approach this year. As someone who is a big fan of goal-setting and the safety net that writing out your goals and plastering them on the wall gives you, not doing that felt immensely odd. But that’s exactly how I wanted it to feel. To embrace the discomfort and see what lies on the other side of it.


I came across this idea of changing my outlook after having lunch with one of my mentors at the end of 2021. He told me something very bluntly during one of our unnecessarily expensive high protein brunches that continues to resonate with me every day.


He said -

"Mate, you’re so young. You are allowed to take risks. Don’t fall into the trap of caring too much about what other’s think and make the most of your opportunities. Increase your surface area as much as you can."

Increase your surface area.


The sentence ingrained itself into the inner core of my brain.


If you’re wondering, what does that entail? Here’s the way I understood it.


It means putting yourself out there in as many areas as possible, and maximizing opportunities, exposure, and results from thereon. The more you put yourself out there professionally and as an authentic representation of your personality, the more opportunities that will gravitate towards you, and the more choices you will have to pounce on the ones that entice you.


Similar to Mark Manson’s take in his culturally shifting book The subtle art of not giving a F*ck, it involves taking a duration of time (in my case, from the beginning of the new year), and leaping at every opportunity to put myself out there and by taking accountability that every action is on you as an individual, and not an external force. That you are responsible for everything that happens to you, and that only YOU can grab yourself out of misery or that helpless feeling of “what am I doing with my life?”.


✔️ Deeds, not just words.


As a child, I’ve faced this dilemma of caring what others think and the fear of judgment heavily upon my shoulders. Unfortunately, in those many moments, I’ve let go of opportunities or goals of mine by staying ‘in my lane’ and in the safety net of not ruffling the feathers of anything unorthodox.


The worst feeling in that regard is regret. What I realised in retrospect from those moments is that time doesn’t wait for any of us. Time doesn’t wait for our indecisiveness. Time frowns upon all those debilitating thoughts you have of “what will X say if I did this” or “I’ll do it later when the time is right”.


Upon the affirmation from my mentor (who I am ever so grateful to have, as with every mentor in my life), I realised, at 21-years-old, it is time now to be unapologetically strategic with my time, and take tangible actions towards what fulfills me and makes me feel like I’m living this life the way it should be. To respect this blessing of life, and seeking to be of servitude for others.


And so as an accountability tool that this blog will hopefully be in my life, this year is all about increasing my surface area. That means going out of my comfort zone in ways that I could never have imagined before, and finding comfort in the discomfort of that.

We grow at exponential rates when we embrace the most difficult feelings.


And so as action-oriented steps, increasing my surface area can come in the form of being more active on LinkedIn, starting an impact-driven Tik Tok on an area of education that I am passionate about creating content around, continuing this blog, and building an audience (why not?), being more engaged on Twitter, networking regularly on a weekly basis, and of course, traveling the world for speaking gigs and building more MEANINGFUL relationships.


It sounds overwhelming, and at times, it probably will be. But I know with the overly ambitious personality that I have forsaken myself with, my mindset this year is not so much linked to arbitrary metrics or destinations, but rather to focus on the process of enjoying discomfort and allowing myself to become comfortable in that feeling.


There’s method to this chaos of life, and I’m ever so keen for the journey ahead.


As always, there's ambition in my coffee - I hope it's in yours too!


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