GPP EP # 27: Here Is What Success Is NOT All About

Here is what success is NOT all about

Learn about the most common misconception about success in today’s episode of the Growth Philosophy podcast.

Learning this is not just important, it is essential in order for you to have a better and happier life.

Listen to the talk to learn more.

What will you learn:
The most common myth about success
The problem with the incorrect definition of success
The reality about happiness
Why money is not everything
What money is, and is not
The question you need to ask yourself to have a good life

Listen here.

7 Things I Learned in May 2020

Examining what you learned is a good way to consolidate those learnings. So here are 7 of my biggest takeaways from last month.

7 things I learned in May 2020:

  1. Most professional podcasters have pretty extensive and involved workflows. Even the simplest workflow I came across during my research had at least (record the main content + edit + join/create finished podcast audio + finalise + publish). My workflow seems a bit too simple in comparison. That caused me to consider adding some steps as that would potentially improve the quality of the audio – but after some soul searching I decided against it. Yes, my workflow is incredibly simple, but that works for me. From experience, I know that I will lose interest in processes that take up a lot of time and energy. I hate complexity. Currently, I do one take podcasts. That can and does mean that my podcast episodes sometimes (often!) contain errors and bloopers, but I’m ok with it. The key for me is to provide value, and as long as I’m doing that I’m sure my listeners can get over the human errors. The desire to seek perfection is a continuous struggle, but I continue to get better at prioritising progress over perfection. Keeping things simple help, as does my increased self-awareness level.
  2. Self-awareness is valuable and is a continuous journey. This carries on from the first point. How I do things now is very different from how I used to do things even a few years ago. In a good way. The more I learn about myself, the better I get, especially since the insights help me to design strategies and do things in ways that leverage my strengths, and weaknesses.
  3. Not all chilli powder is the same. Chilli powder is chilli powder, right? That’s what you’d normally think. But if you did, you’d be wrong, as I learned recently. Being a big fan of spicy food, chilli powder is a staple in my groceries. The last time I was in Malaysia I got a big packet of their local Chilli powder, which I was excited to try. I usually add chilli powder to my coffee (the result of one of my food experiments last year). But adding the Malay chilli powder did not work out very well – it tasted very umami! This experience has made me realise that their chilli powder isn’t just chilli powder. That or their chilli has a different flavour profile. Either way, that umami flavour doesn’t pair well with coffee.  Tip: By the way, if you are a fellow spicy food lover, here’s a tip for you – next time you make got chocolate/cocoa, add a bit of chilli powder. It’ll take the drink to a whole different level!
  4. Applying a cold pack to the base of your neck helps you cool down faster. Very useful during summer.
  5. Practice does make you better. I came across my first podcast episode the other day and had a listen of it while considering putting it on YouTube. I’ve been podcasting for nearly 2 months now, and have over 10 episodes. Even though that’s not a lot or a long period of time, I can already hear the difference. My first podcast episode wasn’t that great. My latest episodes are much better. Yes there’s still a lot more for me to learn, I am pretty new to Podcasting still, but this is encouraging. The more you do something, the better you get. It’s a fact.
  6. Nutmeg works nicely in bread. Most of you probably know this about me by now – I love food. It’s one of my biggest passions. This doesn’t just involve trying things and cooking from scratch, but also includes experimentation. One such food experiment involved putting nutmeg Inn the flour while baking bread. The result is very promising. Bread flavoured with nutmeg works well, especially when paired with something sweet.
  7. It’s not a bad idea to stock up on essentials during times of panic. The Coronavirus lockdown caused a lot of stockpiling. I wasn’t too keen on that but realized later the problem with that notion. Stocks now are running low and prices are going up. My views have changed a bit now – stocking up on essentials during an impending crisis isn’t a bad idea after all. It’s not about following the crowd and panic buying, or overreacting, but rather about realising that panic creates self-fulfilling prophecies, like the grocery shortage that most places are experiencing right now thanks to the extended lockdown. As such, being prepared and stocking up isn’t a bad idea. Lesson learned for next time (hopefully there will be no next time, but it’s smart to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best).

It is a huge shortcut to learn from other people’s experiences, and mistakes – that is common knowledge. Hopefully, you will learn something useful from my learnings.

Now, here is a question for you – what did you learn in May?

Post them in the comments section below.

Why I have not been around much (+ updates)

People have been asking me why I haven’t posted much in a while.

It’s a valid question – I’ve averaged about 1 blog post a month, if that, since the end of last year.

Here is the honest answer: life got in the way. I’ve been dealing with some big changes in my life recently, which has required (demanded) re-evaluation of my priorities. As much as I enjoy writing and posting on my blog, doing it daily has been a challenge, as there’s been other demands on my time and attention.

That said, I do plan to (and will) get back to that practice of publishing my daily meditations. But for now, the blogs will be less frequent. About once a week.

However, there are new things on the horizon…

  • My website has been revamped (what do you think of the new design?)
  • I am launching a podcast this March, so keep an eye out for that [Update: it’s out now. Check the podcast page for details]
  • I’ve recently published my two travelogues from last year – check out my books page for more details.
  • I am also working on something else, another book, to give away for free. It is a project I took on with the aim to help raise collective awareness, and empower and inspire personal growth (I am very excited about that).
  • And more.

Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all these, and other future happenings. That really is the best way to stay up to date, and keep in touch.

I sincerely hope you are having a great year so far. Here is to a great rest of the year. I look forward to growing together, for I am on a journey too.

All the best, fellow traveller!

Coronavirus, and the yellow peril hysteria

The panic has set well in.
People are going nuts over Coronavirus.
Just this week alone, world markets have crashed by well over $1 trillion.

Because I’m travelling around South East Asia, friends and family keep sending me messages of concern.
And reminders like “get a mask!”.
I appreciate their concern.
But don’t see the point in panicking.

How serious is Coronavirus?
But does that warrant the level of reaction it has sparked?

This situation makes me think of another big pandemic panic – the yellow peril hysteria of 1880.
That one’s impact, in the end, did not justify the panic, hysteria and uproar it triggered.
Which brings me to the two main ways we act and deal with crisis.


There is a huge difference between responding to a crisis.
And reacting to one.

Responding involves thinking things through.
And coming up with reasonable, prudent, and well thought out options.
The result is a calm response.
One that is, more often than not, effective.

Reacting, on the other hand, doesn’t involve much thinking.
It is all about acting based mainly (if not solely) on emotions, and letting the emotions take over and dictate ones actions.
The result is quite the opposite of a calm reaction.
One that is, more often than not, ineffective.

Responding results in solutions.
Reacting results in panic and hysteria.

Responding helps people find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reacting makes people dig in even deeper.

There is a significant difference between responding, and reacting, to a crisis.
The main one being – one helps, the other one harms.

Coronavirus certainly has the potential of becoming a crisis.
Which makes it important to think before you act.
Because if you respond calmly, you stand a much better chance of getting through it than you do if you simply go with the flow and react with blind panic and hysteria.

As always, it’s important to think before you act.

Act responsibly.
Think for yourself.