“We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, Excellence is not an act, its a habit” – Aristotle

I have been fortunate to experience many things in life and I am thankful for it everyday. My Grandmother made me experience waking up early in the morning and build the discipline of reading in the morning. Over the years I have persisted in making that experience into a habit of waking up early in the morning and reading an hour in the morning. My Grand mother, she used to wake me up early in the morning, when I say early it was really early 4:30 to 5:00 am since I was 6 or 7 years old. I cannot shake the habit, but why would I want to? it is the best time of the day to get stuff done. I had an interesting conversation with a couple of people, when they asked me why did I believe I can do something better than them or their company and we were talking about launching a Venture Fund. I did not say anything at that time because I did not want to look bashful or tweeting my own horn… What I do very well is make habits of things that I want to excel in. It does not guarantee that you will get success but it has always increased my odds of success. Lets take running, ok, I am not a great runner or nothing like that but I could not run for 3 minutes at a stretch just 6 years back. I made a habit of running and training. I have completed 7 marathons improving my time from 4hr 12min in my first marathon to 3hr 33min in my 7th. That is a 39 minute improvement in less than 3 years. That is what I DO! I build habits or rituals as Tony Robbins calls them, set achievable standards, constantly measure myself against world class standards and improve iteratively.

The post was not suppose to be about me. I want you to look at your habits, really spend time to understand what is that you repeatedly do. If you want to get better at something, then repeatedly do that. Yes, it is going to suck the first couple of times, but don’t give up build a habit of it. Why write about this? I think there are so many misconception and myths about Starting a Business or Startups. Many people that I speak to think that it is luck, try saying that to Michael Jordon or Tiger Woods or Michael Phelps. Think about the first time each of them walked into their world and started working on their skill, what would have people said when they saw Michael Jordon for the first time? Would they have bet that he will be one of the greatest baskeball players of our time? His “luck” was built around habits he formed over many years of repeatedly doing something. So how does one go from wanting something to getting that something? Break the goal into tiny tasks and build a habit of doing those tasks repeatedly… lo and behold you are suddenly lucky! Do you have the discipline to build a habit? if you have words in your vocabulary that says “I don’t”, “I can’t” etc deeply look into why you believe that. I believe everyone can do anything they set their mind to and build the discipline to work on it. Why can’t I play the piano? well, because I have not spent the time, built the discipline or habit of practicing playing the piano. Never created the opportunity to do it.

The second point I wanted to make was look deeply at your Standards. Are you competing with World Class? Are you raising your performance bar to compete with World Class? Check out the video by Tony, he talks about Standards. If you don’t have high enough standard you will never strive to improve.