Why playing “infinite games” is the way to go


If you follow Simon Sinek , like the way I do , you would have come across the concept of “Infinite Games”. I have watched myriad videos on youtube wherein Simon has preached and explained the meaning & importance of playing infinite games for achieving fulfillment for individuals as well as business entities.

Please find below the link to a most recent video of his wherein he explains about “infinite games” and also provides a checklist that qualifies any entity to engage in playing infinite games.

Very briefly let us look at the concept. The individual mentioned below can refer to any individual person , business , education institution , hospital or any such entity.

Playing infinite games means that we should not compare ourselves with others and should try and create a better version of ourselves by the day. An infinite player knows that sometimes he will be ahead and sometimes he will lag hence he would believe in the journey and not short term benefits. Winning does matter but when we fall behind it makes us realize our shortcomings to help pull up our socks for the days to come.

This way we would compete with ourselves instead of having to bother and get bogged down by competition. This would help unleash the best in us and as long as we have put our best efforts we should be satisfied. Sometimes we win and sometimes we do not but such lessons learnt would enrich us by the day and indeed help us in achieving greater successes in the future.

Easier said than done this requires a lot of soul searching , grit , determination and courage.

The checklist mentioned by Simon in his video consists of the following.

  1. Having a just cause – This is the burning reason or desire of an individual to play and infinite game. Without an intrinsic sense of motivation and associated passion the journey would not be possible to embark on.
  2. Courageous leadership – As mentioned being a true leader needs a lot of sacrifice to win in the long run brushing aside enticements of short term benefits. To have an “abundance mentality”  in order to  achieve this , requires lot of mental strength and fortitude.
  3. Trusting teams – Without winning as a group we will never achieve fulfillment.Having faith in self as well as teams is the basic essence of having the right kind of mentality to be able to play infinite games.
  4. Worthy Rival – A worthy rival or any kind of major hindrance would be one the best inspiration to play infinite games.
  5. Flexible playbook – Not having a rigid mindset , to be able to collaborate with like minded people who believe in what we believe would give us the right kind of energy and zeal to pursue such a difficult journey.

Infinite game it must be said is a journey and not a destination.The destination may seem near but as we come nearer the milestone would change , destination would get blurred and hence this is not for the faint hearted who would rather back out and settle for some short term gains.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Man’s search for fulfillment


Having gone through some of the best self-help books as well as blogs & youtube videos, I have tried summarizing some of the key aspects, emphasized by these wise men, to lead a fulfilling life in the modern age of hustle and bustle.

The following are some of the noteworthy books that I went through, where in the authors have tried zeroing in on these quintessential aspects.

  1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  2. Start With Why , Leaders Eat Last , Together is Better & youtube videos by Simon Sinek
  3. Fish Philosophy by Stephen Lundin , John Christensen , Harry Paul
  4. The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale
  5. The Power of Subconscious mind – Dr. Joseph Murphy

Based on the learnings as well as the messages conveyed in the aforementioned books as well as blogs/youtube videos please find below an attempt made by me to summarize some of the key aspects that are the perfect recipe for leading a fulfilled life for leaving a legacy for others to follow.

  • Play an infinite game – Thinking of making a better version of yourself over time without comparing with others. Tune your mind and goals in such a fashion that long term gains are given precedence over self-sided short term gains. We need to realize that there will be times when we win and there will be other times when we lose , what matters is winning in the long run. Develop a child-like inquisitiveness to know by the day and hence learn and gain by the day without being too fussy about what the competition is doing. Live in the present and remove any worry habit since time is short always try to make a difference by doing something genuinely good. Being too stressed up in the wake of competition releases cortisol which reduces the flow of oxytocin the fulfillment chemical, through our veins.
  • Choose your job, company that you keep to feel safe and motivated – Try to be in the company of people who are not toxic and entertain positive thoughts. Being in the company of leaders who motivate, inspire and give us a sense of belonging makes us feel safe and encourages us to unleash our best to achieve fulfillment. Choose a job wherein you feel safe in the company of others and where you are inspired to go to office, love your job and get back home fulfilled. Human beings right from their evolution have always been social animals who crave for having social bonds. This is why we feel safe being in the midst of like-minded people who give us a sense of belonging. These are symbols we seek in workplaces and is the very reason why we make true friends.
  • Serve those who serve others and show generosity – Try to make it a day for someone else if you are feeling down to enliven your own spirits since human being is essentially a social animal who craves for human bonds. Doing well for oneself gives us happiness but doing genuinely good for someone else without expecting anything in return gives fulfillment. Generosity by definition means doing something for someone without expecting anything in return. If this is done with the best of intentions then such actions release a chemical known as “Oxytocin” which is known to increase immunity against diseases and enables leading a fulfilled life.
  • Control the flow of “dopamine” by leading a balanced life – In the age of social media and a hyper mediated world we no longer have sacrificed forming true bonds at the cost of virtual relationships. Once in a while, take stock of your life and try to lead your life the way we used to when mobile phones were not there, social media was not that prevalent. Too much of mobile phone , social media addiction releases “dopamine” which is an addictive chemical and can cause serious repercussions if the flow of the same is not regulated. Waking up with the sun, having healthy food, exercising regularly, spending quality time with family and especially kids are certain aspects we have to give paramount importance to. Practice forgiveness and try to flush out negative thoughts from your mind the moment you encounter one. Our human mind is indeed fascinating, it is a very good slave but a very bad master and hence the habit that we inculcate gets ingrained in our brain.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Why “Together” is indeed “Better”


The following is the book for whom I am writing my review.


“Together Is Better” by Simon Sinek is a very nicely written self-help book wherein the emphasis is on winning as a group rather than winning individually.

The way great leadership, wherein the great leader is chosen by the group to make the group feel safe, has been related with leadership during caveman times is truly fascinating. In the absence of a hierarchy of leader and followers, a chaotic system would have made survival very difficult for the human race. During caveman times ALPHA was given first choice of food and mate by the members of the group with the intention that the ALPHA would go any distance to protect the group from external dangers.

This is the basic essence why homo sapiens has been able to able to weather all storms and survive the test of time where other species who originated at around the same time , have become extinct. Getting ALPHA status as a leader came at the cost of having to protect others who elected the human being as the ALPHA.

Severe resentment and ill will arises when the ALPHA is not willing to take full responsibility of the group and is willing to sacrifice others for his/her own benefit. This is precisely the reason why getting qualified and deserving leaders has become such a big deal in the modern age where in the midst of cut throat competition we have lost sight of the basic principles that qualify a leader.

The basic human instincts of feeling safe in a group are traits that human beings have inherited right from the caveman times. Hence we are still driven to give off our best when we feel secure and safe in a surrounding, where we know someone is there to take care of us. The challenge is to find such surroundings and groups where we can feel safe and secure and can unleash our true potential to achieve fulfillment.

One such pointer that can serve as a guiding star to be in such groups is to find people who genuinely “believe in what we believe”. We may not find the world believing in what we believe but once we find the initial few ones, the others who do not believe in what we believe will either leave the group or be part of another group. Once we get and feel belonged in the group of our choice we can do wonders and overcome seemingly impossible obstacles since we feel a sense of fulfillment.

Historically when the human race evolved, countries, societies and communities were formed by having people with the same set of beliefs and opinions. With the advancement of time and in the face of ruthless advancement we have lost sight of these nuances which is why we no longer feel safe in the workplaces we work, societies we live.

Thus long term fulfillment stems from forming long term bonds with like-minded people who believe in what we believe and give us a feeling of safety and security to help unleash our best…..

Pile on motivation!!!!

What does it take to be a “LinchPin”


Recently I had the honor of reading Seth Godin’s book named “The Linchpin”.

The book is inspiring to the core and explains how linchpins find it very difficult to survive in stable , banal & process oriented factory environments.

For ages , the factory model of working , where there would be a factory owner(owing machines etc.) ,workers(users of the machines) & supervisors , has been the widely accepted norm primarily because of the security benefits it brings with it.

In developing countries , working in a factory environment for a good brand is still regarded as a great achievement.

A factory environment by the way is one wherein the owner has machine and resources ,workers follow instructions and are PERL(Perfectly easily replaceable labors).Machine would be there , manual would be there where workers have to obey instructions and do work for cheap with no space for innovation and managers have to just manage them to ensure processes are being followed to reduce cost and increase profit.

Though this has worked for many years , in the modern day where the world in connected by internet and laptop can be bought for a mere $300 , people crave for fulfillment since machine(laptop) is not something only factory owners can afford.

Hence instead of sheepwalking , linchpins are born who want to move away from a factory environment and dare to do work which very few people can think of doing in order to achieve fulfillment.

Linchpins master the limbic brain and let their rational brain take charge of the fear , stress of the limbic brain when it comes to taking risks in order to create insanely different things to achieve fulfillment.

The biggest lesson to learn is that in this age of the internet and a connected world , sheepwalking has no meaning if you back your abilities and you are in search of fulfillment from your job.A factory environment and related job is for the faint hearted who are satisfied with the status quo and are not striving for fulfillment from the work they do.

Pile on motivation……

Serve those who serve others to achieve fulfillment


For those who have not yet watched this video of Simon Sinek , this is a must watch.

Please listen to this video very carefully and would have witnessed something extra special.

Simon Sinek narrates his experience of getting stuck up in Afghanistan , after having lost all hopes of returning back to his home.

During that moment of hopelessness he like ordinary humans became obsessed with his own goals and forgot about the principles of leadership he energizes people with.

This real life experience when his back was against the wall , leading up to the magical realization that dawned on him , is a true treat for people who are seeking inspiration and motivation.

The very fact that serving those who serve others can act as a panacea and result in fulfillment is something that Simon realized through his life experience and is sure to inspire more and more of his followers.

Pile on motivation!!


The Art of Storytelling – The Carmine Gallo Way


The Storyteller’s Secret is the third book of Carmine Gallo that I have read after Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Talk like TED.Like the first two, I have found this equally fascinating.

This book is a must read for those who are looking to overcome stage fright , public speaking as well as those who are into selling.

As is evident from this as well as his previous books, storytelling has always been an art not science and needs the storyteller to understanding the working of the human brain with precision.

The stories of great presentations , the preparation before the presentations , the effort made by the presenter in trying to influence the human brain goes a long way in conveying the message that for passing on a simple message in an easily understandable way needs lot of complex planning and preparation.

The following are the concepts related to engaging presentations, storytelling that deeply appealed to my senses. All these it must be said have deep rooted relationship with neuroscience and ability to understand the working of the human brain. Thus storytelling is still an art using scientific techniques leaving nothing to chance.

ü  Neural coupling —– This is what happens when a message from a storyteller is able to engage the listener and his brain (emotional side of it) is tightly coupled with the idea presented by the storyteller. It is similar to resonance that happens when the natural frequency matches. Once a listener is neutrally coupled the job of the storyteller in conveying his message becomes a lot easier. As a result of neural coupling an emotionally charged event gets triggered in the brain that gives rise to excitement in the mind of a listener driving away boredom.

ü  Heart sing —- This is a concept coined by Steve Jobs wherein the presenter or storyteller has to connect with the audience in such a way that would make the heart of the audience sing with the message conveyed by the presenter.

ü  Mood contagion happens when the mood or magic created by the storyteller spreads like a disease amongst the audience and becomes contagious wherein the audience remains engaged with all eyes and ears enjoying the presentation.

ü  Amygdala “Post It” notes – Amygdala is the region of the brain that releases dopamine, the chemical that gives us happiness. The message of the presenter when conveyed in a desirable manner  gets registered as a “Post It” note in the brain region named Amygdala and causes the release of dopamine which makes the listener not only relate better but carry the message with him/her after the presentation.

5 Leadership Lessons, a masterclass – The Simon Sinek Way


The following link has a recent video of Simon Sinek that I came across recently. The practicality of the 5 principles conveyed via this video fascinated me and enticed me to share this with a broader audience group to spread the word around.


Here are the 5 leadership principles, which if practiced as well as preached would not only help groom and create leaders but would also make workplaces a better and safer place for employees

1) Go after things that you want to achieve in life without coming in the way of others – Human beings are very creative, when given a destination we are so obsessed that we devise ways to reach the destination through different means. This thus means that different people can have different ways to reach a destination but while doing so we should not cross our paths or come in between others paths. This would enable creation of a blue ocean strategy so very important for modern day leaders.

2) Take full accountability for your actions – This is also known as internal locus of control wherein we as leaders should not only take credit for any good done but also take responsibility for any wrongdoing without trying to find scapegoats. Easier said than done since this is where most modern day leaders are lacking, they want to take the easier route of escaping when the chips are down leaving their subordinates to the mercy of others. This is where we need to correlate parenting with leadership wherein just like we cannot desert our trouble children we need to make our subordinates/employees feel safe.

3) Help the ones to the left and right of you – A competent leader who leads by example is obsessed with helping the ones to the left and right of him/her who need help and support. A leader can inspire and get people who believe in what they believe only when a leader practices selflessness and helps people to secure their trust. In such a scenario the subordinates would give their blood, sweat and tear for such an inspirational leader. In the modern day, the leader is so obsessed with I that WE seldom captures his imagination.

4) Practice being the last to speak – This is an amazingly difficult quality that most inspirational leaders have.Aside from being great listeners , an inspirational leader by virtue of being a subject matter expert knows when to step in and when to give others a chance to speak and express their opinions to feel empowered.The example of Nelson Mandela given by Simon in his video stands out as a great case study for aspiring leaders.

5) Leadership by position is temporary – A leader is given all benefits , perks , allowances when in power , but this is not something that would be eternal.A manipulative leader may enjoy the best of benefits , perks , power , position but the day the power is taken away he/she would be grounded to reality and would cease to have the support of followers.This is why it makes all the more sense to inspire and lead and make followers rather than be manipulative and force people to follow.An inspirational leader does not need power or position to earn respect of sub-ordinates they become their followers for life.

Hope these lessons would be able to encourage the leaders of the modern era to make the world a much better to live and work for subordinates/team members/employees seeking inspiration and motivation to make it big!!

Pile on motivation!!

Comparison v/s Advancement , what do we prefer?


I have been following Simon Sinek’s lessons about leadership and the simplicity with which he conveys his leadership related messages is a real treat.

Some of the best takeaways from his numerous videos on youtube, his famous books are like:

1) Serving those who serve others would give us fulfillment and would enable oxytocin to flow through our veins which will make us intrinsically happy

2) Finite games v/s infinite games of game theory extended to business – Be a player of infinite games wherein you try to make yourself a better version of yourself every single day without comparing yourself with others…Going for comparisons and short term games gives birth to depression , jealously and can prevent us from giving our best

Those who are engaged in infinite games go for advancement as opposed to comparison by those who are engaged in finite games.

3) Nervousness v/s excitement – Deliberate practice and hard work can help transform nervousness to excitement where both have the same visible effects e.g. sweating of palms , increase of heart beat whereas the way we make use of excitement has a much more profound effect than nervousness.

4) The symbols that we send to others in terms of the way to talk , engage will help us meet and be with people who believe in what we believe.In case we find such people they would give their blood , sweat and tear and trust would naturally flow.The basis of this is that we as human beings crave for social bonds being social animals and historically the way culture and country have been formed the same applies to formation of companies and teams as well.

Pile on motivation..

Extending Parenting to Leadership


The following two videos of Simon teach all of us wonderful lessons related to leadership. My key leadership related takeaways have been summarized below.




Parenting and leadership are similar and require empathy and understanding. Just like a parent cannot do away with a child who is going through a tough time and cannot ask others to adopt him/her, a leader cannot just like that chuck an underperforming employee without showing empathy and understanding the root cause of underperformance. Empathy and understanding are core qualities of a motivational leader. Most Ladies possess care, empathy, and understanding as innate qualities and hence ladies as leaders can do a great job in being motivational leaders to make work places better place to work in

As part of leadership qualities, find those who believe in what you believe since trust will automatically emerge when such a team is found. All this means is that we are guided by symbols when we try to find similar kinds of people, the only problem is that this way of forming a group is not scalable and needs insight and acumen. At the essence of this logic is the fact that as human beings we are still social animals and have an inherent need to socialize.

When we build a team we should remember that the definition of a community, country when extended to a company or team have the commonality in that all of these are a set of people with common values and beliefs, hence people will always want to work in a place where leaders believe in what they believe for a better fitment.

Leadership also needs understanding as to whether we are engaging in finite games or infinite games. Leadership strategies are going to be different based on the games that we are playing. An inspirational leader in a space where finite games are being played is a misfit since such an environment needs micromanagers who would cater to short term targets. Inspirational managers when engage in infinite games would be able to get the best out of their team by spreading motivation since such an environment needs creativity.

Leadership because of power gives necessary advantages and facilities but that is only because of position. The facilities that are associated with a leader comes at a cost to protect all under you like a parent take risks to handhold their kids. A motivational leader is one who is not carried away by position hence even after surrendering their position people look up to them with loads of respect.

Pile on motivation!!!!