The billionaire dream and the demons inside

There are no shortcuts. Every billionaire out there has had a struggle of sorts to get to the top of the pile

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Even when you are daunted by memories of undeserving failures and disappointments from the past, you need to still have that clarity to make the right decisions and take the next step. When back to back rejections run amok in the head, and you wonder if you can ever make it at all, you need to wait for the noise to die. Later, move on. Concentrate on the bigger picture, while being careful enough to be not so repetitive that it starts haunting. Improvise and adapt in the face of adversity or a sudden detour. Show courage. Everything sounds cool, but what happens when nothing really happens even after all this?

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If you are looking for a secret to amass wealth, then forget it. The barriers to cross are innumerable. Even if there is a massive inheritance waiting, the job is still not going to be easy. Trust can be a precarious support when there is a huge fortune on the table. The mind should be sharp when the clawing begins. So when you talk about the minority of people who have successfully made it to the billionaire club, you should know that it isn’t just luck. The routes may differ, and the ethics in approach and conduct, totally debatable. Nevertheless, it’s a given that you just don’t give up. You don’t lose your guard. There are many battles to fight. And winning and losing begins with the mind.

A vast majority of the self-made billionaires have stories that go back to days of living under really harsh and challenging conditions. To an outsider, it’s a cliched summary, heard many times before. However, it is the real experience or a frightening forecast of that cliched quest that stops most of the enthusiasts early or even midway through. Going all out isn’t a cakewalk. Focus is scanty when the rent and bills are not paid on time. The voices that chant in the head can be as debilitating as a lethal wound. When negative thoughts mess with your persona, trying to demean everything you believe is done for a purpose, even watching the instantaneous luxury of someone ordering pizzas and buying clothes at will can trigger a torrent of hurtful emotions. 

Speaking of billionaires though, the kid who once got regularly bullied and injured by schoolmates is Elon Musk today. His stuttering speech is valued only for content. The below-average student who constantly failed and got rejected by numerous universities and companies is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. JK Rowling was a single mother of three children, who struggled to pay her rent before ‘Harry Potter’ was born. Raised in an orphanage in Moscow was Roman Abramovich before he became the owner of Millhouse LLC and Chelsea F.C. later on. For the beneficiaries of such long-endured hardships, the real experiences behind such exemplary stories would be hard to explain with mere words. Motivation has a limit, whereas inspiration is a complex thing.

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For every incredible feat, it is important to bank on one’s natural talent or stronghold. Something that might seem as simple as being able to judge something intuitively can be the thing for an empire to rise. The process of realising it though requires patience, the mother of all long-standing knocks. But as you go forward, you get tired of the growing noises inside. You can’t really fight or kill them. However, you can stop reacting to them. Suddenly, the new habit, like silence, chisels attention. With time, the old noises coil backward. The mind here settles. The view gets increasingly clearer. This, after a point, becomes the new regular. A study of the gestures and mannerisms of those who’ve made it to the top will reveal this sense of calmness, the bedrock of their acumen. The weathered will is not easy to beat.

Armchairs don’t attract money. The billionaires you see were pushed to the extreme. Mistakes, failures, bad luck, didn’t crush their spirits. Instead, they only got stronger. Resilience, and the ability to quickly learn, adapt, and rebound made them into who they are today. They know the rule of impermanence. They aren’t smug, aware of the ever-evolving patterns of development, synthesising every new bit of information. They crafted themselves into different and stronger versions of themselves at different stages of making their fortunes. And before anything, they reined in their thoughts first.

We surely have enough control over one part of the equation that leads to glory. The game-changing other part is what everyone waits for. It has its own calling, attainable only by believing that there are no dead-ends.Finally. “I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars. But once you get beyond that, it’s the same hamburger.” Bill Gates, who said this, has stepped down. He is still working though.

(A journalist and entrepreneur, Hemanth likes to play with his niece and nephew, write, dance, act, and make delicious French toast while he considers himself working)

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