10 Years of Unwavering Commitment and Long-Lasting Success

This month marks the tenth year since I immigrated to the United States. Immigrating to the US with nothing but a back pack was a fun, eye-opening experience. I would recommend those that do not travel to try it out. You might be pleasantly surprised! During these past ten years, there are keys that have led to personal, health, financial, academic, and professional achievements. One of my many passions in life is to be in constant growth while adding significant value to society, helping solve challenges the everyday person faces. So far so good, it has been a fun and enjoyable ride with more decades to come. As I prepare for my weekend mini-vacation getaway and then a technical conference in Houston next week, I thought it was important to share the milestones and what it took to achieve them. To salute the number “10”, since this is such an important number (for those who play soccer, you will appreciate the significance of the number “10”), I will list out 10 things that have been instrumental the past ten years in achieving long-lasting success.
Before I list out the steps, I will list out the achievements in a chronological order starting from the age I immigrated to the US. As I look back at the milestones and decisions made, I would say it has been a beautiful journey thus far.
Age 17: Immigrated to the United States and took the ACT test. Did great on the test!
Age 18: Admitted to college on a full-ride scholarship. Moved to a different state.
Age 19: Increased gross income. Worked 2 jobs during the school year. Joined the college soccer team.
Age 20: Increased gross income. First internship (worked offshore Gulf of Mexico during the summer and overseas during the winter). Worked 2 jobs during the school year. Traveled with college soccer team during the school year.
Age 21: Decreased gross income. Second internship. Worked 2 jobs during the school year. Held various leadership positions in different organizations.
Age 22: Increased gross income. Graduated college with a 4.0 GPA.
Age 23: Purchased first property. Increased income. Became a US citizen.
Age 24: Increased income. Difficult period in the industry as a whole. Accepted to multiple Phd programs but turned it down.
Age 25: Became completely debt free. Paid off 100% of mortgage. Increased income. Difficult period in the industry as a whole. Accepted to multiple Phd programs but turned it down.
Age 26: Switched jobs. Increased gross income. Achieved >20% increase in net worth. Started graduate school part-time.
Age 27: Achieved >50% increase in net worth. Increased income. Generated substantial passive income. Took 1st major vacation to a resort. Achieved ~94% savings rate. Achieved best ever BMI thus far (finally got a six pack!).
Anticipated Age 28: Increase net worth by 1Q2020. Purchase another rental property by 3Q2020. Trip to UK with nuclear family by 3Q2020 to visit extended family. Graduate from grad school 4Q2020.
Below are the 10 ingredients on my path to success:
1. Be passionate – This is extremely important when it comes to sustaining drive. Having a lot of passion around what one does not only makes it extremely easy to do it but also makes it the most exciting thing at that moment.
2. Always remain positive – It is so easy to be negative and in fact there are studies that show that humans have a negativity bias.
Humans tend to:
  • Remember traumatic experiences better than positive ones
  • Recall insults better than praise
  • React more strongly to negative stimuli
  • Think about negative things more frequently than positive ones
  • Respond more strongly to negative events than to equally positive ones
Now, most people have a tendency towards this bias but eliminating it always greatly improves quality of life and sparks focus on what is truly important as it has for me.
3. Have a vision – Arnold Schwarzenegger said it best, “All I know is that the first step is to create a vision, because when you see the vision – the beautiful vision – that creates the want power. ”

4. Look at every setback as a great opportunity – This has to do with being okay with failing. Yes, that is right, failure. A quote by Elon Musk states “Failure is an option. If things are not failing, then you are not innovating enough.” For those that are entrepreneurs or problem-solvers, this is a really key lesson because it is through failure that one typically finds the solution. Unless you have exhausted most logical options then you are unable to narrow it down to the expected value. For those statistics nerds out there, we call it regression to the mean. There will always be some distribution around the expected value but hope your residuals are not too far off! With proper logic, there is typically a true or approximate solution to every problem.
5. Be consistent and determined – This is easier said than done but one of my favorite quotes by Elon Musk is “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80- to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you are putting in 100-hour work weeks, then even if you are doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.” Now, this quote is simply just life, since the absolute chance of being lucky or being more efficient only increases with more trials.
6. Have a high amount of curiosity – This involves taking on more challenges which can be extremely fun and rewarding! The avenue could be increasing your knowledge on a specific topic or going all in and trying to solve some of the world’s problems. Jeff Bezos started Amazon by simply, selling books online, but these days it peddles everything from pickled carrots to two-carat diamond rings in a convenient and efficient fashion.
7. Take calculated risks – Having an analytical mind that can anticipate every possible outcome always helps in achieving success in the long run. I have personally taken some calculated risks that have paid off immensely and will continue to in the near future.
8. Believe in yourself – This is a no-brainer but self doubt is the enemy of creativity.
9. Knowledge is power – Always being in search of the truth will lead to acquiring an immense amount of knowledge through time. This will help make it easier and clearer when making pivotal decisions.
10. Have fun while doing it – Finally, the last secret is have fun while doing it. This is critical as chasing your passion and dreams will definitely lead to fun experiences throughout the process. It will serve as an avenue to grow tremendously, leaps and bounds past initial expectations, and the reward will typically follow!

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