What is Success?

Avthar's Weekly Wisdom #51 (04/25/2021)

Welcome to edition #51 of Avthar's Weekly Wisdom!

🔥 This newsletter is where I share practical wisdom about self-mastery, entrepreneurship, health and happiness, all to help you live better. My guarantee is that you’ll discover one thing that will help you change your life every week.

Here's what I want to share with you this week:

  • 🏆 My answer to “What is success?”

  • 💪 An app to level up your at-home workouts

  • 🙏 Marcus Aurelius on interpersonal conflict

To your growth and success, 


🏆 On Self-Mastery and 🚀 Entrepreneurship — 

What is Success? —  My interview on the Thrive Hive

I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the Thrive Hive, a wonderful podcast about success.

About Thrive Hive: Through interviewing “various South African industry leaders, entrepreneurs and people of influence” who have “traveled the road to success”, the Thrive Hive aims to “find out the tried and tested steps to achieving success in our daily lives, businesses and careers”.

I’ve never had as much fun recording a podcast as I did with Thrive Hive hosts Nicole Naidu and Tashen Naidoo. I highly recommend you find 30 minutes in the next week to listen to it (and to subscribe to Thrive Hive while you’re at it).

I hope that our conversation helps you clarify what success means to you and how you can thrive in your own life!

🎧 Listen to the full audio now:

Online | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

📈Episode Highlights

Here are some of the highlights from the podcast, for those looking for the TL;DR:

How do you overcome fear and get out your comfort zone?

  • You're gonna die. And the good news is no one is going to remember you, your successes, or your failures. Think about Nelson Mandela, he was such a wonderful character. How many times have you thought about Nelson Mandela and in the past week? Probably zero.

  • You only get one life. Failure’s not as bad as you think. Stop living life for the “Aunties and Uncles”. Go out there and try things, because at the end of the day, if you win, you'll win. And if you fail, you get to try again.

What is Success?

  • Success for me is to look back on your life and feel like you have achieved your aim. My aim personally is to live a peaceful life of contribution. 

  • The important thing about success is that you need to have defined success for yourself. And you as far as you can help it, try not to go about living with someone else's or society's definition of success. 

  • In South Africa, we worry too much about what the “Uncles and Aunties” are thinking. The more we can stop doing that, and think for ourselves about what success means, the better off we are going to be.

Two Kinds of Failure

  • There's fatal failures, where after you fail you're done. These are things where if you fail, you die, you lose all your money, you ruin your reputation, you get put in jail etc.

  • All the failures that are not that are non-fatal failures. They have less risk associated with them. After you fail, you can still get up again, play the game again and try again. 

  • I've been fortunate to only take on things (and know when to stop those things), when the chance of failure is going to be a non-fatal failure.

The Internal Scorecard

  • The internal scorecard is a mechanism for you to put down on paper, the things that you value the most, so that then you can decide and live your life according to those values, rather than what you see on social media or what society has told you to value.

  • I recommend people sit down and reflect for themselves about what makes a good life for them. And then you can periodically come back and see if you are actually living according to what you say is important.

Lessons from my Entrepreneurial Journey

  • I realized you had to separate your output and your external achievements and the things that happened to you in life, from your self worth -- not saying, “oh, if this company succeeds, only then am I a good person”

  • You'll never be as happy as you imagine you'll be when you get what you want. 

  • There are many ways to live a good life. Just because you don't have a company that's worth a billion dollars, doesn't mean you're a failure in life. Even if you're doing something that can just help one person that's a good life in itself.

🎧 Listen to the full audio now: Online | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

💪 On Health —

Tabata HIIT Interval Timer: Interval training workouts have been a staple of my at home exercise routine during the on-going pandemic. They’re time-efficient, high intensity and fun.

After getting frustrated with the timer app on my phone, I found this specialized timer for interval training. I use it for tabatas on my bike and bodyweight circuits. The features I’ve found most useful are the customizable interval lengths for exercise and rest and the multiple sounds to alert you about the end of one interval and the start of the next. It also supports Apple Health integrations, so workouts are automatically tracked and synced with my Oura ring. 

I highly recommend the app if you’re looking to make your at-home workouts more fun and more intense.

📚 For more on interval training, see Martin Gibala and The One Minute Workout from Edition #40.

🙏 On Happiness —

In the face of life’s inevitable conflict between humans, I revisited this quote on expectations from “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. It reminded me about the importance of having zero expectations (and empathy) for other people, and how “bad” interactions which may offend me are actually just a natural part of life:

“Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.

But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. 

Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. 

To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.”

-Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

👨🏽‍💻 What I'm up to these days:

  • What I’m reading: I started reading “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran. It’s only 100 pages or so, but each page is worthy of hours of contemplation.

  • What I’m watching: “Vincenzo”, a Korean crime drama on Netflix.

  • 1 Year Anniversary (and beyond): I’m planning some special content to celebrate one year of this newsletter (Edition 52 next week!), and to start Year 2 off with a bang. Be sure to look out for it!

🙏 Thank you again for reading and for your support! I wish you a week of happiness, success and peace!

With gratitude,


🌐 avthar.com

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