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Poke the Box: Simplify

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak over the last few weeks…

Book Worm
Few days back, I was thumbing through Pour Your Heart into It. It’s written by Howard Schultz who created the super brand Starbucks. The book chronicles the story of his struggles to take Starbucks from a small time coffee bean retailer to an international chain of coffee bar.

Here is an excerpt from a chapter called ‘Luck is the residue of design’ which is worth sharing.

Whenever a company, or a person, emerges from the crowd and shines, others are quick to attribute that prominence to good fortune. While bad luck, it’s true, may come out of the blue, good luck, it seems, comes to those who plan for it.

Schultz wanted Starbucks to start offering traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. However, when his bosses failed to understand his vision, he told himself…

This is my moment. If I don’t seize the opportunity, if I don’t step out of my comfort zone and risk it all, if I let too much time tick on, my moment will pass. I knew that if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, I would replay it in my mind for my whole life, wondering: What if? Why didn’t I? This was my shot. Even if it didn’t work out, I still had to try it.

He concludes the chapter with this …

Part of what constitutes success is timing and chance. But most of us have to create our own opportunities and be prepared to jump when we see a big one others can’t see.

It’s one thing to dream, but when the moment is right, you’ve got to be willing to leave what’s familiar and go out to find your own sound. That’s what I did in 1985. If I hadn’t, Starbucks wouldn’t be what it is today.

Stimulate Your Mind
Here’s some amazing content we have read in recent times…

Poke of the Week – Simplify


Editor: “I like your book except for the ending.”

Author: “What’s wrong with the ending?”

Editor: “It should be closer to the beginning.”

What can you edit out of a current project or idea to make it better? What can you streamline? What can you simplify?

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

Have you ever wondered why Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) always wears the same grey t-shirt? Do you remember Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck that he wore for all his stage appearances?

It is a great example of simplifying life. Making decisions is exhausting. The more decisions you make the less will power you have. It’s called decision fatigue. Zuckerberg and Jobs understood this.

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, writes in his book –

“I am a professional simplifier. My main job for past few decades has been creating the Dilbert comic strip. Making comics is a process by which you strip out the unnecessary noise from a situation until all that is left is the absurd-yet-true to core. A cartoonist has to accomplish that feat with as few as four short sentences. I’ve performed that trick nearly nine thousand times.

Simple systems are probably the best way to achieve success. Another big advantage of simplification is that it frees up time, and time is one of your most valuable resource. Simplification frees up energy, making everything else you do just a little bit easier. Develop a habit of simplifying.”

Reminds me of this saying – The learned man aims for more. But the wise man decreases and then decreases again.

Simplify, simplify, simplify!


Make fewer decision, make better decisions.

Simplify life.

Be kind to others, and to yourself.

Keep poking.

Stay happy, stay blessed.

With respect,
Vishal & Anshul
Chief Pokers – Poke the Box

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About the Author

Anshul Khare worked for 12+ years as a Software Architect. He is an avid learner in various disciplines like psychology, philosophy, and spirituality with special interests in human behaviour and value investing. You can connect with Anshul on Twitter.


  1. R K Chandrashekar says:

    Hi Anshul
    Talking of luck, i am reminded of what an English cricket commentator is supposed to have said, when India lost the first 4 wickets without a run on board during their tour of England in 1950-51; good luck he said is always on the better side!!.
    Man is a complicated animal and if only he could simplify, life would be all the better in every field of human endeavour.

  2. Hi Anshul,

    Nice article!

    This post reminds of a Rabindranath Tagore quote from movie Bawarchi, said by Rajesh Khanna,

    ‘It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.’


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