What is enlightenment and what it means for you. How to Improve Your Concentration in Less Than 5 Minutes. How to Set Yourself Apart from 95% of People. How to become exceptional. What Is The True Meaning of Life. In our consumption driven world, a question like this typically provokes a chuckle or a snigger rather than a thoughtful enquiry. But for those who aren’t content to sleepwalk through life or accept Hallmark card-like exhortations to “leave the garden a little better than you find it”, here are my thoughts after jostling with this question for some time.
While I’m heavily inspired by Yoga and Buddhist philosophy, I do believe that the paths are many but the truth is one. This is my interpretation of that truth: Man’s purpose is first, evolution, then involution: An eagle in perfect rhythm flaps its wings high, then brings them down gracefully. Why I believe this? Inevitably, a question will follow. If you enjoyed this article, you can get more interesting perspectives on lifestyle, writing and your spiritual practice when you sign up for my newsletter here.
Like WHATKARAN HAS TO SAY? The Ultimate Guide: How to plan a Sabbatical | Karan Bajaj. Kerry & I took a year’s sabbatical from our lives in New York to travel, deepen our Yoga and meditation practice and write our novels. It was the best decision of our lives. Here is a balanced review of the places we lived in if you are contemplating a similar move: 1.Meditating in the Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat Center, Scotland=2 weeks. (more info) We started our year-long journey in this sweet flexible Buddhist retreat in the Scottish Highlands.
Pros: Ethereally beautiful with a shimmering lake in front and mountains behind; Warm, caring course organizers; Comfortable accommodations; Free—only a nominal booking fee applies. Cons: “Spiritual Lite”—excellent for beginners but may feel a little new-agey with all the chants and gongs for someone with a serious meditation practice. 2.Traveling by road from Scotland to Turkey=8 weeks. Pros: Everything. Cons: Hit or miss living conditions. 3.Intense Vipassana Meditation at Dhamma Atala, Italy=2 weeks. Cons: Tough. Like WHATKARAN HAS TO SAY? The one thing writing teaches you about life. - Karan Bajaj. I was rejected for the sixtieth time. Every literary agent that read The Yoga of Max’s Discontent’s first three chapters had the same feedback:“I couldn’t get into the story.” “I didn’t relate to Max.” “The premise is fascinating but the execution didn’t grab me.”
Then, the 61st agent took the time to read the whole manuscript. Her rejection was more constructive:“Once the protagonist gets to India, you lose yourself completely in the story but the first part in New York falls flat.” I read the book for the millionth time. The hero does. A character reveals himself by action. In stories and in life. Don’t be the rejected Max. You know deep down what you have to do. Start living your story today. Be it Moby Dick or The Alchemist, a great story has the hero leave his or her known world, strive, face conflict, often be stretched to breaking point, and eventually deepen, grow, and transform herself and the world around her from abandoning security. Like WHATKARAN HAS TO SAY? How to have the best ideas in the world. I was re-writing my novel for the hundredth time the night Leela was born.
She’d wake up, I’d help take care of her, she’d go back to sleep, I would continue writing. I should’ve rested, I should’ve enjoyed the moment, I should’ve… But I’d reached a point where I couldn’t breathe anymore until I finished the book. Don’t become a writer or an entrepreneur until you have that one idea that’s possessed you for days, months, years. Else you’ll lose the will to plug away through the unending rejections and disappointments inherent in the journey (read this for a timeline of my sixty rejections).
The world doesn’t need one more “5 ways to become productive” listicle or another e-commerce app. How do you get such ideas? Three Steps to get ideas that possess you completely. Live widely to generate a range of ideas. I failed miserably the one time I chose a “cushy” job that allowed me to balance my corporate career and writing. The best ideas are unexpected combinations of expected worlds. Is Life Destiny or Free Will? The One Secret For Complete Happiness. How to leave a lasting impression on people. How to write an outline for your novel or book. How to know if you're doing the work you were meant to? How To Not Care What People Think About You.
Karan Bajaj: Shun comfort and take a MIND-DISSOLVING VACATION [Your Creative Push Ep 81] Sugar Addiction is to Stop Eating Sugar with Meditation. Mediation Trailer for India. The Ultimate Guide to the power of a creative side hustle. (Bear with me. This first part may sound like boasting but it’s the opposite—I’m using myself as an example precisely because of how average I am.) I graduated from B-School in 2002 with middling grades. No one would’ve cast a vote for me as “most likely to succeed” in the yearbook.
Yet since graduation, I’ve done pretty well at my corporate gig. I started as an Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble in India, moved up quickly, then shifted to the Boston Consulting Group and later became a Senior Director at Kraft and then the Chief Marketing Officer for one of New York’s fastest growing start-ups. During this time, I’ve also taken three full years off to write my novels, backpack, and learn yoga and meditation. First off though, a creative side hustle is not a hobby. You learn how to operate in extreme ambiguityTry selling good ideas to people—a book that means something, a breakout music album, a personal development package that truly works—and watch them run away from you.
Should You Aim For A US Publishing Deal For Your Debut Novel? Should You Aim For A US Publishing Deal For Your Debut Novel? I thought my Indian publishing history would make it easier for me to get a US book deal for The Yoga of Max’s Discontent. It didn’t. I got sixty literary agent rejections before acceptance, as many if not more than an average debut US novelist. The US and Indian publishing markets are different. 1. 2. (read this for a more detailed breakdown of my writing income). 3. 4. The majority of people buying books in India are reading 1 or 2 books a year. Three differences emerge between India and the US as a result of the variation in these reading statistics: a) With more absolute readers, more books/reader in each rung of pyramid and higher $/book sold, there’s enough financial scale to justify a debutant at each rung of the pyramid in the US. b) With more scale comes more competition.
In summary, given the scale and competition, you’ll be pushed far more in the US than you’ll be in India. 1. 2. Now, set forth. Find more at: Ask the Author with Karan Bajaj. The Yoga of Max's Discontent by Karan Bajaj | Book Review. Three Steps to Truly Transform Yourself (5 Minute Video) Karan Bajaj: "How to Plan a Sabbatical, Dharma, & The Yoga of Max's Discontent" | Talks at Google.
Five Mindful Meditation Benefits with Karan. Ten Best Literary Agents. Ten Best Literary Agents List Of The Best US Literary Agents (best because they’ll actually read your manuscript and query!) I’m an eternal optimist so when I completed my Debut US Novel, I confidently queried all the best literary agents in the country. Some didn’t reply at all, others sent a form rejection, yet others’ assistant’s assistant wrote back saying their client list was full. Amid the doom and gloom, these Literary Agents with A-list clients responded quickly asking for the full manuscript and provided specific, detailed feedback on the same.
Eventually, a few offered to represent me as well. Note: I approached them cold through the slush pile without industry or author connections so this comprehensive list should work for every debut author. You can also read my query letter and overall timeline from writing to publication here. So Here Goes The Best Literary Agents In The US: 1. My current agent. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Karan Bajaj is a #1 Bestselling Indian novelist. Seven things I’ve Learnt In Seven Years Of Writing. Seven things I’ve Learnt In Seven Years Of Writing Advice from an Author — 7 things I have learned in 7 years of writing Keep off the Grass was published seven years ago in 2008. Back then, I had never thought this “hobby” would end up taking over my life. In the years since, I’ve changed careers, taken sabbaticals, exited relationships and entered important new ones, and experienced moments of both overwhelming despair and excitement, all directly or indirectly because of my writing.
If you’re a young turk about to break into the industry, here’s some wisdom from an old man (to be discarded in favor of your own experimentation of course!) 1. Don’t let anyone tell you need an MFA or be Dan Brown’s niece to break into the publishing industry. 2. Both Keep off the Grass and Johnny Gone Down got multiple publishing offers within one month of me finishing the novels. 3. I see young authors rush to produce a book or more every year. 4. 5. 6. 7. Karan Bajaj is a #1 Bestselling Indian novelist. J. Morrissey: Random houses executive editor. Jake Morrissey, my editor at Penguin Random House’s Riverhead imprint, is a publishing legend. He discovered Calvin and Hobbes from the slush pile, edits only six books a year which includes authors like Marlon James (winner of the 2015 Man Booker prize) and Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) among other thespians, and is a critically acclaimed author himself.
For me, he’s been much more than an editor. He’s taught me how to write fiction. I came to him as a rookie with a couple of good ideas but a completely unpolished manuscript and over seven drafts of patient editing, he gave me an equivalent of a fiction writing MFA and made THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT a novel I’m proud of. KB: I know you do very little fiction.
JM: For a novel to appeal to me, it needs to do three things: Tell me a story I haven’t heard before. I am an editor and a reader who’s interested in story: I want things to happen in the novels I publish and read. JM: I’m glad you enjoyed the editorial process. 10 books to read that will change the way you see the world. I was checking my Amazon account today. Since opening the account in 2008 when I moved to the US, I’ve bought an average of sixty books a year. That’s 420 books read through just Amazon in seven years; add to that, other random books I’ve picked up in bookstores and hostels and all the books I read in my pre-Amazon days, I guess I’m a bigger nerd than I thought! I’m sure each of these books has affected me in some way but the ten books below had an immediate, tangible impact on my life. I’ve read them at different stages but I’m grouping them in order of the age I wished I had read them: <25: Three books that ensure you don’t lose your sense of adventure as you enter adulthood Forrest Gump: Few know that this was a book before a movie, but I was lucky to read it as a teenager when my aunt visiting from the US left a copy at our home. 25-35: Three books everyone should read to become successful in the world of men and hobbits. 35+: Three books to confidently begin your inward journey.
Can Yoga Help You To Lose Weight. I’m pretty healthy since I’ve had a regular exercise and eating routine for many years. Or so I thought. Embracing Yoga and meditation in the last year made me more conscious of what I put in my body. As I result, I made some intuitive dietary changes just to feel better. Unexpectedly, I ended up dropping twenty pounds, sleeping better and vibrating with energy through the day. Below are the main changes I made. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Have you tried any of these? How To be Successful At Work. P&G was my first job after school and early on, I was fortunate to read this excellent article from James Lafferty, a senior guy, which greatly changed the way I viewed my work. Much of the writing on my blog is about creativity, yoga, meditation, etc. but done with the right spirit, a simple corporate job can be a tool for transcending your self.
Or at-least a source of tremendous personal growth. James draws a distinction between two kinds of performers in this article: Swimmer: A strong performer. Water-Walker: The rare one-of-a-kind hire who changes the trajectory of any company he or she joins. After reading this article, I hope you all decide to be WATER-WALKERS, treating your job as a tool for growth and never ever setting a low base. Over to James: Having observed over time a vast array of different corporate training courses, there is a not-so-surprising consistency from our younger participants during the Q+As along the lines of, “What is important to success in business?”
And. Is Yoga The Only Exercise You Need? Is Yoga The Only Exercise You Need? The enthusiasts are convinced that Yoga is the beginning, the middle and the end. Others claim that far from being a good exercise, the only reason Yoga is popular is because it’s easy. What is the truth? After experimenting with different regimens myself, analyzing peer reviewed research studies and doing a Yoga Teacher’s Training myself, here is my recommendation for an ideal weekly workout: · 3 days of Yoga (1 hour moderate intensity class or your own practice). · 2 days of moderate intensity weight training (45 mins). · 1 day of cardio/running (30 mins). Taking an hour or less out of your schedule six days a week for the above will galvanize your physical and mental performance. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. V Karan Bajaj is a #1 Bestselling Indian novelist. Find more at:
Book Review: The Yoga of Max's Discontent by Karan Bajaj. Karan Bajaj on NDTV. The Only Reason To Write A book–Or Create Anything. The Only Reason To Write A book–Or Create Anything I thought Johnny Gone Down would change the world. I’d written it in a dark phase of my life when I was single, broke, and almost unemployed at age 30, a far cry from what I thought my life would be with my stable Indian middle-class upbringing and top B-School degree. Johnny helped me understand my seemingly self-destructive choices. I thought it would give the world hope, help millions see the light in their darkness.
It didn’t. Johnny came, did pretty well for a while, then dwindled as books usually do. The Seeker came, did pretty well for a while, then dwindled as books usually do. Because it changes you. The ROI on writing is terrible. Or the ROI is magnificent, bordering on the infinite, because with each book your world becomes deeper, more three-dimensional, more full of possibility than it ever was before. The Yoga of Max’s Discontent tore my life apart and made me realize how shallow my constant experience-seeking life was. 1. 2. The Important things About Mindfulness Meditation with Karan. Ep.68: Lessons From A 1 Year Meditation Sabbatical w/ Karan Bajaj. Six Signs Benefits in Meditation with Karan. How to Meditate: A Step-by-Step Guide with Karan.
Coffee Break 015: Karan Bajaj. The one book advertising approach that works. I was determined. I’d created my Mona Lisa. The Yoga of Max’s Discontent (The Seeker in India) was the one novel I’d wanted to write all my life. I’d finally cracked the spiritual-page-turning adventure blend I’d been struggling with for years. Goodreads advance reader reviews were outstanding. In Random House’s Riverhead imprint, I had one of the best publishers in the US launching the book. It didn’t. The media lavished praise on the usual dysfunctional-families-in-New-York stories.
Luckily, I was prepared for this. First off, here are my results. I’ve sold 10,000 copies of The Yoga of Max’s Discontent in the US in the 1st 2 months of launch with the approach below. Direct Recorded Sales(Amazon, Other Online Retailers, Retailers with Online Replenishment Systems etc.)= ~6100 copies. *RandomHouse Author Portal.
In addition, Random House has shipped ~12,000 copies in the first print run to physical retailers, independent book stores etc. That’s it. Benefit/ClaimProofCall-to-Action. The one thing writing teaches you about life. - Karan Bajaj. Willful De-construction: Why you should self-destruct every so often. The incredible upside of loneliness - Karan Bajaj. Should you aim for a US publishing deal for your debut novel? - Karan Bajaj. Karan Bajaj, Bestselling Author, on MyKitaab Podcast. Sugar Addiction is to Stop Eating Sugar with Meditation. 6 Benefits and Signs of Progress in Meditation. How to Write a Novel with a Day Job. How to ask your work for a sabbatical.
How to overcome loneliness. How to leave a lasting impression on people. How to write an outline for your novel or book. Vipassana Meditation: What Is It and How Can It Help? Ways to become more creative - Yoga & Creativity | KaranBajaj. Use Technology like a Yogi: 5 productivity tips from Yoga - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. 6 Writing Resources to get a Six Figure Book Deal. 10 books to read that will change the way you see the world. The Ultimate Guide to the power of a creative side hustle.
Budget planning for a sabbatical and worksheets | Karan Bajaj. Can Yoga Help You To Lose Weight. How to not let your dreams die after kids - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. How long does it take to write a book or novel - KaranBajaj.com. Get Best US literary Agents List | Karan Bajaj. How to sell 200,000+ copies of your books in India: A complete guide - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. An inspiration: How to change your life in 2016 | Karan Bajaj. Meditation & Nutrition: Why You Should Quit Sugar Today - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. Exploring Mindfulness Meditation. Proven creative tips that help in creative writing.
My 4,1,4 rule or why you shouldn't feel the pressure to become an entrepreneur - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. Spiritual Gear 5 Material essentials for your spiritual path. How to get Published Worldwide by a Top 5 Publishing House. How to become exceptional. Three Steps to Truly Transform Yourself (5 Minute Video) Seven things I’ve learnt in seven years of writing. Two things that are making me very happy this year. How much money does an author make:de-constructing my writing income. The Only Way To Make Tough Decisions. How to not let your dreams die after kids. How Long Does it Take to Write a Book A Personal Account. Three steps to achieve transcendence in writing (or anything) - Karan Bajaj | #1 Bestselling Author. An inspiration: How to change your life in 2016 | Karan Bajaj. How to meditate in just 5 minutes. Karan Bajaj on The Seekers. THE YOGA OF MAX'S DISCONTENT Book. Ask the Author with Karan Bajaj. How to begin concentration based meditation today.
How to Find Your True Purpose in Life. The Problem beginning: how to write a compelling beginning for your novel. How to practice Vipassana Meditation in 5 min. Create your iconic book idea. Untitled. How to get a book deal. How to find a Literary Agent A-step- by-step guide. How to Meditate in 5 minutes. How to meditate: A complete Guide. How to find a literary agent. Mindfulness meditation for your exact life stage - Karan Bajaj. Mindfulness Meditation:The Pyramid of Meditative Experience. Important Things You Need to Know about Mindfulness Meditation. Get your book published | Karan Bajaj - Bestselling Author.