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warikoo Wanderings

An email can change your life

Published over 2 years ago • 5 min read

warikoo Wanderings

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THE POWER OF COLD EMAILS


The year is 2003. I am a student in the US, in the 3rd semester of my MS program.
We've just finished a class where our professor has given us an assignment, convinced that no one would be able to solve it.
He didn't say that, but everyone could see it on his face.
You know, those professors who derive pleasure from the pain of students :)

It is an individual assignment.
I sat down and OMG, the professor was right. I don't even know where to start.
Unlike India, where, by now I would have called 7 of my friends and we would be "exchanging notes" on how to complete, that is not the done thing in the US.
If it is an individual assignment, it is an individual assignment.

I am staring at my textbook. Clueless.
And my eyes go to the name of the author.
He is a professor of Physics at Princeton University. Expected to win the Nobel Prize anytime now. Basically GOD in the field.

I google him.
Land up on his webpage.
Which has his email.
And I tell myself, "Let's ask him how to solve this assignment. He would surely know!"

I draft an email that I regret I do have access to anymore, except in my memory.
In 5 minutes I get a response, "Where are you stuck?"
I don't make a big deal of it. I send an email. He replies. That is how it works.
That is how emails work!

I reply back (you won't believe this!), "Can you come online on Yahoo messenger?"
(If you do not know about Yahoo messenger, think Tinder in the 2000s, but not for dating, and not with pictures. OK - that wasn't helpful, I assume!)

He replies yes.
We come online on Yahoo messenger.
I ask him questions.
He patiently replies.
I actually get my assignment done.
I thank him, wish him good night and we both log off.

That's it!

I submit the assignment and I was the ONLY student who cracked it.
My professor is now both impressed. And shattered.
He calls me and asks me how the hell did I get this done.
And I, matter of fact, tell him that the author of your textbook helped me.

"Sorry, what? Dr. X helped you?"
"Yes."
"How did he help you?"
"I sent him an email, asking for help. He replied yes. And then he helped me."
"You sent Dr. X an email, asking for homework help?"
"Yes. Am I in trouble?"
"YOU SENT Dr. X AN EMAIL, ASKING FOR HOMEWORK HELP?"
"Ummm. Yes. You are scaring me now?"
"YOUUUU SENTTTT Dr. X AN EMAILLLL, ASKINGGG FORRR HOMEWORKKKKK HELPPPPP?????"
"Haan bhai haan!!!"

You get the drift!

Cold emails have been awesome, ever since emails came into being.
Here is the truth.
Most people when they start working, check their emails more than they check other messages (except perhaps WhatsApp)
But most students do not communicate via email.
So they think no one does.
Wrong!

The people who will give you a job, an internship, a freelancing gig - all of them check their emails.

Send them emails - please!
Open doors to opportunities that are NOT going to be listed on some job portal, or a LinkedIn post.

I got this email yesterday, and I get so many of such emails every week.

An email changed her life.
Could change yours too.
I know it does.

If you do not know how to start - here is a thread I wrote on the art of cold emailing.

MY MEDITATION JOURNEY


This week's podcast episode is about my journey with meditation, trying to break the biggest myth around meditation.
Meditation does not help you control your emotions.
Instead, it helps you become aware of them.

You can give it a listen on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, JioSaavn or Gaana.
My podcasts are now on YouTube as well - because so many of you asked for it.

BOOK I AM READING THIS WEEK


This week I picked up a simple but fun book - Maybe you should talk to someone.

It is a real-life story of a therapist Lori, who, because of a breakup, ends up seeking therapy herself. The book is funny, is real, is raw, and gives you a sneak peek into the lives of therapists, how they deal with their profession, their patients, and their own feelings while at it.

If you are looking for a light non-fiction read, this is surely going to be a fun one. If you are a therapist yourself or have gone through/are going through therapy, definitely pick this up. I am assuming you will find it very relatable!

QUOTES TO SHARE


When we are young, we think too much and calculate too little.
As we grow older, we think too little and calculate too much.
(Share on Twitter)

Everyone experiences pain. But not everyone has to experience suffering.
(Share on Twitter)

It’s impossible to calm the mind with the mind.
(Share on Twitter)

When you help others, you release oxytocin in your body. It is the same chemical released when you fall in love with someone.
Think about that, for a second.
(Share on Twitter)

We think that if we simplify things, we will lose our importance.
(Share on Twitter)

RESPONSES FROM LAST WEEK'S QUESTION


Last week, I asked you:

On social media, which of these is your top platform where you spend the most time?

  1. Instagram
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn
  5. WhatsApp
  6. Discord
  7. Others

Here are the responses:

Observations:

  1. Facebook is DEAD!
  2. Very surprised at the Twitter share. I think this is a very elite crowd :)
  3. Notice how Instagram is top, and as one ages, it gets replaced by WhatsApp. Not surprising. I see my parents spending a lot more time on WA, consuming content.
  4. Notice how YT is so big early on, and then fades away. Young people see it as both a source of entertainment and education, while older people don't see it as anything :)
  5. LinkedIn grows in value, as one grows old - expectedly so!
  6. The biggest ones, on "others" were Telegram and Zoom (haha!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION


Where are you in life?

  1. I feel I have got what I deserve
  2. I feel I have got less than what I deserve
  3. I feel I have got more than what I deserve
  4. I feel I don't deserve anything at all

Click here to let me know your answer (anonymously)​​​

You can, of course, always write to me, by simply replying to this newsletter. I love reading all your emails, even though I may not be able to reply to them all.
Yes! I READ ALL MY EMAILS. ALL OF THEM.
​​(Bubble wrap ko pop pop pop karne mein jo mazaa aata hai naah, uski kasam!)

CONTENT FROM THIS WEEK


When should you quit? (YouTube)

I invested in an FD! (YouTube)

When should you sell a stock? (YouTube)

Beat just this one person (Reel)

Why are you still friends? (Reel)

My Morning Routine (IGTV)

AMA on Money (IGTV)

Lessons learnt from 5 years of Content Creation (LinkedIn)

My biggest investment mistake (LinkedIn)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK


We stay in Faridabad, overlooking the Aravalli Hills and a forest named Mangar.
Last Sunday, we went on a nature walk, with a group of 30+ people, in the Mangar forest, leading up to this lake, which is a mining lake.
Up until 2003, this area was a major mining zone, when the Supreme Court banned the mining. Since then, the forest has been recouping from the damage.
It was fascinating to learn that Aravalli is the OLDEST fold of mountains in the WORLD and is considered to be the air lifeline for the NCR. Without which, we won't have the air and water that we actually have.

The lake in the picture, is one of the many mining lakes around Surajkund, all of which are filled with groundwater, once the mining stopped.

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warikoo Wanderings

by Ankur Warikoo

Entrepreneur, Author, Content Creator with 9M+ followers across platforms. I share this newsletter every Friday around personal growth, books, quotes, pictures - it is the most personal version of me online.

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