Reflections by Kunal Gupta
By Kunal Gupta
Reflections by Kunal GuptaJul 17, 2021
How to Feel Alive
My personal currency of inspiration serves as my compass, guiding me through major and minor life decisions
How To Disconnect
In my life, I've found myself living in two distinct modes.
A Balanced Life
A life void of risks is akin to a stagnant portfolio—destined for a slow decline due to inflation
Fear of Living
It's a perspective shift, understanding that death is not the antithesis of life, but its culmination
How To Dream
Taking the leap and following my heart meant leaving the safety of my comfort zone behind.
It's important to recognize that while I've benefited greatly from my passport, it's something that I didn't earn.
Nature v Nurture
A vacation with my sister in Greece highlighted the differences between our personalities shaped by both nature and nurture, allowing me to accept myself and appreciate the role of both in shaping who we are.
A Perfect World
The world will keep changing. Those around me will keep changing. I will keep changing. However, I do not need to force any of it. It is in
The more I appreciate the value of space, the more I understand its necessity in moving through life.
Last week, I had a remarkable experience that left me feeling deeply moved and inspired.
Giving Up Control
I recently announced a new CEO for my technology business and that I have moved into a board role. For me, it marks a profound shift in my professional identity. Since founding the business 15 years ago, in my early 20s, I have been known to my external world as a CEO. This is no longer the case.
The Pursuit Of Pleasure
I recently got new bed sheets. The morning after sleeping on them for the first time, I lay in bed, awake, curious about their impact on me.
The first thought that raced through my mind was, 'did I sleep better with these new bed sheets?'. I then started to wonder how I would be able to tell.
Would my Oura ring pick up the difference in my sleep data? Might my energy level in the morning be noticeably different? I quickly concluded that there are far too many variables related to my sleep for me to isolate the impact of bed sheets.
Tired of thinking, I observed how comfortable the sheets felt on my body. I was really enjoying the sensations on my skin of these new sheets. I had a desire to stay in bed longer, even if I was awake.
Then a frightening thought arose. What if these sheets were worse for my sleep, even though I seemed to enjoy them?
My mind is capable of imagining the ideal scenario, for practically everything. It assumes the ideal conditions and circumstances by default.
In recent weeks, I have noticed a brilliant moment most mornings as I wake up.
I grew up learning to feel confident only once there was a reason to.
The Most Inspiring Person
This past week, I got to spend time with the most inspiring person I have ever met in my life.
One Word To Guide 2023
For nearly a decade, I have had a New Year ritual to pick one single word as my intention for the year ahead.
Disconnect To Reconnect
My experiment was to go into a silent retreat, in my own home, by myself, for 4 days.
The Scarcity Experiment
When I observe for a moment my daily lifestyle, an abundance mindset guides my choices, without a doubt.
Time To Make Peace With The Past
To make peace with my past is not easy.
How To Relax
If I wanted to feel more relaxed, more often, my default thesis was that I need to make more time and space for relaxing activities.
Threads Of Connection
Very few of my friends know what I do, and even those that do don’t seem very interested in knowing more.
The Empire Of Worry
We all seem to live in our own little, for some large, empires of worry.
One Year In
It was one year ago today that I moved to Portugal and it has been an incredible first year in this new continent, country and culture.
A Beautiful Day
Earlier this week, I was complaining to my therapist about how I wanted more spontaneity in my life.
Swimming In The Sea
Flowing with waves of desires arising and disappearing is how I will continue to swim through life.
Third Place Thinking
Every choice, action or word is part of a chain of cause and effect. I appear to be more the effect than the cause in my life, and that feels disconcerting to say out loud.
The love of a parent towards a child is said to be unconditional. It could also be said that the love of a parent towards a child is annoying.
Drive My Car
I have observed in life that the benefits of practicing trust often outweigh the risks of feeling disappointed.
The Most Valuable Real Estate
There is a piece of real estate that I have discovered to be the most valuable in the world.
The Best Choice
The desire to pick the best available option, be it a movie, a restaurant, a picture, or anything else in life, is also a fear of making a poor choice.
The Limitations I Avoid
My conditioning has been to believe there are no limitations to my time, and that I can do anything, and everything.
How I Feel
There is an expectation that my motivation and interest in some thing, some one or some place, remains constant. Like a straight line that is trending slightly up, my interest should be increasing over time.
My Inefficient Life
There is a conflict with my desire for the new, and my conditioning to expect efficiency in every part of life.
It may often feel like you must have it all together and figured out in life. That you must know exactly where you are going, how to get there, and to be on your way.
What I Want
The moments I have experienced the most stress, anxiety, anger, frustration and disappointment have been when my expectations were many
The ultimate freedom in life is the freedom to make mistakes.
The Most Important Decision
I have learned that the most important decision is not where to go, but how to get there.
21 questions to make peace with 2021
It is now to make peace with the past year.
A Past Love
Last week I found myself back in New York, for the first time since leaving abruptly in March 2020, and I was scared about going back.
Just For Today
When I know that something is temporary, my tolerance for it appears to increase.
To see, want or expect only what I desire is to collect one-sided coins. One-sided coins do not exist, which means that I am only fooling myself if I am searching for them.
Stream Of Change
I often feel that change is happening to me.
Dealing With Desire
For a long time, I naively believed that once my current desires were fulfilled, I would feel happier, or that my life would be better.
Facing the unknown
In every situation I am faced with, especially those with the unknown, I can choose to respond with fear or belief.
My Relationship With The Unknown
Along my journey through life, there are many moments when fear arises, usually associated with some unknown.
What two or three priorities will you focus on in the next 100 days?
The Future of Work
Living in a different country, continent and culture over the past few weeks has both inspired me and challenged me in unexpected ways.
Why I Moved Halfway Across The World
Ten days ago, I booked a one-way ticket to a new country and continent.
Two Sides of a Coin
It is easy for me to see only one side of a coin.
Work In Progress
Yesterday while on a walk through the downtown core of a city, my attention was drawn to all of the scaffolding, cranes, trucks and construction happening everywhere that I looked.
A little while ago, I booked a one-way ticket, packed a suitcase and left.
The Pursuit Of Life
When I reflect on my life in chapters, each chapter has been defined by a primary motivation that I had been in pursuit of.
Difficult Decisions Made Effortless
I recently decided to get a car and found the process to make a decision surprisingly difficult.
Fear Is My Friend
Fear generally has a negative association with it. Our culture encourages me to become fearless, to conquer fear and to not talk about fear.
The Chemistry of Connection
To connect with others in physical proximity has become a unique experience for the better part of a year.
Comfort With Clutter
While I am a neat and tidy person, my parents are not.
A Currency More Valuable Than Money
What I am discovering is that, unlike the currency used to trade money, I have my own currency in life, unique to me, as do you
The Bridge From Intelligence To Intellect
This is a question of knowing versus thinking. The pursuit of intelligence is a pursuit of learning.
The Gravity of Fear
Fear seems to have a gravitational field, capable of sucking in everything that comes into proximity with it.
A Bird In The Hand
There is a desire that I often feel to let go of the bird in my hand, in the hope that there will be two in the bush waiting for me.
My Post Pandemic Bucket List
Many decisions, big and small, will be made over the next few months that will influence the direction of my life over the next few years.
Nothing Is Permanent
This morning while on a walk with my father, I asked him innocently ‘how are you similar to your parents?’.
The Bridge of Belief
To know what it is that I uniquely believe does not come automatically. It is much simpler to figure out what I should believe.
To try to know is like chasing clouds. I cannot actually do it for very long, as everything changes.
The Seed Of Growth
Everything changes. I know this to be a fact of life. However there is often a strong resistance to change.
How To Fulfill A Desire
I realize that my reality does not always measure up to my dreams and desires.
The Great Experiment
Over the past year, work from home has not been an idea but an experience.
The Great Teacher
In the past year, I have uncovered surprising and unexpected discoveries about myself. The world had to turn upside down first for me to turn my mind upside down and begin to look at my life differently than I may have before.
The Desire For Perfection
I have a confession. I am an aspiring perfectionist. I may always have been, and might always be.
The Search For Balance
It is in my nature to be in balance. That is what I have now learned. The moment that I strive for balance, I am out of balance.
The Sound Of Silence
Yesterday, I took a walk by a frozen river while a fresh coat of snow fell gently to the ground. At one moment, I paused and heard something I had not heard for a while. It was the sound of utter and complete silence. No people walking. No cars driving. No birds chirping. No water flowing. No wind blowing. I stood there, quietly, in awe of the power of the sound of silence.
My Life Is A Canvas
I have been reminded recently that my life is a canvas, and I am the artist.
The Impermanence Of This Moment
A few days ago, I held my newborn nephew for the first time and I noticed how my attention was immediately captivated, unlike ever before.
The Kitchen Of My Mind
Mindset is the bridge for me to move from surviving to thriving. And one that I have to continue to cross, as it’s a two way bridge.
My Desire For Predictability
The truth is that my journey through life is unpredictable. The question is whether I am willing to see and accept the beauty in this truth.
I Do Therefore I Am
I see now that the reason that I believe this is because that is the culture and society in which I have grown up in. We all have.
Notice What You Notice
As I have begun to notice what I notice, I have seen my curiosity for understanding why I believe what I do grow.
Like A Snowflake
While on my own path, there are some big decisions and many small decisions that inform where I go.
Make Peace With The Past
This is a sacred time of the year for me, more important and powerful than even my birthday.
The Inefficient Human
Machines are predictable, usually reliable and very consistent. Humans are not.
The Search For Truth
How do I know if something is true?
How To Turn On A Light Bulb
I woke up one week ago today with no electricity and no water in the place I was staying.
Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge
Imagine a world where we place as much, or possibly more, value on imagination than we do on knowledge. That is a world that sounds inspiring to me.
The Boy Lost In The Woods
A little boy went for a walk. Lost in thought, he ended up deep into the woods.
Hide And Seek
Similar to the playing hide and seek, in the game of life, I am seeking solutions to many problems.
Who Is Really In Control
Pay attention to what you pay attention to.
The Bridge From Here To There
All of the frustration, anxiety and nervous tension that I feel is when I want reality to be different from what it is.
The Art Of Gratitude
Gratitude is a deeply personal experience. It is not only a state or feeling that I get to experience privately, it is also entirely up to me how I choose to express it.
The Richness Of Reality
Reality is full of richness and all that it takes to see it is to open my eyes.
When Life Feels Effortless
There is a magical space where life feels effortless to me and where I feel most alive.
Walk The Tightrope
Life feels like walking a tightrope.
The Someday Experiment
Each week has seven days in it, and none of them are called “someday”.
The Deceptive Shadow
It is my own shadow that ironically gets in the way of me being able to see the fullness of my life at times.
To Dance With The Unknown
In the face of The Unknown, we have options and get to choose how we show up.
The Human Condition
The human condition is to want what others have, believing that it is better than what we have. It is to feel dissatisfied with our current reality, and hope or expect a brighter, stronger and happier future.
A guided meditation to help us begin to listen to our inner wisdom.
Lost At Sea
I feel lost in the current movement on racial equity. It has triggered a deeper reflection on the influence of culture and society on my own identity.
The Richness Of Race
The richness of race, beyond my own, has continued to shape me in profound ways.
The Empty Spaces
My empty spaces are filled with information, possibly the most valuable information and definitely the most relevant information that I have access to.
Like A Sponge
The company that we keep, the content that we consume, the contemplations that we explore, all shape our values.
A New Declaration
In the pursuit of individual independence, we have run away from one another, and perhaps even run away from ourselves. Our pursuit of individual independence may have gone too far.
The Fourth Crisis
A fourth crisis is beginning to emerge. It is a result of the cumulative intensity from the health crisis, the economic crisis and the social crisis.
The Unexpected Failure Of Facebook
Just when we thought Facebook might have been turning a corner, it is clear now that this is one dog that does not want to learn new tricks.
100 Days Of Clarity
What have I learned about myself in the past 100 days in lockdown?
Slipping Through The Cracks
I have been one of the lucky few, who somehow slipped through the cracks of a society and a system designed to discriminate against so many.
The State Of Digital Media: Leaders And Laggards
In my role as CEO of Polar (www.polar.me), for the past few years, I’ve published a quarterly State Of Digital Media report that captures the hundreds of conversations that I have regularly with leaders at publishers, agencies, brands and platforms from all corners of the globe. Unlike what you read in the industry trade publications, these reports have been filled with insights and opinions that reflect what my peers are thinking about but may not want to share publicly yet.
You can read/share this reflection on my LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/bykunal
The Destruction Of Discrimination
Like the Coronavirus, discrimination is a villain that continues to infect all of us.
The Truth About Productivity
There is a difference between working a lot and being productive. We may be working a lot, especially in this time, that does not mean that we are being productive.
A Desire For Change
The many social inequalities that we are witnessing are but symptoms of a different issue.
Each moment is an unconscious expression of who I am.
Our Future Is Limited Only By Our Imagination
The state of lockdown that we are in would have been completely unimaginable and absurd to talk about, even 100 days ago.
Less Is More
The most epic spring cleaning of my lifetime, and yours, is now in motion. Our spaces, lifestyles and beliefs are evolving as a result of the constraints the health pandemic and resulting economic crisis has introduced to everyone.
The Search For Unconditional Balance
Perhaps, only once we each find balance within ourselves, will we learn how to restore a new balance for each other and for the future of humanity.
The Many Layers Of Our Identity
The Art Of Crying
Our culture has trained us to associate crying with weakness. I feel otherwise.