In an interview with ETMarkets, Mahajan said: “I dedicate 1.5 to 2 hours daily towards my workout and this has been a practice and a part of my daily routine, which I have tried to follow for the last 15 years” Edited excerpts:
With decades of experience in capital markets – how do you keep yourself mentally fit?
Mental agility and fitness – is something – one has to learn and cultivate – to navigate the ups and downs in the markets.
Early on in my life, I learned that a fit body is the custodian of a healthy mind. A fit and agile mind keeps you going strong and steady in life – just like your good investments.
Just like stock markets/investments you take fitness very seriously. The rumour has it that you have over 70 medals to your name. Tell us more about it.
Yes, that is true but more than medals what I intended to do and achieved is a discipline of staying fit and enjoying life to the fullest.
I dedicate 1.5 to 2 hours daily towards my workout and this has been a practice and a part of my daily routine, which I have tried to follow for the last 15 years.
In the earlier days, I used to go to the gym, however, over the last 7 years, I have concentrated largely on running. Of these 7 years, since the last 3 years, I have also taken up cycling.
It has been a rewarding journey and I am blessed to have received 70 medals for running, cycling and running-plus-cycling events combined.I have also had the opportunity to run in a few international events, the recent one being – the one at Berlin – which is one of the world’s 6 majors.
You are a marathon runner – how did that start? And, what are the key takeaways from an investor’s point of view?
Running has always been a feature of my life. I used to run regularly during my college days, although I hit a pause when I joined the corporate world. I resumed my passion for running again in September 2016, when I registered for my 1st ever official marathon (10 kms).
Fate intervened, I accidentally signed on for the 21.1 kms half marathon and despite multiple requests, the organisers did not change the wrong entry. Not prepared and quite overwhelmed, I thought about giving up.
As the famous quote says, ‘Your mind will quit a 100 times before your body ever does.’ With lots of support from my wife and a few friends, I took on the challenge and managed to complete my 1st half marathon – in about 2 hours 35 minutes.
For me, this was a defining moment in my fitness journey and the lessons I learnt from this episode resonate even in the area of investments. One should not limit themselves, but at the same time also not rush for quick returns in investments.
I feel, while the biggest risk remains, not taking the plunge, or not investing at all, because of the fear of failure.
One only tests one’s limits by taking the challenge in any area of life. Also, there are no shortcuts. The long way, through hardships, is the only way to better understand yourself, your strength and your process.
Tell us more about your longest run – challenges, opportunities as well as the difficulties you faced. Can we say that it is the same as long-term investing?
So far, my longest official run has been a 56 kms trail run – as we were running in the hills.
Some of the things I did to prepare for this were:
1. During summers, twice a week, I woke up at 3 AM to practise running sessions – which lasted almost 3 to 4 hours. This also meant the discipline of saying a firm NO to any late parties the previous evening.
2. Train, train, train. I cannot emphasise this point enough. The can and can’t of everything in life, is all in the mind. Follow up all your goals, targets, plans with proper training.
3. It can get quite boring to run 100 kms stretches weekly. Instead, mix it up. Do a combination of slow-fast runs. Combine it with strength training or interval training. All these, ultimately help in achieving your desired results.
4. Beware of the risk. A trail run on the hills (something not a lot of people take up), means a rocky path, which can increase the chances for a potential injury.
5. Our March 2022 schedule got delayed due to the risk of a 3rd wave of COVID and such a delay meant – adverse weather had to be factored into our plans. Be flexible and prepare for the worst. Training and preparing for any surprise challenges helps in adapting your plans.
6. One needs equal amounts of practice, stamina building and endurance, to make running an integral part of your lifestyle.
Any business lessons you would want to share for budding entrepreneurs and why having a balanced mind is crucial for strategic decision-making?
Invest in yourself. We have all been given a body and a mind and they are the basis of every human accomplishment ever made. So, we must take some time out to show respect towards it and take care of it.
Never rush to get immediate results – in fitness and in investments. Be disciplined. Discipline is far more effective in achieving long term success than striving for excellence in the short term.
Also, listen to your body. Be attuned to your internal self and if the body is giving signs, then don’t push yourself. Quitting right is also an art unto itself.
Be humble and accept that if you are not prepared for that run, or if you feel, you will injure yourself, skip that one run.
Quitting one race or quitting out of one loss making investment decisions, does not mean that you cannot run the next marathon or half marathon or not find the next idea to invest into.
Try to the best of your ability or your body’s ability at the time, and don’t give up, if you hit a small rocky patch in the short term. The journey is equally important, as your destination. So make it count!
(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)
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