Who will be in my mastermind

I read think and grow rich long time back. Something in that book was interesting and has always been in my head. Recently I thought of actually writing down who would be in my mastermind group. I don't remember exactly what the definition of mastermind group was but from my perspective it is a group of people who I would like to collect in one round table and if I had a problem or discussion I would engage them.

An interesting part of such a group is that the people don't need to be currently living or even real people. That in turn for me means who are the people who are living or have lived who have impressed me so much that I would take advise from them.

Here is my list. I restricted myself to 11 people but I think I am going to expand it over time as I think more. After I wrote the list and then was discussing the topic with my wife when I realized that there is no women in my list. That I found somehow odd and realized that I do know, follow or read up much of impressive women. Why and how did that happen? Something to ponder on and meditate.

My list is below with a short reason why they are in my list.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold is a immigrant high achiever. Lots of time immigrants, including me, like to point out difficulties of being an immigrant and blame our slow progress on having to deal with these difficulties. Arnold shows that this is all bullshit and a first generation immigrant can be highly successful not only in domain but multiple. I am so impressed by his success in bodybuilding, movies and then being a governor. He also seems so down to earth and always giving advice. I have never met Arnold but listened to his book – Be useful, which he read himself and it was so cool to hear the terminator speak for the next 7 hours. It was also very inspriational.

Bill Gates

Achievement in startups and being an avid businessman. Bill is a nerd who showed how a nerd can be a ruthless and smart businessman. Generally people tend to assume that one is either a nerd or a businessman. Bill is both. I also admire his post Microsoft work on charity and commitment to donating wealth to causes he finds worthy.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Here is my first person from the past. Leonardo stands an an epitome of being a renaissance man. I consider myself to be a renaissance man, not in the same greatness as Leonardo and I have not produced anything close to any masterpiece, yet, but in the sense that I believe a human being should aim to become good not in one narrow field but to learn multiple fields both in professional as well as personal curiosity. I have a degree in electronics engineering, worked in software and recently got a masters degree in mechanical engineering. I play guitar and speak multiple languages and I am so interested in learning more.

Elon Musk

This one is controversial but that is the reason why I would have Elon on my list. He is fearless and outrageous and not afraid to speak his mind. As someone said, people crazy enough to believe they can change the world actually do. I admire how Elon could have retired to a private island after paypal exit as so many founders do but instead he is plowing ahead with moonshot visions for humanity. He is not afraid to get bruised and abused along the way. His pain threshold is high and he has a strong work ethic. I know if I went to Elon with a massively difficult task and ask if I should do it he would say YES you should. People who can achieve prod others to do, people who cannot tell others to not try.

Marcus Aurelius

All I know about Marcus Aurelius is by reading the book Meditations. I think I would have been a stoic myself if I lived in those times. I think I still am. I believe in tempering sadness and happiness because everything seems to change and pass. Especially sadness and setbacks. We tend to devote too much attention on problems when just going through them by managing it instead of ruminating over it would be the better course of action. I wish I could be more stoic though with my reaction and annoyances with other people. Long way to go there. I don't know how much one can read character of a person from their book(which they might not have written but is collected by their followers much later) but for the canonical person represented by Marcus Aurelius is on this list. A person who is a philosopher king, wise in power.

Krishna – The godhead

I am a karma yogi which is the yoga of action as pronounced by Krishna. Never much for other paths, I was so glad to understand that one can achieve highest levels of spirituality by being engrossed in one's work as a tribute to god without creating attachement to the result of that work. If one acts according to one's dharma without getting caught in what results one brings then one attains the ultimate. Having Krishna on the mastermind is like having the universe on your side. Imagine asking Krishna an important question and advise. But I do that already!

Jeff Bezos

I like how Jeff has acted as the leader of Amazon making the company what it is. I admire his skill and perseverance to stay ahead of the curve. I admire his building a company for the long term by reinvesting profits into the company. Amazon has always been at the forefront of adopting technology for commercial purposed. That may be ecommerce before the name took over, cloud computing or robotics. All people have eccentricities and flaws and Jeff's are surfacing as he grows older and brasher but still would be great to have someone like Jeff on the table when discussing what's the possibility of commercializing technology here and now.

Satya Nadella

I joined Microsoft in 2016 and I was a bit wary when joining because of the company culture which Microsoft had been famous for. Cloaks and daggers, guns and bullets. It was not like that. The person I would credit the most for that is Satya. What a leader he is. Kind and strong. They are not mutually exclusive. He is a leader one would want to follow. I did not have much 1:1 intereaction with him except being in some conferences but he reflects his values. Under him Microsoft has attained the highest heights and greatest stock prices and that did not happen with a toxic culture but a colloboartive One Microsoft culture. I would like to build a company like he has built Microsoft.

Warren Buffet

I admire simplicity in wealth personified by Warren. When people become rich they change. They want to show off their wealth. It does not have to be like that. Weatlh lets us enjoy material goodness but material goodness does not bring happiness. Who we surround ourselves with when we are rich and how we spend our time even though we are weatlhy defines how happy we shall be. Warren does not have to work, but he does. I say the same. Why will I ever want to retire. I could only dream of retiring if I am engaged in doing work which I do not enjoy. Then why am I doing it. If I become rich I want to still keep doing the work I want to do. Robotics has limitless potential. Even when I achieve some commercial success why stop there. Look at Elon!

Sardar Patel

Lots of people outside of India, and even lots of people in do not understand or know that much about Sardar Patel. He was called “The Iron Man” of India and no not like the Marvel character but someone who is responsible for the structure and creation of modern India as it stands now. People know about Gandhi and Nehru, and they did have great contributions but Sardar Patel is not given his due. Well not till now that is. Now he got a big statue in India. I admire how Sardar Patel gave being a Prime Minister and let Nehru have it even though rightfully so he should have been. Sardar Patel was wiser among the two but sometimes one can sacrifice personal glory for the benefit of their organization, country or company.

Paul Graham

I like Paul's writing and essays and how he is part philosopher, part programmer and part startup founder. He has views on many topics and he writes them simply and clearly. I like how he founded YCombinator, a model of accelerator which has since been copied everywhere. That has brought startups even more to the pysche of people and made making companies cool. Entrepreneurs are new pie creators(while governments can only redistribute a pie) and I respect how he has created and helped other people create successful companies which make humanity overall better.

Who would in your mastermind list?