3 min read

The Third Door: An Unconventional Route to Success

Success, as many of us perceive it, often seems linear. We're conditioned to believe that to achieve our goals, we must either follow the conventional path (the first door) or have the privilege of connections (the second door). However, the most compelling stories of success often come from those who discover and confidently walk through the third door. This unconventional approach isn't about waiting for the perfect moment or having the right connections; it's about creating opportunities where none seem to exist.

The Concept of the Third Door

Photo of three doors side by side. The first door is grand and ornate with a line of people waiting to enter. The second door is slightly smaller, guarded by a bouncer with a VIP rope barrier and a few elite-looking individuals. The third door is inconspicuous, hidden away with a single individual of Asian descent confidently approaching it, holding a makeshift key.

Popularized by Alex Banayan in his book "The Third Door," this concept emphasizes the significance of persistence, creativity, and thinking outside the box. While the first door represents the traditional route and the second door the privileged one, the third door is all about crafting your own path. It's the metaphorical entrance where you don't wait in line or leverage VIP status; instead, you find a window, a backdoor, or perhaps even create a new entrance entirely.

My Experience with the Third Door

One of the most recent instances where I embraced the essence of the third door was in my professional journey with EigenLabs. Conventional wisdom might suggest submitting an application through the company's official channels and waiting for a response. But that's not the route I took.

Having recently left a previous role, I identified an opportunity with EigenLabs. Rather than going through the typical application process, I decided to reach out directly to Sreeram Kannan, the founder of EigenLabs. We engaged in meaningful discussions, and before I knew it, I found myself as a part of their team. This direct approach, driven by initiative and genuine interest, allowed me to bypass traditional gatekeepers and showcase my value proposition firsthand.

Why the Third Door Matters

The beauty of the third door lies not just in the ability to seize opportunities but also in the mindset it cultivates. It teaches us to be proactive, to question norms, and most importantly, to believe in ourselves. It reminds us that every locked door has multiple keys, and if we're willing to search, we might just find the one that fits.

Moreover, embracing the third door approach nurtures resilience. Rejection or failure doesn't become a full stop but rather a comma in our journey. It's a brief pause, an opportunity to reassess, pivot, and find another door.

A Lesson from the Bhagavad Gita

In the quest to find unorthodox ways of achieving one's goals, one is reminded of an age-old wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita. It says:

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."
Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 3, Verse 35)

This profound statement from one of the world's most revered scriptures aligns seamlessly with the philosophy of the 'third door'. Instead of following a predetermined path or trying to replicate someone else's journey, the Gita emphasizes the importance of crafting one's unique journey. Even if this path is ridden with challenges and isn't flawless, it is authentic to one's true nature and aspirations.

Just as I sought my own path, bypassing conventional methods, the Gita advocates for the pursuit of one's dharma or duty, regardless of the challenges. The road less traveled, the 'third door', if you will, might be fraught with unpredictability, but it often leads to genuine growth and unparalleled experiences. It's a testament to the age-old belief that there's merit in seeking out your own way, even if it deviates from the norm.


Life doesn't always offer clear pathways. Sometimes, the well-trodden path might lead to a dead end, and the privileges of the second door might be out of reach. But the third door? It's always there, waiting for those audacious enough to find it. My experience with EigenLabs and others is a testament to that, and I encourage everyone to seek their own third doors in life's vast maze of opportunities. It's through these unexpected routes that we often find the most fulfilling successes.