Sunday, July 29, 2018

Meaning of Life for Men by Jordan Peterson

This is technically Day 3 of the One TED Talk a Day initiative. I started this on  27th July 2018 and today is 29th July 2018.

The series in which the blogs have been published is a littled messed up but this will be on track from tomorrow.

Jordan Peterson is an incredibly knowledgable professor to follow if you have slightest of the flair for human psychology based topics. His lectures can easily be found on Youtube and I haven't used any other platform as yet to follow his lectures and ideas.

In this talk he explains about the meaning of life for men. He argues that women in a way, either biologically or psychologically are created in such a way that they don't dwell so much on the meaning of life question as much as men.

He finishes his talk by saying that meaning of life for men is responsibility. They find / would find happiness to be responsible for accomplishing something they care about.

This sends me down the memory lane and makes me re-connect the ideas I have read so far about the meaning and purpose of life. I have internalized that essentially there is no such holy or eternal purpose of life that you have to hunt for and live. It is in the simple thought of being useful to yourself and for others that you find the meaning of being alive.

May be that is why a lot of people find ton of happiness and contentment in dedicating their lives towards helping others and that becomes their life mission a.k.a. purpose of life. If you think about it and try to connect this with Jordan's talk, they are taking the responsibility, in this case not just their own and of their family but of a lot more people and that makes them happy.

So, may be what Jordan is saying is right that meaning of life is in finding a responsibility that you deeply care about and then simply working towards it.

Although I would differ from his idea that this is true only for men. I believe this is true for every human being irrespective of their gender.

If you want to achieve your goals don't focus on them


This is Day 2 of the One TED Talk a Day initiative. Today's TED Talk is by Reggie Rivers. The topic of his TED Talk is "If you want to achieve your goals don't focus on them".
  • Goals require you to have participation of other people hence they are outside of your control. 
  • Behaviors are something that are completely in our control so we should focus on our behaviors to achieve our goals.
  • See and plan what you can do today, tomorrow and this week. 

The speaker in this TED talk has a simple message to convey with a very humorous talk to keep the audience engaged and interested. 

He emphasizes that if you want to achieve your goals you should not focus on them. Focusing on the goals makes us focus on everything that is not in our control. The end result or the outcome is not in our control. 

Hence, he suggests that we should rather focus on our actions and our behaviors. Having a short term focus as suggested helps us stay on track without getting overwhelmed.

It's a simple yet effective advice. I would certainly try to inculcate this.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Personality Types and Our Brain

I am starting off the One TED Talk a day again. I would watch at least one TED Talk everyday and would try to summarize it in my words.

The very first TED Talks of this series is on Personality Types and Our Brain by Scott Schwefel.

The central idea of this TED Talk is that every person has a different personality and his or her behavior is largely driven by that. It is of tremendous use for us to know what Personality Type we own. 

Knowing this can guide us as to which areas of our professional life and leadership we would be most comfortable with and hence would excel in. Knowing the personality type of people we interact with on a day to day basis also helps us engage with them better; this can either be in personal or professional setting.

The following are some of the pointers from the TED talk (and some slides that are useful glancing through).

  • How we see (perceive) ourselves matters. 
  • People do not perceive you the way you perceive yourself. You may want to put more effort on defining yourself when you are introducing yourself.
  • "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate." - Carl Jung
  • "Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves" - Carl Jung

Friday, July 27, 2018

How I tried to create a system to manage my time better?

Consistency. One word which has a lot of meaning and strength. Those who know me would understand that I have an intense need to plan and organize everything. I am not much of an impromptu person. I am not a person who can think on his feet and come up with ideas. I take time to analyze and then conclude. In spite of all this one thing that I have been struggling with has been consistency, sounds very contradictory perhaps, let me explain. 

The fact is that if we do not assign priorities consciously to whatever we have in front of us, our true nature inherently does that for us. And let me tell you, our true nature does not do a good job at assigning priorities because we as humans never want to eat the bitter pills, even if they are for our own benefits.

So, we need to be conscious about the choices that we make everyday. Those tiny breaks of 5 or 7 minutes that we take to watch interesting Youtube videos, convert into hours before we know it. Or those incremental professional commitments may take a toll on your personal commitments (family time or self growth) or vice versa.  

I have already admitted that I myself am guilty of such behavior so I am not in a position to tell you how to fix this, but all I can tell is something that I tried and something that seemed to work a bit for me.

Two important methods that worked for me are as follows
1. Have clear visiblity (at all times) on what all needs to be done.
2. Have clear visibility (at all times) on where your time is going.

I will explain both of these in detail.
Let's begin with the first one. 

Have clear visiblity (at all times) on what all needs to be done.
I have always had a long Planner sheet at the beginning of the year which sort of has the list of areas (and categories) I would want to work on, the list of things I would want to improve, so on and so forth. I was using this like my North Star (not literally pulling task items from it but just picking the directions). 

But what was missing was that in the day to day life I tended to go autopilot every now and then and it used to be months before I looked at my Planner sheet and see that I have lost a ton of time and haven't done anything from the sheet.

To fix this what I have tried now is that I take up only a handful of items from the list that I think I can finish or cater to in say one month. This drastically reduces the items I need to spend my time looking at.

If you are from the Software Product Management  background, think of the Planner sheet as your Backlog and the shorter list as the Stories you pick up for the Sprint that is supposed to last one month. Towards the middle of the month or say third week if you see items you definitely would not be able to work on, just push them out, don't stress about it. If you push yourself very hard, you would not have enough energy to go on and you may end up breaking the system. Telling you by experience, if you break the system once, it is very tough to get back.

Now, I have better visibility on what needs to be done and if I am able to spend some time on it. So, this in a way was the first solution - having clear visibility (at all times) on what needs to be done.

Let's talk about the second one.

Have clear visibility (at all times) on where your time is going.
I have realized that if you have clear visiblity of where your time is going, you tend to spend your time in a better way.

I tried out a few apps and web based solutions and finally settled for aTimeLogger. I started tracking all of my time, not just professional working time but everything such as Sleeping, Reading, Transport, Entertainment, Housework etc.

I know this might sound extreme to a lot of you but trust me, once you get in the habit of using this and can clearly see the Pie Chart of your time spent, slowly and gradually you tend to get better at managing your time.

Here are some of the screens to give you a perspective on how this app looks like. 

You can also decide and create some time based goals for yourself and try to get better at achieving them. As you can see, some of the goals that I have created for myself are
1. Not sleeping more than 7 hours.
2. Reading for minimum 30 minutes everyday.
3. Keeping the Miscellaneous category time under 3 hours.
As and when you get a hang of this you can add more and more activities that you care about and try to patch it up in goals and try to monitor yourself on a monthly basis if you are improving in those areas.
To conclude, like any other system this system also is not a full proof solution but this is certainly something worth exploring. If you try this and it works for you even a little bit do let me know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Journey

So many choices. One life. If you think about it, perhaps, a very brief, almost negligible bleep on the canvas of life on Earth. Non-existent in the Earth’s lifetime. But this bleep, is our life. For most what we know, an opportunity, the only one that we have right now. The only one we are sure of. Then why are our choices mostly confined, constrained by factors such as our upbringing, our innate tendencies as humans (evolved from animals), why do we not realize these barriers being only in our minds, why are these shackles tough to break.
Because choosing an offbeat life is difficult, extreme, disagreeable to society or to the construct of society. But how do you choose, how do you define the offbeat life you may fantasize about. Should we give in to this whim to ultimately lose a lot of time, money, relationships and eventually long for coming back? How do you test the waters without disrupting your current life? How do you finally take the call and take the plunge?

This is about finding answers, about the process, of discovery. It may not look like it but perhaps this is a whole lot internal rather than external. Discovery of ourselves. Realizing what you truly enjoy. Designing a life, you enjoy. Making it sustainable. Prioritizing life over traditional way of living. Taking a leap of faith.

The journey eventually may make you experience immense bliss. You may experience life in its full glory. A tale to tell, a life truly lived. On the flip side, even if you don’t find what you longed for. It may take some precious resources, time away, but it would perhaps still be worth a shot. The traditional life would always be available, open to embrace. One may fall a step or two backwards in the traditional sense. But in the larger canvas, in the larger picture of one’s life, this perhaps would surely be worth. After all, finding oneself is a long pursuit, the journey like this is going to be the first step. A step in a direction with some hope of being right should definitely be worth.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Failing to Succeed - Book Summary/Review


I was randomly browsing the new offers on the Kindle Store when I came across this book. The title of the book was quite apt and it did catch my eye.
Ever since I have started questioning the fundamentals of societal structure, one question that has always perplexed me has been the question of Success. What Success really is? I wrote a blog post about this titled, “Your Idea of Success. Is it really your Idea?”, way back in 2014. As you can see, it now has been almost 4 years and here we are, still exploring this concept of Success.
Anyway, coming back, so I found this book’s title interesting, read the brief on Goodreads and decided to buy.
The book is about the advent, success and shutdown of India’s first E-commerce start-up Fabmart/Indiaplaza. I am sure people from early days of Internet (90s) may have heard of those names. I had read some articles about Mr. Vaithee and hence had an overview about the venture.

Fabmart – India’s first E-commerce start-up begins

This book is narrated and authored by Mr. Vaithee himself which hence gives you a vivid experience (thanks to his writing style) of everything that happened. It begins with the author toying with the idea of starting up, leaving a well cushioned job at Wipro to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. He was mightily influenced by the experience of which was, in those days, trying to pioneer the e-commerce world and perhaps was the only reference point.
Along with 5 other co-founders the first e-commerce site of India was born, named selling audio cassettes and CDs. To give you a perspective, we are talking about creating an e-commerce company when internet penetration was extremely low, world-wide-web had recently entered India and getting connected to Internet was a painful process of using the Dial-up connection. A lot of us millennials may have never seen internet that slow, you could literally see the images / content load line by line on the screen in front of you!
The author then takes you through some first principles of starting up (most of which happen to be same for Product Management).
  1. What problem are you solving?
  2. Are you solving it for reasonably large set of customers?
  3. Will these customers be willing to pay for your solution?
  4. Are you the first one trying to solve or there have been others who have attempted?
  5. If others have already solved, are you bringing something superior or unique?

The author then shares some really amazing learning about
  • The concept of Better, Faster, Cheaper to evaluate start-ups
  • Selecting your Co-founders
  • Deciding Co-founders’ responsibilities and compensation
  • Seed-funding 

Fabmart – So many firsts

As is there in any product, while taking the crucial decisions, the team at Fabmart needed some really important inputs and they used the concepts of Product Management really well. This just tells me that the first principles are just timeless. The way they executed in the absence of all the modern tools we have today is just exemplary.
  • Stalking customers in offline stores to understand customer buying behavior.
  • Deciding on whether to sell books or music online.
  • Getting the meta-data of the Music labels was a challenge, then getting it online was another challenge, music companies didn’t have it in online format.

Anyway, so slowly and gradually things started moving and Fabmart started getting traction. It is not very well known but Fabmart team deserves the credit for a lot of innovative and first of its kind solutions executed in E-commerce world which now just seem to be a norm.
  1. First PIN based Payment Gateway
  2. First E-commerce client of Microsoft Azure in India
  3. BlueDart’s first step in E-commerce logistics
  4. First to execute Omnichannel retail
  5. First to sign up a celebrity singer to launch a Single exclusively online
  6. India’s first Electronic Gift Certificates
  7. India’s first E-wallet
  8. First Customer Loyalty Program
  9. India’s first Online Grocery store
  10. First time COD in India

Diversifying into Books, Jewellery

The book then takes us through some day to day challenges of deciding the KPIs when you don’t have any reference point, signing up more music labels, singers to get more traffic and all along sticking to the first principles of business to ensure that this is a self-sustainable business and not a VC money driven that now-a-days is.
Fabmart starts to expand beyond music and gets into books and jewellery. The author talks about the challenges faced and how they finally launch these online. In future, books become one of the bestselling categories for the business.
This was the time (around 2000) when the Dotcom bubble bust was happening in US and hence whenever Fabmart team was meeting the investors, they were interested in valuation more than anything else. The company was able to raise 25 Crores as Series A in this turbulent time.

Fabmart Goes in Offline Retail

The next part of the book is about how Fabmart goes in offline retail and builds the brand Fabmall. Most of you may not know this but Fabmall was acquired by Aditya Birla Group in 2006 and re-branded as More stores, fairly well known now.
In spite of the fact that Groceries as a category will be difficult and low margin venture, Fabmart went ahead and launched India’s first online grocery, along with selling it offline in Fabmall. Some really creative warehousing and supply chain strategies had to be executed by the team.
This was also the time when the team started off COD for groceries (in 2001) and then extended it to other products such as books, movies, music, watched etc. But because of all the challenges that COD brings with itself, the team decided to shut COD down in 2004.

Fast forward to Indiaplaza – Cash Crunch Begins – Investor Challenges

Author then talks about a lot of business challenges that were being faced because of which finally, the offline business and the online business were separated.  Because of the recent Dotcom bust, no investors would even want to listen to anything that had “.com” in it raising funds for the online business was becoming daunting.
I would try to fast forward the summary here. There onwards, author details about tonnes of challenges that were faced because of the Investors, Cash Crunch etc.
What is commendable to read in the book is that in spite of owning around 2% or so of the company Indiaplaza, the author somehow became responsible for all the troubles that the company faced. The challenges of ever changing business conditions can be navigated well if there is money available. The responsibilities of the current investors were not executed and hence Indiaplaza had to face severe situations.
I am highly impressed by the way author keeps his morals and integrity standing strong in spite of the tough, nerve wrecking situations around him with vendors, creditors, police etc. Reading about all the struggles that he went through is highly inspirational. It gives a perspective into how most of the investors focus perhaps on the wrong metrics and how it is extremely important to be highly selective when choosing where you are taking the money from.


Overall, the book is really delightful and refreshing to read. The writing style is simple yet engaging. It provides a lot of ground reality perspectives about the start-up world. Media selectively glamorizes the start-up world with less focus on failures and the dark sides. It gives you a perspective of what all can go wrong in a start-up and can prove to be a guidepost to learn from the mistakes detailed in the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has interest in start-ups and/or e-commerce in general.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Experiences, Experience and More

I used to think, this is not how I would spend my life. Running around, chasing something which I may or may not want, oppressing myself with day to day grinds, living almost the same day, almost the same place over and over again and calling it life.

Long back, when I was young and stupid, I used to think this life is not for me. But, reading a letter I perhaps wrote in 2012 when I started my career, I realize, I am already living the kind of life I was kind of trying to consciously avoid. 

Don't get me wrong, it is not that I am not happy. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am supposed to be. I have a good job, pays well, I live in the IT capital of the country and I have some skills that can continue to fetch me fairly good life. 

But then, in spite of all that, when I look back at myself; what I used to be 6 years back, I feel this is not what I wanted. I don't know what I did want but I had told myself that I would do something different. I know I am way off. 

May be that guy at that age did not really understand what to expect from himself or may be I got it all wrong and haven't yet figured out and learnt how to live. Yes, it is possible. There was no lecture on how to live, in my school, college or even my post graduate certificate course. No one really told me because may be there is no single way. Even having a framework around it would have helped but nah, nothing. 

Anyway, let me put on my PM hat now. Yes, we have a problem, but if we really try to put this in the AIPMM new product development framework, we should be able to arrive at a product that should be able to help. I think I need to focus on the problem more. 

Why exactly people like me think that they wanted a different life. If I dig deeper I think I can say that because when one is young, the intensity of hopes and ambitions are high. What one can achieve in life is at Level 8 and one himself is sitting at Level 0. Sure, being at Level 8 sounds so much fun but reaching there has a different path.

The path that is difficult, full of rejections and failure and if you look at it, it never looks anything remotely like Level 8. Hence everyone gets deceived and thinks this cannot be it. This can never be the path to where I want to go. Everyone then looks at the path that looks amazing at the moment, we are unable to look ahead and see where this beautiful looking path is going to take us.

We start walking on that path and after a while perhaps, we realize, Oh, this is certianly not going to take me to Level 8. We panic, we try to look for other paths. The cycle repeats and then yet again we look for another path and so on.
Before you know it, you are done with 5-6 years and you are happy but you are nowhere near to Level 8. 

Now, you may ask yourself, do you still want to go to Level 8, because the path is still dirty and difficult or you would rather stay on the path that you currently are on, which by the way is very comfortable?
Everyone has these choices. And most people fantasize about Level 8 but do not prefer to go down that atrocious looking path, they would rather stay on their comfortable Levels.

What would I do? I don't know. I am scared of losing my current level in pursuit of Level 8 that I may or may not achieve.
I may change my mind. Well, we will see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What am I up to?

I came across my friend Deepak's blog and something interesting caught my attention. He has a specific page that tells about what he is doing now. His inspiration for such a page has been It is interesting and surprising to see that this /now page is a revolution! I went to Deepak's Now page (link here) and decided to write a blog post about it and to also create a similar page for myself.
Well, recently I have been tied up and have not been able to manage my time well. But I am slowly getting back on track. I have been using to help me track my time and of course and have been my favorite tools.

Wunderlist is well, a To Do list and Pocket helps you bookmark your links and manage them better to revisit them and hence manage your learning better.

I keep myself occupied with Business Analysis, Product Consulting, Product Management and learning about these all the time. Recently I also have found myself interested in knowing about what people like Elon Musk and Sam Altman are up to. I am actively following the growth of smart cars, self driven cars etc. I am also blogging at Faichi's official website. 

Oh yes, I also have been reading books and happily running Pune Book Lovers Club. I am currently reading
1. Totto Chan - English translation of a Japanese book. This book is very famous though.
2. Thinking Fast and Slow - I am very slow in reading this.
3. Zero to One - Interesting insights

I am active on Twitter these days, please follow me @ayushtweet.

Cheers till the next time!

My Poetry Sucks!

I am totally embarrassed about the stupid poetry I have put on my blog. I haven't written anything good for a long time now. I am requesting you to please don't read any poetry please? I will put a good one as soon as I write, I promise you.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Weekly Habit Experiments

I have been in Pune since September 2015 now and I got to know that here Gudi Padwa i.e. Hindi Calendar new year is a grand festival. It is celebrated with a lot of zeal. I thought I should take this opportunity to try something new and become a better person. 

Now, many of you must be thinking that this is something we all think of doing in every new year. Yes, that is true, I have always been making a list of habits I need develop, the achievements I want to see in the new year, the milestones I want to achieve, so on and so forth.

Well, yep the only problem was that the list of 2015 looked a lot like the list of 2014 and so on and hence I thought this is not going to work at all.
Hence, I thought this Hindi New Year can be an opportunity. I knew I can’t commit for an entire year so decided to try for something really short a duration and settled for one week.

So, here it is, my weekly experiments have started from 4th April. Now, I wanted to begin with something really small. I just randomly thought how it would be like to not speak any cuss words for a week and yep, that is what I decided for the first week. I had to follow this No Cuss Words rule till 10th April i.e. 7 full days. If you think it is easy you may go ahead and give it a try yourself.

Anyways, so how was my experience and how did it go? Well, for firsts, I think the week ended really quickly and I faltered for a total of 5 times. I realized that initially I indeed was, quite frequently saying cuss words in my mind but wasn’t just speaking them. But over a period of a few days I realized that I started using some other words to better explain, rather than the cuss words. I seriously recommend you to give it a try.

This was a good experience by the end of the week. I had two decisions to make now, first, what should be the next experiment and second, whether or not should I continue with the previous one. I decided to try no sugar+ green tea daily for the next week and also decided that since it was not difficult so I would just continue the previous experiment too.

So, for the next week i.e. 11th April to 17th April it had to be No Cuss Words + No Sugar + Daily Green Tea.

The week obviously has ended so you might be wondering as to how did it go. Well, No Cuss Words went really good, though I stopped keeping the count of the faults because I found doing that insignificant. No sugar regime has been strictly followed and quite easily actually but this Green Tea Daily has been difficult and I think I could only follow it for 3 days out of 7. I think the reason being that following this involved preparing green tea and I have been too lazy to do so.

Anyways, I have continued all three experiments for the subsequent week too and it has been going well. Though I had to add another habit and I wanted to try Daily Meditation but I have failed at that too.
Now, for the coming week I have decided not to add any habits and to carry all four of these habits to this week and see how that goes. If at all everything goes fine. I will start adding more habits, else I will drop some of these.

Current habits to pursue in the next week starting next Monday i.e. 25th April 2016 are No Cuss Words + No Sugar + Daily Green Tea + Daily Meditation. Hoping for the best!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Best thing about this book is simplistic language. When the ideas being shared in the book are complex and difficult to understand and relate to, it really helps to have the ideas in a simple language.
The story is fairly gripping in the middle of the book and starts on a comfortable note too. I would say that the ideologies shared, especially at the end of the book are somewhat difficult to imbibe or even understand in one go and it does require to read them again.

Presumably the thought of the author is to give the readers a small insight into the concept and hence this book can just be a beginning for the readers to think on such lines and then explore more by themselves.

This book is indeed a short read but it makes you think time and again and hence I would say this is an impacting book to me.

Certain sections of the book (some specific conversations) are extremely enjoyable and hence I would surely want to read the book again. I highly appreciate that the author seemed to have ensured that any religion aspect is not touched upon.
To conclude, this is a must read book.

The book is publicly available online, you can go to  to get the book.

Also, I am happy to announce that this book is going to be the first specific book being discussed in Pune Book Lovers Club.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why make a fuss?

It’s been a while since I wrote something, elsewhere or on this blog. It literally feels like the fountain pen being used after years. The ink has dripped through inside but is unable to dribble through the nib of the pen, and smoothly on to the paper. As you try to write, you scratch the paper and mildly damage the nib. Just like the ink, I have thoughts in my mind but am unable to carve them out into words.

Why? What happened? Has it not been a good time in the past? Am I so engrossed in the day to day life that I forgot how to express in words? No, I did not; well, I hope not.

I know that the wheels are a little rusty now, but they sure can still move. It will take a little time, I will need a little inertia to push myself and that indeed will take some effort and some pain.

Pain, oh yes. That, we always experience; every time something begins (or ends) that little word pain is like the threshold energy we need, to get started, to begin and to endure.

So, what is there to exaggerate in this? Why make a fuss?  Is this the first time I am experiencing this? Surely it is not. There is nothing new in this. Also, don’t other people undergo the same and just still keep going? There is nothing unique about it.

All you got to do is keep going. Can anything else help? I highly doubt it. But, given my little experience of life and of people, I might be wrong. Over time, everything fades away, just like the early morning fog, like it was never there, was just a dream.

Yes, the visibility is currently low, it is indeed hazy all around; there are some things to remember and there are some to forget. But all I need to remind myself is that; this too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It's easy to feel hopeful during the good times

Hope. It indeed is one of the strongest emotion human beings can conceive. It defies reasons and logics and keeps our spirits almost unnaturally and impractically alive when we need it the most. I recently came across a wonderful graduation speech given by the lead female actor in the movie “The Amazing Spiderman-2”.

“I know we all think that we are immortal. We are supposed to feel that way. We are graduating, but like our brief four years of high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn't last forever.”

“What makes it precious is that it ends, we know that now more than ever, and I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck”.

“So, don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what, cause even if we fall short what better ways is there to live.”

“It's easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days where you feel all alone, and that's when hope is needed most. No matter how bad it gets, or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope. Keep it alive.”

“We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope; people need that.”

“And even if we fail, what better way is there to live? As we look around here today, at all of the people who helped make us who we are, I know it feels like we're saying goodbye, but we will carry a piece of each other into everything that we do next, to remind us of who we are, and of who we're meant to be.”

--- Gwen Stacy

May we all get the strength to realize and attain hope when we need it the most because it indeed is something which is deeply imbibed in all of us but, it’s just that we tend to forget this fact when we are going through the ‘not so sunny’ days of our lives.  

Youtube link to the speech: Here

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Your personal goals - Shout out loud or keep them to yourself ?

The new year 2015. I know it is kind of late to write about the new year but still as the first quarter of the year has ended I realize this indeed is a good time to write about it. As per my opinion, the problem with being too much energetic or enthusiastic at the beginning of the year is that we end up making too many commitments to ourselves and then end up not being able to live up to them.

Now, since those commitments had been made to ourselves alone, we fail to monitor ourselves well enough to check our progress time and again and hence we lose the track. The cycle repeats itself over and over again every year.

The solution to this, I believe, is to become accountable to someone for your achievements and goals. What I mean here is that we can try to be explicitly vocal about things that we want to achieve in the year to some people we can trust and we know are going to push us when we feel like drifting away. These people can be your best friends, siblings, parents etc. But a minor detail that is important here is that that person(s) should motivate you when you are going off the track and should not rather draw energy out of you. 

So, when we are accountable to others about what we do and do not achieve, we tend to push ourselves in the times of crisis because there is a certain aspect of social reputation that is attached to it. This is something to be tried and tested to see the results.

If we do try and implement this, we would not impractically over-commit and would also have a feasible method of going about our goals as we would know that the status of our progress is being monitored.

Ah well now you may or may not agree with whatever I just said but still you should watch this TED talk below by Derek Sivers that is completely opposite of what I just discussed.

The blog link for the same is here 

I personally do not agree with Sivers here but you may choose one of the two methods and see the results for yourself. I would love to know which of the two methods you tried; being socially active about your goals or keeping them to yourself and which one worked for you, do let me know in the comments.

P.S: Reference link that goes in my favor is here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your idea of Success, is really Your Idea?

Today's TED talk was about the current society's idea of success and failure and its repercussions on the humanity as a whole.
The speaker started with the days of grief that he used to have on the weekends when he was dealing with the career crisis thinking where is his career headed. He talks about how these days snobbery has become a global phenomenon. Snobbery i.e. the practice of observing a part of a human being and assuming and making image of the individual as a whole based on that. 

This happens a lot in the social settings where "What do you do?" has become the most prominent question and we make the whole image of the person in our mind based on response. So, what is written on your Business Card has become important for the people than the real you. 

We are living in the times where it is a general belief that if you have the right talent, resources and hard work anyone can achieve anything There is nothing particularly wrong with this ideology apart from the fact that this also means that if someone is not very successful then it is because of their own reasons and hence are responsible for it.

Because of this, in general, there is more career related anxiety in people these days. Earlier people did not used to expect much from themselves and from their careers but now with "anyone can achieve anything" mentality most of the careers are in grief.

In previous days human beings used to centre the life around other forces like God, Universe, Nature etc and used to worship them to find the answers. These days, on the contrary human being believes he doesn't need any of that and can pray to himself and believe in himself to achieve anything.

Due to this situation, there is a contrary thinking that if I am a failure I am because of my own; which increases the suicide tendencies in humans while the truth is that Success and Failure are just random events and should not be made to be the centre of the human lives. 

This also takes us to the reasons as to why this sort of mentality has prevailed. Primary reason is the media that keeps highlighting the success stories of the people making it sound easy, logical and likely rather than being random.

Because of all the media hype, the idea and definition of success for people has not been unique rather, has been dictated by what they consume from the media. It is such an unfortunate moment when you achieve someone else's definition of success and realise; after investing a significant amount of time and energy in it that you did not want it in the first place.

To conclude, it is important that we think deeply about what our idea of success really is and then go about achieving it rather than running around the media's or society's idea of success.