Incentives act like serotonin. It makes us feel happy. It is not limited to an age group or humans.

BF Skinner performed variable rewards experiment on pigeons. These days mobile application providers are using the same on us.

Incentives are not limited to money but can come from appreciation and actions.

  • A doctor operates an open heart surgery when a stent in an artery is enough.
  • E-commerce providers run SALE every month.
  • Our organization has a hall of fame for top performers.
  • Github repository has stars.
  • Different kind of app notifications on social media apps.

It is all about making us feel better and making us do better. It has good as well as an evil side. So practice with precaution.

Stoic practices

The Little Book of Stoicism mentions 54 practice which the author recommends their users to follow. It will bring the reader closer to practicing stoicism.

I am adding some of the most meaningful ones I could associate with:

  1. Accept And Love Whatever Happens
  2. Undertake Actions with a Reserve Clause
  3. Remind Yourself of the Impermanence of Things
  4. Contemplate Your Own Death
  5. Consider Everything as Borrowed from Nature
  6. Negative Visualization: Foreseeing Bad Stuff
  7. Prepare Yourself for the Day: The Stoic Morning Routine
  8. Review Your Day: The Stoic Evening Routine
  9. Keep a Role Model in Mind: Contemplate the Stoic Sage
  10. Play Your Given Roles Well
  11. Eliminate the Nonessential, practice minimalism
  12. Forget Fame
  13. Win at What Matters
  14. Take Back Your Time: Limit consumption of externalities (news, social media et al)
  15. Become an Eternal Student
  16. Do What Needs to Get Done
  17. Your Judgment Harms You
  18. How to Deal With Grief
  19. Choose Courage and Calm over Anger
  20. Beat Fear with Preparation and Reason
  21. Pain and Provocation: Great Opportunities for Virtue
  22. Stay Equanimous
  23. Life Is Supposed to Be Challenging
  24. Count Your Blessings
  25. Be kindness and practice Empathy
  26. Do Good, Be Good
  27. We are part of the same universe
  28. Find Your Own Faults
  29. Forgive and Love Those Who Stumble
  30. Pity Rather than Blame the Wrongdoer
  31. Scratches Happen In Training
  32. Choose Your Company Well
  33. Say Only What’s Not Better Left Unsaid
  34. Lead by Example
  35. Blame Your Expectations

Mere association tendency

Our brain likes to take shortcuts. It is programmed to take quick decisions. That has been a reason we call it monkey mind.

How many times did you buy ice cream or soap or soda because your favorite superstar was selling it?

  • Go out and check the signboards people selling sugar associate it with Happiness.
  • Cesarean section is advertised as pain-free delivery.
  • Alcohol is sold association company of friends.
  • A credit card is sold as freedom.

Mere association tendency is not limited to humans. Russian psychologist Pavlov conducted an experiment on a dog. In the experiment, he rang a bell before feeding the dog. He repeated the same for some time and noticed ringing the bell alone resulted in dog secreting more saliva.

book notes: The Little Book of Stoicism

I spent last week reading The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber.
I was able to connect myself with what he has written.

Stoicism is a school of Philosophy over 2000 years old. It has become more popular in the modern age. It mostly focuses on our thoughts and understanding self.

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
— Marcus Aurelius

Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers.
— Seneca

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
— Epictetus

Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus are some known stoic philosophers.

The author has done a great job in explaining the whole concept if you want to learn about stoicism, this book is a good start.

I made some doodles as I was reading the book, I have added them with the blog. Ooh, he also mentions about 54 stoic practices, read the book to know more. 🙂

Lastly one can find most of the writings of these stoics for free on the internet.

Non essentials

Why do we waste our time on things which has no meaning to our life? Bitching about government or giving an opinion on subjects we have no knowledge is of any help?

Our time is limited, we still spend a good amount of it in the non-essentials. The relationship which has no value, the communication which is noisy.

I am not talking about productivity here but more about our own sanity. I am still figuring it out.

help appreciated!


Having a daily set of tasks to do has made me more productive. I use a notebook and write daily tasks. Some of those are repetitive, I add them daily and strike it off once I am done with it.

I remember meeting a friend and who suggested to me about this. He told me once you get into the habit of writing and striking it off: the subconscious mind gets into action.

I would love to hear more from you all about your ways of managing your routine.


Does watching certain YouTube or listening to music effects of dreams. Are dreams combination of everything of everything we see and observe via our senses?

The days or weeks am off YouTube/Netflix/Prime and on a reading zone, I get better sleep and calmer dreams.

I will go do some research and find out more about it.

Book notes: Made to stick

I read this book and It covers 6 essentials keys to build a sticky product. I have added some of my take-ups along with authors storytelling.

  1. Simple
    Simple things scale. A product which is simple gets better adoption. In the book, the Author talks about SouthWest airlines secret to profitability. A simple message to the entire stakeholder: We are running the cheapest airlines in America.

2. Unexpected
To have your idea stickier you need to break someone’s guessing machine and then fix it. Robert Cialdini says: Mysteries are powerful because they create a need for closure. We have to add an element of inquisitiveness in our product.

3. Concrete
It helps us construct higher, more abstract insights on the building blocks of our existing knowledge and perceptions. Concrete ideas are easier to remember. Experiments in human memory have shown that people are better at remembering concrete, easily visualized nouns.

4. Credible
Ever wondered why celebrities and cricketers endorse all those soda and junks? A simple reason: we are their fan and we swear by them. They become a credible source for us.

5. Emotional
We tend to donate seeing a picture of crying baby or someone with ailments. People remember things better because they evoke more emotion, not because they are more frequent. People remember things better because the media spend more time covering them (perhaps because they provide more vivid images), not because they are more common. The availability bias may lead our intuition astray, prompting us to treat unusual things as common and unlikely things as probable.

6. Stories
Stories have the amazing dual power to simulate and to inspire. And most of the time we don’t even have to use much creativity to harness these powers—we just need to be ready to spot the good ones that life generates every day.

Cold turkey

Why does it so happens when all of a sudden people stop replying or communicating?

The other side gets into a situation he or she has no clue about. This is something very common in sales and relationship.

You are pitching someone, on the face, they will show all their interest. After some time the communication goes cold turkey.

In dating game, if the expectation of either side is not met most will go unresponsive, instead of giving a reason and walking away.

How would the other side improve on himself if he will not receive the feedback? Is it something one has to guess and keep in agony?

Why can’t we give honest feedback and then close all the ties? I find this going habit very absurd and irrational.


Death is part of our journey, yet we are all scared about it. At the same time, we get busy with our errands and forget about living.

We waste years regretting what we could have done when our parents were alive. We complain about our busy lifestyle.

We are so connected yet so disconnected in real life. We are all busy yet no task gets completed. We all have one life, those who matter most to us should get all our attention.