November readings

These are some books I read in November 2018

1. From Impossible to Inevitable by Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross. The book has some good advice if you are new to the startup ecosystem. It also talks about sales, most of which has been written and re-written everywhere.
Bonus: Jason Lemkin shares his secret about pitching him and companies he invests in.

2. Driven to Distraction at Work by Edward M. Hallowell. I liked the book and story of 6 unique individuals with there ADHD problems. The author shares many titbits and tricks to live a healthy and meaningful life. In the end, it is on us to implement it.

3. Unthink by Chris Paley. The author talks about human consciousness and how we act, behave. I had high hopes from the book, but it was like a simple abstract of some 100 research papers.

4. The Truthful Art by Alberto Cairo. I picked this book to learn the art and science of data visualization. After going through few chapters I realized I am too novice for it. I was able to pick little wisdom indeed.

Managing personal psychology

In his book “Driven to distraction at work” the author mentions personal psychology. What he means is that how can we live happy, meaningful life.

These are some points he mentions:

1. Work with emotional grain. It can be working alone or in a team. It can be at a coffee shop or a cubical. You have to find out.

2. Try to identify your hot buttons. What annoys you? It can be people, situation. Be aware of it.

3. Play armchair psychologist. Try to understand your bias, prejudice and past incident. Are they affecting in your decision-making process or dealing with a situation.

4. What keeps you going. Is it a glass of coffee or Mozart’s music. What you love doing. Once you will find it, every single day of your life will become more meaningful.

5. Seek and accept help. Understand your limits and reality. You are living in a community with more people around. Some of them have domain expertise, seek their advice and help when needed.

I find this impossible, our mind is a fickle mind. How can we be equanimous in every situation?

What would be your advice?

The sensational six

In his book “driven to distraction at work”, the author talks about 6 ingredients to our well being.

* Sleep
* Nutrition
* Exercise
* Meditation
* Stimulation (Engaging in learning something unique: a language, an art)
* Connection (Meeting loved ones, friends regularly.)

Many books are already written on the same subject. We have been taught about all these since we were toddlers.

In the end, it comes down to building a system to have it added to our daily ritual. The happy and successful ones have these added in their daily virtues.

Never worry alone

We all worry over unlimited issues. In the book “Driven to distraction at work”, the author suggests that one should share his worries. He/She should talk/call someone. Meet people over coffee and share the trouble.

When you connect with your dear ones, share your pain, you will feel less vulnerable and more powerful. This will not change anything but enhance the ability in dealing with the situation. You will feel better and powerful.

I like this advice, there is no harm in trying.

Wanting

We want this, we want that. The quest of wanting continues till we land in our death bed.

Can we not let things happen in natural ways? I am not asking to stop pursuing. My request is to observe yourself more and be aware of our wanting.

Our mind is monkey mind. It is irrational, its craving continues until we die.

Busy

Busy is the best excuse for avoiding people or meetings. We create a shadow of priority on us. I have no idea if it is good or bad.

I know about a son who was so busy minting money that he never cared to inquire about his father’s health. One day his father died because of the stomach pain which was an ulcer.

I also know how one’s best friend turned alcoholic because of isolation is seclusion. All other friends were busy on sending him WhatsApp and facebook forwards. Nobody met him in real life or asked how he was doing.

Relationships define us. We cannot escape or hide from it. We have to be part of it.

Parents

There comes a time in our life when we have to make some decisions.
 
I have lived last decade away from my parents. They are retired and chilling in my hometown. I have tried many times to make them come to stay with me for a few months but always failed.
 
I don’t know what should I do apart from meeting them every few months and talking to them every day.
 
I have no answers!

Mind Bug

I was reading the book The Truthful Art which is about data visualization. The author also cites some reference on how we humans behave and act.

He points 3 things:

1. We love recognizing patterns. We don’t like much randomness. That is what powers bias like gambler’s fallacy.

2. We love storytelling. Once we have recognized a pattern next comes building story around it. We will craft the story to match our need, situations.

3. We start confirming it. That is where confirmation bias kicks over.

We love this process and repeat it everywhere. Smart folks like Charlie Munger and Ray Dalio has spoken in length about this behavior of ours. They advise for mental models, principles, and checklists.

In a chaotic and hyper-connected world, how much time do we have for making a response?

Very Less.

Broken Dreams

It is so easy to get mad at watchman for taking time in opening door.

It is easy to get angry at the delivery boy for calling up few times for address confirmation.

It is easy to get hyper at cook for adding extra salt by mistake.

It takes an effort to know the story of the watchman, who has traveled 1000 kilometers away from his hometown because he had no opportunity there.

It takes rationality to realize that the delivery boy was born poor and his family could not afford his education. He is sole earner in his family.

It takes empathy to understand that cook’s daughter has been in a hospital for a few weeks, she needs money and can’t take off from the job.

This world is inverted, one side we have everything in abundance. This side craves for more. This side is unhappy.

The other side is just crawling, trying to take a day as it comes. The job security, education or medical care is distant dreams. Who cares for the broken dreams of this side?

Sometimes

Sometimes due to anger people end up showing their weakness. The insecurity and ego flow with the conversation. In such situations, one cannot argue with reason.
 
We should empathize with the angry person and investigate what could have been the cause for it. The anger and non-rational act should be forgiven.
 
We humans are generally good, it is a situation and circumstances which gets over us.
 
A friend of mine also advised that being a great listener when other side is screaming helps.