Legacy

Humans like to leave their legacy. In princely states, kings would build castles, water fountains, and gardens. Tyrants, dictators and mass murders left us with many scars.

Our legacy should be our contribution to society and people around for good. How we have changed millions of lives in a positive way.

Most of those statues and castles are pigeonholes.

On Thomas Edison

I read “the wizard of Menlo Park, a life of Thomas Edison” recently. All this while I saw Edison as the guy who killed Tesla. I am not sure if that is true, but reading this book made me know a few other things about Edison.

  1. His entrepreneurial journey begun in early age, printing newspaper in running train.
  2. An outlier without any formal degree gifting so many innovations/patents to the world.
  3. His fake till making it attitude, belief in self, arrogance, and pride.
  4. His generous offerings to journalists in the form of company equities.
  5. His obsession with brand “Edison”
  6. His notable other contributions besides light bulb.
  7. His friendship with Ford and urge to ship electric cars.
  8. His don’t give up and win at any cost attitude.

I am happy that I read about Edison, at least in the next coffee conversation I am not going to say: Edison killed Tesla. Lastly, our man Edison was deaf.

Sail

There comes part in everyone’s life where he/she feels completely broken. The lucky ones end up finding a sail, a person/book/hook which takes us out of our screwed up present.

I have had many friends, sail in my life and it helped me in shaping who I am now. Help others, pay it forward. Look around, there would be many of your peers who want someone to listen to them.

Be a sail.

On Jamsetji Tata

I spent a few days reading, For the love of India: The life and times Of Jamsetji Tata. Not much has been written, taught about him.

It made me realize the influence of the Parsi community in industrializing India.

Some learnings:

  1. Importance of Education: As a result, Jamsetji IIM, JJ School of Arts and many institutes got opened.
  2. Industrialization: The vision of Jamsetji resulted in opening the cotton industry, Steel Plant, Hydroelectric power plants to name a few.
  3. Keeping a company of great people: Apart from Dadabhai Noroji and friends from his Parsi community were behind him.
  4. Venturing to the unknown: When shipping companies were charging extra for cotton export, Jamsetji opened his own shipping company. It resulted in cutting the monopoly.
  5. Negotiations: I was not aware that Jamsetji was close to both: the Congress party(for building India) and the ruling British government (gaining scientific, technology).

These are too little to write about Jamsetji Tata. I would strongly recommend everyone reading this book. (Thanks to Santosh Panda for recommending).

Blank

Imagine a life without any influence from externals. It will be like a blank slate.

People say read, listen and watch to gain knowledge. How does it affect us and our behaviors? But is this much learning enough? Or this limited learning can leave some blind spots?

Is it difficult to be rational after gaining all the wordly knowledge?

The more I read I find I am nothing. It is like exploring into uncharted territory.

Overthinking

Overthinking is a cause of depression. We end up imagining situations which have not happened. The fear of its happening itself makes us miserable.

Our brain is hard-wired to think negatives. That came with our Homo Sapiens DNA. Always in fight and flight mode.

The only thing we can do to avoid getting stressed and stop overthinking is to be in the present moment.

How to be miserable?

Charlie Munger in his commencement speech on June 13, 1986, to the Harvard School, talks about four ways to become miserable.

Munger continued from where Johnny Carson had spoken. Carson’s prescriptions for sure misery included:

1) Ingesting chemicals in an effort to alter mood or perception

2) Envy

3) Resentment

On top of this, Charlie Munger added 4 more :

  1. Be unreliable
  2. Learn everything you possibly can from your own personal experience
  3. Give up easily, after failing a few times
  4. Don’t apply inversion

Complete speech can be found here

Isolation

How many of us are living in isolation? We resort to social media applications, news feeds. Do we feel we don’t belong in this real world where we would interact humanly?

Why do we have to take shelter to anonymous platforms to share our pain, happiness?

Is it because with the advancement of technology has affected our relationship in a different manner?

Are we more comfortable sharing and caring for remote strangers than the ones we grew up playing gully cricket/football with? Or is it we are all displaced from our native and we don’t have those friends anymore at walking distance?

Civilization has come far, we are living a better life yet more isolated and glued inside the gadgets?

How many decades are we away from the singularity?