control

Why do we want to have control over others? I heard about incidents related to the work environment where leaders, founders are absolute control freaks. When you hire someone, they have a role to play within the organization. They are given responsibility and expected to deliver. A leader can focus elsewhere.

I thought leadership is all about serving, like having a star trek team and letting individuals come up with a solution.

Do we have control over ourselves, our thoughts, and the monkey mind? How are we thinking of leading as a control freak?

faceless

You will find me everywhere: Traffic signals selling flowers, begging. At a restaurant serving your meals. At your home helping with cleaning and cooking. At midnight fixing potholes or before monsoon many fts down under cleaning sewage system.

We are faceless; we have no voice. Police, politicians, people everyone considers us invisible. Nobody cares about us.

We are faceless and go through every atrocity you can think of: molestation, beatings, robbery, false allegations. Are we slaves or just part of this system.

Maturity

Maturity comes with age and experience. I was a believer of it, not anymore. I think it is a mental construct and, more of it is about ourselves.

People come on their reasons which fit their construct. In the end, one has to face themselves and their thoughts. How can we be vulnerable; we have to take high ground for ourselves.

A manager will not tell you why salary is getting delayed or, an investor will not give you any right on the face. An engineer while moving on will not tell you he is leaving for better pay.

We all are vulnerable, and we are all scared of being naked. At the same time, we want to hold high moral ground ourselves and feel rational about the decisions.

grateful

I was on half a dozen calls last day. It made me feel how lucky I am; I had a sense of gratitude and was feeling very grateful at the same time. I had my mentors, customers, friends, and advisors around me to help me. There are days, times in life when you feel fucked up.

In the world we are living in, everything is plastic and transactional. A few of us believe in long-term relationships and, few lucky ones are blessed with such acquaintances. They are the north star in the crowded transactional and opaque world. You can sail through in life with less pain having them around.

It makes me sad, but that is what Capitalism has done to us: money has become the universal language. The wealth you accumulate makes you powerful, gives you a voice and authority, respect. All the vices are covered by wealth. Your identity is how much you own and be it society or family. In some instances, wealth has kept marriage and kids intact.

Cribbing

Cribbing is our favorite past time. Even society thrives on it. Social psychologists, media, and marketers know about it, and that is why we are scared, sold cure for worries, pain.

Be it a product, opinion, or feedback: we go after negatives before the positives. I wonder if the fault-finding gives some sense of pride. I remember my early days of the OpenStack community: we had many people in the channel coming and cribbing about what we are doing wrong, what is broken rather than how can we contribute? Even at neutral events when we would go, we would be told what is not working. I saw the same on HN post today about ERPNext and did not like it.

Does that mean I am perfect and not a cribber? I doubt that because last night itself, I was cribbing about Tesla India announcements and PR. Aren’t Tata and Mahindra’s been here for decades? My mentor suggested Tesla’s emergence will open doors for EV-related literacy and manufacturing in the country. We will have more jobs created as smaller industries will supply many parts. How did I missed this part and fell for my tunnel vision? I had my reality check; I am hopeful of getting better.

paradox

Developing a product for a newer market is a black box. We know nothing; the market research and user interview have their limitations. A lot comes with the founder’s conviction and a limited set of anchor customers. It has been my learning while building B2B software for over four years.

The brain gets tempted to expand the market size, deviate from the core. It could be because of multiple reasons: short-term cash flow, increasing the total addressable market, etc. We get short-sighted and miss the long term product vision and end up becoming a sandwich, something as a product we never thought of being.

It hurts the team the most because they see an organization diverging from its core vision and output getting fragmented.

As a leader, your job is to eliminate this confusion and sail through this paradox with clarity.

namdhari’s

I think I am in love with Namdhari’s vegetable chain. I tried growing all kinds of lettuce, it is bloody painful and consumes a lot of water. I remember Vinay introducing me to them. I am not sure if they serve outside Bangalore.

Yesterday’s conversation with the store manager made me post/write this. I think namdhari’s along with Lalbagh has a healthy role in my life.

cooking

I have started liking the activity of cooking much more. I will like it’s one more way of getting lost and being closer to self: A solitude worth trying and enjoying. I have lived most part of my life away from home, the bit of cooking I picked up has been seeing the mother in the kitchen.

I was home last week, spent a good amount of time learning from my mother some new dishes. I have a cook for weekdays but on weekends it has been mostly eating out. This year one of my goals is to cook at least 3-4 meals for myself at home. I would say an extended meditation with the byproduct of it being a meal for the healthy gut.

tide

Why do we get advised not to go against the tides or the default? History has it written all over from Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, Wright Brothers, Ram Mohan Roy, and numerous others.

Success requires luck and a lot of pain and sacrifice goes with the hard work. There is no guarantee at the beginning of bearing any fruit.

Would our world have been a different place if the chosen few would not have gone against the tide? We would have continued living in darkness, slavery, or many other ills practices.

life

A lot many friends of mine think my view of seeing life is very pessimistic. I tend to disagree; I have read Arthur Schopenhauer and his philosophy of Pessimism. But at the same time, I do like the teachings of believe in Diogenes, the cynic philosopher, and Epictetus, the slave stoic philosopher. I like friends and indulging in pleasure too, getting lost and daydreaming that comes to the Epicurean way of living.

In short, our life is a memory we create, people we indulge with, and above all, it is about our thoughts and the way we see everything from within.

In reality, it is painful and full of uncertainties. Your loved one will die any minute; you will be out of a job any day. Your kid or relatives will throw you out of house and wealth.

I keep this quote of Epictetus very close to myself:

“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 actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.”

Life is a utopia in movies, fiction, Instagram, or other social media platforms.