Competition

We are competing in every sphere of our life.

From finding college sweetheart to campus placements. From promotion to offshore opportunity.

Even getting love and attention from siblings and parents we are competing.

What about competing with our allocated time in this life, how are we utilizing it?

How about competing with ourselves, killing a vice and becoming a better version?

Service

I keep hearing about the funding news and how a startup is now a unicorn. I wish there was a similar announcement of metrics for customer satisfaction.

If I am paying for a service, I expect it to be delivered well. While the price of luxury has increased over time, services have gone bad.

Ask yourself and let me know why are you using hyperlocal apps, hotel aggregators app or a travel aggregators app?

Is it for service or cheaper price?

Listen

I have never been a great listener. Ben Franklin and stoics considered listening as an important virtue. I am realizing this as my weakness and trying to work on getting better at it.

At the same time, I had opinions on everything. It resulted in fostering animosity with many.

Fear

Fear brings the worst out of us. We end up imagining many unreal events. It makes us weak.

Fear has fostered in creating many communities and religion. The fear of isolation resulted in forming many unwanted relationships.

Why is it so easy for us to be fearful? Is it more to do with our consciousness, upbringing or DNA?

Jiddu Krishnamurti says “freedom begins once we get over the fear.” Fear comes with mental misery.

On Propaganda

Reading age of propaganda has been an eye-opener, thanks to Akshat Sir for the recommendation.

These are the 15 action item I picked from the book as mentioned by the author to avoid falling into propaganda by marketers, politicians and other non-profits.

  1. Know the ways of persuasion and realize that you may be the victim of propaganda.
  2. Monitor your emotions.
  3. Explore the motivation and credibility of the source of the communication.
  4. Think rationally about any proposal or issues.
  5. Attempt to understand the full range of options before making a decision.
  6. Don’t base your evaluation on what someone says, but what person actually does.
  7. If everyone is “doing it” or you hear the same piece of “news” repeatedly, ask “why?”
  8. Apply inversion technology on accessing the sides of the decision.
  9. Teach your children about propaganda.
  10. Avoid being dependent on a single source of information aka WhatsApp
  11. Think of news as the news and try to separate it in your own mind from
  12. entertainment.
  13. Increase your involvement on important issues, just don’t be a keyboard worrier.
  14. Write companies asking for proof of advertised claims.
  15. Support and extend efforts to squelch deceptive advertisement.
  16. Stay away from brands and politicians peddling religion for their own profit.

On Bill Campbell

I read “Trillion Dollar Coach”, a book on Silicon Valley’s most loved and successful coach. The list includes Steve Jobs, Sundar Pichai, Marissa Mayer, Eric Schmidt to list a few.

Bill also served as CEO at Intuit and worked with John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins. He also served on boards of many companies including Apple.

These are some important takeaways:

  1. Your team plays the most important role in your companies success.
  2. Honesty, Empathy, and Integrity win you all the love, respect.
  3. Community matters, friends, peers.
  4. Communication requires a personal connection. Inquire and if needed help the team in their personal lives.
  5. Find a set of Star Trek crew, give them freedom and independence, they will deliver the best. Do not micromanage.
  6. Offer respect and ownership without getting biased over age, sex, color.
  7. Think Big, do not settle for ordinary.
  8. Do not shoot the messenger. On firing or giving feedback, be generous.

It appears to me that someone took a presentation slide and made a book out of it. But an easy read, unlike million other self-help and leadership books.

Bad sale

We are living in the era of round the clock sale. Most things are advertised to be sold at a discounted price. Even in these situations, many things could go wrong.

Some common warning sign of a bad deal:

  1. The deal is only good for “today”
  2. The seller offers “free gifts” in return for “minimum “ effort
  3. A sale item is suddenly unavailable but a “much better “ item happens to be available for “slightly more money”
  4. The seller emphasizes the amount of each payment rather the total amount of sale.
  5. A “repair person “ discovers a “dangerous “ defect in something you own that must be repaired immediately.
  6. You are given little or no time to read the contract.
  7. The seller makes you feel guilty for asking questions or asks, “don’t you trust me?”

Excerpt from “Age of Propaganda.”

Journey

We all have our own life journey. We all face our own set of challenges throughout our life.

Obsessing and cloning someone else’s journey will only do harm upon us. Our journey is like self-learning and self-healing.

I am writing about it after interaction with dozen-odd friends of mine. Some have taken early retirement while others are still figuring it out. Some are married and raising kids others want to stay alone and travel across the world.

There is no one fit for all, our journeys go beyond our social media photo shares.

On democracy

Hallmarks of democracy include the following:

  1. Communication is decentralized, with multiple sources of information.
  2. Authority and power are constrained by a system of checks and balances.
  3. Agendas and goals are established through discussion, not by leader Fiat.
  4. There is a reciprocity of influence between leaders and citizens, as opposed to unidirectional influence from elites.
  5. Group boundaries and roles are flexible, as opposed to there being a rigid social structure.
  6. The minority opinion is encouraged as a means of obtaining a better decision, and the rights of those in the minority are protected.

Excerpt from “Age of Propaganda.”


Self-acceptance

How difficult it is to accept who we are. Why do we have to feel pity because of our height, skin color or eyes?

This is something we inherited via the DNA. Is this something we have to be sorrowful or sad about? Is this something we can change?

We should strive to channel all our energy on things which can make us better:

  • as a student, aspiring to be the best with academics.
  • As a job seeker inculcating all the virtues and skill set to land in best job.

Why is self-acceptance so difficult for us humans?