Random Thoughts: Why are we scared of losing?

Human mind is a monkey mind  as Naval says.

We are constantly worried about our future and  work hard towards making it better.  At times we get so busy in it that we forget about living in this very beautiful moment, the present which is constantly passing.

At the same time we start overthinking and end up becoming more scared.

  • losing job
  • losing our power,  influence
  • losing what we own right now
  • losing reputation
  • losing all the money
  • losing this big house, car, club membership
  • losing wife, Gf, friends
  • losing this position of CEO, CTO, CFO et all of the company

Why are we scared of losing at very first place knowing that most of these things are temporary. We have limited control over it.

In the end we are all alone, the things which we have control over is our ego and consciousness. We don’t have control over our body nor our mind and millions of thoughts it encircles.

Things which can make us better are :

  • Our  right set of virtues [1]
  • Understanding how to respond to a situation with right actions [2]
  • Having a known set of principles [3]

And last but not the least, living life moment by moment and living in present.

 

Reference:

Notes from reading: Deep Work by Cal Newport

Finished reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. It is a 250 page odd read.

I had high expectation from the book considering the aura, marketing created around it. Still I guess am able to recover price I paid for buying this book with some learnings.

Cal has circled around his profession, Carl Jung secluded house, BIll Gates ability to focus during early days in coding and many famous personalities along with tonnes of research paper citations just to tell us that In this distracted world of social media, e-mail carrying out productive work which requires extreme cognitive load is getting difficult.

So what is the way out:

  1. Cut social media completely.
  2. Start dividing time and hours of your day into deep work [complete distraction free time, when you are disconnected from the world] and Shallow work [where you are replying e-mails, making presentation slides, meeting someone or talking over phone]
  3. Decide and prioritize what kind of emails to reply and what to ignore. Make the process more clear so you know precisely what you want or sender wants.

Does this deserves as a book:

In my opinion, a nice 5-10 page blog would have been easy to summarize and saved millions of hours readers of this book spent on it.

My Learnings:

  1. Dividing my work schedule when am in deep work mode, no distraction.
  2. Layout a plan on being more aware about social media time consumption.
  3. Prioritize what meetings to take and what to reject [politely].
  4. Be more aware on replying emails and time consumed in cleaning inbox

If you have also read the book and got something more to add which I might have missed, please let me know.

 

Notes from reading: On shortness of life by Seneca

Senaca was one advisor to emperor Nero from Rome. He was also one of the founding father of stoics school of philosophy.  In this chapter Seneca writes about our life  and how short our life is in general.

These are some notes from the book:

  1. Life is short, art is long.
  2. Our life is amply long for him who orders it properly.
  3. It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we have waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.
  4. Can anyone have the hardihood to complain of the pride of another when he himself has no time to attend himself?
  5. In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal.
  6. You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals.
  7. Hoe late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
  8. Among the worst i count also those who have time for nothing but wine and lust; for none have more shameful engrossments.
  9. Everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is busied with many things.
  10. It takes the whole of life to learn how to live, and – what will perhaps make you wonder more – it takes the whole of life to learn how to die.
  11.  It takes a great man and who has risen far above human weakness not to allow any  of his time to be filched from him, and it follows that the life of such a man is very long because he has devoted wholly to himself whatever time he has had.
  12. Everyone hurries his life on and suffers from a yearnings for the future and a weariness of the present. But he who bestows all of his time on his own needs, who plans out every day as if it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the morrow.
  13. The greatest hinderance to living is expectancy, which depends upon the morrow  and wastes to-day. You dispose of that which lies in the hands of fortune, you let go that which lies in your own.
  14. Life is divided into three periods – that which has been, that which is, that which ill be. Of these the present time is short, the future is doubtful, the past is certain.
  15. The engrossed, therefore, are concerned with present time alone, and it is so brief that it cannot be grasped, and even this is filched away from them, distracted as they are among many things.
  16. O, what blindness does great prosperity cast upon our minds!
  17. You win love in an office in which it is difficult to avoid hatred; but nevertheless belive me, it is better to have knowledge of the ledger of on’e own life than that of the corn-market.
  18. A hungry people neither listens to reason, nor is appeased by justice, nor is bent by any entreaty.
  19. It is more difficult for men to obtain leisure from themselves than from the law.

Notes from reading: Hooked by Nir Eyal

I got to know about Hooked from One of my friend Chetan, as i was trying to understand why i am addicted to social media sites.

Reading the book gave me the insight how our attention is getting hacked by these apps and how these product developers are playing with our mind.

I could relate myself being Pavlov’s dog  wanting notification to satisfy my urge. To some of those who are not aware, mobile apps addiction provides us more satisfaction that Sex or consuming heroine or other drugs.

You might be surprised to know but the social media applications like Twitter, Facebook, Tinder, Instagram is designed more keeping psychology in mind than looks and feel of the app. 

These product developers have added all the psychology research inside the product as ingredients, some can be read here :

  1. Pavlov’ classical conditioning
  2. B F Skinner operant conditioning
  3. BJ Fogg variable rewards

I need to learn more to understand and relate to this, social media addiction is no less than slot machine and poker player addiction, read this interesting article from Verge  to know more.

Coming back to Nir Eyal book. According to him any Habit forming product has 4 components.

  • Trigger
    1. External
    2. Internal
  • Action

  • Reward
    • Tribe
    • Hunt
    • Self
  • Investment
    • Want the users to keep coming, add information and share details.

 

I added a twitter stream on the same

I would strongly recommend everyone to read this book.

Also read Jade Shyu medium post for more on the book content

Also read this post from The Verge on how social media apps are adding the slot machine equivalent addiction

Videos:

Looking back at 2017

Pheww. 2017 is almost gone, what a fantastic year this has been so far.  

The year went by like a joyride with it’s own share of happiness, pain, losses and learnings. The best part of it all is that am still breathing and all of my body parts are working alright. In short, everything has been fantastic.

I am going to write some of my learnings for 2017 :

  1. Reading helps, it gives better picture and dimensions about every realm of life.
  2. Helping others without expecting anything in return is a wonderful act.
  3. Exercise, meditation are some great virtues and should be added in our daily routine like breathing or taking a leak.
  4. What we eat plays a good role in our overall well being, mental and physical.
  5. Social media is new drug and selling platforms are making billions out of it.
  6. Being aware about our actions can do wonders.
  7. Never do business negotiations especially related to payments over phone, most of the time it will have bad outcome for both side.
  8. When angry, switch off cellphone or disconnect from internet. It will help in getting back to situation in more rational way.
  9. You will be fooled by people around, they will take money, they will disappear. All you could do is to forgive or improve decision making technique.
  10. Things will always fuck up and never happen the way we assume. It is good to have a backup plan.
  11. Depression is a disease caused more because of the society construct.
  12. Life is too short & death is reality. We can do best to live in present learning from the failures of past and hoping for better future.
  13. Lucky are those who get mentors in every realm of life, being honest, trustworthy and empathetic with mentor helps.
  14. Spending time with family and parents should get equal importance to daily work.
  15. Working with people you like and respect increases chances of overall success.
  16. Being honest with team, organization and members adds more organizational positivity and overall team performance.
  17. Everyone should fall in Love at least once[for unlucky ones, keep trying].
  18. People will walk in our life and will disappear with or without a reason, we should accept the reality and move on.
  19. Our thoughts and mind plays biggest role in making us belive what we want to belive.
  20. With patience, perseverance and persistence attaining a goal becomes much easier.
  21. Believing in what they say on TV or what your parents have made you belive is not always true.
  22. Little act of kindness has great reward in itself.
  23. Nobody has rights to tell us what we are not capable of or cannot do. We as individual are masters of our own destiny.
  24. Giving importance to those who regard our time and are honest to us helps and keeps insanity in check.

Would love to know what all you readers have learnt from 2017.

In the end wishing you all a prosperous new year ahead, be good. Cheers!!

Notes from reading: Tribes by Seth Godin

I am a regular reader of Seth Godin blog, he is one of the best gurus on of brand building marketing. Being developer evangelist in my past job, I felt like reading this book.

Seth writes in details about building a community of like minded people who are self motivated and can go to any length in making vision of organization, group or  Tribe a success. He also mentions about leadership quality and how in fast pace innovating world an individual or an organization has to keep moving. He cites various examples from successful organizations to CEO’s on how they let innovation going and fueled the sense of leadership among the members of team.

I have this simple 4 take away from this book:

  1. Tribe: A small group of people who believes in vision of an organization or team and under a leader can go at any length to make task success.
  2. Heretics: An individual who is always up for taking challenge and not following an existing check list. Managers don’t like these kinds of employees or members. These are the kinds of people who do not belive in a system but going step further and getting better results.
  3. Sheepwalking: An organization where there exists a template of tasks and employees needs to strictly stick to it. An employee just has to work on the timings and do as asked, no need to use brain for anything else. Managers love these kinds of employee because they are mere robots taking decisions and working on it.
  4. Faith: As a stakeholder, leader of an organization it is extremely important to have faith. This faith will drive innovation and taking challenges. Most of us are scared of failing and hence die without trying, having a faith on self that things will go well help.

If you are a leader, CEO, founder it will be great to have vision and hiring motivations in place, like what kind of employees you want Heretics or Sheepwalkers.

In case you are building an army of sleepwalkers, disruption will bite you soon. If you are hiring heretics they will be pain for managers because of  the unconventional ways to doing tasks but at same time they will go out of the way and get SHIT done in more efficient and better manner. 

10 of my favourite books for 2017

I can happily admit that 2017 has been a year on my life when I spent good amount of time in reading, Madhav gets good credit for same.  His Kindle gift got me hooked.

These are some of my favorites, I have my notes added as well along with some of the books in list:

1. Total Freedom by J Krishnamurti

One of the tweet’s from Naval was the reason i picked this book.  Krishnamurti talks about various aspect of life, it is a heavy book and one has to read it few times to understand it. book notes

2. Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanack: Benjamin Franklin   

Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of USA. This small 50 page book can easily be kept in your mobile/kindle app. In this book Benjamin Franklin provides his opinion on various subject from eating, marriage, friendship, law, religion. book notes

3. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is self made Billionaire, philanthropist  and founder of Bridgewater Associates. In this book he spells his success secrets which he calls Principles. He in his life and at  Bridgewater Associates in business follow it as check list. It has a 350 page book and will take sometime to read and understand, i will be reading it once more. book notes 

4. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor and also a stoic aka believer of stoicism, a school of Philosophy that flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD. The book is collection of his thoughts on various aspects of life.  book notes 

5. 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen

The book gives a great insight on guts and how our modern lifestyle, eating habits are adversely effecting it.  The book covers the other aspects like excessive use of antibiotics and its side affect on humans. book notes

6.  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert Pirsig

Just the spoiler, the book is not entirely about motorcycle maintenance instead an account of author’s motorcycle trip from Minnesota to California with his young son Chris, a philosophical meditation on the concept of Quality, and the story of a man pursued by the ghost of his former self. The book is written by Robert Pirsig , who passed away recently at age of 88. book notes

7. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami

 This book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” is collection of his daily entry of Haruki Murakami . He tries to connect his regular running habit and its learning to his way of life. It is a great read, so much of energy and motivation, I have ordered a hard copy for myself after reading on my kindle. book notes 

8. Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe

One of the books which gives you personal insight of Charlie Munger, his life, family, beginning, sayings, success and failures. The book has everything you wanted to know about Charlie. The author has done great job in covering all part in the book. book notes  

9. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

If you wanted to know about us aka homo sapiens, 1000+  long years journey of evolution, this is the book you should read. I think author must have spent 3-5 years in doing complete research before thinking about writing this bookbook notes

10. The Complete Adventures of Feluda (Volume 1) by Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray is a well respected name in Bangla Cinema and Literature.  The book is a detective fiction with Feluda being the detective. The book totally got me hooked, it was like visiting British India and the joy of seeing parts of India though eyes of the Indian James Bond.  Will be reading Volume 2 next year.

This post was result of my below mentioned tweet, feedback welcome. Happy 2018 🙂

Notes from reading: Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is a seasoned philanthropist, business magnet and a billionaire. He is also founder of Bridgewater Associates one of the most successful hedge fund, wealth management firm.

Ray attributes his successful mantra for life, relationship and business to Principle: a  decision making  algorithm. According to him all aspects of our life should be governed more logically rather than being emotional or on our prejudice.

Reading the book gives me a feeling that Ray spent good time reading Philosophy, psychology and Neuroscience.  The success and DNA of Bridgewater Associates are these Principles. So an employee has to meet or give feedback or present he/she is advised to go read/see the related defined Principles for same.

I loved reading the book, so much to learn from it. The book is recommended to everyone who wants to understand and learn from Dalio’s successful mantra on life, business and relationship.  Please check the website https://www.principles.com  for more details.

These are 10 quotes from the book I really loved:

  1. Look at the patters of those things that affect you in order to understand the cause and its affect.
  2. Observe your thoughts, what changes you and your thoughts. What can you do to keep yourself going.
  3.  Be hyper realist  [Dream + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life].
  4. Be radically open minded and radically transparent.
  5. Work effectively, do  not work hard. You will be more productive working effectively.
  6. Do not let fear of what others think of you stand in your way.
  7. Evolution is the constant and only reality. Evolve or die.
  8. Success is struggling and evolving out of it.
  9. Take the pain and don’t walk away from it.
  10. We all have some blind spots, find yours and work on fixing it.
  11. You are responsible : take a stand and fix it. Stop crying over things which are not in your control.
  12. Realize that our conscious mind is in constant struggle with our subconscious mind.
  13. The biggest barriers to good decision making is our ego and our blind spots.
  14. Don’t hide your observation about people in your organization. Give regular feedback, tell them when they are making mistake.
  15. Understanding the great brain battle between conscious & subconscious and how to control/train them to get what you want.
  16. Organizing people to complement their strengths & compensate their weakness is like conducting as orchestra.
  17. Radical truth & transparency are fundamentals to having real idea meritocracy.
  18. Making sure people are doing good job doesn’t require watching everything that everybody is doing at all times.
  19. Don’t hold opinions about things you don’t know anything about.
  20. What you know paints a true and rich picture of the realities that will affect your decision.

On Goal

  1. Have clear Goal
  2. Prioritize
  3. Don’t confuse goal with desires
  4. Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your goals and desires
  5. Never rule out a goal because it is in-attainable
  6. Great expectation create great capability. Don’t lose hope.
  7. You can do anything if you are flexible and self accountable

 

On hiring talents

  1. Transparency
  2. Values
  3. Skillset
  4. Abilities
  5. Go getter
  6. Thiker

 

The 3 C’s in team members:

  1. Character
  2. Common Sense
  3. Creativity

 

Other  interesting web links:

Random Thoughts: Other’s mind

What is going on the other side? The mind of people around you? Are we able to get the other side of story?

We have our own predefined construct about some person or situation and if the result is favorable we are happy else we are in pain.

It is not easy to read others mind, but if we are aware and observe closely it might throw some surprises.

Imagine you are dating someone or in middle of signing a business deal. After rounds of meeting, email exchange or chat exchanges other side disappears or things get cold.

Let us say things  get back on track and every dispute resolved. Now the frequent replies, responses just turns into bare formality. The meeting, dinner which was full of conversation turns into awkward silence and constant glue to your cell phones. Everything becomes boring.

But, what can be done?

In my opinion having a honest conversation helps rather than dragging on . The game of guessing does no good to either side.

How many of us have courage to speak up the truth and settle is for rest? Unfortunately it is not for most of us because:

  1. We are scared of losing out on the benefits of the relationship.
  2. We are scared of hurting the other side.
  3. We are optimist & the hope of things might work out in future keeps it going.

I am still not sure what world we are living and level of gratification we are aiming for.

What do you think?

Random Thoughts: On Death

Death is the reality of life and most of us are scared about it. We try accumulating so much of wealth & enormous materialistic possessions. I have no clue if the kings/queens/riches of mummified world are using them after death. I’ve been told that most of the wealth left behind by the wealthy nobility and royals was plundered by thugs.

We tend to postpone most of what we like because we are so busy preparing for our future.

Asking some questions might help:

  1. When was the last time you took vacation for yourself?

       2. Said everything to everyone you wanted to without worrying what will be the reaction or after effect?

Life is short, living it moment by moment with peace is what it needs not materialistic possessions or chasing timelines.

I know most of these things sounds absurd, but ask yourself are you living life to fullest at each moment & if you die now will it be without a single regret?