Being Authentic

Everyone is trying to be like someone else, everyone is looking for success mantra – from reading blog posts of famous entrepreneurs, learning about their daily routines to copying  some hip hop artist look. We have turned into breed of copycats, but for what? Why can’t we be authentic, be as we are?

We are conditioned by our environment (parents, family, teachers, peers, supervisors) to be, act, behave and talk in a society defined protocol. Those who obey it are incentivized to keep at it and others are ostracized.

How many of us are really creative at our workplace? Do we do work the way we want to? How many of us are not micromanaged?

The dynamics created in the early days of capitalism are still widely followed. It was Henry Ford who came up with 40 hour (9-5) work weeks for his factory workers. Since then, we have injected it all domains like work horses/donkeys.

Employees high on coffee and in perfectly micromanaged environment work from early in the morning to the late evening. Some of the lucky ones get incentives like free dinner or free transport and end up working even more hours.

There is no creativity because there is no freedom. Most of the time it is all about copying the design and workflows of competitors.   

On the  weekends we are riding on the consumerism boat shopping merchandises from brands who are able to sell us the feeling of being authentic.

If a guy starts crying over his misery when he is drunk, everyone asks him to be a man and not cry. I have no fucking clue who came up with this shit. All of us cry.

When every decision of our life has turned into a checkbox or todo list, is there any scope left for being authentic?


On Algorithms

Algorithms are not new, we have been using it in stock trading, ticket booking  etc. Just that in 2018 we are hearing more about it.

Four interesting scenarios happened in past few years.

  1. Emergence of cloud computing made processing fast cheap.
  2. Newer Open Source and proprietary technologies like Keras and TensorFlow took Deep Learning closer to consumers.
  3. Smartphones and increasing internet penetration led to production of mode data.
  4. Ease of access of information through mobile phones powered with various apps

We have companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter. We are more connected with our peers via them, we exchange every bit of information using one of these mediums.  They know more about us than our government. We are minions on their platform connected to other minions. Our usage on these platform has created a persona of ours. This persona is used by these platforms to target ads and custom news feed (powered by algorithms, these platforms decides what we should see in out timeline).

Want to know what data these companies own about you?

  1. Google
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook via wired post

I don’t know if it is good or bad. But imagine a few scenarios:

  1. Your friend has passed away but Facebook algorithm does not show you the post about it.
  2. You are a Republican supporter and Democrats have paid to these platform to target you with all bad coverage the of Republican candidate in your region.
  3. You searched for wedding dress and now you see advertisement about it everywhere.
  4. You are suggested by the platform to add or follow your ex-gf/bf.
  5. When Netflix loads only its original in all the options for you to watch.

I get to hear about newer advancement in facial recognition, driverless cars and cures for rare diseases.

These are all good, but at what cost?

  • Making more people unemployed
  • Adding surveillance on citizens
  • Putting our doctors, scientists on autopilot

Time will tell where we are headed in next 20-30 years as algorithms will be taking over everything. It will tell us whom to marry, what to eat, where to travel, which candidate to select for a job, who gets a loan to or who to talk to.

What will happen to our consciousness if everything around us is  driven by algorithms ?

What matters in life

It takes years of survival on this planet to realize that :-

  1. Life is too short, live it now. A bucket list won’t be of much help.
  2. We are all opinionated and live in our own walled garden of thought.
  3. What matters the most is what makes you feel good and yes, you don’t have to hurt others in achieving it.
  4. Small moments of joy matter:
    1. Going for walk with ailing parents.
    2. Playing with your new born kid.
  5. Life is just learning; not a success or failure checklist.
  6. Building anything requires focus.
  7. Close company of friends is needed in life.
    1. They standby you in all situations of life.
    2. They won’t judge you and will be there to cheer for your success and failure.
  8. All your ego, glory, money and fame are short lived.
    1. Have you not seen pigeon’s shit loaded on the statues around you.

What I learnt reading philosophy

I spent a good amount of time reading after quitting my full time job last year. I read on various subjects ranging from food, health, science, literature and philosophy. I found Philosophy the most interesting among them all. Some of my favorites were J Krishnamurti, Epicurus, Seneca, Socrates and Marcus Aurelius. I maintain my reading list on Kit.

These are my learnings so far:

  • We have to treat the world as one without any division.
  • We have to live our life moment by moment.
  • Life is very short.
  • We have to let go of our anger, ego and attachments with things or people.
  • Nothing is permanent.
  • Empathy makes you rich.
  • We can only control things which are in our hand so worrying about things which are not in our control will harm us.
  • We have to observe our thoughts (the monkey mind) and not control it.
  • Having a set of virtues and principles is the key to living our life with fulfillment.
  • Appreciate what nature offers us. Take short walks to the woods, listen to birds chirping.
  • Always indulge in any discussion with proper reasoning and logic. Apply the same in everyday life.
  • Living a life of honesty and truth is more satisfying.
  • Happiness and pleasure have 3 key ingredients:
    • Company of close friends who are honest and share the same set of values.
    • Independence to live life on our own conditions not under someone we don’t like.
    • Being aware of our thoughts.
  • We are conditioned since birth about our associations with race, caste, religion, belief et al.
  • Love requires no return favors, it is like a free flowing stream.
  • Anger arises due to conflict and leads to misery and unhappiness.

I will be updating the list as my reading journey evolves.

Monkey Mind & me

Its 12 am and I just returned from Corner House after having Death By Chocolate. I am someone who tries to keep himself away from sugar, but does it always work? I would say NO, the evil side of mind or monkey mind as Naval says, gets its fair share.

Isn’t it amazing that even after knowing the side effect of overstuffing with sugar I ended up eating it?

Am I being tricked only in the above scenario?

Nope, there are many other examples.

At the middle of the night I would go to Meghana Foods too sometimes. I am well aware that their food is substandard and I end up getting boils all over my face.

I have deleted Twitter app but somehow I still access it via the web browser. I have been only been partially successful at it.

Another stupid thing this monkey mind does is: adds as much pessimism as it could and watch you suffer.

  • Your idea sucks & you are doomed to fail.
  • You don’t belong here.
  • Spotlight effect Et all.
  • —————–
  • ——————–

What is the cure?

1. Being more aware and watching monkey mind.
2. Being more hopeful and optimistic.
3. Rewarding myself everytime I win.

Am I the only one finding himself in such scenarios?
Is monkey mind going to win?

What is your remedy?

Socrates and his questionings

Socrates bought a fresh way of seeing any situation, thinking and responding to any challenge, conversation. Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher and founder of Western Philosophy [Wikipedia].

According to Socrates a truth is always outcome of discussion filled with logic and reason. Like other Stoic philosopher, he too stressed on having a human life filled with Virtues.

In most encounters and debates, he stressed on reasoning and truth instead bias and prejudice which society and people had put upon.

In what we call now is Socratic way of enquiry, an observation and analysis based on facts and available truths.

It is an irony that 500 people voted on the fate of Socrates on compliance of 3 individuals under incompetent judges with least of the knowledge on the subject. Also that he was not given enough time to talk on his defence during proceeding.

Although his method of asking questions with any strangers on the street of Athens would definitely have gone in major resentment. I guess it would have been altogether a different ball game in modern era of Twitter, we are virtually connected and asking questions and answering to anyone and everyone. 🙂

Some core learnings:
  • Do not believe in everything told to you or shared by others.
  • Stop living a life under prejudice, conditioning and rules.
  • Reason and do observe make an absolute inquiry before taking any decision.
  • On conversation or argument don’t be emotional but be thoughtful. Ask questions, be logical filled with proper reasoning

Sometimes I wonder what Socrates would have said about new age technologies like Crypto, AR/VR or ICO’s. Would he had followed the herd and fallen for FOMO(fear of missing out) or would have made proper reasoning before venturing into it.

Fun Fact:

Socrates has not written any book. There were no mobile devices or tape recorders. Most of his sayings are essentially notes collected by Plato, Crito and other philosophers who were present during  his famous debates.

 Reference: The Consolations of Philosophy

We are all Epicurus

Epicurus was Greek philosopher and founder of school of philosophy named Epicureanism. Centre of his Philosophy revolved around pleasure.

According to Epicurus: “Pleasure is the beginning and the goal of a happy life”

The school of philosophy aka Epicureanism was started on donation from wealthy people because they resonated with it. He spent all the money in setting up the school to promote happiness.

It was one of the first school which was co-ed, male and females both admitted and encouraged to  live and study pleasure.

Spreading rumors were part of our older society as well and regular leaks were common, some related to stories around sexual encounters and others on the day to day functioning of the institute.

Despite all this Epicurus popularity and teaching only grew more.

Two key questions that was asked or enquired were:

  1. What will make me happy?
  2. What will make me healthy?

It should not come as a surprise to us but Epicurus belief had significant inspiration from Socrates.

Once Epicurus asked his friend “Send me a pot of Cheese, so that i may have a feast whenever i like.”  Isn’t it surprising, a teacher of pleasure having such simple eating habit?

Epicurus observed that pleasure has few simple ingredients:


Epicurus observed that centre of happiness is having company of great friends. He once said “Feeding without friend is the life of LION or a WOLF.

Later in his life, he moved on the outskirts  of Athens bought a big house and stayed rest of his life there with company of his close friends.

  • True friends are like parents, who are not going to judge you on who and how you look but be there for you as who u are.
  • Having true friends worth more than fortune.


We must have freedom to choose course of our life. We don’t have to work or listen to people whom we don’t like.


Our thoughts defines and brings misery or pleasure to us. Keeping a rational and self analyzed view will be a good way to get over the anxiety about money, wealth and other things.


Beyond food, shelter and cloths [roti, kapra and makaan], one does not require any worldly wealth to attain happiness.

I sometimes wonder, how Epicurus would have acted or his teaching would have changed in our current world. The world where we are running for:

  • Social media popularity.
  • Car, vacation, long drive and weekend gateways


  • We have more followers on Instagram/Twitter than friends talk to in real life.
  • We spend more on pets and they value more than friends (Am sure PETA folks will disagree to this)
  • We are more worried about next switch than current job in hand.

Reference: The Consolations of Philosophy

Random Thoughts: On my procrastination

Last year around October, Anurag wrote a post on procrastination and it hit my head like one hits nail with hammer.  In his post, he has covered every part of procrastination in details, go ahead and read it.

This post is about my procrastination habit and how it has screwed most part of me. I realized i was suffering from this disease from early days of my life and I think I am not the only one.

And it took me sometime to realize what is going on here. There were some action items or things i so desperately wanted to learn and add to my life, aka exercise, eating well but nothing was really happening.

Some of my tasks/learning/habits i been procrastination all this while included:

  1. Eating healthy
  2. Hitting gym
  3. De-addiction from social media porn
  4. Reading more and more
  5. Drawing like the one I have added in the blog (I killed this one today, before writing this post 🙂 )

Our brain is stupid, it only works when we offer it some kind of incentives or rewards. It is like a dog  waiting for bone to wag his tail.  I have my own little reward system and It has been working so far good, things are going on it positive direction. I am able to understand I am procrastinating & need to take care of my monkey mind (In words of Naval)

There is another interesting TED talk by Tim Ubran, guy behind

I think reading Stoics have made some impact on me  and made me realize life is too short to leave things for tomorrow.

Random Thoughts: clinging to the past

Why as a humans it is so difficult to let things go?

Why can’t we not move on from past, our mistakes, relationships and all that we did which made us weak or smarter?

Our human mind is like a google drive, all it does is stores and stores our experiences. I am not sure if one mind storage of past experiences will fit in Gb/Tb/ or Zb.

One thing which i have learnt is that if we cling to our past, miss it or overthink about it our present will definitely get screwed up.

I understand everyone keeps saying move on but in reality most of us never move on. The side effect of it is we are unhappy in our present life, could that be because our present is worst than our past or because we are comparing with what we had in past to what we have now.

Stoics, Philosophers and wandering monks  have been spreading the word that human beings misery is directly related to comparison among self or with our past life. Most of them died saying, writing, evangelizing it. But did it has any affect on us? I doubt if it did, because antidepressant sale is on rise across world, more people are reporting mental illness.

But what could we do?

I don’t know, after all i have not reached that stoics, nirvana stage yet. 🙂    

Small thing like being aware of present and living life moment to moment as per Krishnamurti has bought some peace to me for sure.

Random Thoughts: Capitalism, Consumerism and social proof

Capitalism has fueled growth, we are more prosperous than before. Capitalism made most of us rich, prosperous. Industrialization resulted in mass production of food, medicines. We are not dying of hunger anymore or of disease like cholera, malaria (most part of the world).

Anyone can work hard and build empire out of Ashes.

Capitalism also resulted in Consumerism, we started becoming more and more obsessed with things we  never wanted. Do you think our forefathers cared about our skin, who would have thought that in year 2018, smartphones will come with skin tones and pimple removal features.

The phenomenon of social proof gave rise to acquiring or doing things out of peer pressure.  I too will have to go on vacation or buy a luxurious car because some neighbor or family member has bought it.

Everyone of our age visits pub and drinks on weekend, so this must be cool & I too should do it.

What has happened to us, what about our intellect?

We are living in a society where we are constantly fed with so much of information that we are dancing on the tunes of few who are wanting us to act in a particular way/manner.

  • Why can’t we pick a alcohol free dinner place or one has to meet over pizza?
  • Can’t we meet over healthy food, coffee?  
  • Why can’t we have conversation on books or what we are reading instead cribbing about our partners, in-laws, co-workers or bosses?
  • Why does this nation has to fight over stupid movie and media has to glorify it?

What is wrong with us?

Have we thrown our intellect and turned into a herd where nobody knows which direction to go but everybody knows whom to follow?

What happened to our system 2 thinking, have we given up on it?