Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ideas and reasonings

An important assumption/conclusion that I have been making since long is that you are fighting a battle against yourself, that you have to become better the better you every day. And that alone is the aim in life.

While the statement is correct, in actual life, you don't get to grow to 30 years when talking to a 30 year old guy. The time is always now, to compare yourself, to judge yourself with respect to others.

Imagine a jungle, with me, and an 18 year old more active athletic guy. If a tiger were to come, he wont wait for the 18 year old guy to turn 23.5 and give us both an equal chance.

Life is like that, it doesn't wait for you to grow up and give you a fair chance.


I have seen people measure time by hours. I think that is the wrong unit to measure time.
That unit works from an external point of view, lets say, the view of the manager, or that of the company.
They don't have any other way of measuring time objectively for everyone, so they have to make do with the unit that is available to them - hours.

I think, from a personal point of view, time should be measured by the amount of value you have created, plus by the amount of learning you have amassed. The first one needs a good measure of the impact your tasks are creating, the second, the intensity of your learning curve. 

Hours, days, weeks - these are for worldly goals.
You should define your own time limits. This is another lesson I  have learnt recently.

Personally, I have always found it distracting to work on something for a small amount of time.
So I can't study for half an hour, I can't play a game for just half an hour and so on. Hence I have to devote at least 1.5 hours and I can easily devote upto 3-4 hours working on the same thing.

Every person has his own way of achieving that flow - discover it, and use it.
Remember, there is no way for other people to judge the intensity with which you work, accurately. That doesn't mean, they cant judge it within fair amount of limits - they can, only that it wont be accurate. Define your own time limits.

Whatever work you do, its important, you make both these kind of times come into sync and play together, the worldly one, and the personal one.

Know that externally, your work/output will always be measured by the hours, but also remember, that you alone are the best judge of your time. You can lie to everyone, but not to yourself.


Over a period of last few months, I have come to realize, that life is heavily dependent on principles from Physics, and Probability.

So, take for example, Physics.
A lot of the times, you will find person X telling other person Y: I dont work enough, I am not smart enough, I am an idiot and so on. And they just can't believe their ears. The reverse can happen frequently as well.

The reason for that is frame of references.

There are usually three frames of references that exit for every person involved.
So for me, there will be  -
1) the point at which I started,
2) the point at which I have reached, and
3) the point to which I want to reach.

Whenever someone else is talking something about - he will now have 6 such frames of references -
4) the point at which he started,
5) the point at which he thinks I started,
6) the point at which he is at,
7) the point at which he thinks I am at,
8) the point to which he wants to reach,
9) the point to which he thinks I want to reach

And there in lies the catch.

Very few set of two people can do the job good enough of estimating all these frame of references correctly. Some can be sure of themselves individually, but it truly takes a genius to be sure of all.

The rest, either underestimate, overestimate, exaggerate or underplay.

And thus, almost all of the points of references they are thinking of, are wrong.
They just don't get it why X calls himself an idiot - he am thinking from point 3, which is how smart X would want to be; and Y can at best think from point 7 and 9, which lie much before 3.

Over the period of last few months, I have started putting the above frames of references in perspective whenever I am having a conversation, trying to understand what exactly people try to mean, when they speak something.

Anyway, if you want to outgrow yourself, you should definitely work with the smart people - they are the ones who can push you harder than you can yourself


A lot of the times, I look at some higher ups, and can't stop thinking, am I incapable of making the kind of decisions like they do? The answer is I am actually very capable of making those decisions.
But if there was any fact that you can take for given in a professional setting - it would be that you dont make just one decision, you make hundreds, or thousands of them, and you make them fast.

So yes, for an isolated singular instance, it is very much possible that I make the same kind of decisions as them, in fact, it is very much possible that I make a better decision than them. But on the aggregate, they will have a better strike rate compared to me, by virtue of their experience.

Same is true for most things in life.

You will find not so smart people, higher up in the ladder, reason being (though not the only reason), they have better strike rates in what matters, or that they have a good enough strike rate, for what matters.

You will find so many people telling you, that you should work hard now - because that's a fool proof way of bettering that strike rate. Its a different matter, you need to be smart about that advice, because beyond a point, mindless working for long hours alone won't hep you enough.

Its one of the reasons why you should work with smart people, because they have been there, done that, and you can learn a lot from their experience, their mistakes.

its one of the reasons why you will find people, who were not so smart early on (the ones who went to  not so hot schools) are able to catch up later on - because beyond a point, talent alone isn't the only requirement to increase the strike rate.
Talent just helps you get there faster.
Smartness just helps you get there faster.
Beyond them, persistence and practise matter.

I think this is one fundamental lesson that I have learnt recently.

As a kid, I always used to think that I can be the best and so on, but now that I think of it, I always had the potential, but I never had a strike rate good enough to convert the opportunities I wanted to.

So the aim of life can be, to better those strike rates in things that matter, 
let it become a habit over a period of time, 
so that the average expectation rises on its own, 
by virtue of that better strike rate.

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