16th January 2021

You only live once!

A job is a modern day version of slavery!

An employee is a modern day version of a slave – cubicle or meeting room is the prison, the boss & the employer is the master.

There is no control over the destiny.

The office decides the schedule. The job profile is just a cog in the wheel, rather than the wheel; this gives little sense of accomplishment.

This gives way to a sense of nihilism…imagine what it does to your self-esteem.

Just look around you…you, your boss, his boss, his boss’s boss. What is everyone chasing! If you ask them, chances are they will make some motherhood statements like:

  • You need a challenge in your life
  • I'm career minded
  • I love getting things done by leading a team

If you deep, you’ll probably conclude that it’s about a mad chase of money. So much money that they’re never going to use it in their life. One who has Rs.1Cr thinks, it will be nice to have Rs.5 Crs, one who has 5, thinks 20 will be nice. One who has 20 is gunning for 100!

People are chasing money because they don’t know anything else !If you put bananas and money in front of monkeys, monkeys will choose bananas because monkeys do not know that money can buy a lot of bananas.

Video Games are the Future of Education

"Something I didn't realize as a kid: If you learn something that matters a lot to you, you'll surprisingly often have to teach yourself. I had to teach myself Lisp, how to write essays, and how to start a startup. I had examples to work from, but no teachers or classes." – Paul Graham

But why video games are going to be the tools future of education.

It is because the things you learn by yourself stick; the things that are "taught" to you do not stick.

And there comes the role of video games.They provide a much deeper understanding of most subjects than classical education does.

Schooling mostly fails at giving you this deep understanding.

It is currently too hard to make video games. Making it easier to create video games will massively increase the supply of good video games and cause a gradual revolution in education.

If you want to be massively successful, do NOT set ambitious goals, according to studies

This is why Steve Jobs said "You can't connect the dots looking forward"…

The conventional and the most popular model to having great success in your career is setting and ardently pursuing big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs), even if you have no idea how you’re going to achieve them when you start.

This goals model is so obvious in our culture, it goes without saying.

It's central to our collective success recipe.Our society,every organisation , all self-help books and even our parents emphasis on it.

Goals give motivation, meaning, and focus when we feel lazy or distracted.

We can't accomplish big things without them — at least so we're told.

However, recent research is finding the exact opposite to be true. When it comes to BHAGs, goals are often OBSTACLES to LARGE feats of innovation rather than enablers. Furthermore, goals can sap motivation.

9th January 2021

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

Imagine a world where you would never age , and you would never die.

You would live for 200 or 300 years and beyond and you would look no different than your sons and grandsons.

How it would affect the world?

It would affect marriages as very few would like to live with the same partner for 100 of years!

It would affect on how you think about money,place of residence, social status , geographies of the countries and much beyond.It would also affect how you think about your parents, your kids, your jobs, your money etc etc –almost everything!

And imagine that most intelligent people would keep living forever and with so much knowlege,wealth and resources they would keep changing the world on much faster rate than today.

And please be aware that is not a dream ! Serious work is going on in this field for last few decades.

Today, there are over 130 longevity biotechnology companies and over 50 anti-aging drugs in clinical trials in humans The evidence is promising that in the next 5-10 years, we will start seeing robust evidence that aging can be therapeutically slowed or reversed in humans.

Stockdale Paradox: Why confronting reality is vital to success

Stockdale Paradox:- it's the idea of hoping for the best, but acknowledging and preparing for the worst.

It is named after James Stockdale, former vice-presidential candidate,

He was held captive as a prisoner of war for over seven years during the Vietnam War.

He was one of the highest-ranking naval officers at the time.

During this horrific period, Stockdale was repeatedly tortured and had no reason to believe he'd make it out alive.

Held in the clutches of the grim reality of his hell world, he found a way to stay alive by embracing both the harshness of his situation with a balance of healthy optimism.

Stockdale explained this idea as the following: "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

This concept has been popularized by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great.

As mentioned at the beginning, the main gist of the idea is that you need to balance realism with optimism.

The Way We Talk To Ourselves Tells Us More Than We Realise

Self-talk can be useful, or it can be detrimental.

All of us, no matter who we are, talk to ourselves. We may not physically talk to ourselves, but there is a constant chatter inside our heads that rarely subsides.

That little voice in our head will always be there. It will be with us through thick and thin, a constant companion on the journey of life.

That’s why it’s imperative that we talk to ourselves with respect and affection, and don’t put ourselves down.

You don’t want to end up in a scenario where your inner voice is constantly sniping at you. There is no way we would let anyone else talk to us like this, so why she should we talk to ourselves like this?

2nd January 2021

How To Understand Things

The smartest person I've ever known had a habit that, as a teenager, I found striking. After he'd prove a theorem, or solve a problem, he'd go back and continue thinking about the problem and try to figure out different proofs of the same thing. Sometimes he'd spend hours on a problem he'd already solved.

I had the opposite tendency: as soon as I'd reached the end of the proof, I'd stop since I'd "gotten the answer".

Afterwards, he'd come out with three or four proofs of the same thing, plus some explanation of why each proof is connected somehow. In this way, he got a much deeper understanding of things than I did.

Intelligent people simply aren't willing to accept answers that they don't understand — no matter how many other people try to convince them of it, or how many other people believe it, if they aren't able to convince themselves of it, they won't accept it.

Why So Many Smart People Are Successful in School But ‘Fail’ in Real Life

I've had many conversations with people my age who feel duped that they went through so much effort to do well in school, only to be lumped into a homogenous group of people in a homogenous company living a homogenous life.

Sometimes at a salary that doesn't even mathematically justify them having gone to school in the first place.

"Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?" – Peter Theil

One of my friends was in this class and enjoyed the non-structured structure just like me. He was the type who always had random ideas about things he wanted to do in the future, but, like me, had trouble being 'disciplined' and 'focused' when it came to traditional academic tasks.

Fast forward a decade. He owns his own video production company and has done shoots for verified influencers on Instagram. I’m a three-time published author, run two YouTube channels, and own my own creator-based business full-time.

What are some of our classmates doing?

Many of them have a bunch of different sounding titles that basically describe the same job "Business Analyst" "Account Executive" "Customer Success Manager"

Are they failures? I don’t know, you’d have to ask them how they feel about their careers.

I will say that a portion of those people probably feel like failures because they did all that work only to earn a meager reward for it.

Do the Real Thing

Real things require real difficulty. Fake stuff never does.

-Business owners who spend more time printing business cards (easy) than finding clients (difficult).

-Students who create elaborate multicolored folders for their classes (easy) instead of sitting down and studying (hard).

People trying to get in shape who buy fancy workout gear (easy) instead of exercising (hard).

Pretend activity instead of the real thing.

This doesn't mean fake work is effortless. Instead, pretend activity always has just enough difficulty to allow you to trick yourself into thinking you're doing something that matters.

But, conveniently, it avoids any of the truly difficult things the real situation would create.

But doing the real things seems to be the only successful strategy!

When you examine case studies of people who have had major accomplishments, you expect there to be some trick or shortcut. Some amazing technique they used that others weren't clever enough to recognize.

More often, however, the strategy used is dead simple: doing the real thing.

Tristan de Montebello went from near-zero speaking experience to a finalist for the World Championship of Public Speaking in seven months. How? By getting on stage and speaking constantly, sometimes as often as twice in a day.

26th December 2020

Want to Become a Multimillionaire? Do These 14 Things Immediately

The greatest reward in becoming a really rich is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become really rich."  -- Jim Rohn

Most people wish their circumstances would magically change for them. But they don't have the desire or dire-need to change their circumstances.

But unlike most people, who simply wait and wish for luck, you can seek to become the kind of person equipped with the skills and abilities to do brilliant things.

Your work can solve pressing problems, improve people's lives, and get noticed by important people who share your work not for your sake, but for theirs!

The quality of who you are as a person, and the work you do, is completely within your control. But you can't wish for it to happen. You must become the kind of person who naturally attracts the success you seek.

Here's how:

1. Invest at Least 10 Percent of Your Income in Yourself

2. Invest at Least 80 Percent of Your "Off" Time Into Learning

3. Don't Work for Money, Work to Learn

4. Don't Learn for Entertainment, Learn to Create More Value

5. Shift Your Motivation From Getting to Giving

6. Set 10X Goals and Face Your Fears.

If you want to become really rich, there’re few more necessary things that one should focus. If you really have a dire-need to become rich, please click on read more button.

Natural Maniacs

John Boyd was probably the greatest fighter pilot to ever live. He revolutionized his field more than anyone before or since.

A manual he wrote, Aerial Attack Study, incorporated as much math into the science of fighting manoeuvres as the engineers who built the planes use themselves.

His insights were simple but powerful. In one, Boyd realized a tactical advantage was not how fast or high a plane could fly, but how quickly it could change course and begin climbing – a discovery that changed not only how pilots thought, but how planes were built.

He was as close to a flying savant as they come: Boyd’s manual – most of it written in his 20s – became the official tactics guide of fighter pilots. It’s still used today.

Boyd is known as one of the most influential thinkers in military history.

But almost everyone hated him.

The Air Force loved, and needed, Boyd’s insights. But they couldn’t stand Boyd, the man.

That’s because as smart as Boyd was, he was a maniac. Rude. Erratic. Disobedient. Impatient.

A problem happens when you think someone is brilliantly different but not well-behaved, when in fact they’re not well-behaved because they’re brilliantly different.

That’s not an excuse to be a jerk, or worse, because you’re smart.

But no one should be shocked when people who think about the world in unique ways you like also think about the world in unique ways you don’t like.

20 Psychology Tricks That’ll Work on Anybody 99% of the Time

Want to learn some simple psychology tricks?

These tricks will help you in an incredible number of areas within self-improvement, including communication, first impressions, ability to get ahead, gaining attraction and admiration etc.

And yet, they’re so easy to implement within everyday life.

If you don’t believe it , here are few examples – try it next time whenever you get an opportunity :

Example 1 :

If you’re in a group gathering or meeting, and you think someone is likely to become aggressive towards you, sit next to them.

It’s very easy to show anger towards someone when they’re sitting on the other side of the table, but if they’re sitting next to that person, then it makes things harder and more awkward to do so.


Example 2:

Want people to agree with what you’re saying?

All you have to do is start nodding whilst you’re saying the thing you want the person to agree with.

The “nodding” action makes the person start to believe what you’re saying is actually true, and therefore they will most likely begin to nod as well, and agree with you.


If you want to learn more tricks , press on read more button.

19th December 2020

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate

There’s an instant gratification monkey in the brains of the people who keep delaying taking rational actions.

This instant gratification monkey is in complete control of the brain and it does not let them go the gym regularly, won’t let them work on an urgent business-case, won’t allow them to sit alone and think .

This monkey would rather keep them engaged in surfing the internet or would ask them to sleep a little more or would keep them busy in watching some useless news or some never-ending seasons and never –ending episodes on story of some fictional characters.

Average human has not been trained to handle this monkey & and they’re left completely helpless as the monkey makes it impossible for them to do their job.

The fact is, the Instant Gratification Monkey is the last creature who should be in charge of decisions—he thinks only about the present, ignoring lessons from the past and disregarding the future altogether, and he concerns himself entirely with maximizing the ease and pleasure of the current moment.

He doesn’t understand the long term benefit of some rational decision making—why would we continue doing this jog, he thinks, when we could stop, which would feel better. Why would we practice that instrument when it’s not fun? Why would we ever use a computer for work when the internet is sitting right there waiting to be played with?

Instant gratification monkey wants everything in instant – immediately, now and is blind to the future consequences of its actions.

Kaleidoscope Thinking: How to Think Faster and More Clearly

When I was young, my parents used to have a kaleidoscope that sat in our living room. I would point it out the window and slowly turn the kaleidoscope around. Each time I turned it, the image in the kaleidoscope changed.

Was the scene outside my window changing? No, but the beads that formed the prism I was looking through were shifting around.

The beads in the kaleidoscope represent a sort of latticework. If you only have one bead in your kaleidoscope, everything looks the same. But as you add more and more beads, the image changes more with each turn. You can look at the same object or situation and see it in many different ways.

When you’re thinking of making a decision based on several data-points , you are slowly turning your kaleidoscopes, seeing many different images, angles, opportunities, or dangers.

Real thinkers can think about it from many different perspectives, they don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that one particular image is “right” or “true.” They keep turning the kaleidoscope, looking to see what they might have missed on the last turn.

The result is powerful. They can look at the same reality everyone else is looking at but see something different. They can identify opportunities and avoid dangers that others miss.

Most of the people run into trouble because they only know a few isolated facts and they try to use that fact to solve everything.

They have a hammer and they treat every problem as though it were a nail.

A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Dr. Michael Burry about Investing

Have you seen the movie named “The Big Short “?

It is about Dr. Michael Burry . He is the founder of Scion Capital.

But he was famous in investing circles ( even before this movie was made) for his astute investing during times like the financial crisis of 2007.

Michael Burry is portrayed in the movie by Christian Bale. The real Michael Burry started out as a part time investor and blogger and built his reputation and AUM with great results and original thinking.

He is a physician by training and has diagnosed himself as having Asperger’s Syndrome. Burry is particularly interesting for investors in that he has adapted value investing principles to his personality, skills and nature.

Like Charlie Munger did many years before, Burry found new ways for value investing to evolve beyond using the system to find “cigar butt” stocks.

What is Burry doing today? He is still running Scion Capital but now his bets are more on water than real estate.

This article tries to figure out few lessons on investing from Burry’s way of thinking and past behaviour.

Burry’s story demonstrates several important things. Most importantly, the power of being rational and the power of fundamental bottoms up research.

It also demonstrates the huge value that permanent capital provides to a rational money manager since as Keynes once said: Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. Even as rational as Burry is, it took courage to make and to hold on to the investments that made him famous. Being right, but too early, is indistinguishable from being wrong.

12th December 2020

We Have No Idea What Happens Next

It is hard to predict what will happen after the world is thrown upside down – as it has been this year due to COVID.

It is easy to connect the unrelated results with one related event in hindsight but not very easy for the future.

It was 1816, global temperatures fell an average of 1.5 degrees in marking the coldest year of recorded history Freezing temperatures and low sunlight became an agricultural disaster.

Crops failed throughout the world. Famine followed.

One of those starving people was a 13-year-old boy named Justus von Liebig. Liebig was an unremarkable child, labeled in school as “hopelessly useless.”

But he liked to tinker and experiment. Liebig’s father was a paint manufacturer and introduced the boy to industrial chemistry, which he fell in love with.

Justus von Liebig then decided on two things.

One was that he wanted to become a chemist. He received his Ph.D. when he was 21 years old.

The other was more ambitious: Deeply affected by his experience during the famine of 1816, he would devote his chemistry career to improving agriculture. Which is exactly what he did.

Liebig was one of the first to understand the mechanics of how important nitrogen was to plant health and crop yield, and how ammonia could be used to supply it artificially. He also popularized the law of the minimum or the idea that the total amount of plant nutrients wasn’t important; a single scarce nutrient could depress yields, and that nutrient was usually nitrogen.

Ammonia was the missing ingredient needed to maximize yields and grow healthy crops during years Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. Like in 1816.

Liebig’s work – improved upon in the following decades, particularly by scientists who learned how to manufacture ammonia synthetically – gave rise to the ammonia-based fertilizer industry that still dominates global agriculture.

It’s a fascinating story. But it becomes more intriguing when you ask the question:

“Would this boy have pursued a career in chemistry, focused on agriculture, and discovered nitrogen-based fertilizer if it weren’t for famine?”

It still feels hard, if not reckless, to imagine the upside of Covid-19. We may not have even seen the worst of it yet.

But everyone in the world has suddenly been exposed to problems they had never seen before. They’ve become aware of new risks. New constraints in how they live, work and play. A whole new set of perspectives on how to keep your family safe, run a business, and use technology.

Some of the changes that will bring are obvious. We’re already better and faster at creating vaccines than we were a year ago. Doctors are more knowledgeable. Remote work is more efficient. Travel is less necessary.

Then there’s the second tier of change: perhaps using our new knowledge of mRNA vaccines to treat other diseases, like cancer.

It seems likely, but who knows.

The (Not Failing) New York Times

Around 10 years ago, The New York Times was a struggling business- subscriptions were all-time low, advertisement revenue had disappeared and the company was about to die under the pile of a huge debt.

In 2020, they have completely turned around things – it is not falling anymore.

Came across a beautiful presentation that tells the story of the turnaround of The New York Times (NYT) in a simple but very powerful way.

The presentation captures the ups and downs of the publishing business like a gripping thriller and unfolds the various strategies that helped NYT to go back to its glorious days.

It has a lot of management lessons on how by maintaining the old values along-with adaption of new thoughts & upgrading the conventional-methods, a traditional business could survive and thrive despite having faced disruption due to the advent of new technology and changing customer-habits.

The Secrets of the World's Greatest Art Thief

Here’s a fascinating story of the world’s greatest art thief – a thief who has stolen from the most reputed museums of the world.

He stole paintings, artifacts, pieces of pottery, ancient pocket-watches, an iron alms box, and what not!

He didn’t steal for money, but for the thrill, the beauty, the ownership.

In the annals of art crime, it's hard to find someone who has stolen from ten different highly reputed museums. By his calculations, he's nearing 200 thefts and 300 stolen objects.

All his life, life-less objects have had the power to seduce him. “I get smitten,” Breitwieser says.

The more he steals, the better he gets. He learns, with precision, the limits of a security camera's vision. He hones his timing and perfects his composure.

“You have to control your gestures, your words, your reflexes,” Breitwieser says. “You need a predatory instinct.” He pounces the instant he senses everyone's attention is diverted.

“The pleasure of having,” says Breitwieser, “is stronger than the fear of stealing.”

Before artwork, it was stamps and coins and old postcards, which he'd purchased with pocket money. Later it was medieval pottery fragments he'd find near archaeological sites, free for the taking.

When he covets an object, says Breitwieser, he feels the emotional wallop of a coup de coeur—literally, a blow to the heart. There are just things that make him swoon.

“Looking at something beautiful,” he explains, “I can't help but weep. There are people who do not understand this, but I can cry for objects.”

His interactions with the world of the living were far less fulfilling. He never really understood his peers or almost anyone else for that matter. Popular pastimes, like sports and video games, baffled him.

He's never had any interest in drinking or drugs. He could happily spend all day alone at a museum—his parents often dropped him off—or touring archaeological sites, of which there are dozens in the area where he grew up, but around others, he was sometimes hot-headed and temperamental.

5th December 2020

The Most Important Asset

You are reading this blog and you might think you’re not paying anything for reading this.

You think that it is free content! And not only this, you think that so many websites are free, Facebook,Twitter ,YouTube all are free and even few TV channels are free.

You’re very much mistaken. Nothing comes free!

You’re paying for every minute when you consume ‘so-called free content”. The payment may not be in the form of direct cash!

You may be paying through your vote as free material influences your preference of a candidate!

You may be paying through buying some vitamins, some food –supplements that you might not require but free content in the media has convinced you otherwise!

I am charging for this blog, but not with money. I am charging you the one thing you cannot replenish, the one thing Warren Buffett can’t buy, the most important asset in the world—your time.

Think of it this way: Each week you get 10,000 minutes to live your life (it’s actually 10,080 minutes, but let’s round for simplicity). If these 10,000 minutes represent 100% of your week, then each minute is 1 basis point (i.e. one-hundredth of a percent). If you sleep 7 hours a night that’s 2,940 minutes or ~30% of your week.

If you work 40 hours, that’s another 2,400 minutes or 24% gone. Therefore, if you spend 5 minutes reading one of my posts, that’s 5 basis points of your week that you are allocating to me. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider the endless amount of content competing for your attention, it’s amazing.

This is why I happily spend ~5 hours a week (3% of my week) reading and selecting a list of articles that hundreds of people will read. It’s why I read 20+ books a year to find diverse ideas to relate back to your finances. It’s why I view writing to you as a privilege, an exorbitant privilege, as Barry Ritholtz once said.

Time is your most important asset. Why?

Because you will never get a second more than what you already have.

Time is important primarily because of its scarcity.

The Beauty of Keeping Mum

Most of us talk too much. Talking saps one’s ability to listen. On the other hand, days of silence activate the superior voice inside.

PERSON IS THOUGHT to be crazy when he hears voices in his head. The reality is, when left alone, we are all engaged in a steady monologue.

We narrate our thoughts and flesh them out in language, whether spoken or not. To that extent, we are always talking to ourselves.

Monks famously take vows of silence. Saint Augustine understood the value of both simplicity and balance. His vow was not an end in itself but a way to clarify one’s thinking and to minimize diversion.

Darwin thought he had figured out how we humans emerged from the misty jungles. But language stumped him.

In The Descent of Man, he speculated that language began as the grunts and beguilements of courtship, as a verbal form of competition among males. The very evolution of words, and the naming of things and ideas, was itself a brawl of the strong versus the weak.

I have learned, conversely to Darwin, that not talking is surprisingly pleasant and perhaps even beneficial to courtship.

How Japanese People Stay Fit for Life, Without Ever Visiting a Gym

You might be surprised to find that there is not much of a workout culture in Japan.

Most people don’t go to the gym, they don’t run or do any regular exercise!

And we all know that Japan is a country that is a leader in longevity and has very low rates of obesity — the least among high-income developed nations at 4.3%.

In a recent survey of 1000 Japanese citizens ages 20 to their 60s, about half of those questioned revealed that they barely exercised, about once a month or not at all. Citing not enough time or simply that they don’t like exercising that much, most people just didn’t see working out as part of their lifestyle.

What’s going on here?

Well, the secret lies in the walk-culture of Japan.

Japanese adults walk an average of 6500 steps a day, with male adults in their 20s to 50s walking nearly 8000 steps a day on average, and women in their 20s to 50s about 7000 steps.

Most Japanese citizens live in very walkable cities where public transportation is convenient, safe, and affordable, and not many households own cars. As a consequence, when most people go to work, they walk. When people go grocery shopping, they walk. When people are going out for dinner, they walk. It’s an activity adopted every day by every generation: walking is a part of daily life like breathing is.

28th November 2020

Jeff Bezos: Here's how I make Amazon's highest-stakes decisions

There are two types of decisions. There are decisions that are irreversible and highly consequential; we call them one-way doors, or Type 2 decisions. They need to be made slowly and carefully.

Sometimes one has to act as a chief slowdown officer: "Whoa, I want to see that decision analyzed seventeen more ways because it's highly consequential and irreversible."

The problem is that most decisions aren't like that. Most decisions are two-way doors.

You can make the decision, and you step through. It turns out to have been the wrong decision; you can back up. And what happens in large organizations—not in start-up companies but in large organizations—is that all decisions end up using the heavyweight process that is really intended only for irreversible, highly consequential decisions. And that's a disaster.

When there's a decision that needs to be made, you need to ask, "Is it a one-way door or a two-way door?" If it's a two-way door, make the decision with a small team or even one high-judgment individual. Make the decision. If it's wrong, it's wrong. You'll change it.

But if it's a one-way door, analyze it five different ways. Be careful, because that is where slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Why We Judge People Based on Their Relatives

It's surprising that there is almost no research about how much we judge people based on their relatives, given the abundance of evidence showing that we make quick inferences about other people on the basis of their relationships, their family names and who their parents are.

It looks like genetics are much more important than parenting. One large study found that, for adopted children, their rate of criminality was 12 percent if their biological parents were criminals but their adopted parents were not criminals—but just 6 percent if their adoptive parents were criminals and their biological parents were not.

When both sets of parents, biological and adoptive, were criminals, the rate of criminality shot up to 40 percent. There is a similar pattern when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse. If we know that Pete is a criminal with a substance-abuse problem, his father Jack is much more likely to have these problems as well.

It's clear that leadership, like all other psychological characteristics, likely has a substantial genetic component.

This is also a possible reason why there was so much focus on the paternity of the sons of kings. A child whose father was not the king would have characteristics that the population would find less predictable. This may also be why royal bastards often ended up in prominent political positions.

Even though they were formally illegitimate, people may have trusted that they had similar good leadership qualities to the father that sired them, they would have still benefited from nepotism, and they may have been more likely to have inherited characteristics that motivated them toward powerful positions.

Venezuela, Once an Oil Giant, Reaches the End of an Era

"We used to be kings" said Alexander Rodríguez, a Cabimas fisherman, whose two boat motors have been spiked by an oil spill. "Now we're cursed."

Venezuela's huge oil sector, which shaped the country and the international energy market for a century, has come to a near halt, with production reduced to a trickle by years of gross mismanagement and American sanctions.

The collapse is leaving behind a destroyed economy and a devastated environment, and, many analysts say, bringing to an end the era of Venezuela as an energy powerhouse.

The country that a decade ago was the producer in Latin America, earning about $90 billion a year from oil exports, is expected to net about $2.3 billion by this year's end.

21st November 2020

Block title

Today I want you to think of a genius. Get a person in your mind--historical or contemporary--someone who really deserves the title. Got someone?

Ok. What makes this person a genius?

Are they smart? talented?

Were they born that way?

Did they work hard?

If you go beyond surface level , you would find the following facts

What doesn't matter in who becomes an genius:

- a ridiculously high IQ

- lots of mentors

- a great degree or a good college.

What does matter:

- A willingness to question the status quo.

-A dire need and discipline to pursue whatever interest you.

If you're on contrarian thinker, you're on the path to genius.

Irv Grousbeck: The Power of “I Don’t Know”

When someone (especially your subordinate or your boss ) comes to you with a question you can’t answer, resist the temptation to guess.

Instead, consider saying: “I don’t know.”

Those three words constitute a powerful answer that shows humility and self-confidence.

If you’re a top-level business manager, admitting that you don’t know something can be difficult.

After all, anyone who has clambered to the top of the corporate food chain is expected to exude certainty and self-confidence.

In short, you’re supposed to be the person with all the answers.

But thinking of yourself that way can be a mistake. You may be tempted to bluff.

But you should not. If you bluff an answer, you may be wrong, and that will damage your credibility and your authenticity.

At the same time, you are losing an opportunity to learn something new, to explore.

Disagreement Doesn’t Have to Be Divisive

A well-functioning organization, a well-functioning society, requires people to have productive conversations, even in the face of different views and opinions — in fact, especially in the face of such differences.

But most of the times this does not happen.

Rather than engaging in potentially difficult or uncomfortable conversations, many of us try to avoid them altogether. But there may be a more effective approach: using conversational receptiveness in our language.

This means persons who disagree should communicate their willingness to engage with each other’s views. It involves using language that signals a person is truly interested in another’s perspective.

A common facilitation practice is that when disagreements start to set in with a group, you return to the last point of strong agreement.

This resets the conversation in a space of more positive dialogue. Some advice for talking to people who have sharply different views:

1. Acknowledge (even re-state) the other perspective.

2. Phrase your arguments in positive terms. ("Let's consider" beats "We should")

3. Point to areas of agreement, even if small or obvious.

14th November 2020

The Big Lessons From History

There are 2 kinds of history to learn from.

1. One is the specific events. What did this person do right? What did that country do wrong? What ideas worked? What strategies failed?

It’s most of what we pay attention to, because specific stories are easy to find. But their usefulness is limited.

History is full of specific lessons that aren’t relevant to most people, and not fully applicable to future events because things rarely repeat exactly as they did in the past.

2. The second kind of history to learn from are the broad behaviors that show up again and again, in multiple fields and different eras.

How do people think about risk? How do they react to surprise? What motivates them, and causes them to be overconfident, or too pessimistic? Those broad lessons are important because we know they’ll be relevant in the future. They’ll apply to nearly everyone and in many fields.

Let me offer few of those lessons:

Lesson #1: Calm plants the seeds of crazy.

Lesson #2: Progress requires optimism and pessimism to coexist.

Lesson #3: People believe what they want to believe, see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear.

Lesson #4: Important things rarely have one cause.

Lesson #5: Risk is what you don’t see.

Click the read more button to read the full article.

Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

When Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, the chief executives of Apple and Google, were photographed eating dinner together in 2017 at an upscale Vietnamese restaurant called Tamarine, the picture set off a tabloid-worthy frenzy about the relationship between the two most powerful companies in Silicon Valley.

As the two men sipped red wine at a window table inside the restaurant in Palo Alto, their companies were in tense negotiations to renew one of the most lucrative business deals in history: an agreement to feature Google’s search engine as the preselected choice on Apple’s iPhone and other devices.

Nearly half of Google’s search traffic now comes from Apple devices and the prospect of losing the Apple deal has been described as a “code red” scenario inside the company.

When iPhone users search on Google, they see the search ads that drive Google’s business. They can also find their way to other Google products, like YouTube.

Apple now receives an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion in annual payments — up from $1 billion a year in 2014 — in exchange for building Google’s search engine into its products.

It is probably the single biggest payment that Google makes to anyone and accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple’s annual profits.

What Is The Internet Doing To Boomers’ Brains?

What is happening to uncles and aunts? Why their trust for messages on WhatsApp and Facebook is higher than their trust on their own kids ?

It has become a familiar story: The older relative, the intensifying scare-mongering TV-channels habits, the alarming Facebook posts, unlimited access to unverified WhatsApp messages the inevitable detachment from reality.

Losing a parent to the conservative cyber-swamp is such a common experience among millennials that it has produced an entire sub-genre of documentaries, books, and online support groups.

What it has not produced, however, is a satisfying answer to a simple question: What is the internet doing to our parents’ brains?

“Older adults consume more misinformation and are more likely to share misinformation,” said Briony Swire-Thompson, a senior research scientist at Northeastern University who specializes in social media networks.

During the 2016 USA election, users over 65 shared more fake news than any other age group and seven times more than users between 18 and 29. In 2020, Trump has dedicated almost half of his re-election campaign budget to Facebook ads — many of which include blatant misinformation — to users over 65 years old.

At the same time, uncles and aunts are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet for information. Over the last decade, older adults reporting that they get their news from social media rocketed from 8% to 40%.

Facebook, one of America’s primary delivery devices for partisan, misleading, and outright false information, is growing fastest among people over 50. Meanwhile, the percentage of teens reporting Facebook use fell from 71% in 2014 to 51% in 2018.

7th November 2020

Don’t follow your passion. It’s what’s holding you back

When your love for something becomes blind and you can’t see anything - that’s Passion.

Passion — it’s all about passion. Find your passion. Live passionately. Inspire the world with your passion.

This is what they tell you whenever you read any self-help book or listen to any motivational speech.

Here’s what those same people haven’t told you: your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with — no, because of — passion.

Passion is just ego. Pure and plain destructive ego.

It’s self-absorption at the expense of reality.

It’s a disease caught by countless entrepreneurs, authors, chefs, business owners, politicians, and designers that you’ve never heard of — and never will hear of, because they sunk their own ships before they’d hardly left the harbor. Like every other dilettante, they had the passion and lacked something else.

Theory Of Constraints – A Powerful Tool for Performance Improvement

No chain can ever be stronger than it’s the weakest link. That is why it is said that no team is stronger than its weakest member.

This also means that processes, teams, organizations are vulnerable because of their weakest person or part as they can always damage or break them or at least adversely affect the performance or outcome.

This all sounds so simple but most people tend to ignore it every day’s environments – in their teams or organizations and even in their own lives.

This is obvious when you think about a simple iron- chain and its links, but for some reason, we don’t treat the world this way.

When a system doesn’t work, we get overwhelmed and struggle. We try to focus on every part of the struggling system rather than finding the weakest link and spending all our energy on improving it.

Hence understanding it right can have huge implications on the success or productivity of a process, an organization, a team, or even for an individual.

Here let me introduce you to the Theory of Constraint (TOC).

Don't listen to anyone but yourself: Lessons from J Krishnamurti's The Awakening of Intelligence

As long as there is resistance, there must be conflict.

Whether I resist my wife or my husband, whether I resist the noise of a dog barking or the noise in the street, there must be conflict. Now, how is one to listen to the noise without conflict—not whether it will go on indefinitely, or hoping it will come to an end—but how to listen to the noise without any conflict?

You can listen to the noise when the mind is completely free of any form of resistance—not only to that noise but to everything in life—to your husband, to your wife, to your children, to the politician. Therefore what takes place? Your listening becomes much more acute, you become much more sensitive, and therefore noise is only a part, it isn’t the whole world.

The act of listening is more important than the noise, so listening becomes an important thing and not the noise.

If you observe, if you say, ‘I listen to that noise’, listen completely, not with resistance, then that noise may go on forever, it does not affect you.

The moment you resist, you are separate from the noise. Not identify yourself with the noise—I don’t know if you see the difference. The noise goes on; I can cut myself off from it by resisting it, putting a wall between myself and that noise.

31st October 2020

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

Who doesn’t love a little wisdom once in a while?

We all seek it out — in the people we know, or would like to know; in philosophy and science and religion; in adventure and travel and all sorts of mind-bending encounters.

Most wisdom is presented in a manner befitting its ambition, with an important-sounding title and a package designed to impress.

But sometimes the wisdom is just sitting there — on a website, with a title like, “68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.” That’s what
Kevin Kelly called the list he wrote on the occasion of his 68th birthday.

Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine. He’s known for his passionate work and original thinking.

On Sept 20th this year, he turned 68 and wrote these simple but powerful bits that he called his birthday gift to the younger one.

All are very insightful, here are five that I liked the most ( you should all by clicking the read more button given at the end)

1. Always demand a deadline. A deadline weeds out the extraneous and the ordinary.

2. Don’t be the best. Be the only. ( find a domain/field and try to become master of it)

3. Before you are old, attend as many funerals as you can bear, and listen. Nobody talks about the departed’s achievements. The only thing people will remember is what kind of person you were while you were achieving.

4. Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.

5. If you can solve many of the problems the boss has right now, you would be liked. And if you are liked, you would be promoted. To be liked, think like your boss.

How To Be Successful

"Sam" Altman is an American entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger.[1] He is the former president of Y Combinator and now the CEO of OpenAI.

Altman was named the top investor under 30 by Forbes in 2015,[23] one of the "Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology" by BusinessWeek in 2008.

He is also one of tech's most influential investors.

He often says that the single key to success is the ability to make things happen.

But here is an article that he wrote on his blog. In this article, he outlines 13 of his thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success.

Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success.

But much of it applies to anyone.

How to Get Lucky: Less Chance, More Chances

Luck has nothing to do with chance.

Luck has everything to do with how many chances you take. How many simultaneous bets you placed. You may lose in some of these bets and some of the chances you take would not lead to anywhere.

But there would be few of them that would give you extra-ordinary results – so extra-ordinary that people would call you lucky.

Getting lucky is a skill. The people we consider lucky are simply better at it than others. They get lucky for a reason - and it’s not the rabbit’s foot in their pocket. Luck is not winning the lottery or finding a pot of gold. This is a chance, not luck.

Getting lucky is about seizing opportunities. The luckiest people have more opportunities and consistently seize them.

Lucky people have a different outlook. They see luck as a game of skill, a game over which they have all the control.

24th October 2020

Climbing the Wealth Ladder

If I gave you Rs. 5000, would that change your life?

What about Rs. 10 crores?

How about Rs.100 crores?

Your answer will depend on many things including age, family situation, and your current net worth.

More importantly though, how you change your behavior after receiving such money can tell you a lot about your current financial standing.

Stewart Butterfield expanded on this idea when he discussed what he called the “Three Levels of Wealth.”

Ben Carlson, beautifully summarized the three levels of wealth as:

Level 1. I’m not worried about debt: People who no longer have to worry about their credit card debt or student loans.

Level 2. I don’t care what stuff costs in restaurants: How much you spend on a particular meal isn’t impacted by your finances.

Level 3. I don’t care what a vacation costs: People who don’t care how expensive the hotel is or which flight they go on.

The best way to climb the wealth ladder is to spend money according to your level. If you are in level 1 and you book a vacation without caring about the costs (level 3), then you won’t progress further up the ladder.

Until you have the money to spend frivolously within a level, you have to be strict about your spending at that level. Get this right and you have a far better chance of progressing up the ladder.

Mental models

I believe your intellectual life is divided into two parts: before you embrace mental models and after.

Mental models are frameworks for thinking. They simplify complex things so your brain can reason through them. They are shortcuts through the noise. You use them to make good decisions without needing to know everything about a situation.

This is the highest-leverage tweak you can make to your mind: When you repeatedly make good decisions, you receive compounding returns. This is how a young physics geek obsessed with clear thinking finds himself the founder of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX in such a short amount of time.

“You get further in life by avoiding repeated stupidity than you do by striving for maximum intelligence.” — Charlie Munger

When Perfection is an Enemy to Progress

Perfect is the enemy of the good. You might have heard this phrase from achievers.

To be honest, the first time I heard her say that phrase with confidence, a part of me couldn’t help but think — that’s easy for you to say.

It sounded like it came with the assurances of already earned success. The kind of achievements which meant your good was everyone else’s ‘perfect.’

It is not until you see this maxim in action that you would understand this — what achievers mean by this phrase is something different.

It’s perfectionism.

Perfectionism is the enemy of the good, the done, the impactful.

The vision of perfect hinders us from achieving the reality of good.

And something good that is finished is always better than the unfinished.

Something unfinished could be perfect, but how would anyone ever know? It’s a fantasy. Something that sounds amazing but isn’t achievable or practical isn’t good. Something that is perfect but never actually happens isn’t actually good.

17th October 2020

The Old Gods and the New

We don’t know much about the old Gods, but we can know too much about the living people, but we follow blindly and still turn them into Gods.

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of the blood-testing company Theranos, was named as one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world,by Times magazine in 2015, just two months after her 31st birthday.

President Obama appointed her to be a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship and Harvard Medical School invited her to its board of fellows.

Despite all this praise, she was eventually charged with fraud by the SEC after lying about her company’s capabilities. Her falsehoods cost her investors more than $600 million.

How did Holmes fool so many for so long? How was she able to convince some of the highest members in society to believe in her despite her lack of experience in the medical industry?

How did she do it?

1. Confidence

In his book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou tells how Holmes used her confident attitude time and time again to convince regulators, investors, and fellow employees to believe in her and her mission.

Holmes seemed to suffer from a condition best described in a Ted Talk by Tim Hartford—the God complex. Hartford described the God complex as:

No matter how complicated the problem, you have an absolutely overwhelming belief that you are infallibly right in your solution.

2. People have a need to believe in something

Buried deep in our DNA, no matter who we are, is the need to worship, to believe, and the capacity for reverence. Religion with its symbols and rituals and stories, is the way we mortals try to connect to that unseen world.

3. Because people just want simple answers.

They want there to be a “10-step guide” to getting rich or “5 daily habits” to become successful.

Though the truth is far messier, they will follow whoever gives them the easy path.

There’s No Such Thing as Mosquito Week

People spend all their time worrying about the low probability risks.
Higher probability risks don’t make for a very compelling story so people spend all their time worrying about the low probability risks that they read about in the headlines.

In USA , lightning kills about 46 people a year while deer that cause accidents kill another 150 or so. More than 300 people drown in the bathtub every year.But people are more worried about the lightening as it is covered by the media. In the year 2015, more than 8,30,000 people died due to mosquito bites while only 3500 people were killed by scorpions – but a common man perceives a scorpion as more deadly animal than a mosquito. Higher probability risks don’t make for a very compelling story so people spend all their time worrying about the low probability risks that they read about in the headlines.

People get swayed by scary narratives, headlines, and graphics instead of paying attention to the evidence, probabilities, and statistics.

The higher probability risks don’t make for a very compelling story so media does not show it ( like number of deaths by mosquitoes ) people spend all their time worrying about the low probability risks (death by lightning ) that they read about in the headlines.

This same phenomenon plays out on every news channel ,every night. By nearly every important metric imaginable, the world is getter better, but you would never know this by watching the news or reading the latest commentary on social media. Bill Gates had a wonderful quote which sums this up nicely when he said, “Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not.

The Daniel Effect

A great meeting has three key elements: the desired outcome of the meeting is clear ahead of time; the various options are clear, ideally ahead of time; and the roles of the participants are clear at the time.

I often find that meetings lack one of those elements. Sometimes they lack all those, which is when you have to say, “This is a horrible meeting, let's end it and regroup so it can be more effective for everyone.” Click here to go through an insightful interview of Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify.

Daniel does things very differently from other business leaders and was generous to go deep with us on his leadership style, time management, decision making, Spotify's impact on the world and much, much more. Enjoy!

10th October 2020

Luck and Success

If you've done well in life, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that luck played a role.

It doesn't take away from the fact that hard work and intelligence and a couple of good decisions got you to where you were.

But most of the people use the word 'luck' to explain every success that is not theirs own.

Luck is a loaded word. If used carelessly, it can connote a whole new meaning.

Try to use the word 'fortunate' instead of calling someone lucky can change the perspective.

Saying somebody got lucky takes away from everything else they did to deserve what they have.

Saying someone is fortunate doesn't encroach as much on their efforts.

For example, "they're fortunate to be where they are" still allows that person to take some credit while "they're lucky to be where they are" makes it sound like they just won the lottery.

Words, in this case, really matter.

I don't begrudge lucky billionaires, or people that were born on second base. But I respect the hell out of people who were born in the dugout and made it home, because they had to fight so much harder to get there.

I won't go as far as saying that every successful person got lucky, but every successful person can thank luck for playing at least some role in their life.

Dopamine isn't what you think it is

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That's why it's sometimes called a chemical messenger.

Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It's a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan.

It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.

We all think of dopamine as the "reward chemical."

We think that dopamine is what floods our brain when we get the objects of our desire—which can be big, like a new house—or small, like a like on Facebook.

The truth about dopamine... is far more complex.

Why Do Poor People Stay Poor?

Why do poor people stay poor?

It's a question that everyone already seems to have an answer for.

"The poor are lazy."

"The poor can't manage money."

"The poor don't have the right mindset."

The problem with these arguments is that they are based on small sample sizes rather than empirical data.

While I agree that some people are poor because of these things, there has been little experimental research done on this topic…until now.

Earlier this year researchers at the London School of Economics released a paper titled, "Why Do People Stay Poor?" that illustrated how the lack of initial wealth (and not motivation or talent) is what keeps people in poverty.

The researchers tested this by randomly allocating wealth (i.e. some livestock e.g. cattle, pigs etc) to female villagers in Bangladesh and then waited to see how that wealth transfer would affect their future finances.

3rd October 2020

Research Confirms That No One Is Really Thinking About You

I used to spend a lot of time worrying about how other people judged me.

What I wore, was it appropriate, did it fit right? Did I say too much? Did I say too little? This person must think I’m too intense. And that person must think I’m not very fun.

And the thoughts were worse at certain times. When I was presenting in a work meeting, or when I was out at a social event. It was so distracting and difficult to stay in the present moment. Because I had a whole inner monologue going on in my head. I assumed every facial expression and every comment from others meant something. And there were always specific themes and beliefs. Universal truths about myself that other people surely thought.

I still do this today, to a certain extent. Certain beliefs about ourselves are hard to break. But I am now able to recognize the pattern and reframe my inner dialogue. Because I understand the truth about most people. The truth that has been shown in research over the years.

Nobody is thinking that much about me. Because we mostly think about ourselves.

Don’t believe it?

Do you still think the people around you are spending a lot of time thinking about everything you do and say?

Science disagrees.

33 Things I Stole From People Smarter Than Me

I can tell you two things with confidence.

One, I’m living the life I want to live.

And two, I’m able to do so in part by ruthlessly stealing secrets from people who are smarter than me.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the fortune of meeting bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and creative people.

They’ve offered me some of their best advice, which I’ve eagerly taken. So here, I’ve made a list of 33 of my favorite pieces of wisdom — things I try to live by, things I tried to revisit and think about this year.


Creativity Starts Before Anything Is Made

Using a 40-hour workweek to measure creativity is like using a 12-inch ruler to measure happiness.

There is a fundamental mismatch between what the tool is designed to measure and the object of measurement itself.

What is the point of making stuff for 8 hours a day if you’re doing it for productivity’s sake?

Is that any different from a dull job that requires you to do the same task, at the same time, every single day?

Creativity is the culmination of experiences we have in our lives and simply cannot be forced:

“We tend to believe that the act of creating is what defines creativity, but creativity starts long before anything is made. The first word you write is a distillation of the knowledge you’ve accumulated over time. The first brush stroke you paint is a reimagining of the experiences you’ve stored somewhere in the mind.”

26th September 2020

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It and ‘Lead to a Dystopian Future’

Imagine you meet someone in a super-market or see someone in a restaurant or he’s sitting alongside you in a plane! Sometimes you might have a curiosity about that person ! You might want to know more about him!

But your curiosity might not be very intense or it is just a passing thought or you don’t know how to dif the information about that stranger!

Well future is going to be different! There’s already an app that can help you in this.

You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared.

Clearview AI, is a ground-breaking facial recognition app. More than 600 law enforcement agencies in USA have started using Clearview in the past year. They have used its app to help solve shoplifting, identity theft, credit card fraud, and murder and child sexual exploitation cases.

Now imagine that it comes into the hands of a common man! There are infinite ways it can affect and change society!

Nobody would be a stranger in this world! All privacy would be gone.

Once you know more about the stranger, you usually ignored in the past, maybe you would like to start a conversation with him. Maybe it would lead to some relationship in the future.

Or it may lead to people wearing full-faced masks in public to avoid recognition. Imagine if it lands in the hands of the criminals – they can pick and choose who they want to rob!

Zanshin: Learning the Art of Attention and Focus From a Legendary Samurai Archer

Are you obsessed with results?

We all have a tendency to put so much emphasis on getting what we want, hitting the arrow on the target and we put all our energy on focusing solely on whether or not the arrow hits the target.

But research on successful people just shows the opposite.

It tells that if we put that intensity and focus and sincerity into the process—where we place our feet, how we hold the bow, how we breathe during the release of the arrow—then hitting the bullseye is simply a side effect.

The point is not to worry about hitting the target.

The point is to fall in love with the boredom of doing the work and embrace each piece of the process. The point is to take that moment of zanshin, that moment of complete awareness and focus, and carry it with you everywhere in life.

It is not the target that matters. It is not the finish line that matters. It is the way we approach the goal that matters.

Everything is aiming. Zanshin.

How To Recover When The World Breaks You

There is a line attributed to Ernest Hemingway — that the first draft of everything is shit — which, of all the beautiful things Hemingway has written, applies most powerfully to the ending of A Farewell to Arms.

He wrote 47 alternate endings to the book. Each one is a window into how much he struggled to get it right. The pages, currently lying in the Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, show Hemingway writing the same passages over and over.

Sometimes the wording was nearly identical, sometimes whole sections were cut out.

One passage clearly challenged Hemingway more than the others. It comes at the end of the book when Catherine has died after delivering their stillborn son and Frederic is struggling to make sense of the tragedy that has just befallen him.

The world breaks everyone," he wrote, "and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills."

19th September 2020

Speed as a Habit

I’ve long believed that speed is the ultimate weapon in business.

All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win.

Speed is a defining characteristic — if not the defining characteristic — of the leader in virtually every industry you look at.

In tech, speed is seen primarily as an asset in product development. Hence the “move fast and break things” mentality, the commitment to minimum viable products and agile development.

Many people would agree that speed and agility are how you win when it comes to product.

When you think about it, all business activity really comes down to two simple things:

i) Making decisions ii) Executing on decisions.

Making Decisions:

The process of making and remaking decisions wastes an insane amount of time at companies. The key takeaway: WHEN a decision is made is much more important than WHAT decision is made.

Executing on Decisions:

I’m always shocked by how many plans and action items come out of meetings without being assigned due dates. Even when dates are assigned, they’re often based on half-baked intuition about how long the task should take.

Selective Attention & Its Dangers !

We all notice that when we decide to buy (or buy) a particular brand of car, we start noticing several cars of the same brand/model on the road, higher than what we're used to seeing earlier! We come across more number of TV advertisements in the newspaper and TV if we're looking for replacing our old TV! What happens?

Whether the number of cars (of the model of our interest) suddenly increase on the road?

Whether TV manufacturers somehow come to know about our interest in a new TV and start publishing more advertisements?

We know nothing of that sort happens, those cars were already there on the road, those advertisements were regularly appearing, but we were not paying attention.

This phenomenon is known as selective attention.

Selective Attention refers to a very common state of every living species - it means that we tend to see what we want to see.

The Psychology of Money

Studying investing is the study of how people behave with money.

And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.

You can’t sum up behavior with formulas to memorize or spreadsheet models to follow.

Behavior is inborn, varies by person, is hard to measure, changes over time, and people are prone to deny its existence, especially when describing themselves.

The finance industry talks too much about what to do, and not enough about what happens in your head when you try to do it.

This article describes 20 flaws, biases, and causes of bad behavior I’ve seen pop up often when people deal with money. If there’s a common denominator in these, it’s a preference for humility, adaptability, long time horizons, and skepticism of popularity around anything involving money. Which can be summed up as: Be prepared to roll with the punches. Jiddu Krishnamurti spent years giving spiritual talks. He became more candid as he got older. In one famous talk, he asked the audience if they’d like to know his secret.

He whispered, “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”

That might be the best trick when dealing with the psychology of money.

12th September 2020

How to Regain the Lost Art of Reflection

A famous but possibly apocryphal tale about Albert Einstein is that he dreamed up the theory of relativity when riding his bicycle. Warren Buffett is on record as saying that he reads for six hours per day and has very few scheduled meetings.

Both of these examples stand in stark contrast to the ways in which most leaders use their time. Many are slaves to email (one CEO only half-jokingly defines his job as “answering 2,000 emails a day”) and have much of the remainder of their time filled with meetings.

But a focus on information processing, reaction, and execution — while it may feel productive — causes the quality of our thoughts to suffer.

Senior executives are victims of information overload and over-reliance on fast thinking. But some CEOs have managed to resist these tendencies. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, among others, share Warren Buffett’s discipline to read extensively, safeguard time for personal development projects, and constantly seek new stimulus and perspectives. John Young, Group President of Pfizer Essential Health, remarked to us that reflective thinking improves his decision making by grounding it in a more integrated and coherent world view than one can have from acting only in the moment. From such leaders and from our counseling conversations with CEOs, we suggest some simple principles for leaders to rediscover and unlock the art of reflective thought.

Motivation Is Temporary

Motivation and inspiration happen to be a chemical reaction of our body.

You watch some inspiring movie, you listen some rousing speech, you meet some moving personality, you read some insightful article, your glands release some hormones and some chemical reactions happen and you feel motivated to do something.

But the level of motivation does not stay at same level permanently. It is just an emotion which comes and goes.

This is also one of the key reason that most of the people quit after starting a project, a business or some task. And this also one of the primary reason that we are not able to keep our new year resolutions.

People don’t run out of the ideas, they run out of the motivation!

Another 2 reasons are :

a) Lack of a Dire Need

b) Failing to design a fail-proof system to continue the work even if you feel demotivated.


In absence of a dire-need and a fail proof system, we keep on failing !

Perils of processing too much information

Even though you, on average, view five hours of TV a day, the world’s 21,274 television stations create 85,000 hours of original programming daily. According to Levitin, you (that’s the singular you) process 34 gigabytes of information, or 100,000 words, a day.

Then there’s your Internet consumption, and books, magazines, newspapers and ever-present signage, to say nothing of the chit-chat at work and over the backyard fence. Don’t forget texting.

Are you having difficulty weighing options, and maybe even keeping track of your options? We are overwhelmed by data. It’s certainly worse now, but in 2011, Americans consumed five times as much information as they did in 1986, about 175 newspapers worth. Per day. That’s the calculation of Daniel J. Levitin, author of “The Organized Mind.”

If it seems harder for you to keep up, you’re not alone.

Moreover, neuroscientists say, information overload results in unproductivity and loss of drive.

The lifelong exercise that keeps Japan moving

Rajio taiso”, or radio calisthenics, is a short exercise routine broadcast daily on Japan’s national radio, streamed on YouTube, followed in parks and schools every day – sometimes several times a day – by all generations of Japanese people.

There are three routines in rajio taiso. The first, “dai-ichi”, is the one that every person in Japan will be most familiar with. Taught from a young age in school, this routine is designed to be accessible to anyone. The second, “dai-ni”, and third, “dai-san”, increase in physical activity and are aimed at younger crowds.

Rajio taiso encourages using only the momentum and weight of your own body without the need for any equipment. The three minute exercise mostly require planting your feet in one spot, shoulder-width apart. This makes it ideal for office workers, school children, the young and the elderly to do from behind desks, in groups, at the park, at home – anywhere.

5th September 2020

The Maxim For Every Successful Person; ‘Always Stay A Student

Have you heard about Genghis Khan? What is your impression of him? A barbarian conqueror, fuelled by bloodlust, terrorizing the civilized world. We have him and his Mongol horde traveling across Asia and Europe, insatiable, stopping at nothing to plunder, rape, and kill not just the people who stood in their way, but the cultures they had built.

Like all reactionary, first-hand assessments, this could not be more wrong.

For not only was Genghis Khan one of the greatest military minds who ever lived, he was a perpetual student, whose stunning victories were often the result of his ability to absorb the best technologies, practices, and innovations of each new culture his empire touched.

Genghis Khan was not born a genius. Instead, as one biogra¬pher put it, his was “a persistent cycle of pragmatic learning, experimental adaptation, and constant revision driven by his uniquely disciplined and focused will.” He was the greatest conqueror the world ever knew because he was more open to learning than any other conqueror has ever been.

Under his leadership, the Mongol Empire was known for its reli¬gious freedoms, and most of all, for its love of ideas and con¬vergence of cultures.

It brought lemons to China for the first time, and Chinese noodles to the West. It spread Persian carpets, German mining technology, French metalworking, and Islam. The cannon, which revolutionized warfare, was said to be the resulting fusion of Chinese gunpowder, Mus¬lim flamethrowers, and European metalwork.

The lesson here from Genghis Khan is that it is not enough only to be a student at the beginning.

You have to be a student for life. Learn from everyone and everything.

From the people you beat, and the people who beat you, from the people you dislike, even from your supposed enemies. At every step and every juncture in life, there is the opportunity to learn — and even if the lesson is purely remedial, we must not let ego block us from hearing it again.

Surgeons Should Not Look Like Surgeons

This sounds little controversial! But think deeply about it .

Say you had the choice between two surgeons of similar rank in the same department in some hospital. The first is highly refined in appearance; he wears silver-rimmed glasses, has a thin built, delicate hands, a measured speech, and elegant gestures. His hair is silver and well combed. He is the person you would put in a movie if you needed to impersonate a surgeon. His office prominently boasts a high end college diploma, both for his undergraduate and medical schools. The second one looks like a butcher; he is overweight, with large hands, uncouth speech and an unkempt appearance. His shirt is dangling from the back. No known tailor in the East Coast of the U.S. is capable of making his shirt button at the neck. He speaks unapologetically with a strong rural accent, as if he wasn’t aware of it. He even has a gold tooth showing when he opens his mouth. The absence of diploma on the wall hints at the lack of pride in his education: he perhaps went to some local college. In a movie, you would expect him to impersonate a retired bodyguard , or a third-generation cook in a cafeteria.

Who would you pick?

Now if I had to pick, I would overcome my suckerproneness and take the butcher any minute. Even more: I would seek the butcher as a third option if my choice was between two doctors who looked like doctors.

Why?

Simply the one who doesn’t look the part, conditional of having made a (sort of) successful career in his profession, had to have much to overcome in terms of perception. And if we are lucky enough to have people who do not look the part, it is thanks to the presence of some skin in the game, the contact with reality that filters out incompetence, as reality is blind to looks.

Consider the chief executive officers of corporations: they not just look the part, but they even look the same.

And, worse, when you listen to them talk, they will sound the same, down to the same vocabulary, jargons and metaphors. And you would find that most of them come from similar type of colleges !

And above that they apply same formulas to whichever company they manage! And most of them end up ruining those companies in the end, the companies that were started and built by some enterprising young people who didn’t have any degrees or suaveness of the chief executive officers. (you won’t believe that 88% of the companies that were on Fortune 500 list in 1955 , have either gone bankrupt or have been taken over by others or have become insignificant – this all happened when they were being run by the people who looked ,talked and behaved like CEOs and who came from Ivy League colleges )

Keep in mind that reality is blind to looks. If someone has risen to a level ,without the prestigious degrees, the one who does not speak in jargons like others, the one who does not look like a CEO – he must have risen to that position because he knows something that others don’t know, he has learnt something that other guys (who have the looks ) could not comprehend.

Save Like A Pessimist, Invest Like An Optimist

From the day Bill Gates started Microsoft he insisted on always having enough cash in the bank to keep the company alive for 12 months with no revenue coming in. In 1995 he was asked by Charlie Rose why he kept so much cash on hand. Things change so fast in technology that next year’s business wasn’t guaranteed, he said, “Including Microsoft’s.” In 2007 he reflected:

I was always worried because people who worked for me were older than me and had kids, and I always thought, ‘What if we don’t get paid, will I be able to meet the payroll?’”

It shows a very pessimistic side of Bill Gates.

On the other hand, just think about the optimistic side of Bill Gates.

Gates dropped out of college at 19 because he thought a computer should be on every desk in every home. You only do that when you have relentless confidence in your abilities.

Optimism and pessimism can coexist. If you look hard enough you’ll see them next to each other in virtually every successful company and successful career. They seem like opposites, but they work together to keep everything in balance.

What Gates seems to get is that you can only be an optimist in the long run if you’re pessimistic enough to survive the short run.

The best way for most people to apply that is: Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist.

29th August 2020

Time Correction -In Career & Life

Have you ever felt that you’re being left behind while others have gone ahead of you ?

In career? In life? Do you think it is more about luck not about talent?

Do you believe it is more about connections rather than hard-work? Do you believe that life is all about college degrees and nothing more?

Are you hopeful of you doing well, getting what’s due to you or you’ve left it to fate ?

If you have thought any of these questions in life, you should click read more button now.

Thinking For Oneself

Wisdom is earned, not given. When other people give us the answer, it belongs to them and not us.

While we might achieve the outcome we desire, it comes from dependence, not insight.

Instead of thinking for ourselves, we’re dependent on the insight of others.

There is nothing wrong with buying insight, this is one way we leverage ourselves. The problem is when we assume the insight of others is our own.

Earning insight requires going below the surface. Most of us want to shy away from the details and complexity. It takes a while. It’s boring. It’s mental work.

More on Cultivating a Deep Life: Mindset

To “do less” is to slow down.

Focus on one activity at a time. Do less total activities. Be willing to pass through occasional interludes of full non-productivity.

To “do better” is to direct your focused energy toward quality activities, when possible.

Finally, to “know why” is to get at the very core of the deep life mindset.

Working backwards from your values to determine your activities creates a lifestyle dramatically more meaningful than working forward from whatever seems appealing in the moment.

It’s the difference between resilience and anxiety; satisfaction and distraction.

The deep life is not an ambitious one-shot goal, like completing a marathon, that you work hard at until you one day obtain it all at once. It’s a state of being with which you become increasingly comfortable. It is a process that starts with your mind.

22nd August 2020

Science Explains What Happens to Someone’s Brain From Complaining Every Day

Thought changes structure … I saw people rewire their brains with their thoughts, to cure previously incurable obsessions and trauma.” ~ Norman Doidge, Canadian-born psychiatrist and author of The Brain That Changes Itself

The human brain is remarkably malleable. It can be shaped very much like potter using the clay, albeit with a bit more time and effort..

Your experiences, behaviours, thinking, habits, thought patterns, and ways of reacting to world are inseparable from how your brain wires itself.

Negative habits change your brain for the worse. Positive habits change your brain for the better.

Harmful behaviours such as complaining, if allowed to loop within the brain continually, will inevitably alter thought processes. Altered thoughts lead to altered beliefs which leads to a change in behaviour.

Our brain possesses a something called the negativity bias. In simple terms, negativity bias is the brain’s tendency to focus more on negative circumstances than positive.

When The Magic Happens

A long but insightful article about when big innovations happen.

All we know is that the most important changes of the last 100 years have taken place during upheavals. And we’re currently in the biggest upheaval of the last 100 years.

Almost every business in the world is now asking how they can work more efficiently, save a few bucks here and here, and do more of their business online. What does that lead to?

Tens of millions of people who lost their jobs, and hundreds of millions of people who kept theirs but worried, will be permanently scarred into thinking about risk, opportunity, and safety nets differently than they were six months ago. What does that lead to?

I don’t think anyone knows the answers. We know that creativity and discovery surge when people are forced to find, rather than just want, new solutions. We know that an irony of technology is that economies often make their greatest leaps forward when the outlook is bleakest.

It might be one of the only silver linings of 2020.

A+ Problems Vs. B+ Problems

There is a story is how Peter Theil , co-founder of PayPal insisted that every single person did exactly “One Thing”. Thiel refused to talk to his colleagues anything other than that “One Thing”! The insight behind this is that most people will solve problems they know how to solve and they would ignore the real, big important issues -the elephant in the room.

The problems that are easy to solve, the problems that don’t want them to leave their comfort zone, their current expertise.

In this way, people tend to keep the big problems ( A+) aside while spending most of their time on smaller issues (B+ problems). And they get so busy working on B+ problems that a day comes when A+ problem becomes too huge that it threatens their very basic objectives or the project or the company.

If given a choice, people will solve B+ problems rather than A+ problems. B+ problems are problems that we know how to solve and are in our comfort zone.

A+ problems are high -impact problems.

15th August 2020

The Art of Persuasion

Have you noticed that certain advertisements keep appearing again and again?

Have you ever thought why the taglines for certain products don't change over the years (Apple's 'Think Different' tag line was in every advertisement for more than three decades)?

At any point of time, have you ever wondered why all political campaigns have one common slogan -that runs throughout the campaign?

Well if you think deeply and try to find a common thread in all of the above, you may realize that this is one of the ways others happen to impress you, to make you believe in something, to persuade you for certain actions.

Use of repetition, use of rhetoric, use of slogans is the art of persuasive speaking or writing.

Barack Obama got himself elected and re-elected to the White House less by the force of his arguments than by his formidable rhetorical skills. The basis of his famous ‘Yes We Can’ shtick, for example, is the rhetorical device of epistrophe (see later).

Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinking, is a book that classifies the most effective rhetorical devices into just eight groups: sound repetition, word repetition, idea or structure repetition, unusual structure, language games, opposition and contradiction, circumlocution, and imagery.

'My name is Bond, James Bond ' is an example of word repetition. Word repetition can create rhythm or continuity, emphasis, connection, and progression.

'Mad, bad, and dangerous to know ' illustrates the repetition of an idea. The repetition of an idea or structure can, if used correctly, add richness and resonance to expression.

Expiring vs. Permanent Skills

Every field has two kinds of skills:

Expiring skills, which are vital at a given time but prone to diminishing as technology improves and a field evolves.

Permanent skills, which were as essential 100 years ago as they are today, and will still be 100 years from now.

Both are important. But they’re treated differently.

Expiring skills tend to get more attention. They’re more likely to be the cool new thing, and a key driver of an industry’s short-term performance. They’re what employers value and employees flaunt.

Permanent skills are different. They’ve been around a long time, which makes them look stale and basic. They can be hard to define and quantify, which gives the impression of fortune-cookie wisdom vs. a hard skill.

But permanent skills compound over time, which gives them quiet importance. When several previous generations have worked on a skill that’s directly relevant to you, you have a deep well of relevant examples to study. And when you can spend a lifetime perfecting one skill whose importance never wanes, the payoffs can be ridiculous. Anything that compounds over decades usually is. Here are few examples of certain permanent skills :

1. Don't be a jerk : Being a jerk offsets being talented one for one, if not more. They don’t teach this in school, but it’s the single most important career skill.

2.Getting along with people you disagree with. And as Larry Summers once noted, “There are idiots; look around.” Some of these people can be avoided. Many can’t. You have to deal with them diplomatically.

3.Getting to the point. Everyone’s busy. Make your point and get out of their way.

4. Respecting luck as much as you respect risk. Acknowledging luck is when something happens outside of our control that influences outcomes and you realize it might not happen again.

Perfection Is A Journey !

Here is a story of a Tai Chi champion who was training for several years.

This was what he said while speaking to media after he won his 2nd World Championship.

“It was a real good game. We both played well. More than winning, I am happy that I could learn so many things from him. I could find out so many mistakes I have been making even after so many years of practice. I am really happy ”.

It was quite a strange answer! A champion expressing more pleasure in finding his own mistakes rather than being happy on winning the championship, and that too after winning the championship in 2nd consecutive years.

The journalists were perplexed! One of them asked, “But sir you’re the best, you’re perfect and you’re a champion! Why you’re saying so ?”

And here comes the important part of this story. It lies in his answer to this question.

8th August 2020

The Four Stages Of Life

STAGE ONE: MIMICRY

We are born helpless. We can’t walk, can’t talk, can’t feed ourselves, can’t even do our own damn taxes.

As children, the way we’re wired to learn is by watching and mimicking others.

STAGE TWO: SELF-DISCOVERY

In Stage One, we learn to fit in with the people and culture around us. Stage Two is about learning what makes us different from the people and culture around us. Stage Two requires us to begin making decisions for ourselves, to test ourselves, and to understand ourselves and what makes us unique.

STAGE THREE: COMMITMENT

Once you’ve pushed your own boundaries and either found your limitations (i.e., athletics, the culinary arts) or found the diminishing returns of certain activities (i.e., partying, video games) then you are left with what’s both a) actually important to you, and b) what you’re not terrible at. Now it’s time to make your dent in the world.

STAGE FOUR: LEGACY

While most of the people spend their lives in stage 2 or stage 3 , some people arrive into Stage Four having spent somewhere around half a century investing themselves in what they believed was meaningful and important. They did great things, worked hard, earned everything they have, maybe started a family or a charity or a political or cultural revolution or two, and now they’re done. They’ve reached the age where their energy and circumstances no longer allow them to pursue their purpose any further. The goal of Stage Four then becomes not to create a legacy as much as simply making sure that legacy lasts beyond one’s death.

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.

Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.

Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.

Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Don't Make Sense

As human beings we are often shackled by our beliefs and indeed, need for things to fit into neat, logical reasoning. We search for validation for our decisions based on mathematical models; if the spreadsheet says it will be successful, then, logically, it must be.

By contrast, some of the most innovative products ever to grace our markets were developed using everything but. Logic simply never came into it. They were the product of imagination and daring and luck, and often in fact, despite this, those truly innovative products were at first rubbish. The first cars were certainly no better than horses, and the first airplanes were nothing more than flying death traps. Would you have invested in those businesses when those products were first invented? Few would, because there was no logical argument to support doing so. Yet now, those same products are revered in our society and their markets are worth billions. If we had of applied logic to the business cases when they were first developed, those two products alone would probably still be sitting on the scrap heap, and no one would have wanted a stake. No one would buy a plane that had a high propensity for killing its passengers, and certainly no one would want a car that was slower than a horse.

Some of man’s most noble achievements have been the product of imagination, daring to dream and in some cases, pure luck. Or so says Rory Sutherland.

1st August 2020

It’s Not About Routine, but About Practice

Think of Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman king from 161 to 180 and a philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors.

But you may not know that he lived in a time of chaos and dysfunction, featuring brutal wars, devastating plagues, natural disasters, famines, political turmoil, and a plummeting economy.

That’s to say nothing of his personal life—he buried eight children, his wife was probably unfaithful, his stepbrother and co-emperor was a ne’er-do-well, and his only son to outlive him was deranged. While his adopted father and cherished mentor, Antoninus ( the emperor who ruled before him) enjoyed a peaceful reign for over 20 years from the day Marcus became emperor, it was one obstacle after the next. And the period of troubles and uncertainties did not slow down for any of the 15 years during which he ruled.

It’d be hard to sum it up better than Cassius Dio: “He didn’t have the luck which he deserved… but was confronted, throughout his reign, by a multitude of disasters.”

But what kept him going during these tough times?

Those were few of his daily practices. Writing. Reading. Hunting and riding horses.

A quick dip in the baths. Family time.

These were NOT routines.

He didn’t have the luck or luxury to be rigid. Instead, he said, “to live life in peace” requires resilience and adaptability. Resilience is “keeping your mind calm… sizing up what’s around—and ready to make good use of whatever happens.

There is a difference between practices and routines.

Waking up every day at 6 a.m. and watching the news while you have your tea: that’s part of a routine.

Exercise, going to the gym: that’s a practice.

Eating at the same lunch place and same time every day is a routine. Writing is a practice.

The difference is in flexibility.

Routine is about daily rhythm. The practice is a lifelong pursuit for something.

Riches From Rags

Have you ever thought about the humble rag? The one that your mother of your wife uses to do some dusting or to dry wet utensils. You may also be using them for wiping when you spill something!

The oil and gas industry, with its network of pipes and valves, requires hundreds of millions of rags per year to wipe leaks, lubricants, and hands. Hotels, bars, and restaurants need billions of rags to clean glasses, tabletops, and railings. Painters need them for spills and drips. If these businesses can’t reuse clothes and sheets, they’ll opt for disposable paper towels, synthetic wipes, and new cloth rags, and those would result in huge environmental and financial costs.

Few consumers, anywhere, have heard of the wiping-rag industry. But it helps everyone . And you might be surprised to know that it is a multi-billion dollar industry.

If you're curious to know more about this obvious and yet-so-hidden business opportunity, click here to read about the people who are quite focused on it.

The Ugly Scramble

What happens to cats that fell out of a high-rise building, from a very high floor.

In 1988 two New York City veterinarians did a study on this topic they had a unique insight.

They found something counterintuitive: The relationship between the height of a cat’s fall and the injuries it suffers is an upside-down U.

A short fall is safer than a medium-height fall.

But there’s a point where the further a cat falls, the less injury it’s likely to face. It means, higher the floor , the injuries become lesser rather than going up!

What’s happening here?

Potentially lots of things, including dumb luck and cats that didn’t make it to the vet.

If you press the link and read more about it, you would realize that it has a lot of similarities with risk in life- in any type of venture.

Risk depends on how hasty your response must be.

It also depends upon how much time you have. Just like the cat falling from a higher floor has more time to adjust vs. a cat falling from a lower floor. A small problem where you need to protect yourself with a snap judgment (where you don't have enough time to analyze , reflect and act ) can be more dangerous than a bigger problem where you have time to deal with.

Every business will be impacted by Covid-19. Some worse than others.

But one of the biggest differences in how much permanent damage 2020 will cause is whether a business has to make quick calls to protect itself or it has enough time to calmly deal with the new realities.

Carry on reading ( by clicking read more link) to get more in-depth understanding, this may help you to manage your personal investment risks also.

25th July 2020

Our History Is A Battle Against The Microbes

Humanity's history has been a continuous battle between us and the microbes And for most of our history, we were on the losing side. It wasn't even close. We were losing very decisively.

Billions of children died from infectious diseases. Microbes were the main reason why child mortality was so high: No matter where or when they were born, around half died as children.

The recurring epidemics of influenza, measles, cholera, diphtheria, the bubonic plague, and smallpox also killed large parts of the adult population.

Within just a few years the Black Death killed half of Europe's population. The epidemics – especially of smallpox, but also measles, typhus, and other diseases – that the colonialists brought from Europe with them to the Americas killed often an even larger share of the population in many places.

The world today is obviously very different. Infectious diseases are the cause of fewer than 1-in-6 deaths, and as the world made progress against the microbes our lives became much longer.

Until recently no one knew where diseases came from -The widely accepted idea at the time was the 'Miasma' theory of disease. Miasma, the theory held, was a form of "bad air" that causes disease. The word malaria is a testament to the idea that 'mal aria' – 'bad air' in medieval Italian – is the cause of the disease.

The Unknown

One time, film director Alfred Hitchcock, famous for his movies like Psycho and The Birds, was working on a problem he was having with a scene.

There were a lot of things to consider—lighting, staging, pacing, and the like. He was up late with actor Hume Cronyn and his team struggling to find the right way to do it.

Finally, when they seemed close to the solution, Hitchcock started telling jokes and got everyone off track again. Later, Cronyn asked him why he chose to do that when they were so close to solving the problem. Hitchcock paused before saying, "You were pushing. It never comes from pushing."

A growing literature in the psychology of perception has come to support Hitchcock's actions.

When we let the problem alone, when we embrace the unknown and let the subconscious mind take over, then it has the space it needs to solve the problem itself. It's only by having some distance from the problem that we can see it as a whole and understand what we should be doing with it.

Whenever Albert Einstein was stuck on a problem, he would often take refuge in music, and that would usually resolve his difficulties. After playing, he would get up from his piano saying, "There, now I've got it!"

It is not well known but Einstein, one of history's most celebrated physicists, was a gifted musician. He attributed some of his greatest scientific breakthroughs to his violin-playing breaks, rather than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.

How Social Media Took Us From Tahrir Square To Donald Trump

Social media has played a major role in breaking down what social scientists call "pluralistic ignorance" — the belief that one is alone in one's views when in reality everyone has been collectively silenced. That is why social media had fomented so much rebellion, hate and anger : people who were previously isolated in their dissent found and drew strength from one another.

Power always learns, and powerful tools always fall into its hands. This is a hard lesson of history but a solid one. It is key to understanding how, in seven years, digital technologies have gone from being hailed as tools of freedom and change to being blamed for upheavals in Western democracies and across the world—for enabling increased polarization, rising authoritarianism, and meddling in national elections by Russia and others , by branding politicians in someones that they're not in reality.

Donald Trump, as is widely acknowledged, excels at using Twitter to capture attention. But his campaign also excelled at using Facebook as it was designed to be used by advertisers, testing messages on hundreds of thousands of people and microtargeting them with the ones that worked best. Facebook had embedded its own employees within the Trump campaign to help it use the platform effectively (and thus spend a lot of money on it), but they were also impressed by how well Trump himself performed. In later internal memos, reportedly, Facebook would dub the Trump campaign an “innovator” that it might learn from. Facebook also offered its services to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but it chose to use them much less than Trump's did.

Digital tools have figured significantly in political upheavals around the world in the past few years, including others that left elites stunned: Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and the far right’s gains in Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Poland, France, and elsewhere. Facebook helped Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte with his election strategy and was even cited in a UN report as having contributed to the ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

18th July 2020

What’s shaking? Earthquake detection with submarine cables

Is it possible to detect earthquakes with submarine cables? People at Google think it might be. A recent experiment using one of Google's subsea fiber optic cables showed that it could be useful for earthquake and tsunami warning systems around the globe.

The secret lies in its network of fiber optic cables.

Fiber optic cables connect far-flung continents along the ocean floor, and much of the internet’s international traffic travels over these cables. Google’s global network of undersea cables makes it possible to share, search, send, and receive information around the world at the speed of light.

These cables are built using optical fibers that carry data as pulses of light traveling at 204,190 kilometers per second. The pulsing light encounters distortions as it travels thousands of kilometers across the cable. At the receiving end, the light pulses are detected, and the distortions are corrected by digital signal processing. One of the properties of light that are tracked as part of the optical transmission is the state of polarization (SOP). The SOP changes in response to mechanical disturbances along the cable and tracking these disturbances can enable Google to detect seismic activity.

Here We Are: 5 Stories That Got Us To Now

Why the world is so angry, so polarised, so uncertain and why the average people are choosing merit-less people as their leaders just out of frustration!

This article is about how that idea applies to 2020.

Everyone is innocently short-sighted when trying to make sense of 2020.

January, before Covid-19 upended everything, feels like a different lifetime. March is already a blur. Time slows when you experience surprise, and every day of 2020 brings a new shock. So the recent past feels like distant history.

But if you survey the confusing mess we’re in – hundred million jobs lost, 600,000 dead, Tesla stock up 400%, suffering economy but stock markets going up – you have to remember that none of this has happened in a vacuum.

Every event has parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins in previous events that planted the seeds, passed on their DNA, and continue to influence what’s happening today.

To have any hope of making sense of what’s happening in 2020, we have to pay attention to a bunch of seemingly unrelated stories that began before anyone had heard of Covid-19.

Here are five that seem particularly important. To read more, click on the link.

Interesting website

Let's face it.We're all stuck in our homes , indoors!

And it's going to take a while till we travel again.

This website is there to help you to see the world while sitting at your home. It allows you to experience the world by allowing you to look through someone's else window.

Try it and indulge yourself by exploring this beautiful planet from the windows of different homes.

Water knows the answers

Can water think? Can it learn?

Have you ever thought that water can have emotions? Can it become happy or sad depending upon the circumstances !

Acting on a whim, one scientist named Emoto wondered what would happen when water crystals are exposed to music. He was taken aback by the results, which showed that when a bottle of water is placed between two speakers playing classical music like Beethoven's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor or his Pastorale, beautiful and bright crystal hexagons were formed.

But when exposed to heavy rock music with angry lyrics filled with curse words, the crystals shattered into small pieces.

Emoto continued his research by placing a typed label reading "thank you" on one bottle and "you fool" on another and left them both overnight.

11th July 2020

Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success. Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success.

1. Compound yourself
2. Have almost too much self-belief
3. Learn to think independently
4. Get good at “sales”
5. Make it easy to take risks
6. Focus
7. Work hard
8. Be bold
9. Be hard to compete with
10. Be willful
11. Build a network
12. You get rich by owning things
13. Be internally driven

Click on the link to dive deeper into each of these points.

Why Do People Avoid Facts That Could Help Them?

Several studies suggest that individuals widely prefer to remain ignorant about the information that would benefit them when it’s painful—and sometimes when it’s pleasurable.

We often prefer to avoid learning information that could cause us pain. Investors are less likely to log on to their stock portfolios on days when the market is down. And one laboratory experiment found that subjects who were informed that they were rated less attractive than other participants were willing to pay money not to find out their exact rank.

Information avoidance can be a problem, of course, if it keeps us from learning things that would help us make smarter choices (those regarding our health, for example, or our finances). But declining to learn available information does allow us to forego some of the suffering that knowing the future may cause—and to enjoy the sense of suspense that pleasurable events provide. There seems to be some magic in the maybe.

How to build 1000 Restaurants in 24 months — The REBEL method

Understanding a different business model and especially those that belong to the so-called "new-age' can sometimes give you newer insights for your own business.

Rebel Foods, a cloud kitchen, and food delivery startup asked themselves a question: “HOW CAN WE BUILD 1000 RESTAURANTS IN 24 MONTHS? AND 10000 OF THEM IN 5 YEARS?” While a normal restaurant business would never ask such a question, they did. And now that they have achieved the first milestone, they thought it would be a good time to reflect on their journey so far and offer some insights into what they have accomplished and how they can continue to blaze new trails into the future.

The philosophy behind their business model :

The explosive growth of food delivery, led by aggregators and of the sales of restaurant brands worldwide (check McDonalds and Domino’s global sales and value growth over the last few years), point to one thing: just like every other consumer industry, Food and the business of restaurants is undergoing a structural shift wherein there are two parts — The Brand and The Distribution.

In every industry — from FMCG to Durables, Clothing, Travel, and Entertainment, there are strong global brand owners (Unilever, Nike, Disney, Marriott) and strong retailers (Walmart, Amazon, Expedia, Netflix). Until just five years ago, Food was the only vertical where the brand owner and retailer/distributor were the same — you walked into a Starbucks for a coffee or a McDonalds for a burger. That is changing rapidly. Today there are Restaurant Brands and Distributors (Swiggy, Zomato, Ubereats, FoodPanda, Doordash). Of course, like every other consumer sector, there will be private labels from retailers / distributors and brand owners will have some retail presence, but the broad split will be there. Otherwise Amazon would also be Apple and Mariott would be Expedia.

This is an irreversible shift.

4th July 2020

Why is Gold Valuable?

Gold, despite its shiny exterior, it is intrinsically worthless as well as useless as compared to other metals.

Outside of its limited uses in electronics and dentistry, gold only has value in human society because it is gold and not something else.

This is why over 80% of annual global gold demand is for jewelry and investment purpose and not for industrial use.

But still, from ancient civilizations to modern times, gold has been used to showcase status among neighbors, to display power among rulers, and to facilitate trade among nations.

But why gold? Why not aluminum? Or iron? Or something else entirely?

And, more importantly, should you be investing in gold?

Why or why not?

The Paradox of Skill

Success in life is a combination of luck and skill, but it’s tough to figure out when one plays a bigger role.

Michael Mauboussin tries to go into the depth of this question in his book named The Success Equation. In an interview, he talked about the central idea of this book :

"The key is this idea called the paradox of skill. As people become better at an activity, the difference between the best and the average and the best and the worst becomes much narrower. As people become more skillful, luck becomes more important. That’s precisely what happens in the world of investing.

The reason that luck is so important isn’t that investing skill isn’t relevant. It’s that skill is very high and consistent. That said, over longer periods, skill has a much better chance of shining through.

In the short term, you may experience good or bad luck [and that can outrun skill], but in the long term luck tends to even out and skill determines results."

Here are a few takeaways from this book on this subject :

The paradox of skill is that increased competition increases the importance of luck. People get better at doing something, as they get more skills and the performance becomes more consistent, the luck gains importance as the difference in skills shrinks between top performers.

For example, luck plays an important role in a game of cricket between Australia and India as both teams consist of highly skilled individuals whereas luck may not have any role to play in a match between the Indian team and a team from a small town. Indian team would win just on the basis of the fact that its players have better skills than a local team.

Has Warren Buffett Lost His Touch?’

Who hasn't heard of Warren Buffett—one of the world's richest people, consistently ranking high on Forbes' list of billionaires? Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.

His net worth was listed at $89.1 billion as of early 2020. Buffett is known as a businessman and philanthropist. But he's probably best known for being one of the world's most successful investors. This is why it's not surprising that Warren Buffett's investment strategy has reached mythical proportions.

Buffet follows several important tenets and an investment philosophy that is widely followed around the globe. So just what are the secrets to his success?

But off late, there is a steady stream of articles and TV-talks about how Warren Buffett is no longer the same person and he has lost touch of his magic.

This all started when Warren Buffett dumped all US airline stocks, saying that 'world has changed' after Covid-19. But airline stock prices went up to within a month after his announcement of sales.

What is the truth? Is it true that Warren has lost his charisma and is no longer the same skillful investor that he used to be for decades?

In this article, the author tries to figure out the truth and it contains several life lessons for you and me and these lessons are applicable in all aspects of life.

27th June 2020

Why Athletes Need a ‘Quiet Eye’

Psychologists and neuroscientists have now identified some of the common mental processes that mark out elite athletes such as Williams, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods.

And one of the most intriguing aspects appears to be a phenomenon known as the “quiet eye” – a kind of enhanced visual perception that allows the athlete to eliminate any distractions as they plan their next move. Intriguingly, the quiet eye appears to be particularly important at times of stress, preventing the athlete from ‘choking’ at moments of high pressure. It may even lead to the mysterious ‘flow state’.

If anyone knows how to grab a victory from the jaws of defeat, it’s Serena Williams. Just consider her semi-final against Kim Clijsters at the 2003 Australian Open. At 5-2 down in the final set, she was within a hair’s breadth of losing her place in the tournament. But rather than slipping into despair, she saved two match points before winning the next five games. Somehow, each service and each return landed just where she wanted them to – and she would ultimately go on to win the whole tournament.

A single such feat would be an exceptional occurrence in any career, but Williams has since made similarly breath-taking comebacks at the Australian Open in 2005, at Wimbledon in 2009, and at the China Open in 2014, managing to pull back even when her opponents are serving a match point. In each case, the extreme pressure, rather than causing her to crumble, only seemed to sharpen her concentration.

It’s not just budding sportsmen and sportswomen who should take note. The same laser-sharp focus can help doctors maintain their focus as they perform keyhole surgery, and it is of increasing interest to the military as well as for the people who need to consistently perform at higher levels.

The Depth of Privilege

To live a happy and meaningful life, all should take a step back and recognize the depth of privilege (extra advantage ) in our lives.

This extra-advantage that you may have goes beyond growing up with wealth or having more opportunities than others.

Privilege is also in the color of your skin, the city you grew up in, the caste you're born and so much more.

If I can see it in mine, maybe you can see it in yours.

Once you acknowledge that extra advantage in your life ( that you got just by chance), it is so much easier to provide support and help bring about real change for those who didn’t have the same opportunities.

But the problem is that once you grow up with certain advantages, their presence can be hard to notice. It reminds me of the beginning of David Foster Wallace’s "This is Water" :

"There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

When More Information Leads to More Uncertainty

Research has shown that people are calmer and less agitated when they know they are going to receive an electric shock than when they know there is a 50% chance they might receive an electric shock. Similarly, the threat of perceived job insecurity has a more detrimental health effect than actually losing a job.

As humans, we find uncertainty to be an avoidable state and are motivated to reduce it, even at a cost. Feeling uncertain is not a natural state of being for us — it signals to the brain that things are not right. The brain then seeks out information to resolve the uncertainty.

This desire for resolution is why feelings of uncertainty lead us to process information more systematically and deeply in the hope of finding answers.

The feeling of uncertainty and its effects can be felt more clearly in current days. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic leaves us in a quandary: Our natural instinct is to try to resolve our intense feelings of uncertainty, but there is so much uncertainty around the virus and its effects that a quest for complete resolution is futile. So what can we do?

First, it is important to understand that uncertainty is multi-dimensional. There are at least three types of uncertainty: probability, ambiguity, and complexity. To cope with each, we have identified several strategies, both cognitive (to more effectively process and make sense of information) and emotional (to mitigate the stress and anxiety that result from uncertainty).

20th June 2020

Urbanomics - Re-aligning global value chains

Why shifting from China is not easy & what steps can be taken to achieve that goal ?

Sample Tim Cook himself on why Apple is so focused on manufacturing in China.

The number one reason why we like to be in China is the people. China has extraordinary skills. And the part that's the most unknown is there are almost two million application developers in China that write apps for the iOS App Store. These are some of the most innovative mobile apps in the world, and the entrepreneurs that run them are some of the most inspiring and entrepreneurial in the world.

Another feature of China's manufacturing prowess is the localization of specific export sectors in a single city or county. There are more than 500 such specialized towns, with some being responsible for 63% of the world's shoes, 70% of its spectacles, and 90% of its energy-saving lamps.

But India has to get several things in order before it can become a serious contender. It faces several headwinds as it grapples with efforts to attract companies. For a start, it is currently not anywhere near being a serious proposition for those looking to move out of China.

Princeton University’s 2012 Baccalaureate Remarks

Life’s outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.

A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problems to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward.

But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency, the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end, all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt.

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I’m sure lots of other human behavior. In a general sort of way, you have been appointed the leader of the group. Your appointment may not be entirely arbitrary. But you must sense its arbitrary aspect: you are the lucky few. Lucky in your parents, lucky in your country, lucky that a place like Princeton exists that can take in lucky people, introduce them to other lucky people, and increase their chances of becoming even luckier.

Lucky that you live in the richest society the world has ever seen, in a time when no one actually expects you to sacrifice your interests to anything.

Kafka and the Doll: The Pervasiveness of Loss

Too often we hold on to something so tight or focus so intently on its loss, that we don’t notice all the other wonderful aspects of life that are still there, or are waiting for us to grasp.

Let's read this story to understand this human behavior deeply. The story name is 'Kafka And The Travelling Doll'.

It won the National Award for Children’s Literature in 2007, Kafka and the traveling doll has already become a classic of the Spanish literature.

To give you a taste of the story before you click the read more button, here's the summary. It says:

“Everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

13th June 2020

Why We’re Blind to Probability

Most people get that certainty in life is rare, and the best you can do is make decisions where the odds are in your favor.

Most people understand you can be smart and end up wrong, or dumb and end up right because that’s how life and risk work.

But strangely most of the people understand it only in their own context, in the realm of their own lives and in the lives of their near and dear ones. But when it comes to judging others, they behave differently.

Almost no one actually uses probability in the real world, especially when judging others’ success.

Most of what people care about is, “Were you right or wrong?”

Probability is about nuance and gradation. But in the real world, people pay attention to black and white.

If you said something will happen and it happens, you were right.

If you said it will happen and it doesn’t, you’re wrong.

That’s how people think, because it doesn’t take much effort to think it.

Why Everybody Needs An Inner Citadel

Nobody is born with a steel backbone. We have to forge that ourselves.

By age twelve, Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of US,he remains the youngest person to become President of United States) had spent almost every day of his short life struggling with horrible asthma. Despite his privileged birth, his life hung in a precarious balance—the attacks were an almost nightly near-death experience. Tall, gangly, and frail, the slightest exertion would upset the entire balance and leave him bedridden for weeks. One day his father came into his room and delivered a message that would change the young boy’s life: “Theodore, you have the mind but haven’t got the body. I’m giving you the tools to make your body. It’s going to be hard drudgery and I think you have the determination to go through with it.”

You’d think that would be lost on a child, especially a fragile one born into great wealth and status. But according to Roosevelt’s younger sister, who witnessed the conversation, it wasn’t. His response, using what would become his trademark cheerful grit, was to look at his father and say with determination: “I’ll make my body.”

At the gym that his father built on the second-floor porch, young Roosevelt proceeded to work out feverishly every day for the next five years, slowly building muscle and strengthening his upper body against his weak lungs and for the future. By his early twenties the battle against asthma was essentially over, he’d worked—almost literally—that weakness out of his body.

Why Bad is Stronger Than Good (There is No Opposite of Trauma)

The bad stuff always sticks with us more than the good stuff. Losses make us feel worse than gains make us feel good. Your favorite team losing at the buzzer will stay with you for a lifetime while the feeling from winning a championship eventually wears off.

Bad is stronger than good.

Research shows the following:

Disliking trumps liking. One study found living near other people increased the likelihood two people would become enemies more strongly than it predicted the likelihood they would become friends.

Negative events are covered more than positive events. This is obvious every time you turn on the news but holds for academic research too.

Bad reputations are easier to acquire than good reputations. Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” A bad reputation can stick with you for a lifetime while good reputations can be ruined with a single act.

Bad events take longer to wear off than good ones. A famous study from the 1970s interviewed 3 groups of people: (1) lottery winners, (2) people who were paralyzed in an accident and (3) people who hadn’t experienced a life-changing event like this. They then waited a year or so before interviewing the lottery winners and accident victims.

When quantifying the happiness of the 3 groups, the lottery winners were no happier than the other participants. The euphoria of winning the lottery didn’t last and ironically, these people reported finding more areas of unhappiness from the reduction in the enjoyment of life’s little pleasures.

6th June 2020

What Will It Take to Reopen the World to Travel?

Some regular travelers have learned that they can be perfectly happy not traveling at all.

Paul Davies, a respected physicist who teaches at Arizona State University, spent years bouncing around to science conferences and lectures. But when the pandemic hit, he was in Sydney, Australia, where he used to live — and that is where he was quite happy to remain.

Paul noted that during World War II, when travel was severely constricted, great discoveries occurred as the world’s sharpest minds stayed home and mulled the universe.

“Many of us have been saying for years that we have too many committees, far too many meetings and not nearly enough quiet thinking time,” Professor Davies said

What are the ethics of using young blood to reverse the effects of aging?

In June 2015, Stanford biologist Tony Wyss-Coray took the TED stage to describe no less than “an absolutely amazing development in aging research” (How young blood might help reverse aging. Yes, really). His research has shown that proteins found in the blood of younger mice can dramatically reverse the effects of aging when given to older mice.

If turning back the clock on our bodies is as simple as infusing ourselves with “young blood,” won’t young blood become a commodity? And if it does, what will that mean for the world’s most vulnerable children? “I am petrified to think of the industry this would create,” wrote Todd L. in response to Wyss-Coray’s talk. “Think of how third-world children are treated now for inexpensive electronics and clothes. They would be treated like cattle to have their plasma harvested.”

As India Becomes Wealthier, More Indians Leave Its Shores

An estimated 17 million Indians were living abroad in 2017, making India the largest source country for international migrants globally, up from 7 million in 1990 and a 143% increase, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs.

India received the largest remittances in 2017 globally (the country has the largest number of international migrants, 7 million more than China), with close to $70 billion landing in the country’s banks accounts.

30th May 2020

The Three Sides of Risk

This is a beautiful article about risks in life. In this, the author tells s story of two friends with whom he regularly took the risk of skiing out of bounds at the resort they frequented as teens. One day, his friends went out for a second run while he begged off for no particular reason, and a freak avalanche took their lives. Here’s author's summation:

I don’t know if Brendan and Bryan’s death actually affected how I invest. But it opened my eyes to the idea that there are three distinct sides of risk:

The odds you will get hit.(Probability)

The average consequences of getting hit. (Does not impact much)

The tail-end consequences of getting hit. (Ultimate risk)

The first two are easy to grasp. It’s the third that’s hardest to learn, and can often only be learned through experience.

We knew we were taking risks when we skied. We knew that going out of bounds was wrong and that we might get caught. But at 17 years old we figured the consequences of risk meant our coaches might yell at us. Maybe we’d get our season pass revoked for the year.

Never, not once, did we think we’d pay the ultimate price.

But once you go through something like that, you realize that the tail-end consequences – the low-probability, high-impact events – are all that matter. In life, the average consequences of risk make up most of the daily news headlines. But the tail-end consequences of risk – like pandemics, and depressions – are what make the pages of history books. They’re all that matter.

You Can't Predict. You Can Prepare.

"Hey," you might say, "that's contradictory. The best way to prepare for cycles is to predict them, and you just said it can't be done."

In my opinion, the key to dealing with the future lies in knowing where you are, even if you can't know precisely where you're going. You should try to know where you're in the cycle and try to guess about the next phase.

These cycles can be economic cycles, in companies, or these can be cycles of personal fortune. Let's understand a few things about the cycles:

-Cycles are inevitable. Every once in a while, an up-or down-leg goes on for a long time.

- Cycles are self-correcting, and their reversal is not necessarily dependent on exogenous events. The reason they reverse (rather than going on forever) is that trends create the reasons for their own reversal. Thus I like to say success carries within itself the seeds of failure, and failure the seeds of success.

- Cycles' clout is heightened by the inability of the participants to remember the past

Role of Luck in Success -At Different Levels ?

Success is generally measured on following 4 parameters of wealth :

1. Financial Wealth -How much money you have

2. Social Wealth – How many people you can influence

3. Time Freedom- How much freedom you have to spend your own time

4. Physical Wealth -How much healthy you are

This article puts the successful people in 3 categories -

1. Relatively Successful people
2. Super Successful people
3. Absolutely successful people

You may get to know about where you're in the context of the overall world and how luck plays a role in anyone's success and at what level.

23rd May 2020

Don’t Sell a Product, Sell a Whole New Way of Thinking

We all know the story. A company creates a groundbreaking new innovation after years of hard work and spending a huge amount of money. When it is eventually launched in the market, there is an initial flurry of sales to early adopters, but then the sales stop growing? What happens?

The problem is that data, information, and value propositions are not enough to sell innovative products. We all know the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But when it comes to innovation, the truth is often “I’ll see it when I believe it.” To sell your idea to buyers, and users, you have to change not only what they think, but how they think.

Mental models are how the brain makes sense of the vast amount of information to be processed every moment of every day. They are the lens through which we see the world. The filter that separates the signal from noise. If your product does not fit the current mental model of your customers, the acceptance would be either absent or it would be slow.

The 3 Stages of Failure in Life and Work (And How to Fix Them)

Telling someone to never give up is terrible advice. Successful people give up all the time. If something is not working, smart people don’t repeat it endlessly. They revise. They adjust. They pivot. They quit. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

On the one hand, perseverance and grit are key to achieving success in any field. Anyone who masters their craft will face moments of doubt and somehow find the inner resolve to keep going. If you want to build a successful business or learn a new skill then “sticking with it” is perhaps the most critical trait to possess.

Life requires both strategies. Sometimes you need to display unwavering confidence and double down on your efforts. Sometimes you need to abandon the things that aren’t working and try something new. The key question is: how do you know when to give up and when to stick with it?

The 3 Stages of Failure framework will help you navigate the tricky decision of deciding when to quit and when to stick with it.

Humming Bird (Butterfly) Effect !

Have you heard about Butterfly Effect?

The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. It is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings in one place and causing a typhoon at some distant location.

Of course, a single act like the butterfly flapping its wings cannot cause a typhoon. Small events can, however, serve as catalysts for something big to start.

A senior manager abusing one employee in a far-off location can have a long-lasting impact on an organization’s future if it blows up in today’s age of social media and fast communication. Similarly, a small incident of violence against a community in one part can lead to riots across the country.

You giving positive feedback to a team member on Monday could mean that he comes in with just a bit more energy on Tuesday, talks to the customers in a more positive way and that’s a small act of positive comment wins over a big new deal for the company.

How to 80/20 Your Life

The 80/20 Principle became a popular management tool that was used widely to increase efficiency and effectiveness within businesses and industries.

It’s still widely taught today.

But few people think to apply the 80/20 Principle to everyday life or the ramifications it could have.

For instance:

What are the 20% of your possessions you get the most value out of?
What do you spend 20% of your time doing that gives you 80% of your happiness?
Who are the 20% of people you’re close to who make you the happiest?
What are the 20% of the clothes you wear 80% of the time?
What’s 20% of the food you eat 80% of the time?

Chances are these are easy questions for you to answer. You’ve just never considered them before.

And once you’ve answered them, you can easily focus on increasing the efficiencies in your life. For instance, 80% of people you spend time with only add 20% of the pleasure in your life (spend less time with them). 80% of the crap you use 20% of the time (throw it out or sell it). 80% of the clothes you wear 20% of the time (same thing).

16th May 2020

In Defense of Being Average

There are over 7.2 billion people on this planet, and really only about 1,000 of those have major worldwide influence at any given time. That leaves the other 7,199,999,000 +/- of us to come to terms with the limited scope of our lives and the fact that the vast majority of what we do will likely not matter long after we’ve died. This is not a fun thing to think about or accept.

Let’s take a detour from our “make more, buy more, fuck more” culture and let’s argue for the merits of mediocrity, of being blasé boring and average.

It is not at all about the merits of pursuing mediocrity, mind you — because we all should try to do the best we possibly can — but rather, the merits of accepting mediocrity when we end up there despite our best efforts.

The Japanese art principle that teaches how to work with failure

“Good is the enemy of great” is one of the most popular self-improvement expressions there is. It sounds appealing and rolls off the tongue nicely, but there’s a good chance it’s downright wrong.

Like a favorite cup or plate, people sometimes crack. Many a times we all feel broken.

Obviously, we cannot throw ourselves away when this happens. Instead, we can relish the blemishes and learn to turn these scars into art—like kintsugi (金継ぎ), an ancient Japanese practice that beautifies broken pottery.

The kintsugi approach instead makes the most of what already is, highlights the beauty of what we do have, flaws and all, rather than leaving us eternally grasping for more, different, other, better.

It’s absurd to be embarrassed about missteps and failures in our lives because they happen to everyone, and they are not entirely bad.

Everything you do—good, bad, and ugly—can serve as a lesson, even if it’s one you would never want to repeat again. Indeed, errors can be the most important and effective experiences of all.

Tipping Point – How Few Things Become Popular?

We all have experienced it – on several occasions some ideas, products, messages, and certain behaviors become very popular -suddenly and unexpectedly.

Certain products become fashionable, crime rates go down or up, and certain cults find millions of new followers.

This phenomenon is called a social epidemic. The moment at which a social epidemic goes from almost-absent to become the latest-fad is called a “Tipping Point.”

9th May 2020

Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug

You would be surprised to know that till 16th century , the large enterprises used to give beer & wine breaks to their workers so that they can overcome the fatigue of physical labor .

But alcohol’s effects became a problem when work involved machines or numbers, as more and more of it did.

Enter coffee, a drink that not only was safer than beer and wine but turned out to improve performance and stamina.

It’s probably no coincidence that coffee and tea arrived at roughly the same historical moment when work was moving indoors.

But their is a dark history behind how this shrub (coffee ) that is neither edible nor particularly beautiful or easy to grow became of one of the most valuable traded crop across the globe.

The coffee growing converted small land owners into laborers and slaves in most part of the globe.

Why Is the Human Brain So Efficient?

The brain is complex; in humans it consists of about 100 billion neurons, making on the order of 100 trillion connections!

Moreover, the brain can accomplish all these tasks (with the help of the body it controls) with power consumption about tenfold less than a personal computer.

You may wonder sometimes on how brain can be so efficient !

You can read more about the intricacies of brain in this article as well as you may get to know on how scientists are trying to learn from the functionality of brain and using that knowledge to improve the functioning of computers.

What’s Halo Effect /Error?

Halo Effect ( also known as Halo error) refers to our behavior when we see one agreeable characteristic in something or someone and we tend to believe that other characteristics of that person ( or that thing ) are also agreeable.

Marketers take advantage of the halo effect to sell their products and services. They employ celebrities to endorse products, our positive impressions of that individual in a specific field spread to our perceptions of the product itself.

Politicians happen to use Halo Effect in a very obvious manner- by using local language and manners for greeting, by wearing local dress, by praising local heroes and history, by eating at homes of the locals. And locals believe that the said candidate is one of our own, eats, wears and thinks like us.

Humans Aren’t Designed to Be Happy – So Stop Trying

Humans are not designed to be happy, or even content.

Instead, we are designed primarily to survive and reproduce, like every other creature in the natural world.

Nature discourages a state of contentment is discouraged among humans because it would lower our guard against possible threats to our survival.

The fact that evolution has prioritised the development of a big frontal lobe in our brain (which gives us excellent executive and analytical abilities) over a natural ability to be happy, tells us a lot about nature’s priorities.

It seems ‘happiness’ also seems to be an aspirational product , popularized by large corporates to make profit out of it !

A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal.

Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture.

2nd May 2020

Wheat People vs. Rice People

AMERICANS and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for their sense of ourselves as individuals.

They like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made.

On the other hand , people in the rest of the world are more likely to understand themselves as interwoven with other people — as interdependent, not independent. In such social worlds, your goal is to fit in and adjust yourself to others, not to stand out.

This difference also has a negative impact on health — feeling bad about yourself — has big, persistent consequences for your body if you are a Westerner.

Those effects are less powerful if you are Japanese, possibly because the Japanese are more likely to attribute the feelings to their larger situation and not to blame themselves.

A study ascribes these different orientations to the social worlds created by wheat farming and rice farming. Rice is a finicky crop. Because rice paddies need standing water, they require complex irrigation systems that have to be built and drained each year.

One farmer’s water use affects his neighbor’s yield. A community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.

Not wheat farmers. Wheat needs only rainfall, not irrigation. To plant and harvest it takes half as much work as rice does, and substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

Few bits of Unsolicited Advice

Always demand a deadline. A deadline weeds out the extraneous and the ordinary. It prevents you from trying to make it perfect, so you have to make it different. Different is better.

Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.

If you desperately need a job, you are just another problem for a boss; if you can solve many of the problems the boss has right now, you are hired. To be hired, think like your boss.

When someone is nasty, rude, hateful, or mean with you, pretend they have a disease. That makes it easier to have empathy toward them which can soften the conflict.

Inversion -Thinking Backwards

We generally think about and solve problems by thinking in a forward way.

Example:

How do I lose weight?

How do I get more customers?

How do I succeed in my career?

Try to think about these in a backward manner!

How not to gain weight!

How not to lose customers!

How not to fail in my career!

This process is known as inversion- addressing the problems backward. By inversion thinking, you come across certain behavior that you would like to avoid – the behavior which leads to weight -gain, loss of customers and not succeeding in a career.

If somebody hired me to fix India, I would immediately say, “What could I do if I really wanted to hurt India?” And I’d figure out all the things that could most easily hurt India, and then I’d figure out how to avoid them.”

How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail

On first impression, Costco makes no sense . But if you dive deep , then you would realize that Costco is a very obvious example of inverse thinking .

Most retailers consider it crazy to charge customers money for the right to wander through their doors and buy stuff.Yet, Costco’s members gladly pay annual fees ($60 for “Gold Star” and $120 for “Executive”) because they believe that having access to the chain’s economies of scale and bulk quantities justifies the upfront cost.

This philosophy often anguishes Costco’s shareholders — but it has also earned the company a cult following around the world.

At a time when traditional retail is crumbling at the feet of e-commerce, Costco has experienced steady growth.

How did this nondescript chain of warehouses find success?

Read Better, Think Better,Be Above Average

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