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?
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
25th April 2020
Why Does Pessimism Sound So Smart?
Pessimism isn't just more common than optimism, it also sounds smarter. It's intellectually captivating, and paid more attention to than the optimist who is often viewed as an oblivious sucker.
Optimism sounds like a sales pitch, while pessimism sounds like someone trying to help you.
Pessimism is "SELL, GET OUT, RUN," which grabs your attention because it's an action you need to take right now.
Optimism is mostly, "Don't worry, stay the course, we'll be alright," which is easy to ignore since it doesn't require doing anything.
All You Need Are a Few Small Wins Every Day
Trees that grow tall and live long grow slowly—especially at first—but then grow steadily.
They may be underground a long time, and a vulnerable sapling for longer still, but like a good idea or a new habit, once the roots are in, they’re hard to dislodge. So it goes with businesses and net worths.
Plutarch tells the story of a rich Delian ship-owner who was asked how he built his fortune. “The greater part came quite easily,” he said, “but the first, smaller part took time and effort.”
Creating anything of consequence or magnitude requires deliberate, incremental and consistent work. At the beginning, these efforts might not look like they are amounting to much. But with time, they accumulate and then compound on each other.
In one of his most famous letters to Lucilius, Seneca gives a pretty simple prescription for the good life. “Each day,” he wrote, “acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes, as well and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day.”
One gain per day. That’s it.
Creator Or Consumer -Who Are You?
Richest people in the world are creators or the people who propagate/improvise or sell the original ideas/products/services created by the creators.
Absolute success comes to those who think like creators, creating something that the world needs, improving something that the world consumes – and that too on a scale.
18th April 2020
Is It Time To Panic ?
It’s not time to panic. In fact, it’s never time to panic.
It’s in our DNA to feel fear when threatened—but, we have to first recognize it, then control it before it controls us. Once we lose control, it’s game over.
But most of our panic -attacks don’t happen to be in life-and-death situations . Most of these fearsome moments happen to be related to the times where our expectations are met with some diametric opposite results.
There is a lesson for very one from the divers , the divers who happen to be in life & death situation more often than average people .
A great diver learns to stand down his emotions. At the moment he becomes lost or blinded or tangled or trapped, that instant when millions of years of evolution demand fight or flight and narcosis carbes order from his brain, he dials down his fear and contracts into the moment until his breathing slows and his narcosis lightens and his reason returns. In this way he overcomes his humanness and becomes something else.
In this way, liberated from instincts, he becomes a freak of nature.
Avoid the Zeros
Why Avoiding Bad Decisions is More Important Than Making Great Decisions.
Most of you must have read the story of Hare & Tortoise .
For those that aren’t familiar, the story centers around a race between a fast, arrogant rabbit and his much slower, shelled counterpart. But what makes this race intriguing is that, after gaining a sizable lead, the hare decides to take a nap during the race, believing that his victory is all but assured.
Unfortunately, the hare wakes to find that the tortoise has passed him. Despite making a mad dash toward the finish line, the hare comes up short and loses the race. While most people see the moral of the story as “don’t be overconfident” or “slow and steady wins the race,” .
I see it as a warning against terrible decision making. After all, it is the hare’s bad decisions and not the tortoise’s good decisions that lead to the hare’s defeat.
In a winner’s game, the outcome is determined by the correct actions of the winner.
In a loser’s game the outcome is determined by the mistakes made by the loser.
The Long Game - Power Of Compounding !
Power of compounding - it is time to remember it again as remembering an important lesson of life is also an act of compounding good thoughts in our life .
Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits.
Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits.
Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits.
Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits.
You get what you repeat.
Cultivating passion and purpose in life
Society tells you that if you work hard-er, success will come your way.
It doesn’t matter that the original ideas behind these themes are much more nuanced.
There’s more to success than hard work and natural skill. Passion and purpose matter. The great thing is that passion and purpose can be cultivated.
It feels like, if you aren’t successful (enough), you just aren’t working hard enough. You are to blame.
But there is way more to the story
11th April 2020
Why is gold useful? Because it is useless
Gold is useful because it is useless.
Because it is useless that’s why it is valuable as an asset !
Well to understand this self -contradiction , put your thinking hat and start reading . Let’s first look why and what we hoard ( you must be hoarding few things in these lockdown days .
If you tried to hoard onions and not gold, that would definitely not go down well with your neighbours, especially in an environment where there is scarcity.
The same would be true if you want to buy and hold copper. Industries that use copper won’t like it.
The same can be true if you buy and hold some form of grain such as rice or wheat.
In a world where nearly 79 million people are being added to the dinner table every year, hoarding grain would definitely not go down well.
And that’s why people hoard gold, whenever they feel that there is likelihood of their money losing value.
The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Everything that has done so much to connect us has simultaneously isolated us.
We are so busy being distracted that we are forgetting to tend to ourselves, which is consequently making us feel more and more.
It’s the fear of nothingness — our addiction to a state of not-being-bored.
Almost everybody thinks of themselves as self-aware.
They think they know how they feel and what they want and what their problems are. But the truth is that very few people really do.
And those that do will be the first to tell how fickle self-awareness is and how much alone time it takes to get there.
In today’s world, people can go their whole lives without truly digging beyond the surface-level masks they wear; in fact, many do.
We are increasingly out of touch with who we are, and that’s a problem.
The Feynman Technique Of Learning Anything
Have you stopped learning new things or you have stopped learning because you struggle to learn new things ?
If you struggle to learn new things but you’re passionate about learning , one can use Feynman Technique.
Richard Feynman was a Nobel prize-winning scientist and he was also known as “Great Explainer”.
Feynman Technique, also known as Feynman Mental-Model is considered a technique to help you learn pretty much understand anything – to understand concepts you always struggle to deal with, to remember stuff you have already learned, or to study more efficiently.
20 Rules for Markets and Investing
Few good insights in investing :-
-There is no reward without risk. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
-The longer your holding period, the higher your odds of success.
-Concentration = fastest way to build wealth & fastest way to destroy it.
-Saving is more important than investing. No savings = no investing.
And many more ,go through the linked article.
4th April 2020
Cut out everything that’s not surprising
People only really learn when they’re surprised.
If they’re not surprised, then what you told them just fits in with what they already know.
No minds were changed.
No new perspective.
Just more information.
Why Time Has Slowed
A lot of this lately:
“I used to dream of a limitless holiday because I was in this high stress job,” he says. “Now that I have it and I’m disturbed by it."
A limitless holiday only feels good when you can do what you want and everybody else still has to be in their normal lives.
Time seems to have slowed down.
March felt like it lasted longer than some years. February feels like a different lifetime.
It’s not just you.
Everyone I talk to feels the same.
High Agency ,Low Agency People
When Hanibal, one of the greatest commanders of history was told that crossing the Alps was impossible, he responded,’Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” (I shall either find a way or make one).
This is how high agency people respond to bad odds, to frustrating situations or whenever they are caught in big doubts.
High Agency is a sense that the story given to you by other people about what you can or cannot do is just that – a story.
And the person with High Agency believes that he has control over the story
The Four Rules of Pandemic Economics
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”
With this tweet, President Donald Trump summarized a disturbingly common reaction to social-distancing measures. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick expressed the same sentiment when he told Americans to “get back to work,” even if doing so means more death.
But the balance may lie in the prescription given in this very thoughtful article :ensure it doesn't get worse than "a short and deep slowdown", take steps to avoid the imminent domino effect from one sector to another, focus on household liquidity, bet on science.
Applicable around the world.
28th March 2020
What smartphone photography is doing to our memories
Scientists are finding that constant photo taking actually diminishes our ability to recall our experiences, diverts our attention, and takes us out of the moment. Constantly sharing photos may even be changing how we recall events in our own lives.
At the same time, new research suggests that cameras can also be used to enhance our memories of certain experiences.
This research is in its early stages, but it also provides clues as to how we can best use smartphones: to enhance both our memories of an experience and our enjoyment of them.
If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.
The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 percent of the people. Indeed, a report last year concluded that just eight men had a total wealth equivalent to that of the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people.
Why should so few people have so much wealth?
The conventional answer is that we live in a meritocracy in which people are rewarded for their talent, intelligence, effort, and so on.
Over time, many people think, this translates into the wealth distribution that we observe, although a healthy dose of luck can play a role.
But there is a problem with this idea: while wealth distribution follows a power law, the distribution of human skills generally follows a normal distribution that is symmetric about an average value. For example, intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, follows this pattern. Average IQ is 100, but nobody has an IQ of 1,000 or 10,000.
The same is true of effort, as measured by hours worked. Some people work more hours than average and some work less, but nobody works a billion times more hours than anybody else.
And yet when it comes to the rewards for this work, some people do have billions of times more wealth than other people.
How Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Amazon Learn from Failure
Why so many successful business leaders urge their companies and colleagues to make more mistakes and embrace more failures?
In May, right after he became CEO of Coca-Cola Co., James Quincey called upon rank-and-file managers to get beyond the fear of failure that had dogged the company since the “New Coke” fiasco of so many years ago. “If we’re not making mistakes,” he insisted, “we’re not trying hard enough.”
In June, even as his company was enjoying unparalleled success with its subscribers, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings worried that his fabulously valuable streaming service had too many hit shows and was canceling too few new shows. “Our hit ratio is too high right now,” he told a technology conference. “We have to take more risk…to try more crazy things…we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
Achieving Greatness -Path & Pitfalls
A great person is usually a person who is confident of his abilities, who is optimistic and who is ready to take risks. Now think about some person who failed – you would find the same traits in that person.
The risks are enormous -the qualities which make one person great, same can make him go bust.
21st March 2020
Stocks Are in Chaos. Control the One Thing You Can
Whether the market goes up or down from here, it’s time for an honest assessment about what you can do to minimize your regrets
Inside Saudi Arabia’s Decision to Launch an Oil-Price War
Riyadh prepares emergency budget for oil at $12 to $20 a barrel; ‘It’s all about egos now’.
Oil prices lost a fifth of their value Monday, after Saudi Arabia over the weekend slashed its crude prices and signaled it would boost its output next month.
The move followed Russia’s rejection of a Saudi-backed plan by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut crude output in response to dwindling demand in China and elsewhere
Risk -Few Take-Aways
Risk is what you don’t see coming.
Risk exists in the future, and it’s impossible to know what the future holds. Expectations of the future are formulated on the basis of what happened in the past, but the events of the future may be completely different than what happened in the past (e.g. 9/11, 2008 sub-prime crisis, COVID).
People who usually expect the future to be like the past, they underestimate the potential for change.
Why Avoiding Bad Decisions is More Important Than Making Great Decisions
Hope you have heard the story of Hare & Tortoise ?
The story centers around a race between a fast, arrogant rabbit and his much slower, shelled counterpart. But what makes this race intriguing is that, after gaining a sizable lead, the hare decides to take a nap during the race, believing that his victory is all but assured.
Unfortunately, the hare wakes to find that the tortoise has passed him. Despite making a mad dash toward the finish line, the hare comes up short and loses the race.
While most people see the moral of the story as “don’t be overconfident” or “slow and steady wins the race,” I see it as a warning against terrible decision making. After all, it is the hare’s bad decisions and not the tortoise’s good decisions that lead to the hare’s defeat.
14th March 2020
Why is Friday the 13th unlucky? A look back at the history of this ominous date
There are several beliefs behind many people consider the date and of Friday ,the 13th as unlucky date.
One of the major superstition is related to the the Last Supper, which was attended by 13 people – Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples – on Maundy Thursday, the night before his crucifixion by Roman soldiers on Good Friday.
The number 13 is therefore associated with Judas Iscariot, Christ’s betrayer, and is regarded as imperfect when compared with 12, which represents the number of months in a year.
Why Does Pessimism Sound So Smart?
Pessimist people sound smart to average masses due to several reasons.
It has been observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.
Harvard professor Teresa Amabile shows that those publishing negative book reviews are seen as smarter and more competent than those giving positive reviews of the same book.
“Only pessimism sounds profound. Optimism sounds superficial," she wrote.
What’s Halo Effect /Error?
Halo Effect ( also known as Halo error) refers to our behavior when we see one agreeable characteristic in something and we tend to believe that other characteristics of that person are also agreeable.
For example, if we’re having an argument in a certain group and if someone supports our side of the argument, we start liking that person and start thinking that he is just like us. Although it may not be true in most cases.
Rana’s ‘Yes’ Bank
Your short-term thinking may push you back in the long term.
Lessons from failure of India’s 4th largest bank -Yes Bank .
High roller jailed Yes Bank founder, Rana Kapoor, had a penchant for glitterati, a sharp mind, hard ambition.
Rana Kapoor issued big cheques quick and easy. Was it wilful swagger or plain oversight?
If nobody will lend you money, Rana Kapoor certainly will.
Rise and fall of Rana Kapoor can be summed up by why Bobby Jones once said: "Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots...but you have to play the ball where it lies."
7th March 2020
The Knowledge Trap
But ‘knowledge is power’ is misleading.
There is more knowledge, information, and ideas to make life better than ever before, but millions of people are still not better off with everything we know as humans.
There is more than enough knowledge in this world to change our circumstances, but so many of those who have it — don’t act.
Investors should know how important it is to bet on toy markets.
They’re the ones who have learned, again and again, that the biggest companies start out looking like toys. Amazon was for selling books online when relatively few people used the internet. Google was a search engine in a landscape crowded with search engines that weren’t themselves gigantic businesses. Ebay was for selling beanie babies.
Domino Effect of Early Success
The best sportspersons get the best coaches; the best students get admitted to the best schools, they get the best teachers and the best performers in organizations are provided the best available training.
It also happens in the market place- the books that come into the “best-sellers” list sell more – more sales begets more sales.
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
False beliefs can be useful in a social sense even if they are not useful in a factual sense. For lack of a better phrase, we might call this approach “factually false, but socially accurate.” When we have to choose between the two, people often select friends and family over facts.
This insight not only explains why we might hold our tongue at a dinner party or look the other way when our parents say something offensive, but also reveals a better way to change the minds of others.
29th February 2020
When crowd starts getting into something ,that’s the time to look for something new.
The rewards are there for being early and breaking through before the rest of the crowd.
The rewards for coming later, when the risk is less severe and the tools are more widespread and easily adopted, are significantly diminished.
If you find yourself doing things just because the whole crowd around you is doing them, it may feel safe at the present time, but over the long-term, that safety is not going to yield anything more than the mediocre results everyone else in the crowd will be topping out at.
Being special requires taking a risk and doing something unproven – and difficult – before it becomes just another selfie opportunity for everyone else.
Putting Your Intuition on Ice
Why we don’t change ?
What gets in the way of clear thinking is that we have intuitive views of almost everything.
So as soon as someone presents a problem to me, I have some ready made answer. And many a times I stop listening as I have already made up my mind.
What gets in the way of clear thinking are those ready made answers, and we can’t help but have them.
We have a tendency to form an impression very quickly, and then we spend most of our time confirming it instead of collecting evidence.
Peter Principle -Promotions In Organisations !
The Peter Principle refers to a tendency observed in most of the organization hierarchy – it tells that every employee would rise in an organisation through promotion until he reaches a level of incompetence i.e. he does not have capability to perform at that promoted role and he would stuck in that promotion permanently.
As a result , the world is filled with people who suck at their jobs -they’re incompetent in those position, they will remain where they are and hence would be bit frustrated too.
The Story of Singapore
Few expected Singapore to survive and no one imagined that it can become what it is today when it became an independent country in 1965.
It was a tiny, impoverished island with a diverse population of recent immigrants.
They had little shared history and no natural resources.
Singapore had been colonized, occupied, and abused for over a century, and it was surrounded by hostile nations in a region succumbing to pressure by Communist forces.
22nd February 2020
What Can We Learn from the World’s Happiest People?
If you live in an unhappy place, the best thing you can do is move to a happier place.
If you want to be happy, you have to have what I call a diversified portfolio of life satisfaction and good daily emotions and purpose.
In Denmark ,ambition and status are not celebrated , people are in a position to take a job for passion. They’re spending their days making wonderful furniture, design, architecture, not some job they take because they need health insurance. They’re spending most of their days doing something they enjoy.
The Key to Good Luck Is an Open Mind
Luck can seem synonymous with randomness. To call someone lucky is usually to deny the relevance of their hard work or talent.
What makes them different ? It seems lucky people “appear to have an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and enjoy more than their fair share of lucky breaks.
What do these people have that the rest of us don’t?
It turns out “ability” is the key word here. Beyond their level of privilege or the circumstances they were born into, the luckiest people may have a specific set of skills that bring chance opportunities their way.
People Don’t Change Unless ?
People don’t change their nature unless there’s some immediate threat e.g. threat of losing a job, breaking of a relationship which is close to someone’s heart, imminent risk of a disease or death.
One of the reasons for people not changing is to remain in their default mode.Letting go of what’s familiar to someone is like transplanting him in a new land where you don’t speak the language, where you don’t understand the culture.
The other reason why people don’t want to change lies in the fact that most people actually want someone else to tell them when something can be done, how something can be done. That way when something goes wrong,they can blame the someone else for the failure -an easy way to remain in a comfort zone.
Dice Roll: The Phantom Gambler
There’s a particular romance to all-or-nothing gamblers. They lend themselves easily to myth. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades wagered the In the book of Mahabharata, the ancient Indian epic, the king Yudhishthira is tempted into a dice game in which he wagers his kingdom, his army, and his slaves, along with the freedom of his brothers, his wife, and himself—and loses. Is it better to have rolled and lost than never to have rolled at all?
As Nietzsche asks in Thus Spake Zarathustra: “A throw failed you. But you dice-throwers, what does it matter?”
To roll the dice is to submit to chance. The grander the wager, the starker the confrontation with the mysteries of fate at the core of the cosmos.
15th February 2020
The Shadow Side of Greatness
Every strength has a shadow side.
Some shadows are darker than others.
Success is complicated.
We love to praise people for becoming famous, for winning championships, and for making tons of money, but we rarely discuss the costs of success.
Success in one area is often tied to failure in another area, especially at the extreme end of performance. The more extreme the greatness, the longer the shadow it casts.
To phrase it differently, the more one dimensional your focus, the more other areas of life may suffer.
It’s the four burners theory in action. The more you turn up one burner, the more you risk others burning out.
The things that make people great in one area might make them miserable in others.
Avoiding The Behaviours That Turn Nice Employees Into Mean Bosses
I’ve observed that people rise on the basis of their good qualities, but their behavior grows increasingly worse as they move up the ladder. This shift can happen surprisingly quickly.
In one of the experiments, known as “the cookie monster” study, The experimenter brought people into a lab in groups of three, randomly assigned one to a position of leadership, and then gave them a group writing task.
A half hour into their work, a plate of freshly baked cookies was placed -one for each team member, plus an extra—in front of everyone. In all groups each person took one and, out of politeness, left the extra cookie.
The question was: Who would take a second treat, knowing that it would deprive others of the same? It was nearly always the person who’d been named the leader. In addition, the leaders were more likely to eat with their mouths open, lips smacking, and crumbs falling onto their clothes.
Why having a Plan B can sometimes backfire
Research has found that having a backup plan might actually sabotage your efforts toward Plan.
A backup plan can make you less excited about your main plan.
It could also water down your motivation.
Going all-in on a big, scary goal has served many people very well
What 2,000 deaths can teach us about living a good life
Lesson from reading obituaries - from the things what other say one someone dies !
One way to achieve success: help other people succeed.
It takes time to make a mark.
Our lives can have great meaning without great recognition
8th February 2020
Bruce Lee Achieved His Life Goals by 32 Because Of One Trait
Intense purpose or dire need -impact is so deep to ignore .
In the early years ,Bruce Lee wrote a letter to himself:
My Definite Chief Aim
I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.
Four years later, he was dead.
But in those four years, Bruce achieved everything he said he would and more.
Wealth Is What You Don’t Spend
A group of researchers last year found a fourth reason: The majority of those exercising for weight loss either lose no weight or not nearly as much as they should.
The reason, the researchers found, is simple. Exercising makes you feel like you accomplished something healthy, which can rationalize a post-workout food binge. Eating a pizza after sitting on the couch all day might bring guilt, but doing it after a jog feels like a justified treat.
You can’t measure the benefit of exercise by merely looking at how much you sweat. The gap between what you gain and how much you avoid offsetting that gain is the figure that matters most.
The same goes for saving money.
The Ferrari Way
That purring engine. The buttery soft leather. Those sleek curves.
The essence of a Ferrari transcends any one particular design element to immerse its drivers in pure, unadulterated pleasure.
“The overarching goal is to create an experience—a sensual experience,” says Harvard Business School Professor Stefan Thomke, who wrote a case study about the Ferrari company in 2018. .
Is the Chinese Language a Superstition Machine?
In China , a uniqueness exists in the sound of the words .
It leads to many rituals , ceremonies as well as many superstitions.
Every year, more than a billion people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and engage in a subtle but obvious linguistic dance with luck.
To lure good fortune into their lives, they may decorate their homes and doors with paper cutouts of lucky words or phrases.
Those who need a haircut make sure to get one before the New Year, as the word for “hair” (fa) sounds like the word for “prosperity”—and who wants to snip away prosperity, even if it’s just a trim?
The menu of food served at festive meals often includes fish, because its name (yu) sounds the same as the word for “surplus”; a type of algae known as fat choy because in Cantonese it sounds like “get rich”; and oranges, because in certain regions their name sounds like the word for “luck.”.
1st February 2020
The world will either shrink or expand depending on whether your self-talk is positive or not. Which one will it be?.
The Fascinating World of Your Brain’s Reward System
Understanding how the brain’s reward system works allows us to understand much more about who we are.
It’s a mechanism that, ultimately, regulates how we view our behavior, both positive and negative.
The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci
Genius takes many forms, and in Leonardo’s case we recognize his limitations
He was defensive about his lack of formal education; he called himself "omo sanza lettere" (a man without letters). He had trouble with basic arithmetic operations, and his Latin skills were weak
He surely would not have performed well in a modern school system, and his IQ might have been tested as low as an average person.
What I Learned from Losing $200 Million
I’d lost almost $200 million in October. November wasn’t looking any better
It was 2008, after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Markets were in turmoil. Banks were failing left and right
I worked at a major investment bank, and while I didn’t think the disastrous deal I’d done would cause its collapse, my losses were quickly decimating its commodities profits for the year, along with the potential pay of my more profitable colleagues
I thought my career could be over.
26th January 2020
There’s nothing wrong with that. Earning more is wonderful, just like exercise. We just shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that earning more will do little for building wealth if every extra dollar is offset by a dollar of new spending.
Why not to use two axes, and what to use instead
The scales of dual axis charts are arbitrary and can therefore (deliberately) mislead readers about the relationship between the two data series.
So far, we have scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety. Two of them are indeed in our biology. Your genes can make you more sensitive to these problems, though they don’t write your destiny. And there are real brain changes that can happen when you become depressed that can make it harder to get out.
But most of the factors that have been proven to cause depression and anxiety are not in our biology.
2020 Startup Themes
The increase in revenue comes at the cost of long-term customer satisfaction, but nobody knows how to really measure that, so investors don’t care. Now Instagram has too many ads and finding a genuine phone charger on Amazon requires a degree in investigative journalism.
18th January 2020
Kodak vs. Fujifilm
In 2001, the film sales peaked worldwide but as the president of Fujifilm remembers: “a peak always conceals a treacherous valley.” First, the market began shrinking very slowly, then picked up speed and finally plunged at the rate of twenty or thirty percent a year. In 2010, worldwide demand for photographic film had fallen to less than a tenth of what it had been only ten years before.
Your Body Clock & Your Health
Majority of Indians suffer from chronic circadian rhythm disruption because of their eating patterns. Some of this is shaped by culture and some by the new urban lifestyle. It is customary for people to wake up early and have a cup of tea or coffee and a snack. This breaks their overnight fast. The body can efficiently process food for the next twelve hours at best. But they eat dinner late, often after 9pm. More than a third of their food is consumed when the body cannot optimally process it. Consequently, the incidence of pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and general inflammatory diseases are on the rise even in people in their 30s and 40s.
Success is not permanent
How GE got killed and who killed it ?
Of course, GE is not dead, and it may well revive and flourish as a company. After all, IBM came back from the dead in the 1990s. But the GE model is dead — and there’s a long list of possible suspects.
How to remember anything forever
Spaced repetition can do wonders to improve your memory of data .
11th January 2020
Great Companies and Average Companies
Successful companies built one product at a time. They do not clutter.
Lesson from Magic
A Magician Explains Why We See What’s Not There.
Our brain is constantly picturing what the future should be.
All the information and data is not important
You don’t need read /react or reply to all the news , all the TV shows , all the emails , all the messages .
With too much data around , one needs to categorize & pay attention where he/she should spend time .
Like information which is useful but expiring is less important than the information which is useful and permanent
Acknowledging luck is not a sign of weakness
When we assess others, we tend to attribute successes to circumstance and failures to character — and when we assess our own lives, it is the opposite.
Everyone’s relationship with luck is somewhat self-interested and opportunistic.
04th January 2020
Building of Prestige - Bankruptcy To A Billion
I took every day as it came. I did not have a master plan that this was gonna become this big. If somebody had asked me 40 years ago if I will be talking to a TV channel, billionaire, what have you…I would have said, ‘No. No chance.’ So everything was by taking it as it comes. What will I be doing, what I am, it is all…I don’t like to use the word fate. It is chance.
What you want to become in future ?
Write a letter to yourself !
Setbacks can take you to the top
Top athletes – it turns out, many others – have a way of turning pain into rocket fuel. The defeat becomes a reason to push themselves even further the next time.
Which Business Model You Need To Pursue
The decision? Whether to grow slowly, organically, and profitably, or whether to have a big bang with very fast growth and lots of capital.
How Much Information You Need
Beyond a certain minimum amount, additional information only feeds — leaving aside the considerable cost of and delay occasioned in acquiring it — what psychologists call “confirmation bias.”
28th December 2019
Myths of the Indian Consumption Story
In Taiwan for example, the economy experienced accelerated growth on the back of huge investments in education. A highly skilled labour force and a high savings rate provided the perfect recipe for economic prosperity. However, Latin America largely squandered its opportunity. Policy Makers in India are well aware of this fact. In fact, SBI only recently warned about the dangers of India losing its demographic dividend by citing the example of "empty primary government schools in Karnataka". Unless there is an environment that facilitates useful education, the demographic dividend will likely remain a pipe dream.
The Psychology of Prediction
During the Vietnam War Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara tracked every combat statistic he could, creating a mountain of analytics and predictions to guide the war’s strategy.
Edward Lansdale, head of special operations at the Pentagon, once looked at McNamara’s statistics and told him something was missing.
“What?” McNamara asked.
“The feelings of the Vietnamese people,” Landsdale said.
That’s not the kind of thing a statistician pays attention to. But, boy, did it matter .
It’s harder to be kind than clever.”
If you can’t be kind, if you won’t empathize, then you’re not on the team. That team is Team Humanity, where we are all in this thing together. Where we are all flawed and imperfect. Where we treat other people’s point of view as charitably as we treat our own. Where we are civilized and respectful and, above all, kind to each other—particularly the less fortunate, the mistaken, and the afraid.
Want to know certain complex subjects in an easier way , well you should visit this website
My favourite ones are :
The Size of Space
The Deep Sea
The Baby Map
2020 Startup Themes
Online Advertisement -This increase in revenue comes at the cost of long-term customer satisfaction, but nobody knows how to really measure that, so investors don’t care. Now Instagram has too many ads and finding a genuine phone charger on Amazon requires a degree in investigative journalism.
As this chewing gum loses flavor in the coming year, there might be an opportunity for startups to traverse previously impassable peaks and attack an incumbent head-on. A new search engine. A new social network. It’s been a while since we had a new consumer startup, and it might just happen next year.
Key Employee Risk
Parachutes were so precious to the Apollo program that only three people in the nation were qualified to hand-pack the parachutes for the Apollo 15 capsule: Norma Cretal, Jimmy Calunga and Buzz Corey, who in 1971 — the year of that mission — all lived in Ventura County. Their expertise was so vital, they were not allowed to ride in the same car together for fear that a single auto accident could cripple the space program.
21st December 2019
Does This Make Any Sense?
China’s economy is two-thirds the size of the U.S. economy but has 4 times as many people. Yet the U.S. has a stock market capitalization that’s nearly 16 times larger than China’s.
India has 4 times as many people as the United States but an economy that’s one-tenth the size and a stock market that’s 1/50th the size.
Does this make sense?
7 customer service lessons from the best Uber driver ever
Schwartz argues that “the human brain is like a factory with two foremen: one is a ‘no man’ and the other is a ‘yes man’ . . . If you give the job to the ‘no man,’ your own mind will start finding logic and reasons to prove how can’t you do this job.”
State of Indian Economy
Savings and incomes are down and the economy is in a tailspin.
What happened to India’s dream of emulating China?
Focus on creating something beautiful, wealth would follow
Love something,learn it, master it,create it.Wealth automatically follows.
Till date,Mariah Carey has earned Rs 500 crores(US $ 70 Mn)from this song in royalty .
Majority of it comes on Christmas Days-whenever it is played -YouTube ,Alexa , iTunes etc.
Being ‘Busy’ Doesn’t Mean You’re Successful
Every time you say you’re busy, you’re actually saying that you can’t prioritize your life.
Most people identify being busy with being successful. But unlike 95% of the people I know, I don’t think being busy means you’re successful.
The truth is: If you’re busy, you don’t live at all. You just exist.
14th December 2019
Illusion of Transparency: Your Poker Face is Better Than You Think
Most of the time, other people can’t correctly guess what we’re thinking or feeling. Our emotions are not written all over our face all the time. The gap between our subjective experience and what other people pick up on is known as the illusion of transparency.
Things We Take for Granted, and Things We Don’t Miss
Suitcases with wheels didn’t become popular until the mid 90s. This was one of those things that made me stop and think, wow, I haven’t once thought about what a pain in the neck it was to travel when you had to carry your luggage.
A Deadly Day of Chaos at the Top of Mount Everest
Off late , the Everest experience often seems to have devolved even further into a circus-like pageant of stunts and self-promotion. In April 2017, DJ Paul Oakenfold outraged mountaineering purists by hosting an EDM concert at the base camp in Nepal; this year three Indian climbers returned home to celebratory crowds after they supposedly summited on May 26, only to be accused of fraud after other mountaineers claimed that they never made it past 23,500 feet.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
- Stories can be more powerful than tangible things.
- Stories are often wildly disconnected from our productive capacity.
- We confidently convince ourselves of absurd stories.
- We’re in a new era of storytelling, which changes how all of us need to think about investing.
I Passed on Berkshire Hathaway at $97 Per Share - MicroCapClub
Much of what I learned, I learned from watching extremely successful investors make and lose money. And from losing my own money.
6th December 2019
Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow
They’re jerks who want us to die,” Musk elaborates. “They’re constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It’s a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It’s really awful. It’s…”
Avoiding Stupidity is Easier than Seeking Brilliance
In expert tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are lost. In other words, professional tennis is a Winner’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the winner – and amateur tennis is a Loser’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the loser. The two games are, in their fundamental characteristic, not at all the same. They are opposites.
The most dangerous of all people is the fool who thinks he is brilliant.
The Path Of Least Resistance
The principle is that energy always moves along the path of least resistance and that any change you attempt to make in your life will not work if the path of least resistance does not lead in that direction. Find out how the universe , then acts accordingly.
How Life Imitates Chess by Gary Kasparov
The lesson here is that if you play without long-term goals your decisions will become purely reactive and you’ll be playing your opponent’s game, not your own.
1st December 2019
If you’re not spending 5 hours per week learning, you’re being irresponsible
We need 5 hr per week of learning to retool ourselves .
The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving
Want to lose weight- be any analytical person , or become a chess player or take too much stress.
How Travel Can Change the Way You Think
Here are some goals if we want to take full advantage of travelling to new place .
- Try to actively know the place you are in. Observe the customs. Interact with the locals.
- Learn the whys behind the observation. Explore the history. Ask questions. Try to understand the answers in relation to what you are experiencing now, setting aside any previous assumptions.
- Notice how the journey is affecting you. What memories surface? What new insights do you have? Are your opinions and beliefs challenged?
1000 Fans & Business Success
If you want to be a successful businessman, to be a successful creator you don’t need millions.
You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.
Research highlights three main factors that lead to excellence:
- Qualitative changes in behavior
- Recognition of talent as a useless explanation
- Mundane actions, compounded over time
You See What You Want To See
This concept, known as confirmation bias, demonstrates why we tend to ignore or reject information that goes against our most deeply held beliefs.
Want to Become a Multimillionaire? Do These 14 Things Immediately
"The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become a millionaire." -- Jim Rohn
24th November 2019
THE BUS TICKET THEORY OF GENIUS!
Everyone knows that to do great work you need both natural ability and determination. But there's a third ingredient that's not as well understood: an obsessive interest in a particular topic.
WHAT IS CHASING YOU !
We are all being chased by something. That thing is put there for a reason. You weren’t put on this Earth to be average. You were meant to crush it in business and in your personal life. To be successful you need to wake up every day like something is chasing you.
THE NEW DOT COM BUBBLE !
"Marketeers actually believe that their marketing works, even if it doesn't. Just like we believe our research is important, even if it isn't."