The courage to be disliked


I would say this a book that contributed to my recent change in perspective on life. So here I want to summaries the book for for my future self.

  • Every one can change
    Some of us wish that we are different. Like ‘I wish I have that discipline to go to gym every day’ etc. Every one can change. We don’t change because, we blame the past, we blame the environment. And we think we can not change. Actually they are all excuses not to change.
  • Trauma does not exists
    What ever happened in past does not have any bearing to what we decide to do now. Our past does not matter, what matters is what meaning we give to that past events. You have no excuse to blame any action you take now on past. You can decide to make entirely different decisions which are independent of past.
  • People fabricate anger
    Anger is an emotion, like every other emotion. Like every other emotion, it is also in our control. We get anger only because we think we can do some things when we are in anger. It is just to justify our actions.  Imagine a smiling face and breaking stuff at home because one acted against your wishes. You can not. They will think you are a psycho.
  • Unhappiness is something you choose for yourself
    You decided that being unhappy is good for you based on some unhappy circumstances or ended up in unhappy situation.
  • People always choose not to change
    Who ever you are now, it is just because you choose to be like that. You can always change. You are unable to change only because you are making the decision not to. Even with inconveniences and limitations, you probably think that the lifestyle you have now is the most practical one, and that it’s easier t leave things as they are. Change is new and unknown.
  • Your life is decided here and now
    “If only I can be like Y” is an excuse to yourself for not changing. What you do not is what matters. You need courage to be happy, and courage to make the change. What ever you decide now only matters.
  • Why you dislike yourself
    It is just a way of self preservation for you. If you are unable to achieve something, disliking yourself will give you a way to be sane and correct in the eyes of people around you. How can you fail to do something, and still happy? What kind of person are you in others minds? You see, this is why you dislike yourself. Just like every one else. So it okey for you.
  • All problems are interpersonal relationship problems
    If we are alone, and we have nothing to compare to and nothing to expect, will we have any problems? No. All our problems only comes with interpersonal relationships. Only then you have expectations, comparisons and any other problems.
  • Feelings of Inferiority are subjective assumptions
    Taller, shorter, wiser, richer, and any other such things that cause the feeling of inferiority are subjective. They are not objective facts. You can always find exceptions to any of these.
  • An inferiority complex is an excuse
    There is nothing wrong with the feeling of inferiority itself. The complex is when we start using the feeling as an excuse. “I’m not good-looking, so I can’t get married” is just an excuse.
  • Braggarts have feelings of inferiority
    Healthy way is to try to compensate the limitations is through striving and growth. Some fabricate the feeling of superiority as easy way. They associate with authority, boast about his achievements, recounting memories of time when his light shone brightest, and even bragging about own misfortune etc.
  • Life is not a competition
    Pursuit of superiority is the mind-set of taking one step forward. Not mind-set of competition with other. It is enough to keep moving in a forward direction, without competing with anyone. Healthy feeling of inferiority comes from comparing with one’s ideal self. Not with other people.
  • You’re the only one worrying about your appearance
    Most people can not enjoy their success in the eyes of society is that they are living in competition. Competition makes others rivals, enemies. Once one is released from the schema of competition, the need of triumph over someone disappears.
  • Admitting fault is not defeat
    When you are challenged to a fight, and you sense that it is a power struggle, step down from that conflict as soon as possible. Anger is a communication tool, and there are better tools to communicate like language. If you think you are right, regardless of other’s opinions, the matter should be closed. Do not make others submit to them.
  • Deny the desire for recognition
    Being recognized might bring happiness, but does not mean it is necessary.
  • Do not live to satisfy the expectations of others
    When one seeks recognition from others, and concerns oneself with how one is judged by others, in the end, one is living other people’s lives. You are not living to satisfy other people’s expectations, it follows that other people are not living to satisfy your expectations.
  • Separate your tasks from others tasks
    Who ultimately is going to receive the result brought about by the choice that is made? It is their task. We can monitor or assist in other people’s task. But we can not intrude.
  • Discard other people’s tasks
    You believe in your partner. That is your task. But how that person acts with regards to your expectations and trust is other people’s task. Intervening in other people’s tasks and taking on other people’s tasks turns one’s life into something heavy and full of hardship. Lighten your load. Only deal with your tasks.
  • Rid yourself of interpersonal relationship problems
    All you can do with regard to your own life is choose the best path that you believe in. What kind of judgement do other people pass on that choice? That is the task of other people. It is not a matter you can do anything about.
  • Desire for recognition makes you unfree
    Recognition is not being disliked by other people. It limits your choices. The more people you are trying to please, the more you have to loose your freedom. Not trying to please others is not ego.
  • What is freedom
    Freedom is being disliked by other people. It is a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles. Braking away from organizations is not freedom. Being unconcerned by other people’s judgements, and no fear of being disliked by others.
  • The goal of interpersonal relationships is a feeling of community
    The smallest unit is two people. Two people, family, office, school, collage, state, nation and total humanity. These are all communities. And all our relationships are for the feeling of those communities.
  • You are not the center of the world
    You are a part of a community, not its center. Other people does not exist to please you. We are all searching for the sense of belonging, that “It’s okey to be here”.  And you can only do that with active commitment to the community that is “What can I give to this person”, and not simply by being here.
  • Do not rebuke or praise
    Rebuke or praise unconsciously create a hierarchical relationship. Praising is done to manipulate others. It is not done out of gratitude or respect. In relationships every one is equal but not same, including relationships with children. Instead, encourage them.
  • Exist in the present
  • The essence of work is a contribution to common good
    Labor or Work is ones way to contribute to the family, organization or the society. It is not just a means of earning money.
  • Workaholism is a life-lie
    They are just trying to avoid the responsibilities by using work as an excuse.
  • The courage to be normal
    You don’t have to be the special.
  • Life is a series of moments
    Life is not like climbing a mountain to teach the peak. It is not about the goal. It is about the moments we all go through while moving forward. Enjoy going through these moments.
  • Shine a light on the Hear and Now
    Like a spotlight on a stage that gets diffused if you try to see everything but focusing on one spot makes it bright, pay attention to hear and now. Don’t spend too much time on the future and the past. You will not be able to enjoy the present.
  • Give meaning to seemingly meaningless life
    Life in general has no meaning. What ever meaning life has must be assigned to it by the individual. Let “Contribution to others” is your guiding star. You can make lot of difference to others.

I have skipped some chapters which I could not summarize. This it self took multiple hours to refer back and write this summary. I will see if I can write the summary as I read the book.

12 Rules for life

I just finished reading the book “12 Rules for life”. So here are those rules.

  1.  Stand up straight with your shoulder back
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
  8. Tell the truth – or at least, don’t lie
  9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Some of them are straight forward to understand. I will elaborate some of them in future posts.

It is big book, but I think it was worth for me to read. I slept a lot while reading 🙂

Purpose and Future Plan

Lets define ‘Purpose’ as something that drives me to do something which I am happy to do and gives satisfaction while doing and at the end if I achieve some related goals.

I used to enjoy solving technology problems. Even though I never invented anything, I consider myself as a builder. I find interesting things to learn from and combine stuff to create solutions. my IT journey lasted for around 20 years. Now I do not get much enjoyment from it anymore. May be this is just an excuse for not able to compete with much more intelligent people around me. It is okey.

My views of the world changed a lot in last 3 years. I used to be much more aggressive and assertive. I used to have strong opinions on many things from politics to technology. I used to blog them regularly, and liked getting critical feedback on them. I used to enjoy when I make more logical arguments than others.

But the more I read and learn, I am less certain of things. It is like changing from black & white to gray scale. Previously I used to see what is black/bad/wrong and what is white/good/right. Now I see all the shades in between. Going from 1bit to 8 bits. What we see is still same. But how we perceive it is totally different. May be as I keep learning, my perception will increase and may be I can go to 16bits and then true color.

Based on all the understanding of self, I like to work on human relations. Money, Fame, Power and Status all these are of no use, when there is no quality relations in ones life. I see people relations getting destroyed due to misunderstanding, lack of systematic approach to relations. I want to spend next 10 to 15 years working on something related to human relations.

There is another big reason why I wanted to pick this subject.

As per the predictions of well known futurists, we have around 12 to 15 years before computers become as powerful as we are.  After that may be we will merge with AI and become new species.

Now, I can choose to do multiple business ideas each lasting 3 to 4 years, or pick something that lasts 12 to 15 years.

Almost every business I can think of will go through radical transformation in coming years. So it would really be continues struggle. I don’t think I will enjoy that anymore. So I want something that does not change so fast. For something not to change, it should not be depending much on computers and AI. And that means it needs to involve human. That means it has to be some service we human can do.

Working on human relations is something that I think will be the last thing getting automated. That is why I picked this idea.

I enjoy doing it, I have lot of time to perfect my skills, and I don’t need to change it every 5 years.

Till now I have not done anything for more than 2 years. Since the beginning of my enterprise life, I kept chasing ideas after ideas. Now I don’t want to change it anymore.

I have started a new business initiative called Eeva Mentors Inc. Eeva is an online platform where users can get mentors who work with them on improving their relationships. I believe every one needs service like Eeva. It is a small cost to pay for making large returns on your relationships. Trust me, if you join this, you will not regret it.

So that is my purpose, and that is the future plan. Wish me luck.

Future, AI, Purpose

It has been a long time since last post. Managed to keep myself healthy, did not get sick in more than one year. In a way it is good achievement.

Read some books, but not as many as I wanted to. Met some people, but not as many as I wanted to. Done some new things, but not as many as I wanted to. 🙂 You get the idea, right?

After my recent trip to US I have contemplated on what to do next. After lot of ideas and discussions with friends, made list of ideas, tried to get more data about these of those ideas.

At the beginning every idea was exciting. But when I dig little deep, ideas evaporated to the heat of the reality. With still couple of idea in hand started a new company in Feb 2018. We are perusing one of the idea for now.

I have been thinking a lot about future these days. Because future is always exciting for me. As you know, I am an optimist. So ‘hope’ plays major role in my emotions. When I see trends in technology,  especially AI, Robotics, AR, VR and Decentralized Systems, they all make me think hard about coming future. For now I believe the future that is being projected by Ray Kurzweil
The main point of his predictions is that human level AI will be ready by 2029. And I think it may take another 5 to 10 years for general availability for mass market. So it puts us at 2035. After that we are not sure why humans need to work to produce anything in this world.

It has been around 18+ years since I started my journey into this world of computers and technology. In a way in next 15 years which is less  than my current journey so far, our society will be drastically different. Just yesterday was 25th anniversary of first graphical browser for internet. With in 25 years the internet has changed many things about how we do things.

One more important point on which these predictions are based is that innovation is exponential. Every year, more things get changed.

Now he question I am looking answers for is, what do I have to do now? What is the best path? What is going to happen between now and 2029?

First of all what does any one need? Based on what I read and what I believe, we need some purpose. A story that we tell ourself to justify what ever we are doing or what ever we want to do. Every one has some story. From housewife to the richest people in the world, every one has some story. For some the purpose is external and for some the purpose is internal. It doesn’t matter if it is internal or external. Only that each of us has to choose the one that we like. Some are okey to get some job and have a happy family, and for some they need to change the world. Each to their own.

Now the question is, what is my purpose? In my next post I will try to address what is that I enjoy doing?

Being Good

Every one thinks they are good. Even I used to think so. And people are not in telling where we are wrong. If we every did wrong to someone, most probably they get hurt, and they try to keep distance from us.

Rarely we come across people who actually like to tell us what we did wrong. I am lucky to have such friends. They told what I did wrong to them and others.

It is never late to say sorry. If you know something wrong I did, let me know and help me fix myself.  You will get a guaranteed gift card worth more than your effort in making me realize.

Upgrading self

Recently I have been on a trip to Mexio and US. I had some unique experiences with people on this trip. Those experiences are nothing specific to those places. But this trip gave me an opportunity to see people as they are.

During those 3 months and after that, I have been working on upgrading my software. I am questioning every aspect of my self and see if I am doing things in my best interest. I am trying to do things ‘right’ way.

On a recent discussion with a friend who questioned “what is right and what is wrong? is it not different from each perspective?” I said “We can tell that some one did wrong, when we can logically prove that they did not act according to their best interest.” So in theory we can always say some one is wrong provided we already know what their best interest is.

On this journey to upgrading self, I asked people around me for things they see wrong or things that needs improvement. To my amazement, some how people have very simple expectations. What ever they told me to change, I was able to do without even 1% loss to my time and effort. It significantly improved my interpersonal communication and relations. People used to treat me as hostile. Now I see that they don’t.

This upgrade is not finished yet, but I already feel like I am a much better shape now. If you are reading this do me a favor. Send me top 5 things you want me to change in me and why.

Practical wisdom: How to learn and teach

I believe that best way to learn wisdom is by reflecting on our own acts. And an outsider can help you reflect better. By talking about things and trying to learn from others experiences is a faster way to get wisdom.

I want to be the person who can help others reflect on themselves. I want to develop that skill.

As a starting, I offer free service for anyone who needs help in “Being Happy”. I offer one hour 8PM to 9PM(IST) on Whatsapp(Call or Text). Identity of my customers will be private. But their problems and situations will be used as examples for others. If more people need help, I will start charging for that time as I have limited time.

I consider my self to be a happy person, and I think I can help many people out there. So feel free to use this service when ever you need.

Indian Politics & Corruption and possible solution

I was fortunate to have spent 14hrs with economist Atanu Dey on our journey to watch Great Solar Eclipse 2017. I got some interesting stories about India. Most of those stories are what we already hear from our known contacts. I will generalize some of them as follows.

Story 1: My friend has a transport company. He tells me that in order to get profit they have to transport some 40 tons per trip but the maximum they are allowed will be 25tons. So how do they do it? They just pay around 40k per month per each vehicle and no one will ever catch them and fine them.

Story 2: I wanted to travel from Pune to Mumbai. I go to that taxi stand and many people will be calling you to offer for the taxi. Once I bargained the trip for 1400 and get into one taxi. It happens that the one I bargained is not the driver. He is some middle man. He pays 1000 to the driver and keeps 400. We get to know that it takes around 500 for the gas/petrol and the driver can get around 500 for the trip. So why he paid 400 for the other person?

We know many of those corruption stories. After we listen to them we all used to feel that, those people are corrupt. Actually I think they have to do what they are doing in order to stay in job or to pay off the bribe they had to pay for getting the job. Every penny collected from the last man is split and distributed back to the top. Normal Citizen -> Police Constable -> SI -> SP -> DIG -> Home Minister -> Chief Minister -> Party President

We may not believe that every one in the system are corrupt. But if you apply basic economics we can easily derive these. Why will some govt employees agree to stay in jobs which does not fetch any bribes while some of their colleagues are making lot of money in bribes?

They don’t. The one who got the opportunity got it after paying lot of hefty bribe himself to be in that position. And that so on. That economic principle applies to every cycle there. Even the top people have to do it because it costs that much to get elected to power.

So because we make it so hard for a person without money to get elected, they need money and they have to recover it back.

I am in US now. So how is system in US works? in US there is no such corruption at the lowest level. It may be at the lobbyist levels and it is all public. No one is taking bribes here. So that is the difference?

The single biggest difference I find is that you don’t need permission to do most of the things here. For example if you want to build a house, there will be some regulations. But there is no permission required. You just follow those regulations and build what ever you want. Some one will come and will check it and give his approval. And even if he/she does not approve, they can not do anything. They can just report it back, and you can fight it in the court. They have to show that you did things against the regulations. Till then nothing happens. You keep doing your business.

I think removing all permission system in India and replace them with regulations is the best solution to reduce corruption. To keep the system running, they have to enhance the courts and need to speedup the justice system. So they will do it. And I think that is the solution.

I want a website where there will be all kinds of these problems(corruption stories) listed, and we explore the possible solutions to each of them. If any one is interested in such a site or if such a site already exists let me know.

Principles, rules and ethics

We all want to have good principles or ethics in our life. Some of us have not even thought anything specific on what these principles are and what those ethics we want to follow. It is okey, just because we have not defined them in some notebook does not mean we don’t have them.

One thing that I always believed and I am sure that most will agree that there is no absolute in this world. (Excluding maths and science I mean). You can not say something is absolutely good and something is absolutely bad. Most of the important stuff in this world does not have a proper scale to measure with. For example love, friendship, good, happiness, right or wrong.

But we do measure every day. Even in those things without the scale. Because even though we dont have a scale, most of the times we know where we are on the scale, and where something else is. Is it on the black side or the white side. Here Black and White are just example colors on the gray scale. May be White is divine love and Black is satan or something like that. I am just telling good and bad as an example here. But this same gray scale applies to so many things in our life.

One of the common mistake that I observed people doing is that they forget that it is gray scale without any markings. Some times we do draw line on this scale, but that is only to tell your limits. Those lines are not the units of measurements. Another common mistakes people do is that they think this gray scale does not even exist and some how their brain comes up with YES or NO answers to situations in which we would normally require to check where on this gray scale things fall and which is on left or right of our point of interest and why.

One recent example for this is, a discussion with a friend in Mexico. He is Eric. He has 2 dogs, and the discussion was where he should keep them when he goes to Europe for his trip. I asked simple question like how much would you be willing to pay for some one to take care of the dogs. To my surprise he said he wont pay anything. If you know me well enough you can guess what I might be thinking immediately. It actually means that those dogs are worthless to him. Well that is not the case actually. He loves those dogs. The reason he said he wont pay anything is because he has some friends who can give him favor to taking care of them. I have tried so much time in arguing and trying to make him say a number. He treats these favors from friends are un measurable and never says a number.

But we all know that reality does not work like that. Even though they are not measurable directly, there is always some thing to refer and there is always some number we can assign to it. That value may keep changing from time to time, but there will be a number. Because that if we have a friend who always asks for favors and never does anything to you, how long will he or she remain to be your friend? Not long, because our brain keeps measuring things. And we make the decision some day. But most rational way I see in those situations is, don’t wait for your brain to go into some kind of unknown chemical reaction and tell YES or NO. Make the measurement as and when you can, and realize the limits in which you want to be, and make the decision when limits are crossed. Don’t get angry or happy for these things. We can remove emotions out of our decisions if we can put numbers to stuff.

[I know that I started with a un measurable items and how telling about to put a number to things, well, sorry it is complicated].

One more important stuff I want to say is about Principles. I used to think I am a principled man. I think mine are good compared to say 99% of people. (all from my own perspective anyway). And I always wanted to act based on those principles no matter what the situation is. I think from 2001 to 2014 I am in this state I think. But things started to change much more in last 3 years. I used to hold firm beliefs. I will do some things, I wont do some things, some things are good and some things are bad etc.

But now I am more flexible. I realize that every thing is based on perception and I don’t make quick judgement on people or situations. If some one asks like ‘is X good to do?’ Previously it used to be YES, or NO. Now it is ‘Compared to what?’. I do still make the judgement, but only in comparison with other things.

I was discussing about one such principle with a friend recently. It goes something like this. “If friends A, B independently tells X some things, then X will never reveal those details to the other persons even if A is telling about B and B is telling about A”. I think it is very common principle that most of us follow. Right?

Actually it is not a principle, it is what we do without even thinking. We always talk about bad things about someone who is not present there. Change people, topics change to bad things about people who are not there. You can all imagine how bad these things are. We are all afraid of telling hard truths or our views to others, if we think it will hurt them. But does that mean we don’t hold that views? No. We do hold it, we just don’t tell it directly. And we need a way to let them out, so we all let them out when they are not in the room.

You might say that this above example is different than the principle I just mentioned. But I dont agree. What if the information that is shared is about some bad things about the other person? Where do you draw the line to apply the principle?

You might say that it is “Trust”. When some one trusts you, you have to protect that trust. Actually we can generalize it like this…..

If I say that I will do X, then no matter what I will do X. Just that that X happened to be “keep the secrets“. Right?

It is a very solid principle if you see. I used to believe in it, and I always thought I need to follow it. Fortunately I think I am little wiser now. And I believe this is a very bad principle. (bad in relative terms… don’t forget the gray scale ever).

What is the principle that I follow now?

What ever I am going to do in future is going to be what I told or at least better than that, and what is better depends on my own judgement at the time of making that judgement.

If you see, it just looks like “I will do what ever I want”. There is no absolute dependability on a person with such a principle. You never really know what I am going to do. How to trust a man like that?

Well, you still can trust me. But that trust is based on your trust on my ability to make proper judgements in future. If you think I will make better decisions in future, then make your calls on that. If you think I might make silly and stupid decisions in future, them use that info.

In reality there is no such thing as absolute secret. We always are ready to reveal secrets of others. But only if needed. Sometimes if is more valuable to keep the secret than your life. For example lets assume that you know that North Korea is going to launch nuclear missiles and it is told to you by a your trusted friend. Xe asked you to keep that as a secret. As if it comes out his life will be in danger. But a nuclear missile will kill 10000s, and you have to make a call if 1000s are more important or your friends trust or his life is more important.

If you are reading this blog, I hope you will tell that information to proper authority and let your friend die in order to protect 1000s. [If you don’t fuck of from this site.]

Now, if you see you can not trust most rational people. They will always tell your secrets, if there is a need. And that decision is made by them based on the situations. That is what exactly is what I said my principle is. I will do what I want to do.

The friend said that she choose that principle based on her experience. When ever she moved information from one side to another, she noticed that those A,B are actually became far from each other. Sounds good right? If you see from her decision, she wants them to remain close. That should be the expectation anyway.

But once you have made such principle and you got to know some information from A that if you do not share to B it is going to blow the relation between A and B. Now will you stick with your principle or you will stick with your expectation of your outcome of choosing that principle in first place?

I am not arguing about that one principle here. I am arguing about creating principles that make you act in ways that will defeat the purpose of the principles. Don’t limit yourself and future actions by the knowledge of the past. Let yourself evolve that is the only way forward. Just protect yourself from going down the ladder of wisdom.

Actually similar situation came with my investor in Vimukti. At one time, he said “you said you will do so and so, but now you are doing some thing else”. And to that I replied “Don’t depend on what I said I will do. If what I said does not make sense to do, I wont do”. Words might be different, but meaning is same. Ofcourse he hates me for saying that, and I don’t think he will ever forget that :-), and I am okey with that. I don’t want to create a false image about me. Let them know who I really am, good or bad what ever they think I am.

There is a English movie, in which a journalist goes to jail to protect the source of information. In that case the source is a small child. I liked that movie. Now thinking about topic, I really wonder what is she trying to protect.

Even journalists have to make decisions. Just presenting facts is not enough. They have to decide what is good and what is not.

Some times there are not just A, B. There might be so many people involved. Your decisions effects lives.

The writer I liked, whose stories I did not read

I was reading a very good article on James Altucher blog. He wrote about why people hate their jobs. It is a very good article that gives you his perspective on the that topic. I believe it syncs with many people I have seen. It did sync with my view.

I was reading the comments on that post, and they are interesting too. People expressing how it related to them, and what they used to think.

From there I found a book title, and about an author. He is Ray Bradbury. Those of you who want to be writers I recommend reading some of this books. I did not read actually, and not sure if I will ever read. But I found two videos of him on You Tube. After watching I just felt, “wow, if at all I am a writer that is how I want to be”.

I instantly fell in love with that person. Here are those videos for you.

 

 

I feel like it is how every one should be. Not just writers. Every person should be true to themselves. I don’t really know what it means to be ‘true to themselves’. But there is some kind of authenticity in his personality. I could not pin point it exactly. But it is there. And I am referring to that. I hope I do have it, and I will try to have.