Freedom of ideas: Self or Society?


I went to a Tarot Card reader yesterday, just to curiously know what my life has to offer me with those pattern of chosen cards. The reader glanced me and told me “You have the freedom to grow and pursue your dreams, but you are holding back somewhere just because you are dual in your thoughts. If you focus on one thing important, you will grow as a person”. I realized, she was kind of right. It happens with all of us.

Somewhere, in our life’s turns and burns, we all get into a situation where duality creeps upon us. Not that we want it to happen, but forces and situations around make it happen. To know, what exactly we are capable of, we need to get ourselves from the dual nature of self and society. Today, people dream thinking more what is suitable for the society around us and not what we are actually passionate of. These dreams take a shape of an unborn child and the opportunity passes away. To get the right click in the right time, we need to be clear in our thoughts and pursue the least trodden path to achieve what we do in dreams, accurately.

Clarity holds a person and gives direction. I remember an old age adage “A stitch in time saves nine”, which holds true with the true sense of freedom. Freedom is not just pursuing your own life, but creating a balance with the self and the society around. We stop after achieving a certain level of clarity because we feel the society around see us with enough respect. And our dreams are eventually shrinks to what our society thinks it should be, and that is when dreams die and world-denting ideas perish. We need to struggle till the end of our dream, and that is our freedom.

In business/job/startup, we know our freedom is more or less based on our ideas. Some ideas suffocate to die inside us and other make a way to the world and change it, till we execute it. Why is then our ideas don’t initiate and the freedom is not free? Because, like the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, our ideas are uncertain with the linkage of our self and the bond with the society. We get momentum, we lose track of our idea’s position. We get position, we lose track of our freedom’s momentum.

So, taking back from what the Tarot card reader said, the dreams which are fulfilled are in true nature, the reflection of self to the society and they are to be pursued and to be struggled upon despite the limitations to our freedom, and tending to infinity boundaries to our ideas. 

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Luck favors the unintended


We know that our ‘role model’ predecessors whom we look to must have been the innate example of ‘Luck favors the brave’. We have often being advised by our peers, family, mentors etc that to achieve something you have to set your goals and try to achieve it by knowledge, hard-work and passion. Would this just be enough to achieve something we always wanted to but never identified it in the first place?

Yesterday, my father narrated me a story of his life, a story which changed his life forever. A story of fate and fortune. Coming from a middle class family, my father was 13 years old when he was sent to study at Birla Public School in Pilani, Rajasthan (one of the finest boarding schools in India) with a sole intention by my grandfather to make him an engineer from BITS, Pilani in the long run. My grandfather was turned to by his brother who was living in Pilani and he suggested him to send his son to the school with a pretext of making him a capable person. My father went to attend the school for Class 8th. Owing to his nature and his attachment for my grandmother, he started writing letters to my grandmother when he was in school tugging at his heartstrings. When my grandfather came to know this, he posted all these letters to my father’s uncle back there in Pilani. The uncle then fixed this situation by asking the school authorities to take a retest for my father for Class 9th. This meant that my father had to give the re-test, could not think of going back and was stuck at the school for one more year. Propelling his will to go back, my father left Pilani with his bag in the middle of ninth standard, boarded a bus from Pilani to Delhi and then a train from Delhi to Surat with just 20 rupees in his pockets.

He came back to his parents and then was admitted in a local school. He then pursued Bachelors in Chemistry in a local science college. After getting a bachelor’s degree, he started working under my grandfather who was working as a Manager in a textile firm owned by Birlas. After one year working under my grandfather, he set out to float his own textile business. Since then, there was no looking back for him and he build a successful business along with his two younger brothers. More than 20 years in the business, he has been resilient and consistent in the growing the business. His experiences taught him to take a leap to something unconventional and go on a path less intended. One thing he told me ‘If I would have stayed in Pilani, completed my high school there and pursued engineering, I would never have got into business (which he nor my grandfather thought in the first place) and so whatever happens, happens for a reason’. 

We, as a generation, often ponder over our goals in achieving something through those common attributes of planning and hard work which have been preached over since ages and fear to take unintended risks. If we achieve or we don’t, luck has not only supported the brave but also the unintended. So, its sometimes better to be unplanned, believe in yourself and start looking for the dots which will eventually connect when the right time comes. Clock is ticking and I am waiting to ring my bell.

The greater fool


“The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.” This is when Sloan Sabbath tells Will McAvoy in the recent popular series of ‘The Newsroom‘ created by Aaron Sorkin.

I am amazed by this dialogue in the sense how perceptions work in nations with same kind of investors all around. This is not applicable only to principles of stock investing but also to our daily life situations. We believe in few things, go against those beliefs and then justify why we did. If you are in a consultancy business or a stock broker or a palm reader or a lawyer, you know your previously held beliefs over fundamentals but just to keep up with the business you are in, you tend to make sell what is against your belief just in the hope that someone will buy it in the future. Thats when we learn how to play games. Not just this, there are people who are tend to modify their beliefs over time because that’s much more comfortable and easy to maintain. Who is the greater fool then? Do we realize how we become one in real life situations?

This greater fool theory relies on trends, opportunities and psychologies in surviving in life and in stock markets. Its one thing which is common in all the nations. All of us try to supersede our peers by becoming that greater fool and make beliefs over experiences which were sustainable and not out of the box. We tend to lose out on our passion in the process of becoming that common fool and run with the world around us. Anticipating a life which we wish to live, we think, talk and express other than what is right or wrong? We know there is someone in this world who might not be as capable as you so as to buy that plan. Be it the blame game or pushing sentiments over love, honesty and integrity. When will the world be a place where we get suggestions not based on hypocrisy, advises with no manipulations, words with no hidden interests and love with no condition? World will be a better place then. We must not share what don’t believe in. Its better to remain silent then to spread something which we can’t practice, social issues will then be resolved. Until then we are all greater fools, and some of us greatest.

Connection- Between the lines.


Ok, so these days I have been reading extensively about a lot of topics together, and I somewhere made out that everything is so interdependent to each other and made sense. Be it technology, economics, science, politics, psychology and design.Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said ” Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being”. Everything has a gist, and we see it as we are.

Technology Design Co-relation: Technology has always been revolutionized over design, read Apple. Today’s technology is not only serving the purpose but also expatiating the trends in the industry be it grids, networks, tablets, smart-phones, web applications and various different products including social media and clean-technology giving it a design edge to the rescue. Customers are half convinced over a good design, which is becoming a widening trend. Innovation is a part of design and an idea solving a purpose, making it more efficient. In India, we call it “Jugaad”. That’s how we design our lives, if not technology.

This is a chart showing the interconnected, in...

This is a chart showing the interconnected, interdependent nature of modern society that can be used to illustrate Structural Functionalism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 Science- Politics Co-relation: Where Science is trying to change the world, people are becoming much more politically inclined in expanding its scope. One such example, is of Patents. Where Institutions and Individuals are trying to develop products over a little modification and selling it in the market. There is a lot of plagiarism in research of various different sectors and areas. Nuclear weapons are another example, where we see a constructive as well as a destructive use in this advancement of science. This is affecting the world as a whole, and nation in parts. Different political institutions and governments are involving themselves in the research of several fields with the core motive of how that will make them stronger in different spheres. Be it Space Research or Particle Research, everyone is trying to capture and make a mark in different dimensions. Well, to some extent it makes sense as its beneficial for the masses in the long run, but there are always repercussions. 

 Economics- Psychology Co-relation:   As the world is struggling to keep its economies upright, there is a lot of dependence of the sentiments of the nation as a whole in determining the economic prosperity of the nation. Be it the worth of the money when the prices rise (Inflation), the consumer behavior in the Supply Demand ratios or the person’s income compared to the total nation’s income (GDP). All these behaviors are subjected to different psychological aspects in each individual of the country, not just the earnings in businesses, governments and corporations. Economics has always been sentimental in its approach and not statistical. The stock markets drive on organizational behavior, and emotional trends. Serving a society and earning wealth are two different sides of the same coin. One can happen at a time, and are directional to each other. 

How this world is so diverse and co-related? Some random musings after a late night idiosyncrasies. But, I am always inspired in between the lines and worlds.

 

Education: The Benefactor of all Conundrums


Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the Great Indian Spiritual Leader once said,

“The goal of mankind is knowledge, now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. What we say a man “knows”, should, in strict psychological language, be what he “discovers” or “unveils”; what man “learns” is really what he discovers by taking a cover of his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge”. 

India, as we know is always at the turmoil of its social, economical and political dealings of its society and the ruling government. We, debate, question and make our own country vulnerable by pointing out the deeds of souls at the center-stage. But, doing that do we actually know where we are and the change we are making to this very own society we belong to? Who cares? We like to debate and fortify the arguments. In our own simple day-to-day routines, we come across situations where our principles are often revived over a logical and definite reasons around it. Just like not everyone drinks cow’s milk, but yeah milk is milk and white. Often, we point out that there are few wrong people ruling our nation, but aren’t we the ones who elect them? And some who don’t even care to vote in the elections. Aren’t we corrupt over those small petty issues and bribe to get things done? And we talk about corruption of these political and business leaders. We as consumers are often ruled out by some or the other issue somewhere, and we don’t know how to deal with it and ultimately let it go off the haywire. The simple answer lies in that macro word “EDUCATION”. Do we actually know what true education is?

Today, the institutes all over the world are working on classroom model of education with their core fundamentals lies in the books. But, do this kind of education is making us a good citizen and carry off with the passion of what we always want to do. The answer of the masses is no. The current model of education is not flexible enough to locate people at the right place. The multinational companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Accenture, Microsoft etc therefore have their own training models for their new employees. That means the current education system is not meeting the requirements of the industrial model. And hence, this step has been introduced. But again, this is one side of the story for the ones who afford to get a right education. What for the ones who never had a chance to educate themselves in these classrooms? Well, these people are the building blocks of any nation. With over a population of 1.2 Billion people, the current model of the education system is not serving all. But instead, its making the deprived more deprive and ultimately building up the consensus of the nation in making its leaders and disarming some. What is the right type of education model required? Well, there need not be any model but it should spread as a wave in the masses, that education lies in oneself and the flexible conventionalism will bring about a change in the society. No doubt, there are a lot of initiatives being taken by our Indian Government in the Education sector, but the model has to be revived and the true sense of Education should be let out to the students. Age is no bar. With that, it will solve all the major problems our society and definitely make a much stronger nation with literate and sensible people. It will be indeed the benefactor of all the conundrums, if emerged as a right tool in identifying the limits of the human potential, not through those academic books but imbibing practical and mandatory education to the masses which will lead to an educated society in true sense.

Here are few videos of Sir Ken Robinson, a well-known educator, as he talks about what should be the future of education. It’s a must watch. Humorous and effective.

Schools kills creativity

Revolution in Education

Indianess and Game.


Game theory has always been a zero sum game which determined that the profit of one will always be on the expense of others, which introduced by John Van Nuemann and Oskar Morgenstern until John Nash discovered the Nash Equilibria for the non-zero win-win situations and won a Nobel after quite a psychological stint in his life in 1994.

India, a cultural heritage has always been stodgy for economists and philosophers and they their own perception towards the abstract spectrum from its happenings and times. Nothing can match the susceptibility of the nation’s randomness and sovereignty. Psychology of an Indian has always been an outlook of its own kind, not really the demographics of the nation affecting it. Indians are known for their unruly social behavior and their unintentional verve. When it comes to making choice, we can be selfish as well as collaborative at the same time. Read the theory of Prisoner’s dilemma. We say that population, illiteracy, poverty and corruption are the  issues defining why we Indians are the way we are. But actually, it’s not the demographics that matters in our behavior but a social upbringing does. There are people spitting on the roads, throwing junk, breaking the queue, giving a bribe (most of them taking it), breaking the signals, urinating on the road sides and what not. Who is to blame? The system or the self? Often, we come across real-life situations where we end up being privately smart and publicly dumb. We celebrate festivals of colors and crackers and leave the roads and grounds defiled from their plastic wastes and chemical colors. Indians and Indianess goes along together irrespective of the caste, creed or position. We all belong to the same field of paddy crops. Then, we blame the system and its governance for its behavior, being publicly dumb. Social behavior is not something we just show it on Facebook, but how we actually implement it in our day-to-day lives. This is where Indianess differs from the Global social behavior. And we talk about globalization. That makes us self-contradictory.

Rationalism is a child’s play and when Indianess paints the canvas, the theory of game comes to being. We, Indians being superficially rational, be it in professional lives or the way we think, which still makes us the third world country because of this mass behavior. Only, when we try to change, others will. It’s like a movement with no incentives and holistic growth, which will be marginal for the self. As we know, we are heedless without incentives. And we blame the government, which itself runs like a tip-toed bulls. We have to create our own incentives for the satisfaction and not for the temptation. And then the Nash equilibrium is favorable for non-cooperative and win-win situations in particular circumstances stating that one can benefit, making others benefit too. Then the Indianess will make its hay shine in the field.

Few examples of game theory are Chess, Stone-Paper-Scissors and the art of tit for tat.

Adopted from the book Games Indians Play by V. Raghunathan and inferred by me.

Let not the game decide us, but our own behavior. 

A Piece of Paper


As the clock struck past thirty minutes to seven, I approached the tutor who just left the class with a spellbinding session on English Usage and Vocabulary. I introduced my blog to him, and asked him for a topic to crib upon. In a fitting second, he tore a piece of paper from a book and gave it to me. And this left me baffled for a moment with a subject I can creatively ponder upon.

A Piece of Paper 

What does a piece of paper mean to all of us? Metaphorical or hyperbolical?

For some its an unfulfilled dream. For some a leadership style. For some a factoid. But for many, it was living.

Piece of paper is a symbol of creating history. Today, the essence of paper is soft-pedaled due to the emerging work-flow on the internet and the discovery of manmade machines. All the ancient scriptures, manuscripts, inventions and stories are made on this finest invention of the Chinese. Without it, the world would not have been more compact. The world’s best poetries were written on that piece of paper in the woods, or in the dark. It has an impact which is far-lived and implausible. A best piece of paper is often a rare piece of art and thoughtfulness. It is a tool, not just for those creative heretics, but for the commons.

A dream is not broken, until it’s not lived. A piece of paper symbolizes dream which is not lived. I believe, until and unless we don’t put in enough efforts to live it, we are like that torn piece of paper. As we say nothing is rewritten, but pre-written. With that one piece, we can make destiny dance over dreams.

Leadership is a behavior which is observed and experienced by many. Be it small or big. A piece of paper is a piece, even if its big or small. Just like it, leadership is like that piece of paper. Some have more stories to the journey, and some just enough to inspire. Leadership is not just leading by choice, but by example. A piece of paper is a simple epigram to those journeys based on values and leadership without complexities.

A factoid is an information bowl shared and exchanged from nations to companies to individuals. It is an agreement, a bond, a policy, an article and a shredded trash. A piece of paper is thus a utility for the commons, and a more day-to-day necessity. Be it anything, anywhere.

When I talk about living, ask the ones who have lived their heart out on a novel, a book, a prose or a poetry which instigated revelations and revolutions. To those ancient messengers, an eighteenth century poet, a twentieth century architect or a nineteenth century infamous sci-fi novelist, they know how understatement a piece of paper is. That was a living worth the dime, and for the dime. It has created almost everything and anything we see around. And we know that life’s simple inventions has created the best discoveries. That is living, by that piece of paper, and for that piece of paper.

Just so that we don’t make a satire out of sarcasm, we can add meaning to it ourselves.

One important task to do : Take an A4 Size paper, and list down all the words which you want to live, or experienced before. And then encircle it if lived. And then see a story taking over. You never know, if history has it.

I have been doing it myself and I love it when I glance it each morning. The feeling makes me want to experience more and live more.