The Rider

Who am I?
How did I get my name?
What am I here for?
Why do I hate weapons?
What should I do?

I am the Rider
My elder sister gave me this name
She’s the kindest person I know
My tribe people compare the calmness on her face to the night sky
And her glow is more beautiful than the mighty shinning stars

I am the Rider
My beloved people tell me I am here to save my tribe
My father believes I am the child of destiny
My mother thinks I will bring end to these riots
And save hundreds of lives

I am the Rider
I was 4 year old, when I saw people killing each other
I saw swords covered with my brothers’ blood
And arrows piercing through their untouched souls
That day I promised I never pick up any weapon
As weapons bring only tears and loss

I am the Rider
I am very young
And I am afraid of killing
Life has been very kind to me
I have privileges that no one can afford
I have life that everyone dreams off
I don’t want any of this to happen to me
But this is my reality
I can’t shy away from my duty
My tribe expects me to rise up with a bold face
And fight hard to bring home justice
I owe my being to my beloved people
And I will do whatever in my power to support their wishes
Because I am the Rider

The_Rider

P.S. I never thought of writing something out of this draw. A good friend inspired me to bring it to life. And I am thrilled to achieve it. Listen to this brilliant piece of music to feel The Rider.

 

 

 

 

 

“Repetition” – It Changes Everything

Till last January, I hated coding/programming and now it gives me a self-belief and somehow makes me feel good. As my friend Mohit put it – coding is spiritual, can only be experienced. It can neither be explained nor justified.

Umm…something is wrong about the start. Didn’t suit the post title, right? May be but you have to bear the pain of reading it to know “what it is about”. Lets begin.

(Sorry for such an abrupt beginning)

I puzzle over arguments such as whether reading books can enhance English speaking/writing abilities. Can singing help you become a better orator. Why talking to some people make us feel lively. What cause human misunderstandings. Why aging (or experience) make us wiser. All these questions have one common thing – they all sound weird and stupid. But if we change our perception and try looking brain as a piece of code (humongous lines of code ever written in human history) then answer to each of the earlier made arguments and questions can be trivial.

Take this for example – what would you do if your code isn’t working? Common solutions are: try changing parameters; find out where you missed semicolons; wrong database syntax and etc, etc. What is common in all these solutions? First, each solution is a process (can be short or long depending on your task and what you are trying to achieve). Second, this process is repetitive (takes time and energy, and need patience). In computer world, we provide code (here, treat code as a person) inputs. Our inputs are our thoughts. Our thoughts are our experiences. Our experiences diversify over time, our thoughts begin to feel wiser and our inputs become more accurate which means our code (which is a person, as I asked you to believe) behaves sharper and smarter (less errors encountered).

Above analogy also applies to our brains. In our case (humans) real time life experiences are unconsciously providing us inputs which act as signals for our brains to change its functioning. Exposing brain to different experiences enhance certain part(s) of our brains which make us behave individually.

Many people and books propagate – human brains are hard-wired. They all are partially right. We should question them – In what/which ways are they hard-wired. Are they hard-wired not to be able to change. Of course not. Are they hard-wired such that each individual learns a particular skill differently (through different experiences). Last statement makes sense. For some of us shopping is relief, for some playing football is, for some reading books is, for some running is, for some eating is, and for some listening music is relief.

This characteristic is very similar, if not similar, to algorithms. Each algorithm is designed to give a particular set of output(s). What if each human brain is an algorithm. It clearly describe why humans can be divided into sets based on characteristics/traits. Moreover, each human can develop skills (for say – leadership, selling) in many different ways. If I want to understand leadership then learning via coursera may not be a good option for me but it can be a great option for someone sitting just right next to me. World is filled with numerous such examples showing us distinct ways to attain subject knowledge and practice skills.

So, my next and last question is – what can we refer from human’s brain design:

First, treat each individual differently; allow them to dream; develop within them a sound self-belief system so that they can marvel their goals/dreams.
Second, don’t give up easily on difficult tasks/issues; repetition is the word and it changes everything.
Third and last, human brains are far more complicated than we think they are and holds power beyond our imagination. Admire this enormously powerful fact and take small but steady steps to understand it.

P.S. I am able to develop this thought process only because of repetition and/in coding. Hence the title and excessive use of the word coding (as a protagonist) in this post.

This post is inspired by my new friend and housemate Mohit Prakash.

repetition

Patterns – The Hidden Mystery of Mind

Few days back, read news on “Iranian scientist discovered the time machine”. His device can predicts future events of the “next 5-8 years” with 98% accuracy (not sure about its authenticity).

This took me by surprise, a pure shocker. I was not as surprised by the “news” as much with idea of “how we can predict” future. The question is obviously not new but “how on Earth” such thing is possible! If you are not shocked, then you probably need some time alone to think because it just not as simple as it looks.

Onto a quest to answer, I concentrated my thought process on “how mind works” Never, I’d thought so deeply. It was incredible. Nevertheless, getting back to where we’re.

Brain

“Recognizing patterns” crossed my mind many times while I was busy figuring out. Thus, to channel it into a hypothesis I analyzed my friends (flatmates) and team members at work. After few days of observation, I come to conclude that everybody follows certain pattern(s) consciously or unconsciously. Patterns are what that lead us to predict few very general things like “someone is coming to talk to us” or “someone is about to call me” or “its gonna rain today” and many others.

To prove the claim:
I did a small experiment on one of my friend. For few days, I followed a pattern i.e. coming home from work at 6:30-6:45 PM and if I’m late then it means I’ve gone to shopping complex. Now one day, I came home at 6:30 but sat in the balcony instead of directly going to my room. I know, he (my friend) has a nasty habit of  (if he knows that one of us has gone there) asking us to buy things for him. I waited for his call and as I assumed he called me at 7:30. I didn’t pick up his call and I went in after some time. He asked: “I called you. I wanted a thing or two from there (shopping complex)”; exactly as I predicted (by the way I knew he needs to buy few things as he told me about it a day earlier).

He was in-fact right as he knew my pattern. But I broke the familiar pattern and followed another. And that’s where our human mind can be defeated. All the talk about predicting future is right. It is based on calculations, analyzing day to day activities happening around the world and keeping tabs on all the latest trends. Surely, one can predict future after analyzing so passionately. It is a no brainer. But question is: how accurate could it be and that’s pretty tough to answer.

learning

The same logic is applicable to our learning habits. You must have heard: it is comparatively easier for us to learn something new while we’re young. Have you ever thought “why so” I strongly believe the answer lies in patterns. As we get old, our brain get accustom to certain patterns. Thus, when we try something new, we feel embarrassed or shy or may feel that someone inside our brain or heart telling us not to. That is a repulsive mechanism used by brain to make us stick to old patterns.

Now, that’s how we learn languages. It depends on environment we’re brought up in. For say if we’re brought up in a British family, we would be frequent in English, if in an Indian family then Hindi, and if some other family then some other language. All this is possible because our mind is very good at recognizing and hard wiring itself on those patterns. That’s how we all grow. Actually, it is good. It protects us from many troubles but also stop us from learning new things esp. in old age.

youth-soccer

Sports, too, follow patterns to recognize future stars. They (sports) are continuously able to produce great athletes, tennis players, and football players year after year. “Why” because they believe in evolution; they believe that past can be nurtured into present to produce future. But “how”

I don’t know about other sports but in football: Each club has a team of scouts; placed in different countries, keeping their eyes on hundreds of club matches to find young talents. They recognize patterns such as “how a player kicks” “how he moves” “how he behaves on field” “how he encourages his team members” “what he do when his team loses” and it help them to find “future Ronaldo or future Messi”. Obviously development plays a huge role but until you recognize them at young age you just can’t produce future superstars.

So, does this applicable to businesses? Yes, probably. Let’s consider Auto Industry.

Q. Did you see girls riding bike often?
A. No. “why”

It looks awkward. But “why”! because bike’s personality suits males more than it does females, I guess. But again “why is it so”

Hypothesis: It is a pattern, too. Q. How it become a worldwide pattern?
Males were more outgoing in earlier days, for some reasons, and hence we saw only males riding bikes. Since, it was a pattern in past, you probably allow your son more than your daughter to ride a bike to avoid social stigma, today. But the rise in female equality saw a significant rise in need among them for a daily transport. Since riding bike was related to males (as explained earlier) someone had to come up with a solution. Auto industry was/is smart. They recognized it and introduced scooty for females. It goes with their personality i.e slim, sexy, cute and curvy.

Bottom-Line:

1. Most of the products, out in the market today are result of some mind-boggling analysis of consumer patterns.

2. If you’re good at recognizing patterns then anything is possible: from developing yourself and your career, to introducing new consumer products and even to predicting future events.

3. God does exist: our brain is a fucking creation. And it can’t be a coincidence.

4. There is nothing as “deja-vu”. Everything has a purpose; depends how quickly we recognize it.

5. Break few patterns to learn how they work. You’ll be mesmerized.

Build Career like an Entrepreneur

——————- Scene rolling ———————–

(Mr. A: An entrepreneur and Mr. B: A top-notch investor)

Mr. A: I’m seeking a $50,000 investment with 10% equity in my business

Mr. B (smiling): You are valuing your company $500,000. Tell me about your little adventure.

Mr. A: It’s a digital marketing start-up. We provide customize T-shirts to our customers.

Mr. B: You mentioned “we”, any other partner(s) involved?

Mr. A (confidently): Myself and a friend.

Mr. B: Seems interesting. How much business he owns?

Mr. A : Sorry, but he is “she” here and we both are 50-50 partners.

Mr. B (wickedly): Okay. Walk me through the economics of your business.

Mr. A: Well! It’s been only a month and we’ve made $1,000 net profits on sales till this day. T-shirts cost $15.99-20.99. We have sold 350 T-shi..

Mr. B (interrupting):  Are you kidding? $1,000 and 350 sales are nothing and you are evaluating your company at $500,000. Its pathetic. Tell me, what’s your differentiation; there are so many similar startups in market nowadays?

Mr. A: I agree but it will be huge soon. We are also planning to include referral system. For say: you referred us to your friend. And if your friend buy our product(s), worth of $35, then you cash-in $2, as a mark of appreciation.

Mr. B: Kind of royalty and that too, so early is a very stupid step. You guys simply are bozos. Okay now, tell me how are you planning to cut off other players?

Mr. A: We haven’t thought that through.

Mr. B: Sorry, strategy doesn’t seems to click at this moment. I’m not interested. Good luck.

Boom!! That’s it. It was over. He couldn’t convince Mr. B to gamble money on his startup.

————–Time for some Q&A—————–

Q. Why did it happen? What are the loop-holes in his proposal?

1) Company evaluation (too BIG, too SOON).

2) No “Extreme Differentiation” (space is crowded and chaotic, so one needs to have a “SPIKE” somewhere to stand out).

3) Profits and sales, both are acute (pilot run in an experimental phase; not fully tested and developed).

4) No strategy to curb competition (providing live reviews, ratings, etc. would help)

Q. Learning?
That’s life. You started off well, but due to uncertainties in your plan you go downhill. Career is similar. You could start with flying colors but if you lose hindsight, then you are probable to go downhill, just like Mr. A.

Career ladder is similar to doing a business. You start from the very basic (entrepreneur level). Slowly and strongly, with baby steps, you develop your capabilities, and your muscles to eventually rise up to the top. It all about growth. Doesn’t matter how quick or slow it is. Though, it must be significant enough to get you to the next level, every now and then.

Q. How investment and investor could be related to career?
Investments are our opportunities. Both grant us a path to grow, to take calculated risks and to put our focus to different avenues. Thus, helping building our capabilities, as pointed out earlier.

On the other hand, Investors are the people, who believe in your abilities. They invest in you. Take personal interest to give you a fighting chance to showcase your talent. That’s why it’s very important to have right investors in life. World is too big and challenging to do everything yourself. So start building good personal relationships with the right people, if you haven’t.

Growth

A quick summary

1) Think and analyse plan of action, thoroughly.

2) Invest on passion first and skills second. Passion always supersedes skills.

3) Restrict yourself from doing too many things, too soon. If you are a person who wants to do many things, then divide them into timeframes on priorities, like till age 30 this, till 40 that…and so on.

4) Don’t let disappointments hamper your thinking. Everything has a time. Your time would certainly come. Keep working towards your goal to become a success.

5) Always smile and get your hands dirty.

Like to end with an quote from the movie: Robinhood (2010)

Rise and Rise again until Lambs become Lions

Necessary Perceptual Shifts for Leaders

Read Ten Leadership shifts that change everything Very insightful blog post with an array of hard facts. I want to re-share the traits leaders must acquire, as cited in the blog, in order to sync with their team efficiently and timely.

Top ten leadership shifts:

  1. Me to we – humility.
  2. Doing to delegating – letting go.
  3. Talk to action – initiative.
  4. Answers to questions – curiosity.
  5. Problems to solutions – optimism.
  6. Past to future – forward focus.
  7. Control to release – trust.
  8. Avoiding to addressing – courage.
  9. Urgent to important – priorities.
  10. Receiving to giving – service.

As always, I leave you guys with a quotation.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership – Nelson Mandela