Monday, October 24, 2011


Somehow the subject of procrastination has interested me a lot these days. I just have happened to come across books that address the issue in one way or another:

1. The Now Habit, which gives a system a reduce procrastination

2. Linchpin - by Seth Godin, which also talks about the procrastination involved in creative work, and the discipline of 'shipping' as the key differentiating factor between average and outstanding producers.

There are two aspects of procrastination that fascinate me:

1. The more creative and risky the work you do, the more the likelihood that you will procrastinate. We don't procrastinate because we are lazy; we largely do so to protect us from the risk involved in the work i.e., the risk of failing, the risk of being judged by others for work that did not meet their expectation, and sometimes, even the risk of getting more difficult work when you complete the current work

2. Sometimes we procrastinate unpleasant tasks which turn out to be not so unpleasant after all. As an example, I have to cancel a credit card for a while for which I have no use (and of course there is an annual fee involved). I postponed the task 5 times, thought about it a few times and I am sure wasted some mental energy thinking about it. Why? Well, there is a the unpleasant task of talking to the credit card "retention" rep to explain why I am not using the card, listen to their sales tactics and still say no. This morning, I had 5 minutes break so I just called. Guess what? It took 3 minutes. That's it. Just 3 minutes. Some of the credit goes to Chase for not employing high pressure tactics (trust me, that makes me much more likely to bank with the firm in the future). So what was I procrastinating for?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happiness equation

Happiness = wanting what you have(gratitude)/having what you want (gratification)

Think about it

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Yes, as you might have guessed, this post is about Steve Jobs. I was deeply saddened at the passing way of this legend. And at a young age of 56.

Bloomberg Businessweek has a special issue dedicated completely to Steve Jobs; his life from childhood to his passing. Did you know that

  • Steve smoked pot and hash as a high schooler, and reminded employees and reporters over the years, dropped LSD.
  • He stuck around Reed college for one and a half years after he dropped out, sleeping on friends' floors, depositing bottles and living off the money from that.
  • He was fascinated with Buddhism and traveled to India with his friend from Reed College

The more I read, the more I realized - the Apple commercial below is all about Steve - the crazy one.

Oh. One more thing. I also saw the TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert - the author of "Eat, Pray, Love." Her message is that none of us is a genius. We should instead think that we "have" a genius within us. But Why?

Being creative carries an inherent problem - there is a high risk of failure. A high chance that no one would care for your work. And even if you succeed, what happens after that? Is your biggest success behind you? Are you never going to be as successful as you were before?

This is a great burden to carry for anyone. That is why she advocates believing in a that you have something within you that 'creates' the creativity; something you can not completely control. And it is not your burden to be creative, but joint responsibility with the genius within you.

I am not sure if Steve believed in this philosophy. But I believe that he probably did. This is why he had all the success that he did, one after another. And this is why when he passed away, it was not because of anything to do with his creativity. So cheers to the genius within all of us.

P.S. Some of this blog post might be cryptic unless you see both videos