Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

Posts Tagged ‘life

You have to run your own race

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I got an automated mail this morning from Robin Sharma, which talked about ‘the best advise (I) had ever got’. One of them was that you have to run your own race.

My thoughts…

Due to cultural conditioning, we are hardwired to look outside for validation. Our definitions of success and failure are what society wants it to be. And it is pretty hard not to compare yourself with others. External comparison is convenient. It is easier to have benchmarks which are not within our control than those which may be within us. And reason for this is that introspection is tough. It is tough to take a call about what exactly is your personal definition of success; which race are you running; whom are you running against?

And worst part is that it is possible that you are good at something that society considers to be good. But it may not necessarily be good for you. It may not be in synch with your values, beliefs and general purpose of existence. What then happens is that you blindly follow this path of hollow success and end up realizing that though you did climb the ladder successfully, it was the wrong wall (!)

Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.

So you need to remember that…

Your life is your own. You have to choose your own race. You have to choose your opponents. Even if it means that you are your only opponent. Atleast you would be running the race on your own terms. It is better to fail at one’s own race than win at someone else’s.

Some questions to help you ponder over this thought –

  • With whom are you competing against?
  • Where has this race taken you?
  • Are you happy with where you have reached?
  • Was the answer to above question dependent on what others think of you?
  • Are you running the best race for you?
  • Or are you running someone else’s race better than they are?

And your life should not end with saying – I have finished first at their race.

It should rather end with – I have finished my race. (Position is redundant).


Written by Dev

April 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

What a lizard taught me about letting it go

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I hate lizards (called liz henceforth). No questions about that.

A lizard in my house got hold of a huge insect. Looking at size of the insect, it was difficult to understand how the liz would swallow it. But it seems liz’s body is governed by unearthly elasticity parameters.

Stationed near a window, liz was enjoying the insect. This window had glass blinds tilted at an angle which did not allow anything to pass through them. But there existed a crevice near top right corner of the window, which allowed objects no broader than a liz to pass through it.

Out of nowhere, liz got this divine enlightenment that I was a threat to her life and decided to run away from me. She decided to take the small-crevice-highway to get out of my view. But problem was that it was still holding the monstrous insect in her mouth and was not able to enter the crack. Either she would have to give up the insect (pleasures of life) and stay alive or stay with the insect and face my wrath!

Assuming I was a threat to her life, liz had to decide whether to stay in the party [have insect(ful) delicacy] or run for her life without any tasty baggages.

What liz did further is irrelevant. But it did teach me a lesson.

Sometimes, you might be having the time of your life. But external uncontrollable elements may force you to give up everything and be decisive about your actions.

It is like saying that you should be ready to leave a party when you don’t want to.

What are your views?

Written by Dev

November 20, 2011 at 2:26 am

7 Lessons from Justin Timberlake

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Being forced into watching In Time, a sci-fi starring Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried, I got more than what I paid to multiplex guys [Details later]. In Time is set in middle of 22nd century where humans are genetically modified to stop ageing beyond 25 years. From the 25th birthday onwards, everyone has one year to live, which slowly ticks away on a neon-green LED embedded in their left arm. Also, time is equivalent of currency – you can buy a cup of coffee for Four minutes and a night’s stay in a hotel suite for Three months. So more time you have, richer you are. But, if time on your arm runs out, you get a kick (different from the one in Inception) and you are ‘timed out’ forever.

Time is everything.

After Inception, it is the first sci-fi that has managed to give me some philosophical kicks. Movie is full of acid dripping painful truths. I share a few –

Lesson #1: Time is the real currency.

Lesson #2: If you waste time, time will waste you.

Lesson #3: Since we are not immortals, everyday is a gift for you. Treat and live it like it is the last day of your life.

Lesson #4: Everyone is after your time. After all it is what they all survive/feed on. You just need to love yourself and protect your loved ones from those who are out there trying to steal time.

Lesson #5: You can find allies and comrades in strangest of places. So be on the lookout.

Lesson #6: Most people live their lives without knowing what they want. Don’t be one of them.

Lesson #7: You should be ready to take the jump (risk). And as they say, ships are safest at harbors but that is not what they were built for.

After showering you all with life lessons from someone like Justin Timberlake 😉 , here is what I got as a bonus of watching the movie.

Watched the movie from a seat next to the gorgeous lady who drove a F1 carGul Panag!

Lucky Me 🙂

Written by Dev

November 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Decision analysis in parallel universes

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Performance should never be measured by end results, but by cost of alternatives. i.e., what would have happened, if during the course of a process (for which the performance is to be judged), just one event had not happened in the way it actually did? What would have happened if atleast one of the events decided to take a different course?

You wouldn’t be wrong to say that I am referring to MultiVerse (Multiple Possible Universes). In which, the only difference between 2 logically ‘adjacent’ universes is one event. For simpler understanding, read the next few lines –

Look back and think of a particular juncture of your life, when you had to make an important decision. You obviously have an idea about what you decided. Now, assume that you had taken an altogether different decision at that moment. How would have things changed after that? What course would have your life taken after that? Where are you in your life and where ‘could’ you have been?

This leads us to deduce that the life we are living right now is one of the many possible ones. Even Bhagvad Purana (a Hindu scripture) has a similar take on the issue–

The countless universes, each enveloped in its shell, are compelled by the wheel of time to wander within you, like particles of dust blowing about in the sky. The śrutis, following their method of eliminating everything separate from the Supreme, become successful by revealing You as their final conclusion.

Decision Making in Parallel Universes

The post is neither meant to be judgemental of anyone’s decisions nor a way to prompt others to start evaluating their past lives. Past is past. Period.

The post is more of a Lazy–Sunday–Morning-Loud-Thinking.

PS – “Far more than our abilities, it is our choices that show what we truly are” (Albus Dumbledore)

Written by Dev

August 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

If years were words…

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If years were mere words, then which ones, would aptly describe the main event or essence of all the past 26 years of my life?

An effort –

1985- At 12.5 pounds, I was one of the heaviest non-meteors to have hit this planet

1986- [Blurred Memory]

1987- The pain of getting my little finger sewn by a sewing machine!

1988- Joining the assembly line popularly known as school

1989- [Blurred Memory]

1990- [Blurred Memory]

1991- Living alone for the first time

1992- Witnessing the first death

1993- Got recognized for my ‘beautiful’ writing [I still don’t agree]

1994- Realizing that even I could be a non-bad-student

1995- Most probably, I saw a ghost!

1996- That Blue-Yellow Sweden Cap

1997- It took me 12 years and 500 kilometers to see a mountain for the first time

1998- New friends and new (dirtier) outlooks 😉

1999- Shortening and renaming the most recognizable thing

2000- Crowning glory to a very close friendship

2001- First tryst with glory and joy of failures

2002- Saved from the jaws of death

2003- Unexpected glory (or wtf)

2004- Where to go and what the hell to do?

2005- Over-optimism combined with ego is poisonous

2006- Climbing Mt. Pessimism and staying there for almost an year

2007- Sister’s marriage & joys of ranking everything

2008- Transition from nothingness to wilderness to substantial-ness

2009- Year long paid vacation covering more than 28,000 Kms

2010- Finding the meaning of a few abstract things

2011- The abruptness of change was like a life-quake

Written by Dev

May 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Life – The Rear View

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It so happened that due to some official commitments of my colleagues, the car pool which I am a part off (for office commute), got disintegrated for a day. So, I decided to piggyback an official vehicle on my way to home. Since the car was taking senior mgmt officials, I ended up sitting in non-ergonomically designed back seats of the SUV. The reason for me on back seat, and seniors on front was obvious – the protocols. 😦

The above images, taken from my camera-phone reminded me of a fine quote by Warren Buffet–

“The rear (view) mirror is always clearer than the windshield.

And at that moment, this quote seemed pretty much in line with what I have felt all these years. It is easier to remember & analyse the past & question our decisions/motives. When you look back at your life, you realize a lot of things. On nearing my 26th year of existence, I share a few here –

  1. One should never be afraid of doing something good. Just take the plunge. Things will fall into place.
  2. Our choices define our characters.
  3. If I was to ask you about the most memorable events of your life, you would never reply with something like “the-presentation-that-I-gave” or “a-project-which-I-completed-before-deadline” type of a reply. Life is much simpler and non-official. The memories of strange, different and odd things we do, are the only thing we cherish for long times. (My memorable ones are – One, Two, Three & Four).
  4. It is tough to give up something you love. But this actually helps in making you realise its importance. So if you get it back later on, you would know of its importance. Some years back I was ‘devilish’ non-vegetarian. My severed liver can testify the same. 😉 Then I gave it up. And after being a vegetarian for more than a year, I again turned into a non-vegetarian. I now know the importance of all the animals 😉 & all I can say is – Hail Tundey!
  5. You should always know exactly what you want from life. By this I don’t mean the long term goals of your life. I mean the small things. Things, which, if not achieved, will make you a sad & unsatisfied person on your deathbed.
  6. Relationships are investments. And vice versa is also true.
  7. No matter what…neither you are… nor you were born to be…a doormat.
  8. There are always alternatives. (This thought was bored deep into me during my induction program in the current job – and I realise it each and every day of my working & personal life)
  9. If everything is under control, there is a serious chance that you are too slow.
  10. Compounding is still the most magical thing in this material world.
  11. Being evil is bad. But not always. 😉
  12. Vulnerability can be rewarding at times 😉
  13. If you are forgetful, then don’t worry. It’s a blessing in disguise.
  14. To get what you never had before, you actually need to do something which you have never done before.
  15. Everyone has a weakness and a stake in darkness.

I guess that the 15th point above, will make me look like a devil. If so, then be it 😉

Though I had planned to write 26 realizations, I couldn’t make it any further. You can read a few older realizations here. A few might have been repeated. The reason might be that the realizations are tough to come by. And when they do, they just keep on repeating themselves. 🙂

I am sorry for so many links in this post (On second thoughts, I am not so sorry) 😉

Btw, I forgot to tell you all. I have started a new blog on equities at –

You all are welcome there.

Written by Dev

February 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Realizations (Ver. 25.0 Build 0.50)

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  • If everything is under control then there is a serious possibility that I might be too slow.
  • To make a dish worth eating, planning and preparation are two necessary ingredients. But they work best when they have a bit of INGREDIENT X (Read : Blessings from Powers Above) added to them. And don’t forget to add a lot of boiling ‘execution’ to it.
  • Mis-understandings can be terrible. And at times, you just can’t marry them off to sense!
  • Its always about investments. No matter what. No matter where.
  • When things start getting out of hand, its time to get a new set of things or a new pair of hands J
  • Being legendary is not tough. You just need to be consistently awesome.
  • Mathematically, we are a function of our happiness and our happiness is a function of ourselves!! Solving (without assumptions) can be tough.
  • Its not that bad to take chances. Those who took were the only ones who reached somewhere worth discussing.
  • Compound Interest is still the most powerful financial formula available.
  • A picture speaks a thousand words. But some words show thousand pictures!

Written by Dev

August 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Experiences

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