Every book is an insight into someone’s soul, a lifetime of discovery condensed into an easily digestible format. Yet not all books are created equal. Most books touch you but very few can be termed as profound. One such profound book that I read recently was Quiet: The power of introverts by Susan Cain. It touched something inside me and turned a life knob or something. I see the world very differently after having read this book.
Take a moment and imagine some of the things we do every day: speak up, speak out, push back, write about achievements, advertise our work, evangelize things we believe one. There is a common thread that binds all these behaviors: they are all extrovert behaviors to a certain degree.
Before I decided to read this book, I used to laugh at the title and I probably looked down on people who might have read it. I mean who needs to read a book to win friends? What kind of loser would that person be? Well, here I am, one of such Losers. In hindsight, the title of the book is unfortunate but catchy. Maybe had it not been titled such, it would not have sold as much or stood out among people the way it did.
This is not a book review as such. This post is more about my opinion on the book and the other chain of thoughts it made me wonder about. The book was first published in 1936. Just reflect on that. Here is a book that can be termed self-help that is still valid and working for 81 years now. That caught my fantasy. The other thing that was equally appealing was Goodreads page of this book. This book has a rating of 4.22/5 from 322,000+ ratings. That blew my mind. Here is a book which 320,000 people have bothered to review and rated 4.2 on average. I mean surely it must have had a profound impact on a lot of people. But even before I got to this point, this book was recommended and was also on my to-read list. I picked it up to read without hesitation.
It’s one of those topics that has divided the world for years and probably will continue to do so for years to come. It is not easy to accept that change is here and your way of life is in danger. It is equally difficult to accept responsibility for something that you cannot see or touch or feel right in front of you. Even if you can, it is hard to correlate your acts of keep the air conditioning on to the freak hurricane that hits you.
So I can understand why people do not believe in climate change. I can also understand the situation where people believe in it but they feel they are too small and trivial to do anything about it. I think this is the real reason for a lot of climate change deniers. It is easy to deny something than accept it even though you think you can’t take action.
I started my work career by doing an Intern at IBM. I definitely learned a lot on that role but that wasn’t really my first job. It was always going to be a short role with a fixed end date, so it always felt incomplete, like I didn’t belong. The first company where I joined for a full time role was Cisco but again that wasn’t really a job. I didn’t do a lot there, neither in terms of work nor in terms of achievement. For me looking back at Cisco brings fond memories of hanging out in a cafeteria, making some good friends and (of course) getting paid. I never talk of Cisco as my first job since I didn’t really work there. I left Cisco after 6-7 months so I didn’t really feel any emotion leaving or had strong bonds with my team etc.
As I mentioned in some of my blogs from January, I started meditating this year. I had started to not like myself because I was always ready to snap. I had long thought of myself as a cool and composed person but that had started becoming more of a fictional character. So I turned to meditation to channel some of these energies.
Meditation is a fun activity when you don’t rush it or force it. I started meditating regularly and most days tried to do it in a part of my day where I wasn’t time pressed. Once I started to clear my head of the everyday thoughts about work, traffic, food, money, TV, technology etc I got a little more mental room to follow some of the other thoughts that would pop up. Earlier I would have run out of time or energy to even consider such thoughts but I felt more upbeat after starting to meditate.
At first I felt this title might be catchy like a clickbait. But then on pondering about it for a few minutes I realized that it is more truthful than catchy. The idea of leaving amazon is almost like the idea of embracing change. It makes me think about the transitions we make which are almost unbelievable before we do them and simplistic once we do. For example using Facebook in times of Orkut seemed pointless and my first year or so with FB account had no real activity but now I can’t imagine using Orkut 😛
The short story is that I decided to leave my current role without really knowing what I am going to do next. The long story follows below.
I have often thought about writing about Meditation. But the truth is that I barely understand the concept myself. For so long meditation used to bring images of monks seated in saffron robe who have given up on the luxuries of life. And I didn’t want to give up any luxuries, hence I couldn’t meditate. The logic seemed simple enough: to meditate you need to let go of all your Wifi and Kindle etc. But turns out that’s not the case.
So I started with wikipedia and asked it What is Meditation? Here is what I got: Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
Black is my favourite color. At least it is right at this moment. Like almost evertyhing about being time dependent, the choices are the same too. This moment i may be so in love with Black and yet the next i would want blue. Its just funny.
Not only is it about time, but it is also situation dependent. When i am video-chatting with someone i would really not want much of black in the frame, like more light. And yet the same black looks awesome at a pub, the dark shades hanging around.
We, the people. We, who are more divided, than united. United by the race, by the religion, or by the caste and yet these are also the dividing factor, which weighs down more upon us.
We have not tried to live for improving our life, but rather for matching and bettering the neighbour’s life. The means, always justify the end. The end, though is never justified. We, the people, have lost ourselves in small disputes or petty problems, at the same time, turning a blind eye on the larger issues. Where are we headed, if this continues?
I am no sociologist or a biologist or any ist, but the people, the society we have, and the movement of this society has been seen in 2 distinct directions. One is towards the western culture or so called modernism , and the other in the fundamentalism, or towards the core-religiosity. The fundamentals believe that we need to adapt to religion. They believe that religion is the answer, the answer to everything and everyone. And to make each of us understand this answer, all the means used by them are justified. For the modernist, however it is the religion that has to adapt to his / her lifestyle. Religion for them is only a question, and the answer a tough nut to crack. Hence, they accept it as a inheritance and move on. Some chuck it on the way, if the burden gets too heavy. Continue reading