My profession is Better than Yours?

In any office cafeteria in today’s day and age, there would be flocks of people coming in and going out during lunchtime. They would come in groups or alone, sit at some tables, have their lunch, and go back. There’s nothing unusual in this. But there would be a bunch of folks who would clean up the table after a set of people are done with their lunch before the next set comes in. Normally, it should be the people themselves who should clean up after they have done eating but that might be too hoity-toity for many of us privileged junta.

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So I recently read: The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

I didn’t read but I listened to the audio book actually.

I am following blogposts of Morgan Housel for some time now and I find them really insightful. Moreover, this book got enough good praise so it was due.

Some key lessons which I learned from this book are as follows:

Compounding Works

Money might grow in short term but wealth doesn’t. Short-term thinking is good only for the short term. The longer one stays in the game, the more the wealth (not just money but it applies to everything else too) gets enhanced. There are some great stories shared in the book which tells about people who took their time in getting the returns out of their savings. while also some examples of people who spend too much away, too quickly.

Money means different thing to different people

I find this one particularly true. I belonged to a family in which taking risks with money has been a strict no-no as generations have been service class. Do your job, do it better, and let it speak for you has been the mantra. While some of my friends had money, stocks, Demat accounts, and businesses being discussed daily at the dinner table since they were kids. That conditioning plus an individual’s own mindset makes money appear differently. For example, a discount offer not availed is just a missed opportunity for me. While for one of my friends it was considered a loss.

Luck vs Skill

This isn’t given as much importance as much skill is given. But luck is highly important. An example of Bill Gates is shared in the book. Bill Gates is indeed a genius but we shouldn’t overlook that how lucky he was when he got access to a Computer in high school. This was the time when having a computer in a school was not even a notion anywhere in the world. People didn’t even think that Computers had a place in academia. The same lesson about how the skill in the market is just a pseudo-barrier created by some lucky people was told in this Podcast by Deepak Shenoy on Amit Varma’s The Seen and the Unseen.

Never Enough

This lesson is timeless and not obvious till you don’t have it yourself.

I found ‘The Psychology of Money’ by Morgan Housel a good and easy read but impactful in every sense. It is one of the first books I have ever read about money in general and I am glad that I started with this. It is not about investing or saving but just the thought that our perceptions about money are different than our perception about time. Increasing our wealth requires time, effort, and the ability to take risks. And of course, luck.

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Nobody’s going to believe you if…

I was recently listening to a podcast by Sanjay Dixit called ‘The Jaipur Dialogues’ in which he had invited Shiv Sastry. Dr. Sastry is a retired Surgeon and is apparently the son of the founder of the famous Mysore Sandal Soap. The podcast mainly dealt with him talking about his new book about the myth of ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’. I am not going into much detail about the myth or the theory but Dr. Sastry said one thing which caught my mind’s attention. When people asked him in Q and A about what he thought about how can we educate people about the prevalent myths and Indian history in general as most of the stuff we have is from a perspective of Western Lens. Basically, how to think originally by doing research and how not to get swayed and be submissive to ideas from others (West)?

He said that one can stop seeking other’s approval if one’s truth is true only when one believes it is true.

The last sentence is pretty confusing. But what it insinuates is that we can be confident about our beliefs only when we don’t feel guilty about them. If our knowledge and research are solid, we don’t have to seek everyone’s approval because the evidence would speak of itself. Nobody is going to believe you if you don’t believe in yourself first.

Reaching out to people whose work you like

It might seem a far-fetched idea in today’s turbulent time but people do respond back when you write to them, normally.

As it is clear from the fact that I have a blog for over a decade and I do enjoy writing, I like many others who write too. I always want to write back to them and sometimes I do. Often times, we are hesitant to praise while we go all guns blazing while criticizing or complaining. But if you actually like someone’s work and if you tell them (or even critique), they would genuinely take it in a positive stride and reply back.

Lately, I approached 3 people whose writing I liked, and not only 2 of them did reply, we actually exchanged a few emails back and forth. The 3rd one didn’t reply maybe because my mails might have automatically gone to spam. Plausible and possible!

I guess a lot of people agree with that too.

Only Twitter might not be the right place to seek a reply due to its signal to noise ratio. But people do respond when you engage in a correct manner and that makes me happy.

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Unoffendable Belief System

I just wish to have a belief system that is un-offendable. No matter what anyone says, it shouldn’t really bother anyone. Like offense-proof. How does it matter if someone disrespects it by calling it names? They are just names, right? Say if someone abuses someone. Nothing changes in them physically at any level. They are just words and they cannot hurt anyone. Words hurt only if someone close says them, not strangers or non-believers. If someone abuses my idols (figuratively), they won’t be able to diminish them or their virtues in any way (If they do literally, that is vandalism). I needn’t take offense by words. I should rather be offended only by actions or lack of actions. I need such a belief system that is unshakeable because it stands for truth.

I think I might already have that.

It is here and that’s great but…

People around the world would react differently to Corona Virus Vaccines. Not biologically but with their actions, they would act differently.

In India, Manish Kumar was the first to get inoculated. The name might not have the same zing as William Shakespeare who was the 2nd person to be vaccinated in the world after Margaret Keenan (both from the UK). I was expecting that the first Indian to be vaccinated would be Megha Krishnan followed by Tulsidas Premchand.

At the risk of sounding dull like old times News Anchors, I feel that once the vaccine inoculation officially starts, people would let all their guards down immediately and act if Corona wasn’t even there. They would themselves act vaccinated if their neighbor gets vaccinated. It has already started happening. Offices are opening again (and banks never shut down in India) and people are back on the roads honking. People’s masks are now disappearing like yesterdays’ memes as the rate of cases keeps falling rapidly in India. Things are opening up, which is really good for the economy, but memory is fading.

I am desperately waiting for the vaccine to be available to everyone after health workers are done. Till then, Masks to continue even if only a handful of people believe that 2020 happened.