Strength to endure pain!

Good times fade away the bad memories. However, after going through long periods of struggle that at one point never seemed to bottom, I appreciate the current good times. On one hand, I stress to not take anything for granted though I realize my basic nature and associated feelings are still intact. I have not changed drastically as a person. So while I intend to not over rejoice at the good times, on the other hand, I hope I won’t be too dejected at the failures.

I have realized how critical it is to capture my thoughts straight away at times. Otherwise, I lose the right feeling. For example, I wanted to express my feelings about pain and failures a couple of hours ago. However, after talking to the special someone, I feel lighter and that prior emotion has bubbled away to a corner.

Things have been progressing pretty nicely on the personal front – touchwood. At work, it hasn’t been fun – I am kind of surprised I didn’t realize this earlier, but I cannot be working in this job profile anymore. It is stagnant and boring. I can make efforts to expand and do more interesting stuff but 80% of my role would still be the same. I just hope the next few days are positive as they have the potential to change my future. If it doesn’t happen, I have to make my future happen. Be proactive and explore other opportunities.

Either way, I hope the experiences especially the incredibly heart breaking 2014 have made me stronger as a person to deal with future disappointments. I am going to take more concrete actions moving forward. One of the highest priority ones is going to ‘become the fittest I have ever been’. I will go to gym daily if not twice. Improve my diet and just eat healthy. It is not just to look better but also to avoid the sort of skin outbreaks I have been having recently.

Upwards and onwards! Cheers!

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Idea Machine : Day 5/200 (Calm!)

Having gone through an extended period of emotional turmoil, every ray of hope seems delusional. Things seem to be turning around for the better. I feel more calm despite the swarm of thoughts. The past few weeks of pondering and flexing the idea muscle has brought much needed calmness to my mind. There are still bouts of emotional upheaval but I would like to believe that I am getting better and improving as a person.

I still hold very strong beliefs despite knowing that there is so much I do not know. Probably – it is not a bad thing as it allows me to have an intellectually stimulating conversation with anyone. I can be fun and quirky and stupid with one cousin, while being all romantic and nerdy with my loved one. I love playing these different roles in an obvious non-chameleon-like manner.

Anyways, back to flexing my muscle:

One new idea related to technology
How can we leverage the human evolution to revolutionize technology? We are already starting to leverage neural networks to construct AI platforms. In an advanced version, can the memory storage be also built through neural structures such that only contents that matter to us more is highlighted in the memory? It will help in bringing up the critical contents to the user much faster and fade away the rest. Basically, prioritizing the storage memory for the user.

In a further advanced human society, probably just a few years down the line, when technology is able to record everything our eyes see into a memory chip, it will be even more critical to be able to have a memory like our brains so we do not expense it on unnecessary useless information.

One new scientific learning
I recently listened to another ‘People behind the Science’ podcast that had Dr Adam Gazzaley as a guest talking about Neuroscience, a field that does seem very exciting to me. He works more specifically on the cognitive aspects of the impact of video games. He provided a glimpse into the future – where the virtual and augmented reality will have such a critical role to play, and more importantly, how video games will lead the way in this exciting highly innovative field.

One new life lesson
Religion is not useless. I had weaned myself off religion over the last few years. But with all the emotional turmoil, I could have used religion to bring some sense of calmness into my life. Anyways, better late than never as I have realized that religion is very personal. It does not have to fit into the typical societal definitions. I do not believe that there is a Ganesha sitting above the clouds watching over us or for that fact, any such force. Maybe I am wrong about it as I probably could be, since we as humans, ‘probably’ know a very very tiny fraction about how this universe works.

Back to religion, I want to use it as a meditation tool. Singing religious hymns is a practical way of forcing your mind away from the daily mundane matters – essentially meditation. Today being Diwali, I decided to force myself to perform puja and it wasn’t that bad. I felt quite after those 15 minutes of puja specifically singing Hanuman Chalisa and trying to avoid thinking about anything else.

‘One new idea related to work’
Just need to explore other opportunities so I can get out of Xeljanz CDA role. I am excited how things are already happening possibly due to this blog series – one, I was able to create a slide about my vision at one in the morning, but it was appreciated and brought into the main deck. Second, I reached out to others to be part of a market research project, so that I generate exposure to other functional areas. Keep up the good work.

One new idea related to love/relationships
Have patience. Forgive others. Stay calm.

One new idea to further explore
Though financial investments has evolved to become a large part of my life over the last one year, I fail to write more about it. I do spend a large chunk of my free time either listening to music, talking to my loved one or following the stock markets.

I learned over the last few weeks about tax-loss harvesting and I need to complete that tactic by end of the year. Basically, claim loss of over $3000 dollars that will be offset against any gain (that I do have from Netflix shares and all those dividends piled up). I plan to combine this tactic by switching over to much lower expense funds or ETFs. I am paying too much in expenses reducing my overall returns.

Next – I need to write about the value of stock markets. The time spent is worth the vast amounts of knowledge and learning that I get about not just the financial markets, but also the global economy as a whole that in turn runs the world.

Written actionable thought bubbles

In my endeavor to be productive, I need to push myself to write more on this blog. Though I have tried this before and failed, I need to continue trying. Maybe it sticks as a habit one ‘fine’ day and then actually be able to take actions on the numerous ways I envision my life to change.

So here I go again with a list of thoughts on top of my mind these days:
– Personal life: Spending time with my loved ones
– Career: Next steps as either MBA or job change
– Personal growth:

     – Reading books
     – TED Talks
     – Meditation
     – Podcasts
     – Blogging
– Tennis: Playing as well as watching
Things I should be doing as higher priority but NOT currently doing:
– Becoming an idea machine (writing down 10 ideas every day)
– Healthy living: eating and exercise (exercising every day)
– Networking: connecting with old and new friends (email someone new every day)
– Work: seeking out growth opportunities within Pfizer to expand my horizons

P.S. Just reading this a couple of days later, I am surprised that stock markets did not feature in this list. Actually, it never does when I want to be productive though I spend such a large chunk of my vella time looking at the stock trends and so on. Kind of confused!

List of books on Entrepreneurship/Meaning of Life

Entrepreneurship – How to Successfully Build Companies or Products:– The Hard Things About Hard things – Ben Horowitz
– Zero to One – Peter Thiel
– Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
– Outlier – Malcolm Gladwell
– How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
– The Lean Startup – Eric Reis
– The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win – Steve Blank
– Do More Faster – Brad Feld
– Founders at Work – Jessica Livingston
– The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clay Christensen
– Hooked – Nir Eyal
Fulfilling Life – How to Successfully Build Yourself:– The Start-up of You – Reid Hoffman
– How Will You Measure Your Life – Clay Christensen

Planning!!

Planning is the key to being productive. I complain in my head all day long how much I procrastinate and even though, I know the solution, I still do not do it.

However big or small my goals or ambitions are, they would never be successful without a plan. Having a concrete plan is so important. And that is for both short-term and long-term as well as both personal and professional. Creating lists is also important so let me start one today about the different things I need to create plans for:

– How do I want to spend my time in a week? For example, how much time playing tennis versus reading a book versus work versus cooking etc.

– Plan out the MBA dilemma like now

– Plan out my career options within Pfizer (of course assuming no MBA)
       – Who all do I need to talk about options? Like secondments in brand team etc.
       – Explore job postings

– Plan out my career options outside Pfizer

– Worklife: Creating a short-term / long-term calendar of project deadlines and assignments

– Plan out the extra training required to raise my level

Rambling

My mindset evolves at a rapid rate. Or better to say changes. I am usually dissatisfied. I heard on Mad Men that dissatisfaction is the seed of ambition or something on those lines. But are we all not aiming for a happy and satisfying? Or is this a cycle? As soon as we get something we wanted for a long time, we want something else. Never happy with anything. 

I miss simpler times and crave for happiness.