December end was crazy work wise. You could say there was a revolution. A revolution which changes the paradigm. So excuse me for coming up a 2019 round up blog so late. But I think I should share some important lessons I learnt in 2019.
Realised my value
I realised I have been under selling myself for years. I never felt the need for any pretence, but then being naive and ignorant and thinking the other person will give you value for what you are worth could be too much to trust in the other.
It never occurred to me, how i could undersell myself. I blame myself for the same, as I have not done my home work and never bothered to position myself well in the social and competence hierarchy.
You might find this unbelievable. So far in my life, I have never really felt jealous about anyone consciously. But 2019, I saw myself getting jealous of people. Also I realised I am not jealous of people who have bigger cars or more material stuff. I am jealous of people who are better communicators, people who have that hallow that they have made sense of the world.
I don’t feel bad about this, in-fact I feel joy that these are the signs that I am becoming competitive. I am measuring myself to some people out there, who are much ahead of me in the race. It is pushing me to improve my communications skill. It’s making me think about all the things which stack up to make someone an excellent communicator.
Discovering the process of chasing Objectives.
I was feeling overwhelmed for years, I wanted to do all. But this year I discovered a framework called OKR’s. It stands Objectives and Key Results. Companies like google, intel have been using that to meet their objectives. Then I dived deep in to SCRUM a process management system and finally now I am learning how to execute by a system called 4DX (The four disciplines of execution).
Finally I feel I am getting a bit of a handle on my work! God why did it take so long for me to get my house in order. But this is just the start. Lets see what lessons are waiting in 2020.
I have been reading many articles on “how to read more books” or “how I read 50-75 books a year”. I think this is an incorrect metric to measure.
For starters – Some books are good in parts and not whole.
Why do I read –
It usually starts when I am trying to solve a problem. The end of 2019 I was struggling to set my Objectives and Key Results for my business. I partially read books by Joh Doer on OKR, and then a book on SCRUM by Jeff Sutherland. Now I had gathered some ideas how to set up Objectives and Key Results, and the process ( here scrum) on how I could go about achieving my KR.
But writing your Objectives or Goals and executing is two different things. I needed to know how do I executive or plan my tasks so I can inch everyday closer to my objectives. So I dropped the two books I was reading and jumped to a third books called “4 principles of execution” or 4DX.
I usually purchase about 50 books a year, but as per my GoodRead’s profile I have completed on 19 of them. I leave books at various stages. My time is more valuable, and the moment I have got the gist of the book I move on. I don’t want to finish the book for the sake of ticking it read.
Also, I do listen to audio books. It is easier and faster to read audio books. Books which are not cognitively heavy are best suited to audio listening. So in case someone only listens to audio books, they might be read much faster than a person who is reading a book, taking detailed notes and tagging them or creating flash cards for revision. In the latter case the person will finish less number of books but will retain more values than a person who reads 4x the number of books.
Measuring by the number of words read
If we could measure our learning, the number of words read would be a much better metric. Second order measurements like the number of notes taken, the number of times the note has been revised or converted into a flash card would also be a more accurate representation of our learning progress.
This measurement could be done by Kindle or some notes app like readwise. But I agree it is much cumbersome to do such measurements and until then we will keep seeing click bait articles about “How to read one book a week” or “How Bill gates reads 100 books a year”. I am seriously turned off with such articles on medium and other blogs. Hope we get some serious lead measurement which aligns with our goal.
If my goal is to become a coder, the most significant reads will be the book on coding or programming and not some books on writing.
Post modernism has thrown many ideas, but none of them are so challenging to our basic understanding of human biology as “Gender as non-binary”.
Gender as non-binary
So I was talking to the principle of a media institute, they had a “Queer Talk” event. The poster had a woman called Yogesh, she asked her students if there was a spelling error, the person whose name was “Yogesh” looked like a women. The students explain that it is not a mistake. The person is a trans.
The principal then tells me that she came to know there are 38 genders. Do you know that you are supposed to address the trans with the gender pronoun of their choice or zher or zhim or play safe with they.
Gender is a social construct
The postmodern idea is there is no such thing as male or female. Gender is a socially constructed phenomenon and it is the prerogative of the individual.
Ofcourse there is frustration on this issue. Jordan Peterson (the most infamous Canadian Professor) who decided he is not going to change pronouns. His opinion is that the post modern intelectuals who had started from a well intentioned position, but the idea has been completeley miscontrued. Another professor Jonathan Haidt explain that students in elite colleges in US are mollycoddled and get easily trigged by speech.
It is a complex issue. I am keen follower of this movement.
Image – Courtsey – out.com
If you know a bit on Carl Jung developmental models, then you would understand how the CAA protests is actually a class struggle between the elite and the middle class.
Remember, you can be a pauper and still be elite or you are be super rich but still be middle class. But predominantly the elites are left leaning and the middle class are right leaning.
Some middle class don’t know their identity and can blindly follow the left leaning elites. Basically, every pretentious middle class person wants to associate with the elites if not by wealth then at least by ideology.
The poor here are the one who have flexible ideology as they live on daily wages.
For a long time, the left wasn’t getting any handle on how to deal with the rising Modi wave. The CAA was just something they needed. Now there is a glimmer of hope for them to displace the rising middle class.
I am on the side of elite though I am talking about the CAA in a neutral manner.
It easy to make a women pregnant. I used to think earlier that God will gift Babies to only people who are capable of nurturing the little humans. I was so wrong, you can make babies even if the sex lasted for 2 mins, even if it felt like you hardly had sex. You can make babies when you do it for the first time or the last time. Babies are everywhere, everyone is making them.
The Silver Lining – The invention of birth control Pill
In the 1960’s the birth control pill was discovered. Now first time in the 5000 years of human history women had a control over their reproductive system. First time in the history of humans – Women could say sex doesnot equal to babies.
The birth control pill also birthed the second Feminist revolution
Now women could go and get jobs. Women can choose first time in the history of humankind not to be dependent on men for financial security. The role of men in society has been diminishing ever since. It is also theorised that what if women could finally even not need the MEN, things like surrogate motherhood could make men dispensable. A male sperm freeze’d for decades could make men totally redundant.
The feminist believe that #allmenaretrash and females can make the world a better place. There are now institutions training young male kids to become more sensitive so that could acquire more feminine characteristics. Feminist believe gender is a social construct and not binary but a spectrum.
A cause for concern?
These are extremely complex issues diving men and women apart and making both of them extremely lonely. What could we as a society do to empower women but stop these gender wars?