The Unsatisfactory Mindset

The Unsatisfactory Mindset

All we want is more and more and more… As humans sought survival back in the day, all they wanted was food, clothes and shelter. As we evolved, came the concept of capitalism and marketing and stories, and everything got divided into those three sectors.

Even you if are having three meals every day, all you will see is one picture on a platform and you’ll get unsatisfied with what you’re having… This is how we have come to be.

Just one example doesn’t seem enough though… You might have just bought a piece of clothing and you’ll see a friend of yours buy something expensive from this “fancy” brand and you’ll become disinterested in what you’ve just bought instead of being excited to wear it.

When will it ever be enough? Never. Because capitalism and marketing always allow for someone to have an upper hand and for someone to be able to afford something and vice versa. Can we then blame the brands for doing this? Again, no… Because capitalism and they get to exploit that.

Here comes the unsatisfactory mindset. The unsatisfactory mindset that’s instilled within, because of which we are never satisfied with anything we buy, anything we do or experience… There’ll be comparisons and something better or worse and someone sharing their experiences on a public platform.

That mindset has also come up because of every single piece of marketing that you have heard and seen repetitively since childhood and then as a community, your peers fall for it and then talk about what’s better and what’s not. With every step that’s taken, that unsatisfactory mindset seeps in deeper than before until the point where you’re never satisfied with anything now.

To get beyond that, to reach a point of satisfaction, and for that mindset to change, what needs to change is the story you tell yourself and how that story affects how you love your life.

What is the story about?
– A story about gratitude, where you’re grateful for the things that you already have and for things that you get to do.
– A story about the hard work and efforts that you’ve put in to reach the point where you’re at right now.
– A story about how so much of everything is just marketing and media manipulation and how can you learn to not get affected by it.
– A story about being secure with yourself and what you stand for, which also means not comparing with others, and not caring for what they do.

To reach a point of satisfaction doesn’t mean not doing anything. It means to be satisfied with what you get to do, without caring for anything else. It takes practice to get rid of that story that’s seeped into put minds and how it’s become habitual to think that way and to act that way, but there’s another side to it that comes with a mindset of satisfaction.

Can you stop ideating?

Can you stop ideating?

With every thought that comes to our mind and every topic that we consciously or subconsciously think about, is it possible to stop ideating?

Sometimes we are aware of our thoughts and thus aware of the ideas that come across our mind, whether they’re good or not is another discussion altogether… But there are also times when we aren’t aware of our thoughts and even with the multiple tries of recollecting those thoughts and possible ideas, your brain has simply moved on.

The ultimate point remains the same when we focus on a topic and if we have to ideate on something, our brain is on it. Now whether we are able to note down every idea or whether we’re able to consciously delve into it more at that time itself or even remember it is something that is on us and how we divide our attention and time to focus on those ideas being generated.

Basically, we’re ideating on something constantly and it’s up to us to focus on those ideas and work on them… Or wonder how distracted are we to not notice what type of ideas popped up in our minds?

Comparing values instead of things

Comparing values instead of things

Quite often, we compare our lives with other people – what they have achieved externally vs what we have achieved, what they own vs what we own, and that becomes the extent of our comparisons. Rarely do we compare our goals with theirs, or our levels of happiness with theirs.

If someone has a better car than you, according to societal standards, then you start becoming envious of what they have and it starts to create doubt and uncertainty about your own life in regards to not having the same type of car.

While the car is one example, day to day, external items such as that are compared between multiple individuals and that cycle keeps repeating… Not one individual is satisfied with what they have.

It is scientifically studied that comparison in a moderate amount is good for you as it gives you the push to “do more”, and “to achieve more”.

While that is up for debate… if the trend of comparison should continue, why not for something that would actually add something to your life. Everything external shall remain external without adding anything to your life.

Why not compare your values, which are the foundation of how you live, with others, instead of comparing external things with them?

Each individual lives with a certain set of values. Those values vary from person to person. Someone may be kinder than others, but others would lack kindness at all. Someone may be empathetic towards others, and others would have none. Each individual then, with a different set of values, lives their lives differently than others.

Each value represents something and plays a part in how your life is lived. One ingredient missing may lay out a different life path than with that ingredient (value).

So, instead of comparing who is buying what and comparing the “worth” of that item with yours, why not observe the values they live their life with and try to emulate that same value in your life as well?

If we’re actually sitting and comparing, why not compare something worthwhile (that would add something to your life)?

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The Last 7 Days #115 (16.05.22 – 22.05.22)

With another Sunday, here’s the 115th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. Art is an Investment to Appreciate. Read more here.
  2. How NFTs Could Increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Read here.
  3. Why Some Animals And Plants Don’t Belong Everywhere? Read it here.
  4. A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert avoids these 5 types of foods that can make you ‘tired and stressed’. Check it out here.
  5. Food fights are not new to India. Medieval texts show mud-slinging among Jains, Buddhists, and Hindus. Read here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On Life Kit, Psychologist Aarti Gupta explains how FOMO shows up in our lives and how to battle it. Listen to it here.
  2. On Props & Drops with Matt Kalish and GaryVee, Kevin Rose joins in to talk Moonbirds, Proof.xyz, and drop some history about Gary and his time in the Web2 world, and much more. Check it out here.
  3. Business Wars focuses on a new ‘battle’, Häagen-Dazs vs Ben & Jerry’s, the battle for ice cream supremacy. Listen here.
  4. Seth Godin riffs about creating conditions for change, on his podcast Akimbo. Check it out here.
  5. In this episode of Naan Curry, Sadaf and Archit chat about one of the most important ingredients in India – milk, its history, its health benefits, types of milk, and more. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. On TED Talks Daily, design thinker and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explains how this new age of the internet (web3) will give way to “the greatest transfer of power from institutions to individuals in all time.” Watch it here.
  2. On Unfiltered by Samdish, Pankaj Tripathi shares his fond memories of doing theatre, talks about some of his iconic roles and reveals his strong opinions on birthdays, and more. Check it out here.
  3. Pooja Hegde speaks to Anupama Chopra about her Cannes 2022 debut, being a ‘Potter nerd’, Arabic Kuthu and the craze around it and what she’s hoping to achieve with the All About Love foundation. Watch here.
  4. Short Film Recommendation of the Week – Tasalli Se (The story revolves around two friends, Somesh and Ranjan, who had a spat on social media but reconcile after 12 long years.) Now streaming on Amazon MiniTV here.
  5. Short Film Recommendation 2 of the Week – Gray (Based on the life of a young woman, Naina, who goes through a tumultuous time after an uncomfortable experience changes her life.) Now streaming on Amazon MiniTV here.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #60 (15.05.22 – 21.05.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. What is an amygdala hijack?

Amygdala hijack is an emotional response to stress, often thought of as losing control of one’s emotions.

An example of this is where you are talking to a friend and they do not appear to be listening to you, ignore what you say, or maybe talk over the top of you.

This kind of interaction can make you ‘snap’. You may suddenly have an outburst such as shouting at them for not listening. Afterwards, you may realize that you overreacted and that the way you acted was unnecessary and you may say to yourself ‘what was I thinking?’.

You may not have been thinking at all as what actually happened is that your amygdala hijacked you.

Amygdala hijack refers to the situations where the amygdala overrides control of a person’s ability to respond rationally to a perceived threat – the logical brain gets impaired due to emotional outbursts caused by the amygdala.

[Guy-Evans/ Simply Psychology]

2. The process of learning and remembering things often feels hard and indeed can evoke agitation. Most people don’t realize it, but agitation is the entry point to learning. Literally, the adrenaline that causes agitation signals the nervous system that it should be ready to change. Without it the nervous system is not as primed for change— the process we call neuroplasticity.

Once you understand this, you will more likely embrace (as opposed to avoiding) agitation. Also, after a period of challenging focus and learning, there is an associated increase in feel-good molecules such as dopamine (and to a lesser extent, serotonin).

The takeaway: learning is a process that starts with focus, alertness, and agitation, …and the process is consolidated during sleep and non-sleep deep rest (NSDR).

We all have the capacity for neuroplasticity. Don’t hesitate to lean into it as a process. Recognise the agitation as part of that process. The feel-good part arrives at the end, or days later when, as if suddenly, you have acquired new abilities. [Dr Andrew D Huberman]

3. Movement is literally an expression of the way in which we think and feel. The way you move affects the way you feel, and the way you feel is inseparably tied to the expression of your internal chemistry.

A fascinating study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University showed how posture during communication not only informs the way others perceive you but may even shape your own self-belief.

Researchers asked the participants to list three positive and three negative traits they possess that would impact their professional performance at a future job. Half of the participants were asked to write these traits while they were in a hunched-over position, while the other half were asked to assume an upright posture during the process.

The results were striking. Their posture not only impacted whether or not they identified with the positive things they were asked to write about themselves but also affected a participant’s belief in the statements, positive or negative. [Neurohacker]

4. Lack of sleep can create an imbalance in the body that increases ghrelin levels and lowers leptin levels. This can cause you to feel hungrier during the day. This imbalance caused by sleep deprivation may lead to a higher calorie intake during the day. [Source: Sleep Foundation]

5. The greatest threat to results is impatience.

If you let it, a tiny daily advantage will compound into a massive generational one.

A lack of patience changes the outcome. [Shane Parrish]

Some want to help and some want to show that they help

Some want to help and some want to show that they help

While the topic of this post would say otherwise, there are actually three types of people: ones who want to help, ones who show they help/ or want to help, and ones who don’t want to help at all.

How does an individual address your concerns or issues, by their behaviour, body language, or by their words, it can be determined beforehand which category they fall into.

While the ones who want to help would be optimistically the preferred choice to be around, the second-best option would be those who don’t want to help at all, avoiding that third category at all: showing that they want to help.

Some people are innately helpful, and it shows. When you have a problem or a task that you want some help with, they’ll be there with you. They’ll try to help out, and if not practically, at least on paper try to come up with a solution, or at the least try to get someone else on board who would help out. The point is, that they want to help.

Why do you want to avoid those that show they want to help and possibly have those who don’t want to help at all as the second option is simply this… When help is required, you don’t want to wait around, and you don’t want to keep asking. Those that don’t want to or rather maybe the better way to put it is those who can’t help you out are at least decisive with their answer.

Those that want to simply show they want to help will probably waste your energy, waste your time, and eventually neither would you get the help you required and neither are you approaching anyone else in this scenario. You’re sitting around for this ‘help’ you’re going to get from this individual while from their point of view, they only want to one-on-one or publicly show their “want to help” without providing any real solution.

Understanding these three types of people are important because when a situation arises, you’d want to know whom to contact and whom to stay away from. Not that you wouldn’t want one in your circle (circumstances of choosing those are different from this topic), but you know whom to definitely approach.

The thing about Variables

The thing about Variables

The thing about variables is that you never know which one to choose. What’s even more shocking about variables is that there are too many of them.

Statement 1: I want to lose weight

Variable 1: I can choose to start eating better food items, thus avoiding the food items that made me gain weight

Variable 2: I can eat the same things as I am now, but go extremely hard-core on my workout

Variable 3: I can choose to balance what I eat and how much workout I do, thereby doing both, and in moderation that has no sudden impact on my body.

Variable 4: I can simply walk on the same path as now and only wish to lose weight every few weeks/ months.

While I’m sure that there are more variables to this statement, these four top the scenario that we confront each time such a thought arises.

Variables don’t just occur in a micro scenario but happen in a macro scenario as well.

Statement 2: I want to do something about the climate.

Variable 1: You can first implement all the changes in your own lifestyle first before advocating bigger changes.

Variable 2: You can be an advocate about the climate but share that information whilst wasting water in the bathroom or using plastic items yourself.

Variable 3: You can practically showcase individualistic alternative changes that you’re applying yourself and inspire others to do the same because sharing problems is easier than sharing solutions.

Variable 4: You can go above and beyond the third variable and indicate legitimate changes that brands can apply publicly, thus showcasing real changes that can be done as well as applying pressure publicly.

Yet again, this particular example is massive to at least have a hundred and more variables to it.

When confronted with a scenario, we usually proceed with two default scenarios, one that we are programmed with (our mindset) that says what to do, and the second one, following what everyone else is doing.

At that moment, we don’t wait to think of the variables that arise along with the scenario, and only if we did, then we’d know that we can realistically approach with a much better variable than what we’d have chosen… and not just one, but a mixture of variables as well.

That’s the beauty of variables.

The urge to show-off

The urge to show-off

You have probably met someone who constantly shows off their materialistic wealth, don’t you? This individual would, even without a discussion on that topic, start sharing about what they have, what they own, what is their overall or a particular item’s financial worth, basically anything that has been accumulated on their own or because of their family wealth.

Where does this urge to show off originate from? There’s deep insecurity within to either feel recognized, feel important, or a need to feel superior to others. When you aren’t secure with your identity and your values and the path of life you’re walking on, one usually falls back on external items/ scenarios/ circumstances that give them the contentment of security which eventually becomes their identity.

This attached identity then becomes a crown that you have to show people so they know you, so they can see you in the room. They’ll introduce a topic and hope that someone’s interested because when one is, doors are opened for them to “connect” further and talk more about that “attached identity” which eventually is this materialistic wealth.

What they fail to recognize is reading the room and observing whether other people are secure with their identities and their ideas and their values and how obnoxious would they feel this particular individual is who constantly rambles on about the materialistic items/ experiences in their life, thus losing out on any connection possible.

Another peril of having this attached identity is the fragile ego that comes along with it. While there’s a need to be seen and to be recognized, what also ends up happening is when the importance isn’t shown at that point, or if someone has something “superior” to them or when they’re questioned… It ends up destroying their ego, with them feeling hurt and damaged because it is hurting and damaging this “identity” they’ve held onto.

//while it’s easier to pinpoint one individual in this process, arrows can also be pinpointed in their upbringing where the easiest path possible is laid down to walk upon and the slightest and the biggest of wants are fulfilled, leading to this sense of identity and approach of life.//

Any human wants to feel connected, but that comes with a strong set of beliefs and values, that makes you want to spend more time with them and not vice-versa. The bigger question is not about the materialistic things you own, but what have you attached your identity with and how secure you’re in your life because both things can be totally different and work out just fine.

The gain and loss of following the Excitement

The gain and loss of following the Excitement

What excites you the most? Not what must be done, not what you have to do, or what is being made to do… The question you should ask is what excites you the most?

When you follow the excitement, you gain a few things by losing a few things. What do you lose? The sense of time. When you’re lost in your enjoyment, you don’t feel the need to check the time or if there’s an end time to it at all.

What do you gain? A flow of energy and focus. When you’re doing something, anything, not particularly professional, but even the tiniest bit of what you do (as a task or a goal), there’s a flow of energy that generates within, when the energy flows through you. In such a circumstance, you’re focused, flowing with ideas, determined to do what you’re doing, but also enjoying the process as well.

The cost of a third choice

The cost of a third choice

You have two choices, A or B.

You must make a decision and choose one.

So now you weigh the pros and cons, or the advantages and disadvantages, or however else you’d like to compare the two choices.

But, now you’re in a conundrum. You cannot decide. You like A. You like B. It all seems difficult now.

In order to lessen the confusion, you think, “How about a third choice?”

A third choice may make the matter easier. When you come up with that third choice, everything will get cleared and you assume you’ll go with C in that scenario.

Now you work and think of a third choice. But, here’s another issue… By the time you were thinking about the third choice, you lost out on the first two choices. There’s no way to choose them anymore.

And that’s the cost of the third choice.

Either due to a lack of decision making or due to this need for perfectionism, you weren’t able to decide on the former two choices that were readily available to you.

You just had to make a decision and it was all done. But the want to have more choices, the want to have everything perfect, that wait to have more made you lose on the two choices (that were according to you) and that you could’ve chosen.

The cost of the third choice is an expensive one, one that occurs time and again,

– if we don’t drop the idea of perfect,

– if we don’t level up our decision-making skills,

– if we don’t truly understand what we want in the first place.

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The Last 7 Days #114 (09.05.22 – 15.05.22)

With another Sunday, here’s the 114th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. The Tail End. Read in detail here.
  2. A psychotherapist shares the 3 exercises she uses every day to ‘stop obsessing about the future’. Check it out here.
  3. Inflation And The Nominal Illusion. Read here.
  4. Long Covid is ‘continuing to increase,’ experts say. Here’s how to know if you have it — and what to do about it. Read more here.
  5. Behold the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole in the first-ever photo. Check it out here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On the On Purpose podcast, Jay Shetty sits down with Andrew Huberman to talk about the beauty and power of the human mind, the best way people can approach learning, what happens while we sleep, the impact of dopamine and so much more. Listen here.
  2. On the a16z podcast, General partner Chris Dixon chats with Brian McCullough about How the Internet Happened — and more broadly, about how tech adoption and innovation happens. They discuss lessons learned, how innovation doesn’t happen in a straight line, and what the past can tell us about the next phase of the internet and technology. Check it out here.
  3. On My First Million, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri sit down with entrepreneur and online marketing guru Neil Patel to talk about his success starting as a blogger to making 9-figures in revenue. Listen to it here.
  4. On Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast, Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how he picked which college to attend, the naming of his daughter, what he would do if he were dean of admissions of Harvard, how flight attendants assume he’s not in first-class because he’s black, the limitations of the bible as a reference source and more. Check it out here.
  5. In this episode of “In the Envelope,” John Cena walks us through every step from selling out arenas in the WWE to the on-screen failures that motivated him in the lead-up to joining the DC Universe and “Fast & Furious” franchise, Cena breaks down how he always tries to find—and subvert—the motivations of any persona he plays. Listen here.

What To Watch:

  1. Gary Vaynerchuck joins the Impaulsive podcast to discuss the Web3 revolution, his biggest regret with Kobe Bryant, why he didn’t invest in UBER, being impersonated on TikTok, why Jake Paul vs Logan Paul MUST happen, cancelling college forever, Cryptopunks over Bored Apes, how to love yourself & more. Watch it here.
  2. Why Cloves Are So Expensive? Check it out here.
  3. In this edition of FC Front Row, Ranveer Singh speaks about his purpose as an actor, the dissonance between his public and private persona and Jayeshbhai Jordaar. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Guilty Minds (Legal drama erupts between a family that is the paragon of virtue and the other, a leading law firm dealing with all shades of grey.) Now streaming on Amazon Prime here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Puzhu (A gripping thriller with focus on the relationship between a father and son, and the underlying family dynamics and trust issues that follow.) Now streaming on SonyLIV here.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #59 (08.05.22 – 14.05.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Selfish morality:
– The selfish reason, to be honest, is to clear the mind of exhausting lies and to navigate towards people and situations where you can be completely authentic.
– The selfish reason to love is that it feels better to be in love than to be loved (but don’t expect much back).
– The selfish reason to be ethical is that it attracts the other ethical people in the network.
– The selfish reason to be temperate is that overindulgence desensitizes you to the subtle everyday pleasures of life.
– The selfish reason to be humble is that the more seriously you take yourself, the unhappier you’re going to be.
– The selfish reason to be faithful or dutiful is that it gives you something to care about more than yourself.
– The selfish reason to be thrifty is that living far below your means frees you from obsessing over money.
– The selfish reason to be honourable is that self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.
– The selfish reason to be calm is that anger burns you first before burning the other.
A cool and calm person is more effective than an angry and agitated one.
– The selfish reason to forgive is so that you can move on with the rest of your life (but you can’t fake it or rush it).
– The selfish person realizes that happiness belongs to the self-less. [Naval Ravikant]

2. Human tendency to conform, especially when in large groups, is terrifying. Propaganda machines leverage this throughout human history.

The way out is to think freely, detached from the divisive narratives of the day that masquerade as universal truths.

This often feels lonely. [Lex Fridman]

3. The highest compliment from someone who disagrees with you is not “You were right.” It’s “You made me think.”

Good arguments help us recognize complexity where we once saw simplicity.

The ultimate purpose of debate is not to produce consensus. It’s to promote critical thinking. [Adam Grant]

4. The Accountability Ladder

[Framework: Bruce Gordon Illustration: sketchplantations]

5. Being politically ideological and politically tribal are different things, in direct conflict with each other. Being ideological nails your feet to a point on the political spectrum. Being tribal nails you to a group of people, wherever those people drift along the spectrum.

Some people seem both ideological and tribal, but deep down, their true loyalty lies either with the ideology or with the group of people. The litmus test happens when a political tribe rapidly repositions itself ideologically, for strategic reasons.

Of course, there’s a third way: don’t nail yourself to a set of ideas OR a group of people. Be loyal only to ways of thinking (humility, the scientific method, etc).

I think independence is the thing to strive for and between the other two, ideological is better than tribal. [Tim Urban]

Without knowing the time

Without knowing the time

What would you do if there was no clock nearby? While this could be looked at from a macro lens and its impact on our life, today’s approach to this topic is from a micro lens.

What would you do if there was no clock nearby? Let’s look at this question from another lens. We plan our day ahead of time and we set these slots in our calendars based on the tasks that we have for the day. For everything that has to be done, there’s a start and end time that has been set.

What would you do if there was no clock? How would you approach your day without knowing the time? The way we currently go about our day is mostly automated and everything happens based on a pattern that we have been following. When we mix too many tasks, our brain is not able to switch so easily. While we may be doing something we have already done before, our automated process has taken over and we feel like we’re accomplishing something. Here’s also when we should bring in the topic of quality vs quantity and look at our day from those lenses to better understand our productivity rate.

Nonetheless, when you approach your day without knowing the time, now you approach your tasks based on a flow that you feel within. How much time you want to spend on something is now not based on a calendar but based on how focused you are on it and how much energy you have for it. Once you’re feeling exhausted in both those categories also means that it’s either time to take a break or to move on to the next thing, both of which weren’t earlier possible when there was an external end time set to your task and you were just working off it.

While we are looking at this approach based on a singular task and while you can already imagine the difference between the two approaches theoretically, imagine how this approach looks when you approach your entire day with this outlook. What you will do and what you won’t do when you approach your day without knowing the time?

Breaking down every aspect of our mindset

Breaking down every aspect of our mindset

Breaking down our mindset is such an exciting and interesting process that it cannot be explained in mere words. We are, from childhood, programmed to function in a particular way, every decision we make is based on how it would look in the society we live in. Not just the decisions, but even our thought process is programmed similarly, which is also why different human beings with different tastes may look similar when in a group because they approach life similarly.

What do we think? What’s the foundation of our thoughts and our ideation and our decision making? Why do we think in a certain way? Do we feel challenged or welcoming when approached with opposite thoughts than our own? The topic of one’s own mindset is so beautiful to dissect, but one should definitely do it on their own (with better learning and preparation).

When you break down every aspect of our mindset, we start to learn everything about our life, past, present, and future. How we have lived our life, the steps we have taken and the decisions we have made, the decisions that went wrong, and to actually break down the why behind it all breaks down our mindset into how did all of it come into the picture. Where did it all originate from? While now you may be functioning in a pattern, every pattern has had to originate from somewhere and then you kept on repeating it until it became a part of your identity.

To find out the origin means you find out your influence, whether it is from another person, from looking at the society as a whole or from your education system or from what you consume (content). Everything influences you somehow and eventually becomes a part of how you function.

Every bit compiled together then becomes your mindset, how you approach life, micro and macro. What path will you be walking, what will your approach be when a setback or difficulty arrives, how open are you towards your change and so much more can all be determined through your current mindset.

These are only a few aspects to pinpoint, but everything whether personal or professional, whether your ideation or execution, your direction, your communication, your relationships, your goals or vision or process of living life, everything comes from your mindset.

To then break down every aspect of it thus makes your process of living life much more beautiful than before, because now you understand the why behind everything, the foundation of it, you’re now in control and controlling your steps and actions based on how you have styled your mindset. (in comparison to an already programmed mindset which didn’t serve you to your benefit, or was programmed already for you)

The list of things that go wrong

The list of things that go wrong

When we compile a list of everything that has happened in our lives, the list would most likely be divided into two, a list of things that went right and a list of things that went wrong.

Such a list would apply to everyone, no one is averse to any side. There’s a likely scenario where the list of things that went wrong is much more than the other side. It’s not that one thing goes wrong and three go right. Usually, it’s the other way round, five things go wrong and one thing goes right, which would also explain why the list of wrongs is longer.

Every time something wrong happens, meaning the process or the outcome didn’t turn in our favour, there could be a planning issue, mindset issue, or execution issue, to pinpoint one would be difficult. Every time something goes wrong, it becomes a setback for us. We think about it long and hard, so we don’t repeat it and if we gather the chance to do it again, then do it right the next time.

While even if we physically don’t prepare such a list, internally we already know about such a list and everything that has gone wrong in our life. But here’s where it gets fascinating… when you unlock this perspective of looking at the list of things that have gone wrong you see your life differently. Even when five things have gone wrong, and they could have been really bad setbacks and may have emotionally and mentally set you down too, that one thing which has gone right has more weightage in your life that outweighs those five things that have gone wrong.

So if you ever prepare such a list and even when you find out that the list of things that have gone wrong is so much more than the things that have gone right in your life… instead of only seeing the quantity, also notice the quality because the smaller side (things that have gone right) have so much more power than the list of things that have gone wrong.

When we come across something we don’t know about

When we come across something we don’t know about

With everything that has happened in the past/ or happening right now in the present… or even if we forget about the worldly events for a second and focus on ourselves, how humans came into existence for example and everything there is to know about the human mind and body, we might just be knowing 0.01% of that information and even that number is simply an optimistic stretch based on everything there is to know.

Quite often, and this probably happens every day, when we come across something we don’t know about and we either,
– let it go and move on,
– just accept what has been told to us
– Or, we can use a second and access this large pool of information that we have access to through the internet.

Instead of accepting anything as is, or accepting based on hearsay, why not just take some time out to find out more about what you were curious about. What’s the meaning of that thing, what’s its history, and how did it come into the picture?

What’s unimaginable is how every time we feed our curiosity, we obviously learn so much, but more importantly, we never realise how useful that information becomes, especially with our ideation or execution process for anything.

When we say, I don’t know this or I don’t know about it, what we can add is a yet at the end of it and start researching on that topic. To what depths would you want to go is up to you, but even at the surface knowing something means more than not knowing about it at all.

Your prioritisation and its impact on life

Your prioritisation and its impact on life

From time to time, there are always a bunch of things that we need/ want to do, not all of them are necessarily important and yet they end up on our list of things to do. Because the time is limited, i.e. 24 hours every day, you now have to prioritise things.

What should be noted is, that when we prioritise things, we don’t necessarily do them based on the importance of those tasks. We prioritise them based on the emotions we are feeling at that point in time. This also means that if we’re feeling lazy or we feel to be entertained, then we may end up doing something that is a complete waste of time, or rather the better way to explain this is… prioritising something that has no impact on our life over something that could have actually helped us grow or move forward in life (personally or professionally).

Quite often, our decisions are made in this flow of emotions. These emotions we do not control, but they do branch out of our mindset, which we can mould. Based on the hastiness of our decision making, this affects our tasks/ things to do, thus affecting the impact those things would have had on our lives and the path that our life would have taken and the opportunities we would have gotten at that point of time had we walked on that path.

Now, because of how we prioritise our tasks, we don’t take into account their impact on our life. We don’t think that long and why would we? We feed off our current emotions and we look at today. We don’t see the tomorrow and how prioritising something that is actually important may help our life immediately or somewhere down the line.

That perspective and that approach to decision making then help us prioritise everything in that order, not that fun is out of the way, but everything is then balanced from that lens… Keeping our vision and the goals of our life in check and ensuring that we are on the right path forward, or the path we want to be on… whilst we do a little bit of everything we want to do without giving up on anything.

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The Last 7 Days #113 (02.05.21 – 08.05.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 113th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. 7 Essential Ingredients of a Metaverse. Check it out here.
  2. We Created the ‘Pandemicene’. Read more here.
  3. Scientists Find No Benefit to Time-Restricted Eating. Read here.
  4. With NFTs Any Type of IP Can Be Monetized. Find out more here.
  5. Successful people do these 3 things on Sunday for a happier, stress-free week, according to a productivity expert. Check it out here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On Sway, Kara Swisher asks Ray Dalio, the billionaire behind the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, to explain his theory behind the rise and decline of empires. They talk about China’s rise and how American competitiveness will shake out as the nation faces potential stagflation in addition to polarization, inequality and a new, Gen Z approach to work. Listen to it here.
  2. 25 Essential Rules for Life (from the Stoics) on the Daily Stoic Podcast. Check it out here.
  3. In this conversation with LinkedIn Editor-in-Chief Dan Roth, Toto Wolff holds forth on his journey, his business practices, including his infamous commitment to candor and transparency, and his hope for the next generation. Listen here.
  4. On Naan Curry with Sadar and Archit, the hosts discuss Halwa, its beautiful history, why is it a healthy tonic, what are Habshi and Sohan Halwas and more. Check it out here.
  5. On Variety Awards Circuit, Tom Hiddleston talks about his two Emmy contenders, Loki and The Essex Serpent, having a milestone birthday during the pandemic and more. Listen here.

What To Watch:

  1. In this View From The Top interview, CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, speaks to Archana Sohmshetty, MBA ’22, about the impact of access to technology, humanity’s challenge to harness it, and how Google is sustainably defining the future of work. Watch it here.
  2. Why there’s no one inside the Spider-man suit? Check it out here.
  3. On this episode of The Bombay Journey X Sunday Brunch, Pooja Hegde talks about her journey from the Miss India stage to working in various film industries across the Nation and more. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Made for Love (A woman is on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to a tech billionaire, who has implanted a monitoring device in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her and know her “emotional data” as she tries to regain her independence.)
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Thar (A veteran cop sees the chance to prove himself when murder shakes up a sleepy desert town, sending him into the seedy underbelly of the town as he attempts to uncover a grisly torture plot.) Now streaming on Netflix here.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #58 (01.05.22 – 07.05.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Some situations seem to call for an opponent.

It might be our personality, the structure of the engagement or the way we’ve been taught to behave, but having an enemy seems to focus individuals and groups.

For fifty years, America decided that the USSR was the enemy and spent a great deal of time and money and attention maintaining that threat.

For many people, the boss is the enemy, the controlling managerial authority, the opponent to be bested in a fight over work, effort and passion.

Or it might simply be the hockey team we’re skating against tonight.

Pick your enemies, pick your future. [Seth Godin]

2. Novelist Doris Lessing on the various ways to succeed:

“We all of us have limited amounts of energy, and I am sure the people who are successful have learned, either by instinct or consciously, to use their energies well instead of spilling them about. And this has to be different for every person, writer or otherwise. I know writers who go to parties every night and then, recharged instead of depleted, happily write all day. But if I stay up half the night talking, I don’t do so well the next day. Some writers like to start work as soon as they can in the morning, while others like the night or—for me almost impossible—the afternoons. Trial and error, and then when you’ve found your needs, what feeds you, what is your instinctive rhythm and routine, then cherish it.”

Source: Walking in the Shade​

3. Husband and wife combo, Benjamin Zander, a longtime conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Rosamund Zander, a family therapist, on the power of point of view:

“Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.”

Source: The Art of Possibility​

4. When you ask a great master or a real expert for advice, they give you seemingly vague or non-specific answers, they shun being prescriptive. What they think matters is not what you believe matters. Further, they know you will misinterpret a specific answer.

They know you will take any advice and blindly follow it.

Any great architect, artist, or cook goes through the rote stages of learning until they improve to a high level, after that they ‘abandon’ all knowledge and go by feel, pure essence.

This is what you need to do if you want a lifetime of health and fitness. NOT calorie counting, 300 mins of Zone 2, ‘cardio’, incline bench, Tabata, etc.

You REWILD yourself. Smell the flowers, climb trees, eat natural, get the sun, sleep, and swim in the sea. [Guru Anaerobic/ Mark Baker]

5. Experience is the frequency and quality of feedback loops and not elapsed years.

Many people stay the same for years and many evolve 10x in a single year. [Kunal Shah]

I said Apple was shit 12 years ago

I said Apple was shit 12 years ago

This is back in 2010, we were done with school, and with the sights set on college it was time to buy my first phone and such were the times during those days.

In the days when Blackberry was the leader, the Apple phones felt quite super-heroic in their features and Android was just starting out. I chose one of those slider phones, which was considered to be a simple phone, not attached to any of the above 3 operating systems.

While that quickly changed, as phones were introduced to the market at a quick pace, I jumped ship to Android pretty soon. Not only were their phones a cheaper alternative to Apple at the time, one of their advantages was that they came from Google. The other was their open-source approach to the closed Apple approach. The latter provided with what they felt was right while the former included their fan base’s choices in their decisions and felt pretty approachable.

This was a time when phones in both categories, Android and Apple were constantly upgrading their technology and newer features were being launched by the day.

Alas, these were also the young naive days when you hold onto something and defend it like a mad beast… Meaning defending and having “silly debates” with your friends about Android vs Apple and which one is better. Thus, the title of the blog post… Amongst all the silly things done back in the day, of calling Android better than Apple, tearing apart their differences and what’s better in which category… It’s been 12 years and there have been some developments.

Not to forget, these 12 years, we have seen some major developments in the technology itself and all kinds of major and minor upgrades that we didn’t think were even possible have been seen. Over time, I have seemed to recognise that both, Android and Apple have their pros and cons respectively and certain things set them apart on their own. There’s also an understanding and acceptance that there’s a lot more competition in the Android space itself and specifically, in the last two years, all phones have started to look the same, feel the same and are providing the same features too.

Amongst all of that, it has been Apple who even though comes in the same category of not seeing a lot of major changes, they’ve been quite stable in what they’ve been doing and has simultaneously been the leader in every minor specification of what a smartphone provides. And honestly, that is what also sets them apart in today’s time.

What is this post about then? Well, whatever was said 12 years ago has now changed… There have been mindset changes, there have been perspective changes, and well, this pro-Android guy now bought an iPhone 13 (05.05.2022 – the date is just for me to remember). While there’s a lot of adjusting to being done, it does feel different but good to now use an iPhone.

The Constant Reminder

The Constant Reminder

There are a hundred different ways to get distracted at every moment of time, not just through our smartphones which are definitely the major catalyst, but in every which way everything is designed in a way to control us, our decision making and our lives.

Whether because of our current routine patterns (which should be changed depending on their impact) in terms of thoughts, actions, communication, or execution (these are all established through some sort of external influence and rarely designed by us) or because of some story that is been told through marketing, it is easier to let someone else have the control of the situation and decide our next step, however micro it may be.

The someone may not necessarily be another human but a company, a product or service, any entity that wants to sell something that basically benefits them… In the most micro of observations, everything that we do is so externally controlled that it sometimes is difficult to even realize whether we are in control or not. Control of our lives? Control of our decision-making? Control of our very next step?

To then create a routine where we constantly remind ourselves to ask a very simple question, ‘Are we in control of what’s happening?’
We might not always be, but even then it’s good to ask the question and find out the answer is no, we’re not. And when we can be, that question will become an important one, because it’ll help us correct our stand and change the path if need be, to one where we actually are in control of what we’re doing or about to do.

Professing your love on the monuments

Professing your love on the monuments

When was the last time you visited a monument and noticed how these “couples” visiting the monuments have carved their names on them? No matter how important these monuments may be, or how historic, it doesn’t matter to them, what matters is etching their names there which is an indication of “their love” towards each other and making it a part of history.

While those two individuals together would’ve found it “romantic” multiplied by the number of couples carving their names, it actually is a sign of insecurity and lack of love between them.

Let’s break it down… Two individuals in love with each other and who are self-aware enough to be secure by themselves and secure with their partner know their feelings and their lives enough to understand each other’s love and don’t particularly need any such sign in the public forum to prove that.

When that love isn’t indicative or when one’s in constant fear that their partner doesn’t love them or when there’s a fear that the other might leave someday or even a fear that they don’t want to be with this person or they aren’t honest with each other about their feelings towards each other, are the times when insecurities start boiling up.

While most people don’t understand this, nor are they aware of their emotional structures, they then fall to exterior methods to hold on to their relationships, to feel that love again they felt on the first day, to “prove” their love, these exterior methods pop up. Flowers, gifts, and such methods may be moments of joy but don’t tackle the insecurities, so something deeper is needed for them, which will create a lasting memory for not only them but also becomes a public announcement for people to recognize.

When it’s boiled down to these factors, is there any better way than to carve their names on the monuments… On these historical monuments that will stay for hundreds of years… And while people visit them and learn about their history, they’ll also notice the names of these couples whose names are now “etched in history”.

Before I say what a good move by them to be remembered forever, and to use someone’s else story to hold on to their own story, has anyone kept a note of whether these couples are still together or whether their insecurities got the better of them and they ruined the monument for nothing?

Sharing your joys and sorrows

Sharing your joys and sorrows

Happiness is usually kept within, and every moment of one’s sorrow is shared with others, have you ever noticed that pattern? Especially when it comes to one’s close ones, people often share their pains, in order to reduce the weightage of that pain from their own shoulders, they share that load with someone else… Or in order to find a solution, they’ll share every bit of it with others.

But do they then share all their emotions, all their joys and happiness?

While there are reasons to share your sorrows, there are reasons more than those to share your joys. To share these moments of happiness with others, to include them in your journey, and share with them what you’re experiencing, what you have achieved, is a different joy altogether.

Sharing doesn’t mean getting something off that you don’t want yourself… But it means to share everything you’ve got so someone else can then walk the path with you, can experience what you’re experiencing, and that means sharing your sorrows as well as sharing your joys.

Do people around you share both? That is something that one needs to observe.

History tells us

History tells us

Learning our history is such an interesting subject, the more you delve into it, the more there is to learn. The deeper you study about a particular period/era, about a particular location, about a particular individual, you just get amazed by all the information you get (especially if that information is from way before than you can imagine).

But there’s another interesting thing that history tells us. When you observe the patterns of the present, of how the world is run, of the developments that occur, of how technology is advancing ahead, you’ll always notice a resemblance of that pattern in our history too.

Upon careful observation, you’ll notice that nothing that happens is actually new or fresh or happening for the first time. Some things may look evolved, and some may look fresher/ newer, but there are always strings attached to them from the past.

There’s a lot that happened in our history, some of it got carried forward, some of it was kept hidden from ever being known, and some of it became rumours.

After all of that, everything that happens today, in terms of new creations/ developments/ products/ services/ ideas, everything seems to be an extension of our history, either an evolved idea from the past, or a sub-branch created from the parent branch, or many a time, even the exact same thing simply modernized.

Knowing and understanding all of this makes learning history even more interesting, connecting these dots, feeling your mind blown when you see the origin of a particular idea, knowing how some patterns just keep on repeating… History tells us so much.

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The Last 7 Days #112 (25.04.21 – 01.05.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 112th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. Elon Musk can’t insult Twitter: Every weird detail in Musk’s $44 billion Twitter buyout deal that ensures both parties commit to the agreement. Read it here.
  2. The NFT Narrative. Read more here.
  3. Why Billionaires and Celebrities Are Tripping Over Themselves to Buy Chelsea F.C. Check it out here.
  4. The Controversy of Copyright in NFTs… is CC0 The Solution? Read here.
  5. A nutritionist shares the 35 best foods to boost mood and brain energy levels. Check it out here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On the Superteam podcast, Tanmay Bhat and Akshay BD interview Brian Armstrong, co-founder, and CEO of Coinbase about his entrepreneurial journey, Coinbase’s history, India launch, and much more. Listen to it here.
  2. In this conversation on Sway, Kara Swisher and Jimmy Kimmel discuss whether cancel culture has come too far, Kimmel’s own evolution from pranks on “The Man Show” to political commentary on access to health care and how Trump changed the comedy world. Listen here.
  3. On The Joe Pomp Show, AJ Vaynerchuk discusses the qualities that all world-class entrepreneurs share, the balance between hard work, family, and health, the pros & cons of angel investing, and much more. Check it out here.
  4. Podcast Recommendation: Think Fast with Varun and Suchita (Think Fast is a podcast about the latest trends and conversations happening in the world of business, media, content, marketing and beyond.) Check it out here.
  5. On The Empire Film Podcast, Kenneth Branagh talks about growing up during very different eras, about Branagh’s decision to make the movie now, and about his creative choices such as going black-and-white and using copious amounts of Van Morrison on the soundtrack, Northern Irish accents and much more. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. How Nike tricked the US Government? Know more here.
  2. On The Bombay Journey, Abhishek Bachchan talks about his film Dasvi, growing up in Juhu and stories from there, and his life in and around the film industry. Watch it here.
  3. In this session of FC Front Row, Ajay Devgn talks to Anupama Chopra about negotiating success on his terms, the need for the Hindi film industry to be more unified and being a spontaneous actor. He also talks about his upcoming film Runway 34 and a quick update about Singham 3. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Better Call Saul (Ex-con artist Jimmy McGill turns into a small-time attorney and goes through a series of trials and tragedies, as he transforms into his alter ego Saul Goodman, a morally challenged criminal lawyer.) Now streaming on Netflix here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Naradan (When a colleague lands a coveted job, a journalist throws away his moral principles and writes fabricated and half-baked stories to become a major influencer.) Now streaming on Amazon Prime here.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #57 (24.04.22 – 30.04.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers on how to change someone’s mind:

“The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.”

Source: The Overstory

2. If you’re ever sitting waiting for a response from someone anxiously, just remember – people don’t delay delivering the good news. [Harry Hurst]

3. Rival and Non-Rival Goods

Source: sketchplantations

4. Author Bell Hooks on the balance between justice and compassion:

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”

Source: “There’s No Place to Go But Up” — bell hooks and Maya Angelou in conversation​

​5. Happiness is not a function of what you achieve. It’s a function of how you spend your time.

Success is a temporary thrill. Happiness lies in doing daily activities that bring you joy.

There’s always a new mountain to climb. You don’t have to anchor your emotions to the summit. [Adam Grant]

A list of inner success

A list of inner success

The world is evolving in a way where it’s moulding us into people full of wants. To achieve those wants, we keep chasing and chasing, on a never-ending battle with time and health and fulfillments.

We achieve one want, and the list is ready to achieve another. We often make these lists of “external success” that we’d love to have under our portfolio. Whether those are physical goods and services, or digital, or a particular title or valuation, it could be a single thing or multiple things.

We revolve our life around those things and forget about everything else.

But, in this battle, we forget about the most important things that make our life what it – whether it is our physical or mental health, our connection with ourselves or with the higher power (higher power or the Universe or God, however you personally feel in this area), our relationships, our purpose/ service.

Some people do realize this and start walking on this path, they start learning, practicing, implementing and witnessing change in those areas.

Sometimes the areas you need to touch upon or the work that has to be done is humongous to even think of. Sometimes thinking of the future, we forget all the work that we have already done, the work that got us to this point.

As people create lists for their external wants, one should also create a list of inner success.

A list that says the minutest of things that you have achieved internally, the things that you have worked upon and improved at.

A list that depicts your progress on this path.

A list that you can look upon, which will give you a reality check of everything that you’ve done and give you a sense of progress.

A list that you can look at, when you feel you’ve done nothing, when you feel you aren’t doing enough, when you feel unlike yourself.

A list of inner success.

The problem with advice

The problem with advice

There’s no shortage of advice anywhere, online or in the real world, wouldn’t you agree? Everywhere you look, there’s someone advising something or the other to someone else. When you go online, on every social media platform, there are posts filled with advice, on what worked for them, and what didn’t.

While the advice is good, especially from someone who has achieved or been on a path where you would like to walk on, it’s really helpful to seek such advice and benefit from it. Because it’ll help you move forward better than without having such advice.

But there’s a problem. The problem with advice is that what worked for someone else might not work for you. Every individual has their own path, their own manner of decision-making, their own style of thinking and executing, and their environment that constantly affects everything they do, and all of this is different for all.

When you approach this topic from that perspective, while it’d be great to accept such advice and take it into consideration, you still have to evaluate it and kind of mix it with your life and implement your own style to it.

For example, while some diets work wonders for some, it’s not the case with everybody else. While some routines work for some, it’s not the case with everyone else. How someone approached their business or their idea, the same method might not work for you.

Usually, we’re happy to take in all the advice we can get. And we should. But it’s not a case of copy-paste and moreover, it’s not a case of heeding their advice and getting the same outcome, because chances are it won’t be. To then understand this perspective and how it affects your life and everything you do, post that each and every piece of advice there could be is welcome, but how you approach it is now something that you can do differently.

When you put labels on others but not yourself (Part 2)

When you put labels on others but not yourself (Part 2)

In the previous post, we identified the concept of labels and how we, humans, approach the concept on a mass level, we ourselves use it to divide us furthermore and instead of connecting, the disconnect is growing at a more rapid pace than before. (You can check out that post here: The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

While there are flaws with the concept and the approach and while that could be an individualistic point of view, here’s a common problem with the entire concept… People love to put labels on others, categorize them, opinionate about them, judge them, but don’t put labels on themselves.

Either because of arrogance or ego or more likely, a lack of self-awareness, a lot of people would be first in line when an individual has to be matched with a certain label, but aren’t able to recognize what labels they themselves fall under.

While some labels could be used to connect with others, while some labels could be used to understand others or help make better decisions, there are also labels that multiple people could fall under, which are also shortcomings or flaws, which bring the particular individual and anyone with that label down immediately, not from a comparative point of view, but just the approach itself. For example, someone may have a history of rage driving, or it could something worse, where it’s a problem in the real world and people fail to recognize that they fall under these labels.

How will an individual make their lives better, their decision-making better, their approach better, how will they evolve individually, if they fail to see the labels they themselves fall under? (especially the problematic ones, which may not only affect themselves but affect those around them)

Before making the stride to label others, maybe if we’re carrying on the approach of labelling people, maybe we should start with ourselves. Understand which labels you fall under, which ones you associate with, and which ones would you like to change. These labels need not be exterior only, but could be with respect to your goals, your values, your mindset… the concept of “labels” is for everything, even if you think there isn’t for any one particular thing.

The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

The Thing about Labels (Part 1)

As a society, we have got a habit of putting labels on people, it’s easier to categorize them this way, and moreover, it’s easier to judge them this way. Putting labels on others isn’t a new approach, it’s been done for centuries… It was the only way for people to become better than each other, and feel superior to others.

Whether it was from a kingdom’s approach back in the day, or from a religious standpoint… Later down the line it evolved into political labels, and henceforth to every tiny minuscule a label that can be differentiated.

Now, at the current point in time, it’s because of these labels that communities are formed, and it’s because of these labels that fights/ riots/debates happen. Whether from the economic standpoint, professional titles, which team/s you support, or what product/s you buy, there’s a label attached to every decision.

Those in control stay in power or gain bigger bags because it is easier for them to make decisions if they already know whom they are making it for, how that certain group thinks and what would entice them to follow their decisions. How else do you think a political party is going to win or one of these huge corporations is going to sell you their product or service?

But it’s not just them at fault, everyone has the same approach but just their reasons are different. People will find it easier to connect with someone if they have a similar label between themselves, but the vice-versa is true as well, because for some when they have labels at opposite ends under a particular umbrella, then there’s been some aggressive, extreme approaches as well.

The thing about labels is while at the mass level it may help to put people in groups or make them state their opinions clearly, it also divides people. While we have heard of opposites attract, it does not hold true when looked at from these labels’ points of view. Right from major political and religious labels, to how much one earns and what title they hold, where they live, what their goals are, every single topic in one’s life becomes a label and that becomes a differentiating factor as well.

Some recognize this approach and still continue to do it because they want to live their lives that way. For some, it’s something they just realized and don’t know what to do with that information. The question that should be asked is, how do you view other people and how do you want humanity to evolve further? That will help you form your approach further.

Modern Take

Modern Take

Right from human evolution, in terms of betterment of health and wellness, to the technological advancements, to a change in worldviews, so much has developed over time. And yet, majorly we still operate our lives based on the same rules and laws and social norms that were established tens and hundreds of years ago. We walk on the same path that others walked years ago, and because it worked for them then, we do the same now without thinking of the changes that have happened since then.

With everything that has changed and is changing, with the evolving opinions, with the uprise in knowledge intake, basically with so much information around, and with the advancements and developments happening, it is time that we form a modern take on most things about life and how we live it.

Sure, one individual can make their own decisions. But when we operate as a society, and when we walk ahead as a community, certain rules apply to all people, such as things to do and things not to do, and it is time that a modern take is applied to everything.

With the viewpoint of today, it sure would be challenging to go against those who have set these norms, especially with those generations around, but it is high time to think about how our generation is growing up, how our future is going to look and in what environment is our future generations going to grow up.

What kind of environment do we want to set for ourselves? How do we want our lives to look? As a society, what rules and regulations and laws and norms make us grow and which ones limit us?

Probably with debates and discussions and arguments, with stories and takeaways, there is a possibility of a new uprising where the modern rules start to apply to aspects of our life and how we live in this world. One where humans can grow and evolve, one where we not only make ourselves better, but those around us, and our environment too and a modern take on everything about life is definitely a positive start to that.

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The Last 7 Days #111 (18.04.21 – 24.04.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 111th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. The ‘Batman Effect’: How having an alter ego empowers you? Read it here.
  2. In the Metaverse, community transcends technology, time and “Myspace”. Read more here.
  3. Here are the biggest signs that someone is lying to you, according to a body language expert. Check it out here.
  4. People aren’t ready to quit quitting. Read here.
  5. Iconic Bollywood Villains Analysed by a Psychiatrist. Read it here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. Chris Dixon thinks web3 is the future of the internet. Is it? Listen to it on Decoder with Nilay Patel here.
  2. On the School of Greatness, Dr Daniel Z. Lieberman, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University in Washington deep dives into the topic of dopamine, how to use dopamine in a healthy, productive way, a common mistake people make about love, about the root causes of depression, and how not to focus too much on the future. Check it out here.
  3. On My First Million, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri talk about their interactions with famous people and how to leave a good impression, how in-person events make money (and why they’re only getting bigger), and much more. Listen here.
  4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt digs deep into the artistic process in this episode of “In the Envelope,” which touches on everything from the joys of editing to the complex lessons you can learn from your IMDB page. Listen to it here.
  5. Suresh Raina talks about his early life, how his career started and his journey with the Indian Cricket Team, his family background, his investments and more on The Ranveer Show Hindi. Check it out here.

What To Watch:

  1. How OpenSea Cornered The $17 Billion Market For NFTs? Watch it here.
  2. On The Colin and Samir Show, Yes Theory founders and creators Thomas Brag and Ammar Kandil talk about their journey and their craziest ideas, the secret to creative partnerships, their latest film release, and much more. Check it out here.
  3. Actor Yash talks to Baradwaj Rangan about his film KGF2, about being a pan Indian star, the success of KGF and a lot more. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Killing It (A comedy about class, capitalism and one man’s quest to achieve the American dream.)
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – James (James also called Santhosh Kumar, who works as a manager in a security company and finds himself up against the big bad guys.) Now streaming on SonyLIV here.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #56 (17.04.22 – 23.04.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. The worst golfer in town came in last in the club tournament.

Actually, that’s not true. The worst golfer didn’t even enter.

Well, that’s not true either. The worst golfer doesn’t even play. [Seth Godin]

2. Any technique that helps us shift the state of our fight-or-flight stress response is interesting to us. The physiological sigh is the fastest, hardwired way for us to eliminate a stress response quickly and in real-time.

The double inhale of the physiological sigh pops open the alveoli air sacks, allowing oxygen in and enabling you to offload carbon dioxide with the long exhaled sigh.

1-3 reps are generally enough to slow HR to baseline and 10-15 cycles can be useful for sleep. [Neurohacker]

3. How does your brain look under stress?

Source: brainchat

4. How to optimize for luck:

– Fall in love with problems, not solutions
– Hang/work with the smartest people possible with diverse opinions
– Be consistent
– Cut distractions
– Failure happens. Whatever
– Mindset & belief in yourself
– Try to be optimistic
– Be kind to people [Greg Isenberg]

5. Entitled people who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that if they constantly paint themselves as victims, eventually someone will come along and save them, and they will receive the love they’ve always wanted. [Mark Manson]

Revisiting Old Ideas

Revisiting Old Ideas

The thing about ideas is that no matter how old or new they are, most often than not their foundation remains the same. With more information and evolved thoughts and opinions and the current market trends, the ideas might evolve and seem new, but at its core, they’re the same ones as before.

At the time of ideation, we always think of a new idea, a “modern” idea but maybe the better take is to revisit the old ones. Not anyone else’s necessarily, individually one gets a lot of ideas based on their point/ topic of focus, from time to time, but they discard it soon after for whatever reasons.

The approach here is to jot down all these ideas, and over time, to keep revisiting them, because you never know which idea can work at what point in time. One idea can lead to another, two different ideas can be combined into one, and with that perspective, no idea is old enough to not revisit it.

Plus you always have a reservoir of millions of ideas that have worked for thousands of years, there’s not a scenario where there’s no idea… So basically, from this point of view, it only shows the importance of revisiting old ideas and not discarding them or not paying attention to them because at that particular moment you felt it was not good enough.

When you’re in the zone

When you’re in the zone

When you’re in the zone, there’s no time ticking, you have no idea of what’s happening in your environment, and there’s no noise disturbing you… you’re focused, you’re determined, and you’re mentally and physically giving it your all.

There are specific moments when you realize you’re in the zone, but you realize that after… That something should be really exciting, should really make you move, and you should feel passionate about it, in order to be in the zone.

But being in the zone is not a choice. It is something that happens automatically, the situation should be gripping enough and you shouldn’t feel forced. It cannot be planned, it cannot be predicted. You don’t wait to get in the zone, you proceed with your plans and your schedule, you carry on with your task/s, and there’s a possibility you hit that mark and you’re in the zone, and if that moment arrives, there’s no stopping you. With that rush of energy and focus, all thoughts and actions toward it… one should surely experience what it feels like to be in the zone.

Observations at every turn of Life

Observations at every turn of Life

We learn, we experiment, we try… But how often do we observe? Routines, habits, patterns, historical moments, when observed, you will find answers to which you haven’t even thought of the questions yet.

What does that mean? For one, our life is about routines and habits, basically a repetitive scenario, that happens over and over. It doesn’t mean our path is right because our current routine may be making our life stagnant or worse… but when you put on the observational lens, you’d notice other people’s routines and habits, what are they doing differently, and what can you implement in your life. This isn’t about comparing, but about learning. But this is just one example.

There are patterns behind everything, whether it is personal stuff, work stuff, worldviews, political views, technological developments, what’s happening in the present, or what will happen in the future. While the above example was a micro example of life, when you actually start observing everything, with an open mindset, then you’ll notice that just with observation how these patterns keep popping up and how they are so repetitive, whether when compared to the past or when compared to another sector.

Historical moments themselves teach us so much, and a few moments just keep repeating themselves, because no one is observing and learning from these moments. While that moment occurred, it left a mark that maybe you or someone else ends up repeating.

There’s a lack of observation happening at the micro and macro level, because of which we keep repeating the same things over and again, even if it’s of no benefit to us or worse, it causes more damage than you realize.

Just by opening up your mind, and carefully observing everything at every turn of life, there’s so much to learn, so much to understand, implement, and change, and try a bunch of things differently, in our personal lives and on a humane level as well.

When your plan backfires

When your plan backfires

Quite often than not, there’s something to be done in the future, minutes later, hours later, weeks, months or years later… and we make a plan that will get that something done. We jot down the plan, figure out what could go wrong, and what could go right, and accordingly plan our moves.

The thing about making these plans beforehand is that sometimes they backfire. You make any of these plans based on the information you already have and the estimation of what could go wrong is again based on the information you already have. But the plan could backfire for any number of reasons.

Right from the initiation to any of the steps in the middle or even when everything is executed to the point, the outcome could go against us, for any number of reasons the plan could backfire. There are things we can control and there are things we cannot, and usually what we cannot control dominates the moments, especially the ones we were highly dependent on.

But, at any given time, when the plan backfires, what can we do? When it doesn’t work out, usually, the immediate moments are filled with regret, irritation and frustration, among the other emotions that could pop up.

Depending on the priority of what was needed to be done, the lesser the priority, we can either play along with the outcome at hand or just let it go, and the higher the priority, and depending on how favourable the outcome is, we can either devise a fresh plan or divert from the outcome and play that to our favour.

Either way, when the plan backfires, even though the usual approach is the outburst of emotions, that of regret and frustration, they don’t solve anything. What solves it is how do you play the outcome in your favour and if that is not the right step forward, what’s the next viable step? We usually don’t realize this at that very moment, but only in hindsight.

Running on the Hamster Wheel

Running on the Hamster Wheel

Have you ever seen a hamster run on one of those wheels, where they’re constantly made to run for some experiment or something? Sometimes it’s a hamster, sometimes it’s a mouse, but you get the picture.

But as that hamster is being made to run on that wheel, without it being in control, the decision to do so is with someone else… Similarly, we’re running on such a wheel too, continuously, without being in control, and without being aware of it. Who’s running this experiment in our case?

Huge corporations and their corporate structure fuel this wheel, but what keeps the machine going is 10/20/50/100-year old social norms and structures, a mixture of which automatically places our lives on this wheel, at a certain stage in life and all we’ve got to do now is run.

Your choices will be limited, your decisions will be made by someone else, you have to follow rules set by someone else, and what you’ve to do next has also been decided. The only difference is “who does it better”. So now we run more, in order to “get more”, so “we can be better”. But eventually, all we’re doing is running on this hamster wheel, with no consciousness, no awareness, no freedom, and someone else is setting the speed of the machine for us (as per their wishlist).

Is this an optimistic post? Will this post tell you how to get rid of this wheel or how to stop running? Will reading this motivate you to get off the wheel? Not at all.

The wheel has been running for too long, putting each individual in different circumstances in their lives, eventually in a position where they cannot avoid running on this cycle. But, at least, now you can be aware of it.

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The Last 7 Days #110 (11.04.21 – 17.04.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 110th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. NFTs and the Environment: Why the Anger Is Unjustified. Read more here.
  2. Mango Inflation: No Country For Aam Aadmi. Read here.
  3. Why do billionaires Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel want to live longer — and Elon Musk doesn’t. Check it out here.
  4. Serena Williams talks about mom guilt, her venture capital firm, and ‘King Richard’ sequel. Read here.
  5. Narcissists share these 5 toxic money habits, says a psychologist. Check it out here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. In conversation with the head of TED Chris Anderson, Elon Musk details how the radical new innovations he’s working on—Tesla’s intelligent humanoid robot Optimus, SpaceX’s otherworldly Starship and Neuralink’s brain-machine interfaces—could help maximize the lifespan of humanity and create a world where goods and services are abundant and accessible for all. Listen to it here.
  2. On his podcast, Naval hosts Vitalik Buterin and Haseeb Qureshi and deep dive into Vitalik’s background, understanding Ethereum and everything about it, decentralisation and Blockchain, and more. Listen here.
  3. In this episode of The Ranveer Show, Sanjay Dutt spoke about the three most difficult stages of his life – his drug addiction, jail time, his cancer diagnosis, and his mindset to come out of each phase as a warrior. Check it out here.
  4. On F1 Beyond the Grid, Kevin Magnussen tells Tom Clarkson how it felt to lose his place in F1, why his second stint in the sport feels different, what it’s like racing as a dad, and his goals now he’s back in F1. Listen here.
  5. Bob Odenkirk joins the Armchair Expert to discuss beginning his career flying back and forth from Chicago to New York, being open and curious about people without judgment, creating successes out of their failures, and so much more. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. On TED Talks Daily, Elon Musk digs into the recent news around his bid to purchase Twitter and gets honest about the biggest regret of his career, how his brain works, the future he envisions for the world and a lot more. Watch it here.
  2. NTR Jr and Ram Charan in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan on what It takes to fulfil director SS Rajamouli’s vision, how they navigated through their legendary characters in RRR, and more. Check it out here.
  3. Farhan Akhtar interviews Yash and Prashanth Neel, director of KGF2 about the vision of the film, the writing and shooting process, how the dialogues were written on set and breaking the industry barriers to making a pan-India film. Watch here.
  4. Movie Recommendation # 1 of the Week – RRR (A tale of two legendary revolutionaries and their journey far away from home. After their journey they return home to start fighting back against British colonialists in the 1920s) Now in theatres.
  5. Movie Recommendation # 2 of the Week – K.G.F: Chapter 2 (In the blood-soaked Kolar Gold Fields, Rocky’s name strikes fear into his foes. While his allies look up to him, the government sees him as a threat to law and order, and Rocky must battle threats from all sides.) Now in theatres.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #55 (10.04.22 – 16.04.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind. Too much sugar leads to a heavy body. Similarly… too many distractions lead to a heavy mind.

Time spent alone and undistracted, in self-examination and meditation resolves the unresolved.

It takes us from being mentally fat to fit. [Naval Ravikant]

2. The Hawthorne effect occurs when people behave differently because they know they are being watched.

It can affect all sorts of behaviours such as dietary habits, or hygiene practices because these have considerable opportunities for instantaneous modification. It can also affect study results, e.g. a survey of smoking by watching people during work breaks might lead to observing much lower smoking rates than is genuinely representative of the population under study. It can also contaminate an intervention study if one of the control groups changes its behaviour because it is being observed more frequently than the other.

The Hawthorne effect can also lead to the observation being the intervention. For example, recommending individuals who want to lose weight should keep a diary of what they eat and drink. [Catalog of Bias]

3. Reducing your smartphone use is better for your well-being than stopping cold turkey.

Experiment: 4 months after decreasing smartphone use by 1 hr/day, people were happier, less depressed & anxious, and led healthier lifestyles.

Digital moderation beats digital abstinence. [Adam Grant]

4. Many good opportunities are ruined for the dream of slightly better ones.

Would you have a more successful career if you had taken that other job or moved cities? Possibly. But your actual career will definitely suffer if you don’t commit to doing it to the best of your ability.

Would you be 10% happier in a different relationship? Maybe. Maybe not. But you’ll definitely be unhappy in the one you have if you spend all day thinking about what else is out there.

The surefire way to end up worse off is to agonize over unchosen options and fail to make the most of the one you selected. Every minute spent yearning for your unlived lives is a moment you can’t invest in the one you actually have.

Choices matter, but so does your level of commitment. [James Clear]

5. Author Cheryl Strayed on the trap of self-pity:

“Nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things befall you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.”

Source: Tiny Beautiful Things

RTHReviews: KGF Chapter 2

RTHReviews: KGF Chapter 2

Trust me when I tell you there was not a second to blink, not a second to breathe, the film is 2 hrs 48 mins on paper, but the film is so fast-paced, you won’t realize what all has happened and there’s so much to absorb.

(Here’s the official synopsis: In the blood-soaked Kolar Gold Fields, Rocky’s name strikes fear into his foes. While his allies look up to him, the government sees him as a threat to law and order, and Rocky must battle threats from all sides.)

The KGF Universe is unlike any other, the storyline has been written with so much gravitas, the depth to which they take the film is astonishing. At every turn, just when you feel there could no more, the creators surprise you even more.

KGF Chapter 2’s cinematic appeal is massive, mixed with its heart-throbbing music, hard-hitting one liners and the fiery swag of Yash. Speaking of which, Yash is simply magnificent, the way he carries this role and makes it even better with every frame, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most of the cast is retained from the previous one, doing great jobs, along with the addition of Sanjay Dutt who does what he does best, and Raveena Tandon shines with her performance.

They’ve really upped their game with KGF 2, everything is just bigger and better, more captivating. I’m in love with the KGF Universe. Cannot recommend this enough, especially in the theatres.

Letting the day go by

Letting the day go by

Our day is, by ourselves, set in a way where every day looks the same, there are tasks to do in certain areas of our lives, and the structure of the day is built by the routine that we follow each day. So, it’s more than likely that around 80-90% of the day looks the same, so at the end of the week, when you look back, you might probably not remember each day, but sum up rememberable moments/ experiences from the week, and not in chronological order.

So when you actually deep dive into this process, and understand how our life works, and thus understand the importance of mindset, habit-building, goal-setting, vision-building, relationship-making, and the roles each of those play in our lives, you also realize how without the understanding of that, so many of our days just go by without us even realizing it.

Sure, you’re following your routine, you’re completing your tasks, and you’re taking time for relaxation/ leisure, but the important question is, at this point in time, where is your life leading towards? Not just from an outcome perspective, but even from a process point of view… Is your routine helping you to grow and evolve? Are your tasks helping you progress in life? What exactly is being ticked off here?

Once we start running on this hamster cycle, we continue running, without even checking or questioning why are we running, in which direction are we running, and are we enjoying running or not? Now, metaphorically, ask these same questions in relation to your life.

If you’re following a routine, and if it’s not helping you progress, or make yourself improve, in any area of life, then instead of the days passing by, maybe the better option is to stop… Understand what can be different and what can be better, and start a new routine. With such an approach, instead of the days passing by, every day could actually lead to something more, without you consciously putting any effort into it day after day.

Every area of life needs to looked after, everything we do should be questioned… Because we feel we are in control, but more often than not, we are not. We just let the days pass by, and we don’t even realize it. So the better approach is to ask, to question yourself, and to know whether your days are going by or are you one step ahead?

The process of change looks like this

The process of change looks like this

Our everyday life is like a wheel rolling, that just keeps on rolling, with the same type of emotions and thoughts and actions, every day like a routine. Only when there’s an issue with the wheel, do we then check what’s wrong and then try to repair it.

But, what if you don’t want to wait till the wheel goes bad? What if you realize that the wheel isn’t of good quality, and you want to reinvent the wheel, so you run more smoothly than before…

That process of reinventing the wheel looks something like this:
A. Gain new knowledge
Your current operating is based on the knowledge that you already have, and it is producing the results that you currently see. In order to reinvent, you must first gain new knowledge, only then will you be able to compare the current and the new process; only then will you be able to understand the difference and execute the latter process in a new way.

B. Understand and acknowledge the mistakes made
Once you have attained this knowledge, then you look back… You notice what’s already done, the outcome of it, and with the new information, you also realize what could’ve been done differently and what shouldn’t have been done at all. Therein comes the most important step, to acknowledge the mistakes made, to accept them, because only then can you proceed to the next step.

C. Ask yourself why do you want to change
Updated with knowledge, mistakes acknowledged… Now, why do you want to reinvent? What’s the reason behind it? What’s the difference that you want to feel? With self-awareness, you’ll be able to answer the why, and that will become the fuel for the path that comes after.

D. Set a new path
Your why will become your fuel, but you must also address the how – the new path that will reinvent the wheel. That path is filled with steps and backups, the macro vision that is broken down into the smallest of steps, that is then attainable within the approachable time limits set by you (a process that motivates some, otherwise the why is strong enough for one to enjoy the process).

The process of change is easy to break it down into four steps, but a process that comes with strong determination and patience; one that requires your time and also assures that you will certainly enjoy the other side of it much more than how the wheel was currently running.

From Thought to Paper

From Thought to Paper

The journey from a single thought to penning it down on a piece of paper is a long one… There’s definitely a process to it, one when walked upon gives you the result on the paper you were looking for.

With the frequency of thoughts that we have, not every single thought makes the journey. When you begin to deep dive into these thoughts, you realize some of them have no base to them, some of them appear sound just on the surface and only a few out of those thousands are worth spending your time on.

In this process, when you finally choose that thought worth putting on paper, imagine this particular thought to be the parent branch, and as you deep dive into it, you will realize there are sub-branches and sub-sub-branches to that one thought… That is when you expand this one idea, this one thought that you started this journey with and it expands more and more until you know you have something of value, something worth putting on the paper, moreover, something worth reading about.

The process of writing entails more of discarding these thoughts because, for anyone who writes, many of these thoughts sound promising at first, until they make their way onto your sheet and you realize there’s not much essence to it at all. The more you discard, which comes with practice, the more you’re able to move forward at a faster rate to that particular thought worth discovering.

The more you deep dive, the more you write, and evaluate it based on the reader’s feedback, the better you become at the process of transferring your thought to paper, but it definitely doesn’t come on the first day itself.

RTHReviews: RRR

RTHReviews: RRR

I’ve got three words for this film… WHAT A SPECTACLE!

(Here’s the official synopsis of the film: A tale of two legendary revolutionaries and their journey far away from home. After their journey they return home to start fighting back against British colonialists in the 1920s.)

SS Rajamouli sure knows how to make the film extravagant for the big screen, moreover, this film was more about that cinematic experience, enjoying those visuals, the cinematography along with the background score on the big screen, which wouldn’t have been even remotely enjoyable at home.

Ram Charan and NTR Jr shine with their stellar performances, absolutely brilliant both of them are.
P. S. Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn have some good roles in there, contrary to the “just cameo performances” flying around.

The duration is three hours long, but you don’t think about that for a second… The film touches upon a bunch of topics including the British rule and their torturous regime, the journey and the struggles of those who fought for their country, brotherhood and friendship, mixing it all up into a nicely knitted storyline, along with those visuals and the music and the cast, making this into a complete package of a film.

Link

The Last 7 Days #109 (04.04.21 – 10.04.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 109th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. Gm’: A Jolly Crypto Greeting Goes Viral, Sparks Squabbles. Read this piece by WSJ here.
  2. Is a recession on the way? These unconventional economic indicators may provide some clues. Read here.
  3. 4 signs you may have a weak immune system—and what to do about it, according to an immunologist. Check it out here.
  4. Here’s what it will take for movie theatres to survive 10 years from now. Read it here.
  5. WeCrashed: Inside Rebekah Neumann and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Relationship. Read here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. In this episode of The Ranveer Show, Ranveer takes a deep dive into John Abraham’s mind, the mistakes he has made in the past, the failures, his brand image & more. He also breaks down how he disassociates his self-worth from the success or failure of a particular film. Listen to it here.
  2. On Take a Pause with Varun Duggirala, Ankur Warikoo chats about approaching creativity as a process, finding what works with an audience, and also finding what actually brings happiness. Check it out here.
  3. When Airbnb arrived in New York City in 2009, it began operating in neighbourhoods where affordable housing was already in short supply. Angry renters complained, and city officials decided to do something about it. This is the story of Airbnb vs NYC on Business Wars. Check out the series here.
  4. Podcast Recommendation of the Week: WeCrashed: The Companion Podcast, hosted by Prof Scott Galloway, where he talks to the cast, crew, and experts to give an inside look into how the “WeCrashed” TV series brought this fascinating story to the screen. Listen here.
  5. On Variety Awards Circuit, Denis Villeneuve discusses his passion for creating the world of “Dune” and teases what to expect with “Dune Part Two,” including working with Zendaya. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. On the Superteam Podcast, Tanmay and Akshay host Sam-Bankman Fried and Aravind Memon to talk about FTX, its launch in India, Sam’s approach as a founder, web2 vs web3, and so much more. Watch it here.
  2. Manish Malhotra talks about starting his journey in fashion, the current trends and his role in it, his love for food, and much much more, on The Bombay Journey. Check it out here.
  3. The Double Life of Daniel Ricciardo. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Moon Knight (Steven Grant and mercenary Marc Spector investigate the mysteries of the Egyptian gods from inside the same body.) Now streaming on Hotstar here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Etharkkum Thunindhavan (When a lawyer uncovers a ruthless leader’s criminal network that sexually exploits and threatens young women, he embarks on a bloody pursuit.) Now streaming on Netflix here.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #54 (03.04.22 – 09.04.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. Look around your environment.

Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it.

Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back. [James Clear]

2. Writer Jenée Desmond-Harris on how to divide your to-do list:

“I started dividing my to-do list into 1) things I have to do, 2) things I want to do, and 3) things other people want me to do. Life-changing! I often don’t get to #3 and I finally realized… this is what it means to have boundaries.”

3. People can subconsciously become their favourite fictional characters. Psychologists have discovered that while reading a book or story, people are prone to subconsciously adopt their behaviour, thoughts, beliefs, and internal responses to that of fictional characters as if they were their own. [8fact]

4. The person who makes you smarter isn’t always the smartest one in the room. Often it’s the most curious one in the room.

“Why do we do that?” leads you to question old assumptions. “What if?” opens your eyes to new possibilities.

Inquisitive people are catalysts for learning. [Adam Grant]

5. Depth of understanding:

– I have been told
– I have been shown
– I have done
– I have demonstrated
– I have taught someone else

The thresholds you cross are:

– Awareness
– Knowledge
– Understanding
– Skill
– Mastery [Shane Parrish]

Do you actually learn anything from the internet?

Do you actually learn anything from the internet?

Averagely, users’ screentime on their smartphones varies between a good TWO to somewhere around SIX hours and for some, even more, and for some, less than that. Another stat says that the top used applications during this screentime are the social media platforms, so it also shows how much control these platforms have over their users.

Day after day, they introduce new features and tools that would hook the users for more time on their individual platforms. Everyone wants more attention and now these companies will fight with each other in order to get more screentime, which results in more rewards for their creators so they can create more, thus the consumers consuming more… and all this with newer and newer tools so the end creator/ consumers feel the need to try out what’s new and keep that cycle going. (there’s a whole psychological play out here, but today’s topic is more in regard to the consumers and not the play)

Coming to the consumers and the average screen time and smartphone usage, it’s obvious at this stage that a large amount of content is being consumed every minute, every hour and every day. But the question that should be asked, and quite an important one is, do you actually learn anything from the internet?

With the content durations being reduced and the quantity of content being consumed every minute increasing, people’s attention spans are also reducing, they now want to consume more, get hit by more emotions, and don’t want to waste even fifteen seconds on anything that doesn’t give the hit.

At that pace, let alone learning, do you actually remember what you consume on the internet? With everything that we can learn and then use that learning to polish our skillset, gain more experience, grow and evolve, make the necessary changes in our life, if not for any of it, then what’s the point of consuming anything?

Some may say entertainment, well if you’re awake for 16 hours in a day and 6 of those hours are spent on your smartphone, the question that arises is how much entertainment do you even need? The second question is, when does the realization of the time distribution of your day take place?

Instead of letting the platforms take us for granted, instead of letting the algorithm play us, why not take control of this huge reservoir of value that we, fortunately, have access to (the internet) and actually use it to our benefit? For once, we can actually learn something from the internet and remember it too.

When you find the content relatable

When you find the content relatable

We consume so much content on the internet today, in every form, there could be… How many times do you come across a content piece and find it extremely relatable?

Sometimes the content could be entertaining, or educational, could be about life, relationships, health, well-being, anything… When it’s entertaining, we usually look back to a previous moment of life and find it nostalgic. When it’s educational, we look back at our life and wonder either with joy or with heavy shoulders how it relates to us.

At such times, it is not you who is relating with the creator or the author, because their job is to observe such moments, deep dive into them, and share them as learnings/ advice etc so people can learn and understand from them. No, what you’re relating it with is your own life… What exactly is that content piece telling you and what part/ aspect/ phase of your life are you relating it with?

That’s the question that should be asked… And instead of simply liking it or saving it for later, what should be done is an actual introspection mixed with what you need to do with that information now, depending on how it hits you (as a pat on the back or a punch in the face).

The list of things you’re owed

The list of things you’re owed

Many a time, quite frequently actually, people feel, in various aspects and phases of their lives, that they’re owed something. Owed not in return for something, but just generically they’re owed something that needs to be given to them.

In quite a few scenarios, these people become quite demanding to receive something, to an extent where they’d tear down the other individual if they don’t give in. Again, this is not a transaction, but an expectation that is taking place. Bring into the picture, entitlement, mixed with a lack of accountability, and now it’s easy to put the blame on someone else, it’s easy to not put in the work yourself, and even easier to stay in this dreamed state of expectations. It’s always easy to demand and get by force than to wait patiently and work for it and then get the outcome from the process you’ve worked towards.

In reality, unless a transaction is taking place, which is agreed upon, there’s no logic or an arising situation that states that someone is owed something from someone. But, the problem originates with this sense of entitlement that is rooted so deep within oneself, that one, it’s difficult to acknowledge, two, it’s difficult to change, and three, the individual becomes even more defensive when it’s pointed out.

Because an individual did something once, now there’s an expected demand that the action would be repeated. Because an individual has something, now there’s a demanding framework that their ‘something’ needs to be shared.

While, in reality, the evolving mindset, one which speaks of growth and changes towards a better you, says that no one owes you anything. There shouldn’t be an expectation in the first place, thus no disappointment either. You get what you work for, for what your ask is, where your process has led you to, and everything else that comes in is after. A healthier way of living that doesn’t put doubt and clouded judgements in your mind and doesn’t take away your present to an illusioned reality.

The Ideation Rust

The Ideation Rust

The thing about ideas is that they never pop up randomly, unless… That’s a topic for another day. Today, we focus on the ideation rust and for that, we have to first understand the routine behind it.

You have to ideate something and you start thinking about it… Consciously you remember approximately 20-30% of what’s stored in your brain, thus the subconscious takes over… in the background. The brain knows the order you’ve given it and it’s processing all the information it has, connecting the dots and delivering new information to you that you’ll then skim through to find your next idea. (the idea we talk about could be for anything, but let’s understand it generically first)

Now, for some who have to ideate regularly, maybe daily, maybe once every week, for them it’s a routine where they’re actively or passively always focusing on that next idea – first, getting rid of the bad ones, and hopefully finding that good one in time.

The advantage of a routine is its automatic function, you don’t have to think twice about it, it just happens. The same goes for the ideation process too, especially for whom it’s a constant continuous process.

Now imagine, for some reason, you get a break in this process. If you stop exercising for a week, or a month, it’ll take you a while to get your body rolling again for whatever exercise you’re doing. When this break happens here, it’s the ideation rust. For whatever reason, that continuous automatic process got paused, which will now cause barriers the next time you get that routine going again. The rust has caught on and the ideas won’t flow by as easily as before.

The same amount of effort that you would physically put in to get your workout routine back in motion is something similar to what one would have to do here too, only this time with their brains. The better option to stay away from the ideation rust is to always keep some time for that process, every day, irrespective of its actual requirement in the now.

Rotting the Brain

Rotting the Brain

The brain has a particular set of functions that it does regularly… but what happens when a particular function doesn’t work out? Now, these are automatic processes we’re talking about, and the brain is the best machine there is… So the odds of that happening are less.

But what about the manual functions of the brain that we control? The outcome of those functions lies with us. For every thought, there’s a neurological response to it, which controls our mood, our emotions, etc. For everything that we consume, there’s a neurological response to it as well, as for many other things.

At the start of this is when the process begins, you lay down the groundwork and henceforth it starts acting out as a routine. Your brain knows what you consume, and accordingly, when you start consuming it, the response is ready. Your brain is already adapted to your real-life scenarios, so when it predicts the atmosphere in the room, the outcome that is going to be uttered in the form of words and actions is also something that is pre-decided by the brain, which again initially was started by you, and then became a routine.

These are just some of the minute examples, but there are a ton of them too. How our brain is going to evolve or devolve is up to us, because the automatic functions don’t hurt us as much as the manual functions do, and we have the power over it.

Link

The Last 7 Days #108 (28.03.21 – 03.04.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 108th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. The Best Carbs Eaten by the Longest Living People In The World. Check it out here.
  2. Mark Manson’s opinion piece on ‘Slaps and Celebrity‘. Read here.
  3. Why you can’t stop reading about the Slap? Read more here.
  4. Moving Mainstream: How Big Brands Are Using NFTs. Check it out here.
  5. How video game development has changed over the last decade? Read it here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On The Kris Fade Show, GaryVee talks about the basics of NFTs and Web3 and why we care about digital assets, the lack of accountability in society, and much more. Listen here.
  2. Dr Daniel Amen discusses with Lewis Howes the main causes of dementia and how to prevent it, the five different brain types, the lies around happiness, 5 questions to ask yourself when you have a negative thought, and so much more on The School of Greatness. Check it out here.
  3. In this episode of Advertising Is Dead, Varun Duggirala is joined by Malini Agarwal taking us through the journey of establishing Miss Malini, how it began as a blog and eventually became an empire consisting of multiple offsets that aim at helping creators with tips to make great content, create a safe space for women, and give all the news from the glam world. Listen to it here.
  4. Susie Wolff, CEO of the front-running Venturi Formula E team, talks about becoming the first woman to drive in an official F1 session for more than two decades, how she earned her F1 opportunity through making life-changing decisions and dedication to her dream and more on F1 Beyond the Grid podcast. Check it out here.
  5. On Sway, Andrew Garfield and Kara talk about his unconventional approach to the internet and the dangers of idolizing Kanye West or Elon Musk. They also speak about Garfield’s portrayal of Jonathan Larson, the composer of “Rent,” in “Tick, Tick … Boom!” And they discuss how the death of a parent has affected the way they each embrace life. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. Ashwin Sanghi, an Indian writer of thriller, fiction, and history, spoke about the Hindu culture, various political narratives, culture & the art of storytelling, on The Ranveer Show. Watch it here.
  2. Tanmay Bhat hosts Sadhguru taking a deep dive into living alone, love and boundaries, the purpose of life, nutrition in available food, the save soil campaign and more. Check it out here.
  3. John Abraham talks about fitness, his love for bikes, his food choices, his routine and choosing his film roles, on The Bombay Journey. Watch here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – WeCrashed (The love story at the centre of the rise and fall of one of the world’s most valuable startups. WeWork grows from a single co-working space into a global brand worth $47 billion in under a decade. Then, in less than a year, its valuation plummets.) Now streaming on AppleTV+ here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Sharmaji Namkeen (A light-hearted coming-of-age story of a lovable 60-year-old-man.) Now streaming on Amazon Prime here.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #53 (27.03.22 – 02.04.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. The tendency to dwell on the negative more than the positive is simply one way the brain tries to keep us safe.

Earlier in human history, paying attention to bad, dangerous, and negative threats in the world was literally a matter of life and death. Those who were more attuned to danger and who paid more attention to the bad things around them were more likely to survive.

That’s cool, but most of us no longer need to be on constant high alert like our early ancestors needed to be in order to survive. And yet, the negativity bias still has a starring role in how our brains operate. Research has shown that negative bias can have a wide variety of effects on how people think, respond, and feel.

Neurohacking such mindsets is a crucial part in optimizing our relationships, decision-making, and perceptions. [Neurohacker]

2. Anger magically shrinks our vocabulary when communicating.

Persuasion automatically makes us use most of our vocabulary.

It is maybe easier to anger someone with a limited vocabulary than someone with a vast one. [Kunal Shah]

3. Here’s all the life advice you’ll ever need, without a thread.

Stop living “hour-to-hour”, and start living from “experience to experience”

Get OFF of time. Time makes you feel behind. Stressed

Life is a menu. Choose your experience like choosing an appetizer, main, & dessert. [Shaan Puri]

4. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, on the importance of giving value before you ask for value:

“I quit my job on August 15, 1899, and went into the automobile business…

The most surprising feature of business as it was conducted was the large attention given to finance and the small attention to service. That seemed to me to be reversing the natural process which is that the money should come as the result of work and not before the work…

My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work—the profits and all financial matters—would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings.”

Source: My Life and Work

5. How sugar affects your brain and body?

Source: Business Insider

RTHReviews: Sharmaji Namkeen

RTHReviews: Sharmaji Namkeen

The late Rishi Kapoor stole our hearts once again one last time with Sharmaji Namkeen, his character is so sweet and heartwarming. There’s joy in every scene he’s in.

While this hasn’t been seen enough, kudos to Paresh Rawal for completing this film and continuing the role of the central character, the mix-up felt flawless, he brought his own skillset to the role and ended up doing an amazing job at performing that role.

(Here’s the official synopsis of the film: A light-hearted coming-of-age story of a lovable 60-year-old-man.)

Sharmaji Namkeen is one of the most heartwarming, innocent, lovely feel-good films I’ve seen… You’ll constantly be smiling while watching it. The storyline touches upon a number of topics – fatherhood, self-love, routine, and it was quite nicely incorporated into the story. Moreover, I loved how so much and so little is expressed over food, how it is used as a connecting factor and just generally, the talk of food.

I wish circumstances were different and we could have seen him perform his role in its entirety, but that is life… I’m glad about how they completed the film and how it was delivered.

What can you do to mentally relax?

What can you do to mentally relax?

It’s a normal workday (even the non-workdays for that matter, just imagine a normal day), you are looking outside the window trying to take a breather and just when you wanted to relax (and not necessarily in a relaxing situation, but other times too), you notice these barrage of thoughts running in your mind, from one topic to another… That chatter is non-stop and even when you’re trying to relax physically, that same choice isn’t available to you mentally.

From random thoughts to looking back at your day or your life to the mistakes you’ve made, the to-do items for the day and henceforth, or even imagining the future of perfect choices made, the range of thoughts running in your mind could be endless.

It isn’t said plainly when there are approximately sixty thousand plus thousands in your head on a daily average. Talk about non-stop!

When do you get the break? When are you able to mentally relax? Is a physical vacation, being on a beach or the mountains, a solution to that? While the answer to the first two questions is solvable or rather, practicable with the solution at hand, the answer to the third question is a definite no.

Irrespective of whether that voice in your head is a supportive one or not, and whether your perspective is healthy or not, the chatter continues at its pace.

But, there are a few things that can be done to limit its supply, to direct the flow, to have the ability to mentally relax for a while…

1. For many, journaling has been one that has made a fair share of impact – because it gives you a real glimpse of your life and not the what-ifs or the imagined scenarios that run through your head, which also lose its grip when the real picture can be read on that paper.

2. The most powerful (proven) tool is meditation – when you meditate for a period of time, not keeping it short to 5 or 10 minutes but more, deeper, and when the mind and body align in that deep meditative state, is when you feel so calm and so peaceful, is also when you truly feel the physical and mental relaxation altogether and a reduction in that chatter.

3. Breath-work has also been another proven technique that keeps you in check, keeps you present, brings you back to staying centered when in a state of stress, anxiousness, frustration, lost thoughts etc.

4. Art has various forms, but the common factor remains the same – when focused and in a state of flow, you forget everything when you’re indulged in that process and you forget about the mental chatter and it’s just you and your art form.

5. While there could be tiny tidbits here and there that could work for a minute, another one that makes the list are nature walks – conscious nature walks. Nature, with the trees around, birds chirping, sky visible, you walking around gives you a vibe where you feel this is everything, and everything else becomes secondary, including the non-stop mental chatter.

While the brain’s function is to have more thoughts, you cannot stop that process – what you can do is direct its flow, direct its quality, and in moments, do things that are not only beneficial to your mind and body, but also give you a break from that chatter like the things listed above.

RTHReviews: Dune (Part 1)

RTHReviews: Dune (Part 1)

The world of Dune is so mesmerizing… Having been a stranger to that universe altogether, Denis Villeneuve has done a remarkable job presenting this film, wrapping up every aspect of it quite well for the audience.

(Here’s the official synopsis of the film: Paul Atreides arrives on Arrakis after his father accepts the stewardship of the dangerous planet. However, chaos ensues after a betrayal as forces clash to control melange, a precious resource.)

There’s more to appreciate about this film than to focus on any of its flaws… The cinematography and the sound, both of those elements are some of the best I’ve come across while watching a film, and with Dune, its cinematography is simply perfect, and that score by Hans Zimmer is just the best, no two ways about it.

It’s a power-packed cast, with all these huge names appearing on the screen, delivering brilliant performances… Oscar Isaac’s role was top-notch amongst all, and being the central character in the film, Timothee Chalamet has performed his role fantastically, with all the ups and downs, every emotion that his character is facing, shown quite beautifully on the screen.

Yes, there are future parts to this universe, but does that take away from how amazing Dune Part 1 is, absolutely not… The film has the capability to stand out on its own and it does too. While I cannot wait for that Part 2 to release soon and to know more about what more does this universe hold… I’m back to listening to those Hans Zimmer tracks.

RTHReviews: CODA

RTHReviews: CODA

CODA has been one of the standout films of 2021, so unique and emotional, sweet and powerful, it speaks volumes and also shows the power of silence. Each member of the family plays an important arc in the story, how their lives are lived individually vs when tangled with each other is another aspect that’s shown wonderfully.

(Here’s the official synopsis: As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.)

There are problems, there are challenges, there are hardships, but what happens when each voice is heard and how do you move forward from there… the film has some beautiful lessons as it progresses, mixed with some emotional moments, that are quite relatable too. The core aspect of communication is its emotion, not the language, not the words, and when you realize that while watching CODA, it just hits you differently.

Every cast member could be named here, but all of them have done such a brilliant job in the film, s/o Troy Kotsur. Sian Heder, the director has approached the film quite well, making it into quite a complete package of a film. I had already expected this, but glad to see this film get its recognition, bagging the Oscars 2022 Best Picture award… This film will give you all the emotions, and moreover, it’ll set your mood just right when you watch it – super recommended.

Summarizing Oscars 2022

Summarizing Oscars 2022

What a crazy, crazy Oscars 2022!

Right from the metaphorical and real punches all around to some beautiful, emotional and moving moments and some iconic reunions… We finally had the hosts back and the trio, Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes did have their moments, some flaws here and there, plus there will always be things to improve… but overall, this will be a ceremony to remember!

To start with… 12/ 19 of my predictions came right! (here are the wins I’d predicted before the Oscars)
I also reviewed all the nominated pictures here.

Amongst the media and the critics, the eyes were certainly elsewhere, and while this was surprising for most, I expected this and was glad to see CODA win Best Picture, what a beautiful film with an even better cast!
Also, Troy Kotsur won Best Actor in a Supporting Role and (director) Sian Heder won for Best Adapted Screenplay! Big wins for CODA and also the first Big Picture winner from a streaming service (AppleTV+).

Will Smith had his (debatable) moments but the spotlight should still fall on his deserving first Oscar win, winning the Best Actor award for King Richard.

This particular film was quite lovely, with Jessica Chastain smashing her role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye and bagging the Best Actress award for it. The film also bagged the Best Make-up and Hairstyling award, won by Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh.

Dune, while it was expected to win in several categories, surprised us all by sweeping the floor with SIX Academy Awards – Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer WON), Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects.

Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell with their song, No Time to Die won in the Best Original Song category.

While Belfast only won one award, it still was a significant one with Kenneth Branagh winning for Best Original Screenplay.

Jane Campion took home the award for Best Director for The Power of the Dog. That was an expected one.

Ariana DeBose won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for West Side Story, a brilliant and rememberable performance with an equally powerful winning speech.

International Feature Film went to none other than Drive My Car, while the film was also nominated in the Best Picture category, this was still a big win for them.

Let’s not forget the popular film everyone’s been raving about… Encanto won the Best Animated Feature award, another win for Disney.

While these particular awards were so hyped about, they were given the least importance, but at least it shows the power of the fanbase and what they vote for. The Flash entering the speed force towards the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in order to save the world has been awarded as the Most Cheer-Worthy Moment at Oscars 2022. Army of the Dead won the Fan-Favourite Movie Award. Both are Zack Synder flicks. 🙂

Amongst the other awards, Jenny Beavan won Best Costume Design for Cruella, Summer of Soul won for Best Documentary, The Queen of Basketball won Best Documentary (Short), The Long Goodbye won Best Short Film (Live Action), The Windshield Wiper won Best Short (Animated).

What a great wrap this was to the 2021 season, some beautiful films recognized and now, onwards to the next set of brilliant films that make their mark this year!!!

Reviewing the Oscars 2022 Nominated Films

Reviewing the Oscars 2022 Nominated Films

The Academy Awards 2022 are upon us. While there were hundreds of films to watch in 2021, these few set themselves apart with their powerful performances, strong messages and just how beautiful the films were to watch.

Before the awards set the stage, I’m reviewing all the Oscars 2022 nominated films (that I’ve watched).

(Here are my predictions of what’ll win in which categories – link)


– CODA

CODA has been one of the standout films of 2021, so unique and emotional, sweet and powerful, it speaks volumes and also shows the power of silence. Each member of the family plays an important arc in the story, how their lives are lived individually vs when tangled with each other is another aspect that’s shown wonderfully.

There are problems, there are challenges, there are hardships, but what happens when each voice is heard and how do you move forward from there… the film has some beautiful lessons along with its progress, mixed with some emotional moments, that are quite relatable too. The core aspect of communication is its emotion, not the language, not the words, and when you realize that while watching CODA, it just hits you differently.

Every cast member could be named here, but all of them have done such a brilliant job in the film. Sian Heder, the director has approached the film quite well, making it into quite a complete package of a film. I won’t be surprised if CODA takes home the Oscar for the Best Picture category, just saying!


– King Richard

How can a film be so emotional and motivational simultaneously? Sure, the film is shown through a certain perspective, and there are a few flaws and misses here and there, but one cannot deny how powerful King Richard, the film is.

Right from the moment it begins, it’s got you hooked, and with all the ups and downs happening throughout, you’re constantly invested in the storyline and the characters. Speaking of which, Will Smith is a powerhouse in this one, I’m not sure which was his last role that turned out to be this fantastic… Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton both of them portraying Venus Williams and Serena Williams are equally great, smashing their performances of those two iconic legends. Jon Bernthal is another one who can be not mentioned, this is going to stand out as one of his best performances.

King Richard quite brilliantly portrays the vision of this one individual, the constant push and strictness and positivity that was needed to see through his vision, simultaneously the extremely hard work and efforts that had to be put in by the kids at that age. The film shows what it takes to reach that level, the resilience that is needed, and how to tackle ahead even you’re face down in the ground. Hard-hitting!


– Belfast

Belfast speaks so much, but with so much love and kindness, and overall, it’s such a raw and emotional film. With the semi-autobiographical approach, Sir Kenneth Branagh has captured the essence of the film so beautifully and the output is just brilliant to watch.

(Here’s the official synopsis of the film: A semi-autobiographical film which chronicles the life of a working class family and their young son’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital.)

While the entire cast is so good with their performances, and their relationships in the film are so heartwarming, the center point of the film remains Jude Hill’s performance. He’s so natural with his role, you’d confuse it for a documentary.

You’re seeing the film with his eyes, and how he sees the world. And that perspective from the eyes of a child is what makes this such a great thing to watch.

Belfast is beautiful, the essence of the relationships amongst the kind of environment around is enthralling to watch and truly stands out as something quite unique.


– Don’t Look Up

Those familiar with Adam McKay’s works know the subtleties in his storyline and the volume they speak, and Don’t Look Up is no exception to that.

(Here’s the official synopsis: Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.)

How he has approached the film is simply excellent, the satire is impeccable. The film talks about climate change without even referring to it, whilst also quietly taking a dig on the left-wing vs right-wing of politics, and how people are so easily manipulated… I mean the film touches upon so many points and can be applied to so many categories, it’s just brilliant.

It’s quite interesting right from the get-go, freaking hilarious, and you simultaneously feel the underlying disappointment beneath the laughter too, something you understand when you watch it.

What else makes this film such a great watch? THE CAST. You’re seeing these faces after such a long time and all of them together is just applaud-worthy. Leonardo DiCaprio with another excellent performance, Jennifer Lawrence does what she does best, Meryl Streep just killed it in her role… And Jonah Hill’s comic timing is everything, whilst it’s difficult to single out one individual performance in this collective effort, Jonah Hill was just too good in his role.

The takeaway from the film, the perspective, speaks a lot, especially when compared to the reality we live in. The meta approach was another plus point, and well, there’s only so much you can appreciate about a film… in my personal opinion, well done.


– Dune

The world of Dune is so mesmerizing… Having been a stranger to that universe altogether, Denis Villeneuve has done a remarkable job presenting this film, wrapping up every aspect of it quite well for the audience.

There’s more to appreciate about this film, than to focus on any of its flaws… The cinematography and the sound, both of those elements are some of the best I’ve come across while watching a film, and with Dune, its cinematography is simply perfect, and that sound by Hans Zimmer is just the best, no debate on it.

It’s a power-packed cast, with all these huge names appearing on the screen, delivering brilliant performances… Oscar Isaac’s role was top-notch amongst all, and being the central character in the film, Timothee Chalamet has performed his role fantastically, with all the ups and downs, every emotion that his character is facing, shown quite beautifully on the screen.

Yes, there are future parts to this universe, but does that take away from how amazing Dune Part 1 is, absolutely not… The film has the capability to stand out on its own and it does too. While I cannot wait for that Part 2 to release soon and to know more about what more does this universe hold… I’m back to listening to those Hans Zimmer tracks.


– Drive My Car

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room, shall we? Drive My Car is 2 hours 58 minutes long, and while it would turn people away from watching this, here’s an honest take on it… The pace of the film has been handled so well, especially with how the storyline is progressing and everything that you, as an audience must take away from it, you never know how the time flies by while watching it.

Drive My Car has quite a unique perspective on addressing love, loss, acceptance, and peace and it’s brilliant to see the role of the powerful catalyst in the film, the red Saab 900 Turbo. For a second, it may feel like there’s too much dialogue in the film… But, on the contrary, it’s the exact opposite scenario, because it shows you the power of communication, and not just in two-person dialogue, but you understand more of that when you watch the film.

The film has quite a few layers to it, and not everything is just black and white. It’s only with the progress of the storyline that everything uncovers, keeping an eye on each element that occurs throughout, with a power-packed third act that is equivalent to an emotional punch in the face. There are a lot of emotions to feel, or rather even understand throughout the film, and that’s the entire point of it too. Speaking of emotions, the film wouldn’t have stood just on its storyline or its takeaway, but there’s an equally important element, i.e the cast (Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tôko Miura, amongst others) who have delivered a stellar performance here. Drive My Car has a different approach to it, and it’s also brilliant to see a Japanese film being nominated for the Oscars Best Picture category, so that says a lot too.


– Nightmare Alley

When you notice the standout films of 2021, there’s a certain similar approach to those films, not that there’s anything wrong with it, but when something comes out with a totally different approach, it’s quite noticeable, i.e. the Nightmare Alley.

Guillermo del Toro has a pattern of approaching his films in his own unique manner, and this time is no different with Nightmare Alley. Just from an outer perspective itself, the film has a very interesting storyline, that we don’t get to watch usually… but, take a deep dive into it, and you notice the special del Toro perspective to it.

It’s actually quite fun to watch this one, with a keen interest to know how the story evolves, so even if someone misses the underlying layers to it, it’d still be a great watch. Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara keep the film and the storyline gripping with their performances.

At first, I was surprised to see Nightmare Alley get nominated in the Best Picture category, especially with all the ones that were snubbed… But, as difficult as those snubs were to bear, it’s understandable why this got nominated amongst its other nominees.


– West Side Story

Musicals are not everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes they turn out to be a good watch and sometimes, not. To see a musical approach from Steven Spielberg was quite interesting in the first place, so irrespective of how it turned out to be, West Side Story had to be given a watch.

When it’s a musical, it’s not just about the songs or the dance, but how those songs are adding to the storyline, and what do the songs represent. While some felt a bit overstretched in this film, some were quite exceptional, and also were a core aspect of the storyline. Speaking of which, one could say that the story arc is quite serious and one that has a lot of history, and with this musical approach, they could dial down the tone, and yet keep it extremely powerful.

The film, overall, felt a bit longer than usual, especially with more songs than one could imagine, but as a film that’s a one-time watch, it can be digested. West Side Story is different from the usual, it speaks to you differently, with its tone and cinematography and its dialogues and a new cast, watch it for a different perspective.


– Licorice Pizza

Back in November 2021, there was all this hype around Licorice Pizza and how it was considered “the best film of 2021”, with all these over-the-top reviews coming for it. I’m not sure whether it was the weightage of those expectations or just the film in general, but Licorice Pizza didn’t deliver for me.

While it is said that the film is adapted from real events/ has a semi-autographical take to it, as the film progresses, it simply wears you out and confuses you with why are you even watching it in the first place.

Paul Thomas Anderson brings out a different identity to this film, the tone of it is quite unusual, and the cast performances are actually good to watch, Bradley Cooper’s performance, even though a cameo, was phenomenal. But irrespective of all of that, where is the film leading you to? Not that every film needs to have some kind of takeaway to it, but in general the storyline needs to work too, which it doesn’t in this case.

I was really hoping for this film to work, or to try and understand it from a different/ deeper lens, but Licorice Pizza is quite skippable.


– The Power of the Dog

Every year there’s a Western genre film that makes its way towards the top frontrunners of the year, and with 2021, it turned out to be The Power of the Dog. But things are not always the way they seem to be, because this one isn’t just a simple Western genre film, but has quite a few powerful punches that come with its exceptional storyline.

While the film seems to have a slow pace, it is a deliberate move from Jane Campion, just to let that particular emotion seep in, or for you to truly get in the character’s shoes and understand their perspective. The entire duration of the film wasn’t the issue, but its pace sometimes did, but something that can be overlooked with what the film is trying to say and along with it, its commendable storyline. Some of these particular films, in particular, The Power of the Dog, have these underlying psychological arcs that, once understood, make the film elevate to a higher level, and if not, you may completely miss the whole point of the film itself.

Making the storyline powerful are those performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst, and Jesse Plemons. Kodi Smit-McPhee, in particular, has been the central point of the film, with quite an exceptional stand-out performance. While the film may not be for all film enthusiasts, it has its own individual identity, and some may like it for what it is and some may have preferred it to be better.


– tick, tick… BOOM

How can a film be so powerful, so mesmerizing, and so moving as well? tick, tick… BOOM is all of that. Lin-Manuel Miranda has created a musical masterpiece here, and of course, the one on whom the film is adapted, Jonathan Larson, whose story is so moving and simultaneously inspiring as depicted in the film.

Andrew Garfield plays the role of Jonathan Larson, and what a power-packed performance that was. Right from the start to the end, you can see the character he’s playing, and not him as the actor, and that says a lot about the kind of work and effort he has put into the role. So much so, that I’m predicting an Academy nomination for him (written at the time of the film release).

Speaking of the film (musical), it touches upon Larson’s life and his journey to writing his musicals, whilst touching upon the areas of love and relationships and work and passion, and how it all intersected. As the film progresses, it touches upon a lot of emotions, especially towards the latter half, it does leave you teary-eyed upon a number of occasions.

Not only that, but as it touches upon those subjects of his life, it’s not just a depiction of his life, but there are multiple takeaways that can be looked upon in one’s own life and that’s one of those powerful aspects of this film.

(Here’s the official synopsis: Based on the autobiographical musical by playwright Jonathan Larson. It’s the story of an aspiring composer in New York City who is worried he made the wrong career choice, whilst navigating the pressures of love and friendship.)

The film’s fast-paced, the songs are quite wonderful, and you do have to keep an eye because as a musical, the storyline revolves around them. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield have done a stellar job with this one and I’m actually glad I watched this one. I’m a fan.


– Being the Ricardos

Aaron Sorkin has a pattern of choosing quite unique topics/ subjects for his films and this time is no different with Being The Ricardos.

The show ‘I Love Lucy’ has so much history and culture, but with that also comes the behind-the-scenes, the drama, the problems that are not visible in the front… And this film does quite a good job of showcasing that.

Right from the history of the characters to their relationships to tackling the norms at the time, how the show came into place and the problems it faced, Being the Ricardos does a good job at addressing all of that.

Not knowing the original show or having watched it either, this also served as a great introductory platform to that entire world and you end up wanting to know more.

What made it deliver on the screen was not just the writing, but the fiery performances from Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, JK Simmons, their chemistry, their individuality, their flair was all quite noticeable and made the difference in making this a good watch.


– The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth is certainly one of those films which people who connect with the Shakespearean works would love, and have an opposite effect if they don’t.

Right from the style to the tone and the language, everything was captured perfectly… But it’s not for everyone. It was difficult to stay patient with the Shakespearean language and to always understand the dialogues or the happenings throughout.

What is commendable about The Tragedy of Macbeth are two things… One, the cinematography was brilliant. Right from the movement of the characters, to the camera angles that bring out the tension on the screen, to those black and white visuals, everything about how the film was captured was truly brilliant. Second, Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Macbeth was oozing magnificence. What can this man not do… Every emotion is expressed through his performance so beautifully, he ends up being the reason why you stay with the film and watch till the end (if the Shakespearean stuff wasn’t capturing your attention).


– Spencer

Right off the bat, I’m not aware of the “Royal history” or everything that has taken place, except maybe heard a few things here and there. Knowing that I felt Spencer was a great film, dramatizing a few things maybe… But also because they had to highlight years of perspective and experiences and emotions and mix it all up into a film of 111 minutes.

Kristen Stewart was quite amazing portraying the role of Princess Diana, the look, the talk, the mannerisms, and moreover the troubles she was experiencing, and everything else that she was going through.

The film captures the emotions well because as the audience, you end up feeling exactly what the character is feeling, and you can empathize with every step she takes thereafter.

Maybe, there’s a lot of dramatization in the film, I’m not sure how much is it relatable to the real-life story… But if what we’ve heard/ read is right, then the portrayal of emotions did come out right, and for that Spencer and Kristen Stewart need some applause.


– The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Adapted from a true story, The Eyes of Tammy Faye was a brilliant film to watch, to know such a story exists and to watch it from this perspective was a spectacle in itself. It’s quite gripping, and as it progresses, there’s a tense atmosphere you can feel wanting to know how the story is going to evolve (for someone who doesn’t know what happened in reality).

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is going to be one of Jessica Chastain’s masterpieces, she was fabulous in her performance right from the first frame to how her character evolved throughout, she was absolutely the focal point of this film.

What can you say about Andrew Garfield, that man is knocking his roles off the charts, and this time is no different either.

This turned out to be a great one-time watch, a definite front-runner in the Oscars Best Costume category and Jessica Chastain as the front-runner in the Best Actress category.


– Parallel Mothers

There’s no denying that there’s a lot going on in Parallel Mothers, but someone said it right that life is messy and maybe the director, Pedro Almodóvar was approaching it with that motive.

Parallel Mothers hits upon a number of topics, motherhood, love, loss, connection, relationships, closure, respect, support, family, history, and culture. While it may seem like a lot, Almodóvar has tied up those aspects quite beautifully with the storyline. The film isn’t perfect, for sure, but you got to appreciate those elements that did go right.

Speaking of which, Penélope Cruz has been phenomenal with her performance, right through and through, she’s the glue holding the film together, as the storyline is revolving around her and she delivers. Parallel Mothers turns out to be a great watch because of a number of factors, including her, and sometimes the pros outweigh the cons.


– The Lost Daughter

There’s so much that’s visible in front of you, and so much that isn’t… What isn’t makes so difference that you don’t even realize it, that’s the beauty of The Lost Daughter.

So much is said and so much is unsaid, there’s so much going on and yet on the brim, everything seems normal. To be particular, the tension in the film has been depicted so well, it almost feels real. The Lost Daughter is quite a beautiful film in itself with an amazing story to tell, backed by brilliant performances from the ever-so-great Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, and Dakota Johnson amongst others.

There are questions to be asked, probable scenarios that are debatable, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Maggie Gyllenhaal has done a fantastic job with her directorial debut here.


– The Mitchells vs the Machines

The Mitchells vs the Machines is such an uber-cool, feel-good film, that serves good on the story, the message, the character traits, the emotions and ultimately becomes a really good watch.

The film touches upon a number of subjects, including technology (there’s a fun dialogue that summarizes the film quite well, “Who would have thought a tech company wouldn’t have our best interest at heart?”), family dynamics and the essence of relationships.

The Mitchells vs the Machines is fun, quirky, teary-eyed at moments, and along with the few takeaways here and there, you’re able to relate with the characters, their traits and that makes it the most fun to watch.


– Luca

Luca is a heart-warming, feel-good film that hits the right emotions, sends the right message and just makes you glad you watched it.

What’s the film about?

“Luca is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface.”

Luca is discovering his identity in this film, who he really is, what does he want, how others would perceive him and irrespective of that, to own his identity when others don’t. Somewhere in that storyline, you get absorbed by his character, relating with him and finding yourself in that character and that’s the most epic thing about this film.

The character, Luca is full of curiosity, is innocent towards most things, and at the same time constantly discovering new things. You just tend to connect this with how every child is at this age, and how, with adulthood, much of those things change with time, but watching this film also shows the essence of those character traits that is somewhere deep down hidden inside us.

Moreover, amongst all his characteristics and the storyline, another inspirational aspect of the film was the determination shown by the character towards his dream. And not just that, but as he learns new things, how that dream changes, yet the determination remains the same.

His friends are a constant support in his life, helping him learn new things, right there by his side, and even when they aren’t on the same side, the aspect of friendship deep within still remains the same.

Point after point, if there is one thing to notice, it’s that there is so much to learn from the film and the character, Luca. It’s just a brilliant film to watch, with a number of takeaways, and moreover, the time is well-spent and well-invested.

One-line Review: Pixar hitting it on target yet again with Luca!


– Encanto

It always surprises me when an animated film has so much to offer, and yet it’s so much fun to watch at the same time. Lest we forget it’s the season of musicals, this one’s Encanto – focusing ever so beautifully on the concept of family, the bonds between them, the expectations and the constant pressure, and many more tiny nuances that you get to notice when you watch the film.

The thing about musicals is they have to be done right or it’s no fun at all. But when it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, you can always expect the best and that goes for the songs of Encanto as well. They not only gel well with the storyline but have their own individuality to them too.

Encanto is one of those complete package films, it’s got a little bit of everything and it all checks off in the right manner. It’s a beautiful watch which cannot be recommended enough, for its story, for its takeaway, for its songs, for its emotions… we won’t talk about Bruno in this review.


– The Worst Person in the World

Sometimes life makes decisions for us, some turn out to be right, some we realize later that they aren’t, sometimes our choices are confusing and sometimes come with extreme clarity. Do we really need to have everything figured out or do we experiment and go with the flow and see what happens? How do our decisions affect us and others?

The Worst Person in the World hits upon all of that and more with a storyline that some may or may not connect with, but its hidden layers are certainly relatable.

What is the film about? The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.

Renate Reinsve, portraying the central character in the film, has performed quite well because you’re watching the entire film from her perspective and her lens, the confusion or the decisiveness before making a decision make her character so much better and more relatable, and that says a lot about the actor performing the role.

The Worst Person in the World is a Norwegian film written and directed by Joachim Trier and is certainly something different to watch.


My Oscars 2022 Predictions

My Oscars 2022 Predictions

It’s that time of the year, the Academy Awards 2022 are due in less than 48 hours!

Having watched all the nominated films, with some really great ones, and some not so much, some being the popular frontrunners and some still not known on a mass level…

Here are my predictions for the Oscars 2022 –

• Best Picture – CODA / Belfast

(While The Power of the Dog seems to be the frontrunner in this category, amongst the ten nominated films in the category, Belfast and CODA stand out far higher than the rest, for me. Either of those wins, I’ll be glad)

• Best Actor – Andrew Garfield

(Every performance in this category is simply incredible, Will Smith in King Richard may win here and will be second in my list, but Andrew Garfield was exceptional in tick, tick… BOOM and I loved that film, so personally biased to predict his win here)

• Best Actress – Jessica Chastain

(A bunch of power-packed performances in this category… do we really have to choose? One that stood out and I would pick for the win is Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, her role was fantastic in that one, just wow!)

• International Feature Film – Drive My Car

(While it already is a great film, if it has been nominated for the Best Picture category, there should be no surprises it would win here too)

• Best Original Song – No Time to Die (Billie Eilish, FINNEAS) [No Time to Die]

• Best Animated Feature – Luca

(The Best Animated Category is such a tough one this year, usually, there seems to be a frontrunner here, and I’m predicting Luca for the win… But highly likely Encanto could be the one or any of the others too)

• Best Supporting Actress – Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

• Best Supporting Actor – Troy Kotsur (CODA)

(Kodi Smit-McPhee is another favourite in this category, but all my bet’s on Troy Kotsur for the win, what a performance in CODA)

• Best Director – Sir Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
(I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jane Campion take this award, and she seems to be the favourite in this category too, but I’m hoping for a surprise here)

• Best Original Screenplay – Belfast

(No doubts about this one, Belfast is far ahead in this category and taking the award)

• Best Adapted Screenplay – CODA (Sian Heder)

• Best Visual Effects – Spiderman: No Way Home

(While Dune is an equal match for the win, Spiderman: No Way Home is all visual effects and would be a surprise if it doesn’t win here))

• Best Cinematography – Dune (Greig Fraser)

• Best Original Score – Dune (Hans Zimmer has created magic here, and it’s a riot if anyone else wins here ;))

• Best Makeup and Hairstyling – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

• Best Costume Design – Cruella

• Best Film Editing – tick, tick… BOOM (Andrew Weisblum, Myron I. Kerstein)

• Best Production Design – West Side Story

• Best Sound – Dune (All bets on Hans Zimmer)

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The Last 7 Days #107 (21.03.21 – 27.03.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 107th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. There’s something off about ApeCoin (an opinion piece by Casey Newton) Read more here.
  2. Ash Barty’s shock retirement from tennis offers some vital career lessons. Read here.
  3. CODA‘ Forever Changed Director Sian Heder’s Approach to Filmmaking. Check it out here.
  4. Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi on Grief, Forgiveness and Breaking Language Barriers in ‘Drive My Car‘. Read it here.
  5. The Power Of Silliness In A Dark World. Read more here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. Dr Andrew D Huberman takes a deep dive into the emerging field of mind-body neuroscience, the neuroscience of ADHD, focus, hypnosis, and processing trauma, how to leverage light, temperature, breath, and sleep to better control your biology and many other fascinating topics on the Rich Roll podcast. Listen to it here.
  2. With the Oscars around the corner, the hosts dig into all 10 Best Picture nominees and discuss whether their Tomatometer scores accurately represent where they rank against each other, on Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong podcast. Check it out here.
  3. Troy Kotsur, the first deaf male ever nominated for an acting Oscar reflects on growing up as the only deaf member of his family, making his name in deaf theatre and how the making of and tremendous response to his performance in Sian Heder’s film about a child of deaf adults (or “CODA”) has changed his life, on the Awards Chatter podcast. Listen here.
  4. On IMDb is Obsessed, Ian and Alex break down every reason you should watch Drive My Car, this quiet but fascinating Academy Award-nominated film. Check it out here.
  5. Cate Blanchett discusses her duo of Oscar contenders, “Don’t Look Up” and “Nightmare Alley” on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast. Listen to it here.

What To Watch:

  1. How NFTs are building the internet of the future? (a TED Talk by Kayvon Tehranian, founder and CEO of Foundation) Watch it here.
  2. Hans Zimmer, ‘Dune’ composer, gives his in-depth analysis and insider’s look at how the score was created for Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film. Watch here.
  3. On The Ranveer Show, Satpal Singh from Nanak Naam, a spiritual coach and an expert on Sikhism, went into the depth of Sikhism, Spirituality, Meditation, and more. Satpal Singh explained the idea of ego, inner peace, and happiness. He also put the light on the concept of death & rebirth, the warrior aspect of Sikhism, and 5 important elements of Sikhism. Check it out here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber (The story of Uber from the perspective of the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick.) Now streaming on Voot here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Drive My Car (Adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car is a haunting road movie traveling a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace.) Now streaming on MUBI here.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #52 (20.03.22 – 26.03.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. We judge people too much by the opinions they give and too little by the values they live.

You don’t have to like their point to admire their courage in making it.

Decency is avoiding disrespect, not avoiding disagreement. Integrity is trying to get it right, not being right. [Adam Grant]

2. When Betty Crocker (not her real name) first started selling cake mixes, all you had to do was add water. They failed.

But when they changed the recipe and required users to add oil and an egg, sales went up.

Because people like to feel as though they’re cooking. It made the mix an activity that felt like homemaking.

If you order a high-end table saw (and you should, so you don’t get injured) you might discover that there are a fair number of nuts and bolts to install. For the premium that’s charged, there’s no reason for this–except that assembling the last bit yourself feels worthy.

And you’ve probably guessed the punchline, so I won’t tell it to you. When you assemble it yourself… [Seth Godin]

3. Unlike our circadian rhythm, our specific sleep chronotype isn’t influenced by any outside force, but rather genetics.

What is a sleep chronotype? A chronotype is your body’s natural disposition to be awake or asleep at certain times (think phrases such as “early bird” and “night owl”). Your chronotype is closely related to your body’s circadian rhythm, which controls your body’s sleep-wake cycle and melatonin production.

But our sleep chronotype is far more than a sleep preference, research indicates that chronotype is a heritable trait, thus directing attention toward its genetic basis. [Neurohacker]

4. When the body is at rest (not engaged in any activity besides breathing, digesting, etc.) the brain uses up a startling 20-25% of the body’s overall energy, mainly in the form of glucose, making the brain the most energy-expensive organ in the body. [BrainChat]

5. There was a man in Africa on safari who saw a group of captive elephants, each with a rope tied to their ankle.

He was confused. They were gigantic creatures, some being over 13,000 pounds…

Yet they were being held in place not with chains or cages–– but with ropes driven into the ground by stakes.

The man asked the elephant trainer, “Why don’t the elephants break free?”

The elephant trainer replied:
“When they were very young and much smaller we used the same ropes to tie them. At that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The elephants were all physically capable of breaking free but remained in captivity due to their limiting beliefs.

They didn’t believe they could break free, so they never tried. [Jay Shetty]

The core of your routine and its longevity

The core of your routine and its longevity

When you look at your life and every aspect of it, broken down by how much you have lived, you’d notice it’s nothing but a set of habits (in every area of life) that is formed into a daily routine.

Sometimes these habits are chosen and designed by you, instiling a routine that you deem fit for yourself, and other times you’re moulded into a routine by external factors (one that isn’t in your control).

Either way, this particular routine is done on a daily basis, until one specific event is scheduled for a particular day that allows you to break away from it, and then get back to it the very next day.

There are a lot of “live in the moment” and “enjoy now” quotes on the internet, but ultimately those decide micro-moments of your life… Not the entirety of life itself.

As a whole package, when you look at living an average of 90 years of life, how do you want that life to look and how much should be affected by external factors or not, depends on the core of your routine and how you have designed it. Because that’s the subconscious taking over, those decisions are ones you aren’t taking every day… This means your focus is elsewhere, and once your routine is set, your decision-making skills, instead of being used for what to do with your day, can be used for more important purposes, thus the core of the routine being important.

What does the core mean?
There’s a meaning behind every habit, and what is it being led to. For example, the habit of having one or three meals a day is a part of your routine that is a part of your health and wellness. So is choosing to add meditation practices or breathing exercises to your routine. There’s a reason behind doing everything and doing it daily too.

Once you understand the type of life you want to live, you break it down to the point you can design how your day looks like, in which areas of your life do you want to divide your attention, hence being able to design your habits as well, resulting in a routine that would have longevity, since it has your blessing filled with purpose.

When you have designed your life, with purpose and blessing, then even in the low days, you know what to do, even in the bad days, you know what to do, and generally, you don’t need to be run by motivation or hype or need any external help to carry on with your routine.

Your life – your thought-process style, your voice in the head, your communication skills, your values, your reason behind agreeing or disagreeing with something, your perspective, your decision-making – everything is a habit and unknowingly before, but knowingly now you have the power to design a routine with longevity that would shape your life the way you want it to.

Turning a Blind Eye

Turning a Blind Eye

It is right to say that growing up with the current education system along with the social norms and rules that we live around and follow, we have had a lack of education in the field of
– mental and physical health
– nutrition
– neuroscience and psychology
– values and behavioural studies
(also financial literacy, and history)

But it is also right to say that if you have understood that you lack the knowledge in the most important topics of life and with all the tools available right now, you still turn a blind eye to it, then how our life turns out to be is truly our mistake henceforth (if we aren’t satisfied with the outcome/ external factors affecting the timeline/ process of our lives) and not anyone else’s.

The What, Why, and How of Judgments

The What, Why, and How of Judgments

Has a day gone by when you can successfully say, you haven’t made any kind of judgment towards anyone else? Rather than asking the question, do you judge, the better question turns out to be how much do you judge others?

When we are born, there are no restrictions or limitations in how we see the world, nothing is instilled in our brains yet, and thus no judgments either, we live free.

And then as we grow, whether it is the society, or their “traditional way of following what’s always been done”, following a set of rules in which life is lived, along with our education system and the media… somewhere down the line, the behaviour of judging people starts rolling in, leading to comparisons, looking down upon people, jealousy, ego, and in most cases, a combination of these emotions too.

No one wants to take the stand or start asking questions, understanding the fundamentals of these “rules” and “norms”. If someone is externally doing better, then we’ll start comparing them with ourselves… If someone is doing something different from us, then we’ll start judging them… If something is doing better at something that we desire, then we’ll become jealous of them.

All of this eventually originates from the lens through which we see the world – our perspective, our point of view, our habits, our values etc – the root cause of judgments.
– What kind of mindset do you have?
– Do you want to win over others or do you want to walk with them?
– Do you view yourself over others or do you view everyone equally?
– Is your perspective one of growth or is it of stagnation?
– Are you secure with how you live your life and every aspect of it?

The opposite of judgment is empathy. To understand the other person, where they’re coming from, what their point of view is, to truly understand the intention behind their action or words.

Judgements and Empathy, unfortunately, don’t go together on the same plate. An individual is one or the other. You can either be empathetic towards someone or you can be judgmental, even if you say otherwise, you cannot be both.

When you feel you have less, when you feel someone has more than you, or you wonder why they have more than you, when you feel what right does the other individual have to do something which you can’t, it all comes down to making judgments, and that’s the complete opposite of an empathetic stand where you feel satisfied with who you are, what you have, what others have and what they get, and how you see yourself and others going forward.

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The Last 7 Days #106 (14.03.21 – 20.03.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 106th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. The Life Cycle of Outrage. Check it out here.
  2. How the Oscars Are Embracing Coming-of-Age Stories This Year? Read here.
  3. What If No One Owned Chelsea FC? Read more here.
  4. Got a headache? Nostalgia might help cure it, according to a new study. Read here.
  5. How Dune created the sinister sounds of those menacing sandworms? Check it out here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On the NFT now podcast, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about his NFT predictions for summer 2022, his personal multi-million dollar NFT collection, how he practices accountability to his token holders, the NFT bubble, and more. Listen here.
  2. On Advertising Is Dead, Chef Saransh Goila joins Varun Duggirala to talk about his latest venture ‘Bambai Meal Rolls’, how he became a chef, his inspirations on the way, his culinary travels, and more. Check it out here.
  3. On the F1 Beyond the Grid podcast, Carlos Sainz tells about how his seasons at McLaren shaped him into the driver he is today, his rivalries and friendships with Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris, the physical and mental gains he’s made during early morning gym sessions and why F1’s Smooth Operator is not actually smooth at all. Listen to it here.
  4. Vidya Balan converses about her journey so far, the ups and downs, coping mechanisms, her love for acting and how she has enjoyed working on every project so far, and much more, on This Round Is On Me with Gauri Devidayal. Check it out here.
  5. On Variety Awards Circuit, Jessica Chastain discusses how she wanted to portray televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” plus how Oscar campaigns have changed in the post-Harvey Weinstein era and what’s next on her busy acting plate. Listen here.

What To Watch:

  1. On the Joe Rogan podcast, Sadhguru talks about the importance of soil, the origin of yoga, going beyond the realm of logic to understand things we don’t know about, and so much more. This was a power-packed conversation that you can watch here.
  2. The Problem with F1 Sponsorships. Check it out here.
  3. On Film Companion, Vidya Balan & Shefali Shah speak to Anupama Chopra about their experience collaborating with each other on Jalsa, what they picked up from each other’s process and the reality of being married to film producers. Watch it here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Jugaadistan (A college life drama focusing on the gritty side of campus life, Politics, Love and Emotions.) Now streaming on Lionsgate Play here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – Jalsa (A hit and run of an 18 year old girl raises many a question only to realise that truth is rarely pure and never simple.) Now streaming on Amazon Prime here.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #51 (13.03.22 – 19.03.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. For people that experience intense sugar cravings: the cause of those cravings is dopamine. Sweet foods and drinks and foods/drinks that contain simple sugars — especially highly processed simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup, trigger two neural pathways, one that detects nutritive value and another that leads to perceived sweetness (taste), both of which result in increased dopamine. The consequence is a heightened desire to pursue and eat sweet food.

Studies show that even if the taste of something sweet is blocked, people prefer it and crave it because of so-called post-ingestive effects: neurons in the gut that respond to sugar and signal the release of dopamine in the brain.

Understanding this can help you control or defeat sugar cravings. It also explains why we often will crave more food even if it doesn’t taste incredible.

The takeaway: Your conscious mind is able to override these signals better if you know they are there. [Dr Andrew D Huberman]

2. When we spend hours looking at screens, we are exposing our eyes to ‘photochemical’ stress, a type of light stress that occurs because of the chemical reactions and oxidative stress from the retina absorbing blue light for prolonged periods of time.

The type of photochemical stress to the retina caused by blue light is known as blue light hazard or retinal phototoxicity.

The degree of phototoxicity blue light can cause is dependent on a number of factors: the intensity of blue light to which the eye is exposed, the distance to the source of light, the direction of the line of sight, and the spectrum of the light source, for example.

It’s important to clarify that the main source of blue light in our environment is, without a doubt, the sun. But although the amount of blue light emitted by a screen is low compared to sunlight, the fact is that the type of exposure is very different. Anyone who spends long periods of time looking at screens, especially in close proximity, is being continually exposed to a significant amount of blue light that’s different in important ways compared to looking at a blue sky or ocean. [Neurohacker]

3.

Source: Dr Jordan B Peterson

4. You can’t judge people only by how they treat you. The true test of character is how they treat those they don’t like or need.

Even if someone is kind to you, proceed with caution if they’re consistently unkind to others.

Selective civility is a sign of deep-seated hostility. [Adam Grant]

5. About 1-in-13 people who have ever lived are alive today.

A.D. makes up only about 1% of human history but about half of all people have lived during it.

We live in an insane anomaly.

Visual by Our World In Data

6 Quotes from ‘The Adam Project’ that simply melt your heart away

6 Quotes from ‘The Adam Project’ that simply melt your heart away

Some films go beyond what the main storyline is about, and the real essence of it lies in between the lines, that is The Adam Project.

The official synopsis reads: After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-travelling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.

While the film falls under the sci-fi genre and does a pretty basic job on that front, it’s really the tiny nuances at different points in the film that actually make this one a good watch.

P.S. It makes sense to read henceforth only if you’ve seen the film, not because there are spoilers in these quotes, but because the real gravitas lies in the delivery and context of these lines that melt your heart away while watching the film.

The Adam Project is less about “good from the bad” and “it’s time to save” scenario and more about the relationships, the emotions, the chance at healing those relationships, and when you look at this film from such a perspective, these quotes will just feel different:

A. “I spent 30 years trying to get away from the me that was you. And I’ll tell you what, kid. I hate to say it, but you were the best part all along.”

B. “It’s easier to be angry than it is to be sad. And I guess, when I get older, I forget that there’s a difference.”

C. “Boys always come back for their mamas.”

D. “The problem with acting like you have it all together is, he believes it. Maybe he needs to know that you don’t. It’s okay if you don’t.”

E. “You’re my boys, and you’ll always be my boys, throughout time.”

F. “You’d better start caring, because the future is coming, sooner than you think.”

xx

When we are born

When we are born

When we are born, we are
– free
– open-minded
– no boundaries or limitations to anything
– looking at everyone as the same
– full of love and joy
– with not an ounce of hate or negativity or judgments
– running around with others
– where even the sky is not the limit
– and the ground can’t keep you still
– asking questions at every second of life
– curious about everything and anything
– helping others without a second’s thought

none of it has to go away when you turn into an adult, neither should any of these traits differentiate between being a child and being an adult.

Then ask yourself, what exactly is happening around you, that in a few years of living life, everything changes. What environment is being formed at home, school, college, office, etc., what norms are being set by the society, what standards are being set by those “in power” and how much media manipulation happens that everything changes from being born to turning into an adult?

Agreeing with everything I have said or written in the past

Agreeing with everything I have said or written in the past

This is the 1100th post on my blog today, and it got me thinking about the first hundred, two hundred, three hundred posts I’ve written and comparatively, how much has my sense of words and thoughts and ideas evolved now for the better or worse…

Every day, week, month, and year, with everything that we learn and experience, what is also changing is our perspective, our thought process, our emotional bandwidth, each and everything about us changes and evolves with time… for some, it’s a good thing and for some, a downfall too.

Focusing on the positive aspect of it, and assuming that everything that has changed has made you grow as an individual… when you look back, you’ll notice an individual that was you, but also not you from the present perspective. You may wonder why did the past you make such a decision, or why did the past you not do something in particular?

In the present, or even in the future, when we look at our present selves, it’s difficult to agree with everything we have thought of, everything that came out of our mouths, and generally, our perspective of looking at us and everything around us.

As we grow, our mindset is evolving, and our worldview is changing along with it. You may think about a particular topic on a whole different wavelength than how you would think about that same topic now or even when you’d approach this topic in the future.

That doesn’t mean we don’t hold ourselves accountable for our past deeds and words, but we must also not forget that a change has occurred, maybe it’s a different view altogether, or maybe there’s a much deeper approach to that thought now than the introductory or entry-level thought before.

This approach of not being able to agree upon something of the past should not only be had by you but also accepted as a norm amongst others towards themselves or towards you as well, it’s an approach of growth and evolution and change.

Reflection is the one true marker

Reflection is the one true marker

I want to change but I don’t know what to change or how important is that change… Conscious Change is an important element of growth in the right direction because you know what has to be done, why, and what was happening before this change.

But the same question arises yet again… How much do I have to learn and experience new things, let others point out my mistakes, or wait to enter this dark phase in my life to realize that change is needed?

Reflection is the one true marker for that entire process.

To reflect upon your life, the life you have lived, the elements you liked and disliked, the life you want to live and why, what path are you currently walking on and where does it lead you, what problems are you having and what’s the origin of these problems, reflection solves all of that.

When you reflect means you’re taking a deep dive into these topics of your life, with an open mindset to accept what you’ll see and to embrace that side of you, because with embracing comes acceptance and with acceptance comes the willingness to change.

Refection is a powerful force, but rarely does anyone want to reflect, why? Why change things when everything’s going all right in a very generic scenario? Why put in the work when the current input and output is letting you manage by the next day?

While it may sound harsh, why not reflect upon that very same question and wonder whether you’ve done that, at some point in your life, towards a particular aspect of your life and with respect to change.

Reflection also means asking the tough questions, one that will show you a harsher reality than the mirage created in the minds… to then break everything brick by brick, you’ll soon see the reality of it all and then more questions start coming in… That’s also where true learning begins and you experience what you haven’t experienced before, the lens from which you view the world currently will change too.

Reflection is that one true marker, for all things within and the world, if you’re ready to walk down that path.

Questioning your own Actions

Questioning your own Actions

Usually, we focus on the outcome, with regards to a task, or a plan… we are glad about the favoured outcome and we are quick to blame when it’s not. With regards to people, it’s a similar issue, if there’s a lack of understanding or a communication standstill, we again are quick to point the blame towards the other individual.

In every scenario of life, there’s a common pattern visible that shows pointing of fingers and blame games and excuses, not compulsorily with respect to people, but we find a thousand different things to put the blame on.

What lacks in this usual approach is the questioning of your own actions.

It’s not about the theoretical smartness of the approach or intelligence per se, but the execution of the action that needs to be looked upon. If there’s really something wrong externally, then nine hundred and ninety-nine people will face the same issue with regards to that particular thing. But if everyone else can reach the favoured outcome, then it’s not an external problem, but an internal problem, which asks for the questioning of your actions.

Now, this pattern is applicable in every scenario, whether other people are involved or not… What are you doing that causes this particular outcome? What can you do to change that outcome? A bit of introspection and questioning will make you look back at your process and your approach, will make you retrace your steps and help you understand where exactly did you go wrong, and what can be done differently at your end itself to change the outcome in your favour.

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The Last 7 Days #105 (07.03.21 – 13.03.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 105th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. What Makes You, You? (one of the best things I’ve read) Read it here.
  2. The Mythology of Red Bull. Read more here.
  3. Crypto Brain Drain Is ‘Crazy’ in India, Polygon Co-Founder Says. Read here.
  4. Why saturated fats are not bad? Check it out here.
  5. The Batman‘: Breaking Down the Sound and Fury that Brought the Batmobile to Life. Read it here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. Mila Kunis joins the podcast, Props and Drops with Matt Kalish and GaryVee to chat about Web3, the challenges and changes she faced when building Stoner Cats, and her experiences in this wild space. Listen here.
  2. A riff on making up your mind by Seth Godin on his podcast, Akimbo. Listen to it here.
  3. Vulnerability and Redemption with Adrian Grenier on A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek. Check it out here.
  4. Matt Reeves deep-dives into The Batman, breaking down every aspect of it, on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. Listen here.
  5. Matt Reeves and his incredible team of sound and music artists: Michael Giacchino (composer), Will Files (Supervising Sound Editor), Douglas Murray (Supervising Sound Editor), Andy Nelson (Re-Recording Mixer) discuss the sound and music of The Batman on the Sound + Image Lab: The Dolby Institute Podcast. Check out Part 1 here.
    In Part 2: joining Matt Reeves, Director of Photography Greig Fraser, Supervising and Lead Digital Colorist, David Cole deep dive into the technical aspects of their post-production process on The Batman. Check out Part 2 here.

What To Watch:

  1. Inside A Village In Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, highlighting the reality of Mubarakpur, Samdish Bhatia speaks to the children, youth, and the elderly to understand their lifestyle, livelihood, and their relationship with the state, on his channel Unfiltered by Samdish. Check it out here.
  2. Shefali Shah, Prajakta Koli, Kusha Kapila, Neelam Kothari Soni, Masaba Gupta, Mrunal Thakur and Swastika Mukherjee share their views with Anupama Chopra about the changing dynamics of women in cinema and entertainment, the role OTT has played in empowering female actors and the areas that still need our attention. Watch it here.
  3. Rocky and Mayur return with season 7 of RoadTrippinWithRnM highlighting the state of Rajasthan this time around. Check it out here.
  4. TV Show Recommendation of the Week – Severance (Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives; when a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.) Now streaming on AppleTV+ here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – The Adam Project (After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.) Now streaming on Netflix here.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #50 (06.03.22 – 12.03.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. The people you’re trying to impress are probably busy trying to impress someone else.

It’s called the spotlight effect: the tendency to overestimate how much attention people pay to your appearance and actions.

You’re always a protagonist in your story, but rarely in theirs.

[Adam Grant]

2. The subliminal message of English class is that good writing needs to be poetic. Students read novels with purple prose and try to replicate it in five-paragraph essays so they can impress their teachers.

This obsession with poetic writing is one of the most destructive outcomes of modern writing education.

Focus on clear writing instead.

Basketball provides an analogy. Even if all the stars know how to do fancy dribbles like “through the legs,” the “spin move,” and “behind the back,” you shouldn’t start there. You should master the basic dribbles first. Jumping into advanced dribbles when you start playing basketball is the fastest way to look like a goon and get the ball stolen from you. No matter how fancy their dribbling can become, even the best players focus on basic moves that get the job done even if they don’t turn heads.

So focus on writing clearly.
Let poetic language be a byproduct of clear writing and don’t even think about lavish prose until you’ve mastered the art of writing clearly. [David Perell]

3. High growth environments yield positive-sum players…

Slow/negative growth environments yield zero-sum players…

Hence, progress is a moral imperative. [Matt Huang]

4. Computer programmer Erik Naggum on reaching up instead of punching down:

“The secret to feeling great about yourself is not to be found in searching for people who are less than you and then show yourself superior to them, but in searching for people who are more than you and then show yourself worthy of their company.”

Source: Email (January 2, 2003)

5.

Source: Liz Fosslien

Live with your Mistakes or hit the Redo button?

Live with your Mistakes or hit the Redo button?

Imagine there’s a redo button, that you can hit anytime you want. You had two choices, you chose one and it turned out to be a mistake. Press that redo button and you go back in time, but you also forget everything you have done until now (so you don’t have any of your learnings too)… it means when you hit that redo button, you go back to those two choices again, not knowing which is the right one and with 50/50 odds that you may choose the wrong one again.

But the thing about odds and choices is, life isn’t about just that one choice. It’s about a series of choices, made one after the other, and irrespective of which were the right ones and which weren’t, our life is uniquely stitched together mixing all of those decisions taken… Maybe there was a wrong choice made, but the next right one was made only because of that.

With every choice made, comes either the optimum outcome or a mistake, with a mistake comes learning and experience, and also the bandwidth to make a better decision next time.

Now there are two choices, to live with your mistakes, which are also learnings in disguise, which also help you to make better decisions next time, or to hit that redo button (in theory) and go back in time, discarding all your learnings and experience, with a hope to make better decisions or with the hope that the odds are in your favour this time.

When such a perspective of looking at our mistakes is truly unlocked, is when we can start looking at them differently, is also when we can be more open-minded and free while making our decisions henceforth, and also hope to do better next time, instead of carrying the burden of the previous decision made.

The feeling of regret

The feeling of regret

One of the worst feelings a human being could experience is that of regret – doing something that you shouldn’t have done or not doing something that you wanted to do.

Either of the two scenarios causes regret, but in hindsight. In that particular moment, you sometimes go with the flow or with the current wave of emotions you’re facing or based on your current level of learning and experience… And all your decisions arise from that, thus doing something that you shouldn’t have done or not doing something that you wanted to do, but in the latter scenario, you didn’t because you thought delaying it or not doing it would be better for you.

But all of this is understood, not immediately, but with time, especially when you see the outcome of the path you took and what the path that you could’ve taken looks like.

In the present moment, it looks like a dream or an imagined scenario. But when it is lived, when that other outcome is visible too, then you realize the regret.

It’s hard to digest. It’s hard to get over with. It stays for a while. And every day is a remembrance of that decision you took, whether it’s a small one or a huge one, also depending on how largely it impacts your life.

The optimistic mindset is to look at the larger picture, be grateful for what you have and what you have done… But in the immediate aftermath of that decision, the regret isn’t forgettable anytime soon.

Don’t take it seriously

Don’t take it seriously

How seriously do we take everything in life? Our work. Our goals. Our values. Our perspective. Our dreams. Our routine. Our personal life. Our relationships. Our thoughts. The chain is never-ending.

But we regard everything as either black or white. One thing or the other. Right or wrong. For some, it’s that level of seriousness with regards to those things, and for some even more.

The more seriously we take things, in every phase of life, the more attached we become to the outcome of it too.

Not that we don’t like doing it, or we don’t enjoy the process, or whatever consequences that come out of it, but with a level of seriousness attached to something, our emotions revolve around it too.

How that particular thing goes, how we wanted it to, or against our wishes, our emotions wave up and down with it, disturbing our calmness and peace along with it.

For example, if one particular thing gets left out from one’s morning routine, they’d be disappointed with their scheduling, or execution as to how they couldn’t manage their routine probably, and then be disappointed throughout the day affecting all the other actions as well.

That originates from how seriously you were taking that one thing and how not doing it has affected you massively. Because of its outcome, there’s a change in your attitude, emotions and your approach throughout the day.

This was a small example, now imagine it in the other aspects of your life that you take seriously, throughout the day.

The other alternative may be, to just enjoy everything that we get to do and add more or maybe even subtract from our plate of things to do.

Easier said than done, of course… Because it’s always been about the outcome and how we ourselves link one thing to the next and make everything into a chain reaction.

Maybe, that isn’t the way, maybe “don’t take it seriously” is what we should keep telling ourselves, so we can actually enjoy what we’re doing.

Are you thinking about what to do after your meal?

Are you thinking about what to do after your meal?

How do we eat our meals is an important question we should ask ourselves?

So often we approach our meals as a filler between doing two different things, or maybe something we do once the more important task is over.

It’s less of an event and more of a “we have to do it so let’s get it over with” kind of a scene. Isn’t it?

The most important thing after our breath is probably our food and our relationship with it because this is the same food that is going to nourish our mind and body, heal it, let it grow and evolve, and remains the baseline of it.

So when you think about it, every meal that we get to it is an event in itself and those particular 15-20 minutes during each meal is what should be prioritised first and then revolves everything around it.

When you give your food the second priority, or in situations when you’re constantly thinking about what to do after your meal, what you’re also doing is telling your mind that what I’m consuming isn’t important to me, and there’s an exterior thing that is of more priority. Guess what? The body is going to give you the exact same reaction in response.

Seems like a magical statement, isn’t it?

There’s a reason why your focus needs to be on your meals, neurologically, because your mind and body are via sight, smell, touch, absorbing this food too, and are getting to work. We assume digestion is an automatic process, but in reality, it works according to your approach to your food. When you consume your food in stress, frustration, anger, hurry, or any other emotion that is not in response to your food, the body doesn’t differentiate the difference between the origin of this emotion.

It feels that this emotion is arising from what you’re eating, and thus, the process after eating is in accordance with that. (this is one of the reasons why it is said to not watch anything while you eat as well)

The food that you eat is a privilege that you have, a celebration in itself. Everything that has to happen will happen, but when you eat, what you eat should be given first priority and to also cherish what’s on your plate. Your mind and body will be glad you made that decision.

Knowingly made mistakes

Knowingly made mistakes

Who doesn’t make mistakes? We all make them, from time to time. There are two types of mistakes made though, smaller ones that cause us to adapt towards it and huge ones that cause a massive shift to our lives.

But the smaller and huge ones are quantitative that is defined after they’re made, the real two types are the ones made knowingly and unknowingly.

The mistakes made unknowingly are ones that you haven’t experienced yet and thus they’re being made. They are more likely to be lessons that teach you to not do them again.

The whole point of a mistake is that you aren’t aware of something, and now you are. So with the next try, you’ll do better.

But the knowingly made mistakes are the ones that hurt the most. Those are ones that you may have experienced before or maybe you have not, but you definitely have the knowledge of those. That means you have the skillset to not make those choices the outcome of which you already know.

But, yet, in the heat of the moment, or because of habitual decision-making with regards to a pattern of choices, you decide to do something that turns out to be a mistake, but in a macro perspective, you know where that leads you to. Thus, ‘knowingly made’ mistakes.

Is it resolvable? In theory, yes. Instead of jumping to decisions, maybe taking a step back with a lighter head will help us not to make those choices that will eventually turn into mistakes.

But that is something that has to be programmed within, with practice. Until then, these knowingly made mistakes keep causing the hurt and regret, making that choice made difficult to digest.

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The Last 7 Days #104 (28.02.21 – 06.03.21)

With another Sunday, here’s the 104th edition of my weekly series, The Last 7 Days.

What’s it about?

It’s a weekly series where I talk about what I read, what I listened to, and what I saw in the last seven days.


What To Read:

  1. The Meaning of NFTs: It’s About More Than Money or Art. Read more here.
  2. Why India Isn’t Buying NFTs (Yet)? Read here.
  3. The psychology behind your sudden Wordle obsession. Check it out here.
  4. Stop trying to work in multiple browser tabs. It’s terrible for your focus. Read more here.
  5. It’s not the end of the world… yet. Read here.

What To Listen:

*The links being attached redirect to Spotify, but you can search for these episode titles wherever you listen to your podcasts.

  1. On Huberman Lab, Dr Andrew D Huberman discusses the psychology and biology of desire, love and attachment, how childhood attachment types are thought to inform adult attachment styles to romantic partners, and some of the major theories of human mate selection, relationships and infidelity. Listen here.
  2. On Creative Elements, Seth Godin talks about art, freelancing, building a personal brand, and why he disagrees with the idea of authenticity. Listen to it here.
  3. Shaan Puri sits down with Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) to talk about his career, how he 10X-ed his money with crypto, why NFTs are a bubble, winning the game of life, and more, on the My First Million podcast. Check it out here.
  4. On Comedy Gold Minds, Kevin Hart is joined by Aziz Ansari to have a detailed conversation about their rise to success in stand-up, how the show Master of None came about, where Aziz draws his inspiration from for his material, and Aziz’s experience in taking a step back from performing and work for time to himself. Listen to it here.
  5. On the ReelBlend podcast, director Matt Reeves discusses the making of the Batman movie, living up to Batman’s iconic name, his choice to skip the Wayne origins story, and much more. Check it out here.

What To Watch:

  1. On the Lex Fridman podcast, Elon Musk talks about SpaceX, Mars, Tesla AutoPilot, Self-Driving, Robotics, Cryptocurrencies and more. Watch here.
  2. On The Ranveer Show, Sadhguru talks about Generation Z, Metaverse, Death, the Save Soil movement, and much more. Check it out here.
  3. The best deal Cristiano Ronaldo ever made was selling his image rights. Watch it here.
  4. Zoë Kravitz, Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark break down ‘The Batman’. Watch here.
  5. Movie Recommendation of the Week – The Batman (Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.) Now in theatres.

There is a lot of insightful, engaging, and entertaining content mixed in all of this.

If any of these topics interest you, then your time will be well-spent.

You can check out the previous editions of The Last 7 Days – here.


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My Weekly Learnings #49 (27.02.22 – 05.03.22)

Amidst all the content I consume every week, through this weekly series of ‘My Weekly Learnings’, sharing highlights of content pieces that caught my eye and provided more value than I could imagine.

(P.S. Every Sunday, I share a list of what to read, listen to, and watch, in my weekly series, The Last 7 Days. You can check out the editions here).

1. When you first wake up in the morning your brain switches from delta waves, which occur in a deep sleep state, to theta waves, which occur during a sort of daydreamy state. The brain then moves to produce alpha waves when you are awake but are relaxed and not processing much information.

By grabbing your phone first thing and immediately diving into the online world, you force your body to skip the important theta and alpha stages and go straight from the delta stage to being wide awake and alert (also known as the beta state).

In skipping these states and checking your phone right after waking up you are priming your brain for distraction. Seeing or reading something negative first thing in the morning can trigger your stress response and put you on edge for the rest of the day.

Morning routine tip: push pause on the phone for a bit. Your brain will thank you. [Neurohacker]

2. Celebrity worship syndrome has been described as an obsessive-addictive disorder where an individual becomes overly involved and interested (i.e. completely obsessed) with a celebrity’s personal life. [8fact]

3. It’s easy to want to fill an awkward silence. Often, however, a pause in conversation is time people need to think. When conducting research, and maybe just in normal conversations, try to trust the questions that you ask and avoid filling the silence after asking a question. [sketchplantations]

4. The map might be correct, but that doesn’t mean it will work.

The sign might be legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective.

We’re surrounded by instruction manuals, videos, announcements and all sorts of other forms of instruction.

But a map only works if it helps.

Finding our way, getting the job done, changing our minds–these are forms of wayfinding. And our internal layout of the world doesn’t match the way it is actually built.

You can drive to your childhood home blindfolded, but you probably couldn’t draw a route of how to get there for someone else.

Realizing that our job is to help others find the way is half the job. [Seth Godin]

5. Poet and author Maya Angelou on how to find value in anger:

“I believe in anger. Anger’s like fire, it can burn out all the dross and leave some positive things. But what I don’t believe in is bitterness. Forgiveness is imperative because you don’t want to carry that weight around, who needs to? And it will throw you down. It doesn’t help you to live life. I don’t make myself vulnerable if I can help it.”

Source: Voices of Powerful Women

RTHReviews: The Batman

RTHReviews: The Batman

What changes every few years
And yet amazes us every time?

The Batman.

We have a solo Batman film after a decade, and a new Batman/ Bruce Wayne too, this time being played by Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves. Of course, the expectations are high, but does it deliver?

(Here’s what the official synopsis says: Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.)

Matt Reeves has brought to the screen what the Batman is at its core, giving the film a retro and a dark vibe. Reeves’ Batman is all about vengeance and there’s fear and chaos in the air, and the world’s best detective is doing what he does best.

A perfectly-casted Robert Pattinson who delivers quite magnificently, his character is wounded, scarred and the vengeance and darkness can be seen in his eyes – what a performance. He knocked it off with the role of Batman as well as of Bruce Wayne’s.

But that’s not all. Whether it’s Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, oh what castings and brilliant performances all around.

The film is three hours long, and not for a second can you take your eyes off the screen, wondering at the end where did all that time go… What gives it the extra boost is that stunning background music which keeps us constantly amped up, from Michael Giacchino.

The cinematography’s outstanding, some of the shots are just impeccable. Overall, the story, the direction, the music, the casting… Everything’s on point. Without giving into the specifics, another extraordinary aspect of the film was the storyline’s arc, which was quite refreshing to watch.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a solo Batman film and the excitement can be clearly seen, but it does deliver and out of the world too. Maybe the DCEU is finally reviving itself, and there’s some brilliant stuff already incoming from Matt Reeves himself, so all eyes on that now!

One Problem/Many Solutions – Many Problem/One Solution

One Problem/Many Solutions – Many Problem/One Solution

Problems exist in each of our lives, different problems for everyone, at different levels, affecting them differently – but there’s no one without problems, for sure. These problems could be with regards to your personal/ professional lives, relationships, goals, rituals, there could one major problem, one in every phase of life or even multiple in each phase of life – just different for all.

But, with the surety of a problem existing in each person’s life, there’s an equal or a greater surety of there being a solution too. Some solutions are visible right in front of us, which means fixable problems, and there are those problems to which you haven’t figured out the solution yet.

Here’s the catch… there could be multiple solutions to a single problem and/ or there could be one solution to all your problems (usually these two scenarios highlight the sector).

To a single problem, common to all or unique just to yourself, there could be multiple solutions that may have worked for others and could work the same for you, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error with what works and what doesn’t though. One solution may not work the next time the same problem arises, thus the multiple solutions; different things may work for the same problem.

The latter is one of more significance because when you discover it, it’s like finding a key to a treasure chest. Having one solution to multiple problems! For example, you could be having health issues, time management issues, mental stress, focus issues, lacking in the output of your potential, and more on similar lines but the solution could be fixing your lifestyle, which then brings a domino effect solution to all your problems.

In the latter scenario, it takes a lot of humility to acknowledge all of your problems, and then look at them from a macro perspective, figuring out where you’re going wrong and what can be done to walk on the optimum path.

Finding these solutions in both of the scenarios is a process… If all problem-solving was easy, no one would have any problems, especially the long-lasting ones. But the persistence to solve it and the consistency to keep going, even if the solution isn’t the right one to crack it, the mixture of both is usually the recipe for the problem-solving path, irrespective of which of the two scenarios match for you.

But, looking at these two scenarios gives quite a heads-up to the situation you’re in and how to approach it – multiple solutions to one problem and one solution to multiple problems.

The Non-stop Mental Chatter

The Non-stop Mental Chatter

It’s a normal workday (even the non-workdays for that matter, just imagine a normal day), you are looking outside the window trying to take a breather and just when you wanted to relax (and not necessarily in a relaxing situation, but other times too), you notice these barrage of thoughts running in your mind, from one topic to another… That chatter is non-stop and even when you’re trying to relax physically, that same choice isn’t available to you mentally.

From random thoughts to looking back at your day or your life to the mistakes you’ve made, the to-do items for the day and henceforth, or even imagining the future of perfect choices made, the range of thoughts running in your mind could be endless.

It isn’t said plainly when there are approximately sixty thousand plus thousands in your head on a daily average. Talk about non-stop!

When do you get the break? When are you able to mentally relax? Is a physical vacation, being on a beach or the mountains, a solution to that? While the answer to the first two questions is solvable or rather, practicable with the solution at hand, the answer to the third question is a definite no.

Irrespective of whether that voice in your head is a supportive one or not, and whether your perspective is healthy or not, the chatter continues at its pace.

But, there are a few things that can be done to limit its supply, to direct the flow, to have the ability to mentally relax for a while…

1. For many, journaling has been one that has made a fair share of impact – because it gives you a real glimpse of your life and not the what-ifs or the imagined scenarios that run through your head, which also lose its grip when the real picture can be read on that paper.

2. The most powerful (proven) tool is meditation – when you meditate for a period of time, not keeping it short to 5 or 10 minutes but more, deeper, and when the mind and body align in that deep meditative state, is when you feel so calm and so peaceful, is also when you truly feel the physical and mental relaxation altogether and a reduction in that chatter.

3. Breath-work has also been another proven technique that keeps you in check, keeps you present, brings you back to staying centered when in a state of stress, anxiousness, frustration, lost thoughts etc.

4. Art has various forms, but the common factor remains the same – when focused and in a state of flow, you forget everything when you’re indulged in that process and you forget about the mental chatter and it’s just you and your art form.

5. While there could be tiny tidbits here and there that could work for a minute, another one that makes the list are nature walks – conscious nature walks. Nature, with the trees around, birds chirping, sky visible, you walking around gives you a vibe where you feel this is everything, and everything else becomes secondary, including the non-stop mental chatter.

While the brain’s function is to have more thoughts, you cannot stop that process – what you can do is direct its flow, direct its quality, and in moments, do things that are not only beneficial to your mind and body, but also give you a break from that chatter like the things listed above.

Kindness simply ousts that anger

Kindness simply ousts that anger

Each individual has experienced different levels of anger in their lifetime… those levels have surely varied from moment to moment, sometimes because of your own lack of control or understanding or insecurities or sometimes the situation got the better of you.

But how many times have you been angry, anywhere from a level 1 (being the lowest) to a level 10 (being the highest), but in that very moment, someone made a kind gesture and all that anger just melted away in an instance?

Or, even the other way round for that matter… someone else must have been angry and a kind gesture (in words or action) must have melted their anger away?

That kindness could be in the form of words, or an action, probably a smile or a hug, recalling a memory, could be anything for anyone.

While not going into the specifics of the origin of anger, and how do you suppress it, today’s post addresses the fact that the individual becomes angry in a situation and how kindness simply ousts it… and moreover it also sheds light on the power of kindness.

No matter how angry one could be, kindness has the power to oust that emotion. Some people are at their core, kind… some develop it with experience and change… and some don’t exude it at all (every individual has a different kind of life, experiencing different things in their lives, forming a different perspective and it’s not the same for all).

The baseline narrative being constant… when you feel the anger within you, or you notice someone else being angry, try (with practice) to initiate that gesture of kindness and observe the change in the situation and emotional level, and how you or the other individual played a part in it.

Are you able to sit without your phone?

Are you able to sit without your phone?

Smartphones are such devices that are sold under the pretext of making your life easier and convenient for you, but rather are designed in a way that gets you hooked onto them.

The smartphones are just the base layer, then bring on all the social media apps, every one of them created with you wanting more and more of it. Then come the apps that make your life “easier” – the habit creating apps, reminder apps, note-taking apps, and whatnot… let’s not forget the games… some of the shittiest games have the most eyes on them because they cracked the code on how to give you a ton of dopamine hits when you aren’t getting them already consuming the short-form content on the other platforms.

Everything is gamified, everything is psychologically-manipulated and yet we now live in an age where we cannot be without our phones. But, the question that stands out is, are you able to sit without your phone?

With our personal and professional lives connected to it, we probably cannot be without our device – such is the time that we’re living in. But, there’s a difference between managing your life through your phone vs being so addicted to it that you cannot sit without it. Every notification needs to be checked, every message needs to be replied to within the second and so on, which also gives you the answer that you aren’t just dependent on your phone, but also addicted to it.

When you look at this topic from a neurological and from a psychological perspective, and without getting into the minute details of it all… The path to getting your life back in control, the path to having thoughts more freely and with clarity or to make better decisions, the path to living your day calmly and peacefully and introducing stillness in your life – it starts with sitting without being disturbed by your phone (believe it or not!).

Sure, you are reading this on your phone right now, and sure, there’s no way to stop using the smartphone altogether, but what can be done is limit the social media usage, limit the notifications, allot your time into slots for using a particular thing at a particular time and so on… When you limit your distractions, and for a device that is at its core is designed to do so, then all those paths that you read above and thought aren’t possible start becoming clearer with time.