The Road Within

There was a friend with whom I thought I’d have a long and old friendship. The kind where one looks back and hums songs of old before completing the tune. Unfortunately, that was not the end of that relationship and it was in some ways bitter to part on the paths we did but still not apart. This person at a time in that past put me in touch with another friend who wrote this poem. It was written from her heart during that time of life when we all go through a tumult. I did not want this poem to be forgotten in the annals of the dark web i.e. my email inbox and hence wanted to put it up on my blog. Here at least some fortunate web crawler will crawl, index, and store it in an indexed version for years and years to come. I don’t think this poem is worthy of grandiose claims of human ingenuity in literature but it’s a part of history that was mine, not my personal history but part of the history that was mine. Perhaps one day we meet and I can share this for her to reflect on the past that perhaps she would be proud of. So here goes…

The Road Within..

The road within

is the road I must travel now

my Master is calling

I must listen to her now..

The roads around me are very beautiful

But none as much as the road within,

All others may lead to happiness,

But only this one leads to bliss.

I had always feared it,

because it holds the reality,

Reality of the evils of my mind,

Guised under the garb of morality..

But my Master is now,

urging me to walk..

Walk if I cannot run

and crawl if I cannot walk

Because soon one day she said,

a time will come,

when no longer will I be a participant,

an observer i will become

An observer I will be

to the schemings of my mind

and laugh I will at it

At its fruitless attempts to misguide

Laugh I will in deliverance

laugh I will like a new born child

laugh I will at my new birth

like a caged bird let lose in the wild..

The road will become my home

like the brightest star I will shine

I will be one with myself

My consciousness will merge with the Divine…

This is the only road 

that I will travel alone 

There is no goal

there is no end

the joy is in the travel alone..

These Days

As always this note didn’t belong to the day today but I’m getting to it only today. I’m using a structure from another day. Perhaps an example of structure i.e., no matter what inspired by what allows thought to become legible.

This continues to be relevant today as well. I only got 5k today but I got in 10k yesterday. I don’t feel extremely exhausted but the running is becoming more painful. I’m not sure exactly why that is. I think running every day is a mandatory part of my day. At least until I restart Jiu Jitsu again. That is happening for sure but the motivation keeps changing. 

I have no complaints whatsoever about the work. I do want to accelerate my growth and get to the next level as quickly as possible but I have no complaints whatsoever. I do not want to stick to the 9-5 aspirations though. I want to grow out of the reliance on someone’s decision about how much value I may add and instead refine my output to the extent that I can add value directly. This blog is an effort to that end. However, as it stands right now I have no complaints and I’m gearing up to steadily improve the output value and content. On the day-job note, I have recently been involved in an effort to interview candidates at work. This isn’t something new but I’ve restarted my part in the effort. 

The interviews are a good experience for me. They teach me about a perspective in an interaction that I will find myself in quite a few times in my life. I am usually the interviewee and while one can guess what it feels like to interview there is nothing like the actual experience. I am hopeful that these experiences will make me a better interviewee but also a better communicator in general. Besides this, I’m working on a few things in my day job as well. 

I can’t write much about the new assignments at work but I hope to write a summary of the day’s activities going forward. This was something I had envisioned after I joined the job right after my MBA but I didn’t act on it. Now I plan to change that next week. Hopefully, a daily summary not only does allow me to keep track of everything I’m working on but also make the best decisions. Of course, the management of time will be a big part of it. 

Other than that there are a few pictures that I took this weekend. I continue to upload them to my personal “Instagram“. Maybe there’ll be a section in the book that will be dedicated to images. 

New Place, Same Society

I wish I could say that things seem easier now. I am in this new apartment where I am paying more and it seems to be in a much nicer place. Imagine, I can even feel the burden of framing that previous sentence. I talk about the rent as the first thing and then I state how it seems to be something. Not that it is but rather it seems. Honestly I feel this lingering burden of something over me. It’s not the credit card debt I ratcheted up. Thanks to the trips before moving into this place. The trips that were required for the move and those that were not. It seems more emotional. It seems much of it is caused by worry for people close to me and not. Or perhaps it feels like I don’t want to be here in some subconscious part of me. If I said there were lingering presences here, that would just seem ridiculous. Not many things have happened since I came here besides the escalating war, the social consciousness going crazier by the day and then there’s Kanye, who destroyed his empire, at least financially it seems so right now.

It was a tragedy what happened with Kanye. When I got the notification that he appeared on Lex Fridman a part of me was elated just like any other consumer of content on the internet. Just like the millions of viewers of Youtube. A relatively simple reaction to a new notification, sometimes maybe any notification. Then slowly I started thinking about other things. One for e.g., was would I finally be able to communicate with people significant in my life what a genius this guy was/is? Then I thought, okay, finally a conversation that will perhaps transcend the general nonsense on media. Then I started watching it and Lex’s awkward start to the video made it feel either an exceptional conversation or a conversation that began with a sense of urgency to get right into it. Without getting into the finer details of the episode I’ll just leave it here to say that the episode was a train wreck. Not because of what he said but because of how it would be perceived. This conversation was a knife edge that was serrated and blunt. Perhaps of one that was unused and will never be used ever again.

“Fools be saying that he ruined his empire in a few days”. Unfortunately or fortunately for some I think that’s true, they are fools indeed. Perhaps it will be interesting to see what the history books don’t write about this person. His art in real life was something to see being made. I was fortunate to see a documentary that documented him doing his work. Were all his views correct? Maybe not according to the current society. Were all his lyrics admirable? Was all his art where I found the calling for my heart? Perhaps not but he had genius during my time. I among many others witnessed his rise and I won’t say his fall. He is too eccentric to be judged by this society. He doesn’t fall in its framework of laurels or failures. They’re still figuring out what hit them. I needed help figuring out what hit me. And that’s where Casey Neistat came into the picture.

I wanted to make some sense or maybe just find my bearings in this scenario. Casey being a creator I’ve followed for long was helpful. He’s eccentric in his own right. He’s a Jew and understands how the media works. So, his views would make sense. To my surprise, which honestly shouldn’t have been one, he had interacted with Ye. Not in the way one would consider an interaction because he hasn’t created anything or even collaborated on anything. He had only interacted with him as a human being a couple of times in a corridor, here and there and listened to him speak up close about his ideas. He admired him and appreciated Ye as a creator. Not anymore. He had seen what all Ye said about the Jews and he didn’t take well to it. As many did and perhaps should. His explanation was that Ye was dog whistling people. I didn’t clearly know what that means and perhaps don’t even now but here’s what I understood. He was giving people the permission to openly hate and in a way condoned hate speech by doing what he was because he was a prolific personality. I can see that. As much of his genius I see, I also see that he is provocative. He has talked about being provocative and he has been provocative. The time he was being provocative as well but I think he broke the social contract.

Everyone enters into a social contract the moment they leave their parents. Their parents handle the contract before that. In a way they bear the brunt or fruits of the person’s external engagement until the person leaves their nest. The time they spend at home is the time they undergo a sort of “training”. They understand what is, can be, should be, and can’t be. Sometimes they learn what can be and what isn’t and they set out to change things. At any rate, they understand what the social contract means. Some set out to change the contract because they are not satisfied with what was handed to them. This is when Legends are born or where dreams are created or simply complexes created and harbored. Or at least that’s how I think is the way that it goes. I can’t speak about Ye in entirety but he learned to chase greatness early. He did not sign the contract he was handed at birth. No one except his Mama knew that. She saw him break rules early. Others were yet to witness what Ye was to bring to the table.

I feel I only learned about the preordained contract a few weeks ago. Or maybe I’ve been learning about the contract for sometime now. I hope I am able to do something with this one wild and precious life.

A book and its cover

I’ve struggled with this notion for sometime. I know people and have people around me who do this most of the time. Heck, there are times when I fall into the trap of doing the same. I do not want to be the same. I want to improve my thinking. Why? Because I have been a victim of misunderstanding. I have also been misunderstood. No one likes that. It is not optimal.

What does it mean?

Whenever we look at someone our mind makes up its own mind. Yes, that sounded funny but that’s what happens. At least, loosely speaking. We have largely two sections inside our brain. The first one, evolved through the ages yet contains remnants of the animal brain. It is quick to get excited and quick to draw conclusions. There are several examples of this, some familiar, others not. There is a predator in the bush. One in hand is also better than two in the bush. My friend’s enemy is my enemy. I see the lightening, don’t understand it, hence, God. The second section within the brain, which is more careful, slow and appreciates tedious calculations. Yes, indeed it does, despite the popular notion of slow is easy, easy is good. Turning the examples above on their head… The predator in the bush can be my meal and perhaps a delicious one if I can subdue it. Do I have any tools handy? How do I invent tools? Oh, physics and math! The enemy of my friend can push my friend to do better things in life because no-one wants to suffer and hard work needs motivation. Maybe my friend’s enemy can motivate him to do better. Hence, social psychology. Indeed, the second brain is scheming, manipulation, understanding yet slow to process outcomes.

So when we look at someone, something or are thrown into a situation, our animal mind (the cerebellum) already has cast its judgment. We arrive at a conclusion and are more confident than not. This is usually the case if you don’t flight the immediate impulse to draw conclusions. The more (sic) evolved part of our brain (the cerebrum) has yet to even evaluate the situation. The more time we spend in the situation, with the person, engaged with something, the more complicated the situation begins to look. We are conscious creatures but there is more evaluation taking place subconsciously than current science has managed to record.

Alternatives and a semi-conclusion

The best way to think about things is mechanically. Time-box everything. Even a thought process to think about things. Time-box it. You have to plan a trip half way around the world? Time-box it. The plan to make the plan? Time-box it. Anything that needs thought and action needs to be time boxed. That will more times than not lead thought to forced into a structure. So when you are in an unfamiliar situation or facing an unfamiliar audience the best way to evaluate it is to time box the thought process to evaluate the situation. More than restricting the time to evaluate the situation this will force you to use a framework to evaluate the situation. Ironically, the choice of the structure and framework will take time. One needs to lend their mind to reading about reading, writing, understanding culture, looking for results, using goals and objectives. This should be guidance to an end goal. Knowing about things helps to avoid being blindsided by unfamiliar situations and people. Blindsided by people, occurrences, science, and sometimes facts that have already discovered among other things. Awareness about things helps build good frameworks. Awareness comes from reading about things and sometimes being in the situation. Unfortunately the latter which is sometimes called experience needs failure for things to be understood entirely.

The run after the dream made me think about things. Sunrise, Sunrise!

More about this in another blog post. Despite a fantastic dream today that made me think about things and a bit emotional and when I woke up I decided two things. One, that this post will never be finished and two I should go out for a long run like old times. So I decided to time-box the drafting of this post and that now is just as good a time to finish it up and post it. At the end I just have one thing to say. Read Mental Models by Shane Parrish and listen to The Knowledge Project. Don’t judge the book and the podcast by either of their covers. In all honesty I have listened to him in a while. But that wasn’t always the case. I did, very frequently in the past. Alright that’s all for now. Mental models. Don’t forget.