Super Talent – Kanye West

Kanye West oozes talent and I hope he makes it this time around.

Link….

Imperfections

Why does all meaningful thinking that I do, come in the shower???

A thought crossed my mind about imperfections. I am always amazed by the arrogance of humans (including myself) about our overstated optimism and confidence about our abilities, luck, looks, sex appeal and brilliance. The thought rose up in a context of business when I was thinking about why people charge a fee for services provided or for repairing a product you bought or repairing a mistake like in a restaurant. It is because it is an imperfect system. In nature, there are no imperfections. If there is a yin, then there is a yang to counter it to keep the balance. If you change one variable, another one steps in to maintain the balance. There is NO question of repair.

If more sharks suddenly start populating in an area, then Nature figures out how to increase the population of fish, or another predator for sharks (human waste, ships, pollution or infighting) to retain the balance. It is not repairing the situation unlike everything that humans create. If we create something, then it is guaranteed it will need repair. Perfection is not an absolute value. The human body is perfect (imperfections are created by humans, mind you). The water currents are perfect (distortions are created by humans through pollution etc).

If you are a human being (I hope you are!) and you make something, then guarantee yourself that it is imperfect. I find it funny how we trumpet our own glory when we “fix” a problem and them tom-tom to the whole world (or to anyone who will listen) that we fixed a problem and this is how we did it, blah blah …

Having the confidence to succeed is another thing altogether. Thinking you’re “it” is what bugs me. I see many such people in my daily life and quite honestly, I’ve found that all those people are delusional. For instance, on “Kitchen Nightmares” on Fox, Chef Ramsey deals with a Sebastian who runs Sebastian’s (see the theme?) in Burbank, CA and is so convinced that his menu is the best that it is clear he is delusional. He is arguing with the Ramsey who owns the most expensive restaurant in London and many others globally.

I feel if you cross the tipping point of confidence, where you start to believe in the BS you say a little extra, then you become disconnected with reality. You being to feel that everything you say or do has an immense impact, when in reality others around you are clearly able to see that what you’re doing is irrational and unsustainable. It could be in your personal or professional life (is there a distinction anymore?). In relationships, if you constantly rub the other person wrong with your over-exuberant-confidence believing that you’re impressing the other person etc., then all you’re doing is disconnecting yourself from that person. At work either as an employee or a business owner, if you continue to trumpet your “perfection” or your achievements, then pretty soon you start buying into your own idea, stop listening to others and end up in chaos.

I can’t think of a single example in Nature that comes up as imperfect. I challenge you to prove me wrong (oh, me and my “perfection”!).

Imperfections thy name is Human.

- Harsha

Skepticism and Authoritativeness

If I uncover one more irony of life, I’m going to drown in my own tears. This is just exhausting! Follow my thought here for just a second: if you’re a skeptic, then you’re sure that the data you’re looking at it wrong and the person in position of authority (aka expert) showing it to you is off his/her rocker. So does that in turn make you a figure of authority?

Anyways, the point I wanted to make was that I am growing weary of authoritativeness. For example, I read on SI.com that the Pats were favored to win the Colts in a high-scoring game. They ended up fighting for their lives with a sliver of a 4 point lead. So the guy that is getting paid big bucks to make these silly predictions just got it wrong. I haven’t done the research so don’t hold my feet to the fire, but I am sure if you checked out the accuracy of the predictions made over the past years, you’d find a lousy track record of almost any one. True, some would be more accurate than the others, but none like Reality, which gets its predictions right every single time :)

I am slowly shying away from these experts. True, their logic, research and presentation is really good but that comes from their years of practice. This is the same when say you walk into a drab government office and the person across the desk hemming and hawing when you are puzzled about the paperwork process. You’d think – hey YOU work there, not me! How am I supposed to know how it works?!

My blog, Experiments – Trial by FIRE! is about this very topic. I believe that you and me are both engaged in experiments on a daily basis, as much as the Product Managers at say Microsoft are; we’re all not that much different. The distinction comes from a need standpoint. You don’t need to figure out what hot button needs to go on the next version of Word. But that doesn’t make that person smarter than you in any way, shape or form. I find it hard to be an authority on anything! There is so much complexity in anything these days, from sports to development to human resources. Life is far more complicated. I also agree with the notion that knowledge builds with time – individuals build their knowledge base and so does society. That is probably how we progress and you don’t have to relearn every time how to put the car in reverse, how the use a credit card in the supermarket or that a large supermarket can sell more by accepting more than just cash.

But if someone stands out, points out to their expertise on a subject, I will beg to differ. In business, Jack Welch is revered. He got a bunch of things wrong. You can recall that popular philosophers and scientists swore (and developed hypotheses) that the world was flat. While I am not suggesting that you have to start from scratch on every single thing, I am just highlighting the fact that while an “expert” has spent considerable time on a subject or subjects, blindly accepting what they say may not particularly be good for your health.

So are you an experimenter? Someone who is kind of skeptic and tries things on his/her own? Or are you an Authority who claims deep knowledge of a subject? In the pool of all knowledge, how large do you think it is? Is it an ocean or just a drop? Is your own personal ocean of knowledge (granted, it is VERY large and larger than mine), isn’t it still a drop in the ocean of total knowledge? It is the same feeling I get when I am in an airplane on it’s approach to landing.

Aren’t we inconsequential? Don’t get depressed, we are not inconsequential when it comes to personal truths; we’re just inconsequential when it comes to the whole.

Validation

The ONLY thing a person needs is Validation. You can interpret Maslow’s hierarchy as a need for validation. Validation that one deserves to be nourished physically and mentally.

Sometimes people are arrogant and seem like they don’t need any validation because they already think they are just too smart. If you want to get work done out of them, you need to continue to validate their impression of themselves. Is this morally and ethically acceptable? I’ll leave that up to you.

Similar topic has been visited and discussed about, a few months ago right on this blog. The post is “My constant nagging thought

Stupid FedEx Advertisement

This FedEx ad says that FedEx ‘Ground’ doesn’t mean it sends packages any slower. The ad says, don’t confuse the name with its properties (slower than air travel) and uses a bunch of people called TurkeyNeck (chubby neck), Joy (she is ridiculously giggly) and Bob (he keeps bobbing his head).

That is just STUPID! Each of these names is shown to mean exactly what it is, which also means that Ground means slow, grazing-along, friction-laden movement. And definitely slower than Air.

Wonder who got paid $$$$$ to make such a blatant error.

Irony of Life

I write about the irony of life because we are told that the only person one can change is oneself. YET, it is the most difficult task to shake off a habit like smoking or an addiction like overeating. Think about it.

If you’re the only person you can change, then why is it so hard to change yourself when it comes to an addiction? In that case, is the hypothesis that you’re the only one you can change incorrect? Or is the idea that you can’t change anyone else incorrect? There is empirical evidence that you can change others for the better or worse (aka brainwashing). There is also evidence that one can change oneself to drop a habit or even pick up on (good or bad).

I buy the idea that we can’t change anyone but ourselves. Then why is it so difficult to change a habit (I’m guilty of overeating and not being able to control the urge to eat). It could stem from the idea that do as I say, but don’t don’t do as I do? Could self-importance lead us to think that we have the superiority to control or change others but that we ourselves don’t need change or we ourselves are way to powerful to be changed?

Hey, don’t look to me for answers! I’m just asking skeptical questions.

The best kind of judgement is to not judge at all!

Author : Harsha Raghavan

This post came after I was shocked into reality that the Power that created us waits to judge a person only on his or her last day on earth alive.

I’m not going to get into a discussion about life after death and rebirth, believe what you want to believe. You may also argue that a person may be judged earlier during their lifetime based on their deeds or what not. However, the ultimate judgment is taking the option away from you of staying alive. Again, this is not introspection about the validity of the death penalty, which are all great topics to discuss and I may at some point in the future. But this is a discussion more from a point of your daily life, to improve your approach to people that you deal with daily.

I can vouch for it because it has changed the way I approached a subordinate of mine and I can tell you that relations have improved dramatically. At least everything has change in my head and I may be oblivious to reality. But the only thing that is changeable, the only thing that you may have some control over, is yourself. It is the easiest thing to do while it is also the toughest (one of the greatest ironies of life – think of controlling a snacking urge or to smoke etc). Changing one’s view of the world could be a good meditation technique for us all.

Continue reading more on this topic here.

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