Gems of Wisdom

This is an on-going collection of seashells, shiny pebbles, and beautiful trinkets001 – of which most i have realized, few that i have collected, and some that i discovered – as i walked along the beach of life.

But first…

Wisdom exists as 4 types – True Gyan (that which is born out of pure intellect), Local Gyan (that which is pertinent to the immediate environment); Functional Gyan (that which is pertinent to the job at hand); and Global Gyan (that which is absolute bullshit but very effective nevertheless) – discern when to use which [Prashant Mishra]

  1. Learn to live with reality; otherwise one day, reality will come and live with you.
  2. It is impossible to live without failing at something; unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.
  3. I act because I must. (Not because I can)
  4. Change is dependent on one or more generation of deaths. Learn to be patient.
  5. Life is disappointing. Deal with it.
  6. Liberation is not only for the one who is freed, but also for the one who frees.
  7. “Control what you can…let go of the rest”.
  8. The solution to every problem is rooted in economics and human behavior.
  9. Whenever a system is modeled, the one factor often forgotten is the “Perception of Burden”.
  10. At the end of the day, each and every problem boils down to supply and demand.
  11. Every organization tends to function on three principles; low variability, predictability, and operational flat line.
  12. Organizational inertia: “if isn’t broken, don’t fix it; don’t look at it either” – Try to always question this, even if it is only to yourself.
  13. Explain solutions/things by answering the question – “what they are” rather than “what they are not”.
  14. Be ruthless in editing; trust the intelligence of your audience/reader.
  15. Achieving real simplicity is hard, and there are some very complex things behind every simple user interface.
  16. Similarly, simplicity is the hardest thing in the world – but achieving it is the hallmark of a genius. After the Battle of Gettysburg (the turning point of the U.S. civil war), a nationally-renowned orator spoke at the battlefield for 2 hours. Nobody remembers him. Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, which is the most famous speech in U.S. history. It has 256 words.
  17. However, remember that simplicity can be the result of extreme wisdom or the product of absolute ignorance.
  18. “Technology always develops from the primitive via the complicated to the simple.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  19. In all spheres of life there will be a never ending string of “new hotness”. Be not alarmed, be not charmed.
  20. [remember this, it will make you feel better every time] Thought-Leadership is what I do for the benefit of humanity, you do for the money, and he does to hog all the glory.
  21. If you are learning and it’s interesting, then your career will take care of itself. Otherwise, change your job.
  22. Lateral change is not only good, it’s powerful.
  23. Make friends with the people who are at odds with you, but don’t bury differences.
  24. Understanding the “styles” of people is one of the keys to success.
  25. Make your boss look good and help him succeed. That’s YOUR job in any organization, any role.
  26. People like to be punished intellectually, but rewarded emotionally. Never EVER do it the other way round!!
  27. People like to be led from the heart. In order to do that, give them space, but watch over them. However remember very few have perfected this art.
  28. Stop hearing, start listening – Don’t just listen to what’s being said, pick-up what’s unsaid.
  29. Present facts to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Let those who aren’t sure, stew.
  30. The only people who use the word “users” are IT departments and drug peddlers. They’re people!
  31. An idea is powerful only when it can stand in absolute isolation.
  32. Crossing the Rubicon is more tiring than anything that happens on either bank.
  33. There are two kinds of people, those who do the work, and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
  34. Prescription not description!
  35. Knowing when not to govern is also governance.
  36. The people, who fantasize too much about the future, often miss the present.
  37. There is no such thing as merger and acquisitions; it’s just murder and acquiescence.
  38. “The Peter Principle”: Mistaking past performance for future success.
  39. Job = Function-Of (pattern recognition, perspective). Education, experience are mere aids.
  40. Management is about reaching short-term objectives, leadership is about achieving a vision.
  41. Consequently, managers “seek” consensus, leaders build it (because they know).
  42. The three things that count in your job: maturity of perspective, innovation, and speed of execution.
  43. Everyone has self-doubts; the point is, “is your self-belief bigger than your self-doubts?” Your rational mind can make business cases anytime for anything, but are the ideas in your irrational mind bigger than them.
  44. Sometimes you should focus on things that sell, not excel.
  45. Don’t blindly believe in trainings. “Dogs” get trained. “People” develop skill-sets.
  46. Remember, in any capitalist environment, free thought is a capital crime.
  47. In corporate life, being yourself will have to wait, until you get home or at least a bar.
  48. Control your shine.
  49. In corporate life, two thirds of the time spent coming to a conclusion is used to either teach a colleague about the conclusion or to justify the conclusion already made.
  50. Stupidity ≠ Dumbness. But, dumbness is like a black hole. Very intense, very powerful. If you don’t know how to kill it, get out of its immediate proximity. Otherwise it will be like “fighting a pig in cesspool” story.
  51. Lastly, wherever mediocrity is charged to define meritocracy; avoid that situation like the bubonic plague. It will kill everyone – kings and paupers.
  52. Nobody loves process, but what everyone likes is that they know what the process is and who to go to.
  53. Rapid; Repeatable; Reliable
  54. Keep-up with today while pushing the boundary of tomorrow.
  55. “Your job is to provide us with great options. My job is to sell those and get the investment for it.”
  56. Never ever “trash” your employees in front of others. You will make short-term gains but long-term enemies.
  57. Don’t compromise yourself; you are all you’ve got.
  58. Ignorance is bold; wisdom hesitates.
  59. You have a choice to be the asshole at work, or the asshole at home.
  60. The most important thing is the sharpness of the mind and awareness. The rest is just add-ons because just like body puts on clothes, the mind puts on external ideas to look good to others and sometimes to itself.
  61. No matter how much we improve the efficiency and increase the productivity, we still run out of time. The problem is in the man not the system.
  62. Sosha (i.e. Pretentiousness) is like the prostitution business – (1) you will always have a pimp who will get you fucked because of what you exhibit and (2) no matter how hard you try there will always be a whore better than you. (3) And in the end, you always end up disgusted with yourself. So moral is “stay ugly, stay low, live happy”.
  63. When you see a lot and experience a lot of things early in life, you grow old.
  64. For incompetence to survive in any controlled environment, it must regularly displace competence out of it.
  65. “Don’t get caught up in the status, the prestige games. They’re endlessly dazzling, and they’re always endlessly disappointing.”
  66. A predictable thing might not be consistent, but a consistent thing is always predictable.
  67. Those that are struggling in life believe most strongly in “good begets good”. Therefore, more the success, lesser the altruism.
  68. What eventually matters is how you look at it – the immense despair of life or the immense hope.
  69. Think about it: Life and us keep meeting each other time and again. But in the end death is what wins.
  70. The more affluent one is, the more socially detached one gets, consequently the keener is the sense of personal space. That’s why Indians are not claustrophobic.
  71. Mystics meet at crossroads.
  72. For a worthwhile existence, one must get five things straight: math, physics, language, women, and wine.
  73. Indian defensiveness is false nationalism. It is not a stance that cares about India, it is one that cares about what others think of India, which is not nationalism. That is narcissism.
  74. Philosopher William James stated that the mind’s main function was to be a fortress for protecting one’s ego from reality. When the mind has to accommodate a new fact, James argued, it doesn’t settle on the change to its model of reality that is most likely to reflect reality. It protects the fortress, calculating the smallest possible modification to its bulwarks that can account for the new fact.
  75. Parents are like oak trees whose shadow we take for granted. But often times, the terror of losing that shade reminds us of the blistering heat of life from which it protects us.
  76. In a family/group/community, when everyone gets their life back…there is no life left.
  77. If your dreams aren’t fulfilled, it doesn’t mean that life is disappointing. It means that you dreamed the wrong dreams.
  78. When governance contracts, voids created get filled by ideas closest in nature to past/ideal constructs or closest in proximity.
Share Button

Prashant

Technologist,by profession. Principled,by nature. Nonconformist,by choice. Thinker,by habit. Corporate Slave,by force. Dreamer,by desire. Seeker,by destiny.