Guarding What You Consume

We are the result of what we consume from quantity and quality of food we ingest each day to the content we consume daily in forms ranging from the motions pictures we watch to blog post and web publications we read. They eventually shape who we are both externally and internally.

If you are unhappy with your health, examine what kinds of food you consume each day and in what quantity you do so. If you find that you are filled with negative thoughts and emotions and have unfriendly and grumpy relations with most people you interact with and have more negative than positive thoughts, examine what you feed your mind.

It is from the confined space of inside of us, that all the things in the world we see and experience – both tangible and intangible – springs forth. Its  like a 2nd law of thermodynamics of sorts in which localized energy in a limited space is able to freely and irreversibly flow in one direction (under no assistance) and disperses over a wide area.

Prizing Objectivity and The Truth Above All Else

Last week, retired world-acclaimed neurosurgeon, former 2016 presidential candidate, and current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Benjamin Carson, made a comment in which he said that to a degree mind set plays a role in poverty. Predictably, a lot of people took offense at the statement of the sometimes controversial former neurosurgeon and took it as demonstrating a callous and indifferent attitude towards the plight of the poor.  This blog is not about the validity of Dr. Carson’s statement and tries to keep a value free attitude in this regard. Rather, it is about objectivity and prizing the truth about all else.

Questions need to be asked about possible reactions if roles are  switched around and in place of Dr. Carson were political idols of those who criticized him. One has to wonder if such a statement which under normal circumstance Dr. Carson would have quickly forgotten he made would have caused such a stir. Also one has to question how arguably more than any area of life, politics blurs and deforms peoples ability at being impartial, objective, and putting the truth above all else eve if conclusions people come across might go against all they believe and offend them in some instances. Consequently, this relativism of sorts has ripple effects through society.

At a time when so much toxicity spews into ones mind when one makes the mistake of trying to “keep up with the news” and in the political arena -and also in many areas of life- the truth is not prized, a conscious effort  must be made to move against he flow so one can be impartial and always seek the truth.  If people who we might not agree with under normal circumstances say or do things which are correct, they should be rightly praised for it. No one loses macho points for acknowledging people when they say things which are true. Also, less drama need to be made out of small things which under normal circumstance come and go so fast that few people remember them happening.  In all our dedication to objectivity and the truth must be so steadfast that all other momentary considerations carry little weight.

 

Remember this!

All people you interact with in a sense are no better than you. Yes,  everyone has their distinguishing features, likes, wants, taste, eccentricities, and talents.  But fundamentally they are no different from you because you share with them the listed – but just in different forms and varieties. Its really our interaction with a multitude of form and variety in humans which makes this world a interesting place to live in.

They equally have their fears and their short comings. The equally have their secrets and embarrassing moments which they hope no one ever knows and hope they can wish away and wish at times it never happened. They equally feel insecure at times and worry about social acceptance – different people are just at different stages of handling this.

So when interacting with people (even people better than you are) never feel intimidate by who they are, be who you truly are and don’t really bother about you unfiltered moments every now and them. In being who you are, some with time will come understand the quirks which make you tick and will appreciate you for that. For those who never, don’t fuss over it, there are 7.5 billion other people in the world to interact with. Know that on a fundamental level you simply are both human and don’t carry yourself like a fool!

Creating A Distinct Signal

For many job openings or opportunities, tons and tons of people apply and the competition is very intense with people trying to secure that dream job or that start in life which they hope will lead on to greater things. To secure these opportunities, most people use conventional methods such as resumes and other means which show how credentialed they are. But the reality is that after a point, it becomes hard to draw distinctions between applicants and its impossible to go through every application down to the finest detail. Which explains why sorting through resumes is increasingly being automated with the help of algorithms which search for key words. Furthermore, the traditional resume path does not really allow for applicants to give a total picture of who they are or what value they can bring to the table.. The challenge is to stand out from the crowd.

Rather than having the usual monotonous resume, with its list of items which we check off, focus should be put on how value can be added to the position being applied for. People should for example show they can build things or take on projects, people should have blogs in which they express themselves and allow for a better picture of themselves being drawn,  or people can submit book reviews on websites like Amazon or even answer questions on forums like Quora. Increasingly, employers do search  for any online track record which applicants might have. If employers should come across book reviews or even blog post, this gives a better picture of who applicants are and gives a powerful signal.

In all people should look for imaginative ways of distinguishing themselves from the pack and devising ways of getting attention. To do this, no clear cut recipe exist. I continuously see stories of imaginative ways in which people either got jobs they have or clinched positions wanted badly. In all, a starting point is dumping the traditional resume and resume mindset and thinking about how one can present oneself in ways which no one has really thought about or few think about.

Time

Always remember something: just like very exceptional figures who distinguished themselves through history in all areas of life, you and I have 24 hours in a day. No more and no less! What differentiates them from you and I? They use that time as efficiently as possible and spend the least amount of time on things which simply don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. In fact, they give up many things and with an intense laser focus put their time into a few things.

Each of us are at different stages and levels in the time management and efficiency game. Some of us are brutally efficient with how we use our time while others are not and are still a work in progress. Strive to use your time as efficiently as possible. Look at for marginal activity which when accumulated eats into our 24 hours day (marginal activity and efforts in many cases is what creates disproportionate results!!). Activities like jumping on to social media through the day to check out peoples lives or bothering  about the latest stories the professional opinion molding class has come up with to keep us worried and confused should be nixed out of our lives.

Time is  a resource which is finite and just like other resources in our human experience, the challenge is to learn how to use and maximize this scare resource to its best use. But unlike other resources which in many cases can be retrieved to varying degrees, once time is gone it is gone.  Thus, never waste your time because its skillful use holds the key to unlocking your potential!

My Message to You

Never settle for anything but the very best in what you do and the best which your life deserves. Always put in your 1001% effort into whatever you do. Make sure excellence is your guiding star. In all you do, be guided by what you believe is good for you and never allow the words of the skeptics or conventional wisdom to discourage you. In fact, work hard to disprove the skeptics. In essence, have a burning desire to never live an ordinary existence during your transit through earth!

A Few Thoughts On Outsourcing Coding Jobs

In the past decade or two, a lot of attention has been drawn towards outsourcing and the off shoring jobs and the effects it has both economically and socially. Too many times, the logic and line of reasoning to criticize outsourcing  is faulty and many people don’t truly appreciate how even for whatever injury it may cause, its benefits are far greater. Primarily, companies outsource in order to reduce cost which go into the production of services and goods so they are able to sell consumers those goods and services at the cheapest prices possible while staying profitable.  The increase in outsourcing is also a sign that national policies are making it increasingly hard to do business profitably. In one case – that is coding – I will kind of make an exception.  Even then, I don’t believe any policies should be put in place or any government directed action is needed as it will definitely cause more damage than good.

For just a few dollars or even for free, anyone who is dedicated and determined (yes, it does take dedication and patience!!!) can learn how to become a programmer within a few months through online courses and can begin taking on either front end, back end, or even full stack projects. At a time when many Americans complain about job insecurity and youth unemployment in some parts of this country are at Great Depression levels, this is an avenue more people should be made aware of and encouraged to explore in either a part time or even full time capacity. For even more ambitious people, they can use their acquired knowledge of coding to begin tech startups or associated businesses related to software development. Even though right now, a free lance programmer in the United States could easily ask for $5000 for a project which can be done in India or Vietnam for half that price or even less, as more people are available to take on these jobs the prices will definitely drop (may be not exact to Indian or Vietnamese prices!!!).  Also, being in the same country and being under the same legal jurisdiction, it is easier to enforce contracts.

Though my idea is not novel and people and organizations exist which have noted this problems and working to address it, more needs to be done at a very rapid pace. Whatever is done to bring this about quick would come from non-profits and private organizations and even by word of mouth!

 

Just Let it Go!

One thing I have never quite understood is how people hold on to grudges for long periods of time. Especially grudges which stem from things or actions which by any objective measure are inconsequential and trivial. Its natural to feel offended and hold grudges shortly after occasions when we might have been wronged but I have never understood how people hold on to past events as time go by.  To cut people some slack, different people have varying abilities to let go off grudges.

For one, there is so much going on at any moment that its only the most important things which really stay in ones mind for a long period of time. How people can keep such in their minds for a long period of time is quite a mystery to me. Furthermore, grudges weigh down the mind and distract from what matters. If you have any grudge against anyone which stems from consequential matters which don’t permanently damage you: let it go! Its simply not worth it, put you mind to other things and allow the space the grudge filled in your life to be filled with some positivity.

Focus

We all have different objects we aim to achieve. It could be better grades in school, a better job, better relationships with people, a better spiritual life with God, having better outlook on life, or even building character. The fact that we have higher ends we aim at indicates that we currently occupy a less satisfactory positions and want to substitute better positions for our current one. Trying to achieve these higher ends takes takes varying degree’s of work and effort. Along the way, getting distracted by even our current position or even other side distractions along the way is easy.

To achieve whatever we aim  at, nothing but a laser focus on where we aim to be is needed along with the ability to remove all contrary thoughts – even thoughts of where we currently occupy. For example, if you aim at all A’s in a semester in school, remove all thought patterns which think about your current grade level or even intermediate grades between you and all A’s.  At the end of the day, achieving such boils down to our thought patterns and how we condition what we think about and comes into our mind. For if we can conceptualize where we want to go, planning the concrete steps needed to actualize such becomes easier.

The Mainspring of all Progress

Hope! Yes, hope. Once you believe that a better tomorrow is possible, that whatever circumstances you find yourself in will surely pass over and nothing is ever permanent, you will make it through. With hope, your ability and courage to take an idea and vision from conception to reality through all the bouts of doubt and valleys of naysayers you will surely encounter along the way will gain more strength like metal forged through fire till the best begins coming out in you and you catch a brilliant glow which captivates all around. In short, hope is the one ingredient – and arguably the most powerful – needed to overcome all odds and probably the one ingredient which determines all personal and societal progress. For with hope, all is possible!