A new year resolution

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It’s a common practice to begin a new year with a resolution to take up something that you believe would improve you or will have a positive impact on your life. However, the thing about new year resolutions is that it’s so common for a new year resolution to fail that resolutions can be divided into two categories: resolutions that you are serious about and would keep to yourself and probably a few close friends, and then there are these new year resolutions that shall be used as ice-breakers or to start phony conversations with people when you get bored playing some new in-game on your smartphone or checking your phone for social network updates. (The word count capability in wordpress editor made me realize that I had used 114 words for the first two sentences, and the count alarmed me and I was like whoa! that’s really a lot of words to tell that resolutions are of two types: phony ones and real ones.)

So, my advice (or rather my learning, because anyways who cares what’s my advice is as if I were the all-knowing and all), is if you have to take a resolution do it from the day you think about it and don’t wait for 1st of January (or for that matter, some other particular day like your cat’s or dog’s birthday), just do it from that day itself, write it down on your wall (and I don’t mean Facebook wall) if you need a daily reminder or note it down in your notebook or diary, keep track of it regularly (Although, I think you would know it yourself that you are falling behind before the notebook tells you), reward yourself treats for achieving checkpoints, if necessary. By the way, by no means I wanna sound preachy and all, I am not saying that you gotta follow what I said (in that order), rather you should figure out your own plan of how you will keep up with your resolution.

Although, I am not out of words to write (or type if I have to be literal here), but I am out of wind to write. I thought that it only applied to smokers who find themselves out of breath after they had to run a few feet. But I see (or maybe it’s just me) that I am unable to continue writing after being out of touch for more than a year. So, maybe more words next time and hopefully soon.

Six Stages of Separation

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It has been quite a while now(about six months) since I had written down something other than code or emails. I have lost count of number of times I wished to write down something but I couldn’t because I had an obsession to write the perfect opening sentence and I wasn’t able to nail it down. The further I stayed away from writing, the more elusive that perfect opening sentence became. Today, I may not have the perfect opening sentence again but I have this itch, the itch to write something else.

Since this separation gap from writing is the predominant thought on my mind today, I would like to share my thoughts on different stages of separation one may experience depending on the length of separation.

1. Realization: It may take a few days or sometimes few months to realize that you are missing something. You are not sure what it is but you could sense that something is amiss.

2. Investigation: Once you realized that something is wrong, you try to diagnose the symptoms and look for the possible causes. Sometimes, you wouldn’t be able to nail down your investigation to one thing. When that happens, you are likely to just continue on with your life. However, if you are able to find the cause, you proceed to next stage.

3.  Circumspection: At this stage, you know what you are missing but you still doubt your process of investigation or even deny it. You ignore the results of this preliminary investigation and continue on with your life.

4. Acceptance: Sometimes, you do accept the cause as reasonable. When, you accept it, you do a post-analysis about its importance in your life. You ask yourself if you should do something to get it back or whether you should let it drift further apart. Depending on the choice you make, you reach either Resignation stage or Redemption stage.

5a. Resignation: Although, giving up is considered as a characteristic of pessimistic person, sometimes it is the wiser choice to make than reach a stage of obsession to get that thing back in your life. Sometimes, the decision to let it drift apart is not in your hands and come to terms with it. In the cases where this decision lies in your hands, you reevaluate if you have changed so much by this time that that thing holds much lesser importance now. If so, you decide to let it drift apart and come to peace with the fact that it occupies only historical significance in your life events.

5b. Redemption: In this stage, you make plans on how to get it back in your life. You reiterate it’s importance in your life and convince yourself to make determined and wholehearted efforts to get it back. It may take some time to get it back but if you are determined enough, you will definitely get it back!

6. Obsession: It is rarely reached when you make efforts to get that something back in a case where you have drifted too far. When you have drifted too far from that thing, efforts to get it back is very likely to make the things that are important in your life meander away.  This is a dangerous stage to reach as the impact of pursuing it on your life would either be devastating or spectacular.

Hey, What’s up?

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In life, we have always encountered questions and always will. Some are absurd and some make us feel absurd. Some we can’t find an answer to and some we don’t want to find an answer to. Some we like to ask and some we like to answer. Some we learn how to answer and  some we learn how not to answer. Some question our doubts and some question our beliefs. Whether we like them or not, we can’t deny their importance in our lives. Our educational credentials are based on how we handle them.

There would always be a set of questions that bothers you. Over a period of time, that set gets replaced with another set. Some carry over (like ‘What I am doing with my life?’) but most of them don’t.

About three years ago, one of the questions which bothered me was ‘Why do you want to do an MBA?’.  I was asked this question a few times in interviews and I asked this to myself almost every day while I prepared for management entrance exams. Although, a web search returns back many hits on how to answer it or rather how others have answered it and in the interviews, that’s how I answered it then. It convinced the person who asked it but not me. So, I chose not to do an MBA.

Now-a-days, I get stumped by a question which I am asked about ten times in a day and I never know what would be the appropriate response to it. The question I am referring to is ‘Hey, what’s up?’. Sometimes, I think whether I should choose a ‘response of the day’ for it and use it through the entire day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t works out well as I am supposed to answer this question differently based on my surrounding environment, my level of acquaintance with the other person and my activities in recent past or my current activity.

In office-like surroundings, when I am asked this question, I consider for a moment replying like ‘Ceiling’ or ‘A Pixar animation movie‘ but then I don’t as this joke has become so stale that even I don’t find it funny now. Then, I wonder if I can consider this as a rhetorical question and ignore with a smile. At this moment, most of the time, the other person understands that I mean serious business only and they proceed towards asking more ‘business-related’ questions. But sometimes, I get back a smile. Then, I consider two options. First, asking back the same question ‘What’s up?’ to throw back the ball in other’s court. Second, give the small-talk-ending ‘nothing much’ response. Either of these options work well most of the times to cut down the small talk. If I take first option, the other person takes second option often. However, when the other person replies back more elaborately with details of something exciting he has done recently and when he ends up with ‘what have you been up to?’, I feel a peer-pressure to reply back with almost similar level of detail of something exciting I did recently (or let my imagination run to make something sound exciting).

At this moment, I feel that this post is incomplete as I am supposed to elaborate what thoughts I go through when I meet people in not office-like surroundings but I will skip that as this is not an essay where I have to cover all points to maximize my marks.