Skip to main content

Celebrating 2014

Why celebrate a year that is just beginning?

Because celebration should be the beginning, the start of our contribution to the world. The year is going to give us a lot - happiness, cheer, fun, health, opportunities,  dreams, satisfaction, closeness.

But to a lot of us, that isn't going to be all. To those unfortunate, the disenfranchised, the ones who are served by those derelict in duty, the ones who are subject to the complexities of a system that has become too diffuse to hear their stories - life is a stream of hope alone. Their stream of experience doesn't compute. It is a stream of hope that the world will notice them, that they are welcomed into the next year, that they have a better shot at what they dream about.

The truth: the entire edifice of progress, the upper echelons of human experience, is carried on their backs. It is only because they are bowing down to carry the load, that the world is looking up.

Celebrate this year now - so you can make it better for everyone else who make our better moments - in infinite unseen ways.

Celebrate by working a little harder.

Celebrate by playing more with your children, spending more time with those who made you better.

Celebrate by respecting your health and doing the right things to show that you do.

Celebrate by sharing your positive thoughts of those whom you care about, and sharing your goodwill with the rest of humanity.

Celebrate by listening.

Celebrate by offering help.

Celebrate by conquering your fears and taming your ambition.

Celebrate by making the moral choices when no one is looking.

Celebrate by having a good laugh at yourself and everything that looks serious enough to be forbidding.

Finally, celebrate by leaning into discomfort. There lies truth, discovery and a series of mistakes that can make you better.

Popular posts from this blog

Why PI is not 4, math is great, and other mysteries.

The other day, I found myself with an interesting problem of approximating a circle with the enclosing square which seems to prove pi = 4.

The paradox was forwarded by a most interesting puzzle collector, Surajit Basu, a friend and life long inspiration. See Sonata for Unaccompanied Tortoise for why!

Here is the offending paradox:

This is an example of how counterintuitive questions can be answered with a little calculus.

The key is to realize that no matter how closely we approximate the circle, the orthogonal lines of the approximation formed by inverting the square corners will never actually be tangential to the circle.

Note carefully that as you get closer to 90 degrees, the horizontal line is much longer than the vertical. Same goes with the approximation at 0 and 180 - the vertical line is much larger than the horizontal component.

If we take a quadrant of the circle - let's say the top left quadrant, moving counter clockwise from top to left -  we can imagine that each inf…

Ambition vs. Fear.

Most important things in life don't come to us. Nor do we get them by seeking/wanting them. It comes from letting go of the unimportant stuff.

The hardest part is letting go of the tendency to take the world as is. This is a habit of our past successes.

But success is not a destination, it is a STOP sign. You stop, wait, and move on. Too often, we are paralyzed by success into the fear of the new. We stall on the road to a new life. We need to break our inertia and move.

Our thoughts and thought habits are hard to break. But that is where we have to spend the most energy. Thoughts are always competing strands  - of worries of the past and anxieties for the future. For some of us, they are cleanly separated into rivers that nurture every place they travel. For most, they are like the torrents and trickles -- competing, rushing somewhere, stopping completely elsewhere, always mixing, morphing, competing, winning, losing.

Our thoughts are the potential difference between the two pole…

How transformation/change could be hard - an analogy from Life

The illusion of steady change
Most changes are gradual. Or it appears to be, as you read stories and narratives about successful people. Be it successful CEOs, scientists, artists, startup founders, you name it -- almost every one who has reached a state of success, it seems, has had a steady run of successes.

We want to believe that these fine folks transformed their lives because they worked hard,  had talent, or had help, or many other things -- and it was simply effort and reward.

But we all know this is not true. Otherwise, we'd be doing more of what we do best, every day.

What is it that can explain great changes? It is a transformation. Yes, it has gradual bits and habits thrown in. But in the end, they were ready to transform themselves. They were ready to re-work their brains, bodies and life into a new combination.

Example from the chemistry of Life
There is an example in Life that may shed some light. Treat this as an analogy, but it has some lessons.

To illustrate, …