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Wake Up

Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick up the gears and go on a mission. The “Bird’s signature” ends with subtle rise in tempo, the hunter in the mind wake up and starts walking to the wild, on a mission and he can hear his footsteps making slight splashes on the stream that he has to cross, to his mission, to hunt. I wake up. Pull myself out the bed, not sure if I wanted to.

My eyes get adjusted to the ambient light. The creepy shades of tree branches vanish from the side walls. I start staring at the window blankly. Silhouette of trees start to differentiate with the overall darkness. It starts to color itself. The habit has been built,  the hue of dark violet imbue the sky while the uncertainty of the day fills me. And into the colorful life I turn my consciousness.

What does this day promise. An empty uncertainty ? A wish for more hangs in the air. Like a jacket ready to be worn, to head out onto the snowy day,  to be held together so the winds may not snatch. To keep it close to me, is it the jacket which holds me together, or is it me? Nevertheless, we make an inseparable pair. One is lifeless , other full of life, covered by the dead. The dead cells that protect the life inside. The past is not haunting, through the dead it shields the live, the alive, which gradually join the dead, making the future covered with the past. Some of the past , like the nails I clip them, file them to make them look good. Some of the dead cells are rubbed off, pulled away, far from life and washed down the drain with the shower. And some more which still clings to the new and young, sometime, very rarely fail to protect as an accidental gash splits the live and dead and the upcoming. Then some future cells are lost in bleeding, a lost future, and a hurried action by the dead to cover up what is alive, somehow resembling a shame that is to be hidden from the public, though not perfect, leaving a scar, as a mark of history, a point to remember.

With wakeful times, dreams become day-dream. Day which is repellent for dreary eyed ghosts of memory with dream that keep us alive and awake. Ready to take on challenges, come what may. Warmth of blood activating the muscles, thoughts of actions being pumped into them in preparation. There is no time for the drag, the unwanted pull of the past, a burden on the go  I wash them all away with the morning shower with a feeling, of timelessness creating a veil enclosing me, in tiny drops of water.

 

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in creativity

 

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Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success

Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal AchievementNapoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

 

Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating the idea that we all have heard or seen practiced. However, we never got a chance study and condense them into these 17 principles that Napolean discusses. To mention them , they are:

  1. Have definite goals
  2. Form a team that actively improve by symbiosis
  3. Improve personality
  4. Have Faith with practice
  5. Do the extra work
  6. Be Initiative
  7. Have positive attitude
  8. Control enthusiasm
  9. Be disciplined
  10. Think based on facts
  11. Focus
  12. Inspire – Teamwork
  13. Learn from failures
  14. Be creative
  15. Be healthy
  16. Manage Time and Money
  17. Discipline the habits

This formulation works with any goal. I have personally experienced this by  revisiting some of my personal experiences where I set a goal and achieved it.  Though I had neither read this book at that time nor tried any self-analysis. But after reading the book it turns out true that I have actually followed most if not all the steps mentioned.

It is common sense that we are normally limited by resources at a specific time. Mostly these resources are monetary savings, emotional savings, personal health and accomplishments (read failures), facts available and the level of belief and confidence.

Like we notice with anything else, if we are really good at a particular thing we tend to perform better than the expected normal on other subject. Say , if you are a student in school. If you are really good in English you will definitely notice a great improvement in your social science or history test results because of your English and the confidence that it creates within you.

Habits are nice to have in which we auto pilot most of the stuff that we need done, so it becomes muscle memory than a strenuous mental computation process. This helps us put all the routine task to auto pilot so we focus on goals that need creativity and focus.

 

There are multiple other books that took some of these principles and expanded upon it.

Habits are nicely covered by Stephen R. Covey

Focus is touched upon by Cal Newport in Deep Work

Norman Vincent Peale had expanded upon power of positive thinking

Everyone has faced faith either by force or by habit, to realize it by applied faith and practice is upon the self. Whenever Napolean says about faith I pass through the paragraphs since I believe in something, that some people call religion. Every person has her/his own opinion and faith. If that works for them then look no further. This is de-facto covered by default.

I could easily relate to having used these principles in some of my job searched. The last search was highly effective. We had an awesome team of job seekers, all from my research group. All planning on graduating and we used to discuss our research and job search alike. Though we had different target graduation dates and goal deadline, we all achieved it. Did our graduation, defended thesis/defense, published it, got a job. The magic of working in groups and discussing is rare. To get such a group at the right time and to nourish and learn from the group was a great learning experience.

 

Throughout the 17 points listed , one theme is evident. That is control. A person in charge, in control of their destiny plans ahead, plans for failures, assimilates resources, focuses at the goal to be attained and devotes time, effort and resources in relentless pursuit with completely controlled enthusiasm. This is driven by positive attitude supported by discipline in actions and thoughts. This is exactly what the book articulates.

Overall this is a nice read, if you know something just skip that section and the book will yield what you picked it up for.

 

  • Blinked - Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews I picked this up a second time. Thanks to Buffalo-Erie Public Library System for providing this free facility. Blink takes the reader through some case studies and associated case studies on snap-judgements and its base […]
  • Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success - Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews   Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating […]
  • Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself - This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and […]
  • Book Review: Destiny Disrupted - I heard about this book from a Palo Alto entrepreneur. I read the book Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. The style of writing is unbiased for most portion and biased whenever it is expected. This book gives a good idea on the endless wars that the west Asia has seen the history and some facts. […]
  • Book Review : Algorithms to live by - This book came up in the circles of job search and discussions of things that don’t matter. It would have been a fallacy if the title said stood by what it said. Algorithms are thought processes and having behavioral philosophies of itself, that mathematicians may appreciate better. However, math being a yesteryear wonder-keyword and a […]
  • “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love”: Book Review - Background My previous reads were “Biography of Steve Jobs: Walter Issacson“, ” Notes on Startups: Peter Thiel“, “Siddhartha : Herman Hesse”  and I can only wonder how this book connects with those. I came across the author Cal Newport due to the Happy Schools Blog. This book arrives in style, for  a job hunter in […]
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I […]
  • Great reference for life and sales - How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger My rating: 5 of 5 stars https://ajeya.wordpress.com/2016/07/1… View all my reviews I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from […]
  • Narrative of the Blunder termed war - Brig.  J.P Dalvi gives a clear account of want exactly happened at the India- China war (1962), which was less than a war in his book, “The Himalayan Blunder”. The motivation to read this was reading about VK Krishna Menon , the then Defence Minister of India. The title given is great because it happened […]
  • Lessons from Violin: how to choose one - This is from the Book by W.C Honeyman. A very old book (1893)  borrowed through the inter-library loan had to be handled carefully. It is a small but dense book. Things to learn are written by the expert W.C Honeyman. In addition, the way in which the book is written is also very interesting , […]
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized

 

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Sense of Time

I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian rhythm of the human mammal with all its intestinal fortitude could not hold the time. The norm of life in this part of the world. Fall back and change back from daylight savings to normal time. For whom, I asked ? I received replies of various tones, repeating the old farmer’s story who wanted to save time in the form of daylight savings, invariably the justification reassure that farmer’s depend directly on the daylight and sunrise, not the artificial clock. A farmer’s life is not a “9 to 5” joke with coffee breaks meant for gossip and lunch time focused on chitchat and not on satisfying the imminent hunger. A sense of time does not exist for such frivolous activities. Any real work accomplished in this way is really an achievement. Focus on the work than the focus on making work look like it is not work, can turn cumbersome. Why not get the work out the way, within the realms of time allotted? Free the rest of time and really enjoy the daylight and save time with a sense of time. Now, I am lucky to have a work where the sense of time is based upon the priority of work and work-at-hand rather than the hours-requirement. In this way focus brings in a sense of time and vice versa. Quality-time put in work releases dependency of work on time. In turn removing the sense of time. Focus, plan and a target goal within a time framework helps save time. And when next time someone says about daylight saving time and how it affects their daily routine and public in general, it will make no sense. Because, no one really saved any time by turning the clock hands. As an environmentally conscious human one may try to save the tube light time in office. Use the daylight time, keep the blinds open and let the natural light help us light up our workspace. Yes. A Tube-light Saving Time (TST) instead of Daylight Saving Time (DST) . In this way, time attains another dimension. A dimension of sense, or should I call time as another sense in addition to basic senses of humans?

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review : Algorithms to live by

This book came up in the circles of job search and discussions of things that don’t matter.

It would have been a fallacy if the title said stood by what it said. Algorithms are thought processes and having behavioral philosophies of itself, that mathematicians may appreciate better. However, math being a yesteryear wonder-keyword and a dreaded subject across the globe. It may be better marketing tactics that prevailed over the political correctness, which is may be why the book is titled so.

The beginning of the book tries to shake the forgotten skills of probability and experience with uncertainty, the only use of probability theorems. The book is divided nicely in chapters that are digestible and probably demand a time of rest to rethink and re-iterate.  Game theory could be claimed as child of mathematics, logic, probability or computer science. As I mentioned , I could not think of computer science as something beyond mathematics. Somehow, the term “computer” make it technically appealing rather than the old school math. I feel same about control engineering leading to systems engineering, leading to mechatronics and robotics, and cyber physical systems  graduating into internet of things. More recently,  probability giving space to artificial intelligence and expert systems, to machine learning and deep learning and what not down the line.

 

References from the book for further reading:

Essay – “Walking” , Henry David Thoreau. ” There is a harmony discoverable…”

“The Scientist in the Crib” – Alison Gopnik – ” Extended period of human child’s development provides a way to develop exploration/exploitation trade-off”

 

“What’s best ? > What’s new ?” – Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig

 

Quotes I want to remember:

“In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important a function as remembering” – William James

I was asked to draw my learning curve of whiteboard during an interview. I drew a upward going zigzag. My Y axis being “knowledge’ and X axis “time”, (this happened before I read this book) .I explained that my knowledge increases and shown by an upward slope and then I remove what I do not want reach a local minima and continue to pick up from there, leading to another maxima, again throwing away things I do not want and keep going. Some of my friends were impressed by this answer. Interviewer definitely had not seen such a learning curve, and I did not land up with a job offer.

Future reading:

“The Oligarchs” – David Hoffman – on optimal stopping

“Organizing from the Inside Out” – Julie Morgenstern

“Keeping Found things Found” – William Jones

I had read ” Eat that Frog” . This book compares some title in a single shot such as “The Now Habit” ( schedule leisure than work first), “Wait” ( dangling unfinished tasks), “Getting Things Done”. And then the classic Lao Tzu kicks in ” Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small”.  This chapter simply opens up the thoughts into scheduling ideas than I have used on my own. And it is as expected a nice mix of all these and similar techniques with minimal regret as the first priority..

Another interesting term that came up when reading the book is QED. Unlike Quantum ElectroDynamics, my friend expanded it was “Quite Easy Decision” (QED). While  the book describes Charles Darwin’s algorithm and conclusion to marry being written as “Quad erat demonstrandum“, which translates to “Hence proved”. Remember our school math ?!

The book also gives insights into the optimization problem that shows itself in mathematics, industrial engineering, operational research and project management. The origins of “traveling salesman problem” and why it was not called “prairie lawyer problem” was an interesting read. It was also mind-blowing to learn that the word “Serendipity” is derived from the fairy tales of “The Three Princes of Serendip” ( Serendip standing for Srilanka).

About the book:

Sans the notes the book is average at 262 pages. Reading is heavy with examples and intellectually simulating. This will make the reader think and read. Making the reading time longer than fiction. If the reader has used or searched about some productivity tools and thoughts then this book is interesting.

 

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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Elephant’s journey with Jose Saramago

The Elephant's JourneyThe Elephant’s Journey by José Saramago

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a miracle. Like a miracle described in the book. A must read for animal fans, humor lovers and tragedy lovers. The author says about the inspiration for the story in the end, which is surprising. I would never expect and elephant to walk in snow, I come from land of elephants and have experienced snow, but I would never want an elephant to walk on snow. Here , is the journey though. The book is full of humor and glittering pieces of an Indian character the mahout, a second hero to the the elephant in the story.
I read the English translation which is very rich in usage of vocabulary. It serves as a good source to learn some new words.
There are some great lines in this book. Here, are a few.
” We are, more and more, our own defects and not our qualities”

“..One word often brings along another in its train simply because they sound good together, even if this mean lack of levity and ethics for aesthetics , if such solemn concepts are not out of place in a discourse such as this, and often to no one’s advantage either. It is in this and other ways, almost without our realizing it, that we make so many enemies in life”
( This sounds like a poem, wow)

And this one for the pride of India
“…despite the ridiculous number of deities, sub-deities and demons infesting that country, there are far fewer superstitions in the land … than in the particular part of civilized and very christian Europe…”
(why this statement? another reason to read the book)

One more on India
“if your highness knew the elephants as i believe I do, you would know that India exists wherever an Indian elephant happens to be…., and the same India will remain in tact inside him ( elephant)..”

(This captures the essential essence of India, Have never seen a writing that is more straight to heart. This applies to other nationalities as well.)

“.. the longer I live, the more I ignore,….,It’s not me playing games with words, it’s them playing games with me..”
(rightly said, as for a writer, the words may be playing the game, and as a write lives longer, it is just natural to ignore more and focus on the writing in progress…)

“..popular wisdom teaches us, and as has more than once been shown, god writes straight on crooked lines, and even seems to prefer the latter.”
(if someone really can aim to comment on what god thinks , like humans do, then it must be from a person of humanity)

“…you will have the life, be it good or bad, for which you were born and from which you cannot escape…”

(people try to change from what they are. for they think they have to be. And then there is this inescapable trap laid out in the birth. But there is no need not to believe in what you want to do with life and then achieve it. In the context of elephant’s journey, he talks about this in regard to their origins. I suppose it is so because the elephant as a mortal animal cannot quickly adapt to the snowing conditions, nor does the one who commands it, the mahout, the life as it comes may be good or bad. The mahout had dreams of traveling but could never afford even in dreams to travel the journey that they had undertaken. But, under the skin they remain mere morals, the end of the story is for tragedy lovers, as I mentioned in the beginning. But the humour in it is big enough so as to sideline or even ignore the tragedy that was upcoming.I do not understand why Jose mentioned as a communist in multiple wiki pages just after pronouncing his literary achievements, who have taken a candid opinion on religion and belief through the writing wrote something like this…This can instigate another round of reading)
“when the mind wanders, when it carries off on the wings of daydreams, we do not even notice the distances traveled, especially when the feet carrying us are not our own”
( this is very true for most us humans. Our dreams and daydreams are so much trusting upon the thrust assured by near and dear the feet which are not ours , the karma or whatever you call it, gets us to push and move the distance that need to be travelled, that is the distance to our destination, made up by our own thoughts and for sure from the support from the unexpected more than the expected. The good that one thinks and acts unto to the benefit of us gives wings to our dreams. We do not own the wings nor the feet that help us travel. It is very true for any achiever in their fields. A successful runner always had the feet of their coach or mentor.This may sound similar and mostly is the same as what Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist, ” the whole world will conspire to let you achieve your dreams”)

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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing

If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes things very easy. If health is lost, everything is lost.

This applied in all kinds of learning. Some believe that great thinkers, scientists et al are so focused on their work that they forget their health and put their life to risk. It is very untrue. How Great MK Gandhi took care of his health is a well documented in his writings. Thought the focus of his writings are more towards betterment of society in general, this point is often forgotten.

In a learning environment, we need practice. In this mood of practicing health should not be forgotten. A musical instrument, such as the violin, if practiced with right posture promotes good health. A wrong practice could deteriorate the health too. That is a direct relation between good practice and good health. Therefore, it becomes very important to practice in a correct way than head blindly towards quantity of practice rather than quality of practice.

My sister who went to doctor for any illness, straightaway got one same reply from all the doctors she visited. That is reduce your fat, take care of your health. It is common knowledge that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. For it was written “Sareeramadyam ghalu dharmasadhanam”. (शरीरमाद्यं खलु धर्मसाधनम्).

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]

 

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Shamitabh is thicker than water

I wandered through the streets of Delhi, unmindful of the pollution or the traffic. I roamed in that freezing winter. Then I reach my room only to see the Shamitabh trailer a hundredth time. Dhanush, Amitabh, Shamitabh and repeat! Devuda! why! even the newspaper is full of Shamitabh. As his name says “amit” (over and above the limit)  and “abha” (aura) is what the marketing people have done literally . Even in the season of nail-biting election campaign this February Shamitabh pulls off the TV audience.Getting irritated by repetition in telecast media is not new to me. Previously,  I had really got frustrated at Fabregas for no fault of his.  I had to pull of the plug. There is film, people would watch if they feel like. And then Amitabh in Shamitabh would say ” I am the alcohol and the other fellow is water”.

This advertisements also run on the same philosophy, who is water depends on which side you are in. The advertisements bring free news and programs ( is it the alcohol ?) , for the viewer the content is important and advertisement is like water. Wasted water, wasted resource of air time, wasted time, and more often a non-sense irritant, to watch repeatedly the same advertisement which is not at all useful. That is the trade off , I guess. Milk is mixed with water. Politics is mixed with non-sense. Blogs are filled with noise. And more than air, more than water, what people look for is the kick; of the content. Where does the kick come from ? From something which catches the attention of the mind, from something which is pleasing to the eyes, to the ears, from some information which is useful. I feel that is why the Blogging 201 asks to put up a motto, an aim, on why to write and for whom to write. I have not really reached a real practical conclusion on this regard for my scribblings. Nevertheless, I see my blog statistics , get addicted to it, and then feel this. This is addictive, this is alcohol, even water can be addictive when it is in short supply.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection

Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough ? Till some digression comes in the form of a phone call ? What actually is enough ? Who judges perfection ? There are some songs that need hours of practice and still sounds like hollow, with lot of space to improve and refine. Without a proper judge there cannot be improvement. One reason why people search and find a good guru, especially in music, is because of this. The value of a critic who can differentiate and tell what is wrong, where exactly and how to overcome the seemingly insurmountable. An examiner can give words of advice, suggestions and possibilities and his judgement, that remains on paper, making itself a glyph to be decoded later. A good guru (teacher ?!) solves the issues of analysis, training, comprehending, making things easy to understand, easy to play, treat the disease of wrongly placed notes and improve the overall music throughput from the violin, otherwise a collection of pieces of wood and strings.

In life at one point or other we have this feeling of emptiness, where there is no further progress from the current state. One has to go in search of a critic or mentor to find out places to improve. This guru could be one’s self, an imaginary tutor or an inspiration for great men. More than spiritual or divine intervention it is much about the way a human mind works. One tends to look at with jealousy at some valiant connoisseur. Sometimes we envy. Sometimes and most often with intimidation. The stages of thoughts tend to tempt the mind towards mediocrity. And it needs to be reminded that there is no limit to excel.

Whatever our work in life or profession we start with curiosity, interest, need and then slowly put effort to practice with quantity and then quality and then both. Then we reach a state of betterment. There is no stopping here, we move further. Get tempted to perfection. Practice more. Practice until perfection.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play.

In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention gives much too importance to the helping metronome to become a distraction. Beat is the basis for any music. Once the beat is acquired and plays by itself in the mind without tapping, then we are all set to play the piece of song peacefully. The idea is to get  the beat in the initial stages of reading the song and later do away with physically tapping since the moods, variations, rhythm and beat all will be blended by practice,automatically.

This is more or less what happens in life too. We need a set of rhythm for various tasks. When the task is new we tend to get helpers in the form of alarm, schedulers, timers, reminders and so on. Once the habit is formed then the rhythm goes in the background. The observer can see only the smooth blend of work with the mind set in action at hand. A lack of complete attention is show cased which goes a long way to make a lasting impression on people whom we deal with. Just like a perfectly played song on violin we enjoy the whole rather than scrutinise the details. The mind of the observer is also then devoid of unnecessary digressions.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice

I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and commit themslelves to the small steps. The variety, in nature, of the behaviour of humans has also examples of those  who come up with greatness once in  a while. People who find shortcuts, whatever the height of task. The principle of least effort by Deepak Chopra also says something similar. The way a student learns to play the violin, to achieve some level of proficiency, is completely depended on his responsibility, openness to learn, patience and practice. In this lesson of practice there could be continuous effort put to overcome a difficult piece of score. There is another way too. Which is upheld as superior by my master. He says Quality practice is better than general practice. The emphasize on quality would decrease the time needed for regular practice, this gives better results and more time for other activities.

Rote learning is one thing, Mechanical learning is another. There is no coercion on mechanical learning. It is like a cycle knows the best way to tackle the hurdles of potholes and bumps on the road even before the conscious mind takes over the analysis of data processing. This is mechanical learning which repetitive practice tries to achieve. This is a state where the focus is no other things than the work at hand, viz. playing the violin. Short duration practice on quality does not assure the proficiency of mechanical learning. This automated form is avoided for fine tuning the sophisticated patterns of notes. This also demands the complete presence of mind duration presentation of a piece of music. The benefits includes keeping mind easy on the toughest portions of the music. This allows for enjoying the performance without tensions on quality being presented. Finally, good music comes from both quality of practice and quantity of practice. There are sections which need either one or both. A good player, knows which  way to go.

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]
 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Lesson, Series

 

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