Effort vs. Value | The inner anti-matter

What is more important – the effort of the value. Someone who maybe more skillful can add more value for a significantly lesser effort. thought came to my mind and this thought leads to several questions like Does the effort relates to what is being put in now or over a period of time? If effort put is

is effort more important than value?

Food for thought?

via Effort vs. Value | The inner anti-matter.

The Demon inside me

My family has been telling me for years now that I have the Anger of my father and fore-fathers. Yet, until recently I never thought of doing something about it. I did not see it a as something that needs to be fixed – I just had it and it was a trait of my personality. Until, recently when a thought stuck me and I realized that this needs to be fixed as it is not keeping me happy.

My Dog is my Demon and than demon comes out in the shape of the Anger.

 

I have to narrate an analogy of a person and his belongings and how a person would go about protecting their belongings before I can explain how I see myself and how I have trained my demon. The complete story is herehttp://blog.kapilvirenahuja.com/2012/01/06/the-demon-inside-me/.

Beautiful Question to God

Teri is duniya me ye manjar kyun hai? (Why is Your World like this?)

Kahin zakhm to kahin peeth me khanzar kyun hai? (Someplace there is pain and people are backstabbing others)

Suna hai ki tu har zarre me hai rahta, (We hear You are everywhere)

To fir zami par kahi Maszid Kahi Mandir kyun hai? (Then why we see Mosques and Temples)

Jab rehne wale is duniya ke hai tere hi bande, (When we all are you Your people)

To fir koi kisi ka dost, aur koi dusman kyun hai. (Why are some people friends and other foes)

Tu hi likhta h sab logo ka mukaddr, (You write everyone’s destiny)

To fir koi badnasib aur koi mukaddr ka sikandar kyun hai? (Then why are some unlucky and others so lucky)

Related Links

http://blog.kapilvirenahuja.com

 

Right vs. Right

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century agains...

Image via Wikipedia

On Sunday, during the 2nd test match between India and England something happened that has once again trigerred the debate of “what’s the right thing to do?”. It was the Ian Bell’s run out and India’s decision to take the appeal back allowing him to come out and bat again. The next day, India lost the test match in a very humiliating manner; however Ian Bell added only 20 more runs after being recalled and his recall had no influence on the result of the test match. Yet, the media has started to talk about it in all sense. Not just media; some people I know are also talking about if it was the right thing to do. If you read about the dismissal and watch it on YouTube, you will realize very soon that Ian Bell was out as per the rules and there was nothing wrong on part of Dhoni to make the appeal. It is a simple fact that umpires reviewed the same, and eventually ruled Ian Bell out. All of this happened within a day of another incident where VVS Laxman was accused of cheating by Andrew Strauss. An article in Times of India shows two sides of what people are feeling. One side said – “Why does India have to be on the good side always, when teams like Australia and England do all sorts of things in this Gentleman’s game”. The other side says – “We don’t want to follow or setup wrong examples. They can do what they want to; we will do the right thing”. In another article, they revelaed the influence Sachin had on this decision; goes to show the kind of leaders we have in our team how great this team is.

It was “right” to dismiss Ian Bell; he was silly to take the run; but it was also “right” to recall because of the confusion. When I think about it; it seems like a choice I have been asked to make so many times – “The Practical thing” vs. “The Right thing”. India decided to recall was the right thing to do; although it was not as per rules. They could have decided to let go of Bell and play on and nothing would have been wrong about it as per the rules of the game, but it would have be such a sad thing to do. All those people who in India, who are currently critisizing Dhoni for this; are not thinking if there was a role reversal and it was Sachin Tendulkar instead of Ian Bell. In most cases, knowing England they would not have recalled him; just think how we would have felt about it. We would have been all over the English side and critisizing them for this “right foresaken” thing. But, now when we have chosen to do the right thing – why are we upset. We should be happy that we have a team who thinks on moral ground and while they play to win, they also understand the importance of fair play.

Mantra to Happiness

There are several websites that talk about this and I am not going to present a different point of view. I am just going to present the same set of facts in a more creative manner.

I just posted about “Happiness and Expectations”; and given that I was allowed to choose only one title of the post, I want to present that this is also the Mantra to Happiness – no matter how difficult it is to carry out in life, but this is the way to do it.

Check out my post “Expectations and Happiness are inversely proportional“. It seems this is an a Rule/Theorem that I am the first one to think about. Search for this phrase on Google and you will see this as the 2nd relevant result.

Expectations and happiness are inversely proportional

Are you happy? Why?

I started to read about this topic today, when I saw a FaceBook post by my sister-in-law. She has just finished college and has started to take up her job. She wrote – “There is nothing more depressing to have everything and still be sad…”. My reply was simple – “You got this wrong kiddo”.

My thoughts were revolving around needs and necessity and how they impact ones “Happiness Quotient”. But, when I started to read around, I did encounter a better word for the same – Expectations. I am going to quote a website that I came across while I was reading and trying to find out what others might say on this topic. However, Wikipedia has a very interesting way of describing it.

An expectation is a mental prediction of what will happen in the future when we don’t know for sure. If what does actually happen matches or exceeds our expectation of it we experience positive emotions such as satisfaction, joy, surprise, or gratification. If, on the other hand, what occurs is different from what we expected or is less than what we expected, we experience negative emotions such as disappointment, anger, or frustration.

No matter what I read and where I read, everyone talks about one thing – “Expectations and happiness are inversely proportional”. I am going to use a 4-quadrant matrix to explain how. Let’s spend a few minutes looking at the image below.

Happiness and Expectations

Happiness and Expectations

The first thing that you would have noticed that I have introduced the concept of Resources. I have not really explained that before this depiction, and will do it as we move along. A quick definition as the name itself suggests is “Resource is any physical or virtual entity that can be consumed to obtain benefit from. It can be money, time, or influence over people. Another key aspect of resource is that it is always limited“. Also, a resource sometimes will be within our control and other times not. Like, we expect a raise in Salary, but we do not control it; we expect live happily ever after with our loved ones, but they have their own plans. So, in a way those are also resources that if in our favor are in abundance and other times not in abundance.

With definitions taken care of, let’s start looking at each quadrant at a time.

Quadrant 1: World of a Child

I believe that this Quadrant only exists when we are kids. As kids, we do not have many expectations and our resources are limited and dependent on what our parents give us. Also, when I say “kids”, I mean the age of under 5-7. Kids, just want a few things – play, have fun and some toys. If kids get those just enough, they are happy otherwise they are crappy.

Quadrant 2: Kingdom of Dreams

I call this so, because I don’t think this quadrant actually exists. More resources and not so many expectations is a stage everyone would like to be. This is the only quadrant where one can be in state of happiness and can think of moving towards higher goals in life like spirituality. As we grow in life, we move straight into Quadrants 3 or 4. Which quadrant we move into is a matter of how we manage ourselves and our expectations. A lot of it is also dependent on what our society around us teaches us.

Quadrant 3: Steps to Sadness

While Quadrant reflects us that we have adequate resources and same number of expectations, this is not really where we are happy, or not for a long time. This Quadrant is actually a transient phase in our lives and we stay in this Quadrant for very short durations – like birth of our child, a success in career, festivals, family functions etc. Sometimes in our lives we get just enough resources to make ends meet and it is then that we make some of our expectations come true, but as we fulfill that expectation we right away increase our expectations and we go about ensuring we have resources to meet that one too.

Quadrant 4: The Pandora’s Box

This is the Quadrant where we spend most time of our lives. We spend time struggling through resources and people and events to make sure we have resources to make our expectations and dreams come true. You would have read in the earlier Quadrant that we can sometimes make some dreams come true, but them immediately our expectations from ourselves and other’s expectations from us increase. How happy we are, is dependent on how successful we are in keeping those expectations close to our resources. Most desperate and sad people are those who actually let their expectations overtake their emotions. It then that we spend our lives in earning resources to make those “dreams” come true.

Summary

As you may read in some of the related articles, and also in the text above – you may be thinking – “Do we have to lower our expectations to be happy?”. “Do we need to let go our aspirations to be happy?”.

I do not say that. All, I say is that you need to know what expectations you have from your life and how you are going to keep up the balance. The more you live your life in the 4th Quadrant, the more dissatisfied you will be in your life. I do not want to infer or plan to let go of all of my goals in life and the good things I want for my family. However, over time, I have started to realize and categorize in which areas do I need to have my expectations run high. And, in which areas do I have to start with a lower set of expectations and hence do not set myself up for a disappointment.

It is not easy to do, and all I can say is “Best of Luck!” (and remember there is no such thing as Luck – it is eventually your choice).

Related articles

Karma

In last few months, I have adopted a belief and have strongly moved towards the existence of Karma. That means that I no longer believe in Fate, Luck or Destiny. Before I go about explaining how and why I arrived at this thought process, let me start off by explaining to you all what I understand of these words. If you want to learn more about it, I have provided links to all of these. My viewpoints mentioned in this post are just a summary of the concept and they closely follow what Brahmins follow in Hindu. I am not going to digress into Jainism, Buddhism or any other religions and debate what they each mean/infer of these divine words.

Karma can be summarized from a theist viewpoint as “God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve.”

Luck is either a good or bad fortune in life caused by accident or chance, and attributed by some to reasons of faith or superstition, which happens beyond a person’s control.

Destiny refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that a fixed natural order to the cosmos. Destiny and Fate may be used interchangeably.

Now to tie things up – about a month ago, I wrote about Destiny and why it has me confused. As you read that post, you will find me conflicted, but I do make a point that it seems my existence is purposeless. I have to exist to fulfill a purpose just like any other object in the universe be it Sun or be it an Ant or a pebble. We all play our roles in the environment around us. So, if everything has to be pre-determined or Destined, that all of this is simply pointless. Why would God create such a world where everything is pre-decided. Do we create a game where we know what is going to happen. Will we enjoy it?

Decision 1: There is no such thing as Destiny.

Just like Destiny, Luck is something that happens for no reason. Now, we all know that it is a proven fact of life a scientific principle proven – “every action has a reaction”. Hence, there has to be an action for an event to happen. Things do not happen for no reason. Everything has a reason, just we don’t understand what that is. Read this post here; and you will see that I was able to find a few reason about why the chain of events took place. It also ties to our responsibilities and we are given a chance for God to fix things that we may have done wrong.

Decision 2: There is no such thing as Luck.

That leaves me with just one reason – Does Karma has a very big role to play in our lives? It is all based on what decisions we make. God provides is with options in every aspect of our life, He asks us to make choice and decide what we are going to do in every single moment. Sometimes, those decisions are just easy to make as they are trivial like eat what at a diner; buy a car. There are other times when these decisions are very difficult to make and are life-altering like this one. But, the choice is ours – we have our free will. Two people in same situation have the capability to think and choose what they are going to do. One of them may chose to pardon sins of another while the other may turn to terrorism or depression. But, the decision is theirs to make. It the sum-total of these decisions that lead to the events in our life.

Hinduism believes in after-life and reincarnation; while Christianity believes in one life. However, in both the religions and some others that I have read about (I am no expert in Atheism or religions and my knowledge is limited) do talk about the sins of your earlier life or your ancestors are carried over to you and you have to pay for it. I have never heard of a religion talk about a good deed to be carried over.That is one reason why I do not believe in a religion, but do believe in God. Religions talk about bad things and then they ask people to come to the Divine shelter of God i.e. the Holy Place. I feel it is self-marketing.. I have arrived at this theory for Karma. Now, I have not read it anywhere, so if someone comes across a text where there is written somewhere, please point it out and I will pass on the credit/links. However, I do want to announce that I did come up with his all by myself.

Rule: Your Karma decides what you get back in life.

God, maintains a balance scorecard for us. It all starts with a ZERO (0) at some point. As we live our life, we are provided with choices – some of those choices are right and other are wrong (how is another topic I will cover later; lets assume to be right an wrong for this conversation). We have to decide what we would do in such a scenario. Based on our decisions, we are awarded points or points are taken away from us. Now, when we go t God and pray for something, or want something in our life, God sees what is our Scorecard and gives is what we deserve. We either get what we asked for or we don’t or we get something in between; but all that is based on what our scorecard is at that time. Once we have been awarded, our scores neutralizes back – it is like earning “Game Points” and spending those in the game for powers to do bigger things.

So, you may be asking yourself, how do I explain the exceptional people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar who were born with talent. My answer to that is that those people had their scores carries from a earlier life. They did some good things and they were rewarded with a head-start. Now, we have people like them with exceptional leadership skills, and then we also have people like Osama bin Ladin who also had exception leadership skills. What they chose to do with those leadership skills was their decisions. A few decided to do good to the world, while other decided otherwise. They will have been rewarded as per their actions.

Now, Karma becomes more complicated when you put people together. Have you ever heard a husband say “My wife is lucky for me” (I have ben saying that for 5 years now) or a father say “My daughter/son is lucky for me”. Remember, we have established that there is Luck. So what is this? It is two people’s Karma’s coming together. We do not decide our Spouse based on their good fortunes, but we try to choose based on what we know of them – what good they have done (or what bad they are capable of if we are negative people to begin with). But, we essentially try to match up. Based on our decisions, we get chances to do more good together and it is our way to build up that balance scorecard. Who we are blessed with (our kids) is a direct result of what do and what scorecard we have. And, it is our chance to make a difference with that kid. God entrusts that child to us and what we make out of him/her is our Karma. How good are parents is a head-start that a kid gets based on their earlier balance scorecard that is a carry forwarded.

 

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Responsibility

I don’t have to describe what “Responsibility” is; I assume we all know of it because in some form or other we do have responsibilities. However, many a times we measure our responsibilities in terms of the value of the object we are responsible of. Let us assume that we borrow 2 objects from someone – 1) A jewelry piece like a gold necklace worth 50K and 2) A travel bag worth 1K. If you ask yourself honestly a question – “how much will you be worried if you lose one of those items?”.

I am going to make a generalized statement – “Most people would most worried about the necklace and not care so much about the bag.” And, by care I mean not just loosing it, but also damage, handling it and anything else that may cause harm to the object.

Yesterday, I was presented with something similar. We borrowed a travel bag from a relative and as I planned to come back from USA, I figured out that the charges for me to carry that bag will be around $150. I instantly decided that it was not worth spending that amount of money on ensuring that bag gets back. It was decided that we will talk to the owner of the bag and if need be we will buy another one from India and simply replace it. Today, as I think of it, what would be the reaction is this was the case with a necklace worth 50K. I can safely say it would have been very different.

So why does responsibility changes with the cost of the object. Thinking more deeply into the subject, I realize that it is not just the cost of the object – it is linked to the value of object for the owner. However, many a times we assume the value of the object based on how we value objects in our life. How many times have you considered an anniversary card that you received as just a card and misplaced it and not thinking that it valued so much to the person who gifted you; more so misplaced a present/card that someone else received because you don’t value care of the ones you receive. Do we care enough to ask the person if it is okay to let the thing be ask them of their opinion of the object and its value (not monitory, but importance) for them and then decide how we should make amends if anything should happen to it.

And, I also tie this up to debts to the person. Taking something from someone and not returning it back for whatever reason or returning it back not in its original condition means like borrowing money and not giving it back or giving a partial amount back. It is just being in debt of the person forever however small it is. And all that counts up. So, I finally decided that I am going to spend the money and take the bag back to India and ensure that I am not in anyone’s debt no matter what it costs me. They handed me a bag and I was responsible of getting it back to them. More so, it ensures that I don’t let go of my sense of responsibility no matter how small the object it.

 

Death and Faith

It has been a while since I have thought about this topic. For some reason that I am not aware of, I have been hesitant to write about this or discuss this with anyone else. I vaguely brought this up with Preeti early 2011 when I was about to travel to USA in March. However, I did discuss this with Samita Thakur on length. I just was unable to discuss this with Preeti because I knew she would be completely psyched about it and just didn’t want her to get upset.

For a decade (2000-2010) I have maintained the place that “I am not afraid of death”. I believed that everyone has to die one day and once I die it is over for me. Death will not affect me because I am gone. I have always wanted a swift death; didn’t want to suffer. I don’t know when, but my thinking changed and I realized it when I started to travel so often to Hyderabad for office assignments. This was in the year 2010 itself (January to March). And, then later that year I had to travel to USA for office work. I had 2 trips planned in that duration and flying just made me so stressed out. I was paranoid about flying and the second time (March 2011), I was just over the top. It was so much so that my blood pressure was up to 130/100. It was that time when I discussed it with Preeti and Samita.

Of course, they both did mention the same thing that I had believed for almost a decade – why do you care? you can’t control it; if it happens it happens. If something bad has to happen it can happen anytime anywhere. I knew all that, yet air-travel has just been so stressful. Around time of travel, I would find reason in everything about why it happened this time and why not last time. A few examples:

  • Aparna’s mother-in-law asked to come to meet me especially in March just before travel and I was thinking – “why now? why not last time?”. Preeti told me she wanted to last time too and I was relieved;
  • I didn’t want to pick up a flight and just wanted to be assigned a flight to travel.

And there were more. It was a huge thing – I was challenging every event in March just before travel. Yet, I did travel and did arrive in Plymouth safely and now I am sitting today writing this on the eve of my travel. This time the travel plans have changed unplanned and once more I am asking myself the same question.

However, some part of me has always asked me this question – “Why would God bother to kill me in such an unusual way?” I don’t travel much, so why make all this trip on work assignment just to kill me in an air accident or put me through a misery. He can do this when, where and how He wishes it. I can’t explain myself why would he do this now; I have a daughter to take care of, a wife who thinks of me as her life and two parents who would be devastated if anything would happen to me (I just can’t imagine what would happen to them).

To top it all, I feel so sad just thinking about this. As I write this post, I am trembling from inside and I have a feeling that I have never had before – I can’t describe it. The saddest part is my realization that I am not trusting God and His decisions. Where I have faith in Him, I still think about this and in a way challenge His actions. He has done so many good things for me, and if He has decided to do this to me then who am I to question His deeds. I never questioned when good things happened; why about this. This is something out of my control and if it has to happen it will happen. I just can’t do anything about it.

I just need to find peace around this topic – if I continue to think about this that I am letting go of my Faith in Him; my faith in Him that he will take care of me; my Faith in Him to take care of my family. For a very long time, when I pray, I asked for one thing and one thing only – “Please do what is best for me”. When I start to think of all this, I let go of my faith in Him and his decisions around me.

<side-thought>Next few lines should help me understand and put this topic to rest for ever</side-thought>.

I have started to believe in Karma more strongly in recent times and believe that what we get is a result of our actions. I believe that God keeps a score for us – good deeds give us points and bad deeds take away points. What happens with us is a result of what our score is. I believe that Death comes when we have fulfilled our purpose in this life. I don’t know the purpose of my life, but whatever I do is in that direction – I just don’t know it. I don’t want to digress from topic, so I am going to end it by accepting my Faith over my fear.

I want to carry on with my life believing that God is going keep a watch over me as He has done in the past and He is going to do the same for my family too. I will just go about doing my stuff and try to do the right thing. I will try to choose my purpose and make people around me happy. Rest I will leave to God. He has brought us to existence and He will do what is best for us. Death is just another way of tempting me to let go of my Faith, but I will not. I will not stop doing what I am should do (Karma), and I will do it using my best judgement. God will judge me for my actions.

I have had doubts if this I should share this thought and what is the right way to share these thoughts with my parents, siblings, wife and children. So, after thinking for a long time, I am going to publish this post, because this is the easiest way for them to know what I believe in and what I have gone through for last 2 years. This is the best way for me to pass on my Faith to them especially in times when God is testing us. I just want everyone to know that I don’t think of death all the time, and I want to be around to fulfill my purpose of a son, a brother, a husband and a father. But, based upon my actions God will decide when I have served my purpose. And to let you know, as I end this post, I feel much lighter that I was a while ago. I know now, that I need to fix a few things in my life and do it while I have the time.