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In the spirit of staying positive and recognizing our strengths and accomplishments -my achievements in the past 1 year (Jan 2016 to Jan 2017):

  1. I survived 1 year in an entirely new domain of work – PM in a new field
  2. Completed a machine learning online course
  3. Read one book on statistical learning that I really wanted to read
  4. Got comfortable with a new programming language – R
  5. Got started on another programming language – Python
  6. Completed another online course ‘Metrics for data driven companies’
  7. Did this while travelling every other week
  8. Slowly learning to assert myself where necessary at work
  9. Completed a basic course in Yoga!
  10. Placed myself in a position where I know what I want to do next and how I will get there
  11. Optimized my online flight booking process to save money and get the most convenient flight (got a bit lucky as well)
  12. Completed reading ‘Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that cannot stop talking’
  13. Learnt how to do project finances
  14. Got started on Kaggle
  15. Understood the power of being positive and doing breathing exercises
  16. Learnt Agile methodology. Became a scrum master
  17. Moved 2 apartments (not an achievement but a record of the effort put in…huff!)
  18. Travelled in mainland Europe for the first time – this was a dream since 2007. Finally got to see Barcelona and Paris!
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I solved a math problem. and I asked myself “are you sure?”. That question made me rethink and solve the problem in a different way. I arrived at the same answer. Now, I was sure! So went ahead and submitted the answer sheet.

I have a need to convince myself of something before I say something or put something on a document or a presentation. My guess is, that convincing myself is what makes the difference between sounding confident and not sounding confident when I present something.

Sticking to what we know, is a good strategy. And when we ask ourselves “are you sure?”, it might slow us down in learning new things and getting things done. But we progress slowly but surely. Overtime we would have build a better foundation for the knowledge in our brains. In other words, a more reliable database in the back of our minds 🙂

Want to list out a few things about learning and work that I am sure about:

  1. Progress in learning happens one concept or fact at a time. Work happens one small task at a time. Confidence is a side product of learning and doing things. Focus on learning
  2. Focus on your goal and ignore the rest of the things. If I am on a project which has a lot of political issues, focus on solving the problems and resolving the issues instead of getting tempted to settle personal scores. Do not get tempted to gossip or vent to other team members. Even when I want to get some work done(only involving me), it is very important to shut out distractions
  3. Take notes. Very important to capture the concepts we learned. And also record important details like decisions taken and actions assigned
  4. Create checklists. Have a checklist for tasks that you do on a regular basis. Most errors happen due to oversight. This is one way of automating things. Also, keep updating the checklists regularly

I took a new role which is out of my comfort zone. And I have also read 5 really good books in the past 5 months that helped me get a very good perspective on life in general. I also gained insights into my personality, individuality and work styles. Here are some of the things I realized about myself in the past 2 months.

  1. I don’t work! I solve problems, come up with brilliant ideas and ask the right questions. I dealt with myself wrong all these years. When ever I pushed myself to ‘work’, it doesn’t work! I cannot just force myself to work. If I spend time defining a problem in my mind, I automatically spend enough time in solving it.
  2. Thinking drives my action. I need to first think clearly about something. Only after I have given something enough thought can I act on it. My best does not come when I have not spent enough time thinking.
  3. Patience is my strength and I can beat most people in it.
  4. I am more creative when I work by myself. I suck at collaboration. When collaborating, I just let other people do the talking.
  5. Meetings suck the life out of me(and most other people). Preparation is the key to having productive meetings at work. I suck at meetings if I am unprepared.
  6. I don’t enjoy big groups (unless there is good humor flowing around). I am more comfortable in small groups. I like to connect with people one-on-one and have meaningful conversations
  7. I can concentrate really well when the problem or task is clearly defined. Ill-defined phrases like ‘hard work’ do not make sense to me.
  8. I am not a detail oriented person. But can spend hours discussing ideas.
  9. Humor is one of the things that keeps me going. It is indispensable for living a sane life!
  10. I don’t like to control people. And I don’t like it when people try to control me. This is not a new realization. But I understood it more clearly.
  11. I am an introvert. I realized it a few years ago, but over the past few weeks realized the significance and the impact on my work style more and more.

There is a part of you
that never felt low
a part of you that
never gave up
that always reassured you
stronger than anything you know,
unblemished,
fearless
and infinite!

 

It will give you the strength
to do what it takes to be who you are,
to find your peace,
manifest your greatness,
and will guide you along –
to where you belong!

I should try to be an extrovert! I should talk less. Work out more. Less movies. Relax!

We tell ourselves so many things. Nothing wrong. But the danger is in over-monitoring yourself, says an article I read the other day.

I don’t want to tell you whether to monitor yourselves or not. No preaching. Just want to list few things I want to cut out in my life.

I don’t want to cut out things I enjoy doing. Absolutely not. I don’t want to cut out things that are good for me, make me healthy, smart or a better person. What I want to cut out is the crap!

  1. No boring meetings. If it is boring then mostly you don’t care about it.
  2. Do not go on a trip to a place you have already been to and not particularly keen on seeing again. Sometimes we do that to please others. The time I get to travel is precious. Cannot waste it.
  3. Do not go to a party that you probably will probably not enjoy. If drinking until you puke is not your idea of partying, then don’t go to a party where that is the theme!
  4. Do not switch on TV to check whats on. Switch it on when you know what you want to watch.
  5. Not a big fan of fries, but ate it yesterday because it came with the entree! If you love the taste but its not healthy, I can still see value in it. If it is healthy but not tasty, I can understand why you are eating it. But if you are not particularly fond of it and it is not healthy – then run away from it! Sounds obvious, but think of what all you ate in the past week.
  6. Do not check Facebook impulsively. or Whatsap!
  7. No time for regret. This is the worst way to spend time!

I have the strength

to accept myself and to get better each day

to try again and start afresh each time

to open my mind to learn and to close it and focus

to speak up when I should and to hold my peace at other times

to commit myself to a cause and to pick my battles

to reach clarity and be lost in thought

to give my best and to switch off

to get what i want and not want too much

to be strong and to be gentle….

I have the strength. I do!

 

 

Learning by rote is not useless. Any learning is learning!

As a kid I always argued on the contrary. It took me a long time to understand the subtle benefits. It improves and exercises my memory.

Critical thinking is very important and a crucial part of learning. But learning by rote is just a different side of learning. They both do not have a conflict!

One reason I hated it as a kid was because it was boring. But if you pick interesting and difficult things to memorize, it can be quite absorbing!

So, go find the poem you like….