Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obsession at its best: The will to break through the sky

The last blog sounded too admonishing, didn't it? Yes I cannot help laughing recalling the stories, but what life has to teach in essence is this: every point of discussion has two sides just like a coin. To add to the same discussion, I have stories more than the last ones to outweigh the positive side of things, and I am sure they shall bring back the faith in you to strive harder for your ambition.

A guy chose the most difficult professor in circuit design in the first semester of his graduate school. The professor was known to be cruel and whoever took his class was sure of the hardship they were to face. However, this guy had no idea what had come to his path. He dredged through slowly, but could not pass the course. The rest managed to pass, but swore to not take such a professor ever again. The guy cried for a week when the results came out. There was nobody to console him. His colleagues just wanted him to let go of it. But, the guy chose to master it because the professor could master it. He did not let go and lost his grief to the sands of time. He practiced and still keeps practicing. Yes, I do know him and he is on the path that nobody will ever see in their career, but his name is not important. His effort is.

They did not know it was impossible so they did it.

Let me take the name of some very popular and familiar personalities. I am an engineer, and that does make me fascinate over the best people in my discipline, whether the personality is fiction or non-fiction. I feel Tony Stark and Elon Musk are coequal identities, I do feel Stan Lee did have a slight inclination toward's Musk's story, but yes I may be wrong. But they are coequal, per se. Both have the drive to achieve what they want in life, both live their life as they wanted, and both did not look down when life grew tough on them.

My colleague has this picture on his bulletin board with a man smoking, with a beer in his hand and showing his middle finger in all the pride he had. Such a photograph could dumbfound anyone at the first site, but when I read the caption, it said this:

"Every idiot can count to one"
Bob Widlar (1937-1991) Linear IC Pioneer and Personality
Father of uA702, .... blah blah blah

A guy so old is still in the memory of some people, for what reason? I Googled and it amazed me what the guy had done. He laid down the foundation of modern electronics by designing the most widely used chips in his time. No doubt he lived a Bohemian and bold life, people did not like to work with him personally, but he served the purpose of his life even though his life was short. I would say if the world could make a few people live longer, I would say he owns that shot. That is what matters the most, was your life worth it?

To add more, how could I forget Marshal Mathers III? The person who lights up the environment with his invigorating rap, the person who grew from being a victim of constant bullying and beating to being the "culprit" of being one of the most influential rappers of his time. I guess I need not specify that we know him as EMINEM, and the best thing what he said was this:

Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They're only powerful when you got your back turned.

When I see people like these, this is the only thing that matters to me. Was it worth it? Was the purpose of life served? Will you make sure your leave a positive change for the world to enjoy? People will never remember you as a person who was your friend, your love interest, your colleague. They will remember you as the person who created something, who created the very idea of something that dominates the existence of human behavior. Know this and you shall never have a reason to think why you could not achieve what you wanted to. The same people shall bow to you once the purpose is served, and you shall feel content of what you have achieved. If you could not achieve success in a way you dreamed it, at least you will have a reason to die in peace that your purpose was served. Keep doing what you can do best and you shall not regret it.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Obsession at its Worst

an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.

"he was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist"

Let me tell you a story what I recall from this dictionary entry. A guy puts in all his effort to reach the school he wants. He reaches there. Meanwhile, he falls in love with a girl who happens to be an old friend and cannot help but think about her. He wants to get her without considering the repercussions of ignoring school. He cannot focus at school and eventually fails. The next semester, he puts all his energy again and gets into the laboratory (just imagine he is a science graduate) he dreamed to get into his entire life, but loses hold of that girl. Whatever he did was correct considering the circumstances he ran into. But, ultimately, he partially destroyed his identity by letting himself low professionally. Why could not he make sure that whatever he did should have been done to achieve whatever he wanted, not by sacrificing one thing for the other? Why does he grieve over that till date?

A girl wants to get the best federal job in the country. But while preparing to get that job, she meets this guy over the Internet who happens to be an old friend. That changes the ways and means of life for her. He makes her smile over those little things in life that she had forgotten. As the sands of time passed, she fell for him because she felt this guy had whatever she expected in a soulmate: head to toe. Both of them are tired of this constriction, but the girl does not want to let go.

But, ultimately this guy leaves her just because the guy's family does not approve of her. The girl just cannot let go of this pain that she got from him, and just cuts herself off from the rest of the world, but with time, she regains that strength to make to that job. She forgives and forgets, and does not feel heavy of what she had to face even when it was not in her part to face.

We see that clearly the girl could make through in a better way through a difficult phase of her life, while the boy cannot overcome that and is still drowning in the mess he created. I do not advocate that one should not make mistakes and fall victim to the mistakes of others. The point to be conveyed is how well do you respond to the demands of life. And to add to this long discussion comes the 9 letter word: obsession.

Disease: Obsession

Symptoms: Absence of mind, preoccupation of mind with troubling thoughts

Vectors: An unstable mind, impatience, unnecessary die-hard attitude towards trivial matters, wrong prioritization of goals in life

Repercussions: Professional and psychological failure, suicidal tendencies

Yes, I believe it is a disease that today's younger generation faces in not only their twenties, but in younger and older generations as well. The lifestyle that we live, the inner urge for sudden success, the attitude of not keeping calm, everything in some part or the other contributes to this obsession. No doubt the world has become competitive with technology and population trying to reach the pinnacle that history has never seen before, but it brings with itself the psychological doom that no elder generation would want its younger generation to suffer through.

Let us twist the guy's story a little bit. The guy does fall in love with the girl, he tries his best, does not succeed and sees no success in his personal life. But, he does not grieve, he keeps it clear with the girl that it cannot be done. He helps himself and the girl out of the misery and both move on in peace. Both did not achieve success in their personal life, but that also ensured that both achieved professional success. This sounds a lot better, doesn't it? Let us not assume anything about the future, let us say they must have never achieved that personal success their entire lives. But that did not totally curb them from at least keeping alive in this rough world. They survived. End of story, no good or bad assumptions.

No doubt, the decisions we make in our twenties do decide the direction of life, but that does not mean everyone shall or will achieve what they obsess about. Sometimes, patience and letting go of the nicer things in life for the bigger picture pays a long way. The key to a life without regret IS patience and adaptation. Love when you are ready, and not when you are lonely. Work for a cause only if it comes without effort and with your skill. Speak the truth so that you do not have to count for your lies. Keep practicing without expectations the skill you wish to master. Be fearless and consider yourself lucky to die in peace if you do get a peaceful one. That's all I had to say today. But before I end this discussion, lets add something to that entry of the book of diagnosis of disorders in life.

Disease: Obsession
Symptoms: Absence of mind, preoccupation of mind with troubling thoughts

Vectors: An unstable mind, impatience, unnecessary die-hard attitude towards trivial matters, wrong prioritization of goals in life

Repercussions: Professional and psychological failure, suicidal tendencies

Prevention: A healthy mindset and a clear outlook to life. Patience.

Cure: Adaptation to the changes that drown you.