“You must Act Big..” – Socrates

Someone shared this amazing story about Socrates. The message was so powerful I want to share it with you guys.

Just in case, if you didn’t know him, Socrates is a Greek moral philosopher who lived 2500 years back. He is regarded as the first person to influence the current Western philosophy.

Portrait of Socrates

The story goes like this…

A young man asked Socrates “What is the secret to becoming successful?”. To which Socrates didn’t reply anything and asked to come to the river next day. The young man was so excited about what the great Socrates is going to teach him. Next day happened, as said he went to the river and Socrates was waiting there for him. Socrates asked, “If he wishes to walk with him to the river” to which the young man readily agreed. They walked towards the centre of the river and suddenly Socrates took the young man to surprise, he dunked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and held him until he started to turn blue. When the boy thought all was lost and he is certainly going to die, Socrates pulled his head out of the water. The young man sputtered water and coughed. He gasped for a deep breath of air. Socrates then asked him “What did you want the most when you were there?”. The boy replied “Air” as he was panting.

Socrates then said ” When you want success as badly as you want the air, then you will get it. There is no other secret.

With that, the story ends. Now, What an enchanting way of looking at success. Secret really is how much we want it. I can share many instances in my life where I felt I was successful in some particular task only because I really needed that victory. I failed numerous times and my confidence that I would ever succeed was deteriorating. I wanted that success badly, to prove myself. Now looking back on those moments I really am happy those failures happened. Those failures boosted my “want” and kept me going through the tough times, where I would have mostly given up if not for those failures. Bigger “want” reflects in my planning and attitude which is very difficult to achieve otherwise.

Are failures the only way to increase the “want”? That’s a very interesting question to which I have a very vague answer.

I have been trying to simulate failures to increase my want for success. How? I really publicly declare even my smallest of failure with shame. That internal shame helps me increase my “want”. This might not work for everybody because it matters how the person values other people’s opinion of him/her. Successful personalities like Cristiano Ronaldo, Elon Musk and Donald Trump have worked the similar way.

Above is just a way I increase my want. I will be more than happy to hear your personal opinions. Have a great day.

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Man up..Tamil Cinema!

A beautiful girl walks the street, you look at her,  and you instantly “fall” in love with her. As some might call it, love at first sight. Now, what do you do next is the real question here.

If you were a normal guy from a decent background, you would go up to her and confess your love respectfully and in a dignified way and walk away from her if she says NO, and if you weren’t and your Instagram bio reads “cinema paithiyam” or “xyz veriyan””, then you’re going to probably do everything within your reach to “make” her fall in love with you. I dedicate this post to you, my friend. You think I’m typifying you? You’re thinking who is this guy blogging from some corner of the world? What does he know about love?

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I know you a little too well than you think I do! You’re in for a ride. First off, you are a movie freak and an ambassador of Hero Worship. You take movies way too seriously in life and you manipulate yourself into believing that incidents in your life are also loosely based on cinema. You listen to a lot of “Senjitaley” and strongly feel that “tholla pani alyaama theriyaama kedaikura kaadhaley venam venam”.  Well, definitely you have a Facebook account (psst) where you add strangers and send them inappropriate messages until they have no choice but to reply. You’re a non-believer of this lame concept of “consent” that everybody seems to be talking about. Your idea of love is a type of conquest and if you loose, your fragile ego is going to be oh so butthurt. Poor thing!  Portrayal of unrealistic women characters who do give a nod after continuous harassment and stalking has etched into your subconscious memory and asserted your insecurities with ” Yenna maari pasangala paaka paaka dhan pudikum”. I worry you will die single, if you don’t do these stunts. Hello, nice to meet you. Aforementioned actor has also confessed his bad dialogue/movie selection, he has also told he won’t do any more. But he failed to tell you that.

I wouldn’t blame the entire Tamil cinema.  In fact, we do have great personalities like  Ajith, AR Rahman, Maniratnam, Vikram, Suriya, Selvaraghavan who have gone on public record to say how badly Tamil cinema is taking shape these days and how fans need to be educated. Actor Ajith had gone to an extent wherein a scene in Vedalam he advices “Ponungala Vaazha vidunga” to a guy following his sister.

The intention of this post is to not to reprimand you, our Tamil Cinema movie makers, or anything, it is just to tell that these directors and actors are just playing their role in the movies. Their motivation is to make money and cinema is business. It is not a story with moral,  and cinema isn’t meant to teach what’s right and what’s wrong, your upbringing should. So the point is my friend when a girl doesn’t comply with you, kids cry, adults pursue, and legends respect her emotion and walk away.

Have a great day. Peace.

 

Ideal decision making! The meritocratic way.

Let’s say you have decision to make about your career or business or relationship. Importance lies in making the decision with right balance of assertiveness and open mindedness.

We are intuitively wired up to disagree with the opinions which we think are right. That is great barrier for self growth. Isn’t it?.. Imagine we are struck up with our own blizzard of information and ideology. Although it doesn’t make sense to be submissive to any opinion or be aggressive too. Both are wrong. What makes sense is to strike a balance, knowing that you can be wrong, and be bit open minded. That is not as easy as we think, as greatly pointed out by Ray Dalio,Founder of a world’s successful hedge funding company, we have two sides of us inside us. One is intellectual, our thirst to learn and know things. Second is emotional, which is millions of years evolution. The point we have to understand is we are all bounded by our own thoughts and ideologies. Belief that we are always right about it. Spiritually speaking that is what I believe as “Karma” . That may totally affect the way we live and the decisions we make. Especially for a person like me who wishes to be a successful entrepreneur,that’s a huge tip. The decisions you are about to make will save you a lot of resources.

Ideal meritocratic decisions are what going to help us make the ideal decisions. On an interview, Barrack Obama has mentioned the same thing. During his presidential regime, when he is bound to make decisions he is not proficient at or expert at, he calls experts in those topics, potentially people who disagree with each other. He observes the argument and disagreements and make the final decisions. Do not confuse this with democratic way. Democratic is never ideal too. What makes sense in giving all the members equal vote to give their opinions? There can be teachers,students and peers in the same room. It makes no sense to give the teacher and the student the veto power.

What are the internal qualities that we need to adapt to being open minded,receptive and be assertive at the same time? That is the ability to be intellectually inquisitive, that is what will make your journey. After the discussion, one person gets enlightened and other confirms his opinion. It is continuum for both the players. Once you have crossed the tunnel, you are never the same person again. Just like any good habit, you will never be willing to go back. Quality requires humility too, of course. So before making a decision next time thinking you are right, ask yourself, why do you think you are right?

 

Happy new year friends.

5 hours of problem-solving.

Hey all,

I have planned to code for 5 hours straight. I am not going to develop this time. The Plan is to solve medium-hard level SPOJ problems. The initial target was to solve 10 problems, but then I feel I am overestimating myself. Solving 10 problems in 5 hours can be bit far fetched to me. So decided to solve 5 problems in the end.

  1. Aggressive Cows
  2. Horrible Queries
  3. Julka
  4. Party Schedule
  5. Brackets

These are the problems I have picked for solving just by sorting SPOJ problems based on quality.

What am I looking forward to at the end of this code-a-thon?  The aim is to learn and improve problems solving. I don’t get time to learn new concepts, this coding extravaganza is a good opportunity to learn. So you see, the aim is TO LEARN AND IMPROVE.

Coding starts by  5 am and end at 10 am. Starting at this early hour is also a challenge to me. I haven’t done that before too. I will be simultaneously updating here at my blog. Just updates like my insights on the problem and stuff like that.

Good night guys! I am already excited, can’t wait for tomorrow. Wish me luck and Happy coding!

Thanking you,

Aakash Chandrasekaran

 

Edit

  • [5:13 am] Good morning! Without any delay let’s head to solve the first problem. AGGRESSIVE COWS.
  • [5:35 am] Was trying out my luck in binary searching for the largest minimum distance. But I was not able to prove the existence of solutions for the set {1,2,3,…,d-1} if the hypothesis is true for d. You know what I do I need the most to crack now? Coffee.
  • [6: 00 am] Binary searching over d can never lead to a solution. I just convinced myself because of this peculiar example. x = {1,5,7,9,14} has got a solution for d = 4(Cows at positions 5,9,14) but there is no solution for d = 3.  I should find a different approach to crack this problem.
  • [6: 16 am] Let me take a coffee break.
  • [6: 41 am] Let’s come back to aggressive cows later. Let me just solve the HORRIBLE QUERIES. I think it is just plain segment tree with lazy propagation. Complexity : Tree construction – O(n) , Queries = O(C*logn)
  • [9:04 am] Successful submission of HORRIBLE QUERIES :D. Took me a while to grasp the concept of lazy propagation.
  • [9:22 am] Moving ahead to PARTY SCHEDULE. Easy 0-1 Knapsack problem. AC!:D
  • [10:00 am] Time is up! I can solve two problems out of 5. I’ll upsolve them and will make a write up here again. Thank you!

Jan in a glance

Hey all, It has been a while I shared anything with you guys. So, lots of cool stuff to share.

First off, My work on Neural Networks has finally kicked off. We built a chess engine which could predict the exact move, given the board position. It is a pretty straight forward network(well..actually feed forward :P). It has 64 first layer neurons which take in the inputs for 64 squares on the chess board and 64*63 output neurons for all possible combinations. Training data was 1.8 million games played by chess grandmasters. We wrote the code using Keras, a basic python library, used for learning neural nets. Note, This is just a banal idea which struck me. In real life, this problem is really solved using Reinforcement learning. You see, things have really kicked off. Up next, We are trying to build a poem generator which understands the context of Shakespeare poems and mimics his works. Sounds exciting!!

Secondly, January 13th. It was my friend’s birthday. We had such a memorable day. We drove to Ooty and had her cake(duh!) cut. I really wanted to surprise her and thank god, she really loved all of it.But the most important part of the day was to Families for children. It is a home for underprivileged kids. We were there to make a donation and in turn learned that our approach to life is too parochial. They are happy with things they are provided with. I looked at myself, a twenty-one-year-old adult, who has been given everything which he has asked for. Still finding excuses to stay unhappy. Maybe, I am starting to realize that this self-content attitude comes only to people who have faced enough struggles. Mind you, the kids I am talking about here are merely 15 years old. In fact, most of them are 10. If you take mean and model their ages with gaussian distribution..Okay, forget it.You get the point.

Thirdly, My work with Cisco will be resumed this week, I am planning to complete it ASAP. Most of the work is repetitive. Just plain coding as of now. I haven’t learned anything new with Angular2 lately.

Finally, I am done with my Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineering. Phew. I did well in my terms, certainly, my performance cannot get me to doing masters in IITs or IIScs. I have to start applying to companies which work with products based on Machine Learning. I am pretty confused with my going. Really clueless where my life is going to take me. But hey, I am doing what I want now, Happy about that :). Great going Aakash! I have all the support from my parents. Thanks! Amma, Appa and Varsha! Love you all(Happy Valentine’s day to you people).

This is pretty much what has happened during January and mid-Feb 2017. Stay tuned.

 

To a prosperous 2017..

Sow a thought, reap an action;Sow an action, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. This brings out the need for a very concrete understanding of habit.

I see habit as a intersection of knowledge,skill and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and why. Skill is how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. These three factors are the major ingredients for developing a great habit.

In his book “The 7 habits of highly effective people”,Stephen Covey has brilliantly stated three phases to being a highly proactive person. In his words “Life is,by nature, highly interdependent”.

He emphasised on being a independent person first,which provides a smooth transition to highest state of interdependence. Because you see, interdependence is a choice only independent people can make.

Here we are in the concluding phase, talking about solutions to be more proactive.

Self awareness is the key. Project yourself , and analyze how better you could have reacted to the situations you face. Many situations in life needs introspection so that we don’t repeat that mistakes again. Allot time in your day for self introspection.

Secondly, languages of reactive people absolves them from responsibility. Avoid the usage of languages such as “He makes me mad”,“I can’t handle this environment”,“There is nothing I can do about it”.

Lastly, remember there are two circles : Circle of influence and Circle of concern.Circle of concern revolves around the things over which we have no real control. Circle of influence are things which we can do something about. Find out your circle of concern and react to that situation using your circle of influence.

Personal leadership is not a singular experience.Journey of thousand miles must begin with a single step. New year, new start and way to go. Happy new year  😀

With a bright but slow start..Here we go!

December has already begun and I haven’t done anything worth sharing yet. I know it is late, been busy my exams and project lately. Good. Here we go, This is my first blog post.

“If you aren’t failing you are not innovating enough” said the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk. Think for yourself, how many opportunities have you missed just afraid to face the failure? Just not wanting to test the waters ? Because that would be total disarray in our very simple life and we don’t want that. Innovating something tangible is only possible if we are ready to come out of our little comfort zone and get ready to fail. But wait, If you think that we are taught our whole life not to fail and suddenly this guy blurts asking us to fail??Boy Oh boy..This book I am going to read now is also meant for you.

“How the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and tesla is shaping our future” authored by Ashlee Vance. My friend gifted me this book.Man! I should thank her for that.

I am already motivated by Musk’s vision and work. Can’t wait to share it with you guys.Stay tuned to read my thoughts on this book. Peace.