Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back to blogging world

I had been away from the blogging world for quite a while (more than 6 months), but now I am back! In these 6 months, apart from the usual activities, I got myself married to a wonderful gal - Gayatri - and life's never been better :-)

Looking forward to blog more !

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 29 - Healthy mind in a healthy body

The past few weeks have been kinda busy/lazy. However, one positive thing to have happened is.. I started playing table tennis again after a long hiatus. Though I spent precious few hours playing TT, somehow I did find it rejuvenating. I am sure I am going to continue playing going ahead.

I also bought a couple of new books.. and I am reading them in stages. No point in finishing them in one go, and forgetting all about them later on. I only wish I had a couple of hours everyday exclusively for reading activities!

Ciao,
Ketan

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Legend of Federer - and the chinks in his armor

Today I witnessed one of the greatest Wimbledon finals of all time. Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick in an epic 5 setter, which perhaps was more intriguing than last year's Nadal slug-fest. However, for the first time, I saw that Federer was beaten mentally by Roddick. Roddick showed the same character and attitude that has become a hallmark of Federer. He stood toe-to-toe with the great champ; it was just that he was on the wrong side of the line.

Roddick came up with such an aggressive and courageous display of tennis, that Federer was taken aback. Federer had beaten Roddick 18 times and lost just twice before this match. Federer has also openly mentioned that he would rather face Roddick in the final. But the Roddick we saw today, was a man on a mission; and he threw everything at the great Federer.

The only thing that saw Federer through today, was the fact that he had done it before. This was the 4th 5-setter in a grandslam for Roger, and only the first for Roddick. In the deciding game of the final set, Roddick committed a blunder, which clearly was a sign of having butter-fingers. After the win, there were no tears of joy from Federer, and neither was he kneeling on the ground. He just jumped in triumph and was already at the net to congratulate Roddick.

Federer did not win the match, Roddick lost it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dice

Einstein said - God does not play dice. Then how does God 'play'? The sequence of events that is happening around us - for us it is random; but for God, is it all known, programmed or wired in some way? I have resigned myself to an understanding that my teeny-tiny brain is incapable of comprehending such things.

Contemplatingly,
Ketan

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mundane week

Nothing worth mentioning really happened last week.. but yes, I managed to sleep for more than 9 hours; that is the longest ever on a working day!

I also came across one nice quote - "You cannot think while you are running, and you cannot run while you are thinking". Very apt for a person like me, I am always on the run!

Well, take care for the rest of the summer.. and be good!

Ciao,
Ketan

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The weeks that were

Dear all,

The past 2 weeks were fun. The current work at my hand in office is coming to an end, and it was a time to ensure that all the things that were done in the past 3 months were put together correctly and delivered as per plan. So far so good, the next week will tell if the efforts bear fruit.

On the literary front, I had spend few days reading about the book about Einstein Thinking, and then found an urge to read a good old book named Moonstone. Its a short detective story, about a valuable stone - The Moonstone - that has a curse - whoever owns it, will die a terrible death. The stone passes from one person to another in London, until it finds peace in its original Indian temple. It was fun to read it after a long time!

I also got my CD Drive rectified, and now, FINALLY, I have a chance to listen and see the Celine Dion songs I had bought in London. God knows, I was in heaven for quite a few hours over the past couple of weekends :)

I just bought The 7 habits of Highly Effective people 'again' today. You see, I seem to have lost the old copy, and well, it was rough and tethered anyway. Nothing like having a fresh start in a fresh book, eh?!

On the health front, things have been OK. I mean, I haven't done a lot of progress with my exercise regimen, but nonetheless, I do make the most of it over weekends. I wish I had half an hour every day to spend on working out!

Until next time,
Ciao!

- K10

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Attempting to understand Einstein

Hi guys,

  I am now cruising through a book called 'How to think like Einstein'. It has been a jolly good ride so far, there have been interesting instances mentioned from famous people's lives. There are quite a few insights into handling any problem and arriving at its solution. Below are a collection of 11 steps mentioned for solving a problem -

1) Initial Problem Definition -
Define a problem in less than 25 words. This helps in knowing our own focus of the problem well. Now analyze if it is an 'enabling' problem, ie., do you really need to apply special techniques to solve the problem, or if it is solvable by just following simple rules.For example, you dont need to apply Einstein thinking to pass your exams. Just read regularly and you will achieve it. This technique is for solving the seemingly unsolvable problems.

2) Problem Hierarchy -
  Now that you have a solid problem defined for yourself, identify answers to these question - a) What is the higher level need? What will a solution achieve? What are the self-problems and what are the real problems? As they say, if you are a hammer, everything appears to be a nail. Basically, check what exactly needs fixing.

3) Ignore limitations -
  Identify all areas that you may need to touch upon to solve the problem. Now identify which of all these resources/areas pose a limitation. For example, there can be limitations due to red tape, attitude of people, etc. 

4) Ignore old answers
  Ignore straightforward and apparent answers. If they are so easy, the problem could already have been solved. This is not a road-not-trodden. Instead, derive alternatives which can work.

5) Simplify
  Define a simpler version of the problem. Remove all the preconditions, half solutions and excess words. Free it from the baggage that makes a solution difficult. Einstein once said that the laws of physics are simple. When someone asked him what would he do if they weren't, he replied - 'Then I wouldn't be interested in them.'

6) Identify rewards.
  What will you get after arriving at a solution? Create a mental image of the same. There is no bigger incentive than seeing your goal within your sight. As Neo is taught in The Matrix - Believe, don't think.

7) Identify failure.
  What will happen if there is no solution? You will feel guilty you never gave your best? Possibly hundreds others will have to bear the brunt of the issue. Apart from the rewards, only the fear failure can be more motivating.

8) Resize the problem. 
  Too large problems are usually unattempted because they seem unattainable. Too small problems are ignored because they seem too trivial. Resize the problem to encourage your action.

9) Evaluate your motivation.
  Ask yourself these 3 question -
A) Do I believe this problem can be solved?
  B) Can I solve it?
C) Will I enjoy solving it?
  If any one answer is No, then you need to go back and correct the problem or your attitude towards it. If you think about the problem before you have your breakfast, then you are going to solving it. If you think about it as soon as your alarm goes off, then you are going to solve it pretty soon.

10) Focus on the problem.
  Now that you have put a check on all the 'human' things that could go wrong, focus on the core problem and solve it.  

  There are several anecdotes, quotes and short stories mentioned along the way. Mentioning few of the quotes (most of them by Einstein) here -

1) There is nothing that is more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over and expect the results to be different.

2) The whole of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.

3) To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.

4) When the solution is simple, God is answering.

5) In the fields of observation, chance only favors the prepared mind.

6) The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

7) Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.

8) A man always has two reasons for what he does - a good one, and the real one.

9) When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

10) Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be.

I hope to uncover more wisdom as I progress through the book!

  More later.

Regards,
Ketan