Guest Post: Push the Limits

If you are a regular reader/ onlooker of this space, you would’ve noticed the process of reinvention of the blog (and my blogging itself) that is happening. I am turning the tables to make things more interactive between me and you. Vivek (A Level Headed Idiot) has accepted my offer/ challenge to be the first guest writer for Priceless Junk! Show some love, will you? :)

*Drum Rolls!*

Disclaimer: This is the first time that I am writing a post outside of my domain. (Ok second. The first one was about this meet up which had to summarized in less than 100 words). The owner of this blog thinks that there is nothing worse that could happen to this supposedly dying blog. Until I took up this offer to write a guest post.

There was a time when I thought I had reached the limit of my capabilities. A time when I thought that my day job (a day represents a considerable portion of the, erm.., day!) was the only thing to worry about. That any investment of time should go into getting better at one particular field, in my case, getting better at the only thing I thought I was decent at, which is programming. (Hey, don’t look at me like that! Software development is a good profession). Then I became a victim beneficiary of social networking. I found awesomeness all around me. Not so famous, yet talented people showcasing their wares. Flickr streams, blogs, sound cloud streams etc. These were common people doing extra ordinary things. I wondered how this was possible.

The realization struck me that these folks pushed the limits. They knew that they had to go that extra step to become better at what they were doing. Putting in that one more hour of work before going to sleep. Testing their own boundaries. Making an attempt to pursue what they are passionate about.

Then I realized that I wasn’t passionate about anything. Except my work. But then, when was the first time I tried something else? When that step started, I realized that I could do myself proud, no matter how mediocre the efforts are in the eyes of the others. Blogs happened. Photography happened. Reading happened. Having opinions about things around me and things that interest me happened. A more meaningful existence happened.

I understood why I liked the things I liked.

I like Opeth’s music because they come up with the most unexpected stuff each time. Surpassing the boundaries of awesomeness they create for themselves each time.

I like Manchester United because most times they are written off, they come back. Often from hopeless situations.

I like programming because every time people think that the limit with respect to complexity has been reached, a new language comes around which packs in more power.

I like sleeping because every time you think that you have had enough sleep, you still yearn for that extra 5 minutes of it.

I like things which are about pushing the limits.

PS : I took up the challenge of writing this because I wanted to push myself a bit to write something with a set deadline.
PPS : Look for inspiration around you. You will find a lot of examples of limits being pushed.
PPPS : Sorry for a philosophical post. I wanted to test myself on whether I could write such posts.
PPPPS : Sorry for too many “I”s in this post. Neither am I related to Apple’s CEO in any way nor am I a fan of their brand of innovation.
PPPPPS : Thanks for reaching this point. It means that you either read the whole thing or scanned for any PS-es.

CLT  : Enigma – Push the Limits

To plan or not to plan?

I asked this question on twitter and was surprised to get so many replies.

#Q – Is it better to plan your future or just let things “happen” and stay happy?

@dineshbabu – Your future already gets planned by what you do today, so just focus on what you are doing today.

@aarthycrazy – It not a Q of whats better. Its more a Q of who you are? I myself love life as it happens. It always thinks of sumthing to surprise U =)

@airr – I used to plan and even have backup plans …. now I have given up on planning.

@sneezymelon – The latter. Anyday.

@funthusia – Well that’s like sayng whether it’s better to know ur husband before marriage or (marry anyone) & just let things ‘happen’ & stayhappy.

@primaveron – I guess it’s good to plan ur future, but sometimes plans may change, and you shud be okay with it =)

@parambir – After 6 months of effort in planning my life, I found that my earlier approach of letting things happen was a better one!

Career Advice: A Letter

This is a letter that a friend wrote to me. I’m putting this here ‘coz I think I’m going to keep read it again and again for some inspiration. It reminds me of so many things. Things that I want but can never have. Atleast at this point of time. However, the person who wrote it chose to be anonymous. Tell me what you think about it and his views. I know everything in it is true, but sometimes, you just have to let go off a lot of things..

To me,

This is one big piece of career advice that I am going to give you. I don’t give it to everyone, but I think it’s important for me to tell it to you. If engineering doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. You will only lead yourself to mediocrity. And, India can do with a few more people who have rise above mediocrity in their lives.

There’s nothing wrong with mediocrity. What’s wrong is the mentality of people to eulogize mediocrity in such a way that even people with potential seem to blindly follow it. ‘Safety first’ is the resort of the weak (At least, in matters of the career). If you fear putting yourself through hard experiences then trust me you’ll never grow.

My advice may come across as unsolicited, and you can ignore it if you want. Or, you can think over it. Don’t, and it’s a don’t with a capital D, follow my advice blindly. And this doesn’t apply to just my advice… It applies to everyone’s advice. Don’t do anything just because your teacher’s and parents have coaxed you into doing it. Reconsider your options. Think over it.

Before choosing a career, there are certain questions that you need to ask yourself.

Like, what is it that you can do better than others? If there’s nothing like that, then what is it that you think you can get yourself to a level at which you can rise above mediocrity. Are you willing to work hard at your chosen line of work? Because, trust me… talent ain’t everything. A talented writer  isn’t really a good writer. A talented cricketer isn’t really a good cricketer.
There’s more to it than just talent. You can fool a bunch of average joe’s by your talent. But when it comes to being judged by people who really understand what you are doing.. it’s a different ballgame.

Anyways, it’s your life. You are free to do as you please. But remember, it’s better to try hard and not make it than not try at all. I am not saying this in a tone like your teacher said in a value education class when you were young. They were a bunch of hypocrites. Chances are they themselves didn’t try hard in their lives. You’ll find hypocrites everywhere. In fact, if I had a penny for every hypocrite that I saw, I’d be crusing on the islands of south america with a couple of brazilian babes in my arm.