I do not think anyone can even minusculy challenge the hypothesis that our parents have been the biggest rockstars of our life. And that’s why I do not want to establish how much we all owe to our parents, but rather the importance of this act – more like an open (private) letter to parents.
This is especially important given the sharp generational shift we have seen with joint families giving way to nuclear families – which may beg the question of what’s the ROI for all the hardwork done by our parents. I wonder, if our parents, actually think about it. I think they do. And they should. Everyone should. This question is important, not only as a reminiscence tool for them, but also for us youngsters as we map out the next 30 years of our life and which leg of this optimization equation (in simple words – life), should we place more weight on.
And while the conclusion will vary significantly across times and spaces, I believe they contribute more to the society than they give themselves credit for. Most of us, start off with massive goals in our lives – on how we will change the world, and in a typical probabilistic fashion – many of us fall short of that. Not short of doing well in the life, but short of bringing a holistic change. But, what we do not take into account is that the studness of our professional life/personal life is determined in a large part also by how we have raised the next generation. And, how much will they achieve in life. There has to be a kickback to the generation above – for the goods and the bads.
The quantum of opportunities given to me, my friends and my wife is way different and way vast from what our respective parents had. Which means, we are one step closer to doing, what should be done. The output will vary and is yet to be seen. Maybe we will do something that extends beyond our immediate lives, or we will kick the can down the road again. But, the point is that our parents have done their job. Something that they should be proud of and should take a lot of credit for. Not all of us can be the Elon Musks’ or the Tesla’s, or the Raghuram Rajan’s of the world, but some of us will be. And it is for this small set – that the act of child-raising and investing in the next generation (at a personal sacrifice) becomes important. And it is for this importance, that our parents should feel massively proud of what they have been able to achieve in their lives.
Yes – some of them have been left back. Yes – many of them will not even be able to see how much the next generation has achieved. But – they have all achieved something which we all (including their younger selves) aim to – going one step closer to making the world a better place – for our family and hopefully, for the rest too.
OK – So the advent of Winter has ironically put an end to my hibernation. The inactivity, though not something to be proud of, has definitely helped. The absence of something is enough to make you iterate its importance, and it seems like thats exactly what has happened here. But anyways, coming to the main topic, I had been looking out for a job for the past few months – something which is almost a requisite to complete your banking experience these years. And boy, did I end my banking virginity with style. So, while there will be a follow-up blog on this, I think its important to line up my key learning items from this
- Be clear about what you want. Get your priorities clear. Stick to it.
Oh man – is this important. It helps. Definitely helps.
- Persistence is your biggest tool
This is true not only on a micro level, which is on a per application level – but even the larger picture, governing the kind of opportunities you pursue
- Remember what brought you here; Keep up that confidence
- Help comes from unexpected sources
- The most expected support functions will bust off
- Keep individual conversion probabilities low; macro probability high
- Friends and personal support is important; Will surprise you positively
- Use this time creatively, follow your passions and network
- Mood swings are common
- Things work out.
Its quite unfortunate that my case has not been a role model on many of these parameters, but that does not take away the lessons I have learnt from this.
Life changes, and keep putting things in perspective, sadly almost always different.
Things change. Even more so over the generations. I have seen romantic relationships all around me, and have been fortunate enough to be involved, both actively and passively, in the much unfortunate conclusions. It has made me wonder, whether the rise of feminism and the subsequent female prominence has led to the demise of the fairy tale love stories, or should I say has redefined the meaning of love.
People get into relationships. Very happy. Both find the relationship extremely successful and sprinkled with all the cupid lovey-dovey signs. Yes, it is a typical fairy tale story. However, the end is not so the same. Soon, and almost invariably, there lies a twist in the tale, a choice. A choice between circumstances and the feelings. Based on my rather immature observations of this world, rarely do the feelings overpower the circumstances. And, almost always, its the fairer sex in conflict. My statistical sample set can obviously be flawed, but the more I move towards successful aware women, the more I have found this trend to be true.
I, justifiably, am not in the position to pass any judgement over the actual reasons behind this nor do I want to. It can be that highest levels of satisfaction need to be granted to each, can be the skewed gender ratio, or any of the incomprehensible forces at work. The redefinition has however added a materialistic and yet mature outlook to the way the relationships are viewed. The families play an equally important role, and so does the status. The feelings play a role, but then its no longer indispensable. Makes sense too. Feelings can grow over time, but bank balance or status wont overnight :). Jokes apart, the change has been radical and theoretically extremely interesting. A sociologist friend of mine is hoping to explore this further, as a part of his research.
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.