Snorkelling vs. Scuba Diving
I’m quite tired of people thinking it’s supposed to be easy.
That is has been for anyone.
That it will/should be for them.
That it is anything but a struggle.
This is a tweetstorm I did on the matter that covers one aspect of it.
- There are entire worlds to discover in anything — its a question of if and how badly you want to.
- Because discovery is fun to start with. But as you go deeper — it typically always has a painful / not pleasurable side.
- One can choose to be superficial in our discovery and experiences — and just enjoy that joy, beauty, pleasure — and move on to the next.
- But if/when you really want to discover more of that thing — all its multitudes — that takes effort. Is painful. You see the not nice stuff.
- You went to Leh? Fucking beautiful no? Stick around. The lack of infrastructure, education, conflict, everything — you’ll start to see it.
- And then it hurts.
- I’ve seen for myself, and others, this hold true across literally anything. Places. People. Work. Skillset. Activity. Book. Anything.
- What I’ve also realised is that while being superficial and discovering more worlds leaves us with more pleasure — its deeply unsatisfying.
- Because say what you will about pain. One only takes it on when we believe something is worth it. And satisfaction comes not from joy.
- But from having fought for something that we believed was worth it. Even if we don’t win that fight.
- I’m going to extend this and talk about other examples and how I see it applies to a lot of us, and myself.
- There is a romantic / sexual angle to this, which, honestly, is obvious as hell, so I’m going to not deep dive except for the next 1 tweet.
- Lots of flings and superficial love, vs. deeply loving someone(s) — discovering their flaws, their weirdness, and occasionally, staying.
- Let’s take travel. Back from my Eurotrip + what I see around. So many of us want to travel just to check a box. Or ‘mein ghoom ke aya’ or ..
- But I assure you; picking a single place and discovering every facet of it, every little thing, every dialect, person, … is beyond beauty
- It is also very painful. To take the pains to deep dive — resources + opportunity cost and what not. But it leaves you full. And content.
- In a manner I could compare it to doing a PhD vs. picking up a whole bunch of elective subjects over the years etc.
- It’s not ‘fun’ to go to the same place, do similar things over and over, I’m sure. But likely to come a point where there is an Aha! moment.
- From my own tiny experience, that Aha! >> the Aha! from a superficial new experience. [Build your own analogies maybe to compare.]
- Let’s talk about work / skillset. It’s so bloody fun to pick up a new artform / coding language / … and to start to learn it.
- But, once we know the 4/10 of a particular thing, the journey from there and beyond is mostly a struggle. to get from 4 -> 6 -> 8 > ..
- It’s hard. It’s annoying. It’s a fucking fight. It’s a lesser perceptible ROI. It’s a struggle to even be motivated to continue.
- But know what; it’s only that pushing oneself + that progress, that you look back upon with any degree of satisfaction. It’s never the 4/10s
- that make us happy. It’s the 9/10s we went mad for. The 8s we fought for. The 6s are okay okay. The 4s often leave me with regret/wonder.
- I say this moderately confidently. Over my years, I’ve explored a LOT of art-forms, studied many different subjects, but not stuck to many.
- I’ve travelled to twenty odd countries, and in India quite a fair bit as well.
- Came a point where (in some aspects of life), I began to see this argument above, and started to deep dive (and it hurt) on certain things.
- I moved from 4s on things, to 6s. Some I got to an 8. Far fewer (if any) a 9/10. But I pushed. And push.
- And fuck the pain, but it’s having got to that point on something that truly makes me happy. [And allows me to add value in whatever way].
- I wonder if I might’ve pushed ahead on something else instead of what I chose — but that’s something I’ll never know, + learn to be ok with.
- Most things in life follow a bell curve. Likely that the distribution of “things in life that follow a bell curve” is a bell curve itself.
- It really isn’t satisfying to be in the belly of that bell, across a lot more ‘things’, but far more to pick a few to be on the fringes of.
- And in the course of that — of course, be in the belly of a couple of others — which is okay. But strive for the fringe of a few.
- In terms of CGPA. ‘6iya (chaggiyan) bahut hain duniya mein. Har ek course mein. Har ek class mein. 6iya ki koi value nahi hai. 9hli bano.’
- I of course don’t mean study to be a 9pointer (lord knows I didn’t), but pick the few things in life you want to be a 9pointer at.
- Be mature enough to understand that that involves sacrificing other things you could be a 6 / 8 at. But that’s okay. The 9 is/will matter(s)
- As an extension — one hears a LOT of people say — What we say no to is more important than what we say yes to. I think it’s a similar logic.
This is what I believe. This is what I live. This is my struggle.