Snorkelling vs. Scuba Diving

Scuba Dive. Don’t (only) Snorkel.

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.

  1. There are entire worlds to discover in anything — its a question of if and how badly you want to.
  2. Because discovery is fun to start with. But as you go deeper — it typically always has a painful / not pleasurable side.
  3. One can choose to be superficial in our discovery and experiences — and just enjoy that joy, beauty, pleasure — and move on to the next.
  4. 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.
  5. You went to Leh? Fucking beautiful no? Stick around. The lack of infrastructure, education, conflict, everything — you’ll start to see it.
  6. And then it hurts.
  7. I’ve seen for myself, and others, this hold true across literally anything. Places. People. Work. Skillset. Activity. Book. Anything.
  8. What I’ve also realised is that while being superficial and discovering more worlds leaves us with more pleasure — its deeply unsatisfying.
  9. 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.
  10. But from having fought for something that we believed was worth it. Even if we don’t win that fight.
  11. I’m going to extend this and talk about other examples and how I see it applies to a lot of us, and myself.
  12. 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.
  13. Lots of flings and superficial love, vs. deeply loving someone(s) — discovering their flaws, their weirdness, and occasionally, staying.
  14. 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 ..
  15. But I assure you; picking a single place and discovering every facet of it, every little thing, every dialect, person, … is beyond beauty
  16. 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.
  17. In a manner I could compare it to doing a PhD vs. picking up a whole bunch of elective subjects over the years etc.
  18. 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.
  19. From my own tiny experience, that Aha! >> the Aha! from a superficial new experience. [Build your own analogies maybe to compare.]
  20. 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.
  21. 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 > ..
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. I’ve travelled to twenty odd countries, and in India quite a fair bit as well.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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].
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.’
  35. 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.
  36. 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)
  37. 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.

What’s yours?


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