Racing ahead of race
Getting in top 5 percentile in exams, getting more revenue than competitors, making art piece that grabs most attention . . .
I think we have all measured our success by the way we stands in competition. Some of us, have come out as successful in the race we choose. But the hardness of race, makes us like Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), who has everything, but can’t smile. The currency of success may have changed from cash in pocket to likes on facebook, but drive for success has been resurrecting.
And why won’t be, racing ahead gives us the necessary adrenaline rush, to push ourselves off our limits. But there are a few questions which comes to my mind.
If life is brief, why should I keep racing? Why not explore and experience life intensely. Why constantly be treated like a ill patient? For example, “Do 10$ course and secure a job. (P.S we will cure you)”, “Become an IITian, and make your parents proud”, “World’s largest startup summit”,etc. The show off of elitism is killing the tiny little spirit of genuine exploration which I am worried about. Everywhere I go, the superfluous marketing is making us less of human that we are, and more of a rabid rat in this never-ending mindless race.
I come from Data Science background. I initially wanted to learn engineering, and thats why got into job. Then realized I wanted to explore the myseries of world by probabilistic models. This drove me into IISc, to pursue Deep Learning for masters. I then realized, that unless I have difficult problems to apply my knowledge, I will not gain insights, so I went into industry as datascientist. But now, in late 20’s a realization is dawning on me, which want’s me to do something which I really really want to do. I though of PhD, the idea of doing research is great, but the idea of constantly publishing, constantly getting better results, keeps giving me red signals. What if my work is of one of its kind? will college invest? . Probably I don’t care, if I am able to be the best researcher, all I care is, how much care I have given to the minutest detail to my best extend, above all, how thoroughly I have been involved ,got interesting stories and unraveled new patterns?. Thanks to my exposure to arts, that I am able to express my difficulty.
Why are we able to enjoy cooking more than 9–12 hours of work we do? Why is walking on a street, having random chai discussions, more fun at times than all the things you consider the most ambitious things you want to do in life?
Because you don’t judge your success/failiure in cooking, you don’t attach too much meaning to cooking in your head. The result is, that we tend to pay attention to small details more in cooking, and are deeply involved.
It takes great practice, to not attach meaning to the things you are deeply involved for years. And this is the kind of practice, we need to groom. Otherwise, we may all end up carrying heavy heart, long serious lifeless face. This is exactly what is happening with many of us.
Do you remember the first time you wrote the code or drew a painting? It was soo much fun, wasn’t it? Because we were not some boggy in race that time. We were simply enjoying the process, without being overly judgmental.
So, the question is, do you value your success more, than life-involvement ? Or is life-involvement more important than success to you?
In layman terms, I want to ask “Do you want to sell the best cookie in world with 99.999999 precision or wan’t to create a create a restaurant where chef’s dance,sing and cook their heart out. Where all the cookies are not best cookies, but certainly both chefs as well as customers enjoy the warmth, the stories, and the songs”
So, I decided, I want to work towards toppling this narrative. Hans Zimmer once told, “you don’t need all the expensive equipment to become best track, even if you have are on street, you can come up with it. A good story can come from anywhere. Sometimes shortfilms shot on mobile turn out to be great ideas”
I want to make curiosity,stories and songs more important in machine learning. I want to create a space, where narratives are more than just being clinical.
Perfection is a fake idea, there is no perfection. The singularity of measure of perfection essentially reflects the myopic vision we have. In that, the idea of having one vision, one race where all rats run, completely destroys the brilliance and genius of a collective mind of society. Why do you want to repeat someone else’s success ? such a boring thing to happen?
“How should I do my work? with passion? with attention to small details? ” should become as important as “What should I work on? What should I achieve ?” Most of the romantic movies have same similar high-level story-line, but we all know how residual impact of each movie is different.
Only time can tell, if the rebel in me, will bring out a fresh new story in world, or will eventually be the same narrative. But let me try, let me take my baby steps? Who knows, I might just end up surprising myself ?
The only goal, I have set, is that no matter what path I choose, the intensity will always be top focus. Each day, I wake up, having more passion, intensity than previous day, in the limitations of my work area, is what I will value more. Cause life is brief, these big dreams of success sold are truly meaningless in large large scape of time and space. If you are honest with yourself, you will not lie to yourself into believing in those dreams, rather use them as fulcrum to infect others with your intensity.