Hello World !

Thanks to all who took time to send direct messages, emails and texts enquiring about the diverse topics discussed here and indirectly asking about my background :) Looks like half a tweet (70 characters) next to the profile picture does not do justice to the variety of topics discussed and to be discussed. So decided to write a few mins read to give a 300,000 ft view of the various interests that drives me everyday. If you are interested in the same topics, join the band wagon, let us travel together and learn from each other.

Whole is bigger than sum of parts

I find it very difficult to answer the question, “hi, how are you and what do you do ?”. Well, i am doing awesome and involved in many things with equal interest and intensity. The time dedicated to different actions are different but i find it very hard to identify me with just one aspect of life (career or family or social projects etc).

It would be super easy to say, i design digital products for a living but that doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t give a full view of who i am. What makes my resume is just one tiny part of who i am.

In my dictionary both terms (lifeaholic and workaholic) are synonymous. Looking backwards, i have seen deeper aspects of life through design and deeper aspects of design through life. When everything is life where is just work or just life ?

Tom Rath has given a great framework in his book Well Being to look into meta aspects of life by organizing them into 5 different facets (Career, Social, Financial, Physical and Community).

Interests

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily !

The activity that makes my eyes brighter and brings a smile in face every single time i do, i mark that activity as my interest. Picked such areas of life and the list is as below: <frameworks and meta thinking><building systems><digital products><design thinking><design doing><human behaviours and habits><enabling designers and makers><organic gardening><photography><productivity hacks><expressive doodles><wellness & fitness><cooking><real food><food anthropology>and <learning (any topic)>. That surely is a long daunting list!

Should i go about doing everything ? Should i crib, i don’t have much time and energy? or Should i curse myself for having many interests?

Design is the beauty of turning constraints into advantages — Aza Raskin

In the big picture, the constraint of 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and an expiry date called death (approximately around 80 years) pushed the thought process in a creative direction. In the picture of now, this moment is inevitable. Both the pictures are real and to be fair everyone has the same constraints. How is someone able to turn these constraints into something more meaningful ? What is the driving factor behind their lives? What do i want to do with the budgeted 700,000 hours of my life ?

Passion

The set of activities that brings a smile to me every single time i do and keeps my commitment ON every single day and touches a few lives in the planet positively, i classify that activity as my passion. In my opinion, passion is not to be found but to be developed. To develop a passion, mindset, skillset and toolset is important.

Balanced people don’t change the world. Those who change the world have an unwavered focus, deep commitment and great intensity in moving one inch ahead of yesterday.

Going by the definition of mastery, i have spent 40000+ hours in designing products and i seem to still have the smile every time i do it as if it is a new day.

When your passion meets profession, you have hacked the time constraint.

Design

My passion is to build products so that they meet the needs & wants of the user functionally, emotionally and purposefully. In doing this for many years, i realised my job is all about enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness for the user and thus impacting their lives positively. Sometimes efficiency follows effectiveness and in some vice versa.But why care about efficiency and effectiveness? If the user saves more time of his/her day by being efficient &/effective, the time can be spent in more meaningful activities and in-turn be more joyful. Fundamentally, pursuit of joy and happiness is what is driving us to do stuff.

Mindful Habits

Talking about efficiency and effectiveness, i realised there is a possibility to auto-pilot some parts of life using mindful habits and store the willpower and motivation for things that cannot be auto-piloted. When design thinking is used to design larger systems, is life not a system to be designed?

In that light, I have developed a framework for Mindful Habits using the big ideas of behavior sciences. I personally use it every single day to keep me more efficient and after enough experiments and evidence i do coach a small group of people helping them to design a life they want.

Food

On an average my grandmother spent about 8–10 hours in the kitchen, making real food for every single slot of the day and for everyone in family and in neighbourhood. Cooking is a joyful activity and in my eyes it was alchemy. She just mixed up a few things, processed certain ways and used earth, water, fire, air and made something magical out of it.

On the other hand my grandfather spent 8–10 hours in the field everyday where he harvested paddy, corn, sugarcane, maize, veggies and flowers from seeds and saplings. My uncle took care of the goshala and the poultry, where he fed the cows carefully every single day. he knew when they get hungry and he also knew what to give them and at what times. Growing up in such an environment my awe for real food was inevitable.

Later i travelled around the globe and saw different parts of the world eating differently and i was fascinated by cooking styles and recipes. The underlying pattern was similar in all cultures, atleast in all grandma made food. what is falafel in Greek culture is Vadai in south India, what is momos in tibet is modakam in south india !

Taking my interest one notch above, i joined hands as an investor and a partner in a healthy food chain called Soups n Salads in Hyderabad to impact lives positively through real food. Here we are striving to reverse diabetes, obesity and other lifestyle disorders by eating right.

Perspectives

Everything is a remix in this universe. The creator has done a magnificent job in creating this grand system and many intricate systems inside the big system. A few wise souls have decoded the creation and shared their wisdom as big ideas in many formats. While everything is already in place in this grand universe and many folks have already walked the path, shared their learnings in many formats, it puts me in ease to travel the path i have chosen without worrying about finish lines.

Inspired by the Lattice Work of Charlie Munger, I have my own system of frameworks to decode different parts of life.I gathered them over a period of time by listening to many teachers, reading many books from great authors, connecting dots between streams of life, trying stuff in life by self and above all constantly learning, reflecting and repeating.

If some of these topics interests you, we should engage and learn together (follow, comment, recommend etc) here !