In an F1 race, the pitstops made by the racers showcase something extraordinary.

The crew needs to be extremely quick in making the changes to the car, so that they lose very little time on the clock for the race.

They need to be extremely accurate in making the changes, or they would be endangering the safety of the driver.

Our decision making ought to be like these pitstops, where we are maximising both our precision and our speed.

This only comes with experience.

More time spent getting better at something and learning the context, the faster and more precise we can be at it.

In order to solve for ‘x’, the whole equation is necessary. It can’t happen in isolation.

Having a good understanding and awareness of the situation we find ourselves in is important for us to figure out where to go next. It can’t happen in isolation.

More often than not, we confuse the current situation with an ideal situation and try to optimise for that instead.

That would be the equivalent of solving for ‘x + 3 = 8’ instead of the equation we are originally presented with.

Take a step back. Get a good understanding of the situation. Then find the answer.

It is natural to tend to compare ourselves with how others are doing. Especially those whom we consider to be similar to ourselves.

And such comparison often kills our joy because we are more likely to notice the things that we don’t have than the things that we do.

So, popular advice is to avoid comparing ourselves to others and to compare ourselves to our past instead and notice the improvements.

Yet, comparing ourselves to others and the sense of competition that brings with it can be a motivating factor for us to go out and seek to be more than what we are.

As with everything, this act of comparison can both be good and bad depending on how much of it we employ.

The trick is to strike the right balance.

Public companies optimise for their earnings over the timeframe of a quarter, the frequency at which they need to report their earnings.

Somebody eating a slice of dessert is optimising for the momentary happiness.

Somebody preparing for a University entrance exam that is two years out is optimising for their happiness at the end of that two year period.

Starting with momentary happiness, we can choose to optimise for a timeframe all the way up to one that spans our entire life.

The timeframes that we choose to optimise for determines our everyday habits.

The longer the timeframe, the stronger the faith that we need to have that whatever outcome we are thinking about actually delivers us happiness.

Without that faith, we find it easy to stop at the first obstacle.

Our emotions are involuntary responses to the stimuli that we encounter in the world. When the emotions are voluntary, in the sense that we decide to feel a certain emotion and showcase it, then that’s labeled ‘faking it’.

We can train ourselves to feel a certain way when we encounter…

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable, while wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

This is a quote I came across recently but can’t find the right attribution to.

Wisdom is about how best to put to use the knowledge that we have acquired.

While knowledge is a pre-requisite, it isn’t sufficient in itself.

What we ought to aim for is to gain wisdom.

Live like there’s no tomorrow, but plan like you’ll live forever.

That’s the philosophy that the CEO of Mid-Day Squares outlined in a podcast interview recently.

These are two extremes.

To live like there’s no tomorrow is to maximise joy in the moment and to live without any worry. At the same time, planning like we’ll live forever is to prioritise the long term over the short term and to carefully consider the consequences of today’s choices on what’s to come tomorrow.

When distilled, the advice is simply to seek balance. To not over-do or over-index on anything. To not completely give up on living with joy today in the hopes of a pay-off tomorrow. And it is also not to over-index on having a blast today without a thought to the negative consequences that will play out tomorrow.

The important thing to seek to achieve is balance.

While playing football, when you find yourself in a goal-scoring position, if your mind starts thinking about the celebration that you will showcase after scoring or about the reaction from the audience after you score, you are likely not going to make the right connection to score in the first…

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast with the founder of Mid-day Squares, a company that manufactures and sells chocolate bars.

The founder talked about how they chose to own the manufacturing and distribution as well rather than just focus on branding and outsource the manufacturing and distribution as there…

Kumara Raghavendra

Writer. Comedian. Product + Data Science @ Booking.com. Discovering the world, one idea at a time.

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