Shitty Stuff! — Quotidian 389

(Transcript of video originally posted on 25 Apr 2022)

Let the fragrance spread far and wide. Have you had your food yet? Oh, you are going to eat only now? Careful… Today’s topic is kinda…. Well, all I can say is, this is not a program you can watch “while you are eating”. You’ve been warned! That’s all I can tell you! Let’s get shit done!

Namaste!

A few months ago, I came across this content creator on YouTube. Ankur Warikoo is his name. A Kashmiri. An entrepreneur. An author. A speaker. He has written a book called “Do Epic Shit”. Very interesting. I finished reading it over the weekend. And, … I would strongly recommend not only his book but also his YouTube videos, his Twitter channel, if you are interested in learning from other people’s mistakes.

In fact, this is the Table of Contents. About Success (and Failure too), Habits, Awareness, Entrepreneurship, Money, and Relationships. This is what he has talked about in that book. It is almost a random collection of tweets and posts and other articles he has written over the past ten years perhaps.. He and his team have put it all together and made it a book. A bit repetitive… And, occasionally, there seems to be no beginning, no end, no connection, no continuity. Sometimes…

But, I kept looking. That word “Shit”… he has used it in the cover, pretty boldly. I searched for it inside the book. For that word or phrase. Surprisingly, strangely, almost zero occurrences of that term. Yes, he talks about how he got things done, he gives advice on how to set goals, how to actually think about habits and not goals, a lot of advice like that. But, he hasn’t used that word inside that book.

He also tells us, in the foreword itself, that his book is like a “Book Cricket” book. Do you remember how you used to play that game? Sitting in the last bench at school? Take any random book, flip to a random page, sum the digits of the page number, and that determines whether your virtual batsman gets runs or gets out! He claims this book to be one such book! Jump to any page, on any day! It is almost like “Shitting”! Once a day! Go to any page, and, read, understand, imbibe, implement.

I remember another book that does the exact same thing. It is by Richard Bach, and we have met him earlier too, when we talked about Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the bird story. This is another book by him, titled Illusions. He talks about a book inside this book. That the hero goes around, toting like a diary. In his hand. And, whenever he is stuck, whenever he is in a dilemma, he just goes to that book and opens a random page, and there, would like the answer he is looking for! That would be the interesting movement described in that book.

They say this even about The Bible! On the other hand, in a Church, a priest who had researched the scriptures quite well, once quipped… The Holy Bible is to be read, analysed, and pondered over deeply, from the start to the end. It is such a book. Don’t go in search of random messages. He gave an example too, from the Bible itself. For example, you may jump to Matthew 27:5. And, immediately you may be taken to Luke 10:37. Guess what would happen then? In Matthew 27:5, Judas throws away the silver pieces and hangs himself to death… And, in Luke 10:37, the verse goes “Do likewise!” “You also should do likewise!” — A passage, really with no connection whatsoever to Matthew 27:5. Is this a good message. So, the Bible is not to be read like that is my simple, humble recommendation.

Coming back to this book, one amazing thing that I really loved about the Do Epic Shit book was the Failure Resume. He talks a lot about the mistakes he made in his twenties, and in his thirties, about money, about relationships, about time, and he says, these are the lessons I learned. And, he publishes something called his Failure Resume. These are not my achievements. These are not the things that I am really proud of. These are things I am ashamed of. These are things I goofed up in. These are things that I made terrible mistakes with. But, these are the lessons I learned alongside! I failed.. I learned.
I failed… I learned. I failed… I learned. Goes his resume. It was so interesting! I am going to recommend to all my juniors to actually come up with a Failure Resume. If your Failure Resume is empty, something is wrong somewhere. You haven’t probably been trying hard enough. Experimenting enough. Innovating enough.

Okay, alright, is there something we can share, about Shit, in true Quotidian Style? I wondered. I went rummaging into my archives. I came up with three. Here is the first one.

We have addressed this quite some time ago. Where, knowledge is for Sharing. And not for Hoarding. And as an example, and as a simile, we had seen the phrase “Knowledge is like Cow Dung”. If you pack it, all the way to the ceiling, inside a closed room, it will stink to high heaven! On the other hand, if you spread it far and wide, knowledge, cow dung, it becomes manure! Useful for everybody, including you! So, knowledge and Cow Shit!

Okay, what is the second shit we are talking about? The second one is a beautiful story my aunt used to give me. She lived in Mumbai. And this aunt told me… The definition, the defining characteristics of an idiot, is just this: The fool gets shit in three places!

Whaaat? What would that mean? An idiot, walking, steps on shit. See what happens.

Alright. He has got it on his foot.

Ouch. He has got it on his fingers!

Ouch. He has got it on his nose!!

Yes, of course, one needs to be curious. But, morbid curiosity? With no rational thought behind it? You step on something… Wanting to know what it is, you will take it on to your fingers, wanting to know what it is you will take it to your nose? And you will get it on your nose?? A fool. Gets it in three places. Rather than one. Interesting, nah?

The third piece of shit that we are going to talk about today, is from this movie. Based on a book by Agatha Christie, called the Murder On The Orient Express. Hercule Poirot. An amazing detective. The world’s most famous detective! That is whom this book is about. In this cinematic rendering of the story, Hercule Poirot is walking, and he steps on to something. See what happens. See how Zen his approach is!

See how he defines the problem… If only we too, adopted this approach to all the shit that comes our way, rather than try and be clean and completely untouched by everything, can we calm ourselves and say, “Hey, Symmetric! Perfect Enough!” And move on? I thought that was a great philosophy right there!

For the Closing Thought, I wanted to just offer a connection. Suddenly it occurred to me that there is this English word called nincompoop! Stupid person! Nincompoop… is a silly, foolish, stupid person.. Has the word “poop” sitting next to it! I have nothing more to say!

Let us meet again on the 28th!

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​Welcome to Quotidians — a humble attempt to bring a smile to your face… as I connect the commonplace everyday nuggets into meaningfully connected insights.

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Rajendran Dandapani

Rajendran Dandapani

Business Solutions Evangelist at Zoho Corp. President at The Zoho Schools Of Learning.

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