Archive | April 2016

Strategic thinking skills

Do you have it? if so, what is your strategy for everything you do in life?

Every game played with some goal in mind, strategy in place, would have better outcome than going with the flow, is it not? The strategy game that always comes to my mind is Chess. Growing up, I played several times with my brother only to lose 95% of the time. My goal of playing the game was to protect my king and his was to strategically place pawns to attack my king from all possible ways.  I drew the game more towards withdrawing than actually played up. I thought, I was never going to be good at and so gave up all together. I thought, I did not have any strategic thinking skills which are so required to play that game. Thought, those are inherent and cannot be learned.

As I started listening to this audio book on strategic thinking skills, they spoke about several sports, wars, political agendas on how certain teams wins over the others despite both of the team goals were to win. The audio books and myself does not really work well together, the moment a thought is shared by the author, my mind wanders back to my life experiences and how I have reacted or would react in such situations? The chess was part of the same thought process. The author said – strategic thinking can be cultivated and it is a learned trait. And this led me to a discussion about how I felt about me when it came to chess game.

The points that came out of the discussion were:

a. Chess like any game requires practice, the more you practice, the better your brain learns about all possible moves and you tend to calculate in your head, eventually learn to play with a plan.

b. There is some emotional aspect to the game, if you lose game several times in a row, especially when you are starting out, it is easy to lose focus and interest, feel let down and that impairs your moves or strategy.

The very fact that it was computerized, it is the possible permutations and combinations that were fed to be played mechanically. It is hard to beat a computer but it isn’t possible. Computer here is a collective intelligence, learns when it loses and the more you play and win against it, the probability of winning for computer only increases.

Switching back to the topic at hand, the author emphasizes the fact that- one should have a goal, and should work towards them. Spending just 5 minutes a day towards your long term goal is more than enough to feel rooted instead of wandering. Checking the progress weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly will tell you how far you have invested should be measured with some parameters that are helping towards your goal.

The satisfaction you get by achieving what you tend to is equally gratifying. It is totally possible that you may or may not achieve your goal, but that you have given all you could makes a lot of difference in your mental health. This thought also brought back me to my growing up days of praying. Praying as a kid for me was to think about what I want everyday and work towards it. It was that simple.

Most of the times, i think life is short to get to do so many things that i want to do in life. The list is endless. And other times, I feel, I lack something in life, something that I miss. I have everything a person(?) wishes for and yet there is something amiss, and it is very hard to figure out what I want in life. Heard of Maslows hierarchy? I cannot even say such statement, there is this side in everyone that I met. Every single person. If you touch them enough, there is this side of it. In quest of “who I am and what am I here for?”  do you think, we need a strategy to get to bottom of this? Buddha or Dalai Lama or Vivekananda or Aristotle or not-so-famous person-that-I-do-not-know-of-yet and many more.. their philosophies which I have not heard or read yet, might give me some insights ? May be, may be not. We shall see.

Wonder, how i drifted from having some goal about something to another? Happens. It sure feels bit heavy. I am sure, you are entertained by these thoughts by our amazing brains as well- is it not? what’s your take on this?


One of those days

I am the epitome of executing Murphy ’s Law this morning. I woke up early to get to have an early start at work.  Food was prepared yesterday for dinner and today’s lunch, packed, dishes cleaned. All I have to do was make chapathi’s for two this morning before heading out to work. I skipped making chai, hurried to make chapathi’s – all of it took from waking up to stepping out – exactly 1 hr 10 minutes. I could not believe myself taking so much time. Every minute counted and every step evaluated to the T the day before and yet I am so late. Then, I rushed to get to the bus, and it was so full that it did not stop, so I hauled my way in the windy cold weather to the train station. There I come, with no trips left in my train card, morning rush with long lines to get the train card re-filled took forever, to top it my numerous attempts to fill it failed with access denied. I had to switch to another card to re-fill it, and in the process I missed the train. The next train I caught, was full with barely any space to stand comfortably, luckily I got a seat and I felt slightly better given that nothing worked out as I wanted until then.

Every minute delayed, only got added to my target arrival time at work. I had some paper work to finish and that required printing and scanning, the sad story that at this unfortunate time, I was out of ink in my home printer – so this planning was important as the documents needs to be scanned almost urgently and sent out to the parties involved.

As soon as I came, I just had 4 minutes to fill out some paper work, print, scan and send – this took me good 20 minutes. I delayed by 18 minutes than promised time frame. I planned everything so well and thought I gave so much buffer time for myself, alas, it wasn’t.

That surely is interesting start of the day – I hope, there are not many anomalies in my TODAY.

Do you have such days? How do you deal with it?