In search of the stories I cannot hold in my heart
The Psychology of Money
Doing well with money has little to do with how smart you are and a lot to do with how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to totally smart people.
The Myth of Meritocracy
If you have been working in the tech industry for a long you might have seen the term "meritocracy" highlighted in every performance appraisal related email. When I was in my 20s, I used to believe that all these appraisals based on merit are correct to the dot. Little did I think about what is the basis for measuring merit and who decides this. It is when I am feeling stalled in my career, I gave some serious thought to it.
Every year I set out for a solo trip on my birthday. It has become a tradition over the years. So, when I moved to Shanghai, I thought I would have to let go of this tradition as I was completely new to the place. Apart from "Ni Hao" and desperate actions using hands, I could not utter any Mandarin word to save my life. Friends suggested to stay in Shanghai and enjoy the skyscraper view in a nice restaurant. But I needed greenery, a bit of tranquillity and I didn't have any clue on where to find that in the vast landscape of China. Hangzhou came up in a conversation with a friend just before my birthday and I realized that it was the perfect place for my birthday.
No grasp over the native language, a trek in the freezing winter with nothing other than normal running shoes to support me, and that, too, with total strangers - All these things didn't stop me from getting out of my comfort zone when I came to know that my days in Shanghai were numbered. Suddenly I wanted to experience all it had to offer. So one Friday evening, I wrapped up my work early and caught a bus to Yellow Mountain in Huangshan. With my zero direction sense and Mandarin knowledge, catching the bus itself seemed to be an achievement.
Carol Dweck's Mindset
In recent years, I have always been proud of the fact that I am trying out different ways to improve myself. I can tick off almost all the things that self-help gurus preach about and it had made such a huge impact on my life. I am hooked on that learning path. It has made me believe that our talents are not given away by birth and we can cultivate whatever skills we want to if we put our mind to it. This is the growth mindset as per Dr Dweck and a fixed mindset is believing that our talents are innate and cannot be improved beyond a point.
"Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would… and then someone passed me a bit of some sweet stuff, and suddenly I realized that I had been to China. So to speak. And I'd forgotten it…." - His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
Cal Newport's Deep Work
There is an email popping up in Outlook from the manager. Some people are pinging in Teams. The testing team reported a blocker and deployment is going on.
The Default Woman
Married, maybe with a kid or two? Definitely with a title Mrs. In recent years, whenever I book a doctor's appointment or even apply for a job, the default title is Mrs. Most of the time I have already told them that I am unmarried. But whenever I get the final receipts, I could see myself addressed as Mrs. Somehow the world does not want to accept me as an entity that can exist without relating to a man. During the first few instances, I was amused. Then as the years passed, I could see that people don't want to see me as I am. It is a common perception and I can't blame everyone for not being able to see a woman beyond these titles and tags. But it worries me a little bit more whenever I am getting such treatment from another woman.