Saturday, June 06, 2009

Hasty Generalization

All of us know that before generalizing something, we need to have looked at many instances of it. One day, my friend said that Europeans don't behave properly, the reason being that he met an impolite European. Another day, another friend of mine, said that he stopped buying from a particular brand, since he had bought a particularly product from that brand that unfortunately turned out to be defective. All these, as you can see, are generalizations based on a small number of instances - in this case its awfully only one. In fact all of us do this, including me. All of us try to fit a model for anything we see, try to sketch a character to a person just as we see (even before we interact) and in many cases say negative things about a product even before it is released. Imagine what will happen if your interviewer is such a person?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Personality Test - 3

Check out my personality test results two years back. And this one's now.

You Have A Type A Personality

You are hyper and energetic - your mind is always active

You tend to succeed at everything you attempt

And if you don't succeed at first, you quickly climb your way to the top!

You could be called a workaholic, but you also make time for fun

As long as something is competitive, you're interested

You have the perfect personality for success in business and athletics

A Roadtrip to Malibu and Achieving your childhood dreams

It was a dream come true. I have so long been waiting for this to happen, right from my childhood. Ok, not necessarily my childhood dream, but as an adolescent I always wanted to drive a car and I wanted to drive into the longest of roads, all alone, on a silent morning, away from the city.

The fascination was fueled by the fact that I never got a chance to do so while in college or school, but I don't blame setbacks. Driven by passion, I decided at the start of the semester that I will learn driving and get a Californian license. I had an Indian license (its easy to get one, especially if you have money - sad but true), but I knew how good my driving skills were. I decided to give the written test and took the first available appointment. Gave the test, passed and then on a Sunday I called up this guy called Joe who runs a driving school here. I took three classes and then I passed the driving test on Wednesday. Once the license came on Friday night. I immediately applied to Zipcar. Monday I got the card.

I wanted to drive - badly. I was but not confident though. I never took a car all by myself. There would always be a guy sitting next to me, pressing the brakes whenever I hadn't. I didn't know what to do. Gradually my temptation overcame my fear and I took a car on a thursday morning when the traffic was low. I enjoyed it, but not so well. I felt calm for a few more days.

On the same week on saturday, I again wanted to drive, this time I wanted to go on the freeway. I badly needed somebody with me to boost confidence and two of my friends had told me that they would come with me for a trip to Santa Monica. We had planned for Sunday evening. On saturday evening, they pulled out of the equation. I felt like a child crying for his stolen candy.

I couldn't sleep that night. I wanted my candy. I was afraid though. And it was no fun to go to santa monica beach all alone. I didn't know what occured to me then, I woke up, switched on my computer and booked a car for the next day morning at 6:30am! Then I slept, peacefully.

The next day, I woke up even before my alarm went off. I prepared myself and finally went to the place to take the car. I was a little more confident because this was my second time, but I was no more feeling nervous to enter the freeway.

I drove my way to glory and four year old in me kept smiling all throughout the way. I went to Malibu, the famed Hwy 1 also known as the Pacific Coast Highway. The scenery was breathtaking.

It was a peculiar moment for me. Even though I fumbled around not knowing how to fill gas in my car, even though it was weird that I went 30miles along the road and took a U turn to return back without actually doing something, I cherish that day till now.
Not only this, I did get these goals sorted out recently:
  1. Learning to swim - learnt it last year.
  2. Learning piano - going to classes this year.
  3. Being able to earn money - I bought a laptop for my sister.
The whole episode might sound funny to you, but believe me, if you ever dreamt of something special for a long time, and if you worked towards it with your full heart, when you realise the dream, you will be the happiest man on the earth. So was I.
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Randy Pausch, my hero

Randy PauschImage via Wikipedia

"Randy Pausch, the professor at Carnegie Mellon University who inspired countless students in the classroom and others worldwide through his highly acclaimed last lecture, has died of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47."

No, I couldn't have done it. I couldn't have talked to a thousand tearful audience without breaking down had I been in Randy's position. I couldn't have the amount of energy and verve he showed had I known that I will die soon. I couldn't have not talked about how I am the most unluckiest person in the world to have been subjected to this fateful destiny. Randy is my hero.

If you haven't listened to his last lecture on "Really achieving your childhood dreams", then I suggest you do so now.

Even though its totally unjustified that I blog this to honor this legend after months that he attained his peace with God (on July 25, 2008), I pay my tribute to the soul who motivated a million people around the world including me.

I always say to myself that life must go on, no matter whatever happens, for tomorrow will be a better day. Many days I wake up thinking how good life is ahead. But I am not sure what will happen to me if I were told that I could start counting my days. My entire happiness and enthusiasm would come to a screeching halt. I know I am not brave enough to face death. Not many do.

While Randy was flickering in the dark, he lit the light for millions of people. His energy and enthusiasm was bigger than life. He didn't fight a war, but he fought death. He was brave till the end. "We don't beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well", he said. "If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."

Thank you Randy for showing me the way.
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