Do you ever feel like a “fraud”? Do you ever feel that you would be exposed soon? Do you feel that you simply inherited your qualities and accomplishments, and got everything easy by just being lucky —that you might not really deserve the success you enjoy right now?A friend of mine, Reshma, recently became the new tech head in a startup. She is
Last night, I was reading the memoir of a best selling author. Here’s an excerpt:“When I was growing up I had the great privilege of being home schooled. For me that meant personalised attention, learning at my own pace, more discipline, and ultimately being able to graduate a few years early.”“Once I realised that unlike other kids in the neighbourhood I
Neha is a business development manager who is trying out a new business idea. She has been told by her superiors that it’s very tricky and most likely it won’t be successful. But she feels it in her gut that her idea would work.With her good argumentation skills she happens to persuade her bosses to give her the go-ahead with this
Sarah is an amateur singer. She sings in house parties, and friendly gatherings. She sings pretty well, and actually enjoys it too. She plans to make a career out of it.She participated in a local signing competition recently, but wasn’t able win. Her friends suggested to go to a singing class and take proper voice training which she has been resisting. She
When Niki walked into her boss's office, she had the letters spread out across her desk. Niki's boss was waiting for her. “You'll never be successful if you behave like this,” her boss said. “It's only a 8 rupee stamp (~$0.10), but this inattention to detail on a larger scale is going to sink you.”Niki had put the wrong stamps on envelopes.
Between Dec 28th and Jan 5th I’ve been getting daily emails from Headspace (the meditation app) to get on with their premium plan at a 40% discount.I’ve also been getting calls from that one Pilates class I had taken almost a year back. They are generous enough to offer me a 25% lifetime discount, provided I take up a 6 month
Recently my girlfriend finished reading the Harry Potter series. She read the books back to back, page after page, one after other.Immediately after finishing the last book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,) she picked up Six of Crows. But she some how found this book a bit hard to follow in the first few pages itself.Six if Crows is extremely well
In their book Medication Errors: Causes and Prevention, professors Michael Cohen and Neil Davis talk about a strange case of the “rectal earache”.A physician ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient suffering from pain and infection. Instead of writing out completely “Right ear” on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it, “place in R ear.” The duty nurse
“It’s either this, or war.”When a politician says something like this, people go crazy. “War?! OMG! if those are our only choices everyone better get onboard with whatever this is, pronto!”In the above quote, “this” is usually a proxy to get anything accepted, no matter how absurd, as long as it is less extreme than war.When one option is jumping
Imagine you have to hire a secretary. Both the candidates have identical qualifications and experience, but you find one a bit more attractive than the other. Who would you hire?Think of a real life situation in the past where you might have had to make a similar choice. Who did you pick?Or, take a different example. Imagine you’ve just witnessed a
Vivek is twenty-nine years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. He has a degree in CS from IIT Bombay. As a student, he has actively participated in sports, and also represented his college in several national competitions.From this description, does Vivek look more like a software developer, or more like a software developer who is active in sports?If you have picked the
The other night my girlfriend asked me, “What do you want to have for dinner, rice or chapati?”It was a simple question, but I had a hard time answering it. In my head rice and chapati had equal weight, and I had no plausible reason to choose one over the other.Choice is perceived as freedom, but sometimes between a rock and a
“Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young WertherAn intern fails to deliver a project report to you on time. You think he doesn’t respect your authority. A colleague ignores your feedback and goes ahead with the design. You
In 1969, Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist had two cars to spare and decided to conduct a small experiment. He arranged to have one parked with its hood up, open doors, without license plates, on a street in the Bronx, NY - a place that was poor, dangerous, and full of crime. The other one was parked on a street in Palo Alto, California,
Few years back a friend of mine had a burglary at his home. Valuable artefacts had been stolen. But the police refused to file and FIR, even after so much of pleading. They listed down the items that had been stolen, but in no way could we persuade them to file an FIR. They gave us all sorts of reasons, some useless, others false.
You got on YouTube and search for “camping hacks” to help plan your next trip. You see a list of videos. But you don’t want some random amateur giving you advice, so you naturally pick the video with higher views. Why?You are on your way somewhere. On the road you encounter a group of people, all staring at the sky. Without even
Between $50 now and $100 a year later, chances are you’ll pick the first one. Why wait so much for an extra $50, and who knows what happens in a year, right? Now, between $50 in five years, and $100 in six years, nothing has changed other than adding a delay, but now it feels just as natural to wait for the $100.
If you pick a random early stage founder at a business conference and ask him about his opinion on bootstrapping vs. raising money, chances are, it will be far more descriptive about himself and his experiences than informational about the topic.Similarly, a political analysis, good or bad, unless the source of the statement has extremely high qualifications, the statement will be much more
In Homer’s Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters sirens on an island whose songs are known to charm sailors into madness, causing them to cast themselves into the sea off the sirens’ coast, and perish.Odysseus had the reputation of using guile to overcome stronger opponents. He fills the ears of all his men with wax, to the point of total deafness, and has
“Where are the pictures of those who prayed, then drowned?” replied the 5th century BC Greek sophist Diagoras “the Atheist” of Melos, when shown some painted portraits of worshippers who prayed and then survived a subsequent shipwreck.This is the problem of silent evidence. The drowned worshippers, being dead, did not get a chance to advertise their experiences from the bottom of the sea.
I get irked by loud people in meetings. Especially the kind who stay fixated on a idea or notion of their own, who don’t bring much to the table, and make a lot of unnecessary noise to prove their point.I’m sure you’ve met such clients and bosses - the ones that need to be convinced of the most obvious of
Consider a bet of $1,000 you are considering putting money into. It’s a coin toss. Nobody is cheating. You know it’s absolutely fair. You know you will have either zero or $2,000 in your pocket by tomorrow night, depending on whether the coin gets tails or heads, each with a 50% probability.The expected outcome of the bet, i.e.