I had a dream

Today I landed in Shanghai from New York for day one of my world travel. Do you have a dream in your life? I have had several dreams. When I was a kid, my dream was to eat as much chicken. The dream got fulfilled after I became an engineer, and I never have to worry about not eating as much chicken as I want. Then my dream was to become a top-notch engineer who can solve any problem that is thrown at him. That dream was fulfilled as I worked my way up to becoming a senior engineer at companies like Verizon and Ebay. My new dream for the past couple of years has been to travel the world and connect with people.

However, I felt I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have the financial means to do it, and more importantly, I didn’t feel I have the skills to connect with people. So I joined Toastmasters to develop the people skills to talk to people. Then I went through a coach training program to develop the skills to connect with people. If you know me, I am super frugal, but it gave me the financial stability. Because of my transformative work, I am able to fulfill my dreams to travel the world and connect with people. Today is day one of fulfilling that dream.

When you are pursuing your dreams, life throws bonuses at you. In my case, because of my coach training program, I became a professional speaker and a trained coach to help other engineers discover their version of the dreams. As I am traveling the world, I am also doing what I love – speaking at conferences and coaching engineers. Life is about discovering your dreams are and taking steps to uncover them. Please share with me in the comments below what your dreams are.

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What to do when your wife flips tables:

It was a date night with my wife, and we planned to see a movie. I asked my wife to hang on for a few minutes while I continued to work on a presentation for my speaking business. I was so focused on my project, and I lost sight of time. Fifteen minutes passed, and my wife was still patient, but after waiting an hour her patience turned into frustration, after two hours, her frustration became anger, and she yelled, “are you coming or not?” I was frustrated as I wanted to continue work on my project, and when she suggested movies to see, I reacted by yelling, “I hate these movie nights. We can’t even agree on a movie so what’s the point?” and continued to say “I would rather spend time with friends than doing these date nights,” her pale face turned red, and then I saw our coffee table flying in the air. 

I realized I had gone too far, and I hugged her tightly whispering “it’s ok, calm down.” She said, “I need to release the fire in my belly. I need to hit something” I was thinking, “please don’t go for my face.” So I guided her towards the bed and said go for it! She was able to release her fire by kicking the shit out of bed. 

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As my wife beat the bed I was thinking of the  opportunities this situation presented, and a quote by Bruce D Schneider came to mind, “life offers neither problems nor challenges but only opportunities.” Because of coaching, I was able to remain present yet unaffected and judgment-free! It was at that moment that I understood that “everyone does the best they can at any moment based on their beliefs.” Remembering these quotes helped me remain calm and enabled me to seek out the opportunity or silver lining as some would call it. 

The next day, we sat together to have a chat. My wife inquired why I wouldn’t spend time with her? I told her that I do not enjoy going to the movies and find it to be an anti-social experience and that we have a deep connection, and would rather be doing something fun that we both enjoy or hanging out with friends. Then I suddenly remembered something that gave me an aha moment. There were times when I  felt excited about movie nights, and it had nothing to do with the movie, it was all about the snacks! I rediscovered how much I enjoyed eating yummy food at the movie theater, but it wasn’t just at the movies, it was everywhere. 

My wife, being a great coach, was curious to know more about my relationship with food and started asking me clarifying questions. I was honest and vulnerable, as I  told her about not having enough food as a child. I explained the memory of always wanting chicken, but my parents could not afford it; I told her how that feeling of not having enough food followed me through life.  I became obsessive, and even my roommate had thrown me out of our college apt due to my excessive eating. My mother suggested I become an engineer so I could afford all the food I craved, which I did! To this day, eating great food is one of the primary purposes of my life. However, I  have learned to work it into my lifestyle in a healthy way and do things like go to the gym so I can enjoy food without the guilt! By sharing my most vulnerable thoughts, my wife could share her fears and feelings of abandonment, and I understood from a place of curiosity why quality time meant so much to her. 

In summary, this situation presented the opportunity for us to learn about ourselves and each other on a deeper level. There was a time when I avoided angry people because of memories of an angry father growing up. However, because of my training as a coach,  I was able to detach from anger or reaction. In the argument with my wife, I was able to be present, and judgment-free as my wife expressed her anger, beat up the bed, and did what she needed to do to release her anger. I didn’t take it personally because I understood where her anger comes from. This led us to a heartfelt, honest conversation. We were able to be vulnerable and as a result, my wife acknowledged my desire for great food and began cooking dishes that I love. I, in turn, am fully present for date nights. I even plan fun things that we both enjoy while fulfilling her need for quality time. Life provides us opportunities to grow and learn as long as we are open to see them and can let go of judgment. 

Here is a challenge: How we do one thing is how we do anything. If you can make a shift in one area of life where you are experiencing conflict, it will shift all areas of your life. In other words, if you can make peace in your personal relationship, you can make peace in your career, business, and every other relationship. I challenge you to look for the opportunity in a conflict you are experiencing in one area of life and do so without judgment and curiosity. It will quickly transform all areas of your life where you are experiencing conflict. Would love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments below. 

 

Life outside of my box

I come from a conservative Hindu South Indian family where being submissive and being predictable are considered the highest qualities. I have been handed the following script on how I “should” live my life:

Kids “should” get good grades and go to well-known schools.
By age 22, you “should” get a corporate job and get settled.
By age 25, you “should” buy a house.
By age 27, you “should” get married to a spouse from the same caste.
By age 30, you “should” pop out the kids to make your parents happy.
For the rest of your life, until you finally kick the bucket, you “should” pile up as much wealth as you can so you can be the hero of your kids and the son of proud parents.

However, I consciously have chosen to get outside of my own belief systems to live my own life just like I mentioned in the below speech I gave to the students of Columbia university in August 2018. I broke the tradition of marrying a woman within my own caste system by marrying someone from a country outside of my own.

In doing so, I had to answer a barrage of questions from my family and friends on the uncertainties of marrying a Chinese woman. They asked me questions like “How wealthy is her family?” “Will she divorce me and take away all my money like the spouses from western countries?” “Will she take care of my parents during their old age?” “Which country would we move to should our temporary U.S. visa get revoked?” Well, I did not have answers to any of those questions but I managed to convince them by telling them some cock and bull stories. Just joking. My wife has so many traits that makes her instantly likable.

The reality I haven’t shared with my friends and family until now is that my wife was at her lowest point in her life when we met. She hated her job, lived paycheck to paycheck and threw temper tantrums from time to time. She expected her husband to be her next savior, pulling her out of the trenches just like her dad did when she was younger. I could have easily let the dark side of our relationship and my family’s concerns confirm my worst fears but I chose not to give into them. Fears keep you inside of your box but I chose to believe in impossibilities and live life outside of my fears. My deep connection with my wife and her openness to see through our conflicts gave me the courage to overcome my fears, and I married her in March 2017.

Well, just a few months after our marriage life took me by surprise as I experienced unfamiliarity outside of my own box. We faced challenges in our relationship in the first few months of marriage but just like I mentioned in this blog post, I looked at every setback in our relationship as an opportunity to better myself.

Some unexpected opportunities also opened up as my wife’s own transformation inspired me on a journey to discover more about myself and the legacy I want to leave for the world. With her love, support and compassion she woke up the inner Gandhi in me and helped me realize the full potential of my true self. As a result, I reinvented myself as a speaker and a coach, living with purpose and greater fulfillment than I ever did.  I also learned that I can get a US green card from a Chinese wife, a possibility that could not have happened in the next 10 years if I stayed in my own box. Today we were issued Green cards.

What I want to leave you with is that, it is your choice to live inside of your box or outside of your box. I experienced greater fulfillment living life outside of my box. But I caution you that life throws curve balls at you when you are living outside of your box and how you respond determines the size of your life.

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Solution to solving the world’s problems

It shakes me to learn every day when I read the news about how the world is suffering from man-made problems. From bombings in Syria to nuclear threats by developed countries to terrorism and violent attacks and the list goes on. Being an engineer I learned that the only way to solve a complex problem is to break down the problem into a simpler form that can be easily solved. So the solution to all the complex world problems is breaking it down to solving my own problems first.

The fundamental way to approach a problem is to not look at it as a problem rather an opportunity to challenge me. It is like perceiving “climbing a mountain” as a problem that needs to be solved vs perceiving it as an opportunity to build my strength while enjoying the experience and magnificent views during every step of the ascent. When you take a positive perspective, the problem disappears and you start enjoying the process instead.

So to start with, I started acknowledging all the areas in my life that are making me live less than stellar life. Unfortunately, it takes me a book to explain how I overcame all the negative talk in my head. So in this blog post, I will take a stab at explaining how I addressed a specific conflict with my wife and how a similar approach can be taken to address border issues currently happening between different countries.

I always complain about how my wife does so little household work. What I later understood is that she does the best she can but after she reaches my expectation, in my mind I give her brand new milestones to reach. After a while, they become outdated as well and the process of setting new internal milestones repeat. I was being greedy. So no matter how much my wife did for me, it was never enough. If my happiness is based on how much my wife did for me, I will soon become a victim of my expectations. So the way I addressed is to give unconditionally instead. If I would like to have her contribution, I would express it as a wish and how I feel about my wish but take complete ownership of my own needs. Very quickly things took a U-turn in how I perceived life. The lesson I learned is that greed is part of being human. Once you can notice how it is making you a slave of yourself, you can rise above it to create a life of freedom.

If we extrapolate this solution to solving world problems, border issues like Jammu and Kashmir or Taiwan or Ghaza can be solved not by making arguments on why each country owns a certain piece of land and bombing each other. Countries can never have enough of what they want. Instead, if countries give selflessly by opening the borders to promote understanding, it can make a difference. As an example, India can open its borders to Pakistanis and help them understand how we feel about our insecurities around Jammu and Kashmir instead of trying to further provoke them. The bottom line is we are all the same in spite of our different belief systems. What I think we should really do to solve the problem is to declare Jammu and Kashmir as a self-governing state and designate it as a friendship zone for Indians and Pakistanis. In this friendship zone, radical Indian Hindus and radical Indian Muslims party with each other and do fun things like dancing, singing and dining together.

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So here is my solution to the world’s problems. Start with identifying areas of your life which are making you live less than stellar life. Are you being in the victims of your own greed? When everyone in the world can live a life of unconditional giving, there remains no problem to be solved in this world but only life to be lived.

Fathers are unsung heroes

Fathers are often underappreciated for their contribution to their family mainly because most men follow the belief system: “strong men don’t show emotions”. So it makes it tough for most men to connect to their kids though they literally sacrificed their entire lives for one and only one thing – to offer a quality life for their kids on a golden platter.

My relationship with my father took me on a journey from a carefree child to waging an uphill battle with my life, and back to becoming free again. He was strict, yes really really strict. He freaked out when I was hanging out with friends who he perceived as losers, he would yell when my grades went down, and he grounded me when I was partying after 10 PM. While the stringent childhood helped me earn a college degree and opened the world of opportunities as my father wished for, it also took a toll on my adult life as I was constantly afraid to make a mistake fearing punishment and society’s judgement.

However, all that changed after I met my wife who saw the best in me. Her transformation with coaching inspired me to hire a coach Neil Goldstein, an MIT graduate and now an executive coach who helped me gain awareness of my thoughts. I was able to reverse the negative impact my stringent childhood had on me so I could experience freedom again, caring less about what others think and instead following my heart. Today I see a life presented in front of me on a golden platter just like my father wished for, and none of this would have happened without my father’s fierce protection in my childhood. I could have easily become a drug addict, alcoholic, rapist, murderer or suffered depression as an unloved child – the qualities which are not easily reversible as an adult, but he did not let that happen. While my dad was tough many times, he ALWAYS cared and loved. Even as a kid I never questioned his steadfast commitment to my well being.

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To this day I cherish my self-restraint skills that my father helped me cultivate by being strict which helps me stay disciplined in areas I choose to practice self-restraint. Fathers are unsung heroes and it is true in my case. I have until now underappreciated my dad only because he loved me fiercely. If you love your Dad and haven’t recognized his greatness and love he showed for you, acknowledge him before it’s too late. Happy Father’s day Dad.

12 years to confidence

I would get mad at myself whenever I meet an interesting person and I can’t fully connect with the person because I couldn’t express myself. In other words, I couldn’t communicate even though I wanted to. This has been a burning desire since I was a kid. I always wanted to be able to communicate with anyone and everyone in the World whether it is Obama or a stranger I just met.

As a teenager I had crooked tooth, pimples, a fat face and used to be mocked at and made fun of by my friends. At age 19, when I was at a gym with my friend the trainer asked us if we are brothers. I was so happy to hear that but my friend on the other hand got so embarrassed as he got compared to an ugly me and so he thought of himself as being ugly. The embarrassment experienced by my friend is one such scenario where my self confidence got buried in the ground and made me feel unworthy of having a conversation with people whom I wanted to connect to. But I still had the desire to be able to talk to anyone I want without having any inhibitions.

To address this, I protested and forced my parents to get me the goddamn braces to fix my crooked teeth. After getting their approval and going through 2 years of ordeal and pain fixing my crooked teeth, I got some of my confidence back. By this time I am in America and I have also added more cardio to my workout to develop Lean muscle and ate healthy. Soon enough I had the first date of my life. Ooo, braces and changes to my lifestyle actually worked and I felt like a king experiencing the thrilling moments of having a girl friend at age 22. Lesson learned: Do whatever it takes from within your center of influence to achieve the goal you desire. In this case my goal is to develop my confidence and while I couldn’t change my facial features which are out of my center of influence, I focused on what I can change within my control – diet, exercise and the braces which my parents could afford. 

The first girl friend experience boosted my confidence levels which made me embark on a new Journey going out with more girls. After a while, I had a roadblock yet again. Because of the several jobs I switched, I have realized that there are not as many Indian women of my choice. So I had to cast the net wider and be open to women from other cultures but realized the limitations in my english to be able to communicate with them confidently. My incapability to express myself fluently made me go for Toastmasters where I learned Public speaking skills. It took about 4 years to gain the full confidence in my communications skills and cleared the way to connect with women from other cultures. At every point in these 4 years, I kept constantly going out with a goal to connect with more people especially girls.

Because I was constantly experimenting with what I learned by going out to bars, events etc…, I used to get immediate feedback and made changes accordingly by experimenting with different approaches. As an example,  I used to have wavy hair and I never applied any gel to it which kind of made me look like much older than I really was. I came to know when multiple girls I met asked me if I was 30 when I was actually 24-26 years old. One of them told me if I changed my hair style I would look much better. So I started to experiment with my hair. I applied Gel and went to the Club – No much luck. I dyed my hair and went to the Club – REJECTED. I cut it short and went to the club – Woohoo, got lucky for the first time and I was able to repeat the magic. So I stuck to short hair permanently. Lesson learned- Keeping the end goal in mind, continue experimenting with what you learned without being discouraged and you will ultimately reach your goal. 

After so much experimentation and failures, there came a time when I met a girl at Toastmasters. No offense but though I wasn’t a particular fan of Chinese girls, this girl had some kind of charm and bubbliness which made me look beyond the race. After a quick chat in the meeting room, we were ready to leave and got into the elevator. She is going to the first floor while I have to pick up something from the fifth floor. I told her I would be going upstairs and she offered to accompany me. The creepy dude in me gave fist bump to himself that I had this girl’s attention. But on the outside, I wouldn’t express any emotions as if there is nothing I am excited about. In this first encounter, we ended up talking for about 20 minutes after getting off elevator and that made my day, week, year.

In the next meeting, I have asked her if she would like to get an icecream. She said yes and we exchanged our ideas about what we want out of life. When we both opened up and had a terrific conversation, I figured she meets every “must have” quality on my checklist. I also learned from the conversation that her birthday is next week. So for the following week, I got a surprise cake for her at Toastmaster meeting even though it was quite uncomfortable for me to do so. Though I had several stories of being rejected by the girl and being outcasted by Toastmaster members because I bought the cake, she took it so well and thoroughly enjoyed the attention she got. All the members appreciated the gesture as well. Lesson learned – As long as you have the right intentions (in this case my real intentions are to throw a surprise to someone I admire and not really to make her my girl friend), get outside of your comfort zone and a magic might happen.

Very soon, I asked her again this time to go to a Hackathon event. She said yes and while at the event, we kept talking to each other fully disregarding what happened at the event. At this time, we both knew we are attracted to each other and so decided to go a bar instead. From there on, it was a terrific journey and in 1.5 years she ended up being my wife.

Improving my communication skills also led me to be a great networker. I no longer have any inhibitions or have fewer inhibitions when I am at a networking event or a company event where I have to meet a lot of people with different backgrounds. Just like I was experimenting by going out to bars, I was experimenting with my communication skills by going out to networking events. I also got immediate feedback at the networking events and so made several changes in my lifestyle like reading more articles to become knowledgeable in different areas, changing my dressing style etc…

It took me about 12 years to gain this level of confidence to be able to communicate with anyone I want without inhibitions. This is what I have been aspiring for since I was a kid. Lesson learned: Try to figure out what your calling is by listening to your heart. Even though I tried to convince myself that I am born to be an engineer due to my upbringing, I always subconsciously desired to be a public speaker and be able to express myself to anyone I want without any inhibitions. It is a great feeling when you achieve what your heart seeks to achieve and not what the society wants you to achieve. I still love my profession but it is just not my first passion.

Where do I go from here? My other burning sub conscious desire for the last couple of years has been to give opportunities to the people at the grass-roots level so everyone can live the life of their dream. Would it take another 12 years to get there? May be but based on my experience in the last 12 years I would like to make some predictions of my dream life. Only difference is this time I have a crystal clear vision as this is coming from the heart and not from my upbringing or fear.

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In my dream life,  I would have an influential voice like that of Obama or Gandhi or Pawan Kalyan (a famous actor from South India who is now a Philanthropist) or my Grand Father(a person his entire town would look up to for any kind of help or suggestions). All of these heroes empathized and provided for the less fortunate yet have the charisma that would draw people. I envision a world where everyone is treated equally and have equal opportunities irrespective of what color they are, how much money they make, what country or religion they belong to etc…  This is a crystal clear vision I have for my future. How do I get there? I don’t know yet but just like my vision of being able to speak to anyone I want came true, I am sure the vision of being a voice to those without a voice will also come true. I would like to declare this as my ultimate destiny and calling, and would like to do whatever it takes to get there. Whatever I do in life will somehow relate to this vision and if I die in the process I would like to be known as someone who died doing what he loves doing.

 

 

Humbleness is bullshit

Humbleness is realizing that noone is beneath you. While that is a great trait which makes you affable, it doesnt mean you are beneath anyone else. Most people misinterpret the meaning of humbleness and underestimate themselves.

Growing up in India at least in my community, obedience is considered the highest quality of a human being. If you are obedient, people will speak highly of you, they will adore you. However, if you are speaking your mind you will be shutdownI remember when I was in India, my cousin would hang out with her friends until 8 PM in the night and would wear jeans. When she goes back home, she gets rebuked by the family members who say it is inappropriate to hang out late in the nights and to wear jeans when going out. When she stands up for herself saying, I would like to wear whatever I feel comfortable in and raise questions on why celebrating a birthday party of a friend is a NO for her but YES for her brother, she would further get chastised by the family who judges her as having an attitude. However, if she obliged to her family’s wishes and wears clothes that they want her to wear, she is considered obedient and welcomed.

I have experienced multiple such scenarios that my cousin experienced which made me believe maintaining a low self value is what everyone likes and accepted in the society. There was a time when I lost my job and I claimed that I would be finding a new job in a week or two. However when it took me more than 2 weeks to find a new job, my family chastised me that being overconfident is the real reason it took me longer to find a new job. However had I said that I am a person with no knowledge and would take a long time to find a job but found a job in 2 weeks, I would be considered a super human and loved by the society. This incident has reinforced the need to undermine myself.

Having brought up in a society which celebrates putting down yourself as the highest value effected all areas of my life. For e.g., when I want to ask questions in a big conference, I would consider myself inferior to the speaker and so would hesitate to ask questions. Subconsciously I was thinking that just like I can’t speak up for my own values and expected to conform with societies expectations, I would question my own worthiness in asking those questions. No one told me not to ask such questions or not to question any wrongdoings that I see in my daily life but as human beings the wounds we experience in one scenario creates a certain kind of fear that registers deeply in our minds that shows up in other areas of life.

So lets think about what would happen if I consider myself a superhero. I would never hesitate to ask questions in a big conference as I would not consider myself inferior to the speaker or anyone else. I would speak up when I see any kind of wrong doing at my work or in society because I know I don’t feel  inferior to anyone else and I am not worried about whether other people like me or not. Instead my power comes from the superhero from within. He is a hero who believes in himself confident about speaking his own mind. This doesnt mean he puts down other people and makes them feel inferior. It just means that he speaks his own mind and does the right thing based on his conscience without worrying about the reactions of other people and desire to being liked and accepted by everyone else around him. This removes the mental block on anything that he desires to do. In fact, this is where a coach can help as they help their clients to see their greatness. Feeling inferior and unable to see the superhero from within is the most common blind spot every human being has.

As an example, all through my childhood I used to think I am very weak. I had always been physically active as a kid but never excelled in sports etc… However, after coming to America and after learning the importance of eating right, exercing correctly, I saw a super hero athelete in myself. It only happened because of personal trainers I hired who saw more in me than I saw in myself. When I would stop short of doing leg presses, they would push me to do more saying the super hero in me can do more. When I did believe them believing in me, to my own surprise I was able to accomplish more. Gradually, I was able to see the super hero athelete in me. I believed what my personal trainer believed in me. Soon enough, I became a rock climber, boxer and someone with huge levels of stamina. I would run half marathons without much practice and not feel exhausted afterwards. I would do intensive kickboxing sessions for 3 hours in a row. I would go playing basketball for 2.5 hours at a stretch. This is something I never thought I would be able to do.

However, this only helped in realizing my physical abilities but not in other areas as I did not have a coach to catch my blind spots in thousands of decisions I make on a daily basis. But what if you try a little harder to see the superhero in yourself ? What if you truly believe that the CEO of Google is not superior nor inferior to you? The next time you see him, how would that change your perception in asking questions or being open to learn? Oprah Winfrey says there is no difference between her and the people watching her and that the only difference is that we are given different purposes in life.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend who happens to be one of the most driven, creative and smart person that I know of. He told me that he was hesitating to call up a company which could potentially make him a world famous magician which is what he aspires to become. It suddenly stuck me that not being able to see the superhero in himself is what is stopping him from making that call. 

My wife keeps telling me that I am a smart person and a superhero and I always correct her that I am not a super hero and that I am not smart. Yesterday she reminded me how I came a long way having come from a small town in India now having the capabilities and confidence to do anything I want. That is a superhero in me I forgot about instead I beat myself up on how I am not good enough. She is not suggesting that I should be complacent with what I have. She is just saying that I can continue to embrace myself as I continue to expand my center of influence in pushing the world forward. 

In summary, you can all live more fulfilling lives if you see the superhero in yourself and stop misinterpreting the meaning of humbleness and obedience. 4 years from now if I happen to achieve the dream I am dreaming, most of the credit goes to my wife for her enlightenment and for being my staunch supporter and a cheer leader. 

Redux and React-Native

The concept of Redux is similar to the concept of  sessions in .Net world. Redux is a framework used to effectively manage the temporary information called State which can be used through the application. Examples of such temporary information could be data retrieved from database that needs to stored temporarily in a global object, in this case State, that can be accessed throughout the application.

Redux is a framework on its own and has nothing to do with react-native. In order for react-native to use Redux framework, react redux package needs to be installed inside the react native project using the below command line.

npm install –save redux react-redux

react-redux framework uses provider to connect react components with Redux. Provider establishes the communication between React-Native framework and Redux by using connect() which connects the components to the State of the application.

Redux manages the state using three important features: Stores, actions and reducers. Actions as the name implies is the functionality that needs to be executed like for e.g., saving a to-do list in the state. Actions are fed to the reducer which changes the state like for e.g., the logic to save the to-do list lies in the reducer. However, both actions and reducers are useless by themselves without Store. Store is the object that coordinates the communication between action and reducers by dispatching action to the reducer.

When the application starts all the reducers are ran and the corresponding objects inside the reducer are populated to produce the state. Since the state objects are pre-populated, any component can access the State using the function connect() in the Provider framework. These states can be later modified as necessary by dispatching an action. Note that there can be multiple reducers for an application to hold different forms of data like for e.g., to hold the name of persons and another to hold the details of each person etc..

Productivity tool 1.2

Though Thoughts tracker has helped me stay focused on the tasks at hand, I still realized that my progress on the App development has been slow. So I took some time to learn from what every other successful programmer has been doing and that’s when I stumbled upon this amazing book by John Sonmez – Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual.

Here are the key takeaways to improve your efficiency:

  • You don’t necessarily need to have an exact end goal in mind but you should definitely need to know the approximate end goal – your life purpose – so you can steer your career in that direction.
  • Break down your end goal to a clear short term goal.
  • Now that you know what exactly you want and in order for you to get there faster, you have to be efficient in how to learn faster.
    • Define your goal – what you would like to achieve with the programming language.
    • Do some leg work on all the resources available and pick only the best.
    • Skim through these resources to get a high level overview of the programming language and immediately start playing around with the code.
    • Now that you have  a lot of questions, go back to the resources and only learn 20% of the programming language in detail to achieve your desired goal.
    • Once you learn the 20%, teach the 20% that you learned by writing blogs or teaching students or making presentations at code camps, Tech meetups or posting videos on YouTube.
    • If you are still struggling, it might be due to the lack of understanding of some basics. If this is the case, go back and learn your basics so you will save a lot of time later on.

Out of all these points, teaching is what resonates with me the best. If I had to learn from my past, the only reason I landed a job at eBay is because of teaching SQL Server course to other DBAs which made me an expert in that area. Similarly not using the words I learned still makes me struggle with Vocabulary. From now on as soon as I learn a word, I will find a way to use it in a story and share it on YouTube.