Heroes – Fedal

24 Sep

I, I will be kingAnd you, you will be queenThough nothing will drive them awayWe can beat them, just for one dayWe can be heroes, just for one day

― David Bowie, Heroes

They are my heroes for twenty plus years.

Rafa Nadal said in Laver Cup 22 presser about Roger Federer” One of the most important player in my career. I have been a friendly rival, not easy some times because we are playing for such important things for our tennis career but at same time we were able to understand personal relationships are more important than professional things in end.” Australian Open tennis on its social media feed captured the Laver cup moment as ” Biggest rivals, best mates.” Tony Nadal has spoken about Roger’s humility after beating Rafa in straight sets in 2011. They are both great champions and humble. Rafa did not celebrate after beating Roger in french open in three straight sets in 2008. They are legends and humane.

So much of life is wasted on hatred in the name of competition. Nandan Nilekani Infosys co founder when asked about productivity tips said ” I have no negativity.” I thought that was profound learning.

I had moments of anger, deep suffering thinking about difficult situations in life. Those were weak moments. I wanted a negativity free life. So focused most of energies on wisdom and sports. In my case spirituality, meditation and running, cycling and little bit of tennis. I read in a book about a seventy year old preparing for a black belt in karate and when he could no longer pursue that goal and still kept practicing and listed his goal as ” Wisdom and Vitality.” I will probably end up like that.

I have written about Roger Federer. What can I say? He is most beautiful tennis player as John McEnroe says. He also is most humane champion. I also like his love of family, wife, children and parents. He said about his journey ” It has been a perfect journey, I wouldn’t change anything..” in conversation with Jim Courier at Laver Cup 22. The bond he and his wife shares is most beautiful. He said in Laver cup conversation his wife has been “supportive and could have stopped him form going on, but didn’t and supported him.” Beautiful. Incredible champion and a true role model.

Spare thought for equally great and humane champion Rafa Nadal. Those Laver cup moments brought tear to everyone including yours truly.

Thank you Roger Federer for deeply magical tennis. We are just incredibly lucky to witness that kind of sublime tennis and a great great champion.

This is for Fedal. I want to say this time:

Vamos Roger!

Sincerely, Suresh

References:

Image gallery – Rafa Nadal academy social media

Nandan Nilekani interview with moneycontrol.com

PEAK – Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Laver Cup22

David Bowie – Heroes

Expertise and Roger Federer – notes 18/9/2022

18 Sep

For anyone in the business or professional world looking for an effective  approach to improvement, my basic advise is to look for one that follows principles of deliberate practice: Does it push people to get outside their comfort zones and attempt to do things that are not easy for them? Does it offer immediate feedback on the performance and what can be done to improve it? Have those who developed the approach identified the best performers in that particular area and determined what sets them apart from everyone else? Is the practice designed to develop the particular skills that experts in the field possess? A yes answer to all those questions may not guarantee that an approach will be effective, but it will certainly make that much more likely.

― Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Am a  long time generalist  learning about expertise.

What is deliberate practice?

Deliberate practice develops skills that other people have already figured out how to do and for which effective training techniques have been established. The practice regimen should be designed and overseen by a teacher or coach who is familiar with the abilities of expert performers and with how those abilities can be best developed.

Deliberate practice takes place outside one’s comfort zone and requires a student to constantly try things that are just beyond his or her current abilities. Thus it demands near maximal effort which is generally not enjoyable. 

Deliberate practice involves involves well – defined, specific goals and often involves improving some aspect of the target performance; it is not aimed at some vague overall improvement. Once an overall goal has been set, a teacher or coach will develop a plan for making a series of small changes that will add up to the desired larger change. Improving some aspect of the target performance allows a performer to see that his or her performances have been improved by training.

( much more)

― Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

These are few principles of deliberate practice. There are more pointers in the book. 

Its easier to codify and measure progress in some fields – music, sports, medicine where you can learn from experts and have standard training practices. I think all professionals like  accountants, architects or  lawyers has some form of internship or real world training to develop skills. Although there are coaches for business and life too, It must be nuanced and contextual. I have no idea. It must be hand holding and  some kind of support to cope with challenges. A structure might help. My go to manual of brokenness and  intelligence Leonard Cohen said about going to  Zen monastery ” By the time had finished touring, was drinking bottles of red wine, my heart was in tatters for number of reasons. I needed some kind of form and structure. I went up the mountains and lived there for five or six years.”  Not exact words perhaps but more less in a television interview. We all need form and  structure to govern our affairs.

We all need expertise and guidance. 

Am bored of do -it – yourself (DIY) mode of living. I still can’t do much of mechanical and utilitarian things. I recently needed some help to attach velcro pouch on cycle. Am challenged or is it anxiety. I need to meditate and develop some expertise.

I want to become an expert. I want to study. Am making honest overtures. Earlier never thought about expertise. The only people looked up to were doctors. Life also happened that way. I pretty much subscribed to Philip E. Tetlock’s finding that all expert predictions have as much accuracy as dart throwing monkeys. By the way  life  was no different from dart throwing chimpanzees. I came to know of this study from a Vinod Khosla Stanford GSB lecture. 

While have worked in three or four areas, want to specialize. I don’t talk about resume or work as this blog is  about a journey. Being honest to yourself is the most important thing said one of my favorite sports person – MS Dhoni. Am from MSD school – Be calm, focus on process and  take game deep. 

I intend to study Anders Ericsson seminal work. Good books are not easy reads. Remember 10,000 hours. It came from a Ericsson paper but he say’s 10,000 hours popularized by Malcolm Gladwell  to develop expertise is a half truth. The truth may be much more hours. That’s another post.

A great master. True expert. A great champion of sport Roger Federer has decided to hang up his boots at the Laver cup. I have been watching tennis from a young age and liked many players – Bjorn Borg, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer, Simona Halep, Martina Navratilova. Chris Evert, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Gustavo  Kuerten,  Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and more. I have never seen a poet on court in life time of watching  and bit of learning tennis. Roger federer is a poet and his game is  poetry in motion. He is so sublime like a ballet dancer. Like Mikhail  Baryshnikov of tennis. He made the game look easy and effortless. There has never been a more beautiful player of sport. Although a die hard Rafa fan but it’s Federer’s game that love. I think he played like Stefan Edberg. Edberg also coached Federer later in life.

I think there will never be another Roger Federer. Am sure about that, he combines beauty, class with excellence. He was the first man to win 20 slams. In a way Roger Federer set the benchmarks for Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. He was the mount Everest of excellence. I think Novak might end up with more slams and  Rafa will win more of those super human  matches and titles. They are all very greatest – all of three of them. Roger paved the path in a way. Thus he is unforgettable champion.

Forget about expertise. Roger Federer and Michael Jackson also have perhaps given maximum happiness to world with the beauty of their sublime gifts. As Federer wrote in his retirement note shared on social media

The last 24 years have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime. 

― Roger Federer

It has been a lifetime of  deeply magical tennis. Roger Federer has been deeply deeply magical.

Incredible champion!

Sincerely, Suresh

Reference read:

https://apnews.com/article/wimbledon-rafael-nadal-novak-djokovic-us-open-tennis-championships-sports-f17211ad5762cb7e729b3f6af91cb6bc

https://www.espn.in/espn/story/_/id/34603522/vijay-amritraj-roger-federer-legacy-inspiring-youngsters-play-sport

 

 

Mr. Mistry and notes 05/09/2022

5 Sep

This is how the body’s desire for homeostasis can be harnessed to drive changes: push it hard enough and for long enough, and it will respond by changing in ways that make the push easier to do. You will have gotten a little stronger, built a little more endurance, developed a little more coordination. But there is a catch: once the compensatory changes have occurred – new muscle fibers have grown and become more efficient, new capillaries have grown, and so on – the body can handle the physical activity that had previously stressed it. It is comfortable again. The changes stop. So to keep the changes happening, you have to keep upping the ante: run farther, run faster, run uphill. If you don’t keep pushing and pushing and pushing some more, the body will settle into homeostasis. albeit at a different level than before, and will stop improving.

This explains the importance of staying just outside your comfort zone: you need to continually push to keep the body’s compensatory changes coming, but if you push too far outside your comfort zone, you risk injuring yourself and actually setting yourself back.

― PEAK, Secrets From the New Science of Expertise,  Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool

I continue to study PEAK in a serious way.

The homeostasis is not just physical, it could be mental, emotional and intellectual. We need to be little bit open. So that we keep improving. If we push ourselves too much that could be detrimental as well and may end up collapsing. Like my youthful state described in many posts over the years. Incremental steps. Reassess. Iterate. Relax. Incremental steps. Reassess. Iterate. Relax….

I came to know sad news of former Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s untimely passing away in a Road accident. Some years ago had seen pictures of Mr. Mistry a Parsi and his wife visiting Shani Shingnapur  Temple. He has been apparently going through tough times. It doesn’t matter how rich you are. Suffering is same for all. The supreme court judgement went against him. I did not follow much after same. Although was aware that Mr. Mistry’s family ( Shapoorji Pallonji Group) held largest share holding in Tata Sons. He could always do well. Very well.

I did ponder how great the fall must be for him? how difficult it must be for him? to be the chairman of India’s largest conglomerate and then to lose it all in a public ouster? it must be very very difficult. I had felt the same in a different way when Satyam Computer collapsed and wondered how great the fall must be for the founder?

Am an admirer of Mr. Ratan Tata. I do not know what went wrong on the equation with Mr. Mistry?  have no clue  and can only hazard a guess must be value mismatch or approach to business. I read about NTT DoCoMo exit from Tata Teleservices Ltd, was it badly handled ?really don’t know. I do know corporate jobs are not easy. It has many layers and interests. It has allies and enemies. Its bit like a  kaleidoscopeMr. Mistry had it all and lost it all. I did feel for him.

Unfortunately he passed away yesterday after a pilgrimage. Rest in Peace Mr. Mistry.

For more on Mr. Mistry:

Please read: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/coomi-kapoor-writes-cyrus-mistry-was-an-introvert-bruised-by-tata-battle-8131144/?fbclid=IwAR2v84j_01njA5daZwNSjT5jGe6GoTqQnlNMCHWejX2u_gTV4rOvbMsx5jA

Sincerely, Suresh

PEAK – ANDERS ERICSSON – 29/08/2022

29 Aug

We all follow pretty much the same pattern with any skill we learn, from baking pie to writing a descriptive paragraph. We start of with a general idea of what we want to do, get some instruction, from a teacher or a coach or a book or a website, practice until we reach an acceptable level, and then let it become automatic. And there’s nothing wrong with that. For much of what we do in life, it’s perfectly fine to reach a middling level of performance and just leave it like that. If all you want to do is to safely drive your car from point A to point B or to play the piano well enough to plink out “Für Elise,” then this approach is all you need. 

But there is one very important thing to understand here:  once you have reached this satisfactory skill level and automated your performance – your driving, your tennis playing, your baking of pies – you have stopped improving.

― PEAK secrets from the new science of expertise, Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool ( The Bodley Head London)

I want to improve. I feel time is running out to become the acceptable version of one self just like we have a minimum viable product (MVP) which companies keep iterating to find the word investors use most ” Product market fit.” For years have lived with the idea that imperfection is a virtue. Philosophically may be so. It’s just a rebellious outlook.  It just doesn’t feel nice at this point of life. Abrasion or avoidable stress could  be done away with. Am sincere about this. One can focus energies much better. Am I talking mumbo jumbo trash?

I remember reading somewhere we need a need new version of ourselves at every stage of life. Some completion. Some challenges. We need to complete our old selves. Not necessarily discard or chip away our old self. Just a sense of completion. 

I want to study from my favorite books on psychology and learn methods to aim for that completion – growth mindset, deliberate practice and grit. I already have this tool set ingrained in some measure but to gain mastery. I have lost my friends. I only have books. I only had books. I want to have academic goals just for myself. This is the area where wounds are  raw. I want to pursue academics side by side with  day job.  I was scared to pursue academics because of failures as a student which have written in many blog posts. I am still numbed, when think of school, who I was and the path eventually undertook. In my wildest dreams would not have envisaged same. It haunts  one almost every day. One must accept and swallow the bitter pill. Take action. Significant action.

I also realized one cannot cover wounds with work, happiness, relationships or endlessly learning subjects and  spirituality. ( Not even sacred family. I have been dedicated to work.) It’s transient. None of them is the answer and nothing works in this human realm after a while. You must face problems and take corrective action. Take significant action. The next book. The next workshop will not save you. Take action. So intend to go back to studies. I read inspiring stories of a mechanic becoming a doctor or a older person going to primary school in Africa shared on LinkedIn by Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell. You can always study. That’s a big relief. 

I have since reached out to people who are academics to put me on a path. I think so far  response have been understandably luke warm. I think it was Argentina football manager  late Alejandro Javier Sabella  who once said a “coach has to be a good person.” I hope some good person will guide on to right academic path. This is  my five year plan. 

The slap, ridicule, betrayal haunts and want an academic completion. The first rule is you must trust yourself. The second rule is you must not depend on any one. The third rule you must do what you say. I just made up these rules from experiences. In youth had seen Cocktail movie ( Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown) had remembered Coughlin’s law – anything else is always something better or something like that  🙂

My teacher has become a Vice chancellor. I should at least study. I will strive to improve.

People often misunderstand this because they assume that the continued driving or tennis playing or pie baking is a form of practice and that if they keep doing it they are bound to get better at it, slowly perhaps, but better nonetheless. They assume that some one who has been driving for twenty years must be a better driver than someone who has been driving for five, that a doctor who has been practicing medicine for twenty years must be a better doctor than one who has been practicing for five, that a teacher who has been teaching for twenty years must be better than one who has been teaching for five.

But no. Research has shown that generally speaking, once a person reaches that level of “acceptable” performance and automaticity, the additional years of “practice” don’t lead to improvement. If anything, the doctor or teacher or the driver who’s been at it for twenty years is likely to be worse than the one who’s been doing it for only five, and the reason is that these automated abilities gradually deteriorate in the absence of deliberate efforts to improve.   

― PEAK secrets from the new science of expertise, Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

I want to improve with deliberate practice. I have taken tennis coaching so know that it’s not what looks  on television. It will take many lessons to get a basic game going. Even if its a recreational effort or to just play a game for fitness. Do you play Chess? wonder how many games and moves Grand masters have to study? ditto with other things.  Am driving for years and still don’t know how to parallel park. I recently got feedback from a instructor that  use only first, third and fourth gears and tend to skip second and fifth gears. I told him third and fourth is my comfort zone. So have gaps in learning. I have to improve.

There are many things that are unacceptable – where we have gaps. We can learn with purposeful practice or deliberate practice. It’s uncomfortable, unpleasant and hence we shy away from improving. 

I think getting comfortable with uncomfortable feeling or uncertainty may be first step to improving.

I still cannot seem to spell the word ” friend.” I check with google every time.

I must improve with some mnemonic help.

This post is dedicated to my brother who inspires  everyday!

This for today!

Sincerely, Suresh

( PS : This is also  humble tribute and efforts to internalize work of  psychologist Anders Ericsson who passed away during pandemic.)

Reference : Please read: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/science/anders-ericsson-dead.html

 

Programming Notes – 19/08/2022

19 Aug

BE G I N N E R ‘ S M I N D

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross-legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense. The Zen school developed in many ways after it was established in China, but at the same time, it became more and more impure.But I do not want to talk about Chinese Zen or the history of Zen. I am interested in helping you keep your practice from becoming impure. In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind.” The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind. Suppose you recite the Prajna Paramita Sutra only once. It might be a very good recitation. But what would happen to you if you recited it twice, three times, four times, or more? You might easily lose your original attitude towards it. The same thing will happen in your other Zen practices. For a while you will keep your beginner’s mind, but if you continue to practice one, two, three years or more, although you may improve some, you are liable to lose the limitless meaning of original mind.

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our “original mind” includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

How do you retain beginner’s mind as you get older?

I visited a college after decades to collect a certificate. I was a naive clueless young person when had enrolled for a course in computer programming at the behest of my friend and  mentor who rightly thought needed professional skills. So can get a job. I simultaneously enrolled for a coaching program for UPSC examination in university. I was 22. The first book on programming  read was a book on BASIC programming language gifted by a handsome Mr. George who was childhood friend. We played badminton and chess. I found the book on BASIC language fascinating read and don’t remember much. I was in school. George a senior had joined a EDP department of a  automotive manufacturing company. I have never met my senior friend again. So learnt programming languages again – BASIC, COBOL, C  of the time in college course. I liked attending classes and remember a girl who would smile and instructor would look at me immediately. I was conflicted because heart was in studying for UPSC exams. I spent whole day in library and spent afternoon/ evenings in college. I don’t remember exactly how. I had a light green scooter. I remember one day my friend visited college. We had a good time. 

I eventually chose to focus on civil services studies. I focused on life.  Both were pleasant and exciting but not for me. I studied Economics. It was a crazy . On hindsight should have focused on programming and masters and then give a shot to civil services. I did it all at same time and got screwed. I would not advise anybody to waste years for civil services examination and would add a caveat that they should do it only if they can give it their all and want it all costs. That’s why civil services is inspirational if you make it and a waste of time if you don’t. Its both yin and yang. Heaven and hell. Good and bad. Good luck to those who make it and to those who don’t life is hard. Unless they quickly re skill or have a fall back professional degree like  many do – doctors, engineers, chartered accounts, architects etc. What can humanities graduates do? do a Ph.d and become a professor which is also a very good thing. I had none of those options. I only knew economics, little bit of programming, comedy, and start up life. I also knew little bit of physics. I never wanted to be a programmer and but wished to learn programming. I gave few interviews because was honest and they threw me out. So never became a database programmer which  set out to be. I took start up route. But knew fundamentals. That’s all knew comp science fundamentals. Am good at concepts. So whatever did in industry was based on those fundamentals. learning, and jokes. I had learnt value of hard work from a friend. I was also like one of my long lost friend who would fall in love and get our hearts broken. So that was my young life. 

I had learnt from the mistakes of reading many books in  civil services exam preparation. I now only read three books ( as an exception four) on a subject. I learnt you need to learn from few books and do it very well. Mastery is from few books. As Dame Vivienne Westwood  said “Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last.” Read few books and make it last.

As visited  Symbiosis college yesterday. It rekindled a desire  again to brush up knowledge and took out my old books. I intend to read at my own pace following three books:

 

One of my friends who teaches in University now said ” Our entire approach to learning was emotional…” there is a great truth there. People who are objective and exam oriented succeed in examinations. Emotional people are only loved. That too will lead to a heart break.

Some would say what’s the use of studying these books again ?

I think its integrity and if you studied something, you should know about subject…

I may not know the latest languages or machine learning and deep learning…

I learnt from one of my assignments that comp science fundamentals are important…

Who knows if manage to make progress, then anything is possible

These are my programming notes.

Beginners mind!

This for today,

Good night friends!

Sincerely, Suresh

Happy Independence day 2022!

15 Aug

“If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The state has nothing to do with it. The state would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody’s personal concern!”
― Mahatma Gandhi

I long for a time when religion was a private concern. I think religion should be a personal affair. Am religious and have the same respect for all religions. I think secular in a true sense is every body be allowed to pursue their faith regardless of any fear or favor. I think founding fathers of the nation set us on the right path of democracy, equity, justice, science and development. Those five year plans and planned development may not make sense now. But that was right for the times. I do concede culture, tradition and grass roots democracy should be embraced. We need a healthy amalgamation of modernity and tradition. I think we will eventually find right balance. His holiness Dalai Lama in a Jaipur Lit fest discussion with writer Pico Iyer made case for India’s ancient knowledge based on  karuna and ahimsa ( compassion and non violence) be taught in schools. To develop knowledge of heart and for mental well being. Indian wisdom tradition has a lot to offer. I think it can be taught in a secular way. We need a good mix of head and heart, wisdom and modernity. But we don’t need religion in  state affairs and polity. I think lines got blurred long time ago. I wish for less complicated and less polarized times. I think change is irreversible. I hope we find a healthy mix.

I always liked living in India. I have never been else where. Partly reasons are personal. Now cannot have a discussion with any one now. I feel rootless. May be should develop more aspirations. May be explore world. As children write in their books – I love my life and my country. My niece does. I do too.

Happy independence day to my friends. Remember love and not rhetoric is the answer. As the mystic kabir says ” The river that flows in you also flows in me.”

Sincerely, Suresh

Doer, Broken – Notes 30/07/2022

30 Jul

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

I remember my father. Some times feel if have to describe life so far would be – doer, broken, doer, broken, doer….sequence goes on and on. Am sure there has been moments of happiness and grace. Mostly it’s those two – doer and broken. So spent lot of time in healing. Sometimes feel over did on that color. The spiritual. I remember reading in a article on self compassion that we should not forego pleasure completely. Abstain. I need to reclaim pleasure.

I went for a community prayer and remembered father and all elders on parents side. I never really had a meaningful engagement with that part of life. I was too much a doer and too broken. I leaned on father. I have been alone too long.  I think we need to compartmentalize life. The work. The pleasure. The spiritual. I have these sense of mixing a palette. Our own color. Not one predominant. Definitely not rowdy saffron. Flaming orange, blue and green. Those are colors use for presentations.

So here are 8 practical tips for positive thinking from a ISKCON talk by Radheshyam Prabhu:

  1. We should give up unreasonable expectation in our life.
  2. Focus your attention on doing your work and leave everything on Karma.
  3. Success is to have done something well. “It is not the trophy won but it is the race run.”
  4. Don’t bother about what the world think about you.
  5. Tolerate behavior of others.
  6. Give up blame game.
  7. Desire should not be expressed.
  8. Positive mentality depends on will power.

I like the talk and listen to it often. I hope these are useful cues. I think will forego point 7 a bit and explore pleasure.

Here is my list of struggles from 18 to 28:

  • 18 dropped out of Fergusson college. Drifted is the right word.
  • 19 joined first job with  Cipy Chemicals. I worked for a year.
  • 20. Did graduation from Osmania university.
  • 21 Attended classes Pune university for UPSC training program.
  • 22 Attended classes Symbiosis to learn computer programming.
  • 23, 24, 25 two attempts at civil services. Failed.
  • 23,24, Enrolled for masters in economics Pune university.  One paper remained.
  • 26, 27 – entrepreneurship.
  • 28 – joined a start up. Father passed away.

As you can see – doer, broken, doer, broken, doer, broken, doer…..

Message from my life – Do one thing and do it very well. May be am a late bloomer with some experience. Will my time come? at least I should come. What ever that is.

Sometimes feel share too much information on blog. Its easy fodder for haters and people. I learnt early from Osho in my twenties – What will happen if everybody knows everything about you? what can they do? nothing. So am sharing all struggles and many failures. Remember was always a doer, seeker and trying to find a path since 17. Its been a long struggle. Very long one.  I have only mentioned a decade. Its much more. Not all of it is self induced.

Now believe its not about one exam or one job. Its about finding your path. Its about struggle to study, work, live and find one’s path. Life completely surprises you. I wish you luck and courage in your path.

“So what exactly does it mean to be a late bloomer? Simply put, a late bloomer is a person who fulfills their potential later than expected; they often have talents that aren’t visible to others initially… And they fulfill their potential frequently in novel and unexpected ways, surprising even those closest to them. They are not attempting to satisfy, with gritted teeth, the expectations of their parents or society, a false path that leads to burnout and brittleness, or even to depression and illness… Late bloomers are those who find their supreme destiny on their own schedule, in their own way.”
― Rich Karlgaard, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement

Will I find  supreme destiny or swadharma as vedic texts say. I hope so and ready for next innings.

I will not give up pleasure.

Remember the brick walls are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough ……

( May be that’s why greedy, hungry, get more…)

Till then doer, broken, doer, ….path.

Sincerely, Suresh

References:

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

8 practical tips for positive thinking ISKCON

Rich Karlgaard, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement

Paltry liberation – Notes 17/07/2022

17 Jul

The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.

Albert Einstein
I have been little under the weather. Am not completely good as write this post. Apologies for being away. The more stay away from this medium, more feel this is best medium for a journey like mine. I think will stick to blog for expression.
I feel liberated in some sense from one’s past. For those of you who are young will have your own journey and experiences in life. Every one accumulates something what the mystics on this side call as ” Karma.” What is Karma? Is it action? Is it impressions that we accumulate in our journey.? What ever it is, liberation from our past actions or experiences is a good thing. It’s easier said than done. It’s a very difficult journey or a process. We must complete the experience to get over those experiences. Completion is vital.
I have completed some experiences of past work. I felt good. What helped? doing the right thing? took seventeen years to get a sense of completion? who helped? myself. You only get results – if you do the right thing and at the right time. Now that past is dissolved. One can focus on present and build anew. For some of us ” integrity” is a big thing and we are made that way. Others will consider it foolish to spend that kind of time for some kind of ” paltry liberation.” We are all not made in the same way. Nor do we have same experiences. Our values or principles may be different. Each one to his own. Amen.
Some times people who are most critical show us the path to liberation. People who dish out advise are just that – advise dispensers. They will never show the real path. So we struggle through criticism and setbacks till we find  some kind of paltry liberation. Be as it may. That liberation means a lot to us.  It is everything.
So feel good. Some liberation. There is more work to be done.  As the poet says ” There are other worlds beyond the stars; more tests of love are yet to come.” ( Iqbal).  Life is a journey. We must live a life based on our principles, values and knowledge. Not some watered down reality handed out by society.
Some places will never revisit. Those places are not for me – school, college, university. I loved the teachers and people. What good are institutions if they don’t build good people? That part of my life is over. I will meet people who wish to meet for a coffee and some conversation. I have no more nostalgia of that kind. I love people. My best wishes to them.
Same  for work experiences. I will never go back. Because gave my best – whatever that may be at that point of time. If that is not good enough. There is nothing more to offer. I loved every moment of work wherever worked. I tried to help people. Those are complete experiences. I will work with some good people if an opportunity presents again but not with those companies. I have always followed this rule regardless of consequences and hardships.
I would like to meet some people with whom spent a good deal of time. That is the only nostalgia carry. Those are the only people want to meet from past. There are no guarantees that may happen.
So here’s to new tests of love and new challenges.  As Dalai lama says

The highest happiness is when one reaches the stage of liberation, at which there is no more suffering.

Dalai Lama
I have been seeking end of suffering all of life.  Has any body helped you? criticism has helped and one’s own efforts.
Have a good day!
Sincerely, Suresh

Rafa – Notes 07/07/2022

7 Jul

Rafa Nadal is not human.

― US Open Tennis@usopen ( Twitter) 

I think Rafa Nadal is maximal human. Threshold of endurance and suffering. If you can withstand suffering and maximal pain. You are closest to greatest human athlete. I no longer feel the need to watch Rafa match. I am always satisfied before he takes the court. He will give his very best on the day. Whatever the best may entail. I expected Rafa to win in straight sets in Wimbledon quarter finals against Taylor Fritz. I based my instincts on 2022 season. I was wrong and terribly wrong. I watched highlights of the match and Taylor Fritz played a great match. Rafa overcame an abdominal injury to win in 5 sets  3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4). Can you play with an abdominal injury? Can you stand straight or even play intense tennis? Can you stretch and serve? have little tennis coaching, you can’t fully serve. I know that. I think  Rafa is greatest mind over matter. Novak displays superlative mental strength but Rafa overcomes physical challenges and strives  and suffers to win.

Rafael Nadal’s team implored him to retire after the Spaniard had treatment on an abdominal issue in the second set of his thrilling quarter-final win against Taylor Fritz at Wimbledon on Wednesday. With an unbeaten record at major tournaments in 2022 on the line and just three retirements in his past decade on Tour, however, that decision was never going to sit well with the two-time champion.

“They told me I needed to retire from the match,” said Nadal in his post-match press conference after his dramatic 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4) win. “For me it was tough to retire in the middle of the match. [It was] not easy, even if I had that idea for such a long time.

“I did it a couple of times in my tennis career. It’s something that I hate to do. So, I just kept trying, and that’s it.”

Clearly in discomfort and unable to serve at full power on Centre Court, Nadal showcased his trademark resilience to rally and clinch a stunning four-hour, 20-minute victory. He admitted that it was less the medical time-out and more his desire to see things through to the end that enabled him to carry on.

“They can’t do much [in the medical time-out], honestly,” said the 36-year-old. “The doctor came, gave me some anti-inflammatories and analgesic. The physio just tried to relax the muscle there a little bit, but it’s difficult. Nothing can be fixed when you have a thing like this. That’s it.

“I just wanted to give myself a chance. [It is] not easy to leave the tournament, not easy to leave Wimbledon, even if the pain was hard.”

It is the second time in the space of four months that Nadal was facing Fritz carrying an injury. The 92-time tour-level titlist played with a fractured rib in his championship match defeat to the American at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March. Just as on that occasion, his determination to see things through was strong, regardless of the eventual outcome of the match.

“I wanted to finish,” said Nadal. “Doesn’t matter. I prefer to win with victory or defeat. That’s what I did, I fought. I’m proud of the fighting spirit and the way that I managed to be competitive under those conditions.”

― Team Says Retire, Rafa Chooses To Inspire, ATP Staff

To finish the match in adversity regardless of outcome. I think outcome does not matter. It’s the effort to endure pain and fight that matters. So for me Rafa Nadal is always an inspiration and winner. I have done many blog posts over the years. Its always the pain and effort to overcome pain that is true success. 

Here is something that read today and perhaps might explain – God of fight and God of humility – Rafa.

The Silence, that’s what strikes you when you play on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. You bounce the ball soundlessly up and down on the soft turf; you toss it up to serve; you hit it and you hear the echo of your own shot. And of every shot after that. Clack, clack; clack, clack. The trimmed grass, the rich history, the ancient stadium, the players dressed in white, the respectful crowds, the venerable tradition—not a billboard advertisement in view—all combine to enclose and cushion you from the outside world. The feeling suits me; the cathedral hush of the Centre Court is good for my game. Because what I battle hardest to do in a tennis match is to quiet the voices in my head, to shut everything out of my mind but the contest itself and concentrate every atom of my being on the point I am playing. If I made a mistake on a previous point, forget it; should a thought of victory suggest itself, crush it.

The silence of the Centre Court is broken when a point’s done, if it’s been a good point—because the Wimbledon crowds can tell the difference—by a shock of noise; applause, cheers, people shouting your name. I hear them, but as if from some place far off. I don’t register that there are fifteen thousand people hunched around the arena, tracking every move my opponent and I make. I am so focused I have no sense at all, as I do now reflecting back on the Wimbledon final of 2008 against Roger Federer, the biggest match of my life, that there are millions watching me around the world.

I had always dreamt of playing here at Wimbledon. My uncle Toni, who has been my coach all my life, had drummed into me from an early age that this was the biggest tournament of them all. By the time I was fourteen, I was sharing with my friends the fantasy that I’d play here one day and win. So far, though, I’d played and lost, both times against Federer—in the final here the year before, and the year before that. The defeat in 2006 had not been so hard. I went out onto the court that time just pleased and grateful that, having just turned twenty, I’d made it that far. Federer beat me pretty easily, more easily than if I’d gone out with more belief. But my defeat in 2007, which went to five sets, left me
utterly destroyed. I knew I could have done better, that it was not my ability or the quality of my game that had failed me, but my head. And I wept after that loss. I cried incessantly for half an hour in the dressing room. Tears of disappointment and self-recrimination. Losing always hurts, but it hurts much
more when you had your chance and threw it away. I had beaten myself as much as Federer had beaten me; I had let myself down and I hated that. I had flagged mentally, I had allowed myself to get distracted; I had veered from my game plan. So stupid, so unnecessary. So obviously, so exactly what you must not do in a big game.

My uncle Toni, the toughest of tennis coaches, is usually the last person in the world to offer me consolation; he criticizes me even when I win. It is a measure of what a wreck I must have been that he abandoned the habit of a lifetime and told me there was no reason to cry, that there would be more Wimbledons and more Wimbledon finals. I told him he didn’t understand, that this had probably
been my last time here, my last chance to win it. I am very, very keenly aware of how short the life of a professional athlete is, and I cannot bear the thought of squandering an opportunity that might never come again. I know I won’t be happy when my career is over, and I want to make the best of it while it lasts. Every single moment counts—that’s why I’ve always trained very hard—but some moments count for more than others, and I had let a big one pass in 2007. I’d missed an opportunity that might never come again; just two or three points here or there, had I been more focused, would have made all the difference.Because victory in tennis turns on the tiniest of margins. I’d lost the last and fifth
set 6–2 against Federer, but had I just been a little more clearheaded when I was 4–2 or even 5–2 down, had I seized my four chances to break his serve early on in the set (instead of seizing up, as I did), or had I played as if this were the first set and not the last, I could have won it.

There was nothing Toni could do to ease my grief. Yet he turned out, in the end, to be right. Another chance had come my way. Here I was again, just one year later. I was determined now that I’d learn the lesson from that defeat twelve months earlier, that whatever else gave way this time, my head would not.The best sign that my head was in the right place now was the conviction, for all the
nerves, that I would win.

― Rafa, Rafael Nadal and John Carlin

That was 2008 and now its 2022. Rafa turned pro in 2001.

I don’t know what will happen in Wimbledon semi finals match against Nick kyrgios. Rafa may or may not play . If he does play. He wins. The outcome does not matter. I would personally wish Rafa a career slam in 2022. Human beings have limits. Super human beings stretch that limit. I think its just not fight but the ability to play with pain and overcome pain. That’s super human.

Rafa has already reached Wimbledon semi – finals – 2006,2007,2008, 2010,2011,2018,2019 and 2022. If all goes to plan Rafa will play Novak in finals.  Novak favorite, Rafa the winner. Will that be the script?

Rafa Nadal is one of the greatest fighters in the history of sports.

― US Open Tennis@usopen ( Twitter)

Life is hard. Rafa is hope.

Vamos Rafa.

Sincerely, Suresh

References:

Image – US Open Tennis ( Twitter)

Team Says Retire, Rafa Chooses To Inspire, ATP Staff

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/nadal-wimbledon-2022-qf-wednesday-reaction

Rafa – Rafael Nadal and John Carlin

US Open Tennis – Twitter

PS : Update : Rafa withdraws

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from The Championships with injury.

The No.2 seed, on course for a calendar Grand Slam, was due to face Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster men’s semi-final on Friday, but has announced his withdrawal due to an abdominal tear. The withdrawal means Kyrgios will appear in his first Grand Slam final on Sunday.

Nadal held a press conference late on Thursday evening at the All England Club, revealing it was an extremely difficult choice for the benefit of his health and happiness.

“I was thinking during the whole day about the decision to make,” the 22-time Grand Slam champion said.

“I think it doesn’t make sense to go on. Even if I tried a lot of times during my career to keep going under very tough circumstances, in that one I think it’s obvious that if I keep going, the injury will get worse and worse. That’s the thing that I can say now. I feel very sad to say that, it’s a very tough one.”

More: https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2022-07-07/2022-07-07_nadal_pulls_out_of_wimbledon_through_injury.html

 2022 Fields Medals – Notes 06/07/2022

6 Jul

Ukrainian number theorist Maryna Viazovska is among the four winners of the 2022 Fields Medals, one of the highest honours in mathematics that is conventionally awarded to people aged under 40. The other winners are James Maynard, a number theorist at the University of Oxford, UK; June Huh, a specialist in combinatorics at Princeton University in New Jersey; and Hugo Duminil-Copin, who studies statistical physics at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies (IHES) near Paris. The International Mathematical Union (IMU) announced the winners at an award ceremony in Helsinki on 5 July.

“All of the medalists are incredibly deserving and talented, showcasing the vibrancy of mathematical research across the globe,” says Bryna Kra, a mathematician at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who is president-elect of the American Mathematical Society.

Viazovska, who is based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), is the second woman ever to earn the award. She is best known for her solution of the sphere packing problem — finding the arrangement of spheres that can take up the largest portion of a volume — in eight dimensions.

In a three-dimensional space, the most efficient way to pack spheres is the pyramid arrangement, akin to how oranges are packed on trays in a grocer’s shop (proving this mathematically was extremely hard and was the subject of a tour-de-force paper in the 1990s). But in four or more dimensions, very little is known, says Henry Cohn, a mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It’s this horrific gap in our knowledge — almost embarrassing,” said Cohn in an address following the Fields Medal announcement. Viazovska introduced new techniques into the problem that came from number theory and the theory of symmetries in eight dimensions. “Given how poor our understanding is in other dimensions, it’s really miraculous that Maryna was able to get this exactly,” Cohn added. More recently, Cohn worked with Viazovska and others to extend the result to 24-dimensional space.

―  Ukrainian mathematician becomes second woman to win prestigious Fields Medal,Davide Castelvecchi, Nature, 05 July 2022

The first time came to know about Fields medal was when Maryam Mirzakhani Iranian researcher and professor of mathematics at Stanford University was honored with one of the highest prize in mathematics in 2014. I followed and read about her work and sadly she passed away few years later of breast cancer at forty. She was awarded Fields medal for her “contributions to  the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.”Fields medal is like Nobel prize of Mathematics.

Ukrainian number theorist Maryna Viazovska is the second woman to win Fields medal after Maryam Mirzakhani won in 2014. So given the historical context and current political climate its a huge honor. Maryna Viazovska is based at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). I remember the name of the Swiss institute because of Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer who won the stunning Olympic race for women’s individual road race at 2020 Summer Olympics. She is a post doc  researcher at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). What do you call a genius ? Multipotentialite? was inspired by her Olympic win and research career. Most importantly she trained herself to win Olympic gold. I guess have done a blog post earlier.

According to Nature article “Maryna Viazovskais best known for her solution of the sphere packing problem — finding the arrangement of spheres that can take up the largest portion of a volume — in eight dimensions. In a three-dimensional space, the most efficient way to pack spheres is the pyramid arrangement, akin to how oranges are packed on trays in a grocer’s shop (proving this mathematically was extremely hard and was the subject of a tour-de-force paper in the 1990s). But in four or more dimensions, very little is known, says Henry Cohn, a mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It’s this horrific gap in our knowledge — almost embarrassing,” said Cohn in an address following the Fields Medal announcement. Viazovska introduced new techniques into the problem that came from number theory and the theory of symmetries in eight dimensions. “Given how poor our understanding is in other dimensions, it’s really miraculous that Maryna was able to get this exactly,” Cohn added.”

As a layman its fascinating to know a mathematical problem – sphere packing problem — finding the arrangement of spheres that can take up the largest portion of a volume — in eight dimensions. The researchers say in four or more dimensions very little is known.

The other winners are James Maynard,  number theorist at the University of Oxford, UK; June Huh, a specialist in combinatorics at Princeton University in New Jersey; and Hugo Duminil-Copin, who studies statistical physics at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies (IHES) near Paris.

“The committee that chooses the Fields winner — whose members’ identities were kept secret until today — reportedly made its decision before the Ukraine invasion.”

Another Ukraine born won Svetlana Jitomirskaya  won the inaugural Ladyzhenskaya Prize in Mathematical Physics — the first major prize for the discipline to be named after a woman but open to people of any gender.

I cannot understand the carnage and devastation unleashed by Ukraine war. So this Fields medal and other recognition’s – Ladyzhenskaya Prize for Ukraine born scientists and researchers is welcome sign of hope, solidarity and recognition.

As for myself, was not a natural at mathematics, but enjoyed  when a good teacher took away the anxiety with a classical structural approach, mathematics became delightful and fun. Of course my journey ended pretty early. I have huge admiration for researchers and scientists. I feel we should encourage fundamental Scientific research and soft sciences. Not just computer science and coding.

This for today!

Sincerely, Suresh

References:

Ukrainian mathematician becomes second woman to win prestigious Fields Medal,Davide Castelvecchi, Nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00470-3?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=53d67ceb1b-briefing-dy-20220704_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-53d67ceb1b-46332190