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Dense Discovery

I've been reading Dense Discovery for a long time now and I really like it. My favourite part is the beginning of each newsletter where the writer talks about interesting ideas. They're usually ideas I haven't thought about before, and this newsletter does a great job of introducing me to them. It's run by Kai Brach from Melbourne, Australia. It's surprising to me that Dense Discovery only has 36,000 readers because I think it's so good. I definitely recommend it!

Effective vs Efficient

I recently watched a video where a YouTuber discussed the distinction between being effective and efficient. Unfortunately, I can't recall the specific video or the creator to provide a link to it.

He says that the difference between being effective and efficient lies in their focus and outcomes.

The difference between being effective and efficient lies in their focus and outcomes.

Effectiveness is about choosing the right goals and achieving meaningful outcomes, while efficiency is about optimizing the process to achieve those goals in the most streamlined way possible. It's better to pursue the right goals effectively than to efficiently pursue the wrong ones. This underscores the importance of prioritising effectiveness over efficiency for overall success.

While this distinction isn't entirely new, framing it in this way helped me create a connection and gain a more nuanced understanding of both concepts.

Third Wave Coffee

I find great joy in working from coffee shops as it enhances my productivity significantly. The act of leaving home with a clear purpose, putting on my headphones, and dedicating myself to a specific task helps me get stuff done. I particularly enjoy working alone in coffee shops, using the time for planning, reviewing, and journaling— tasks that demand intense mental focus and minimal distractions. Coffee shops provide the perfect environment for this level of concentration.

Third Wave Coffee is my ultimate go-to spot. Each time I go, I can't resist indulging in their lip-smackingly delicious Mocha Choco Chip — their standout drink. And here's a fun fact: despite being at a coffee shop and ordering a Frappe, I don't actually drink coffee, I always opt for the non-coffee version of the drink. Sorry, not sorry!

Software Development is a Science and not Math

Uncle Bob talks about Software Development being a scientific process rather than a mathematical one, in one of his talks that I watched on Youtube. He says that, Software development aligns more closely with the principles and methods of science rather than mathematics. When creating software, it involves a process similar to the scientific method: experimenting, observing, and improving iteratively. Engineers hypothesize about solving problems, write code to test their theories, observe the outcomes, and refine their approaches based on feedback. This iterative approach mirrors how scientists study natural phenomena.

In contrast to mathematics, where solutions are typically precise and deterministic, software development lacks a definitive way to verify correctness. Unlike math, where formulas or theorems can be used to validate new models, there's no equivalent in software. The only way to ensure a software functions correctly is through testing. This perspective underscores the importance of rigorous testing in software development, highlighting that software is more aligned with science than math

Back to Journaling again

For years, I've been passionate about journaling. However, midway through 2023, I felt it became an added burden in my life, leading me to stop it altogether. But I have really missed journaling since. What I truly miss isn't the act of documenting, but being able to revisit my entries, memories,and the captured moments.

Encountering past entries and memories fills me with regret for abandoning this practice. This feeling weighed heavily on me, prompting a decision to reintroduce journaling into my life. The catalyst was DayOne's release of a shared journals feature, that finally allows my long-held desire to co-create a shared journal with my wife come true, where I would like to document our little son's milestones.

This trigger prompted me to reevaluate and reignite my commitment to journaling as a habit. I promptly subscribed to Day One's premium subscription to jump back on this journey once again.

Writing is easy and difficult

Ever since I was a kid, I was obsessed with writing something. I remember writing a poem when I was around ten years old and writing a long story when I was twelve. Since then, I have always come back to writing, having tried everything else that I was temporarily distracted with. That’s how I started my first blog when I was in college, and one thing led to another, and I have been in this journey ever since.

I love to write, and I also hate to write. Not always, but there are days when I struggle to write something, and that’s how I have a love-hate relationship with writing. Let me explain. Converting something that’s on my mind from thoughts to language requires a lot of cognitive effort. Some days, it comes so naturally to me and some days I wouldn’t be able to write a sentence without pulling my hair out. That’s why I love and hate writing.

In my early days of writing, I was under the impression that if I am passionate about something, I would never hate it or give up. Though I used to enjoy writing, the fact that on some days I give up and hate writing made me doubt if I really was focusing on the right hobby or if I was just obsessed about something that I am not good at. Several years later, I have realised that, even with the things I am passionate about, I will have bad days, I will give up sometimes, and that doesn’t necessarily mean I am doing the wrong thing. I have now understood that, being passionate about something doesn’t mean I am automatically good at it, or that I would not have bad days, but it's just what I enjoy doing and what I come back to again and again even when I struggle and fail many times. Then I learnt about writer’s block and realised that it was not just me, but something that every writer faced. I read journals, articles, and memoirs of the world’s best writers, and everyone has written about experiencing days when they were stuck and just couldn’t write. Becoming aware of this reality made me feel at peace and gave me more confidence to try again when I failed to write.

Writing is hard, especially publicly. Writing about yourself and your ideas is an exercise in deciding how much of your thoughts you are ready to share with others. To write publicly is to be vulnerable to people who are outside your circle and to random strangers who may come across your work and read it. This is not easy, especially in this modern era, as the internet is written in ink. When everyone is opinionated and divided, it's not easy to share your opinions without the fear of backlash or hate. It can also prove to be dispiriting and exasperating when you are accused of being biased or hypocritical.

Once, I read a wonderful post by Vlad Savov which gave me a really good way to think about writing. Since then, I have learnt that, writing whatever is on my mind, however opinionated, is an inherent and necessary part of making my writing unique and special. I will try to summarise the article by paraphrasing Vlad's main points in my own words.

Giving each thought a decontextualised blank slate and only asserting the bare facts about something is neither engaging nor particularly useful. Only by applying a writer's preferences and biased opinions, to any writing, can it be of any use or interest to the readers. To be perfectly impartial would negate the value of having a human being write at all. Subjectivity and personal touch is an inherent and necessary part of making commentary insightful and interesting.

Sharing what I like or dislike, what my opinion is, complaining or celebrating is all part of making my writing as personal as it can be. I know that I will not be perfect, no one is. I know that I will not be unbiased because opinions are inherently biased. When you start reading my work, you will understand the values that are important to me, and you can calibrate what you interpret from my reading based on that.

And that epiphany is what led me to create this blog and few more projects, and start writing again.

Here I go again

Over the years, I have started and retired several blogs publicly. There have been projects that I had built for several months and never saw the light of the day. People who know me and follow me know that I have started several blogs in the past, but never kept at it. When I say I started and retired, I mean, I literally killed it in a matter of months and some even weeks for no obvious reason. I didn’t even give a fair chance to some of these projects that I have taken on and closed the windows on them unfairly.

When I took up these projects, I was always positive, excited and pumped to get them implemented and make them public and as soon as it launched, I lose the enthusiasm and the interest that I had for the project because a new idea distracted me. Slowly, in a matter of weeks or months, I put very less effort into them, and eventually, I stop. Since I don’t like keeping blogs or publications up and running when I am no more putting effort into them, I pull the plug and kill them in such a way that there was no hint that it even existed.

Every time I make a public launch with a lot of noise and then kill it several weeks or months later, I feel extremely embarrassed about myself and regret launching it publicly. And this embarrassment makes it even more difficult for me to make my next project public. I have struggled with this internally. Sometimes, though I have a good project in mind, I struggle to publicly launch it and market it.

The reason I had killed all of my projects was because I wasn’t perfect. I had set a very high standard for myself, though starting as a beginner, that I couldn’t match the standard that I had set. When the quality of my writing did not match what I had imagined in my mind, I felt an instant need to kill whatever was public so that I could present my creations to the world, only when they were perfect. I had put the cart before the horse, as the saying goes, where I didn’t realise that only writing more can actually help me improve, but I wasn’t giving myself a chance to write more because I felt I wasn’t good enough. It was a deadlock.

But this time, I want to change that. I want my projects and see the light of the day and keep them running for years to come. I don’t know how successful I would in keeping up that promise, but I am ready to give it a try. Furthermore, I have slowly learnt that sharing one’s work publicly actually helps become better at whatever someone is doing. This newsletter is one of the ways I want to share my writing publicly so that I can improve at my art and also give myself a chance to share my thoughts and stories that I long to share.