Small Changes to Big Growth: Everything that can happen in Two Years.
A time frame changes everything. The number of things that can happen over a day is different than the number of things that can happen over a week, which is different over a month, which is different over a year, and so on. As a result, small things that start to happen over a few days build on each other, to fundamentally create something monumental. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but each brick was. It’s enjoyable to look at day to day change, as we can tangibly remember yesterday vs. today, but I’d like to zoom out over a frame of two years. There are a series of changes that have been made, but let’s focus on the big ones:
The Written Stories:
The first article I’ve ever written had some gems of lines embedded. Here are a couple:
I had gone through a million emotions at once, but I was left with a lesson.
The value of money has gone down severely.
The issue of money is an incredibly complex one, but there are better solutions to the types of money that we have now.
These aren’t bad lines, but they read like a 4th Grader trying to fill out a book report on something they don’t understand. In this style of writing, most of my actual input to the system was incredibly generic, and the amount of value provided was minimal. There would be no difference between this and a Wikipedia article, except the Wikipedia article would have more in-depth stuff. Let’s compare that to my most recent article:
If land titling can be solved efficiently, the case load in the Indian court system is significantly reduced, the land can be harvested in a more efficient manner, and the Indian economy will continue to grow.
Registration of land is actually a registration of transactions, such as sale deeds, records of inheritance, mortgage and lease.
The main reason land disputes happen is because there are no official documents proving a farmer’s ownership of a specific plot of land.
One of the largest differences between these sections of writing and the previous ones is the amount of specificity. There are three main tools used here, which are a root cause analysis, first principles thinking, and a MECE chart.
Root Cause Analysis: Break down the problem down to its roots. What’s causing the issue, and how many layers is this root buried by? The way to get down to the root is to keep asking questions of what something means and why the system is the way it is. Essentially, it’s boiled down to why.
First Principles Thinking: This is similar to root cause thinking, but the model is slightly different in the way that I’m seeing it in this scenario. Here, the way I’m using it is to determine what the actual meaning of the vocabulary word used. Registration in this case doesn’t mean writing something for kings (as is the literal etymology), but it is the act of monitoring transactions. This new definition allows the meaningless layers of complexity to be whittled down, and for something interesting to be developed as a result.
MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhausting, which is a tool to help understand the scope of a problem but also to understand a place to target efforts at. It is a flowchart to get down to where a problem lies, and where the status quo fails. In this case, the team I’m part of dove deep into land disputes and where they exist, and as a result, we came to the conclusion of the lack of land document ownership.
All these tools help with specificity, which in turns helps with adding value. Instead of the generic randomness that was spread across my articles and stories, there’s now an interesting add-on of a specific gem that provides some good to both the outside world and the writer themselves.
To actually show something to the world, there has to be some form of a story. The path the story takes differs depending on the audience, but for creating a company, both a slide deck and a website are needed to showcase the work done for the audience of consumers and producers alike.
There are a couple stark differences here, but the main ones are the color, the quality of images, and the amount of information available for an audience member:
- The Color: Pitch 2 has a clear theme of a brown/dark green, which ties in to farming and land titling itself. Pitch 1 is all over the place, from blue to red to grey and a hint of brown, which doesn’t actually attract anyone to view the presentation in a smooth way.
- The Quality: Pitch 2’s images are tied into the overarching theme of the story, with a combination of stock images, diagrams, and mockups. Even if you’ve never seen the presentation, you could tell what was going to be discussed. Pitch 1 is literally page 1 of Google Images that don’t work together.
- The Information: Pitch 2 has a good amount of text on each slide to tell a great story while allowing the images to shine, compared to the flashy yet generic info available for Pitch 1.
Just adding relevant information and making something visually appealing goes a long way. A framework I’ve started to develop for presentations like this is to see if I would go out of my way to view it had it been delivered by a third party, or essentially, would I watch this as an audience member. If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board.
New Journeys and Games:
In the field of game theory, there are three types of games: The negative sum, the zero sum, and the positive sum. Playing a negative sum game means that all parties involve lose, playing a zero sum game means that one person can only win if another loses, and playing a positive sum game means that all parties can win. This isn’t just for Chess vs. Football, but this works for games past a clearly outlined board.
The games I played in 2020:
- Status to get into the “Dream College” (Zero Sum, I could only get in if another person didn’t.)
- Popularity in School (Negative Sum, I defined popularity as a group of friends, and even if I got it I would still be miserable)
- Junk Content, which is food, entertainment, and leisure. (Negative Sum, would have always lost when engaging in this stuff)
- Poor people I happened to be around (Negative Sum, I couldn’t contribute values to their lives and neither could they)
The games I play now:
- Figuring out how to help my community in the best way (Positive Sum, everyone wins)
- Being the best cheerleader I can be for the people around me (Positive Sum, I can add value to people around me, and better people means a better me)
- Healthy Content, such as technology development, mindsets, and some great classics (right now I’m reading Moby Dick) (Positive Sum, I benefit without any loser, which I can then push to the world)
- Good people I’m around, who help me become a better person and push myself regularly (Positive Sum).
Back in 2020, as a result of playing these games, I was left with a massive emptiness that I couldn’t manage to fill with anything. My thoughts were to always wonder if I was good enough to be with these people, and to make sure that these people liked me more. Now, I still ask questions, but now they are focused on understanding the dynamics of interactions everywhere. How does this work? Why choose to do this? Where can we build? All these questions become a lot more interesting to see this world, and as a result, become interesting for me.
The Body and Frame:
With the zero/negative sum games changing into positive games, the layers of BS begin to fall apart. With a better mind and use of energy, physical changes started to happen for me as well.
- Posture. The ideal posture is one that seems geometric in its angles and movements. Everything from the Bhagavad Gita to Bodybuilding gurus agree that keeping the spine and the brain in a straight line is the way to go, and as a result there’s a massive benefit in both mental status and in the lack of pain.
- More strength: This is fairly simple to measure through weightlifting, and through regular strength training I’ve been able to move considerable weight, and as a result my body’s started to orient towards a better form. It’s not just physical changes, but the mental benefits go past something I can outline.
My Routine I Use
- I work out on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with a focus on upper body on Monday and Thursday and a lower body focus on Tuesday. I’d like to go more often, but I’m able to supplement that with some calisthenics throughout the week (pushups and pushup variations, as well as pull-ups and pull-up variations) as well as some cardio
- I don’t eat breakfast, and I find that putting an eating window allows me to see some better things happen for my body and my mind in terms of variation and in terms of the things I’m able to do. For instance, putting hard, deeper work in the morning is easier because I’m able to get a better drive in the morning and not have food weighing me down.
- For the actual diet, I’m a big fan of naturally fat-rich foods, as I find that they provide some strong benefits to my mental state. I’m partial to oily fish, avocados, and whole milk.
The way I’d break down love is to describe it as viewing yourself in another person, and wanting to connect back with that viewing. For a family, there’s the physical resemblance, for friends, there’s the connection formed, and for coaches and mentors, it’s seeing their past selves developing. There’s some form of love in everything, and through the simple act of observing what the world around us looks like I’ve been able to see what love really does look like. It’s not a hard thing to see, as it’s just like looking in a different form of a mirror, but showing love is another ball game. I’d say the biggest thing with showing and giving love is to simply listen, not just for their own benefit but for yours. Understand their stories, listen to how they see the world, and a much more interesting picture with a whole lot of information is now available. Just observing and listening gives so much in this field.
If I were to boil down my learnings over the past two years, it would be this:
- Take a few minutes just to observe and appreciate the world around you. The games that we play are all by our own choice, and just taking a minute to see if the game being played is the right one allows for some great stuff.
- A 30 minute habit repeated 30 days in a row is much better than a 15 hour sprint. Consistency builds everything
- Curiosity and asking all kinds of questions is important.
- The body, mind, and soul all play off each other. Keeping each part connected is the key for whatever life is lived.
- Give your thanks right now, as gratitude is something that has a massive benefit to everyone around you, including you.
Just as 16 year old me seems unreal to where I am now, I know that the same thing will happen to 18 year old me, and the same thing for 20 year old Aniket, and so on. The growth will never stop.