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Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Theory of Life

This is going to be a series of posts which might seem rather mundane from the topic. Before I begin, I'll like to quote Yogi Berra: "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." Whatever one learns by reading motivational passages, if not applied, is useless.

In the last year of FAST, I and 3 other group members participated in AQ Khan Software Competition and almost killed ourselves writing code and managing the project. In the end, we lost the competition - to the extent that we were not even amongst the "mentionable projects." I don't know about others but it had a profound impact on me. I started thinking, "why do things happen the way they do?" What percentage of future is in our control? What is the recipe of success? While such questions do come to everyone's mind but the persistence of these thoughts in my case is so great that I am close to getting insane. A similar question was raised by Salman Kasbati recently. Interestingly, one of the closest answers was also given by him in one post, titled Luck vs. Details.

I have learned a lot in bits and pieces and shall talk about them in future posts. But learning by experience is different from learning by reading. I was once told by someone that "human beings shouldn't act like dumb bells: the striker shouldn't control how much sound is to be made." I enquired what that meant. The answer was that if I were asked how I was, there shouldn't be an obvious reply. One should be capable of doing the unexpected. While saying and knowing such things is very easy, it's very difficult to adapt your life to what you want yourself to be.