Monday, December 22, 2014

Jaipur Literature Festival – Part 7 – Experiments and Adding Value

Autobiographies and Thought Experiments at the Festival

Albert Einstein had an interesting thought experiment, where instead of conducting experiments in a lab or through words, he did them through pictures in his minds. He called it ‘Gedankenexperiment’.
Everyday, over 60,000 thoughts went through my mind. Most of them were irrelevant and about things I should not have given so much attention to in the first place. At Jaipur I realized, how by improving the  quality of my thought, I could actually improve the quality of my work and the quality of my life eventually. I thought that, I would rather not think about anything than think and worry about something irrelevant. I would observe myself thinking, and use visuals like Einstein to bring my thoughts to life in my mind.

I got out off an auto-rickshaw and walked into the Diggi Palace Hotel, for the third day of the Jaipur literature festival 2014 with these thoughts running through my mind.

Four organizers of the Festival
The first session I attended was about the art of writing a biography and I noted down an interesting education metaphor as I listened to the talk. For instance, one of the best educational learning material, you have for any field are the autobiographies of top minds and achievers of that field. If you are a football player, reading the autobiographies of Pele, Maradona and Messi will give you a glimpse of the effort and work that brought out their world class performance on the field. If you are an entrepreneur, reading autobiographies of people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mohammed Yunus will give you an understanding of the hardships and experiences of an entrepreneur’s life. A similar approach can be taken for almost any field.

How much real value do you add to your field?

While studying the creative process of writers and artists, you can observe certain patterns. Before they embarked on this process of creation of art, they spent years mastering their craft.

Now you can find a similar model in almost all high paying careers. For instance a sports person, spends years mastering his or her skill in a particular sport and then spends the rest of his life contributing to the sport. A businessperson spends the first few years of his or her life with a few failed ideas. This becomes a learning ground, for a successful future company for the businessperson.
At a session at the festival

All of these people are either expected to add value through a product or service. But certain careers do not have this expectation of you. They tell you to add value to another person’s company or another person’s dream. Sometimes certain jobs do not expect you to create or add any real value.

A mentor recently shared this insight with me, ‘Abhishek, the remuneration and respect given to each individual is directly proportional to the amount of real value you add to your profession or industry.’

How much did I contribute to my field?

Let us Learn Together
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