February 2021


There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it. Not fillet. Fill. It.

Australian Comedian Tim Minchin delivered a thought-provoking, inspiring speech titled: “9 Life Lessons”, in which he implored the graduates to:

1. You Don’t Have To Have A Dream.
2. Don’t Seek Happiness
3. Remember, It’s All Luck
4. Exercise
5. Be Hard On Your Opinions
6. Be a teacher.
7. Define Yourself By What You Love
8. Respect People With Less Power Than You.
9. Don’t Rush.

Tim Minchin, the former UWA Arts student described as “sublimely talented, witty, smart and unabashedly offensive” in a musical career that has taken the world by storm, is awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Western Australia.

“The future isn’t written in the stars. There are no guarantees. So claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.”

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According to New York Times bestselling psychologist Dr. Meg, claiming your twenties is one of the most transformative things you can do for yourself as this decade decides the coming decades. The book’s ideas are transformative; I wished I read the book in my twenties, but the key is to become better self-aware of yourself and your environment. Today matters, the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis affects and determines the coming weeks, months, years, and decade.

Dr. Meg Jay, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood. The book is about why your twenties matter, and how to make the most of them now.

Drawing from almost two decades of work with hundreds of clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with the behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings, themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood—if we use the time wisely. 

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay:

“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” – Jodi Picoult

Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome; if you win, you become happy. If you don’t, you become unhappy. It is an if-then, cause and effect proposition that is not sustainable because every time you attain a certain level of happiness, you raise the bar, and it is an endless loop. We also schedule and delay our happiness; we say when this happens, I will become happy. If this then that, Someday I’ll when so and so happens, I would be happy when I get married we change it to when we have kids, then when the kids leave home to when there are grandkids, there is always a reason to postpone. It is a constant moving target.

American Actor Matthew McConaughey in his thought provoking commencement speech to the 2015 University of Houston graduating students described happiness as:

“Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome — If I win I will be happy, if I don’t I won’t. An if-then, cause and effect, quid pro quo standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. You see, happiness demands a certain outcome, it is result reliant.”

“If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is “the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,” no matter the outcome.”

Here are some great quotes on happiness:

The machines are coming, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming ubiquitous in our everyday lives. The majority of the service we use online are all powered by algorithms, A. I and machine learning. The A.I. revolution can be scary, but the key is to understand and explore ways to exploit the opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence – Noun A.I. is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.

Here are some great documentaries on Artificial Intelligence:

“If you think an awkward response to a friend’s crisis will make them feel bad, then you should know that if you say nothing, they will likely feel worse. ”

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When someone you know is hurting, you want to let them know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Life can be scary, challenging, awful, and unfair at times; no one has a problem-free life. You are either going through a storm, entering a storm, or heading to the next storm. There is No Good Card for This is a great instructional guide on how to be there for your loved ones during trying times, what to say and do.

It can be tricky knowing the right thing to say or do during trying times for our family, friends, and loved ones but the major take away from reading the book is you have to try to listen to the grieving and at least say something when they lose someone, a simple text message saying “I am sorry” goes a long way and is often appreciated than not saying anything.

In There is No Good Card for This, empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation.

This book is not chicken soup for the soul; it’s whiskey for the wounded.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading There Is No Good Card for This by Dr. Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

You are not supposed to have figured everything out; your path is made by walking it, take it a step at a time. Most times, we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you just need to trust the process. It does not matter where you start. What matters is where you are going. It is ok to have stopgap jobs for a while; it is ok not to know what you want to do next after college, it is ok not to be married yet at 35, it is ok not to be a parent at 40, it is ok to wander for a while, it is ok not to be ok. The key is to be patient and enjoy the journey with the ups and downs. As American Journalist Hal Borland once said, “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

“Listening is like playing a sport or musical instrument in that you can get better and better with practice and persistence, but you will never achieve total mastery. Some may have more natural ability and some may have to try harder, but everyone can benefit from making the effort.

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The average person suffers from three delusions; we believe we are good drivers, good listeners, and think we have a good sense of humor. You’re Not Listening is a book in praise of listening and a lament that, as a culture, we seem to be losing our listening mojo.

Listening is more of a mindset than a checklist of dos and don’ts. It’s a very particular skill that develops over time by interacting with all kinds of people—without agenda or having aides there to jump in if the conversation goes anywhere unexpected or untoward.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, You’re Not Listening:

Standing in a library reminds us of our own limitations. It encourages us to remember that we don’t know everything, can’t predict every outcome, and don’t even know all the right questions to ask

Professor, political scientist, author, Nation columnist, MSNBC host, and rising “nerdland” icon Melissa Harris-Perry addresses the members of the Class of 2012 and an international audience of their families and friends at Wellesley College’s 134th Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 25, 2012. Melissa delivered a very inspiring speech that implored the graduating students to be: Ignorant, Silent, and Thick.

OK, that’s pretty easily the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.

I often say that the very best day of my life was college graduation. I’ve had two really very nice weddings. And I have a wonderful daughter and the day she was born was lovely, but really all of those days were complicated by all sorts of other things, so I always say that the one day that was pure joy was the day I graduated from college. You should also know I am a high-school dropout; I don’t have a GED or a high school diploma, so it was also the day that it was clear that I was not going to have to go back to Central Virginia to high school. But I think after that moment it is possible now that your college graduation day is my favorite day!

Good morning. I do, in fact, bring greetings from—apparently only the New York branch of—Nerdland.

When you get to know a fellow, know his joys and know his cares,

When you’ve come to understand him and the burdens that he bears,

When you’ve learned the fight he’s making and the troubles in his way,

Then you find that he is different than you thought him yesterday.

You find his faults are trivial and there’s not so much to blame

In the brother that you jeered at when you only knew his name.

You are quick to see the blemish in the distant neighbor’s style,

You can point to all his errors and may sneer at him the while,

And your prejudices fatten and your hates more violent grow

As you talk about the failures of the man you do not know,

But when drawn a little closer, and your hands and shoulders touch,

You find the traits you hated really don’t amount to much.

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Behind the Cloud is a great account of how Marc Benioff revolutionalized the software industry and pioneered cloud computing with his company He shares 111 strategies, he used to build the company with the help of very talented individuals and partners.

Marc tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, 

Seize the opportunity in front of you. Imagine. Invent. Disrupt. Do good. I know that you must be passionate, unreasonable, and a little bit crazy to follow your own ideas and do things differently. But it’s worth it. Life grows relative to one’s investment in it. I promise you that by considering everyone’s success, you will see the return.”

Here are my favorite takeaways from reading, Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff:

In his book, Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry, Marc Benioff, CEO of, shared a management process he developed in the early days of building Salesforce to become an industry leader, he called the process: V2MOM (vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures).

In Behind the Cloud, he writes:

“I went out to look for help. I sought wisdom from leadership gurus, personal development gurus, and even spiritual gurus. Over time, I realized that many of these seemingly disparate sources shared striking similarities. I looked to employ these common threads in my own work, and over time I developed them into my own management process, V2MOM, an acronym that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures”

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.” – Chinese Proverb  

You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Junior Chamber International is a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs. I used to be a member of JCI during my university days; the organization encourages members to become active citizens and participate in social and economic development efforts.

The JCI motto is “Service to humanity is the best work of life.” As Forner UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

“You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want in life.” – Zig Ziglar

Here are some great quotes on service:

Ted Turner (born November 19, 1938) is an American Media Entrepreneur, sailor, and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is the founder of the Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television, which later became TBS.

Ted started his entrepreneurial journey when he took over his father’s billboard business, Turner Outdoor Advertising, he took over in 1963 after his father’s suicide. He later purchased the Atlanta UHF station in 1970, which was the start of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. an American television and media conglomerate. Among TBS’s main properties were its namesake TBS, TNT, CNN, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and TruTV. 

CNN pioneered 24-hour cable news, covering the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. 

The Age of A.I. is an American 8-part science documentary web series narrated and hosted by American actor Robert Downey Jr. Distributed by YouTube Premium in the United States,  it first aired on December 18, 2019 and is an 8-part series

I really enjoyed watching the show as it broadened my knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, the use cases, the opportunities, threats, and issues with the AI Revolution,