I am sorry for this email. It’s coming late and probably not the best time for you. I have some bad news to share.
My 97-year-old grandfather passed away on the 4th of November 2023. As this is sent to you, I will be travelling to Sri Lanka for the funeral.
I lost my maternal grandparents when I was roughly ten years old. Now, I lost my grandfather almost twenty years later with my grandmother still alive.
My father wished he could be there for his father’s last days and he was actually due to make a trip later this month.
I am doing fine. But I need to be there for my father, and thankfully, he is a strong man.
I think it will all hit us when we are in Sri Lanka. But we will use this opportunity to give my grandfather a good send-off, to celebrate his life and his legacy and on top of this we will be together with the greater family.
My fondest memory was when my grandfather introduced me to the Bhagavad Gita. It’s this conversation that has shaped my present-day thinking. Life is about duty and to perform that duty very well.
Initially, this newsletter started off as a declaration of Movember before the bad news came. I still want to announce that I will be partaking in Movember with the aim of fundraising.
My goal is to fundraise $200, and thus far I have fundraised $50.
If you would like to donate, click below and get amongst it!
Flow state for work
Despite the bad news, I will want to provide some content that will be useful to you. Here is a video I found about getting into the “flow” state, which can help with your productivity with work of study.
Flow state can’t be willed.
Eustress - not too overwhelming and not too boring. If you are bored, framework in a challenging way (I am going to explain this feature to the non-technical team and this makes me more involved). Or if you are too overwhelmed, breathing. Calm down breath with slowing your breath down. Can also talk to a friend, or journal to reduce stress but controlling your breath is probably one of the best.
Lack of ego, comparative thoughts feed the ego. Breathe out and get rid of those comparative thoughts.
Cannot slip into the flow state. You need to focus on meditation. You need to focus and breathe. Meditation is hard, fixed point gazing - engage the mind. Better than just focusing on the breath.
For a lot of us, achieving this state is almost trivial, but I definitely will be trying to improve my ability to enter this state of mind but fixed point gazing practice.
My personal take doesn’t have to be monetary even though that is what is discussed in this video. But Shaan Puri gives us a good framework for success.
You aren’t old — you need to adopt the mindset of a 21-year-old.
Early in life, you should optimise for learning — finding what you enjoy and what you are good at.
See the thumbnail and watch to video.
Thank you for reading this newsletter. I will try and provide more useful content soon. But for now, it’s time to be with my family.
Stay focused and talk soon,
Kindle highlight of the week
The reinforcement-learning framework has proven to be so general, in fact, that it has led to an idea known as the “reward hypothesis”: “That all of what we mean by goals and purposes can be well thought of as the maximization of the cumulative sum of a received scalar reward.”
(Brian Christian, The Alignment Problem)