Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Commitment issues

An experienced serial entrepreneur had written in an article I once read that it'll always come in handy to be good and fast at skills you may use regularly. Good common sense advice, no? In that basket of skills features reading, for me. Also, to an extent, writing. Thinking does too, and I do try to practice that as much as I can. Because if I don't make it a point to think, it turns out, I don't think. I act on automaton mode prompted by immediate reward cues, just like animals. In any case, I realized I am not practicing these skills as much as I'd like. This space, this blog, has been lying fallow for quite some time now. So I've decided to be resourceful and use it to my advantage. I hope to turn this in to a book review blog of sorts. Nothing formal. Nothing orderly. Just write reviews of books, when I finish them. I hope to finish about one leisure reading book a week. By my present reading standards, that's ambitious. But then, there are two schools of thought on making your goals public. In the one case, the fact that you've signaled intent and impressed your audience thus implies you lose initiative to fulfill those goals. For instance, if I am a school kid and I say I wish to become a lawyer to the auntie and uncle that come to visit my parents and they go "very good, child" , I am less likely to work towards becoming a lawyer than otherwise as I've already increased status from the declaration. The other school of thought says, declaring definite goals publicly, especially when most of the status comes after the fact of realising that goal, enhances likelihood of goal achievement. For instance, if I hope to lose a 100 pounds, I am more likely to lose it if I put it on my twitter and facebook status messages than if I keep it a secret vow. I am hoping my book reading and reviewing goals fall in the latter category. I've never reviewed books. So I will mostly begin with whatever little I can recall from the book and my thoughts on it. I hope not to actually open the book at the time of reviewing it. I am hoping this will help with increasing my operating memory on leisure literature, which is quite sparse at the moment. I just finished Tom Sawyer and I don't remember any more the name of Tom's last love. There's also a theory about writing helping to organize things in one's memory better. So I'd like to test that out. I expect the reviews to be haphazard and disorganized for now. But perhaps in a year or two, they will have acquired some form. The other reasons for doing this are that I am too under-read and under-knowledgeable(?) to write meaningful posts otherwise. I may occasionally write-up an article on issues I care about, but I wouldn't be comfortable doing so without a tonne of reference literature to back up my claims, so that would take time and articles of that sort may not be frequent. Also, I think I've screwed up my 'work-life balance'. More my 'life' than my 'work'. Without definite leisure related goals, work and online leisure sprawls matted over the length of the day and I'm hoping this will help me organize my leisure better. I expect most of the book reviews to go up on weekends. I also hope to be able to mention what book I'll be reviewing the subsequent week. Wish me luck friends!

Upcoming review: Huckleberry Finn (for I'd have completely forgotten Tom Sawyer by then, although I thoroughly enjoyed the book!)


Jil Jil Ramamani said...

In my family when I said I want to become a lawyer, several heart attacks happened. :(

The only thing I remember about Huckleberry Finn is that back in 6th standard, it was the most hilarious PG rated joke to have interchanged the first letters of the first name and last name.

Looking forward to the book reviews.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...


Thanks Jil.