Sebastian and Sons

One man’s noise is another’s music. When I was listening to classic rock, alternative rock and metal, I could never fathom why people needed any other genre. Ok – maybe western classical had utility as ‘white noise’ backdrop to intense intellectual concentration. When I started dating the gal who would become my wife, jazz entered …

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The monk who recalled a TV show

(Retrieved from a tendril of memory in 2001. Filed under “San Francisco to Los Angeles road trip”) Long weekend, gracious host, uncomplicated life status, and absence of a Los Angeles bucket list combined for a relaxed trip. Autobiography of a Yogi (AoY) was fresh in my memory. While I had read it several years ago, …

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Dabbling with discomfort

Maximizing pleasure doesn’t need practice. It’s hardwired into our system.   Tolerating pain, however, is a different ball game. Notice how I swapped maximizing with tolerating. Maximizing pain fits squarely in the realm of the suicidal and masochist.. and to be strictly avoided. An oft quoted ultra runner’s quote goes like this “not all pain is …

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Goodbye to Vitamin I

Earlier this year I had written about unlocking a superpower, a post that tantalizingly starts with me ‘visualizing away’ a raging headache, a feat that sadly turns out to be a one-time wonder. If you have Googled, you know that there is no such thing as Vitamin I. But if you’ve read the thoroughly engaging …

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Planes and trains

An old school friend (M) gave the following reason for giving up meat : “One fine day I felt that I had eaten enough chicken for a lifetime. So I turned vegetarian.” My feelings towards planes and flying are approaching a similar sentiment. In the past 2 years, I’ve probably flown close to 30 times. …

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Underachiever’s Manifesto

As a tribute to this post’s theme, I’m just going to share excerpts of this not-so-famous 2006 book. As opposed to providing a commentary on what this topic means to me.  For obvious reasons, it’s entirely appropriate that a book entitled The Underachiever’s Manifesto never really became a huge seller. Written by an American doctor named Ray Bennett …

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The tough boss framework

We’ve all had tough bosses in our careers. I don’t know about you but I’ve always enjoyed working with them. Just to be clear, folks like Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, or fictional fashion editor Miranda Priestley are NOT my definition of tough boss. I’m talking about the boss that sets a really high bar, pushes …

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Sardaron wali baat – apology to my Sikh friends

(Circa 2010, a weekday morning at work) We had just wrapped up a conference call with our colleagues in San Francisco. I pressed the hang-up button, turned to my team members and uttered “Kaisa yeh sardaron wali baat usne keh di” (Translation: what kind of a Sardarji like statement did that guy make?) And in …

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Quitting in the age of vaping

If vaping was a thing back in the early ’90’s, I seriously doubt I’d have quit smoking when I did. Not that it was easy. It took a year of umpteen failed attempts with quit streaks ranging from days to months. I still don’t know the precise reason why attempt #67 worked. Perhaps it was …

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Unlocking a superpower

Decades ago, I went to bed with a raging headache. For the next 10 minutes, I performed a sequence somewhat like this – took my attention away from my forehead, imagined myself floating in the ether, then gently lowered myself into a bottomless void ever so slowly. As I floated down, a part of me …

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