Hard to be decisive

Over the past month or so, I have had the opportunity to live fully independently for the first time. I have been working a full time backend engineering job at an amazing startup based in Toronto, taking a couple of online courses from university, taking yet another course on Coursera, and finally working at setting up a startup of my own with my cousin brother. Yet, I feel dissatisfied.

I read a post earlier today which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about – it was about the recent stockholders vote in Tesla to remove Elon Musk from the board. Though the vote failed and Musk maintained his seat, there was something else which caught my eye. Steve Blank, a business professor at Stanford and retired Silicon Valley entrepreneur, made a comment about how Musk, like Steve Jobs, is an excellent visionary and innovator. However, Tesla is no longer an innovation problem. It’s a problem of execution at scale. “It gets boring to execute,” he added.

Elon Musk has been one of my role models for a long time, and I have to say, believing that he goes through such struggles gives me some relief. Musk is a highly motivated human, no doubt. He puts his money where his mouth is and starts things he dreams of. He is great at showing other investors his vision and starting a company. But, it’s hard for him to settle and continue executing because he wants to keep exploring and try out new things.

I am going through something similar in my life. With so many ideas and so many things I want to learn about, I often find myself wishing there were more than 24 hours every day – but then I realize I still don’t make use of my time completely efficiently. I have recently started scheduling my days out by the hour and assigning myself enough time for all tasks I wish to take care of. To help bring more structure to my life, I also started taking an online course from Yale University on The Science of Well-Being. The course discusses the science of Psychology and aims to teach us students what practices make humans happy, and also how we can implement them in our own lives. I have a good feeling about this.


Talking about mental health

There have been a couple of deaths at my University recently. One suicide and one drug overdose which might’ve been a suicide. While I did not know the people, the stories had me thinking a lot.

This is the first time I am speaking about this on a public platform under my real name, but having had suicide attempts before, I know what it feels like to not want to live anymore. To just completely give up because that’s a much easier path. After all, there’s no pain and suffering if you die, right? Wrong.

Once someone’s mind is set on suicide, it’s hard to change it. Right now, being in a perfectly normal state of mind, I understand that when I was going through it, my friends were giving me perfectly logical reasons not to. But was I listening to them? Hell no. For me, the world was against me. I was against me. All I cared about was not having to deal with anyone anymore. It’s important though that people realize it’s only through repetition you can deal with it. I’m so very thankful to my buddies who were there for me and are very much the reason I am alive today.

I don’t know what my point of writing this was. I guess I just wanted to say you’re not alone. Whatever reason you may have, trust me, you don’t know the future, it will get better. Just give it time.

To anyone who is going through something and would like to talk, even anonymously, I would like to let you know I would love to get to know you more and just talk to you. You can email me at hhaardik@edu.uwaterloo.ca and we can chat.

I love all of you.

Features image source: http://pans.ns.ca/sites/default/files/mental-health-physical-health.jpg

On phases

I feel we all can relate to the feeling of having a different life before and after a certain incident. Something which completely changed the direction your life was going in. Be it because of something extremely nice or something extremely tragic, your life changed for the good or worse.

Personal experience, I don’t know how many people go through this as well, but I’ve noticed these phase changes are often associated with changing friend circles or making new friends and getting close to them while distancing yourself from your older friends. While this sounds sort of selfish, is it really? I don’t think anybody does this on purpose, I do strongly believe that you are the average of the 5 people you’re closest to – not necessarily in real life.

Also, each of these phases have their own pros and cons. With enough experience and thought putting, you can figure the pros and cons out and decide whether you want to switch to that phase or not. Life can be a lot simpler if you can think like that because in my opinion it unleashes your potential. If you can look up to someone and be like “I want to be like that person next,” and actually put your time in it to shift to that ‘phase,’ it’s gonna work out.

Recently having gone through a series of unfortunate events followed by me realizing I like this girl I have been talking to recently, it’s been a confusing few weeks. There’s only two ways the latter can go, each defining a different phase for me.