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Imagining the worst things possible...

publishedover 1 year ago
6 min read

warikoo Wanderings

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Overthinking is a thing!
We all tend to overthink.
And strangely, it is almost always about the thing that will go bad.
No one in history was overthinking about the good things.

Imagine, your friend calls you at midnight, right before an interview, and goes, "OMG dude, I can't stop this overthinking. They are going to love me, fall for my credentials, my experience, my pedigree and I am going to get this job and earn so much, while have this brand on my resume. SOMEBODY STOP ME!"

This doesn't happen.

What happens is,
"OMG dude, I can't stop this overthinking. They are going to reject me. I only have this interview. I already hate my job and if I don't get this one, then I do not know what I am going to do. And oh, what if my boss finds out that I am interviewing! I saw someone senior in the company I am interviewing connected on LinkedIn with my boss. What if they are best friends? What if THAT person interviews me tomorrow and then tells my boss. And then I don't get this job and my boss fires me as well. And then Anjali will also leave me. Her dad as it is hates me. Then my parents will insist on updating my profile and OMG, what if they ask me to consider Ritu again? I don't like her. Oh god - what if I end up marrying Ritu? Can you imagine having kids with her?
Hello, hello. You there? Bhai! So gaya kya? HELLLOOO?"

Overthinking is a thing!

There are 2 important things to know about overthinking.

  1. We are all hardwired to think more about the bad, than good.
    This isn't something that is wrong with me. We ALL are hardwired this way.
    Some time back, we all were cave men and women!
    And at that point, the only thing that mattered was survival.
    Each time we ventured out, we could be attacked by a wild animal, or by members of another tribe, or even our tribe members who are jealous that you made it to IIT!
    So, our brains were focused on ONLY ONE THING - alert them of the danger.

Over millions of years, this has become now a habit of the human mind.
Alert us of the danger.
While the dangers of wild animals have reduced, others have taken their place.
The dangers of "Sharma ji ke ladke ko dekho" is still there. The dangers of being laughed at are still there. The dangers of being seen as a failure in society is still there.
So, our mind alerts us about them.

We have a question to ask in class and our mind goes, "Dude, why bother. Imagine if the question turns out to be a stupid one and everyone laughs at you?"
We want to approach a stranger and our mind goes, "Dude, why bother. Imagine if the stranger refuses and then people around you laugh at you?"

2. Our mind focusses on possibilities. Not probabilities.
This is an important one to realize.
Our brain's job is to focus on the possibility.
Is it possible that you will get hit by a bus today - YES!
Is it possible that you will be kidnapped - YES!
Is it possible that you will be fired - YES!

Just the possibility of an event, is enough to trigger overthinking.

What we need to add, to stop the overthinking, is probability.

Yes - it is possible that I get hit by a bus, but what is the probability of it?

And if you think about it - we ALL use this technique in our daily lives.

Each time we step out, there is a possibility of getting hit by a bus. But we still step out fearlessly, right? How come?
Because we have told our brain, that the probability of that is low.
And how do we know that the probability is low?
Because we have witnessed that ourselves.

That is it!
The way to solve overthinking.

Realize you are not alone in thinking of the bad more than the good.
And realize that when YOU are convinced that the probability of that bad thing is low, your mind will automatically be convinced.

Happy non-overthinking :)


One of the worst advices that is often shared is "Scratch your own itch", especially when it comes to starting up.
In this week's podcast episode, I talk about why it's not a good advice.

You can give it a listen on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, JioSaavn or Gaana.
My podcasts are now on YouTube as well - because so many of you asked for it.


So I ran a fun experiment last week. I intentionally mixed Rafa and Federer. My hypothesis was that the response rate to the email will increase by at least 40%.

And then to those who responded, I gave 2 replies
1. I got confused. Sorry sorry. I meant Federer
2. Wait for the next newsletter
The hypothesis there was that people who received reply 1 would still reply back with some reaction, while reply 2 will patiently wait.

Guess what!

Against the usual 200+ replies I get to every newsletter, this week I got 450+ responses.
And to those I replied, Reply 1 replied back 30% while reply 2 replied back only 5%

What does this tell you?
1. Whenever you make a mistake, people will want to point that out, because people react to exceptions more than the norm.
(Which is what news thrives on! If the headline said, "900Mn+ Hindus and 200Mn+ Muslims did not kill each other today as well" - it will not sell!!)

2. When you admit to a mistake, it generates a further reaction (good or bad).

I love messing with you all :))

So I am still reading The Master: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer
And Federer is my favorite - sorry to all Rafa fans :))

I wrote a thread on Twitter on the gadgets that I use, which a lot of people used to make purchases during the Amazon Great India Festival. You can check out the list of gadgets that I use.


The right questions generate curiosity. The wrong ones generate doubt.
(Share on Twitter)

When people say they are confused, they mostly mean they don’t even know what options they have.
(Share on Twitter)

You don't find time. You make time!
(Share on Twitter)

If you are scared of public speaking it is because you are speaking to the crowd. Not to yourself.
(Share on Twitter)

Do not wait for another moment to share what you felt in the moment!
(Share on Twitter)


Last week I asked you:

How much time do you spend with yourself daily?
Without any phone, book, music, gadget, person - nothing. Just you and your thoughts.
Not day dreaming! :)
Actually thinking actively. About things.

  1. Don't spend time with myself
  2. Less than 15 minutes daily
  3. Between 15-30 minutes
  4. Between 30-60 minutes
  5. More than 60 minutes

Here are the results:

Some observations

  1. 50%+ people across ALL age groups are spending less than 15 mins daily with themselves. Let me repeat that - in 1,440 minutes per day, people are struggling to spend even 15 minutes (or 1% of the entire day) with themselves.
  3. People are spending less than 15 minutes per day with their own selves.
  4. Nothing else is more important.
  5. WHY ARE YOU spending time with other people or other things and not with yourself?

Here is why - you are scared of what might emerge!
You are scared that your overthinking will take over.
You are scared that you will realize you have made bad choices and need to make amends.

You are just scared.

So what do you do?
You numb yourself - by working, by watching, by sleeping, by being with others.

Wake up!


Pick one for a vacation:

  1. Mountains
  2. Beaches
  3. Cities
  4. Do not like vacations

Click here to let me know your answer (anonymously)​​​

You can, of course, always write to me, by simply replying to this newsletter. I love reading all your emails, even though I may not be able to reply to them all.
​​(Diwali ke time teen patti parties ki kasam!)


I was lost at 24 (YouTube)

Why I invest in US Stocks - And you should, too! (YouTube)

EPF or PPF - Which one should you invest in? (YouTube)

A flute rendition of AR Rahman classic (IGTV)

My 100 seconds of answers to your questions on change (IGTV)

Broke my parents' expectations (Reel)

Life is all about 2 choices (Reel)

Biggest hack of my productivity (LinkedIn)

On the right time to get married (LinkedIn)

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