Hi! You have reached warikoo's newsletter :)

You don't become cool doing this...

publishedover 1 year ago
4 min read

warikoo Wanderings

You can share this newsletter on WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn or view it on the web.


We all love to generalize.
Oh - they look like this, so they must be like this.
Oh - they talk like this, so they must be like this.
Oh - they dress like this, so they must be like this.

Even if we do not like math, what we all end up doing is build this formula in our head:
If {someone I have seen before with the same characteristics}, then assume {they are similar to the ones I have seen before}.
Hence, proved :))

Why do we do that?
Knowing very well, that this is at best, an extrapolation?

I remember, back in school, I used to feel that every single school kid who used to smoke or drink was a bad kid.
Not bad in the sense of they are doing something bad.
Bad, in the sense that they were the BAD PEOPLE my parents had always warned me against.
The bad people that will go on to become criminals of the world.
The ones who will kill, steal, rob and eventually hopefully fill up our prisons!

That bad!

And I am not happy about who I was back then. Or my feelings. My judgment. My generalizations.

Why do we do that?

It is because...
...the world is complex.
Intensely complex.
And the human mind isn't capable of dealing with this level of complexity.

We want to explain everything in our head. And an easy way to do that, is to form connections, associations and relationships.

So we see someone smoking or drinking and we form the connection of all the bad guys in the movies smoking and drinking, and we go "Aha! That explains it." It is easier that way to explain it, no?

All of this boils down to life's most fundamental truth.

"We know ourselves through our thoughts and others through their actions."
(Share on Twitter)

We think we always know why we are doing what we are doing. Because we live with our thoughts.
But others only see us through our actions. They do not know what we are thinking.
So it is easy for them to assume things, because of those very actions.

We do the same with others.
We see them through their actions.
Not their thoughts.
And through those actions we try to categorize them into buckets and patterns that we know of!

When I read this quote and thought about it deeply, I realized that action alone will always be such a poor representation of someone's true motive.
Which is why, I often ask!

Just ask!
Do not assume! Just ask.
When you ask, you get to know something about the thought behind that action.
Which may, just may, help you know the person more than the generalization you chose for them.

I spoke about this on my podcast as well this week. 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.


Something strange and wonderful happened this week.
On the 5th of September, people began to wish me on Teacher's Day!

It was strange, because while I think of myself as a teacher, for the world to think of me like that was unexpected!
And it was wonderful, because it is truly the most wonderful gift one can give me - the title of their teacher.

This year, my school teacher from Class 11/12 retired. She has played a pivotal role in my life and for me, she has been the teacher that the world always deserved.
Through her, my definition and very image of a teacher has been held on a very high level.
A level that I did not ever think I was capable or deserving of reaching.

And yet, some of you thought I am worthy of this tag. And that makes me so so happy.
A special acknowledgement to Aryan Khanna, whose video simply blew my mind.


I am still reading (and intend to keep reading for another 2 weeks)
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Stunning book! Am taking it slow, reflecting upon the messages and wisdom, and seeing how I can imbibe it in my life.
Which reminds me, have I shared with you this video on how I read my books?


Just because someone has a job, doesn't make them less ambitious, less capable and not cool.
(Share on Twitter)

Imagine how much time and energy you would save if you did not look to see what others say or think about you.
(Share on Twitter)

We fear the consequences if we make the wrong choice. So we decide to do nothing!
(Share on Twitter)

We cannot control our thoughts. We can only be aware of them.
(Share on Twitter)

It is ridiculous that a good book at the right time, costing less than a pizza party, can change your entire life!
(Share on Twitter)


Last week I asked you:

Who have you learnt from, the most?

  1. Your family
  2. Your friends
  3. Your peers/colleagues
  4. The Internet
  5. Books
  6. Your teachers

Here are the responses:

There are 2 ways of looking at this data:

  1. Because the internet was not there early on, naturally people older have learnt the most from books, friends, peers, etc. (Surprisingly, almost no one thinks that teachers have helped them learn!)
  2. Or, this is how we will eventually end up learning in our life, as we grow older, Internet or no Internet.

Despite the fact that I am old, I still believe that no. 2 above is true.

As you grow older, you will realize that the Internet (or any such medium) will become more and more the mode of information. While the learning will come from your network.

Let this survey be a reminder to you - that people close to you form an integral part of your learning.


Ok - the hardest (almost unfair) question of all times!

Who are you (or were you, if they are no more) closest to you, in your immediate family?

  1. Your mother
  2. Your father
  3. Your siblings

To test a few things, I not just ask for your age, I also ask for your gender. Play along, please?

​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.
​​(Baarish mein garam garam pakodon ki kasam!)

You can share this newsletter on WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn or view it on the web.

Read all previous editions of the newsletter here.