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A father’s radical advice to his teenage son on Women, Startups, and Binge-watching — Part 2


Dear Son, As promised in my last blog, here are the first three pieces of advice that you may want to reflect on, understand and decide how you want to practice. 1. Build Trust and empathy for the disadvantaged 2. Set your own rules for your career 3. Avoid binge-watching at all costs Seems radical for sure but why am I saying these three things? Let me explain.

Disadvantaged/Minorities Women will be a defining force at the workplace and probably in all spheres of life in the years to come. We are seeing more and more women rise to senior levels at organizations and will breakthrough to CXO level roles lot more than we see today. Organizations are also pushing for diversity, some just for the sake of metrics and some genuinely want to make a difference. No matter the reason, the change is accelerating. And this will change the career trajectories for men. Now, this is a good thing as more women will bring a balance to this testosterone, macho, loud and aggressive world. So first and foremost be respectful and polite, and avoid the natural tendency men have to override them in most situations. We need the balance by including people from all walks of life and we need it fast. Hopefully, most women in corporate, leadership, and political circles will bring that balance to this planet. The need for respect and balance starts at home, support your wife in her passions as much as you do your own. I always say “the women of today are answering the questions our mothers were never asked and our daughters will never be asked.” Our mothers were not given a choice but had to stay home and focus on family but our daughters will have thriving careers and not even think of compromising their passions. They will be as much if not more driven inside and outside the home. The women of today, though are paving the way forward. This dynamic will shift the balance away from men for the first time in our history and this is going to be hard for men! The same trajectory is not yet true for minorities, people of color, or the LGBTQ community. But I do believe and hope that one day they will also see similar freedom. Your own rules for life You are starting ahead in many ways compared to millions of other youth. Thanks to some of the success, your parents have had, you do not have to worry about basics in life including a good education. Hence you have an incredible opportunity to lead a joyous and happy life partaking in the pleasures of the world and having a balanced life. For that to happen though you will need three fundamental things (1) Financial freedom (2) quality time to enjoy your life (3) discipline or self-control. Financial freedom will come if you stay within your means and save from day one. Ensure you are not a slave to any organization or a corporate, try to build your passive income in addition to your salary. That will set you free. Hard work early is the only way to ensure that. Once you have financial freedom set you need to balance your life and not be a slave to your devices or your tasks but find time to invest in yourself, your family, and your hobbies. Do not delay your passions, try to accomplish them little by little each day. Finally, all of this is possible if you build strong discipline and self-control. Today and in the future, it will be quite difficult to resist the algorithms built by large corporates to steal your data, time, and attention from you. One will not even realize that we are being exploited as it will be done in hedonistic ways. So self-control and discipline will only be the solution. Build that muscle each day. Learn to say NO all the time to things that have no additive quality to your life. This leads to my next point.

Binge-watching Every few years there is a new trend that looks hip and cool, it is nothing but a way for large corporations to make money by preying on the core human frailties of fear, envy, novelty, and indulgence. With video streaming it's quite easy for most content providers to know how to keep an individual hooked on their programming. AI algorithms will only make this more precise and seamless. Now you may say we watch TV dad, so what’s wrong? Yes, that’s a good point, I am not saying don’t consume content but be mindful of your time on it. The common minimum standard of governance on values-based content has been lost because it's easy to influence and attract an individual, especially a young mind to the fringes of human frailty. Notice the similarities in how all of these trends progress. First, they start by making it available for free or almost free so people can be hooked to try them. The second phase is to market it endlessly as a trend to the point of ensuring that if you are not indulging then you are isolated in social circles. Finally, overwhelm the influence circles with high spending patterns. Make it so invisible that one has to believe this is good. It's sad but true cumulatively in a few years the spending on content far exceeds most of the philanthropies in the world. Anywhere you look you are nudged to indulge. How can you escape? Most of these shows use violence, sex, profanity, and some sort of negative human behavior to keep their audiences hooked. Prioritize your time to invest in yourself, your family, and in activities that make you happy in a long-term sustainable way without external stimuli or indulgence. And I am confident that you will be far better at it than I ever was. Son, spend your time wisely, protect your mind and your time. And am sure you will look back and smile at your life at all the great moments you would have gathered even in your sunset years!

Love

Dad




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