What is the Difference between Accuracy and Precision?

Accuracy vs Precision
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between accuracy and precision? Though they seem to be one and the same, there is an important distinction that separates them.

Accuracy is the degree to which your arrow hits the bulls eye.

“whereas”

Precision is how consistently you hit the target.

So which one is more important? I would say both. They complement each other. The greatest artists, musicians, athletes and entrepreneurs  mastered the dual of accuracy and precision to the highest levels possible.

I know there have been many people in the past who succeeded just because of accuracy. I will say it is just a stroke of luck or they might be lazy enough not to pursue their calling.

You can frequently see words like “young sensations and sudden geniuses” in newspapers and TVs and after a few months or years they suddenly disappear an never found again.

Their gift of accuracy may take them to the sky but they prefer not to reach the stars. To reach the stars consistent practice and significant sacrifice is required.

Whenever your work suddenly attracts praise and laurels, don’t stop and marvel at your own work. Instead work harder to improve and refine. Create better works. Taking praise to mind is the biggest enemy to precision.

Serial entrepreneurs earned the word serial because they consistently hit the jack pot no matter what business they start. In other words they achieved precision.

Alchemists can turn lead to gold because of precision.

Accuracy without precision is like tactics without strategy. It is the noise before defeat as the great philosopher Confucius calls it.

Similarly focusing only on practice without having a target in mind is also not correct. Repeating the same mistakes is not the point of trying.

Not repeating your mistakes and learning from them is precision with accuracy in mind.

Precision without accuracy is shooting the darts without a bullseye.

Keep in mind, whatever you do, first test your accuracy range and keep working on it i.e improve the precision.

Precision is continuous mastery whereas accuracy is its fruit or the result.

Raviteja Visakoti

 

 

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“Everything happens for a reason” conundrum

starthabit

I believe everything happens for a reason. Every event that takes place in my life makes me realise who I am. Sometimes the smallest of conversations help me to solve some of the big issues that I face. I believe every obstacle I encounter is a camouflaged blessing for a greater cause. My belief reinforced when I listened to Steve Jobs in his prominent Stanford speech where he emphasised the concept of “Connecting the dots.” If you haven’t watched it yet please do watch and come back to this article, it is better to understand the essence of that by listening to the legend himself.

Some people always complain that things aren’t working out in their lives, in other words- they are not able to connect the dots. If you are not open to the clues that nature is trying to give then nothing can help you. Everything happens for a reason stands valid only if you are serious in pursuing your goals, only if you are truly committed to your ambitions. There is a power in this world and that always helps you when you give your best in that endeavor but not when you sit like a lazy brat and fiddle away valuable time watching Star Movies and eating mojos.

Be open minded and amenable, Be a good listener and open to correction, at the same time don’t get swayed away by others’ opinions.You should take the final call. Sometimes your likes and dislikes may change, but the “goal” and the “main plan” should never change. For example, if you want to become financially free in 10 years and travel around the world to explore life, you should not let that be compromised at any cost. There can be diversions in the path, sometimes you have to take detours and act according to the circumstances but the plan should be intact. The world is evolving at an exponential rate but there are some basic principles that are eternal and you can reach your destination more comfortably if you are in sync with those principles.

Raviteja Visakoti

The Joy of Minimalism

Last week when I met my cousin he was wearing the same pair of jeans that he wore 5 days prior to that week. But it was neatly ironed and looked like a new one. He said he washes and irons it himself everyday. I was fascinated by the idea that you can concentrate on important activities while not worrying about selection regarding routine and basic tasks. I do not think he knows that is called minimalism. For people who heard it for first time and if you google the term it is mostly related to architecture and art. But now the concept is applied to a wide range of categories.

The minimalism that I am talking about is different, it is about choices and thinking. Many people get confused between frugality and minimalism. There is a chasm of difference between being frugal and being minimalistic. In minimalism you use your energies, focus, time and even money only on what is really important in life and what which adds value to your self. A minimalist is willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a book he loves but does not waste even a dime on a candy or chocolate which is not conducive to health.

Being a minimalist means being an all-rounder in terms of overall well being. Practicing minimalism is the surest way to self respect and true satisfaction in life. I like to use the word refinement instead of minimalism. One refines what he/she wants to wear, eat or anything for that matter. It is the core of simplification of life. As a famous author said “when accumulation does not make you happy, try deccumulation”.

How to be a Minimalist?

The heart of minimalism is “de-clutterment.” It is the process of eliminating junk or redundant or unnecessary tasks/activities/things/etc so that one can focus on what is really important.

Consider the example of clothes, most of us do binge shopping and hoard stacks of clothes. In reality we use only 20 percent or at the maximum 30 percent of clothes in 90 percent of the times. We can eliminate nearly 75 percent of our clothes. You may worry that if you wear the same set of clothes you may be marked down as a boring person. Remember you can be neat and tidy with the same set of clothes everyday. People respect and adore you not by how many different outfits you wear but by the achievements and behavior of yours. You can be a role model not by the type and cost of your dress but by the commitment towards your work and endeavor. By simplifying the number of clothes in your wardrobe, next time you need not worry about what clothes to wear and get haunted by the paradox of choice. Your choice will be clear and simple to choose one.

The next advantage is money, I need not state the number of dollars you can save if you stop unnecessary shopping. This is just one category, in the same way you can apply minimalism to every aspect of your life, be it foods, clothes, gadgets, books, etc. Perhaps the most important resource on which you can apply minimalism is “time.” Time is human being’s greatest asset(yes, even greater than money). Refine your activities for which you want to allocate time to it. Quickly eliminate “time thieves” in your life whether they may be people or activities arising out of your procrastination. Fill your time with the work you love, exercise, meditation and many more activities which add value to your life and persona. Steve Jobs always used to wear a simple black turtleneck and blue jeans. Yet he looked stylish and as an emblem of charisma whenever he spoke. When someone asked Mark Zuckerberg on why he wears the same T-Shirt everyday he replied “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life, so that way I can dedicate all of my energy towards just building the best products and services.”  Now decide on yourself what you really want to concentrate on.

Remember the simple theme of minimalism: “Doing what is exactly necessary with what is exactly required”. —–Raviteja Visakoti

Ingredients of success

If you ask me what is the most essential ingredient for success, I would say it is belief. Belief that you can make it, belief that you can and will achieve it.

Belief triggers reactions in the brain and makes way for things to happen. Having said that, only belief does not move the mountains. The power of belief clears the way for you and makes the pitch ready for you to strike. In other words it creates the opportunity for you to execute your actions.

Once you believe that you can achieve your goal, then you need to take continuous action “that counts.”  I am an avid supporter of hard-work but I do not support unfocused perseverance. Bluntly put, hard work without a proper direction, focus and belief is useless. You need to optimize your efforts. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, do not worry too much about your weaknesses, concentrate on your interest and focus your strengths around it.

So the required qualities are

  • Belief
  • Focus/Optimization
  • Hard-work/Perseverance
  • Reason/Desire/Purpose(which is obvious for any successful endeavor)

The above 4 qualities are not steps and they should be working simultaneously and always in “on-state.”

While you are working on these 4 qualities, a 5th important but dangerous practice comes into place :

Visualization/Fantasy. I am not saying visualization is bad but it is a double edged sword. You should know how to use it or the sword will cut you. To the people who might be thinking what exactly is visualization- it is the deliberate imagination of the outcome of your process and deriving pleasure from it. In other words it is fantasizing about what might happen if you succeed. Suppose you want to become a sports star. Visualization is thinking about fan clubs, star status and partying around with sports cars and lavish hotels. Coming to the positives, visualization helps in adding confidence which in turn helps you strengthen your belief, it also reminds you of your goals whenever you fiddle away your time or procrastinate. But the problem comes when you visualize your result/outcome too much instead of the process it takes. By visualizing the process that it takes to success, you are actually chalking out strategies and mentally preparing how to overcome future challenges that are bound to crop up in your journey. In fantasy you only think about the positives but not about the challenges.

Visualization is good but too much of anything is dangerous.

Raviteja Visakoti

Can we increase intelligence?

It is possible to increase the abilities of the brain by different exercises, situations and in cases medication (but to be used in conjugation with the others). You can actually increase your intelligence to a great extent. The abilities are so increased by the gradual increase of grey matter, forming of new neural pathways, strengthening of old pathways and de-clogging of clogged neural ways. Brain is like a muscle, it can be strengthened the way you work out your body. The strategies are a little different here of course.

From my observations there are a few things which can help a person to really develop his/her smartness and take it to the next level.

Do the tasks which are difficult to the brain. For example if you are a math student, try solving tougher problems, or if you are an English literature student try to comprehend passages which require focus and concentration in extreme levels (say a Shakespeare’s play or Kant’s philosophy). By doing so your brain automatically builds new connections and releases certain chemicals which flush out the materials which clog the pathways.

Research also found out that people who faced problems early in life have greater IQs than people who were grown up without facing adversities( Initially, the sets of children were taken in such a way that they had the same IQ when brain mapped on MRI). When you are beset with problems, your brain is forced to think for solutions to come out of the quandary as quickly as possible.

Exercise is another way to improve your intelligence. When scientists took 2 groups of people of almost identical intelligence levels and of same age and race, in the first group of people who did not exercise, scientists did not observe any changes in the brain mapping reports and in IQ tests, strangely some people even scored less than what they did prior to the start of the experiment. Interestingly people who exercised daily for 70 minutes or more were able to show dramatically better results in brain mapping scans and IQ tests. The most striking observation was that the people who had physical exercise consistently for a period of time were able to express their view points more lucidly and reported improved communication and clarity in thought process. This is due to the simple fact that during exercise our body facilitates blood flow to the brain which de-clogs the connections and assists in easy communication of electrical charges (messages) across the brain.

There are some brain training games which are specifically designed to improve the cognitive functions of the mind. My favorite ones are Lumosity and Elevate. They have dedicated laboratories and are doing excellent work in this aspect. You can also solve puzzles and learn a new language to keep your brain active. These activities are not just meant for improving intelligence, they can also be used for preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There is a greater than or equality to 20% chance of getting Alzheimer’s when a person reaches the age of 60.

And bad life style habits such as smoking and drinking triple your chances to acquire one. Alcohol and Tobacco in fact deteriorate brain cells causing extensive damage to the already formed neural networks. So better avoid this duo. Being a teetotaler is one of the best life style changes you can ever make.

Another interesting activity you can practice to improve your cognition (and overall well being) is Meditation. Meditation cools down the continuous firing of neurons and finds a way to rewire the necessary brain cells to make it efficient. Experiments clearly showed that there is a significant increase in grey matter when a person meditated for 10 minutes or more for a month. After one year scientists were awe struck to see that there was a completely different brain map and saw dense grey matters in the brain. Research also observed that Buddhist monks are more expressive, better communicators and empathizers than ordinary people.

There are new medicines coming into the market which promise to enhance the functioning of the brain. These are also called Smart drugs or Nootropics. Some of these drugs are used to treat patients suffering with attention disorders and also aging of brain. I cannot vouchsafe the efficacy of them (since I personally did not try them) but from reports, people say they are quite safe to use and had decent improvement with their flow of thoughts and memory. Obviously you cannot expect results comparable to that of Bradley Cooper in Limitless movie but they do make an impact. Finally, yes it is really possible to improve intelligence! — Raviteja Visakoti

How to manage Anger?

“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one”- Benjamin Franklin 

Everybody gets angry very quickly, its not something one has to be proud of. I hear people say in a pompous manner “You know I am very short tempered”, then immediately my inner voice says “what? who the hell in this world cares your bloody anger” but instead I laugh at those people and continue to shake my head to what they are saying. The size of a man is measured by the size of the things that make him angry. If you cannot control your anger you cannot control yourself which is an obvious chink in you armor. If you find yourself losing the strength of your temper strings then it is time to make some changes in your behavior. Let us explore how

Methods which will not work for sure

There are many theories on anger control and management but sadly very few are effective. One of the most common and dangerous misconceptions of anger management is “anger ventilation”. Some people(even a few psychologists) advise to vent out your anger on someone or something so that you will feel relieved , though this technique sounds quite seducing its advantages are far from the truth. When you vent your anger on someone/something you will not feel relieved( the relief that you get is instead pseudo-relief and its lifespan is momentary) and may also face disastrous consequences. Another common misconception is suppression of anger. To be frank this is a better option than the former and is very widely used by people especially when you have no other option and also in situations where even your minute display of anger can cause a calamity in your life( like before a higher authority, principal ,etc). The problem with suppression is our internal “anger-holders” are too fragile and even a slightest moment above the threshold can put a person into serious trouble.

Internal Mechanism

Before we get into the solutions part, let us understand the working of our brain during the moments of anger ( please do not get angry on me, I am neither a medical student nor going to bombard you with complicated chemicals and brain parts. I promise we will keep it simple ). As “Daniel Goleman”, the author of Emotional Intelligence, says  the universal trigger for anger is the sense of being Endangered. The threat can be both physical and symbolic. Some examples of Symbolic threats include a rude behavior by your colleague, a verbal brawl in office. Whatever might be the threat or trigger, two types of chemicals are released in the brain. For convenience’s sake let us call them    Type A chemical/Ripple and Type B chemical/Ripple. When Type A chemical is released, anger lasts for a short time and the energy surge fizzles out after a few minutes. When type B chemical is released it may last even for days together and slowly the anger gets accumulated and may act as a breeding ground for future angers (it is also called anger upon anger). Stress is a common factor which induces Type B ripple through the nervous system. A person is more likely to react angrily after a hectic and grueling day in office than a person who has come from a spa. That is the reason it is difficult to talk logic with some one who is angry. Slowly the anger gets compounded and reason decreases exponentially.

The Solution

Psychologist “Dolf Zillmann” sees two main ways of dealing with anger. One way is to change the frame of reference. Diffuse the anger by observing the thoughts which cause it in the first place and question the authenticity of those thoughts. Observe your thoughts from a different frame(perspective) and in an unbiased manner. Once we get to the cause of the problem or contemplate why we are getting angry , half the work is done. The reasoning part once again takes over the control and puts your thoughts in order. You may also contemplate the consequences of your anger and really question yourself what is the use of being furious. Second way is using distraction to your advantage. That is not allowing your anger to get compounded. This can be done by simply walking out of the situation to a more lonely place to cool off psychologically. Exercise and deep breathing also help tremendously.

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy” –Aristotle

–Raviteja Visakoti

How to Manage your E-Mail ?

email-overload

Did you ever feel over whelmed by the number of unread mails in your inbox ? We tend to subscribe to every tempting service and end up cursing their automated mails later. I want to be honest and say “It happens to me every time I open my Gmail account”. A small correction, it happened to me until recently when I could not tolerate the pile of unnecessary emails and took some serious action to sort out and cleanse my inbox. I had noticed that my inbox had 8300+ mails and greater than 99 percent of them are not useful to me in any possible way. I selected all the mails, unchecked some important ones, took a deep breath and clicked the trash icon. Boom! It felt as if I was more lighter than before. I want to share those techniques with you people. Hope you release your anchors for a smoother sail .

Problems associated with clutter full inbox :

a. You may miss an important email (or emails) in the ocean of unrelated mails

b. As soon as you open your account in the morning, you may feel bogged down by the quantity of junk mails

c. Not all services are necessary (studies show that more than 98 % emails are irrelevant and redundant)

d. It eats up your most valuable possession i.e your time

and plenty more..

Managing  email-over-load and inbox better :

 Unsubscribe to every service that you do not require

This is the first step and it is a pretty easy task. Go through your inbox and open an unwanted mail.  At the end of the message there is a an option called “Unsubscribe”. Click that and you will never receive any mail from that company or service.

 Delete all the unsubscribed mails 

Never execute this step before the first step because if you don’t unsubscribe you will keep receiving junk even after deleting all their mails. Generally the default mails that a page shows is 50 in Gmail. To increase that go to settings and change it to 100 per page and save those changes. In the search box, search for that particular unsubscribed service(say amazon). You will get all the mails related to it(like amazon offers,etc). Then keep clicking “check(tick) all mails” option in the page and trashing them. Just kill them all. Have no mercy!

Time for unimportant mails

Congrats by now you might have cleared at least 90% of your inbox. Now time to decorate your room by sweeping away the dust. Unimportant mails are those which are not service or company related but those messages which you once required but not necessarily important now. Examples include the mail that you had sent to Pizza-hut for poor delivery feed back or a conversation with your ex-colleague,etc. Be selective while trashing them because some mails are required for evidence if any issue crops up all of a sudden. After the second step, keep selecting “check all” but before you trash them, once give a cursory glance at every mail and “uncheck” the important ones and then click trash. When you weed out bric-a-brac plants from your backyard it is equally important to save the healthy shrubs, wonderful lilies & beautiful roses

Release the fear of emergencies

Most people have the compulsive habit of checking and rechecking their mail every now and then. I call them mail addicts . They read every email , spend at least a couple of minutes to every non-sensical email and then preserve it. Avoid that, be ruthless with email. Damages can be reversible most of the times. Stars are not going to fall if you don’t read your mail. Keep a specific time in a day and read all your email at that point only. Practice the habit of opening your gmail or yahoo only once a day and that too for 5 to 10 mins only. Slowly increase that period to days and weeks. Seriously and Trust me. Nothing will happen. In-fact you will be 5 times more productive and a lot more relieved. You need not reply people instantaneously. Let them wait. After-all your life is more important than that of others. Simplify your life!!

–Raviteja Visakoti