Human Tendency to make one sided comparisons

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend over a beer and mid-conversation with him, I remember thinking:

“Wow, this guy is so freaking awesome”

This person is a Data Scientist, running his own company, so basically does amazing work, solving real world data problems, amplifying them and providing future insights (I love it !!) and on top of that “shit loads of money”.

I remember feeling jealous, that I wasn’t nearly as close to him professionally. I wished I could be a Data Scientist with my own startup.

Over the conversation, we ended up talking a bit about Health in general.

It turns out, he has some major health concerns – he’s got Diabetes, has frequent back aches, doesn’t exercise, no walking/jogging and mostly spends his time what he boasts as partying and hanging out with his friends.

Now, the purpose of this article is not to judge the person for not focusing on his health; it’s to point out the fundamental human tendency to make one-sided comparisons.

We look at the positive aspects of people – the things we like about them: some are cooler than you, some have more muscle, some beat you in all fronts, and we compare their strengths to our weaknesses: I’m not as cool, I’m not as rich, I’m not as fit…

Let me be blunt: sometimes we are RIGHT – sometimes we’re not doing well in that aspect of life at all. In that case, it makes perfect sense to take a pause and fix that part of ourselves.

But often, you’re doing fine in that area, and these differences are just a result of different priorities, interests and different motivations.

The grass is always greener on the other side.

When you make these half comparisons, the grass often looks greener on the other side.

You’re comparing someone’s best aspect or number 1 priority to something that’s only of average importance to you.

If I compare my finances with many people here in Sydney, I’d lose, big time. There are so many millionaires here, and I’m not even close to that.

If I compare my body to a bodybuilder, I’d feel small. Some of them have more muscle in their legs than I have in my entire body.

This is where shortsightedness comes in. We get dazzled by the part of other people we feel amazed by (or the ones we feel that we lack), and would happily exchange it with them.

The grass often isn’t actually greener on the other side. It only looks greener because you choose to look at the parts of it that is greener.

If you take a bodybuilder as an example: he’s strong, fit, and good looking. You’re good looking too, but not as godlike or as muscular as him.

But would you exchange lives with him?

The point I’m getting to is, you need to look at the complete picture.

If you only see a popular kid and an unpopular kid, you will no doubt conclude that the popular kid was ahead of the game.

Now, this is not to say that all people are equal because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

Some people are better than others, either because they were born that way (IQ, temperament, etc.) or they worked for it.

If someone is richer, younger, healthier, happier, and more connected than you – and achieved it themselves – hell yeah he’s better and the grass is legitimately greener on the other side – (you should take some notes from him!)

(In fact, you should take some notes from everyone who’s worked to be great at something – after all, despite his lack of youth, Buffett can teach everyone quite a bit about acquisitions, the bodybuilder can give you some tips on your form even though he may not know much about anything else.)

But, in most cases, it’s fake greenery – the result of the myopic vision of your mind, where you only see the glory and not the sacrifice, only see the pros and not the cons, and only see the part of land where the grass is watered well and ignore the regions where it’s cracking out of dryness.

Comparisons with other people are inherently biased.

From the above, we can reasonably conclude that it’s not possible for us to compare ourselves with others because we don’t know their lives that well.

We know the things they’re doing well in – where they’re kicking ass, but we don’t know where they’re failing, the challenges they’re facing, or what things they’ve neglected for a while (those parts of them are much less visible and they don’t talk about them as much).

Because you don’t know the darker sides of their life, you cannot make a complete comparison.

There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by other people, but…

You can only compare you to yourself from the past.

Your only true comparison you can make is with yourself – 1, 5, 10 years ago.

This is because, with your own self, you see the full picture.

Where were you one year ago and where are you now?

If you were deeply in debt last year and now your net worth is $0 (i.e., debt-free) – you’ve done well. You’ve grown.

The real metric is what you have divided by what you started with. Are you growing? And are you happy with the rate of growth?

At the end of the day, you can only work with what you have, so it’s only fair to measure progress with yourself.

The next time you start comparing, ask yourselves this question: “Would you exchange lives with that person?”. If the answer is No, don’t be jealous, well if the answer is Yes, then instead of being jealous, be inspired and motivated (and start taking notes).


Feedback after Meditation

I can see a lot of people on social media telling everybody else that meditation is awesome and they are loving it. They claim that you can see the positive results of meditation on their minds and body. I wanted to start meditation or at least give it a try. I was searching through content on the web and came across this video on YouTube, which looked simple and straight forward for beginners.

The video explains that we should meditate for at least a month before we can see the results. To keep myself accountable, I will post here that I am starting meditation today i.e. 18-Jan-2020. I will provide my feedback after a month and let you know how I feel.

All the best 🙂


Why are Database consultants so important


One of the most common mistakes that organizations/teams make is not hiring a Database Consultant at the start of the project.

You might think that this is such a silly mistake and people should not do it, however trust me, they don’t and they do it again and again.

At the start of the project most of the times the team just want to hire a UI expert and want to start asap. The UI person creates a webpage and the associated events and later realizes that he/she needs to store the data somewhere (wow!!!) and creates a table and this activity goes on for every page or click the UI person is creating.

This leads to a Database design which is neither scalable, compatible and you can just imagine the performance and latency issues that you will get into.


Database design is the foundation of a well-performing database.

Would you ever consider building a house without a blueprint? The foundation to your Applications, Interfaces and Systems is the database. To ensure that your database will be a good foundation for your applications and programs that rely on it, build it right in the beginning.

What Organizations need to do is to hire a Database consultant at the start of the project and let him design and decide the Data model and the Architecture. If there are budget constraints, at least get .5 FTE from some other project for some time and let him design the Database keeping in mind the environment you are working on. Trust me, this will go a long way for your application. Applications which are designed in such a manner can withstand latency, scalability, availability and compatibility issues in far better manner than others.

The benefits of building it right are many. Just as you would never consider building a house without thoughtful design and planning, so should you approach database design. Imagine the building architect who is designing to your specifications. You’ll be asked questions like “How will you use this?”, “What are your future plans?”, “What do you want this to look like?”, “How do you want it to work?” Asking these same questions when you’re building a database will give you the same usability and “livability” that you’ll get out of a well-designed house.

Properly tuned and deployed Database designs will go a very long way toward ensuring your database environment is functioning at optimal levels. It also ensures that all your stakeholders your Technical architects, DBAs, UI team, Domain managers, users and even business intelligence and applications teams are aligned and working together efficiently.

Happy Designing !!!!

EM dbconsole not starting and giving NET HELPMSG 3547


Here are the steps you can use to check if you face problems with EM DB Consle

Database version : standard edition

EM DB Console not working.

1) check the status of dbconsole as follows

C:\WINDOWS\system32>emctl status dbconsole

2) Try to start the dbconsole

C:\WINDOWS\system32>emctl start dbconsole

if the dbconsole cannot be started, sometimes this problem may occur because SYSMAN and DBSNMP users are locked, so check their account status

C:\WINDOWS\system32>sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL> select username,account_status from dba_users;

—————————— ——————————–
OUTLN                                            OPEN
MGMT_VIEW                                 OPEN
SYS                                                   OPEN
SYSTEM                                           OPEN
DBSNMP                                         OPEN
SYSMAN                                          OPEN
DIP                                                   EXPIRED & LOCKED
ORACLE_OCM                                EXPIRED & LOCKED
APPQOSSYS                                    EXPIRED & LOCKED

so from above, its clear that both the user accounts are open

5) Check if agent is running or not

C:\WINDOWS\system32>emctl status agent

6) If the agent is not running try to start it

C:\WINDOWS\system32>emctl start agent

sometimes you get the message NET HELPMSG 2185

C:\WINDOWS\system32>NET HELPMSG 2185

The service name is invalid.

You tried to start a service that is not configured on this system.


Check the spelling of the service name or check the configuration information for the service using
the Services option from Server Manager.

Eventually recreate the repository please remember that recreating the repository will not impact your database functionality

before recreating, make sure you have the following information with you
Database hostname
Database SID
Listener port number
password for SYS user
password for DBSNMP user
password for SYSMAN user
also, it is important that DBSNMP and SYSMAN user’s account should be opened


C:\WINDOWS\system32>emca -config dbcontrol db -repos recreate -silent -DB_UNIQUE_NAME WINDEV -PORT 1521 -EM_HOME C:\oracle\11g\R2 -LISTENER LISTENER -SERVICE_NAME WINDEV -SID WINDEV -ORACLE_HOME C:\oracle\11g\R2 -HOST HP -LISTENER_OH C:\oracle\11g\R2 -DBCONTROL_HTTP_PORT 1159 -DBSNMP_PWD oracle -SYSMAN_PWD oracle -SYS_PWD oracle


Ratan Tata; and why he might have lost some respect

Whatever has been happening with the Tata Group has been saddening. I am not sure who is right or wrong, but definitely the way the removal of Cyrus Mistry was handled has not been professional at all. The Chairman of a company deserves to know if the board is unhappy with him and he or she has the right to at least get some time before these decisions are taken.

The Chairman deserves some dignity and if you think otherwise then the decision to designate the person as chairman was wrong in the first place.  In both the cases the board was wrong. Some people would argue that once you know that you were wrong it’s better to take faster corrective actions. However we need to understand that the Market is not just driven by numbers, it’s also driven by emotions and sentiments, which has definitely taken a hit in this case.

Additionally this will also inculcate fear into the minds of other top leaders, it’s simple if he can do this with the chairman then who am I.

 And Ratan Tata might not be looked at with the same respect again.

When I read your post

When I read your posts, I feel like giving up my redundant job in SG and do some stuff which I can be proud of, however the fear of failure just lurks around and may be that’s the real difference between you and me.
I started my own company when I was 21 and I had no fear of any kind when I did that, I was still in college. We continued for 2 years, until I left them due to some financial concerns at my end as we needed to pump in money every month. The two of them are still my good friends and still run the company.
But now after so many years, there are so many questions to ask
1. Will I succeed?
2. Will I be able to maintain the same standard of life ?
3. Will I be able to give my son and daughter the thought – let’s do what we want to, because we can always go back to our dad and he will take care.
May be I am right or maybe I am wrong. What I need to do is keep trying for sure.


A Team or an individual does not perform well.
Who do you think is responsible.
The team member(s) or the Leader.

I think the responsibility comes from top to bottom – So does lot of other things (appreciation, power, salary etc.)
You cannot always put all the pressure of performance on the team.
There can be various reasons why a team is not performing.
And I think it’s the job of the manager or his leader to understand why this is happening and come up with a solution.

No doubt, firing can be one of those solutions, but you should have given ample time and taken all the circumstances and choices of that individual into perspective before you do that.

It’s a failure at the manager’s end also, if you are firing somebody, it also means that you were not able to motivate or lead that person (apart from all other performance reasons)

Again it’s easy said than done. However you just learn from your experiences and make sure you don’t do the same mistake again.

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again.”

Open your Minds – Remain a student

I went to a training today. it was only a one hr training. I was really surprised by the questions that were posted to the trainer.

People asking random questions.

People not ready to listen to the full conversation.

People trying to be over-smart.

People trying to be prove that they are better than the technology/trainer itself.

I was just observing, at some point I thought I will just stand and give a 5 min lecture as to why have we come to this training.

I realized that as we grow and age, we think that we know everything and more importantly the other person does not know anything.

As we grow, we don’t have the learning hat On. As if all the learning in the world has been done with.

The reason that we have come to this training is to learn. Then why don’t we


Try and Understand

Make sense

Learn as much as we can.

Most of the questions that were posted could have been answered by themselves if you wait till the end of the training.

Sometimes its good to be a student. I guess not sometimes but remain a student always 🙂


Business!!! What matters most … 3 steps

1 min read if you are not distracted 🙂

1. Become a customer to your own service and see what all would you want in your service. (Basically convince yourself first and make sure you are a hard customer)

2. Co-relate that (your service) directly to the P&L of your business and see how it works. Don’t pretend time is going to take care of it. Your timespan should be small enough (1-2 months max), so that you know quickly what is working and what is not working and can assimilate changes in the next cycle.

3. Think of new innovation or ideas and repeat the cycle (got to step 1).

Why has Flipkart delayed the joining dates of new campus recruits?

Really disappointed by the way Flipkart has postponed the joining dates for IIM grads.

Firstly, if you had a restructuring plan in mind, you should not have gone ahead and made the offers for June ’16. Basically you withheld information related to the candidates. Once you had told them about the dates the students would have made an informed decision (trust me there would have been still some students who would have joined you to fulfill their passion to work with a startup and you would have got much more committed employees who were willing to sit idle for 6 months for you)

Secondly, INR 1.5 lac compensation is not fair enough to an IIM grad for 6 months.

Thirdly, Sitting idle for 6 months, will make the fresh IIM grads loose their momentum of learning and implementing ideas and thoughts, which they have been doing till now. It will only demoralize and demotivate them.

Suggestion to Flipkart:

Not sure how many offers you have made and what sort of financial burden this will add on to the firm, however I would suggest you to include the candidates in the ongoing Org restructure. This is exactly what you need, new people bringing in new and innovative ideas.

Its not just about, from the company perspective, paying them salary or from the candidate perspective not getting paid, but Its more about making use of amazing people who are available at your disposal, candidates implementing what they have learned from brilliant professors and from one of the worlds top leading MBA institute.

You can even try to negotiate to start them off asap as interns till Dec ’16, so at least they start working with the Organisation and will be up to speed by Dec.

If all the above fails, and going by the way IIM has taken up the issue, the Institute might call for a 2nd round of campus placement which will be good for the candidates, however will definitely leave a black spot for Flipkart.

Best of Luck to both of you !!!!