Slow and Steady: How we got it all wrong!

My dad and I were having a discussion while we working out today and something just popped up during our discussion. He was ruing about the huge difference in his physical form since his young days, but my point was that he would have the form if he would stick to a regimen regularly. Only if he could dedicate an hour daily working out doing some basic workout he would definitely get back to better physical levels.

And just then I had my Eureka moment! How much as a society do we underrate consistency!!! I can only hark back to the roots in ‘slow and steady wins the race’ proverb, from that fable of the hare and the tortoise. Sadly, then and now the lesson has been lost on all of us – even the teachers that taught us I guess. I don’t think as young students we ever considered that the tortoise won the race because it had a steady pace towards reaching its destination; it was always the fact that the hare slept in the middle and that is why it lost the race. Had the loser hare not slept it would definitely have won the race. And this is precisely where the whole of our life got screwed up splendidly. The significance of the tortoise winning the race because of its slow and steady pace always lost out in the grand scheme of things.

It just doesn’t make sense – that such a significant lesson was never repeated over and over again to us during our years. The fact that we would be much better students, persons and even physical bodies because of this simple fact screws all of us even now. We could have been so much better had this been drilled into us more rigorously.

Our exams would not have consisted of having to study in the last one day prior to the exam. Bills paid in the last minute. Tax planning would not have consisted of losing almost all of the last month’s salary.

Warren Buffet isn’t him because he had one big hit all his life and then just slept through it. It was just a measly 20% year on year for the last few decades. Had this been the case of 1 hit wonders all this wealth would never have been made. The significance of compound interest is just lost. In fact, the point of regimen is about compound interest. The skills, work and all benefits are just amassed on top of the assets already made. Its about working through inch by inch.

This just means that to achieve all the goals that we ever wanted to achieve – it all boils down to a single mantra – Inch by Inch, Day by Day – that is all it takes – a simple disciplined regimen. And the biggest lesson of all it just works. The grand canyons or the valleys – never happened over our lifetime – so that lesson never existed in the first place. But the other lessons need not be lost on us – smoking and nicotine accumulating in lungs over the years – systematically – that’s how rust happens; systematically, slow and steady, precisely what we as humans with limited memory and power of recall should be very worried about.

My last 1 week of experimenting on my ‘Do nothing’ vacation has yielded significant results for me personally. That a simple regimen of working out daily, reading for an hour, having an hour of silence, indulging in conversations with all I hold dear – all this seem to make significant impact in the quality of my everyday life. Every day is a lesson in understanding the impact of Regimen.

Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours really seems to be true.



The movie is mostly a copy of the much better made Hindi movie ‘Love Aaj Kal’.

Teenmaar opens with a very powerful and of course completely irrelevant premise – that it being the story of 2 senadhipatis and about ‘Art of War’. Positively flummoxed it was a very interesting start to an already known love story which was supposed to have zero talk about politics, battles or even arguments.

Generally remakes are very easy bets. All that the director has to do is understand the spirit of the movie. Understand what made it click with the audience and that’s it. The screenplay, the settings, dialogues are all tailor made and available as raw material for the new one. ‘Love Aaj Kal’ had a very simple premise – the way youth from 2 generations looked at love. They had 2 different and probably even valid view points – it was left to the audience – the director only had a story to narrate. And here sadly the director never ‘gets’ it.

Here it becomes a war of old vs new – how the new never appreciates the old. A long winding sermon of a movie showing everything the new does as childish or even immature. That a whole generation gets labelled as selfish and not without a vision or a heart.

Nevertheless, the moment the hero Pavan Kalyan started mouthing Italiano much to the immense pleasure of the heroine – all hell broke lose. If that was Italiano no doubt James Bond never needed them skills to seduce his women. At the top of his game (implying that Pavan Kalyan has already peaked) he was a romantic fast talking enigmatic young warrior, all his movies then were genuine runaway hits. But in this one – the Italian is crap (Im yet to hear a Italian accent that as indecipherable as his), the dialogues so pedestrian, the movie so twisted out of shape – its a shame. Only 2 songs were worth listening and neither of them had any meaningful lyrics to think back upon.

The older one is dressed in kurtas and jeans all the time – I am still having a hard time figuring which part of India he was from – for all I know this might be intentional to keep us guessing about the time period and place he was from. Telugu film directors were never very good at period movies anyways – a british autocrat who would appear in sunglasses in one movie and here the protagonist appears in jeans. Sometimes I wonder if the Indians think of developing countries as lagging the developed countries by 20 – 30 years – so its only a matter of time – we would reach them in couple of years time ‘anyways’.

It must be the pure Indian hypocrisy at play – that Indians have no problem working with or under Americans – they even make their fortunes there – but anytime an Indian decides to deride them in his own mother language – the movie ends up in loud cheers. And sadly that was a biggest saving grace for the film – the only decent bits of comedy.

And I understand its going to be a massive hit.