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Economics, data science, technology, innovation. Author of “Cownomics.” IIT, MIT Alum. Publication: arandomvariable.com Holler at artiagarwal@pm.me
Photograph: Arti Agarwal

Can we really become indistractable?

I wanted to start with the most obvious irony for this particular post: I have literally postponed writing this for almost three weeks. So, in a sense, this post is the result of a study with sample size one. The “general” reason is that I am distracted, have 20 things on my plate, have not had much sleep, am in too much pain etc (as we’ll see in more detail later) — but in summary, it boils down to just that I am being terrible at managing my distractions, whatever they may be.

For almost…


Rewiring the Book Reading Habit
Rewiring the Book Reading Habit
Cover Image by author. Featured Book: “Dance, Dance, Dance” by Haruki Murakami

Reading is an essential aspect of writing that gets overlooked big time. I do not have any statistics on this, but based on my discussions with my peers and what I read in forums, Facebook groups and Social Media, I see that very few people read books nowadays (as opposed to digital publications, news coverage or just tweets). Attention spans are getting shorter; lives are getting busier: this is the explanation I encounter most often for this decline in interest in reading books.

Yet, to be a good writer, you must first be a good reader. They are both deeply…


Interruptions are the modern day reality of “work.” Most of the times when you say you are working, you are actually trying to work, but getting interrupted by twenty different types of distractions. Your phone just buzzed…again. Someone needs you to send them an invoice. You spilled your coffee…

Entrepreneurs face the biggest challenge when it comes to time hijacking! Perhaps because they need to keep tabs on everyone and everything, and in the super long list of To-Do’s, many to-dos never get done, or keep getting copied to the list from one day to the next.

Challenges with Managing Time for an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur…


Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Failure sucks. Success is glamorous. Therein starts the problem.

Everyone wants the mythical “Midas touch” — everything they touch should turn to gold. We want a magic spell to success. We spend days and nights dreaming about being the next “icon,” the next celebrity. All fantasies of the future revolve around earth shattering success trailing behind us wherever we go. That’s all we can talk about all the time. But there’s a catch.

We want only success. We loath failure.

Which is why we need to talk about failure. And when I say “talk,” I mean literally. We need to…


Social media emerged out of a few needs of humans, which were not yet tapped — the need to share their thoughts, and the need to connect with each other. That’s exactly why it became successful with very little effort.

In the Beginning, There Was Social Media

In its initial days, I remember Facebook undergoing multiple face-lifts, each more hideous than the previous one, but people stuck around, just because they enjoyed sharing their vacation photos, their funny stories, whining about their jobs with people they knew in one place, unlike the limits imposed by emails. …


Image by Arti Agarwal: artiagarwal.photography

Break the rules. Break the bonds. Dance to your own tune. Whatever you do, don’t conform. Stand out.

Welcome to a world where rebellion is the norm. Conformity is the disease. This is a lopsided, cracked world, where a break from conformity gets automatically translated to rebellion & “liberalism.”

Liberalism is a mainstream thought process. It is neither good, nor bad. It is limited & has no permanent solutions.

Freedom From & Freedom For

While it is reasonable to rebel against an imposition, a forced ideology, or a forced belief, the reasonability ends there.

It is important to understand that rebellions fail and do not…


If you have ever visited India and taken a ride in an autorickshaw, you will be able to identify with this scenario: You haggle for going where you want to go. The auto driver is mumbling and grumbling under his breath. He starts the auto with a sudden lurch. He brakes and speeds up every 2 minutes. Your back is already feeling the agony from the speed bumps lifting you in air every 10 minutes. And then, at a traffic signal, he switches off the ignition, and when the lights go green, the auto just won’t start. The autowala assures…


Photo by Zack Greant, via Flickr

If a woman has been sexually molested, it is a problem. But that is only the first problem statement.

What Got Us Here?

An even bigger problem is why she was molested or assaulted, what do we define as sexual misconduct, and how do we know who is speaking the truth?

Why did it take so long for our civilized world to wake up to the reality of this menace which has been scarring the lives of so many women?

Whenever human beings do not address their deep lack of fulfillment, it devours their life in some other way — addiction, sexual depravity, violence…


art of clicking pictures
art of clicking pictures

I saw a post going around on social media some time ago, asking what is the most useful thing for any photographer, at any given place and time.

I saw many people answer with “camera”, “eyes”, “brain” etc etc.

My answer was an empty mind.

If we just rewind back a few decades and go back to the world of film cameras just for the sake of drawing an analogy, what happens to a photograph that is taken on a film that is already finished?

It overwrites on an existing image and both become trash. What happens to a music…


Cookie

Look at those eyes…

Getting a kitten isn’t like shopping, or buying a toy or a laptop or anything else you’ll ever imagine.

Adopting a kitten is something life-changing.

I knew I wanted one, and I knew I wanted to love someone unconditionally, even if I didn’t know what that meant. So I set a strong intention for it…and it happened, after 3.5 weeks of back & forth.

These are 5 ways in which I changed, as a person, atleast a little bit, in 5 days since I got my baby:

#1 Caring, Really Genuinely Caring

I always thought of myself as a caring person…

Arti Agarwal

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