Author Archives: amer

10 Years Goals

There is a saying that we overestimate how much we can do in days but underestimate how much we can achieve in years.

Nothing makes a father as proud and happy as his children. My biggest guiding principle for my long term goals is to provide Ayden and Zayn an environment where they can grow to be happy and successful. Also it is important to realize that I cannot make anyone happy or successful. Only thing I can do is create an environment for them to grow in.

My next guiding principle is to seek simplicity. I love playing with all new gadgets and technologies but all their complexities leave me overwhelmed and anxious sometimes. I dream about using pen and paper to earn my living. Going some place remote and just writing, listening to limited offline music, and reading.

I have always wanted to start writing seriously and make this my career. But I have read how so many writers barely make any money. So I never pursue it seriously. On other hand, I need to teach my kids to take risks and pursue their dreams.

So my goal is to write and learn to write. I want to earn majority of my living as a writer by the time I am 50.

Digital Minimalism

Recently, I read a blog post, “My awakening moment about how smartphones fragment our attention span”, well, actually, skimmed through it.

It made me realize that I have same problem, it has been a long time since I read a book. Even when listening to audiobooks, I am doing something else and rarely truly enjoy them.

Also I start so many projects and then abandon them once I have to fill in details and do grunt work. It is a lot of excitement to setup a new project but to finish something is tedious and boring.

I haven’t read the books mentioned in the above blog post yet. I might but I really liked the idea of digital minimalism. Once I was a minimalist. Other than some furniture, everything else I owned would had fit in a backpack & a small suitcase for clothes.

So going forward, I am going to minimize my digital and social media usage. I already barely carry phone on me when inside the home. And when I do it is mostly because I want to be ready to take photos and videos of my kids. I will try to use GoPro as my default camera.

Also other main use of phone for me is audiobooks. But usually I am playing with my kids while listening to audiobooks and barely understand anything. Might as well 100% focus on kids and read books when I am truly free.

As for my side projects, I

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

It’s What I Do” by Lynsey Addario is probably in my top 10 favorite books. As someone who always wanted to be a serious photographer who would use images to make the world better place, I felt a real connection while reading this book. While reading it, I imagined myself being in the situations that Lynsey was in and I really don’t know if I would have been able to handle those situations.

Can you bring toys back home?

Tonight, I was reading Puss in the Boots bedtime story to Ayden. Story begins with Old Miller dying.

Ayden asked me if people die in real life. I am not ready for this conversation but I also didn’t want to lie. I said yes and hoped we can move on quickly.

Ayden’s eyes turned teary. In crying voice, he asked, “Why?”

“It just the way it is.” I said.

I watched him as he processed this new information about life. He has seen dead worms, read stories with death in it, but never connected that with people.

Eyes still watery, voice slightly shaky, he asked again, “why do people die?”

I really didn’t know how to respond. I winged it, badly.

He asked, “Do they fix you back to normal?”

One last try to be stoic and I explained that death is normal part of life. There was nothing to be fixed.

“What if you want to play?” he asked with a lot of concern in his voice.

Religion to rescue. I tell him about heaven and how there are all the toys there. He is feeling better, he even smiles when I tell him about all the monster trucks in the heaven. We spent a lot of time discussing heaven and how much fun it is. How we live and play there forever.

“Can you bring toys back home?” he asked.

Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin – Don't You Worry Child

Lyrics

There was a time
I used to look into my father's eyes
In a happy home
I was a king, I had a golden throne
Those days are gone
Now they're memories on the wall
I hear the songs from the places where I was born
Up on a hill across the blue lake
That's where I had my first heartbreak
I still remember how it all changed
My father said
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
There was a time
I met a girl of a different kind
We ruled the world
I thought I'd never lose her out of sight
We were so young
I think of her now and then
I still hear the songs reminding me of a friend
Up on a hill across the blue lake
That's where I had my first heartbreak
I still remember how it all changed
My father said
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
See heaven's got a plan for you
See heaven's got a plan for you
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Yeah

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Steve Angello / Sebastian Ingrosso / Axel Hedfors / Martin Lindstrom / Michel Zitron / John Martin

Junoon – Main Kaun Hoon

Lyrics

Jab aasman girnay lagtay hain
Aur zameen jalnay lagtee hai
Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum mazloom ho

Jab bhook nachtee gaatee hai
Aur nafratein jashan manatein hain
Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Majboor hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho

Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum mazloom ho

Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Majboor hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho

Poet: Sabir Zafar

Avicii – Wake Me Up

Lyrics

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is a prize
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins / Michael Aaron Einziger / Tim Bergling

Ask HN: What book changed your life?

Saw this post on Hacker’s News. A lot of interesting books to read.

Book Links
The Stormlight Archive (series) by Brandon Sanderson https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30739083
Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=thatjoeoverthr
Dune
Man’s Search For Meaning
How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life – the Dalai Lama
Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
Debt: The First 5000 Years
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most