I would like to start this, rewind 2022, by requesting all of you to keep sharing everything that you think might be beneficial for others. This year, I have largely benefited from the high-quality information I consumed, shared by many of you. The larger impact I had on me was: a tweet of 160 characters, a picture of a working desk or office, long-form content recommendation etc. At this stage of my life, I am optimizing almost everything, and there is no way I can A/B test everything before applying it. The real question is do I have to A/B test everything, no right? And therefore, when you are sharing - you are helping someone…
When I was reflecting my 2022, I had two options
Reflect, evaluate and keep it for the future purposes
Do 1 and share it publicly
And I choose 2.
I am hoping many of you might be on holiday trips already. In that case, you can plan to consume this info without extra pressure!
2022 was an eventful year on a personal level. I can write this with 200% conviction that I am not the same Suman that I was at the beginning of 2022. I think I might be 10X, that also minimum, of what I was at the start of 2022. I have drastically improved my thinking ability, my cognitive skills are functioning much better, and the ability to consume high-quality information per minute could be 3X. The two skills that I am really excited about and think can be a superpower in the future
Ability to connect the past - events, consumed information, incidents, visual data, and everything else - at the time of consuming new information through any mediums - books, podcasts, conversations, reports etc. In some instances, I have found myself pinching for the random connection I could make - with my 20+ years of consciousness.
Ability to convert my imagination (thoughts) into text and further into actionable insights.
In nutshell, I would say good improvement - for that, I have worked really hard - but I would like to be 1000X at the end of 2023 compared to what I am today (the end of 2022) in terms of skill sets and personal evolution.
This was possible because I consumed high-quality diverse information through multiple mediums - books, Podcasts, Movies, Series, Research Papers etc. Surprisingly, in 2022, I asked no one for Book recommendations, Podcasts, or any other mediums through that I consumed diverse sets of information. I discover this massive pull of information through two methods.
Self-discovery: I searched these mediums because I have a keen interest in those specific topics.
Twitter: The information - books, Podcasts, movies, Web Series, research papers, information-consuming processes etc- shared by the folks I am following on Twitter
Not sure, if I could ever be able to measure the impact of the information from the 2nd one. Let me give you a few examples:
A 160 characters tweet doubled the amount of high-quality information that I was consuming.
One web series recommendation changed the purpose of watching long-form content - before that recommendation, I used to consume movies and web series for entertainment purposes. But now movies and web series are a source of learning and understanding the behaviour of Humans.
Out of 9 books that changed me as a person - 5 books were recommended or shared by the same person. God, I would never be able to repay him/her.
The bottom line is, thanks to you, I am 10X of what I was at the beginning of 2022. So,
Thank You and
This makes my fiduciary duty to share - even if it demanded my entire weekend.
Since most of these have come from you only, it's up to you - whether you would like to read this or not. :)
Books: https://bit.ly/Books-2022 (INR ~36,000 on books - best personal investment)
I purchased 92 books, read 61 books, Gifted 7 books, loved 20 books, and found 9 books, life-changing. (Here is the complete list of all the books that I purchased and read)
4 Out of 9 life-changing books I found from Balaji (@balajis) twitter recommendations. If you have any direct connection with Balaji, please convey my thanks to him!
4 Out of 9 life-changing books - changed me completely as a person but frankly, those books were out of my financial reach. However, I downloaded the pdfs of those books, printed them, and read them. Learning: you shall find a way if you want things badly.
Of the 23 books that I stacked in 2022. 11 books, I purchased for the purpose of stacking only. In the middle of the year, I felt the subconscious impact on my behaviour and cognitive knowledge of the books simply stacked in my rooms. Today, I have no doubt that the stuff that you see around, shapes you as a person. This means I stacked only 12 books in the entire year. 75% purchase-to-reading ratio, Good indeed!
In the above sheet, you can find all my books. However, these are my top-5.
I wrote 51 essays, in 2022. I only published 16, and the rest I choose not to publish.
All 51 essays include 56,927 words and 114 pages.
I wrote these essays, almost all, on weekends. (Cool No?)
All published-16 essays are available on my LinkedIn Newsletter: “Trillion Dollar Bharat Opportunity”
Let me start with an interesting fact about Podcasts, if you are not making notes while listening to Podcasts, I don’t make a note, you might see its impact in the future - this high-quality information will shape your thought process and help you take better decisions in future. Podcasts that I listened to in 2021, certainly boosted my cognitive skills and decision-making ability in 2022. Here is a quick summary.
In the last six months, I listened to around 130 Podcasts, however, most of the Podcast's lengths were above 1 hour. (Google Podcast only displays the past 6-months' historical data)
99% of the Podcasts I listened to during my exercise - 30 minutes of exercise and 1 hour of high-quality information thanks to one tweet by Anand Chandrasekaran (@anandc).
His less than 160 characters tweet “30 minutes of Podcast at 2X = One hour of reading" doubled my information consumption rate. I was stunned to see Podcast at 2X. I watched most of the Youtube videos at 1.5 to 2X but Podcast at 2X speed never got into my mind. If I am being honest, initially it took some time to adjust my listening flow. But once my neurons were adjusted listening to Podcast at 1.8 or 2X speed. I was flying. Not sure if I could ever be able to repay him for his life-changing tweet.
Imagine, 30 minutes of exercise and 1 hour of high-quality information - would you ever complain of not having time to exercise? I stopped complaining.
And thanks to, a minimum, my 5 days of exercise in a week boosted my productivity like anything - I am in a good shape now with a lot more energy under my belt to work harder!
My Favourite Podcasts:
After experimenting with 100+ Podcast channels, I have settled myself with 5 or 6 Podcast channels that I listened to every day.
First Principles (Best Indian Podcast! You already know our Indian startup ecosystem is still in the nascent stage, and therefore most of the Podcast talks about how what, and why which is not bad. But as you grow older ( I am in my late mid-twenties), you realised even after working for 12 to 13 hours a day, you want to go home and spend time with your loved ones. Do other activities, different from your Monday to Friday or Saturday routine. I think First Principles is the first Indian podcast that includes some of the aspects related to weekend routines, family, parenting etc. I would be really honest, I want to work extremely hard but also want to spend time with my loved ones, want to cook for them, be around them when they are in real need etc... <3)
20 VC - I love 20-Product more than 20VC :)
Lex Fridman - The only podcast that talks everything - tech, philosophy, AI, humans, space, and everything else that can make you an abnormal human :)
Business Breakdown: The secrets of iconic business - build to last!
Long-form Content: I have a routine around consuming long-form content - movies and Web-series. I make sure, I watch at least one long-form content a week. One of the problems of being an introvert is that you take time to open up. Long-form content has been super helpful in understanding this world, I must say - I am super picky when it comes to watching any long-form content.
One web series recommended, by one of the folks I follow, changed the way I used to watch long-form content. Before watching that web series - I used to watch long-form content for entertainment purposes. But after watching one web series - every long-form content has contributed to my personal evolution/growth. Now while watching long-form content I focused on the nuanced - what motivated the writer to add that character in the script, what could be the thought process behind writing that action scene, what kind of emotion the writer and director wanted to evoke in the audience's mind, how that scene might have shot, lighting etc. And that web series is one of my ATF shared by Gayatri Vasudeva Yadav (Thank You @GayatriPYadav). Here are my favourites of 2022.
My Favourite Movies
Circle (English): It is an old movie, released in 2015, I watched it in 2022, and I was blown away. There is no storyline or premise. However, the 90 minutes of the movie reveal a lot about Human Behaviour and Psychology. In a classic game theory, if you already know the outcome - how would you react to an unprecedented situation? You must watch it at 1.5X speed otherwise, it might feel slow to you. I absolutely loved the movie.
Jana Gana Mana (Malayalam): The story plot line is basic - Corrupt Politicians vs honest dedicated police (an IAS Officer) and a corrupt system using students to influence (-vely) innocent and emotional citizens' decision-making. However, the brilliant writing attached smartly to the current countries' incidents influenced my fast thinking. I felt really bad personally, I formed a wrong mental model after watching the first 30 minutes of the movie, however, clapped for the smart writing and storytelling. I think the Indian Malayalam film industry has the finest writers in the country - the Drishyam series has also come from the same industry.
My Favourite Web Series
The Offer: I am sure “The Offer” is going to be on my list for many years. The Offer shows us what it takes to bring iconic stories into this universe - Godfather. The Offer shows us why we humans hustle to bring the change that we want to see in this world. And sometimes we even risk everything in that process. Some of the scenes, I am going to remember my entire life, especially the following
A. the way the director pitched the concept of a Gangestor movie “This whole movie is about light and darkness” (WoW).
B. The first pitch scene when Al Ruddy wanted to make a film on the book "The Godfather": when the chairman of the Paramount asked “What are you going to do with this fucking book”, he (Al Ruddy) walks near, sits on a chair and give his one-liner “I am going to make an ice-blue terrifying film about people you love” - and chairman's answer “That is brilliant”- Congratulations you are the producer of the Godfather
C. The first director pitch: Why do you think “The Godfather” is highest selling novel other than Bible? Is it because of drug selling don? No, it is a Metaphor for American Capitalism. The Americal Dream. The mythic battle for control. What is our opening line “I believe in America.”.....The Godfather is a story about men, and they come together come open and find justice…but at its core is a story about family. You read and say “That’s my family”. WoW WoW WoW!
If there is anything called “Story Telling” that is the purest form of storytelling. WoW! I can go on and on but to get the feel, you have to watch it. If you have already watched it - rewatch it because I am going to watch it one more time before 2022 ends.
2. Wednesday: I love “Wednesday” because we all try to behave like Wednesday at some stage in our life. From the outside, if you look at the character “Wednesday” We live with normal humans and work with normal humans. But Wednesday is something else. She is a heartless, emotionless, focused girl. However, even though she is different, she feels believable. No matter how hard we try to keep ourselves away from other humans in the last - it is us who makes this, whatever we call it, beautiful and worth taking the risk.
Before we wrap up this rewind, let’s make it musical (lol) with two of my favourite songs of 2022
Muskurahat from Sukoon originals by Sanjay Leela Bhansali: If you ever need to articulate and remind yourself why you should smile more often - the lyrics of this song can be the perfect example. The lyrics of this song are something else. <3
Naina Ki Talwar by MC Square (Fusion of Ragini + HipHop + Poetry): This song is the representation of true India - diversity. Our Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Let's take an example of my Bihar where each district has its own slang, its own Lok Geet - Mathili, Magahi, Bhojpuri etc. Every single human will signal the human behaviours that you might have only read in books. And therefore this song is in the top 2.
Apologies to the folks who speak a language other than Hindi! My mother tongue is Maithili, and I understand Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali however, Hindi and English are dominant above other languages.
Here are two requests before I wrap up this Rewind.
If you have any recommendations - books, Podcasts, Long-form content etc. - please share!
I don't have any plans for the new year. I am going to read a few books on Biology, DNA, and human evolution. However, if any of you are planning a trip to Bodh Gaya or Patna this new year I would love to meet.
If you think others might find these recommendations useful, please share with them. And keep sharing...