Vasl

Mindful Musings
Your Weekly Dose of Knowledge

In the realm of human interaction, there exists a trove of conversations shrouded in silence—topics that tiptoe around our thoughts, rarely daring to emerge into the open. These are the conversations that dance at the fringes of discomfort, lingering on the periphery of our awareness. At Vasl, we make those conversations happen.

  • Impact of family in a community
    on April 14, 2024

    Hi, there! Eid Mubarak to all those who are celebrating. This festive occasion, observed both in the Netherlands and worldwide, provided a beautiful opportunity for connection and shared jubilation. Walking through the streets, I found myself immersed in the Eid festivities, surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds united by our common Muslim faith. Despite language and cultural differences, there was still a strong sense of togetherness felt. And this got me thinking about how much impact a family in a community has around you and this is something I want to talk about today, but first..Weekly Inventory CheckFor Muslims, Eid stands out as a unique exception. It's a time when all bets are off, and any rigid routines or reservations are cast aside. Personally, even while in Japan, I had disrupted my usual rhythm. And when I returned back, we were very close to Eid so getting back to the usual routine was not seamless but it’s okay. Eid grants us permission to indulge in the joyous camaraderie it offers. What’s important here is to focus on building momentum for the upcoming month to get back on track.Impact of Family in a CommunityThis is a very touchy topic for me as every year, I celebrate religious occasions away from family as the timings don’t match. This year around, I am feeling even more sensitive because it’s the first such occasion, which we call Eid, for our daughter. Eid is a time of families gathering together and celebrating. Reflecting on the significance of community and family during such celebrations, I couldn't help but feel a pang of longing. The tradition of gathering, dressing up, visiting loved ones, indulging in festive foods, and exchanging gifts were things that my daughter, wife and I couldn’t experience in a wholesome manner. All of my family had even gathered in Saudi Arabia right before Eid. Hence, I was just feeling very emotional about the whole situation.  As we strive to build a community here in the Netherlands, we can't deny the importance of having loved ones who always have our backs. Seeing our daughter thrilled in her first traditional outfit brought us joy too. But even with us all together, there's a bit of loneliness. Our family feels small compared to the big gatherings we were used to in Pakistan. Seeing others celebrating with their large families only made us miss ours more. Even though we had an amazing Eid, especially since it was our first one with our daughter, I can't stop imagining how much better it would have been with more family by our side.Even when we were in Japan, we saw smaller families, but we also witnessed bigger groups of families that went out for picnics for some quality time - with kids running around, and all others enjoying food and good views. This experience made me realize that I am the kind of person who craves the presence of family, friends, and a larger community during such occasions. Despite missing everyone dearly, we made the most of Eid. My wife's efforts to lift my spirits were invaluable, and I'm grateful for her support. This experience taught me a lot about myself. Although I've always been independent and moved frequently, I now see the importance of building a stable community. While it may be challenging, having a sense of belonging is essential.Thoughts to Leave You WithAs I contemplate future Eids, I'm resolved to plan these occasions in such a way that I can spend this time while being closer to the family. This realization stems from the poignant experience of feeling their absence during previous festivities. I understand now the profound significance of sharing these moments with loved ones. Therefore, I will ensure that future Eids are filled with the warmth and joy that only family can bring.Powered by beehiiv

  • Embracing the Rhythm of Time
    on April 7, 2024

    Hi there! After almost a month-long vacation in Japan, I am heading back towards Holland today. And just before I take my flight, I would like to discuss the notion that certain things will happen when they are meant to happen, and that I mean, not necessarily in a spiritual sense but rather in a practical way. But first..Weekly Inventory CheckAs we delve into April, it's paramount to scrutinize our advancements. Are we pacing ourselves in accordance with the goals we've outlined for this month? Even if we find ourselves short of the finish line, the process of evaluating our strides offers invaluable insights into our direction and areas where adjustments may be necessary to stay on course.Embracing the Rhythm of TimeAs highlighted in my previous newsletters, the eagerly anticipated Sakura season was delayed this year by 15 days due to the effects of climate change. Despite our efforts to carefully plan our vacation and hit the sweet spot, striking a balance between cheaper tourism in Japan and also to witness the sakura bloom just before our departure, as guided previous forecasts, nature took its course. No matter how much we wanted to see it, the sakura bloomed exactly when it was meant to, reminding us that some things happen according to their own schedule, no matter what we do.Reflecting on my career journey in data, I recall my struggle with Imposter Syndrome, always feeling uneasy when faced with questions I couldn't answer, and longing for recognition and validation of my work. However, as time went by and I dedicated myself to learning and perfecting my craft, people began to listen to me without my needing to make a conscious effort. It was as if everything fell into place at just the right moment, reinforcing the idea that success often comes when we least expect it, and after we've put in the hard work and dedication.It's essential to recognize that significant achievements seldom happen overnight. Like nurturing a seed into a flourishing plant, success often requires patience, resilience, and a willingness to endure setbacks along the way. While it's natural to desire immediate results, it's crucial to trust in the journey and allow ourselves the space to grow and evolve over time.Want More?Explore the fascinating concept of time's rhythm and its influence on our lives in this insightful article from Ink of Faith: The Rhythm of Time.Discover the comforting notion that what is truly meant for you will manifest in due time in this reflective article by Dina Al-Mahdy: What's Meant to Be Yours Will Come to You.Explore the insightful article Timing Is Not Everything from Vitamin Patch Club's blog. Delve into a thought-provoking discussion about the role of timing in and gain valuable insights into why timing isn't the sole determinant of success.Reel of the WeekCheck out our reel of the week for an interesting comparison between Armchair Quarterback and Imposter. We need to know that sometimes those who seem competent aren't really so. While those who seem insecure could be the smartest person in the room. Instagram post by @thisisvasl The Weekly Vasl PodcastOur episode on Making Difficult Conversations Easier is out now! You can watch it below! This Friday, we navigate the complexities of modern relationships in my latest podcast episode. From dissecting the pervasive trend of glorifying toxic relationships on social media to highlighting the transformative impact of meaningful conversations, we delved deep into the fabric of human connection. Tune in as we explore the delicate balance of communication within Asian families, shedding light on the taboo topics often swept under the rug. We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!Thoughts to Leave You WithIn a world that often prioritizes instant gratification, it's easy to overlook the value of patience and persistence. However, some of life's most profound accomplishments are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. So, as we pursue our goals and aspirations, let's remember to embrace the journey, trust in the timing of our endeavors, and cultivate the patience needed to achieve lasting success.Powered by beehiiv

  • Perspective and lens
    on March 31, 2024

    Hi, there. The cherry blossom season is in full swing in Japan and we are very lucky to be able to witness it now. Today, I'd like to engage in a thoughtful discussion about perception and the diverse lenses through which we view the world. Before diving into this topic, let's briefly touch on our weekly inventory check and the closure of March.Weekly Inventory CheckAs March comes to an end today, it's a fitting moment to reflect on the past month and contemplate areas for improvement in April. Take some time to conduct an inventory of your experiences and actions, striving to understand the motivations behind your choices and how you can evolve personally and professionally.Perspective and LensNow, onto the intriguing topic of how different perspectives shape our understanding of reality. Recently, one of our friends became noticeably upset upon discovering that a game we frequently play is considered the national game of Israel. This game also has a digital version that we all enjoy together. His concern stemmed from the assumption that, being associated with Israel, the game might have been created by an Israeli developer. To address this, another friend conducted research and clarified that the game was actually developed in Estonia. However, this revelation did little to ease the initial friend's apprehension, as Estonia is known to be a pro-Israeli country. He expressed reluctance to continue participating in the game, fearing that his involvement might inadvertently contribute to causes conflicting with his personal beliefs.Despite arguments from others urging him to reconsider his stance, he remained firm in his decision, citing his unwillingness to take any risk associated with potentially supporting Israel. This situation highlighted the varying perspectives each individual brings to the table, with some advocating for giving the benefit of doubt to the developers, while others emphasized the importance of abstaining from any involvement that might indirectly support causes they oppose. Ultimately, the dilemma underscored how personal beliefs and biases shape individuals' perceptions and decisions. While some chose to continue playing the game, citing insufficient evidence to warrant concern, others remained steadfast in their refusal, recognizing the potential implications of their actions on broader geopolitical issues. This conversation served as a poignant reminder of the complex interplay between personal values, ethical considerations, and the subjective nature of evidence in decision-making processes.Want More?UCF Pressbooks discuss about the basic idea of perception in one of their articles.Read this article to learn about the mathematics behind decision making.This article has put forward different types of bias in decision making and how one can recognizr bias.Reel of the WeekCheck out our reel of the week. Frequent arguments lead to the unfortunate loss of meaning and a lack of resolution. These arguments often arise without any real necessity or requirement, and even when progress is made, it tends to be minimal. Consequently, it becomes evident that it would be beneficial to recognize the need to avoid such arguments altogether. Instagram post by @thisisvasl The Weekly Vasl PodcastOur episode on Mind of a Champion is out now! You can watch it below! This Friday, I engaged in a riveting conversation with Adolfo from Spain, delving into the intriguing intersection of sports psychology and everyday mindset. In this enlightening podcast episode, we explored how principles from the world of sports can be applied to our daily lives, empowering us to achieve success and fulfillment. Discover the nuances of different mindsets that individuals commonly possess, and learn how certain circumstances can make it challenging to change our mindset while others present opportunities for growth and adaptation, encapsulating the essence of a growth mindset. This episode serves as a beacon of hope for those navigating personal goals and feeling stuck in their journey. Gain valuable insights into the art of training both the mind and body, knowing when to push beyond comfort zones and when to prioritize rest and rejuvenation.We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!Thoughts to Leave You WithBefore we wrap up, I feel compelled to shed light on an intriguing principle known as the "rule of 37%." This concept advocates for a comprehensive exploration of various options and perspectives before arriving at a decision. By digging into a significant portion—approximately 37%—of available choices, one can gather valuable insights and make more informed judgments.However, it's crucial to approach this process with a balanced mindset. While thorough exploration is beneficial, immersing oneself in an excessive number of possibilities can lead to decision paralysis. It's essential to strike a harmonious balance between thorough investigation and practicality, ensuring that the decision-making process remains manageable and effective.Ultimately, embracing the rule of 37% encourages a thoughtful and methodical approach to decision-making, allowing individuals to consider a diverse range of options while avoiding the pitfalls of information overload.Powered by beehiiv

  • Reflections From Japan
    on March 24, 2024

    Hi there. This is probably the last newsletter that I am writing from Japan, knowing that our departure for the Netherlands is scheduled for next week. Today, I aim to discuss the contrast between expectations and reality, drawing from the lessons I've learned during our time here, but first..Weekly Inventory CheckAs we enter the final week of March, it's time to reflect on our progress and identify any challenges we've encountered. Take a moment to assess what's been working well and what hasn't. Then, consider how you can address any obstacles and improve your approach moving forward.A helpful tip is to share your goals with someone you trust, who can help hold you accountable. Share your goals at the beginning of the month, and provide updates on your progress at the end of the month. This accountability not only holds you responsible for your results but also for the explanations you give.Externalizing your goals and progress adds a layer of accountability that internal justification may lack. For example, while you might justify your overeating to yourself, you may find it more challenging to justify it to someone else, such as a spouse or friend.Reflections From JapanMy wife and I set off on this trip with one main goal: to enjoy the stunning beauty of Sakura, Japan's famous cherry blossom season. We knew prices would be sky-high in April, the peak time for Sakura, so we decided to go early, hoping to see the blossoms before they were at their best.Despite careful planning, we were surprised by a setback when the expected bloom time got delayed, leaving us stuck in the cold for longer than we'd planned. We were also let down by our lack of warm clothes and the stuff we packed for our daughter. Instead of the lovely stroll we imagined under pink blossoms, we ended up scrambling to find any spot where the Sakura was in full bloom, hoping to snap some good pictures.This unexpected twist made us think about how our journey mirrored the ups and downs of chasing your own goals. Just like guessing the weather, setting and reaching goals can be tricky and full of surprises.But amidst our disappointment, we still found moments of joy exploring Japan's bustling cities, trying out delicious food, and soaking up its rich culture. Even though we missed our main goal, we realized the trip was about more than just ticking boxes.It reminded us that success isn't just about hitting targets—it's about the whole journey, the lessons learned, and the memories made along the way.Want More?Calm has an article published that discusses how you can manage the expectation vs. reality trap with 6 practical steps/tips.Jo-Anne Gibson reflects on the decision making process and discusses bluntly how they can go wrong but most importantly, guides the readers into taking a better approach towards making a decision in order to reach your goals.An article from St. John’s University discusses how people define success and how we can set up short term and long term goals to achieve what we desire.Reel of the WeekCheck out our reel of the week. A critical aspect of mastering time management involves not allowing the entire day to be derailed by a couple of setbacks or unmet expectations. This behavior indicates that your life is easily swayed by external circumstances, contrary to the intention of maintaining control. It's not just about salvaging the remaining 24 hours of the day; it's about ensuring that your life is not dictated by unforeseen events. By maintaining composure and adapting to challenges without letting them hijack your entire day, you assert control over your life and foster resilience in the face of setbacks. Instagram post by @thisisvasl The Weekly Vasl PodcastOur episode on Does democracy in Pakistan reflect the voice of the people or the power of elite? is out now! You can watch it below! With the recent Pakistan elections of 2024 still fresh in everyone's minds, discussions have surfaced about the legitimacy of the results amidst allegations of rigging and fraud – a scenario not unfamiliar in the political landscape of many Asian countries. This prompts a deeper exploration into the effectiveness of democracy in Pakistan and beyond. My conversation with this week’s guest, Mudassir, delved into whether democracy truly serves as the best governance model for Pakistan, especially when instances arise where the will of the citizens appears to be disregarded. The prevalence of political dynasties further complicates matters, with power often remaining within the same families despite democratic processes. This leads to a broader examination of the global impact of democracy and the challenges it faces in ensuring genuine representation. We both engage in a spirited debate, exploring alternative governance systems beyond democracy and authoritarianism. The dialogue invites listeners to contribute their perspectives, offering a platform for insightful discourse on the complexities of political governance worldwide. Join in to learn and share your thoughts on this thought-provoking conversation.We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!Thoughts to Leave You WithIt wouldn't be logical for us to return without fully experiencing Sakura, especially considering the premium prices we paid. Enduring the cold weather during peak season, compared to the more favorable conditions of off-season or summer, adds weight to this sentiment. All the efforts made to witness Sakura in its full splendor could have been invested differently otherwise. Therefore, the essence of this reflection lies in the realization that it would be incongruent to label this trip a success without experiencing Sakura as intended. This serves as an anecdote to illustrate that success isn't solely about meeting or missing specific targets; rather, it involves introspection and aligning our actions with the overarching goals of our lives.e22w2aq1Powered by beehiiv

  • Embracing Different Lenses
    on March 17, 2024

    A Reflection on Life's Design

  • Habitual Automation
    on March 10, 2024

    Understanding automated bad habit, and practiced good habits.

  • Rediscovering Emotional Intimacy
    on March 3, 2024

    Challenging Modern Dating Norms

  • Reflections on Personal Style
    on February 25, 2024

    Balancing Comfort and Presentation

  • Navigating Life’s Continuum
    on February 18, 2024

    Balancing Continuous Growth with Agile Adaptation

  • Incorporating Mindful Living
    on February 11, 2024

    Directing Modern Life with Intention and Awareness

  • Mapping the Unseen Territories of Empiricism - Part 2
    on February 4, 2024

    Hi there! We've just stepped into February, and I find myself tempted to stray from my New Year's resolution of achieving financial sustainability by contemplating new ideas for implementation this year. However, it's crucial to exercise restraint and recall my initial goals. The purpose of reflecting at the end and beginning of each month is to keep the overarching objectives in mind, preventing unnecessary pivots. Today, let's delve into the topic of empiricism, which is the continuation of our ongoing conversation, but first..Weekly Inventory CheckAs January comes to a close midweek, the weekend provides an opportune moment for reflection and revitalisation. Take this time to engage in a meaningful process of writing, where you jot down your thoughts, experiences, and any insights gained throughout the month. Reflect on both your achievements and areas for improvement, allowing a comprehensive understanding of your progress and goals.Mapping the Unseen Territories of Empiricism - Part 2In my previous newsletter, I discussed empiricism and its limitations, but now I'll share how it has influenced my thoughts and actions in both personal and professional realms. So, where did all of this newfound interest in empiricism come from? Typically, I focus on topics like habit-building and communication. However, raising a daughter in today's world of information overload prompted me to turn to science for guidance. My wife and I rely heavily on scientific principles to ensure we provide our daughter with the best upbringing possible.Growing up in Pakistan, I didn't have much exposure to scientific knowledge. Most of what I learned was based on traditional wisdom and the experiences shared by our elders. When it comes to raising my own daughter, I find myself doing things differently from what my parents did with me. However, I turned out fine, but that's just based on my personal experience, not the norm. Science operates on averages and not absolutes. For example, we all know that smoking is bad for health, but there are people who smoke their whole lives and live long. This doesn't mean science is wrong; it just means that, on average, smoking increases the risk of cancer. Anecdotal evidence and averages can sometimes mislead us. My wife is very strict about following scientific recommendations, like setting specific nap times for our daughter based on research findings. While I understand the importance of scientific guidelines, I also believe that what works for us as a family is crucial. Babies are unique, and research on them is limited because they can't be experimented on like adults. I see the value in combining both approaches—traditional and scientific—to raise our daughter effectively. It's about finding a balance that works for our family.Much of the medical world focuses on research conducted primarily with white, middle-aged men. This preference for this demographic stems from their accessibility for studies and trials, as obtaining consistent and reproducible results is a cornerstone of scientific inquiry. However, this practice highlights a bias in medicine and science as a whole. It's crucial to recognize that science often operates on averages rather than absolute truths.It's essential to understand the difference between personal anecdotes and averages. While science does work on averages and on reproducible results, it doesn't mean the information isn't true. The emphasis on reproducible results means that what's true in research is generally true for most people, especially in the case of white, middle-aged men often chosen as the sample group as their biology is so consistent that they can always reproduce the results. However, this approach may not account for variations in women, the elderly, or children due to their hormonal changes and unique physiological characteristics.Acknowledging these exceptions is important, but it doesn't diminish the value of scientific information. It simply underscores the need to be aware that individual experiences may not always align with the average. Therefore, when interpreting scientific findings, it's crucial to consider the context and potential variations, keeping in mind that personal circumstances might not fit the mold of the average.When discussing medicine and the influence of social sciences, an entirely separate debate unfolds. Moreover, this debate extends beyond the inherent complexities and encompasses the biases introduced through funding sources. Companies or organizations funding research often bring their own biases and shape research goals in alignment with their interests. For instance, the tobacco industry may emphasize smoking as the issue, diverting attention from the broader implications of tobacco. Similarly, in the 90s, the sugar industry may have wrongly targeted fat as the culprit, obscuring the actual impact of sugar. This pattern of influence persists across various sectors, underscoring the importance of scrutinizing research funding sources and their potential impact on shaping narratives.Want More?·  This article discusses the bias in research and provides the insight into the ways of recognising sources of bias and avoiding it in research.·  In this article, the author thoroughly and critically analysis the concept of empiricism.·  This article discusses under what circumstances and for what reasons do individuals act based on flawed scientific information? Analysing the impact of anecdotes and pre-existing beliefs on decision-making grounded in evidence.Reel of the WeekCheck out our reel of the week. Here I talk about why fact checking is important and that we shouldn’t be believing everything we see or read on the internet. Although it’s upon the institutions or media to only deliver the truth but unfortunately it does not happen so it becomes our responsibility to play our part and fact-check.In this discussion, I emphasize the significance of fact-checking and highlight the importance of not blindly trusting everything encountered on the internet. While the responsibility lies with institutions and the media to provide accurate information, the reality is that this doesn't always happen. Therefore, it becomes our individual responsibility to actively engage in fact-checking and contribute to ensuring the accuracy of the information we encounter. Instagram post by @thisisvasl The Weekly Vasl PodcastOur episode on Understanding low voter turnout in individualistic cultures like in USA & Europe is out now! You can watch it below! William and I were back for another heart-to-heart podcast, diving into the fascinating world of individualism in the West versus collectivism in the East. As we chatted, we unpacked how these mindsets impact our lives, creating peer pressures that touch everything from our mental well-being to our political landscape. We explored the extremes that both mindsets can lead to, causing issues like depression and mental health struggles. It's not just a mental and emotional tug-of-war; we highlighted how extreme individualism might make us politically aloof, skipping out on crucial moments like voting. On the flip side, collectivism, while fostering unity, has its own set of challenges, as seen in Japan where traditional values sometimes clash with personal struggles, leading to drastic measures. With elections buzzing worldwide, this podcast is a must-watch, promising an engaging exploration of how our beliefs shape not just our minds, but our societies.We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!The Meet upOur Upcoming meet up is scheduled for 11th of February where we're revisiting our lineup from last year, kicking off with a lunch accompanied by engaging conversation. Use this link to mark your attendance.The Round TableOur Round Table is going strong. I am happy that the participants are quite engaging and each individual is contributing with a problem solving approach - exactly what this cohort is all about - group thinking and problem solving! Thoughts to Leave You WithMy intention is not to assert that the scientific method is flawed. Rather, I emphasise the need to adopt a more scientific approach in navigating the abundance of information available to us. This entails conducting personal experiments to determine what works best for our individual circumstances. If a particular approach doesn't yield the desired results, it's essential to explore alternatives and continuously iterate, adjusting our methods.Rather than blindly adhering to research findings or parental advice, it's crucial to experiment and assess what genuinely works for us and our unique systems. In areas such as raising children, dietary choices, and financial planning, a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective because we all have distinct needs and preferences. Embracing the scientific method means acknowledging the absence of a universal solution and actively engaging in experimentation to discover our own balance and goals. In my journey, particularly in navigating parenthood with my little daughter, I aspire to find the right path during these challenging times.Powered by beehiiv

  • Mapping the Unseen Territories of Empiricism
    on January 28, 2024

    Hi there! The climate in Eindhoven is gradually improving, which has positively impacted my daily routine. I am now waking up on time, and my schedule is gradually returning to normalcy. My daughter and I have resumed our regular walks, and overall, it seems like we have overcome the extreme weather conditions. However, it's important to note that the forecast indicates a potentially colder February. Today, I would like to discuss the constraints associated with empiricism but first…Weekly Inventory CheckEmpiricism is all about learning through firsthand experience. It means that what you personally go through is what matters, and things you can't directly experience can't be considered. Essentially, keeping a journal, jotting down your thoughts, and setting goals is a form of empiricism. You are reflecting on your experiences, documenting them, and discussing them-everything resonating well with your five senses. Keep up with these practices, as there are significant benefits to writing things down, questioning yourself, and self-evaluation. Stay tuned for an upcoming surprise in the next few weeks that will enhance your journaling experience!Mapping the Unseen Territories of EmpiricismEmpiricism, a branch of philosophy, centers on learning through direct experience. In earlier times, reliance heavily rested on logical and theoretical models, like the outdated notion of the body being composed of three blobs – blood, water, and bile. Pioneered by thinkers like David Hume, empiricism shifted focus from unproven theories to information derived from direct observation, touch, and hearing – essentially, data gathered through our five senses. While empiricism has greatly influenced natural sciences like physics, chemistry and biology, making them more objective, challenges arise in the realm of social sciences. Disciplines like psychology, shaped by thinkers such as Freud and Kahneman, frequently encounter subjectivity. Social science research grapples with intricacies, commencing with the challenge of biased sample selection. As social scientists gather information through samples, frequently drawn from university students, there exists the risk of misrepresentation of the broader population, potentially leading to skewed conclusions.The scientific process to be proven involves crafting hypotheses, conducting tests, and drawing conclusions. Yet, even in the natural sciences, a margin of error exists. In the social sciences, characterized by subjectivity, empirical validation becomes notably challenging. Alongside the previously mentioned issues like skewed participant demographics, additional complexities arise, including the necessity for statistical measures such as a 95% confidence interval and a p-value slightly above 0.05 to substantiate the hypothesis. Additionally, personal biases, rooted in a predisposition to believe in a certain outcome, can inadvertently influence the research process, potentially leading to the fulfillment of initially held beliefs, thus introducing a bias that may distort the research outcomes. Academic fraud is another layer on top of this pertinent issue. The podcast I regularly tune into, Freakonomics, presented a thought-provoking revelation about the prevalence of fraudulent research papers in esteemed institutions like Harvard, Duke, and Stanford, estimating it to be approximately 2 percent annually or 1 in 1,000 papers. The pressure to publish for career advancement sometimes overrides the commitment to genuine scientific discovery, particularly in prestigious institutions.There is more to empiricism which I am reserving to discuss in the next newsletter.Want More?·  This article delves into Hume's philosophy of empiricism and its implications. Hume's empiricism is grounded in the notion that all human knowledge ultimately originates from sensory experience.·  In this article, the author illustrates a real-life example of empiricism at work. Empiricism, whether termed inspect-and-adapt, PDCA, or the Scientific Method, forms the bedrock of science.·  This article explores the significance of empiricism in shaping the course of science. The emergence of empiricism has revolutionized scientific inquiry by offering a fresh perspective on exploring the natural world.Reel of the WeekCheck out our reel of the week. Here I talk about pseudoscience, that continues to persist, as some individuals perceive unproven hypotheses as scientific due to their superficial appearance, rather than being supported by rigorous scientific methods that genuine science employs. Instagram post by @thisisvasl The Weekly Vasl PodcastOur episode on How to stick with habits 98% of the time with accountability partners is out now! You can watch it below! Melissa and I engaged in a captivating conversation this Friday, delving into topics like psychology, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution through behavioral management. Melissa shared her journey, steering the discussion towards her transition from mechanical engineering to psychology—an unexpected shift driven by her true interests. Back in the day, psychology was considered a taboo subject, lacking favor in many eyes. As the conversation unfolded, the duo touched on the issue of racism, exploring how certain job roles were still influenced by an individual's identity. Melissa, now a psychology professor deeply involved in expanding her Berkeley habit lab, shed light on her commitment to breaking barriers. She emphasised the importance of accountability and her current venture in helping clients stick to habits with an impressive 98% success rate. The dialogue promised to be both insightful and thought-provoking.We are also on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!The Round TableWe are kicking off The Round Table this month with a set of individuals eager to enhance their interviewing and communication skills for better job prospects. I'll share updates on its progress soon—I'm genuinely thrilled about this initiative! The next session begins in March 2024. If you're keen, feel free to join by signing up through this link.Thoughts to Leave You WithOften, we come across new information about various things, and this continual learning process allows us to delve deeper into different subjects. Currently, my interest lies in empiricism, spurred by the podcasts I have been listening to. A few weeks ago, I was captivated by geopolitics due to ongoing conflicts. Throughout, my enthusiasm for learning and curiosity have remained constant.What I want to convey is not to simply believe in your own perspective without questioning. Instead, I encourage you to gather ample information while maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism for every piece of information. Understand that information always comes with limitations. When making decisions, rely on a combination of well-researched facts and your intuition. This principle is applicable in various aspects of life, whether it's understanding current conflicts and then accompanying misinformation or navigating the complexities of scientific findings. It extends to parenting decisions and even how you approach your work tasks and goals. Thus, make informed choices, stay curious, and embrace the possibility of being incorrect. These three principles are valuable across all facets of life.Powered by beehiiv

  • Embracing Discipline in Chilly Challenges
    on January 21, 2024

    Navigating Challenges and Building Systems for Consistency

  • Decision Paralysis
    on January 14, 2024

    Dealing with too much information in today's digital world

  • Resilience in Parenthood
    on January 7, 2024

    Lessons Learned from a Night of Triumphs and Trials

  • Focus Forward
    on December 31, 2023

    Understanding Trade-Offs in Achieving Goals

  • Reflecting on 2023
    on December 24, 2023

    A Year in Review

  • Responsibility vs. Reassurance
    on December 17, 2023

    Discussion on Choices, Reassurance, and Societal Impact

  • Planning and Life
    on December 10, 2023

    Overcoming life's surprises through thoughtful planning

  • What does it mean to live a meaningful life?
    on December 3, 2023

    Exploring the Essence of a Meaningful Life through Philosophy and Personal Insight

Hi, there! Eid Mubarak to all those who are celebrating. This festive occasion, observed both in the Netherlands and worldwide, provided a beautiful opportunity for connection and shared jubilation. Walking through the streets, I found myself immersed in the Eid festivities, surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds united by our common Muslim faith. Despite language […]

Hi there! After almost a month-long vacation in Japan, I am heading back towards Holland today. And just before I take my flight, I would like to discuss the notion that certain things will happen when they are meant to happen, and that I mean, not necessarily in a spiritual sense but rather in a […]

Perspective and lens

Hi, there. The cherry blossom season is in full swing in Japan and we are very lucky to be able to witness it now. Today, I’d like to engage in a thoughtful discussion about perception and the diverse lenses through which we view the world. Before diving into this topic, let’s briefly touch on our […]

Reflections From Japan

Hi there. This is probably the last newsletter that I am writing from Japan, knowing that our departure for the Netherlands is scheduled for next week. Today, I aim to discuss the contrast between expectations and reality, drawing from the lessons I’ve learned during our time here, but first.. Weekly Inventory Check As we enter […]

Embracing Different Lenses

Hi, there. As we find ourselves one week into our Tokyo adventure, I wanted to share some reflections on the lens through which we view our lives and the environments we inhabit. But first.. Weekly Inventory Check Since I’m in Japan, I’ve noticed I’m struggling to meet my goals. It’s important to recognize when our […]

Habitual Automation

Hi there! I’m writing this newsletter from Tokyo Japan – where I just landed after more than 24 hours of travel. This was the longest flight I’ve ever done in my life, and with a baby added to the mix, this was also one of the most challenging flights I have ever done in my […]

Hi, there! I’m writing this newsletter just before I head off on my holiday – my bags are packed and I’m all set to jet off to Japan. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring Japan and enjoying some quality time, embarking on my first ever long trip with my daughter. I’m curious to […]

Reflections on Personal Style

Hi there! So, this week is going to be quite eventful for us. We have a series of birthday parties to attend over the weekend, which means we’ll be socializing with a lot of people. However, we’re a bit apprehensive because our daughter hasn’t had much exposure to crowds yet. But I guess that’s just […]

Navigating Life’s Continuum

Hi there! Valentine’s Day has recently gone by, and I hope those who celebrated had a great time, while those who didn’t, still found joy on a Wednesday evening. Today, I’d like to delve into how our perspective on habits greatly influences our ability to establish them effectively, but first.. Weekly Inventory Check As we […]

Incorporating Mindful Living

Hi there! Valentine’s Day is here, and it brings along a lot of influence to do something special on the 14th of this month. It’s basically a marketing trick, and our biases are exploited in trying to adhere to these marketing schemes. I want to discuss how we are exploited through this and how to […]

Hi there! We’ve just stepped into February, and I find myself tempted to stray from my New Year’s resolution of achieving financial sustainability by contemplating new ideas for implementation this year. However, it’s crucial to exercise restraint and recall my initial goals. The purpose of reflecting at the end and beginning of each month is to […]

Hi there! The climate in Eindhoven is gradually improving, which has positively impacted my daily routine. I am now waking up on time, and my schedule is gradually returning to normalcy. My daughter and I have resumed our regular walks, and overall, it seems like we have overcome the extreme weather conditions. However, it’s important […]

Hi there! It’s January, and things are busy. I have taken on a new project that requires me to go to the office occasionally. This week, I had to make the trip three times, which is unusual for me. The trains were not running smoothly because of the weather, so I had to drive instead. […]

Decision Paralysis

Hi there! It’s 2024, and I hope you are as excited as I am. With the new year, we often make lots of plans, set goals, and have ideas. However, we sometimes find ourselves spending too much time planning and not enough time taking action because it feels overwhelming. Today, I want to talk about […]

Resilience in Parenthood

Hi there! Happy new year to all. This is the first newsletter of the year and I hope 2024 brings us all great things. One important lesson I learned in 2023 is about resilience, and I want to carry that into 2024. I gained this resilience through a unique parenting experience, and I would like […]

Focus Forward

Hi there! 2024 is just commencing, like tomorrow and I am really looking forward to hearing about your plans and activities for the year. I hope you approach them with enthusiasm and a fresh start. Today, let’s talk about staying focused as you plan your goals for 2024 but first… Weekly Inventory Check Last week […]

Reflecting on 2023

Hi there! We are in the second-to-last week of the year. I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about 2024. I cannot wait to see what’s coming, especially with the start of our roundtable conference. Get ready for a year of building accountability and transparency but first… Weekly Inventory Check What did […]

Responsibility vs. Reassurance

Hi there! It’s mid-December, I was in Pakistan last week, as I mentioned in my newsletter last week, and it got me thinking about the difference between responsibility and reassurance. Let’s talk about that, but first.. Weekly Inventory Check As we get closer to the end of 2023 each week, it’s a chance to look […]

Planning and Life

Hi there! We’re in the midweek of December and I’m writing this one from Pakistan. I am here for the weekend due to some family reasons. Today I want to talk about planning in life, but first.. Weekly Inventory Check Each passing week brings us closer to the end of 2023, offering an opportunity to […]

Hi there! November’s done, and here we are in the last month of the year. It was quite a month for me. I kind of slipped from my usual routine and ended up having more sugar than I planned. I usually set aside just one day for it, but life’s been zooming by, and I […]

Hi there! As November wraps up, my wife and I are in the thick of a tough stretch dealing with our child’s sleep troubles. It’s been a whirlwind of sleepless nights, messed-up routines, and overeating. But oddly enough, I wouldn’t swap this chaos for anything else. Sometimes, just rolling with the chaos without stressing over […]

To Err is Human

Hi there! Winter has arrived in Eindhoven, bringing a week-long spell of continuous rain and gradually dropping temperatures. With shorter days, the sun sets earlier than anticipated, and the nights are misty and chilly. Today, I want to talk about “to err is Human” but first…. Weekly Inventory Check Have you successfully reached your goal, […]

Quality Matters

Hi there! We are in the second week of November. This month has been super important for me because it has been all about maintaining foundations that I tried to build earlier in the year. After my mom left, I really needed to get back into a routine. So, I made some decisions. I’m making […]

Hi there! Daylight savings has changed my daily routine a lot. Now, it gets dark early in the evening, around 5 PM, but it’s getting a bit lighter earlier in the mornings. So, my mornings are improving, but my evenings are getting worse because by the time I get done with the work, it’s already […]

Hi there! October is ending, and it was a crazy month for me. My mom visited, I broke my no-sugar rule several times, and both my daughter and I fell ill. Dealing with all these challenges made it hard to stick to my routine and stay disciplined. Today, I want to talk about how being […]

Treadmill of Self-Improvement

Hi there! It’s the last week of October, and it’s finally getting cold here in Eindhoven. The chilly weather seems to have come later than usual this year. Climate change is definitely real. I didn’t expect to experience such high temperatures this year. Today, let’s discuss the concept of the “hedonic treadmill” in self-improvement but […]

Life without a Smartphone

Hi there! We are halfway through October, but Eindhoven’s weather is unusually warm. This is the warmest October I’ve seen in the past six years. I’m having an amazing time with my family, especially because my mom is visiting and meeting my daughter for the first time. I’m really cherishing these moments and appreciating life. […]

Hi there! October has started, and I hope your month is going better than mine. My wife and I have taken on the challenge of not eating out, and honestly, it’s tough. Not being able to enjoy takeout and having to cook at home is becoming quite challenging. Plus, we miss all the junk food […]

Mastering Discipline

Hi there! I celebrated my first birthday with my daughter this week and it has been a wonderful experience. Today I want to talk about discipline and how it’s not always going to be perfect but first…. Weekly Inventory Check September is over, and now we are heading towards October. When a new month begins, […]

The Mind-Body Connection

Hi there! We are in the last week of September and the rainy season is in full swing here! Today, I want to talk about physical self-care and its impact on our mental health while sharing my personal experience but first.. Weekly Inventory Check It’s the last week of September and the rainy season is […]

Achievements in Society

Hi there! Today, I want to talk about the concept of achievements in society and how it’s linked to the rise of narcissism but first.. Weekly Inventory Check We’re in the third week of September, and autumn is approaching in the Netherlands. Are you making progress on the goals you set for this month, or […]

The Yardstick of Comparison

Hi there! Today, I want to write about the common habit of comparing ourselves to others and why it’s often more productive to use ourselves as our own yardstick. But first… Weekly Inventory Check We’re well into September, the 9th month of the year, which means it’s a good time to reflect on our yearly […]

Dirty Hands Problem

Hi there! September is on us and it’s a special one for me as it is my birthday month. And this year I am even more excited because I will get to celebrate it with my daughter. Although, we won’t be able to dine out or do anything fancy but it’s simple moments spent together […]

Balancing Ambition and Life

Hi there! As we wrap up August, I can’t help but notice how quickly time has passed. It feels like just yesterday when it was January, but here we are, almost at the end of another month. This last week of August marks the conclusion of the eighth month of the year, bringing us closer […]

Altruistic Motivation

Hi there! It’s August and things have been busy for me as I return to work after a break. I’ve been feeling a mix of emotions, guilty to restart work but also excited because sometimes you need that mental stimulus besides being engaged with the baby chores – which brings me to the topic. Today, […]

Charity

Hi there! August is in full swing and the weather here in the Netherlands is getting much warmer compared to July, which was cooler. I am not aware how climate change works but this sure, is something interesting.I’m officially going back to work now, after a really nice month off at home, enjoying time with […]

Parenting and Ambitions

Hi there! August has started and things are getting cool here in Netherlands so let see what this month has in store for us. Today, I want to talk about the concept of Parenting and Ambitions but first… Weekly inventory check As we draw the curtain on another month, it’s time for a formal review […]

Embracing Parenthood

As we enter the final week of July, I find myself reflecting on the natural progression of life and the adjustments I’m making to embrace this significant new change: welcoming a baby into my life. And that’s exactly what I want to discuss today but first.. Weekly inventory check As we conclude yet another month, […]

Time Management

July is nearly over, and with its conclusion comes the end of the month in which my daughter was born. I couldn’t be more thrilled despite the sleepless nights; it’s all been worth it. Now, as we move on to discussing time management, especially as a parent, I find it crucial to understand these aspects […]

Nuance

This weekend, my precious little one entered the world and joined our family. I am filled with immense joy as I embark on this journey of fatherhood. Today, I would like to address a prevalent issue in our society—the absence of nuance—and discuss ways in which we can work towards its improvement. However, before delving […]

Facts and Opinions

Hello, there. I hope your July has started well. I am waiting patiently for my little one to arrive – our due date is just around the corner, so I am really excited. Today I want to summarise the discussion that we had in our first ever podcast that was on facts and opinions – […]

Cultural Empathy

June has officially ended and summer is in full swing. Today, I want to talk about cultural empathy and how we need to be aware of the concept while living in a multicultural environment. But before we do that, let’s delve into the weekly inventory check. Weekly Inventory Check: Another month has ended and that […]

June is almost ending and with that, our house is ready for the arrival of the third family member. Today, I want to discuss pressures that are on you as an individual but before we do that, let’s dive into the weekly inventory check. Weekly Inventory Check: June is near to an end and it’s […]

Biases and Lens

Officially this is the last month before my parenthood begins and I am nervous and excited at the same time. Moving on to today’s topic, I want to discuss the concept of bias and your own lens in life Weekly Inventory Check: We’re about halfway through June, and in the summer, people often don’t feel […]

I hope your start of June is going great and you’re achieving what you have planned for the summer. Today I want to talk about an interesting topic. Before we begin.. Weekly Inventory Check: There’s a fresh perspective on goal setting that goes beyond the typical weekly, monthly, or yearly approach. It’s the concept of […]

The month of June has started and summer vacations are on us. What are your plans? Before we dive into our topic for today lets pause for our weekly inventory check.. Weekly Inventory Check: As we enter the month of June, a fresh set of goals awaits us. Have you taken the opportunity to reflect […]

Digital Minimalism

Weekly Inventory Check: The Month has ended, you know what that means. Review, Recuperate, and Renew. Check what was done, what wasn’t done and why. And start planning for the new one. Digital Minimalism Recently, I have been too hooked to my phone, and technology in general. As unbelievable as it sounds, I used to […]

Tradeoffs

Hi there! We have reached the middle of May, and there are only 9 weeks left until my life changes for the better (I cannot wait). I hope you also have something to look forward to this summer. Everything in life comes with trade-offs, such as me having a baby and sacrificing my sleep, but […]

Foundations of Learning

Hi there! May has arrived and with it, the sun is shining in Eindhoven. However, the weather is in-between; it’s too chilly for t-shirts, but too warm for jackets. I’m looking forward to warmer weather, so I don’t have to carry a jacket in my arms. Before we dive into our topic for today lets […]

Impact of family in a community

Embracing the Rhythm of Time

Perspective and lens

Reflections From Japan

Embracing Different Lenses

Habitual Automation

Rediscovering Emotional Intimacy

Reflections on Personal Style

Navigating Life’s Continuum

Incorporating Mindful Living

Mapping the Unseen Territories of Empiricism – Part 2

Mapping the Unseen Territories of Empiricism

Embracing Discipline in Chilly Challenges

Decision Paralysis

Resilience in Parenthood

Focus Forward

Reflecting on 2023

Responsibility vs. Reassurance

Planning and Life

What does it mean to live a meaningful life?

Not everyone waves, but almost everyone waves back

To Err is Human

Quality Matters

Navigating Life’s “Prickles”

The Power of Collective Genius

Treadmill of Self-Improvement

Life without a Smartphone

Finding Strength Through Stories of Resilience

Mastering Discipline

The Mind-Body Connection

Achievements in Society

The Yardstick of Comparison

Dirty Hands Problem

Balancing Ambition and Life

Altruistic Motivation

Charity

Parenting and Ambitions

Embracing Parenthood

Time Management

Nuance

Facts and Opinions

Cultural Empathy

Peer Pressure Surrounding You

Biases and Lens

Cancelling vs. Holding People Responsible

Empowering an Informed Society

Digital Minimalism

Tradeoffs

Foundations of Learning

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