Not Yet An Expert

Announcing the ‘not yet an expert’ series of self help and how-to guides

I’m sick and tired of reading articles that give you fitness advise from supermodels, writing advice from best-selling authors and financial advice from millionaires. The click-bait formula is quite simple. Write the most obvious advice possible and slap a famous person’s face on top of it. Of course no one mentions that the difficult part is in sticking to it or you know, being able to pay for an in-house dietician and personal trainer who can stop you from eating a cookie before doing 200 push ups. As if the 50 rupees in your wallet will suddenly turn into 5 crore because you read an article about Warren Buffet’s investment habits. And yeah, the only thing stopping you from getting a size zero figure is not reading a 500 word article about Kareena Kapoor’s daily diet.

The problem with all these advice posts is that they are written retrospectively from the perspective of a very limited number of people who found success but does not give you any idea about how many people tried those methods and failed. For these tips to be called scientific advice, they need to be repeatable and reproducible. When you read one of those advice columns, ask yourself if everyone who follows that advice has achieved the same results or if following that advice will achieve the same results every time or most of the time. The answer is probably no. Everybody who joined that gym or followed that diet plan didn’t end up with 6 pack abs. Everyone who wrote 2000 words per day didn’t become a best selling author. Sometimes you don’t have the resources or time to stick to an exercise regime. Sometimes you can write all you want and it just won’t get published or make money because good luck and timing is often critical for success. How else do you think a crappy novel like Twilight became a bestseller and got turned into a movie? Advice from successful people might be occasionally useful but most of the time, its a good way for them to feel good and make more money rather than you.

In that spirit, I am starting a series of columns and how-to guides from the perspective of somebody who isn’t particularly famous or awe-inspiringly successful. I would say ‘not yet’ successful, to make myself feel hopeful about future success and to convince you that this isn’t akin to sobriety advice from a drug addict. My only qualification for giving advice is that I’m in the same boat as you in most ways but maybe know 1 or 2 things more about one thing or the other. You might learn how to be marginally better at a few things I got marginally better at something and hopefully you can return the favor. I would be very surprised and quite jealous if you become famous at any of these things following my advice. What have you got to lose? Its not like you wrote a best seller last week (if you did, please give this blog a shout-out on social media?). At the very least, we can laugh at each other rather than mope around while somebody on a billboard smiles down at us from unreachable heights.

As of now, I’m planning on writing about some or all of the below. Vote for your pick: