Thursday, October 13, 2011

Connecting the future dots

Remember me talking about connecting dots in general and connecting the future dots and how sometimes I have intuition about what's going to happen next by looking at what's happening today. Well I just had a moment yesterday which I would like to share.

For past one year, I am struggling with a questions, "Should I pursue PhD and become Professor after MS or should I start a business after MS?". I am exploring each of these two options by talking with Professors, reading about latest research, and by participating in forthcoming Boston Startup Weekend etc. Yesterday I just happen to attend a technical colloquium at my Computer Science Department on topic based on Forensic analysis of P2P system for Child Pornography. It was interesting topic and the speaker Swagatika Prusty presented it well and handled the questions clearly. I liked it. I learned something new. After the presentation, the usual practice of few audiences forming a circle around the speaker and participating in the discussion happened and I joined the league. There were random topics mostly concentrated around what was presented and then we moved on to career. One from the audience was a Professor from my department and asked the speaker (which if you have noticed is only a second year Master's student at UMASS Amherst) whether she would like to pursue PhD? To which she responded that she is yet not decided but would prefer to be a doctorate student only to be interrupted by the Professor "unless you land a fat paying job" to everyone's humor. Then he spoke about his life, how he was in Israeli army at young age, then went on to start a business where he made good money and told his mother that he doesn't see why he should attend college considering he is already earning quite well. To which her mother responded "You are stupid" which mentally tormented him and he joined college obtaining his bachelors degree and realized that "it is so much fun" and enrolled for Masters degree which again he realized "This is so much fun" and rest all is history.

Now, the story part is over. Next phase that went into my head is, why is the professor speaking about his career decisions, why did I meet another student who is in dilemma of doing PhD or not, why am I here amongst all the infinite possibility and how come each of these things are happening when I am suppose to go for a startup event on coming weekend. Well, Steve Jobs said you can connect the dots by only looking backward and he is absolutely right because connecting the future dots is only probabilistic in nature. Getting obsessed about connecting future dots can make someone dogmatic but I would recommend that he/she should just take it as some form of information and continue doing their daily routines and when the final day of making a choice comes, use these pointers along with regular pros & cons rationality. Making future look like the way you want will disturb the natural order making the future connections only fraud.

Do share your story if you happen to experience the same.

Have a wonderful future

P.S. I feel so relaxed after writing this topic because I was waiting for a long time for an event to happen naturally where I can make future connections and talk to my readers about it.

No comments: