Stateful vs Stateless

My next blog post is going to be a healthy debate on when to remain stateless and when to be stateful. There are pros and cons in both, choosing between them determines how much enjoyment, learning one will go through in his life. End of the day, our goal is to remain healthy, peaceful and explore every bit of this god gifted life. 

Well, the title might sound I am extending my previous blog of mind-body sync but this time it is not about physical or mental fitness rather discuss my experiences about state a.k.a mindset or attitude towards life and how it impacts our daily routine. Einstein in his famous quote says

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -- Albert Einstein

What it implies is you need to focus on task in hand not the outcome. Whatever may your profession be, we all feel the pressure of being successful and always been preached to win but very rarely our education or corporate systems or society accepts failure as an answer. Perhaps, the reason we don't have lot of Elon Musk's or Steve Job's or lydian nadhaswaram's(Guess what, I added Lydian to the list because I feel his passion+perseverance+mindset needs more appreciation. For folks who don't know who is Lydian, please google) is purely because of our myopic view towards life and success. How many of you can recollect vivid memories about your childhood or best times in professional/personal life. I bet most of you will only be recollecting your peak performances or best times. If you do so, you are not alone and don't blame yourself. It's poor structure around you that made you to think Happiness == Successful. 

It is quite natural to have a goal, reach successful outcome and be proud/happy about it but are we turning the system to be judgmental for many others who did not reach the so called success. Let's dig deep into few scenarios and have a healthy debate on does success is the only important thing we need to focus ? or focus on experiences or journey ignoring the outcome? 

Success is just a by-product - Stateless

Success is defined as positive outcome or stateful substance but I strongly feel success is just a by-product outcome and should remain stateless. What success brings to most people is a positive reaction in your brain that amplifies your mood to be joyful. We should enjoy the blissful moment but immediately rewire the brain to focus on next action rather than hang on that mood for long time. Being mindful about this behavior of remaining stateless during success enables us to see other outcomes in more neutral manner. If we started seeing things neutral, it eliminates any unconscious bias towards others who have tasted so called undesired outcomes or failures. I firmly believe we need to have academic course during K-8's to teach difference between growth mindset vs fixed mindset and how to remain stateless for the most part. As a society we should stop enticing more on success but remain composed and non-judgmental so everyone feels inclusive. Our children, youths, working professionals should never feel the pressure of being appreciated only for desired outcomes. By the way, success is different for different people. You may say, getting podium 1,2,3 ranking in an event is success to you but others might say completing the race is success to them.  Ignorance is a bliss. I feel so lucky to have grownup in a neighborhood and family where we never had delivery pressure. We focused to achieve desired results but we end-up happy irrespective of the result. Well Paul Coelho says it beautifully in his statement.

People who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end, but a consequence - Paul Coelho

Lets see what failure has to say :)

Failure is just an outcome -  Stateless

Failure is one of my favorite state as it teaches hell lot of life lessons than any academics . People often exhibit dull, shameful and unhappy mood during failure but science says opposite. Be happy that you are alive, you got a chance to start over and be better version of yourself. Remember the only competition you need to have in life is you. Often people who appreciates the present, live by courage not fear after all fear is just a reaction but courage is a decision. If society is imposing lot of bias/judgment or fear on you for a passing over state called failure, let's flip this up and say failure is new name for success. Be proud of your failure. No one in the world can model success or failure, they can only model experiences or journeys. Psychology says, people who have positive attitude towards failure and focusing on job at hand always remain in joyful state with less stress. 

The only state that will cut your ego and let you move forward is failure.  It allows you to pause, look around all things that can be improved and set the trajectory for next steps. Failure is like muscle building process, it breaks you first then it accompanies with amplified growth.  Setting a negative shade or tone in your inner head about failure is quite natural but if you are passionate and focused, failure will bring in grit, perseverance that makes you mentally strong. Not all of them can swing in the wave of failures that's why having a foundational understanding of statelessness of both success and failures will provide a great perspective on how to treat them in balance.  As said by Dan Harris in my book "10% Happier", keeping the balance between stress and contentment lies the life's biggest riddle.

With this basic understanding of innate qualities of success & failure, let's talk about the topics like comparing mind or monkey mind as said in Buddhist psychology. Any state, be it success or failure will create more inner voices in your head, often heard by you, unless you are going to develop a character to control it, you will be given as prey to imperialistic tendency of mind. So be wise, remain stateless in failure too :)

What matters more is the Experience - Be stateful

Most of you until now of this blog would have stereotyped this content as some psychological myth uttered from saints and paraphrased by me . Well, it might be true that human race since its evolution from energy ---> atom--->molecule--->substance--->complex body with mind, has it's touches of psychological myths, one thing is very clear as per physics & chemistry is being present is the only state we can act on. Neither past not future is true. One is dead and latter didn't exist. With this basic theory, start moving your thoughts around how to live the present moment with an understanding that rest of all intermediate steps are stateless. Once you start living the moment, your memories will provide you a beautiful collage that you can store as state in your brain. You start collecting these collages as life events and guess what you will be surprised by the fact you will be fully surrounded with a positive vibe. Irrespective of outcome of the moment, you had fully given your best focus, commitment, energy, passion. Thats what is called live in the moment. Perhaps, this is the first step towards suppressing the negative voice in your mind. 

Enlightenment doesn't come from outside rather inside us. One might argue, in this goal oriented stereotypical world where every system is just accepting the success as only ticket of acceptance and churning out the rest, how can we even not think about future or worry about past. It is very much indeed possible to be in that state. Like everyone else, I had the urge to raise through the ranks in my corporate ladder and also constantly planning for future, worrying about my past performances. In all these noises, I forgot to live the very moment. Be it spending quality time with family or to focus on task or job at hand or to remain stress free. I learned this hard way during my year long competitive cycle training in 2021, you cannot let your monkey mind wander and just  always dream about being successful. You got to control the monkey in your head and have a strict one goal at a time to focus. It's okay to have guard rails about the future state so you don't lose focus on the destination but let the rails be loose enough that you can shuffle things and change it as you go. There is nothing called perfect planning one can say. What looks like a good plan today might be a bad plan tomorrow. This also doesn't mean that one should not have long terms goals, ambition or plan. The key ideology here is to be stressless in each step of the destination plan. It is going to assist us on remembering your daily strokes better. Furthermore, even one of your daily strokes got missed, you can bounce back and focus on next stroke better. Remember always consistency over perfection. Perfection is just man made thing. If someone says he is attention to the detail and perfectionist, don't start comparing them as someone superior and better than you. It is the quality they have built over time by remaining present and doing maximum perfect stroke on daily basis. 

Live Ego Free & Love yourself more

We have discussed about success, failure and experience in a row. Now let's start the reasoning behind all happiness, sadness mood swings that are experienced by us. You will be surprised to hear the news. Yes, it is our own Ego that make us feel certain way in certain situations. We label the happy endings as something we achieved the goal and sad endings as something we fell short. Many of the motivational speakers, psychiatrist or monks said this in the past, control your ego, you will stay present. While it is easy to say controlling ego is the solution but many of them fail to explain what actions one should take to remain present and stateful. I will try to share few of my learnings and findings so far but it is up to you to assess and pick the one that works most for you.

Idea 1: 

Learn to be mindful(Mediation is a great tool)

Mediation has been preached as one of the best tool for mind health for over 1000's of years still we don't have this as curriculum in any of the elementary schools. It is very hard at first but my personal experience is keep trying to just focus on breathing in/out and don't be judgmental on wandering thoughts coming in. Goal here is to see how much time you come back to focus on breathing despite of random thoughts.  In fitness world, instructors focus on reps vs how much weight you carry. Focus on reps of coming back to state of experiencing breathing. It will be alright even if you do it for 2 mins or less on daily basis. If you remain consistent, I can vouch that you will have more stronger mind by end of 1st successful semester(6 months of consistent at least 2 min daily meditation).

Idea 2:

Be passionate and curious to learn(Do things that interest you at present or learn new things irrespective of the outcome)

For most part, I recommend you to indulge in a work that interests you more. Interest brings in more passion and ownership with less stress. If you cannot pick or not fortunate enough to do a task/work that interests you, approach it as a new learning challenge and attempt to have a experience based on satisfaction of learning something new but also have a plan to jump the lane that interests you whenever you get a chance. Nothing in life is permanent state. It is always a passing cloud :). 

Idea 3:

Love you more(Excite your brain with positive thoughts and don't judge you or anyone immediately)

There are certain things in life that will never go wrong, one such is your ability to love yourself. It may sound odd, believe me having a self realization of who you are and what values you tag as success, what do you want your energy to be spent on can be only determined on how much focus and love you have for yourself. Nobody in the world other than your own family has time to love you more than you. Be wise and start practicing the art of enticing your brain with things you love. Forgiveness is key to remain worry free. Don't be too harsh on yourself for anything. Remember every outcome in life is stateless. Practice this theory for yourself and others who you work/interact with. Surrendering to Ego is something worst mistake everyone does rather ditching ego by forgiveness provides a sense of peace and hope that anything can be made better next time. After all, human existence and other substances in life is stateless :). Now I am getting you in the groove for the final prediction to sum it up.

Idea 4 :

Try to stay calm and focused(Sum it up, don't overthink, be passionate, be mindful and cut the ego)

Ego is evil. Remember kids never exhibit grudge on anyone or anything. They take things as it comes. The easy way to cruise through this complex substance world with full of expectations, judgments, gossips, bullying, disrespect, revenge is to let go your Ego. Be smart to be self aware and mindful. Being mindful doesn't mean you need lead a yogi life. It means you are operating in a zone that let's you only be mindful about the action in hand not the past nor the future. Make a conscious effort to bring your brain to present by chanting positivity all the time yet remain practical of surrounding as well. It is as simple as keeping the mindset of tennis star "Novak Djokovic" during many grand slam finals as an underdog. The entire crowd would chant Federer or Nadal's name and put a heavy pressure on the Serbian but his composure and irresistible mindset towards snoozing the external noise and focusing on the present moment helped him to achieve 20 grand slam title wins and be a world number 1 player for longest duration.

I have taken these four simple ideas and slowly practicing them over the last 6 month period both on field of cycling and then in my professional software career. To my surprise, results were amazing. I am learning new things at a pace than never before and my stress levels atleast per garmin watch tracker is trending towards optimal state. All these things are only possible by putting the best possible foot on every step not worrying about outcomes or performance index or promotions or any other hidden agenda. Effortful, mindful, joyful & peaceful is my new mantra. Happy new year 2022. Stay positive. All is well!!


  1. Super karthi.. they way u present is really super and reach my mind clearly... Hope i will see my failures as u say... Will be positive for ever... Happy new year karthi...


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