Notes to Self


I often write emails to people. I started doing so when a few friends went for their Masters'.

It might not be like writing a handwritten letter, buying a stamp and posting it in the mail. However, in this century, it remotely feels the same.

It feels poetic.

I have been thinking to turn some of these emails into open letters. Here is one of them.

Originally drafted and emailed on September 17, 2022

Notes to Self

Here is yet another email of unsolicited advice.

A few days ago, I was moving to a new phone. Was clearing out the old phone and I came across "Notes to Self" in my Notes. This is what it looked like:

  • Don't believe everything you listen.
  • Think thrice before you speak, not twice.
  • Don't give up on anyone who's trying, don't forget who helped you when you were novice.
  • Money is like the 6th sense, it allows you to enjoy the other five.

I don't remember when and why I wrote these over time, but I did probably because of some realization. And frankly, all of it still makes sense to me.

Don't believe in everything you listen to. Be it some senior, some professor, or some "guru", don't always believe it as it is.

Try to question it. Try to not believe it for the sake of it — there is a fair certainty that something is masked or there is something that can deceive you.

I might have written this with respect to something I JUST believed because it was coming from a credible source. I also just believe in whatever story someone tells, and I take it as the truth. It is naïve and might lead to some unexpected realizations.

And it is not only with respect to people. It is also true for the content we consume. Don't always believe it. Even if it is from a credible source. Everything we read, see, and consume is not always true.

Always think thrice before registering it in your thoughts. Try to question it — might as well lead to finding a flaw in the system.

Think thrice, not twice

This brings me to think thrice before you speak. Or do anything or text or email.

When I say this, I am not asking to hold back — I am asking to review your answer/response/way of receiving and sending it from all angles. It is a good practice of empathy.

And of course, something that is reviewed thrice is better than twice. It might save you from some trouble, someday.

The last two points are rather generalizations and an important reminder to keep in mind.

Disclaimer (yeah, at the end): You will observe, that these things that I mentioned might make you feel very restricted, or might be suffocating at times. So, feel free to tweak and implement this according to your convenience. Hear what you want to — to help you work better and to help you sleep better at night.


Tushar Nankani