10 thoughts from 2022

Mohammad Owaiz Shaik
6 min readJan 1, 2023


Last year, I started noting the thoughts I get through my personal experiences, readings and random arguments that keep going in my head. A few of my friends resonated with them and shared good things with me. I continued doing it this year.

Some are negative, and some are positive but acknowledging their occurrence is important to me.

As I grow older, I would either laugh or feel proud of what life gave me when looking back at these.

These notes are dedicated to my 2022’s self and to those people who laugh at my jokes, listen to my rants and encourage me to do more of them.

Grateful for where I am and excited about where I am going.

Number of “Do not ” learnings > “To do” learnings

Weirdly, most of the learning I had from people around me was about what not to do rather than what to do.

These learnings are abundant around us, and most of them are free. For example, my classmates used many curse words in school, and I never liked them; it forced me never to use foul language again. In my career so far: How not to hire someone? How not to treat your employees?

Is it because I have the wrong circle, or are my views bad about them?

I don’t know why it happens to me, but I always keep looking for them and course-correcting myself when they impact the people around me.

More is lost in Indecision than in wrong decisions

Delaying some decisions would cost us more in terms of time, peace and wealth.

We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time in deliberation. The decisions made very quickly can be as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.

Yes, some decisions will be irreversible and have enormous consequences, but most don’t fall into this bucket. Go, just do it.

Avoid sake saying

When we meet people we are not entirely into, we generally say things like, let’s meet next time, let’s do this, do that. We do so to avoid awkwardness or add weight to the conversation. This generally happens mostly with relatives or acquaintances or when you are an introvert.

Why say things for the sake of saying them? Why show fake affection? This might hurt the other side.

We might be busy sometimes and genuinely didn’t get time, or our priorities changed, but we can acknowledge it.

Try holding your tongue before promising such things. If you don’t have the actual intent, then be transparent and communicate.

Manipulative lies people say

We all have people in our family and best friends with whom we say yes to everything without much self-consideration. With this advantage, they knowingly or unknowingly make us do things as per their conditions for their benefit.

The urge to know why they do so, even though we wish good for them, will never give us the right answer. Because, in most cases, the one who did wrong has no idea why they did it in the first place. It is a subconscious act, so there will be no answer to satisfy our urges.

Don’t say — yes to everything; I am opening anything, or I don’t have any preferences. Have a level of self-choice in essential things that have a long-term impact.

The proximity threshold or boundaries

There’s a proximity threshold between any two people. For example, there’s a friend or a colleague with whom you can spend a specific time from a specific space at a particular place. Going beyond that would change your perceptions about each other, make you uncomfortable and could be bad for the relationship.

Getting closer would reveal more things that would bring negative thoughts into our heads. Maintaining the threshold is essential to be in harmony with them.

For example, you know a person in the office who is great at the workplace. You enjoy the company and have a great time at the office during work hours. Later you go and check their social media. They turn out to be different, who you may not imagine to be. We need to accept that we are just complex beings and to be happy, embrace it or ignore it.

On becoming irrelevant

Staying relevant with once a close buddy is hard when the distance is high and time together is low. With timing, our relevance fades off.

We continuously evolve in different directions in different contexts at different speeds; we change with time and our new relationships. Our priorities change along the way. The best friends might become good friends; good ones might become just friends.

Irrelevance is painful, but little acts and efforts can avoid it; those little meetups and life updates can help. Nobody knows your entire story. Embrace that you are the only one relevant to you in your life.

Probably the only way to be relevant all the time is to be freaking great by doing great things. All will keep in touch with you for various reasons.

Love can become suffering in no time.

Love is the highest act of humanity. Choosing whom you have to love is very important. Love is a selfless act, and it’s tough. Some people can be self-plus; they need more from others and take it from others by influencing and manipulating you to be with them. Selfless love towards someone can turn into suffering in no time.

Be aware of the consequences and keep a little detachment all the time for the worst part.

Mediocrity is in majority

It shouldn’t affect us when we are confident about what we do. When you say something genuine and unexpected, the majority will start laughing at you. Because your thought doesn’t fit general worldviews, they wouldn’t comprehend it. As time goes and, you have the proof and outcomes for what you said. They will start quoting your advice. How strange and ironic!

Intellectuality needs a lot more than education

People with mindsets of unlearning, relearning, humility and the ability to question their own beliefs are rare; it comes from great upbringing or peers.

I had an ugly, unfair conversation with a known buddy who is supposed to be a top 0.1% well-educated folk in the country. It was around his daily hateful posts about Muslims. The kind of arguments and assumptions he held terrified me. I got goosebumps while chatting with him.

Confronting him with logic was driving him to rage. He had his pseudo-beliefs which were hard to change in a short conversation. I just gave up thinking ignorance is bliss.

I changed my biased assumption that good universities enable good thinkers. Just because somebody holds degrees from these universities doesn’t mean they are the among the best thinkers.


Happiness is love, peace, freedom, evolution, health, and people.

This year, I studied more about happiness, from philosophy to its chemical reactions. I ran thought experiments with my friends, asking fundamental questions like what love is and what happiness is. It’s just amazing how well and differently we feel about these.



Mohammad Owaiz Shaik

Hi, I’m a designer from India creating experiences to help people live better. I humanize products and services through design. Learn more at https://owaiz.in/