Aiming for Objectivity.

Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A
dead pig. Or that this noble vintage is grape juice, and the purple robes are sheep wool dyed with shellfish blood…

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

I found it strange that a lot of my friends seemed to go crazy with happiness seeing snow.

They seemed to find it strange that I didn’t share their happiness.

“It’s just water. Literally hydrogen and oxygen.”

Tell people that and they think you’re crazy.

And yet it’s perfectly true.

It’s the same with most things.

Strip away the extraneous, the superficial, the adjectives and glamour attached to them by people, to see things as they really are.

Food is just nutrients.

Music is simply sound, or noise – people modulating their voice or creating sound by striking objects.

Sight-seeing, watching nature – staring at rocks and water and grass and leaves.

A label like “author” means you just published a book, a word like “entrepreneur” means you started a company, a passing out from a top college means you just cleared an admission process.

A birthday? It’s celebrating the fact that the sun and the earth are in the same position they were when you emerged from the womb.

You can do this to everything around you.

Perceptions like that—latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time—all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust—to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them.

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

When you pierce through a perception, you strip it down to its barest essentials, shorn of all deceptions and superfluous dressing up.

No Judgment

I can’t imagine being delighted by water, or more specifically, hydrogen and oxygen.

The most common response people will give you is that you shouldn’t be such a jaded party-pooper.

That’s nothing but a defensive reaction and a dishonest distortion.

There’s nothing wrong with getting thrilled about precipitation in the form of solid H2O, if that’s your thing.

This isn’t a sermon by a superior, enlightened being looking down condescendingly at lesser mortals from a mountain-top.

Anyone who’s alive, who engages in any activity, who has any likes, will always have joys equally stupid and arbitrary as those who enjoy playing with snow or listening to music or eating food or reading books.

Playing a sport – kicking a ball or picking heavy objects and putting them down – is just as irrational.

But being intentionally ignorant of what you’re doing is intellectual dishonesty – to yourself and others.

If you like playing with snow, that’s great.

There’s really no reason to deny to yourself that you get a kick from solid H2O.

There’s no “shame” in confessing that particles of hydrogen combined with oxygen, when compressed closely to exist in a solidified state, give you joy.

If you’re aware how arbitrary and irrational your own pursuits are, you’ll be much less likely to impose them on others, and much more tolerant of those who don’t share them.

Try saying “You too should listen to people modulating their voice” or “Why don’t you play with solidified H2O as well?” and you’ll see how stupid it sounds.

But if you tell someone you don’t care for music, they’ll find it strange.

If you realize how irrational the way you do things is, you’ll be much less likely to pass judgment on others who differ.

After all – that they don’t share your particular quirk is not only normal, but even expected.


Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, that’s when he has you
in his spell.

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

For this reason, I don’t claim to know how to be “productive”.

Although that seems to be the most common question I get, I never answer – I won’t, and indeed can’t.

Because words like “productivity” and “rationality” only make sense if you have an end you’re aiming towards – which you draw from your values.

And it only makes sense to you.

You can’t simply be “productive”, no matter how many self-help books you read or how many hours you study or how many motivational videos you see.

You might be reading up for an exam or building an app.

Is it really productive?

Is it “gaining knowledge” or “building the next unicorn”?

Or is the reading just memorizing useless facts, and the app just another game for teenagers to while away time till they move on to the next thing – if it even comes to that?

That is the perception you bring with you, that you add to the activity.

On its own, it’s simply reading or programming – nothing more.

Is writing this essay productive?

A gimmicky marketer would use fancy words to describe it ‘ideating’ or ‘content-creation’ or ‘brainstorming’.

Someone more blunt would call it ranting or shit-posting, or more charitably and blandly, just ‘writing’ or ‘posting’.

Neither productive nor a waste.

By objectivity I mean this.

To look at things as they are, stripped of all deceptions.

If you look around, you’ll see every little thing hailed as “revolutionary” or “inspirational”.

The hype and perception is so all-pervading you can’t even see the product through all the packaging.

Something so ordinary and trivial can so easily, almost naturally, be hyped up and glorified, and there will be people who’ll buy it.


I’ve never understood the craze behind celebrities, especially in things completely unrelated to their field.

Someone who swings a bat well or hits beautiful strokes with a racquet or simulates emotions and recites dialogues wonderfully – why would their views on public issues or technical subjects matter more than anyone’s?

As though their prowess in one domain has any bearing on others.

That’s the halo effect, a classic inability to see things as they are.

Building up a halo and mirage around anyone, making much ado about nothing.

Or going out of your way to find ways to kill time and get worked up about things that don’t affect you.

“You shouldn’t speak until you know what you’re talking about. That’s why I get uncomfortable with interviews. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I’m a fucking actor! They hand me a script. I act. I’m here for entertainment. Basically, when you whittle everything away, I’m a grown man who puts on makeup.”

Brad Pitt

This is objectivity – whittling everything (all the make-up) away, and seeing things, including yourself, for what they are.

It takes a lot of clear-sightedness to recognize yourself for what you are, despite all the adulation you receive.

Most people can’t and don’t want to, because it requires accepting you’re not a special snowflake.

It’s easier to avoid thinking about this, and instead focus on selling your image of yourself to others.

I don’t think I’m any different.

People sing your praises and ask your advice – as though you have any idea of what you’re talking about, as though you’re someone special or you’ve done something great.

They come to you for help – as though you have a clue.

Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, that’s when he has you in his spell.

It’s easy to tell yourself you’re doing great things, busy with matters of consequence.

It might lead to something or it might not – but it’s good to acknowledge it for what it is.

Letting go of how important you think it is frees you to focus on what you’re actually doing.

I guess that way there’s a higher chance it turns out well.

Because if you’re always bogged down by how important the stuff you’re doing is, you’re unlikely to be thinking about what it is you’re doing.

And if you’re mind isn’t in it, you’re probably not going to do a good job.

Similarly, you might even think you are a man of consequence.

If you do, you’ll probably behave like one, and put on the airs of one – or what you think one should be like.

And if you’re always weighed down by your supposed importance, you’ll always try to sustain the façade you think exists.

And that way you’re unlikely to ever actually be someone of consequence.





I think when we Look at things from a different perspective not as they are like you said snow in nothing but frozen water.I believe it will make them boring or less interesting .when we can admire them why to settle for just bare existence .dont you think so it will make the whole process of life boring , I do agree that one should be not judgemental of others’ opinions.


I can always admire it anyways; why go out of your way to run something down?
Objectivity is for knowing whether I care about it.


Yeah, I agree with you and it requires conscious effort to practice objectivity. One needs to practice daily starts from small actions of a person in a day to achieve this frame of mind


Hi Pratyush, I took your suggestions on writing blogs and my thought process has become much clearer. I started writing the blog in August. Recently wrote a blog on Free Will, I would love to hear your view on that

It seems to me, a lot of background is needed to understand Nietzsche. I would like to know your process of understanding his books

Sparsh tyagi

Thought provoking article. But I’m curious, does objectivity also means seeing emotions for what they really are? Just a squirt of enzymes now and then? Or feelings, as a wave of emotions now and then? I’m unable to make out the level upto which objectivity should be applied.


It was about relevance.
Objectivity was about assessing if the thing in front of me matters to me.
Whether it gives me happiness is my decision, if I value it. But being objective about – in the sense being aware about my emotional response to it is probably a good thing.


This is a good summary

Ankit sankhwar

Self-awareness is a key for bringing objectivity and knowing whether you care about anything or not.. though not directly related, this essay might help you.

Aparajita Singh

You have literally penned down what I think about a few things of being completely irrelevant, you amaze me each time.

Rishika Shukla

Oddly this article reminded me of the book I once read “flow” By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The concept of the book was lil different from this objectivity. But somehow these two make the same sense in a weird fashion.
According to the book “flow is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter” And the phrase from objectivity “if you’re always weighed down by your supposed importance, you’ll always try to sustain the façade you think exists”. Both of these lines are ringing the same bell in my head, that just accept whatever you are doing and the pleasure you are getting from it, instead of fixating on how important that is to the world or any other individual or even to you. <3
Ps- attaching a random aesthetic picture I clicked.

Sweta Tripathi

Well in terms of music and art field you very much sounds like Aristotle who said poetry is a mere imitation of things around . But why art is beautiful and by art I mean golden era writing and music because most of the people are not even aware of what is there in their surrounding it is artist who presents it to them .

But nowdays glamour has occupied the art field and again as people are not again aware they think what they present is real and they try to imitate what they say or how they act specially youngster thats why we see lack of maturity in the minds of the people.

What you said is true but not all can understand it because it would break the very existence of their life as most of us are living in illusion like before even starting a work most people tends to run a back story in their head how people would react ,say and how my life would be so obviously when they achieve it they get filled with self importance and those who are dreaming see them with eyes of inspiration not everyone is working for the work itself thats why we have very few great artist ,politician or writer etc .


I know this is out of context but can you please share you GS4 strategy?


Very powerful article.


Humble request:
In case you read this!
Can you please post an article if possible on how one could tackle being part of toxic family/unavoidable group through course of life especially when you are young (apparently in extreme cases financially dependent & powerless) .


I can’t write about what I don’t know.
Only some generic points:
Try to minimize contact with those who make you feel worse
Assess whether they’re toxic or whether you’re making them out to be worse than they are
Try to use negativity as a fuel, let the toxicity empower you to not be like that
If all else fails – use it as a motivation to do well enough to get out of there asap


Thank you ❤


Hey pratyush, can u share your thought on how to remember everything like a story, actually i tried doing it for sociology but in some of the cases it’s not possible, will be grateful if u can share some insights with elaboration.
Thank you!


Take for example Kailash Satyarthi (saves children from trafficking). He knows his work is bringing a change (thus he’s a man of consequence) but he’s not driven by the appreciation drawn from work rather just saving children.