Why investing in Bitcoin is meaningless for me 😏

2017’s second half has been all about bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. You could have easily noticed your relative, close friend, colleague or any random person on the internet go crazy about bitcoin/cryptocurrencies in the last couple of months.

Bitcoin's graph in 2017's 2nd half -themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Bitcoin’s graph in 2017’s 2nd half

Among all, the most typical comments from people who are into buying/selling bitcoin/cryptocurrencies were like: “Bitcoin is going up!”, “You know bitcoin just hit $xxxxx!”, “Bitcoin is the next big thing! I bet my life!”, “If you’d have bought bitcoins 3 months ago, you’d have tripled your money by now.”. Yes, I hear and see all that happening. But I also see your desperation to make quick money and get rich the easy way. It’s a fucking propaganda!

Let me give you the truth on point-blank – Most people I know who invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies don’t care about the implications (+positive or -negative) blockchain or cryptocurrencies will bring. All they care about is how much money they can make in the shortest way/time possible. Plus you’ll notice people who have invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies will constantly encourage or shame people into buying cryptocurrencies they have bought, because:

  1. That’s how they justify their biased and idiotic decision in investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies
  2. That’s how they increase the value of bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. The more people put faith and invest in something, the more it’s worth goes up. It’s also about comforting themselves when the bubble burst and it’s not just them who took a hit or went bankrupt, it’s their friends and family as well. That’s psychologically comforting.

There’s nothing wrong in that, but in the short run, with induced FOMO (Fear of missing out), FUD (Fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and Peer pressure, it harms two entities:

  1. The majority who invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies for the sake of making money is affecting the real impact cryptocurrencies can bring ASAP i.e. helping individual/merchants/businesses adopt bitcoin once it settles down with its volatility and brings multiple benefits to transactions globally. For more clarity on the benefits of bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, watch this video.
  2. That majority itself ends up spending a lot of time and energy making a short-term quick buck in peer pressure while losing sight of what’s really important to them in the moment. (Ex. my friend keeps on checking his phone multiple times while conversing with colleagues, playing TT or Fifa, and while eating too)
Slap everyone who's asking you to buy bitcoins -blog-themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Slap everyone who’s asking you to buy bitcoins

With that in mind, let me tell you why I haven’t invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies and neither planning to invest in near future. Here’s why:

  1. I don’t want to involve myself in the hassle/stress of when bitcoin/cryptocurrencies are going up or down. I want to live in the moment. When you invest in things that are volatile and is changing every second, it requires your attention to the full extent. It’s not bitcoin’s/cryptocurrencies’ fault. It’s just how it is and it needs your attention. So for me, living in the moment has greater value than giving my 24×7 attention to making few quick bucks.
  2. I don’t care how much money it’ll multiply me. I don’t get swayed away by FOMO/FUD/Peer pressure. I make enough to live happily every month, buy things I want (sometimes by waiting few months to save – that’s also fun + you value the things you buy with your saved money), travel 1-2 international countries every year. The logic here is that if I keep on running or say yes to every money-making opportunity world presents me with, my purpose is lost. There’s no value to uphold. There’s no focus.
  3. The repercussions of developing the habit/taste of making quick money are very dangerous. Investment in the real world doesn’t work that way. You don’t multiply your money 100%, 200% or more in just 3 months. Usually, the return on investment rates is ~4% to ~25% throughout the investment industry.
  4. I am a creative person. I want my time and energy to go into the creative work I am doing, towards my personal and professional goals, towards my fitness, towards making new memories with friends or loved ones, or maybe towards nurturing myself. There are tons of things I have in mind that’ll make me happier if I do/achieve them compared to multiplying my money 1x-5x in the short-term.

But you might say that “oh, but you are earning decent money and maybe that’s why you don’t care”.

Bullshit people give for buying bitcoins are endless

Here’s why it’s bullshit: How many people you know who are/were broke but started investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies? I know none. I have not seen a poor guy or someone who’s broke has started investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. Everyone who has invested moderately/heavily in Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies is earning or has earned a decent amount of money. Plus if you’re poor/broke and you’ve put money in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, you’re not investing, you’re gambling. Yes, you read that right! Investing in something without knowing what it does or really means, equals to gambling.

So think twice before investing in things that promise you quick/more return in the shortest time possible. DON’T fall into propaganda.

Don’t listen to people and follow the propaganda. Choose wisely!

P.S.: This post is not about robbing you of your opportunity of investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies or into anything else. Just by writing this post, I, for myself, am making sure that wherever my time and energy goes, it’s giving me the most value in return in terms of feeling joy, feeling content and feeling worthy (mostly the qualitative metric rather than quantitive). And I get that one cannot apply the same filter to everything that’s happening in life, but bitcoin/cryptocurrencies just don’t cut it to my to-do list when it comes to feeling accomplished for reasons I mentioned above. And I hope that this post will help someone gain that same perspective and choose better for themselves instead of investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies or any other quick-money-making investment opportunity in future.

Happy Christmas and choose wisely! 🙂

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How I get my things done – The art of GTD

I’ve been writing blog posts on to-dos, posting my yearly and monthly list of getting things done since quite some time – mostly to keep track and social accountability. It was fun and productive, but I’ve stopped writing about my to-dos since the start of year 2016 as I switched my job location and got a little busy, but relied on digital note keeping system, for the time being, using Evernote mostly.

As 2016 approaches to an end, I am reflecting back on good and bad things that happened and also the lessons learned from them. I’ll post about them in a separate blog post, but while jotting them down, I thought of starting my habit of writing yearly and monthly to-dos again.

Why? Because to give you the gist of 2016, I didn’t do any personal design related projects as I was mostly busy consuming information. Mostly from books, online articles, and videos. 2016 was much like a reading year for me. Not like I read 50 books. But I surfed a lot over the internet reading new and random stuff – not the most productive use of my time, but it happened.

I don’t regret spending time reading new stuff, but I could have managed my time better on several occasions only if I had made some goals. I made none and I wandered around aimlessly. There’s an argument about information in need vs. information in case which argues about whether we should consume information only when we need it the most, or we should consume to prepare ourselves for worst case scenario. I believe it can be both and that’s why few of the information I consumed, made me happy and few didn’t.

So from 2017 onwards, I’ll start making yearly and monthly goals. Again. I’ll use the same note-taking method (i.e. using a pen and a notebook/memo pad) I’ve used in the past 3 years since getting serious about being productive and methodological about my work, to get things done.

Basic rules I follow to get things done:

  1. Use note keeping as a system to store every to-do to stay on top of everything that needs to be done.
  2. Use pen and paper (a small notebook or a diary) to jot down those to-dos. 

Here’s why I use a note keeping system and don’t rely on my brain power to remember things and also why I use a notebook or a diary for noting down my to-dos.

Why use note keeping as a system?

First, our mind has a very limited real-time memory which means we can’t store everything that we want to remember. Don’t believe me? Try remembering what you need to get done in a week starting from coming Monday till the weekend comes. I am sure that by the end of the week, you’ll find that you missed 60%-70% of the items that you first thought on day one i.e. Monday.

Second, our brains are working constantly to remember those items which are not really needed. That brain power could be used to do something else, something more important. By putting all those to-do items in a note keeping system, say in a diary, we’re freeing up space or brain power to do other things.

And third, a note keeping system is also a go-to point for revision, editing, adding new items and finally to refer to it time and again. We can’t do that with our limited brain power. When I dump everything I am thinking of in a notebook or a memo pad (which I mostly use), I become stress-free. I don’t work my brain out to remember those stuff anymore because I know that everything that I need to buy, to do or take action upon, is stored in a system that I can always go back to, refer and pick up.

Why use a pen and a paper for note keeping? 

As much as I want to think and believe that note taking on a smartphone, laptop or any other digital device works, I have been proven wrong. For this year 2016, I completely tried sticking to digital systems for my note taking purpose.

Here’s how I started. The format was pretty basic in the start, i.e. to-dos listed in bullets. But later I moved on to a better layout. I was using Evernote most of the time for this.

Note keeping with Evernote with pretty basic format, i.e. to-dos listed in bullets
Note keeping with Evernote with pretty basic format, i.e. to-dos listed in bullets
Note keeping with Evernote with improved layout
Note keeping with Evernote with improved layout

After a year of using digital system for note keeping, which includes smartphone apps, Evernote, or notepad on laptop, I realized that it wasn’t working and might never work even at it’s best. Here’s why:

  1. I used digital note keeping systems every day but found myself writing less to-do items. Mostly because it’s a digital device where I am taking a note which is connected to the internet and other applications. The distractions were huge. I found myself switching windows, replying to incoming messages or deviating to something completely unexpected on the device, like playing games. All in all, note keeping is best not done with systems that can increase our chances of getting distracted as we need to stay sharp and focused when making small or specifically big goals.
  2. Ticking off something on paper with pen or pencil is way more satisfying and liberating compared to just clicking or tapping on something as done in a digital device. This feeling that I am talking about, can’t be expressed in words. You need to do it yourself in order to feel the difference and the joy it brings.
  3. I also found myself writing more to-dos when I was writing them on my notebook compared to when I was writing them on my digital devices.

Now that you know the basics and the why, how and what of things. Let’s clear out more frequently asked questions so we can get things done in the best way possible.

Which notebook to use? 

Any that you like. But it must be paper-based. You can use A4 sheets, a small notebook, or something like a memo pad which I use mostly.

How often to write to-dos or goals? 

I usually write one yearly, then few monthly to-do in a notebook and little to-dos in a memo pad. So big picture goes to my notebook and small and everyday to-do details goes to my memo pad.

My monthly to-do in a myPaperclip notebook
My monthly to-do in a myPaperclip notebook
Little and daily to-dos in a memo pad
Little and daily to-dos in a memo pad

To sum it up, getting things done is a piece of cake once you get the system and resources needed in place. Initially, you’ll struggle to keep up with the system i.e. you’ll forget to jot down little details, you’ll end up writing too many items on too many devices, or you’ll miss on to complete a lot of items you wrote. Remember this is not a fight to get everything done that you write, rather this is to practice and convert writing your to-do items in a piece of paper every day, month and year into a habit.

Happy getting things done and here’s a picture of all of my memo pad sheets till date 🙂 Cheers!

All of my to-do items from year 2015
All of my to-do items from year 2015