Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life = Differentiation of Y ?

Isn't life same as differentiation ? No, not the  English 'differentiation', the Maths one; of the type dy/dx.

Whatever parameters you use to evaluate your success in life - money, fame or  happiness - if differentiation of these parameters is zero, 'success' is zero as well. That is, if dy is zero, irrespective of the value of y, you are not considered successful.

You might be a millionaire, but if there is no net addition to your worth compared to last year, a lot of people, including you, will consider that as a failure.

You may have everything in life which makes you happy; a wonderful and a loving partner, beautiful kids, great job, great friends. But if the 'happiness index' doesn't increase, you will still feel something is missing.

Take the example of Roger Federer.  The man has 16 Grand Slam titles, and last year he reached the semi-final of 3 of the 4 Grand Slams, though he was not able to win any of them. Even though reaching the Grand Slam semi-final is a big achievement, Federer still would not have been happy. For him, dy is a negative value, as last year was the only year since 2002 when he failed to win a grand slam, which makes last year a failure for him. Imagine, reaching the semi-final of 3 of the 4 grand slams and still considered a failure !!!

So, is the key to success focussing on dy and dx, as opposed to only y, which most of us focus most of the times ?When self-help books and motivation experts ask you to 'live the moment', are they referring to the dx in the above equation ? As dx tends to 0...

However, no one can afford to have a positive value of dy throughout their lifetime. If that is the case y will tend to infinity, which is impossible.

Is that why dy has to be a negative value sometimes?

Take the case of Roger Federer again. If Federer wins a Grand Slam next year, lets assume only one, it will still be a special moment for him and he will be more happy than he has been in a long time, even though he has done this ( winning at least one Grand Slam a year) 8 times before. The reason for his happiness, or success in this case, is a positive dy, even though his y is considerably less than the past values.

So next time you are going through a negative dy, don't be disheartened. Even mathematically its a certainty and no one can avoid it. But on the bright side it also means that you will require less effort than past to achieve the same value of dy/dx :)


Sadiya Merchant said...

u kno d 'hypnotised' smiley in yahoo messenger?
*thrd last on d frst row if u hav d old version*
feels like dat aftr readin dis :D

Vikram Pyati said...

LOL :) I agree it is a bit confusing. I wanted to write about how relative happiness plays a part in our lives and differentiation seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I should have been clearer.
*point taken* :)

astrosunilnomy said...

Need more explanation of dy & dx, will come back later anyway, but a nice comparison, in the end life is like integration of all instant moments you lived...isn't it ?

Vikram Pyati said...

Sunil.. dy here represents the 'net change' in the parameter on which you measure your success. This can be money, fame, happiness etc. dx represents the time difference.

dy, as you know, y2-y1, with y2 representing the value of the parameter now and y1 at an earlier instant of time. What I wanted to tell is that irrespective of the value of y2 and y1, if dy is very small or zero, then its a failure. Success is measured purely on dy/dx.

And yes, life is indeed an integration of all instant moments :)