Relationship Dummies 101 – By Another Dummy

Strong relationships are built on the concept of a marathon, not a sprint.

Its a lazy Saturday evening here and I am trying to watch an episode of “Whose Line is it Anyway” while regretting that I had probably too many potatoes for dinner last night. Going through all this and I realize maybe the best way to divert myself is probably write. So there’s my motivation: lazy weekend, a comedy show, and some potatoes. That’s what does it for me. It scares me that I don’t find this weird.

Anyway, unlike before where I focus on one specific topic to write about, I would be focusing on 2 things. Both revolve around the same concept though, personal relationships.

1)The remedy for a breakup

For the last 3 months (4 maybe) I have been thinking and analyzing how do we manage to deal with personal calamities like heartbreaks/breakups, and moreover how do we survive them? Is there any specific factor which makes a contribution? Is it time? It could be time but then again, it depends from case to case. I have personally gone through something from which I still haven’t healed, even after almost a decade. So then what is it? Is there really something out there which helps us tackle these situations? It boggled with my mind so much that I actually stopped eating my potatoes last night and went into deep analysis.

And then it finally struck me. The answer is us, the people. We are the remedy. The planet has over 7 billion people. Which would mean for someone to interact with even 1/7th of the entire population, it would take us a lifetime which would also mean that in one lifetime we will never run out of people to interact, bond, and socialize with. If we do manage to survive the initial phase of a breakup, we will fortunately enter the next phase, epiphany. This is the phase where we realize that there are other people in this world with whom we can connect. Even if we don’t want to jump into another relationship we can always talk to other people, make a connection with them. It is this amazing reality which hits us like a soft pillow and makes us perceive that there are so many people out there that we haven’t interacted with. Think about it, if time was really the healing factor then what would happen if there was no one around, a place where we are all alone. Would time still heal our scars? That’s a rhetorical question, you don’t really have to think of an answer here. Even if we don’t want to interact immediately, we can take our sweet time to do it later. We know that no matter how many people we know, there is always someone new, always. I think that’s how businesses work. Besides the price increase, the reason for their incremental revenue is that they keep adding new customers to their business every year. So if anyone of you is going through a breakup right now, you should know that time might not be so much of a healing factor as people glorify it to be. It is the certainty that there will always be someone new out there who could be your next point of interest.

 

2)Maintenance

Personally, there are people I know who have been with their significant other for several decades, happily committed and still going strong. And then I know those who usually give up when they stop feeling the “magic” or “passion” in their relationship. I will try to give an analysis from what I know, even though I am a novice when it comes to long term commitments.

I strongly believe that love is a choice. It’s not a pit that you fall into. It’s a decision you make. And it’s not a one-time decision either, it’s one you have to get up and make every morning. It’s a commitment, and while it does take strength, it’s worth it. When you think love and passion are the same thing, that is when you write a death sentence to your relationship. Mistaking passion for love is the reason so many relationships fail to survive today, the reason so many children grow up in broken families, often committing the same mistakes as their parents with the similar misconceptions.

If people think they no longer “love” someone, then I think they probably confuse love with passionPassion is the pit that you fall into, the fire that gets kindled and rekindled. This mistake is surprisingly common. Personally, I blame romantic movies. They give people some extremely idealistic expectations and commonly use the word “Love” to define passion, emotions, sexual attraction, and apparently anything and everything but actual love.

Passion is what makes you look at them in admiration, it’s what attracts you to them, it’s all the feel-good that people lust after in a relationship. And like lots of things that feel good, passion is dangerous, addictive, momentary, and should be enjoyed, but with caution. It is intense, but often short-lived, and lacks the stability and relentless endurance of love.

Love is what empowers you to work for your relationship, instead of expecting it to come easily. It’s what allows them to help us navigate through the clusterfuck of emotions we feel transitioning to a new job or environment, even though in the moment we are not any kind of fun or exciting to be around. It’s what keeps you up for hours on end holding them when they are overwhelmed and inconsolable. Love, not the glamorized notion of a sizzling fleeting passion, but real, true, enduring love, is security. It’s the only thing that has the power to make a relationship last. If you abandon years of enduring love for a momentary lack of passion, you will look upon it with regret for the rest of your life.

So that’s why I strongly encourage people to revisit their decision and think if they are really mistaking love for passion. Its really important that they think about it.

 

And now that I have conveyed my point, I will get back to eating my potatoes and watch another episode of “Whose Line is it Anyway”. I am really starting to like Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, their comic timing and sense of humor is epic!

Bellissimo

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman

If it’s more than a month since I wrote here, my blogger friends ask me when would I write again, or my friends ask me when would they get to read another one of my highly overdramatic blogs. I tell them that I am trying to find my zeal to write and looking for the passion which is hidden somewhere in my inner closet, and that when the ideas start running in my mind I will start pouring my thoughts on wordpress, once again. Yes these are the fancy words which I use. Truth is, I am just lazy.

I don’t think I am ever going to be asked again. Anyways, moving on.

When we used to be kids, we had all the time in the world to do things that we liked, because we didn’t have the constraint to worry about the future. Most of us had the luxury (I mean freedom, not money) to do anything we want. Then we grew up and started having responsibilities. And before we could realize we started losing track of the things we wanted to do and instead do things we have to do for a sustainable life. At least I did. But even in these situations, we do manage to stick with at least one hobby or something which takes the load off our minds. That “something” could be playing a game of football, going for hiking/mountain climbing, or even indoor activities like cooking or a weekend barbecue. For me, it’s music. I could always relax myself by listening to really good instruments played beautifully by tremendously gifted people. One such musician is the famous pianist from Italy, Ludovico Einaudi.

I discovered his music in 2012 while browsing ads on Youtube. I saw his name on the video credits, looked him up, and couldn’t believe myself that something so beautiful, so peaceful, so light-hearted yet incredibly energetic ever existed. For those who have a favorite band, or a favorite sports team: when you hear them perform live or watch their game in the stadium, do you feel the adrenaline rushing through your body, the fire running inside warming you up with excitement? Do you? That’s probably how I feel when I hear his music.

Now imagine this. You listen to someone playing multiple instruments, you listen to them on internet. You listen to them like you’ve never listened before, and you keep listening till you give up and have absolutely no energy left. But you don’t give up, because you never are tired, because if anything, that music only gives you more and more energy, so much energy that it brings tears to your eyes (Yes men can cry too). You listen to them for 5 years on the internet, and then you hear that they are coming to perform live near your city.

You go crazy and lose your shit.

I got to see him perform live in October 2017 in Philadelphia. I never felt so much energy and adrenaline in me before. I listened to him, only him. I ignored the army of attractive classy women sitting near me, around the theater. All I could see and hear was him and his music, and I drowned myself in the rhythm. And that’s when I realized: Despite my busy schedule, I still have managed to hold onto something which makes me feel alive and energetic. And I was happy, so happy that I was blissfully smiling before realizing I was sniveling in happiness. I can bet you with my life that when such a thing happens to you, there is nothing which can bring you down at that moment.

I don’t think this man has ever written a piece of music I do not love.  When I want to get away from the world and all the endless thoughts that run through my mind, I put his music on, find a comfortable chair, put my headphones on and close my eyes.  Within a few minutes, I have been drawn so far into his music that everything around me disappears.  I just follow wherever the music wants to take me and it always takes be to a place of peace and incredible musical brilliance. Like I said, we all need to get away from ourselves once in a while, and this is the only thing I know that can do it.

And I just realized I got carried away writing this blog. That is exactly what I am trying to say here. We should be able to make time for something which can get us so deeply involved, something which can drain all our frustration and stress and replace it with chemicals of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins (Look them up if you want). I hope you got the memorandum.

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend, ever. It is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents. Music truly is a higher revelation than wisdom and philosophy. Don’t believe me? Take out 6 minutes of your life and put them here:

 

 

Simplification of “Absolute Harmony”

Medicine, law,business,engineering: these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, friendships, romance and love…these are what we stay alive for

One of the reasons why introverts exist is because they believe in having few people in their lives they can always count on, than to have a large circle of people who don’t really mean anything to them. These introverts don’t hate people, they just hate shallow socializing. I’m not an introvert. I’m not an extrovert either. I’m just somewhere in the middle.

Over the years, I have started developing random thoughts when I’m all by myself. Thoughts like, what is the purpose of our existence? What is the benefit of all the advanced technologies we are having today? What do we really need to live a stable life? While I can’t answer all of them, I do know the answer to the 3rd question. To live a stable peaceful life, we need to stay away from bullshit. That stabilized pill can come in the form of family, job, skills, or friends, especially friends, because they are the ones who can make or break your youth (Spouses can do that too, but they arrive later). And I sincerely believe that everyone of us, no matter who we are, where we are, should have at least 2 to 3 people with us who for all the good reasons become a part of our existence. Fortunately I have few such people in my life, who by society norms are called “Friends”, but for me, they are more like family.

Like almost every other bond of friendship, we started our story by being acquaintances to each other, which developed at a slow and steady pace. We went through different stages which include preparing for college midterms, dating women for the first time, bunking lectures to see a first-day-first-show movie, etc. We did all this and we did it together. The core of our friendship developed from experiences, and probably hardships. We all have changed over the years, probably not the same identities we used to have. Most people (including me) do not change when you give them an option. They change when there is no option. But we’re still together, and that’s what matters. We did however make one small pact in college : To go to Vegas. That trip with a few other stops, happened a few weeks ago. I am not gonna go towards the details about what we did and how much money we won (Haha!) But we were happy throughout. Even though we did two 12+ hours road trips, we weren’t really tired because we were in each other’s company. It’s all about those chemicals reacting inside our body. Our heart and mind works better when we are at absolute tranquility, and I am mostly at peace when I’m with these guys.

The purpose of this blog isn’t really to target the specific story of me and my friends. It’s rather inclined towards that one part of our lives which has the potential to give us immense satisfaction and keep us in complete harmony. No matter how busy your life gets, how much you get involved in your corporate/professional/academic world, you can (and should) always make time for people who really matter to you. Remember, no one is really busy, it’s all about priorities. I do it to maintain an equilibrium in my life, and I’m sure you do it for similar reasons.

Great friendships are made up of people who are willing to get their hands dirty (as long as it’s for a good cause) and pick each other up. This is as true with development as it is with pretty much any other type of bond.

In the end what matters is that you’re happy, because if you aren’t then there is really no point of doing what you do. This is not my best piece, not even close. And I don’t really care. What really matters is I wrote and shaped up this blog exactly the way I wanted, and I am content with that.

On a closing note, here’s something which was useful for me and can be useful for you:

Happiness is a state of mind, not a destination – Looking back on my life, the most unhappiest moments of my life occurred when I always thought I had to achieve a certain goal to be happy. That’s not the way happiness works. You can be happy right now.

Farewell, My Hangover

Time to wake up from my sleep paralysis

Whatever step I’ve taken for participating in social media, there has always been someone in my life accounting for it. Facebook, Instagram, Quora, 9GAG, you name it, I started using them because it was bridge to connect me and a specific person. Girlfriend, best friend, old friend, all of them were behind my introduction to social networking sites. 10 months, 2 weeks, 2 days and 2 hours later I realized that ‘someone’ for which I started blogging was entirely me.

What I am doing now, right at this moment, is that I’m writing here on this platform, for me, my satisfaction, and for those 10-12 people living in a different city, country, and continent, who want to know about my whereabouts and have been meaning to read my blogs for a long time. I often have a language barrier. My english isn’t that great usually, and god help me when I’m so philosophically deep. I myself don’t understand what the fuck am I writing when I’m pouring my heart out. But those who want to make an effort to understand my blogs, will ultimately know what I want to convey.

First and foremost, thank you to those who persuaded me to write again. I will always be grateful to you. I think I’ve gained much more wisdom in these past 10 months, than I have in my entire life. And one of the most important things I realized is that you can never undo your past. You will make mistakes, and will probably make more. But you should continue to make efforts to learn from it. Learn to forgive and let go. Because regrets suck the life out of you. You see, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, obviously. But when life gave me lemons, I squeezed it in alcohol and sat in a corner drinking and thinking where did I go wrong. I probably was at my lowest point last year, I was pretty much fucked. You don’t want to know the story, because it’s the usual.

I was however, mentally relaxed in mid year 2016 since I had a stable internship, so whatever side I was showing to people wasn’t really me since I was guarded by a thick metal armor of financial security. But my true identity came out when my internship got over and I was a student once again in last quarter of 2016. It is when we are under pressure that our true colors come out, when the ego’s ass is put to the fire and we become the gateway between our survival self and doing what is humane and expressing integrity. If you think about it, it is really easy to be a nice person when there is no pressure in your life. It is easy to give money to those in need when you have it in your wallet. It is easy to smile when you’re already laughing. It is easy to dance when you are in love with someone or with life itself. You don’t mind donating money or doing extra favors when you have the time. Even arguing is ok when you are feeling fine otherwise. But, put some pressure on the same person and you may be face to face with a demon, a nasty one to be precise.

Here’s a summary of what I went through in the last few quarters:

  • Got my heart broken, and assumed I would successfully deal with it like my previous ones. Needless to say, I was wrong
  • Made new friends while I was in Atlanta, had a really good experience working in a company called Verizon
  • Exercised like an animal to lose the fat and bullshit I had filled myself with
  • Started reading Quora, a lot. I was breathing it day and night.
  • Went through a series of mentally stressful situations due to my academics, job search and my wonderful past
  • Isolated myself from everyone and everywhere for 3 months after graduation

And then I did what I do best. I unfucked myself. I started being who I was before all that stuff happened that dimed my fucking shine. Just like you warriors, I gave multiple shots to get back on track. And after going through a series of disastrous and unstoppable attempts to recover myself, I managed to sail through. Only this time, I am far more prepared to deal with my future. I’m now a corporate individual, working as an analyst in the financial industry doing what I’ve always loved: crunching numbers.

Out of all this, there is one valuable piece of wisdom which I have jotted down in my mind: Relationships are not necessarily meant to last forever, and that it’s possible to have a successful one that runs its course and leaves behind two people who are better for having been a part of it. In other words, “Forever” is not a measure for success.

This is not a trend and I don’t expect to write on a weekly basis. I will do it when it should be done. By writing this blog tonight, I don’t expect people to like or comment here. I don’t even know if anyone is going to read it. What I do expect is that I will sleep peacefully tonight knowing that I’ve at least started somewhere, by writing again.

This epilogue is for you, October Woman. Thank you for making me realize my mistakes and unknowingly making me a better person. I’ve learnt a lot of from you, and us. And for that, I raise you a glass of the finest Glenlivet Scotch!

 

Robin Williams/Kulbhushan Kharbanda

If there’s one thing that I will always cherish, it’s the fact that I had a very colorful and awesome childhood. I grew up with lots of love from my family and friends. My parents gave me all the toys, showed me all those amazing childhood movies which I still love. I will always be indebted to them, both of them, equally. I was never pampered too much though, only the required amount. They both made sure I wasn’t influenced by high tech stuff which would otherwise spoil my habits. I used to play outside a lot, every chance I got. While there are many reasons to prove my evergreen innocent days, one of them was Robin Williams, the famous actor known widely for his roles in multiple epic Hollywood movies.

I grew up watching many of his pieces such as Mrs Doubtfire and Jumanji, in addition to his dubbed cartoons. As I grew up, I began to see a father figure in him. To date, I still can’t figure out why I used to feel that way. But it was love and affection, which doesn’t have to make sense or logic, it just happens, be it any kind. I used to smile innocently every time I watched him on television, and wished one day I would meet him. Now like Hollywood in USA, we have Bollywood in India. And while the world of Hollywood is really emerging in India, Bollywood hasn’t matured that much in USA. So I don’t really know if my Non-Indian friends would know about the next person I am going to talk about, Kulbhushan Kharbanda. He is another famous actor in the Indian Film Industry, known for his diversified roles. He is mostly known for movies where he portrays a  loving father. I loved watching him on screen where he played the strict but loving father of Aamir Khan (another great actor in Bollywood) in the famous Indian Sports Movie ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar‘. And that was all I needed to see a father figure in him as well. I really don’t know if it’s the way they deliver their dialogues, or the way they look, but these 2 actors always remind me of my father.

Now coming to my father, he was my hero, still is. For the record, I do love every member of my family. My father left no stone unturned to put a smile on my face. I remember when I was about 5-6 years old, I was crazy about trains, and he used to get me some of the finest toy train sets on my birthday. Whenever I used to come home in the afternoon from school with the water bottle hanging on my neck, he used to come home from work for lunch, and made sure he arrived when I was home. Every time I came home, I saw him watching television. I used to see him, he used to see me, and we both exchanged smiles. Then I went to the other room where he already had prepared the toy train set for me, I just needed to switch it on. He used to do it every single day. Then for lunch, he used to make me eat my favorite ‘Dal Chawal Bhindi’ (Lentil Soup, Rice, Okhra) (Sorry for acting Western). In the night, I used to sleep with him while my elder brother used to sleep with my mother. Sometimes, and this is my favorite part, while sleeping when I used to be a trouble maker, he used to scold me for that. I used to cry and run to my mom. I kept crying until he called me back and apologized by telling me different stories of animal kingdom. My actual reason for crying was not his scolding, it was for him to get the signal to call me back and tell me those awesome stories. He literally was there for me every time when I needed him. Like I said, he is my hero.

Fast forwarding to 2009, I witnessed the biggest loss of my life when he passed away in front of me. It was a train accident. While I still like trains, most of my enthusiasm for it has gone down the drain because of his demise. I had no idea how was I going to continue from there, but somehow I managed. While there were many things which reminded me of him, movies of Robin Williams and Kulbhushan Kharbanda always used to put a smile on my face, and they still do. I started watching movies of these two actors more than I did in my childhood, and I used to think my father is still alive in them, which is why I had another setback when I heard the news of Robin Williams passing away in 2014. I won’t lie, a little part of me died that day, not just because Robin Williams passed away, but because there were speculations that the reason of his death was depression. I shed some manly tears that day. Nevertheless, I still watch his movies, and I will keep relating him to my father for the rest of my life. Now I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I fear the day when I hear the news of the second actor passing away, for he is the only person alive with whom I can relate my father to. I would rather not think about that, and just focus in the present.

We really can’t figure out how some people can influence us so much that we store them forever within us. But like I said in one of my previous blogs, love is 5th dimensional, and is truly the only thing we are capable of perceiving which transcends the dimensions of time and space. It doesn’t matter whatever I do, where ever I go, my father, Robin Williams and Kulbhushan Kharbanda will forever be important parts of my life. And I will always be sure that the latter two would never fail to put a smile on my face, the same smile which I used to share with my father when I came home from school, with the water bottle hanging on my neck.

Challenge Accepted

No No No, I ain’t referring to Barney Stinson from ‘How I Met Your Mother'(If only I had a nickel every time I mentioned this sitcom). This is something else. Recently I received a challenge from my dear friend and blogger Patty to select and post three quotes regarding adventure. Since I am well aware of the ‘adventures’ of my past and present, I gladly accepted her challenge.

However, the challenge comes with some rules:

1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all 3 quotations at one time. It is your choice.
2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.
3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.

I am going with all 3 in one day:

  1. Often when I faced my fears, I actually conquered it and came out as the victor, unscathed:

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2) Unpredictability in life might be good, might be bad. But it certainly brings the excitement I need

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3) Some of the most beautiful things happened to me when I least expected it

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Now I would like to know the definition of adventure from Da Al from Happiness Between Tails, Clever Idiot Blog, and I just look bad on paper.The latter two haven’t really revealed their names. I don’t want to keep this mandatory. Feel free to accept or reject the challenge. But the important thing for the three nominations is to at least think of 3 quotes which would perfectly define your life.

 

And thank you so much Patty. You made me think a lot while I was searching for the quotes.

Have a great day!

Personal Analytics

And you guys thought I started dipping interest in blogging

Hey everyone. I feel like home whenever I come here, because home is where your heart is. But quite frankly, besides analytics, I may now think of turning blogging into a secondary profession, soon. Speaking of analytics, I have so far completed the 3 most epic weeks in my company, hectic weeks, but still epic. Its been about 2 weeks I guess since I blogged about Atlanta. I was actually waiting for the right time and right topic to write my next piece, which is why I will be revolving around a rather unusual topic today, and which I strongly feel can be related to our personal lives. But before that, you need to understand the foundation of this blog.

I work in the Market Intelligence department of my company handling CRM (Customer Relations Management). I am responsible for doing lots and lots of Customer and Marketing Analytics thereby doing predictive analytics (make predictions based on historic data) which are really useful for avoiding the customers from quitting the service or stop using the product, and improve their satisfaction towards the usage of products and services. Sounds little complicated? Don’t worry you’re not here to analyze, you’re here to read and criticize. Anyways, in order to conduct a thorough analysis on the customers, I use a lot of techniques using the analytical tool SPSS. One of the techniques I use is logistic regression (LR), which will be the primary scope in this blog. I will simplify it so don’t worry. LR in simple terms is used to do predictive analytics by taking one DEPENDENT variable and many other INDEPENDENT variables, which means the outcome of that one variable will be dependent upon all those independent variables. But the LR model has to be strong in logic, with an accuracy of 70% or more. It can however, never be 100% (Remember this accuracy theory when you reach the end of the blog). For my work, that dependent variable is ‘whether a customer will stop using the product in the future or not’, and the independent variables would be that customer’s demographic information, their gender, their total purchase they made on our product, their mode of payments, etc. Thinking of hitting me with a baseball bat? Don’t worry you’re not the only one. Be rest assured, my work won’t be the center of topic, but my theory of LR will be.

I am doing my Masters in Business Analytics, so I tend to apply analytics in the business of my company. But I have applied analytics in my personal life as well. Have you? The way I implement predictive analytics in my personal life is that I use the same LR model in the ongoing events happening in my life and I use “whether I will be happy or not” as my dependent variable, while my independent variables would be the decisions I make in my life and the things I do in my life. After the first tragedy which happened to me many years ago, I started thinking of ways (independent variables) which would make me happy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, because I really couldn’t figure out the weightage or the ‘importance’  or the level of impact of those variables on my happiness (dependent variables (okay I am gonna stop including brackets now)). But over the years, I learnt to know the level of impact of those things and used them correctly, in a logical manner. This ‘logic’ can be also seen in one of my previous blogs The ‘Charlie Harper’ version , where I mentioned how I used logic to be happy. I agree that while I am proud of some of the things I have done on my life, I am not content with the way I used to be happy before, by keeping myself emotionally guarded all the time, and I certainly regret the ridiculously unbelievable algorithms I made in my life during that time to be happy. But like they say, it’s never too late to start over. So now I still use the LR model in my life but my ‘independent variables’ have changed, and with that I am now well aware of the level of impact those variables will have on my happiness. I have been using LR for the past 3 years now, and needless to say, my LR model has only been increasing in accuracy, because as I move forward with my life, I gain wisdom and experiences, two of the most important things which help me make my model more accurate. To be more simple, I now revolve around those things which make me happy. But when it comes to people, I don’t revolve around those where I am forced to be happy with them even though their intentions are positive, I revolve around those people where I want to be happy with them with my consent, and they want to be happy with me, a 2-sided balanced bonding is what I use here, and it works correctly. I have used this theory for every event which has happened in the past few years of my life. Obviously, there are a lot other variables you need to define however, these two are primary.

You may not know it, but you have applied LR in your life too, you just don’t know how accurate the model is. What I mentioned in “The ‘Charlie Harper’ version” was that I had cracked the theory to be happy, when in reality what I really did was crack the theory of ‘not being sad’. The element of ‘happiness’ was never there. But now with a better sense of knowledge, the accuracy of my LR model has reached about 85% (Sometimes even I ROFL on the things I say around here). Starting from January 2015, I had begun to feel, to love, to be loved, and sometimes the love can boost up the accuracy by a large margin. Quite frankly, it did. But like I said before, it can never reach 100%, because you can never be completely content and happy in your life with no issues whatsoever. And if analytics, being a subset of math itself can’t reach 100%, who in the flying flip are we to think we can be perfect?

I hope you guys don’t take this too seriously. Like I said, just read and criticize. As for me, I believe I would hope to reach 100% after 3 years.