The Intellectual High

Date: May 13, 2018

I've always been a nerd at heart. No, I'm not referring to the stereotypes in American movies. I'm talking about an intellectual curiosity, an indescribable drive to build, repair and understand things. It's managed to keep my life interesting so far. I'm probably overestimating myself, but I really do love working with scientists.

You're The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With

I completely agree with the quote above. The people I work and socialize with have an extraordinary impact on me. I've been fortunate to have worked with some incredibly smart people over the years. I can honestly say that I've never been the smartest person in any room I've ever been in. And that can be an extremely humbling experience. I have a lot of respect and admiration for my colleagues. The great thing about working with intelligent people is that you're always on your toes - there is room for error, but there is no place for mediocrity. You're almost always outside your comfort zone - this helps you learn faster.

Recently I was a part of a research discussion with stalwarts in the field. It was so interesting that we all forgot/ignored lunch and kept brainstorming for hours. When we were done, I felt like I had learned quite a lot in a short span! At that moment, I felt truly grateful. We really are standing on the shoulders of giants. We might see farther than our predecessors, but it's important to keep in mind that our teachers (incredible humans, predecessors, legendary scientists, etc) equipped us with the skills, knowledge and vision required to work on things bigger than us. It was a truly humbling experience. In a gist, I experienced the intellectual high.

I've experienced the intellectual high a couple times in my life. It happens only when you are working on something you are truly passionate about. I sincerely hope that I have the good sense to work on important things and remain grounded.

Signing off,
Gautham Vasan