Monday, April 19, 2010

The SZ matrix of life

The Consulting Hypothesis: And then there is this thing called life. Science has not been able to define it yet, (or had not when I last studied biology, which arguably was 12 years ago), but being a consultant, there is nothing I cannot do, and hence I will undertake to define life.
Moreover, being a consultant, as I can never do anything really useful, except confusing my audiences and clients with complex "strategic frameworks" in 2-d graphs or 3-d matrices, I will describe a new framework.
The SZ Matrix of Life: Imagine, my dear readers, a 3-d space. (A 3-d space, for those of you mathematically naive, is a three dimensional space. It is what you see. The height, breadth and width - which can also be said to be the three axis of the space). Now imagine the three axis of this 3-d space to be professional life, personal life and the social life (the x,y and z axis respectively, represented as (x,y,z) from now on). We call this space, for want of a better name, the SZ matrix of life, in honour of the two men who came up with this matrix, one being yours truly and the other, my co-consultant in the latest "consulting" project I am doing. But more of the "consulting" project we are doing later.
For now, more gyaan on the three axis which make up this matrix:
Professional Life: Consists of your work life. You know, the quality of work, the amount of money you earn and other such things.
Personal Life:The so-called important part. Includes your family, relatives, and your significant others. Includes The people you are supposedly closest to, and your relationship with them.
Social Life: Your social life. Consists of your friendships, your social networks, and generally everything not covered in the first two axis. Such as your tennis club. Or the book reading group you are a part of.
The SISO method: Now that we are clear on what the axis are, here is a little exercise for you. In consulting, we call it the workshop method. I call it the SISO method. Which is short for Shit In Shit Out. So, its basically you giving me ideas, and I presenting it back to you with some shitty analysis thrown in. Sounds interesting, right? So lets get into the exercise head-on.
Ideation: Imagine your life on this framework, and give yourself a rating between (0,10) on the three axis. About how you think your life is heading in each direction. And how good you think is each aspect of your life turning out to be. A higher rating means a better quality of life parameter. So if you think you are doing great in your professional life, but your personal life is only half perfect, while your social life is non-existant, give yourself a rating of (10,5,0). Doing this, give yourself a rating of (x1,y1,z1) for the current state in your life. This is your SZ matrix coordinates. Keep them ready with you for the time being.
Weights (for stronger analysis) (SI): Now, just to make things more confusing (in consulting terms, to make the analysis more "holistic"), please assign your own weights to the three axis. Now assigning weights is a slightly tricky task, so please read carefully. Your weights should be indicative of the relative importance you give to the three axis, and the sum of the three weights should equal 1. Not less, not more, but absolutely 1. Moreover, none of the weights should be less than 0 (or more than 1). So if your three weights are w1,w2,w3 for the x,y and z axis respectively, then w1,w2,w3 should fulfil the following two conditions:
1>= w1,w2,w3 >= 0;
w1+w2+w3 = 1;
Examples: For example, Chatur will give weights of (0.8,0.2,0) or (0.9,0.1,0) or (1,0,0) while Rancho will give weights of (0,0.2,0.8)or (0,0,1) while Hari will give weights of (0.1,0.8,0.1) - depending on their preferences for glory in different fields. Please note in each case, the weights add up to one, and while weights can be 0 or 1, they cannot be negative or greater than 1. So please have the (w1,w2,w3) ready as well.
The calculations: Now comes the hard part. You need to calculate your SZ matrix of life score which is given by the following mathematical equation : SZ matrix of life score = {w1*(x1)^2+ w2*(x2)^2+ w3*(x3)^2}^(1/2) (For the mathematically inclined, this is the weighted distance formula. For the mathematically naive, well I don't believe anyone of you has actually cared to read till here anyways, so forget it). As a check, your SZ matrix of life score should be between 0 and 10. Both inclusive.
Special Analysis (SO): So now that you have a SZ matrix of life score between 0 and 10, our special consulting team (me) will tell you what to do with your life.
Score of 0: Are you even alive? The good news for you is that you are absolutely rock bottom, and you cannot go much deeper, even if you tried digging. The bad news is that you are rock bottom. You really don't have anything going for you, and I am just wondering what you are doing reading this. Get off my blog fast!!!
Score of (0-2.5): Is your life worth it, you often wonder? There is not much right going on with it, and you are often depressed. A failed love affair perhaps, or a really, really bad job can be key elements. Or maybe both. Add to that the fact that you have no real friends, right?
Score of [2.5-5): Not the most ideal place to be, but you could do worse, and probably will over time. You are not a very happy person inside, but you complain about most things, though nothing is really wrong with your life. You should also look at the analysis of the previous scoring bracket, because that is where you will fall in some years if you do not start getting happy with what you have.
Score of [5-7.5): Life could be better, but you are doing fine with what it is. Over time, your life will improve. Or so you hope. And that thought is what keeps you happy. Good going.
Score of [7.5-10): Life is great! And will continue being so. While not perfect, your life has all the elements of a well-paid and down to earth rockstar. What else can a person ask for?
Score of 10: Are you a living person? You are totally contented, and have nothing to look forward to in life. You are like the Indian hero at the end of a movie, who lives happily ever after. The only bad news for you is your life might seem useless from this time on, because you have already reached the top and there is no way to go but down. Get off my blog, before I become totally jealous of you. And your life.
Further Reading and Recommendations: The SZ matrix of life scale is time dependent, and you should always look to maximize your score on the SZ matrix of life. Whenever taking a decision which affects any of the three axis or more than one axis, compare your current score with your proposed score, and only go ahead if your SZ matrix of life score increases. Further research on the SZ matrix is being conducted, and results are not yet conducive.
For further queries, please respond on the comments section below, and the author will get back to you. Individual consultancy, based on your exact score, are also available.
Disclaimer: The author, like all consulting firms, is not responsible for any decision you take and any losses you suffer based on my recommendations. These are just guidelines, and finally you should only do what your mind tells you. Especially if it is a sick, demented mind. Because you do need to blame someone for your decisions, but consultants are always blemish free.


Witness said...

Very original!

Atish said...

one day this could be the stuff legends are made of :D

zubin said...

@Shweta, Atish; Thanks!!

Ashwani said...

Interesting mate.

Call it my mathematical naivety but why a squared weighted average? Any rationale behind that methodology Mr. consultant? Why not simple weighted average?

btw i fall in the 5-7.5 range mathematically (yes i calculated it) and qualitatively..

zubin said...

@Pondy: Just like that. Probably wanted to make it tougher for the non-Mathematicians. Just so that there is better scalability I guess. ?? :)
And 5-7.5 is not bad. Pretty good. Waise I would have guessed you would have been on the 7.5-10 scale.