In Engineering I studied Signal and Noise, their ratio and results in communication engineering. I am not going to bore you with the math of probability and Signal to Noise we studied in Engineering. Though, before we move to the point, I will try to explain it in laymen’s language. Signal to Noise ratio means how much is the strength of a Signal Vs the noise on the background. If strength of Signal is more than that of noise, communication can be comprehended. A simple case is tuning radio in your Mobile.
Well, beyond the laymen definition, I am here to share an observation. In our daily life we are so busy that we are overwhelmed by the noises around us. At times we miss on the signals, these can be premonition too. My personal experience is, we miss many things in extreme emotions – joy or sorrow. Yet mostly, the signals can be of the burnouts we are facing, frustration or not even stopping to think why am I running like a headless chicken? In some cases the signal can be to sit back and relax. The signal can be to find purpose of life. Honestly, this purpose of life point sounds lofty to me. My logic of purpose has slowly become (not lofty) very small and unimportant.
Many a times we define the purpose as some grand goal. Having a grand goal is wonderful. I too have such goals, not just one, a couple of them such as for personal life, professional life. However, when I say small and unimportant, these are living life in small bits and pieces such as spending time with Adviti – even if very small. Some purpose can be insignificant such as going to a grocery shop. The point is – when I am doing such insignificant or unimportant tasks – what is going on in my mind? Is the mind wandering somewhere and the task – that I intend to do – is secondary? That is where Signal and Noise comes in play. Noise is the distraction from your primary activity – focus or goal.
We went for a vacation last month. There I was lying down in bedroom, relaxing. Mind always needs some activity – so my ears were listening to the wall clock – tik-tik. My wife entered the room. She switched on the fan, this noise of fan reduced clarity of the activity – listening to the wall clock tiks. My eyes were closed, attention still on the faint sound of tiks. Soon I lost the Signal of the tiks to the Noise of fan. Whether you call it awareness or time pass, that is subjective. However, this small incident made an impression, in our day-to-day activities we encounter such noises. We miss the fun of the Signal tik-tik to the noise of fan. At times, the noise is nothing but the grand goals or self importance we have created for ourselves.