I’m Hanan Parvez from the beautiful Kashmir valley located in the Himalayas of South Asia. I had engineering as my undergraduate course and finished my MBA with Marketing as the major in 2018. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s in Psychology (final year) and running this blog simultaneously.
As an engineer interested in the workings of the mind, I can’t help but think of the mind as a machine, an instrument, a tool. When people buy their machines and gadgets, they may not know how to use them initially. But, over time, they learn from their mistakes and might even end up becoming experts.
The human mind is somewhat similar. We’re born with this machine between our ears having no clue about how it operates. Over time, we more or less get a handle on it, but most of us aren’t able to master it because it’s undoubtedly the most complex machine there is. PsychMechanics is like an instruction manual that will help you to understand the nuts and bolts of your mind.
What sparked my interest in human behavior
When I was in school, I read a chapter in my English class taken from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom convinces his friend to whitewash a fence even though he was initially unwilling to do so.
I was fascinated by how people could be convinced to do things they may not want to do. It planted in me the idea that the human mind could be tampered and tweaked with to achieve desired outcomes. I wanted to learn more.
Another spark was this ‘Body language’ book I found in my dad’s cupboard. I had a habit of going through my dad’s cupboard, searching for books to read. This book blew my mind and I even showed it to my friends at school to see what they thought of it.
When I finished school, like many others, I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. Doctor and Engineer seemed like the only two career options kids had in our locality. I was mildly interested in Engineering so I opted to go for it.
In the first year of Engineering, I decided this isn’t what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I was a good student and breezed through my engineering course but I knew it wasn’t something that made me feel alive, you know.
I started re-evaluating my life and trying to figure out what really made me tick. I came across this website that said if you want to turn your interest into a passion, invest in it. It basically said if you like X then study more about X.
I knew I liked psychology but I was hesitant to take it as a career option because its job market didn’t look that promising. So I decided to stay in engineering and pursue psychology as a hobby.
During that time, I learned amazing things about human psychology and felt like I should publish them somewhere. This could help me in two ways: First, you learn things better when you write them down and explain them to others. Second, it had the potential to become a good revenue source. Two birds with one stone!
Lo and behold, PsychMechanics was born in August of 2014. I was in my final year of Engineering at the time.
I come from a conflict-ridden zone between India and Pakistan. Political turmoil, protests, strikes, and communication lockdown are common where I hail from. By communication lockdown, I mean no internet services for days and sometimes even months. Try imagining that!
This was the biggest challenge for me and I knew I had to overcome this obstacle if I wanted to go anywhere with my blogging career.
In 2016, two years into blogging, and still trying to wrap my head around what I was doing, the situation worsened in our area. Luckily, a friend had convinced me to apply for an MBA outside the state. I knew that Marketing was 90% psychology so I thought I’d enjoy studying it, and I did.
Remember, I still couldn’t apply directly to Psychology because it isn’t considered a viable career option. And I didn’t have much to show for blogging-wise either.
I left the valley and headed for New Delhi to pursue an MBA and continued working on my blog, with no disruptions in internet services. Soon after, there was a month-long internet shutdown in our valley.
I finished my MBA in 2018 and got placed in this company as an Academic Writer in Marketing. I like learning and writing so I figured I’d only grow in this kind of environment.
I learned a lot in the first two months but after that, I realized the company cared more about output than providing a learning environment- output at the cost of lost learning opportunities and employee well-being.
Around that time, this blog was beginning to take off. I had to make a tough decision. I could stay at the company and make good money at the cost of my freedom and well-being with little time for the blog or I could quit the job and give more time to the blog. I quit the job. I just couldn’t stand the idea of spending years of my life being miserable.
When I quit the job, I finally took up MA Psychology while I also working as a Freelance Academic Writer for the company I’d quit. Working as a freelancer is so much better than a regular job. You have more time and freedom to pursue other interests.
Update (31st December 2020): I bagged a research fellowship in Psychology and will soon be applying to Ph.D. programs.
I’m a strong believer in making learning fun and easy. It makes knowledge accessible to people who don’t necessarily want to plow through 500-paged tomes. Degrees, diplomas, titles, and experiences don’t mean anything if you can’t stimulate the minds of your students.
Study of the human mind has become the biggest fascination of my life and this site is a collection of the best I know explained in the best way I’ve deemed possible.
It’s like a torch that you can use to shed light on the darkest corners of the human mind. I sincerely hope it becomes your go-to place when it comes to understanding matters of the mind. That’s the vision that I have for this blog.
- Bachelors in Engineering, University of Kashmir
- MBA (Marketing), Jamia University, New Delhi
- MA (Psychology), IGNOU
- Playing the piano
- Listening to classical music
- Watching psychological thrillers