311220 – Morning Pages

A rant to end the year. Read at peril.

9:21.

I woke up late.

I slept late.

Last night was bad. I was fucked in the head. Had a tiff with one of those handful people that I really really care for. I have no clue how to show and tell these people that they mean the world to me and I get fried every time they go weird on me. I was so fucked that I ended up eating chips and biscuits and Maggi and all those crappy things that I’ve been trying to avoid. It’s fucking funny that on one end I talk about changing the world and making an impact and inspiring the world to live their best lives. And on the other, I am ranting about how I get triggered and affected by the way my people talk to me.

I can handle the world going bonkers – I don’t care about em. But when the ones that I want to be with go funny on me, I don’t know what to do. Everything comes tumbling down like a house of cards and I lose my shit. I start eating crap, I stop doing things (it was an effort to write this piece today). I slack at work. I paint all the doomsday scenarios and I put myself in the biggest loser position. I start thinking of myself as a lonely person walking down a long road leading to nowhere.

You get the drift.

Ok enough ink has been spilled on this.

Its a new day. And a new beginning. Even if its the last day of the year.

So the last day of probably the wildest year of our lives. Not even the shamans expected all that that has happened today. 2020 has taught me so many things that I don’t know where to get started. It was the first time when I faced “real” adversity and I realized who’s a bystander and who’s a shoulder. I got to know of my limitations as a person, as a human being. I realized the frailty of life. I started to accept that I may not be the gift to humankind that I had thought I am. I refused to let go and thing after thing landed blows that made me duck so many times that my neck and back are perpetually hurting. Even as I type this, my back is stooped and there is this pain in my neck. Am serious. Not hypebole-ing. If that’s a word.

So today I want to spend the day with my annual review and the plan for the next year. I have been working on it on and off the last few days but it needs to come together in a coherent document that I can follow and chase for the next year. I say this at the beginning of each year, and I will say it again – the next year is going to be big for me ;P

Fuck while writing this, I realized that seeing my fingers dance on the keyboard gives me joy like nothing else. It may not matter to anyone, people may or may not read it, the piece may be a meaningless turd floating on the world wide web, I still want to write. I still want to publish. I was restless the whole of last night. I couldn’t think of how to go thru the day when I did wake up but once I started writing, I realized that the world is not a bad place. The people I care for, even though I am hurt and all, I love em. They are my people. I accepted them knowing very well that they could spring in surprises. Of course, I need to do better with the ability to evaluate people! I just need to get stronger. I need to learn to take the pain of seeing the people I love push the self-destruct button repeatedly. And when they do blow up, need to have a strong shoulder for them to rest on. And a strong head and heart to lay them to sleep, if the shoulder is not enough.

So yeah. This is it for the day.

This is probably the hardest I had to think since I started these morning pages. Oh, I will link the yearly review post here (when I get to it, which should be today, it all goes well).

Over and out.

See you guys in 2021.

301220 – Morning Pages

Rant about how the world is being unfair to me. And how I would publish on a ‘Work With Me’ manifesto. You can ignore if you want to.

7:49 AM.

I was up at 530. And then I dozed off again. And then I woke up at again at 6. And then dozed off at 630. And then woke at 730 again. And just when I was about to sleep again, I decided that I need to get my butt moving. Took me two hours but here I am.

The year is coming to a close in a day and I am still to do my 2021 lists. Maybe I will spend the rest of the day with those. Let’s see.

So, I met with a friend from MDI yesterday (GK). This was the first time I was meeting with him, after MDI. And a lot has changed since then. It was tough to hold a conversation with him for the time I spent with him but it was compassionable and it felt easy. Guess that’s what cults do to you. Reinforces my belief that education at pedigreed schools and colleges is imperative.

I told him what all have I been up to lately. Asked him about his trip. Realised that he’s been spending time with dance. Told him that I want to pick up dancing as it will help my social skills. Our chats ranged from Jordon Peterson to Future of Humanity to Startups to Careers to MDI to common friends, food, and a lot more. I even narrated the outline of book2 and he seems to have liked it!

He talked about his belief that you could only be exceptional at 2-3 things in life and for multipotentialites like me, the real pain is to quit doing all the other thousand things that you know you are good at! May be that is the pain that I need to go thru to become great?

Oh, while parting, he sent me this…

Greatest lesson ever!

The other thing at the top of my head is that for some reason, the game (the world) and the players (aka people) in the game are not being kind to me. More so, I feel they are out there to take undue advantage. I have many examples but let me talk of two that are affecting me so much that I am, well, fucked in the head.

A, am trying to make a short film to learn the craft. And to of course pay a tribute to the track that I have come to love so much (Ankur Tewari’s Dil Haare). No, AT has not commissioned. He doesn’t even know this. I. am merely going. touse the track as backing audio. I don’t plan to release it except put it on youtube.

So, now, I have a limited understanding of the camera and I have been trying to meet people to seek help on it. And everyone that I talk to seems to be asking for a ridiculous amount of money. Even though I sound like an n00b when it comes to films, I am a co-producer with 2 short films now and I think I know what it takes / costs. And yet I am being taken for a ride. And the worst is that I can see that they are taking me for a ride. And I am telling them that I can see what they are doing and yet they are insistent! Funny No?

I am not expecting them to work for free. I am not taking away credit from them. All I am expecting is that they are reasonable. And yet they are not being.

B, The other is at the podcast thing. Without getting into specifics, people that I thought were nice and reasonable and easy to work with are acting funny. And I don’t like it. And I made it clear in as many words that I did not like it. And yet I am being disrespected. I mean all I have earned in life is a bit of respect (that too went down the drain when I had to take on debt to pay bills) and if something questions that, I don’t know what to do.

I was angry af but then I saw Pale Blue Dot and Steve’s video and I was ok.

But I would make some changes in the way I work. I’ll come to it in a bit but before that, I think the world needs to learn humility and kindness and niceness. The world needs to learn that they are not in a one-time, winner-takes-all game. Life is long and you are known by the reputation that you build. What matters is what people talk about you when you are not in the room!

Anyhow. So the changes.

Here is a list.

  1. Paperwork. I was one of those that would trust a handshake when I went into a business or work transactions. Now, I will ensure that everything I do will have a paper trail with everything in black and while. I need to spend time with contracts, terms, entry clauses, exit clauses, etc. I don’t like the idea of doing this and I thought I could change the way I worked. But no longer.
  2. Work With Me’ Manifesto. Because I like working with multiple people on multiple projects, I need to write a ‘Work With Me’ Manifesto that I would mandate everyone to read and understand and internalize. I would add parts about trust, kindness, respect, long-term thinking, etc in that. Will even make it public and publish it on the blog for everyone to read and comment and make it watertight. Each new project that I get onto, the first email that I exchange, would have this. Update (as on 14 Aug 2021) – the manifesto is here. Still WIP though.
  3. Live in Public. I have been talking about it last few days. I need to accelerate it. You think blockchain will solve all the trust deficit that we have? Nah. Living in Public will. Each time I get into a contract with someone, even though it may sound premature, I would make it public and post on the blog and on Twitter (the two places that I trust more than God).

That’s about it I guess for the time being.

While writing, I realised. I am still not cool btw 🙁

Moving on.

Had an interesting epiphany yesterday while I was waiting for GK to arrive. I realized that since I started writing these morning pages, I have not been writing at all. Plus these morning pages are like journals where I merely talk to myself. I am not creating content that I normally would. the ones where I want others to read, consume, think, bring about a change in their lives, give me feedback on, etc. Need to change that in 2021. Maybe bring back SoG?

Talking of change, the other thing that I would change in 2021 is that I would work very hard on creating a brand for myself.

This is something that I think about every year but hardly work on – I am way too introverted and shy to do this. Plus I think what is that I have achieved to be able to tom-tom myself? Isn’t the world already full of too many cluster-fucks, self-congratulatory messages, neverending stories of pathos, societies of mutual admiration, and more?

Why do I want to add to that noise?

I don’t know yet but what I do know is that I need to be out there if I want opportunities to come to me. And more importantly to people that I know of. And I need a brand for that. And that brand needs to stand atop one thing that encapsulates it all. May be marketing. May be side projects. May be Goa. I don’t know.

But brand SG has to get elevated in 2021.

And finally, before I end this, Sonali’s digital art is now online here! Yay! Please head over there and see if you like it and if you do, please consider spreading the word, and still better, buying!

With this, over and out!

291220 – Morning Pages

604 AM

I have had a sleepless night. After quite a while.

Why?

Well, multiple factors. Missed deadlines at work. Passion projects seemed to be going sideways. Personal life seems to be going off track. People clearly don’t like and I’ve built my life being a likable person and in general, being helpful and all. A friend turned client called me at 11 to complain about a colleague turned parter. A friend working on a startup seems to be struggling and I cant seem to help him at all. And there is a lot more!

I guess life happened!

And so much more.

Like I tweeted yesterday, what a day!

It was so bad that I ended up loading on carbs like a mad man. All the lo-carb thingy that I was on since the last few days have gone for a toss. I would love to talk about what happened and why it happened and how it happened and if I was at fault. But writing about it and ranting about it would not help. I actually don’t know what would help. I guess this too shall pass. #note2self – write about these on #sgEchoChamber.

So, anyhow.

There were some silver linings as well. I have a few interns from SP Jain working with me to market the Marketing Connect Podcast and I had a session with them where I gave them gyaan. I realized yet again that I love talking to young people. Need to scale it somehow.

Plus, I was working out from Clay and towards the evening, I took time to see the sun go down at the Anjuna beach. It was mesmerizing. Doing nothing and watching the sun hide behind the waves. And since it was less crowded than the Baga where I normally hang out at, it was lovely. I must make it a practice to see it go down every day. There was this colleague at a point in time – Guru. He worked out of Goa and he would insist that we need to go watch it. Yesterday I saw that he meant. It was his birthday a few days ago and I must drop him a line, wishing him and thanking him for the tip. But then, he thought I was a nutcase and he may or may not read my email. Heck, his email address that I have may no longer be valid.

Anyhow, here are some pics for you to enjoy. I am proud of how these have come out. One of these has been edited.

I think I have the talent for photography and I must pursue it. What do you think?

Damn I wish I had more lives!

Apart from this, I am not sure I can write a lot, to be honest. The head is still reeling from all the fuckery that happened yesterday. Of course, I am to blame for all of it. I need to mend my ways. If nothing else, I need to become so unbreakable that even though things so sideways, I need to not get riled up and eat like a man coming out of famine. I have to be stronger. Lol, self-talk!

It’s still 630. And less than the requisite 30 minutes of writing. Lemme carry on.

Oh yeah. One of my old employers and the man who taught me most of what I know called me after ages. He wanted some tiny help. Did that for him. I realised that I would do whatever it takes for his approval. In fact I am realising that if you dont take people from your past into your future, it is not the greatest feeling. While the novelty of a new relationship is exciting, the ease of doing things with the old is something that makes work happen faster!

Talking of fast, life in Goa is making me realize the importance of fast, high-speed internet. There are a million things that you take for granted when you are in the commercial capital of the world. Fast internet is one of those. The entire last night when I was rolling around in the bed, I realized that I couldn’t even distract myself by watching a mindless film because I did not have internet. I couldn’t work because a simple Keyword Planner tool on Google would not open up. This piece is being typed on my blog that is using an internet connection of my mobile phone that is hanging at the edge of the building I live at and I am perched up so that I could be in the range.

I can talk about slowness if I have to but I think I am not the one designed for it. I understand the concept philosophically but I don’t believe in it. Yes, there are things that need slowness to happen. But then that’s that. We can NOT extrapolate those things to everything else, like a lot of people do. Life has to be in the fast lane. I mean it is very very unpredictable. And is random at best. You are like a blip on the radar and you may just go poof randomly. I’ve lost someone important this year. And I know at least two friends that have lost a parent. I lost a classmate from MDI. She was my age. No, I did not know her at all. Even at MDI, I would have spoken to her probably once in all of two times and never ever since. But when I heard about her, I was zapped.

To be honest, I have nothing against the concept of death. I even believe in it. The problem is in the suddenness, the unpredictability, the waste of an opportunity that people and talent have when they die. I mean we lost Rahat Saab this year. Imagine the words he would write, the fires he would ignite in our minds, the impact he would have had if he were around!

I mean we could have an earthquake and all this planning of the future that never seems to be arriving could be rendered meaningless! If there is one thing that I am learning from the day yesterday, it is that life is fucking short. And slowness has no place in it.

You ought to act.

Now.

There’s no time like now. No place like here.

Err on the side of action.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

Steve Jobs has famously said, “your time is limited”. It is my screensaver.

The wallpaper on my phone is Memento Mori. It is the memento that I carry along. Must get one real-life, physical one.

Do not wait for perfection. This is a lesson that a 73-year old man once gave me. And trust me, this man HAS seen the world!

Do so much, so often that the trail you blaze leaves others in awe and makes them inspired to do more in life!

With that motivational pep-talk to self, I hope I would get over the fuck-all-ness of the day yesterday. Time to get going and act.

Over and out!

281220 – Morning Pages

Today I talk about the best burger place in Goa (that I frequent often), a new project in Goa, and a few things from here and there.

719 AM.

I am up before the sun! Even though I slept late.

Yay! That’s an achievement! Now to fix the food. And add a workout. And I am sorted.

Food is also more or less sorted. I have talked Nicky (of NikcyM’s Kitchen fame) into whipping lo-carb meals for me, even though they are known for their burgers. Going by the hearsay that they are emerging as the favorite burger place of Goa – for both locals and tourists alike!

In exchange, I’ve become a handyman at his cafe.

Here’s a plug. If you like burgers, you HAVE to visit them. If you like your food served with warmth, you HAVE to visit them. If you like to eat with people that respect you for more than being just a customer, Nicky’s it is. Oh, and when you go there, say you are my friend and I promise he would extend a 10% discount.

Lemme indulge further about Nicky M’s. The first day I landed in Goa, Nupura took me to Nicky’s for a drink. At the time I was tired from a long flight and longer stay in Delhi and I was not in a chatty mood and I was not very impressed by the small, cozy seating. But once I sat down to eat, I was amazed at the flavors on my tongue. The buns and the patties are probably similar to other places but the sauces and the cooking was what probably made the burger I had special. It was just right, even for someone like who could be discerning af. I was hooked and I don’t think there’s been a day when I haven’t gone to them!

I did not know that I would become a regular. The couple that runs the place, Jui and Nicky, are so so hospitable. Not saying this because they feed me but because they genuinely care. This is how small businesses ought to be. I think I can call them friends.

Moving on.

So my first project is here. I call it Shumbur – 100 stories from Goa.

I plan to write about the 100 most interesting people I can meet that call Goa home. These may be from Goa originally or may have adopted Goa as their home but they have to be here. And they have to be adding to the state – you know, creating employment, adding value, keeping Goa on how it’s ought to be.

This may not evolve into THE most definitive list per se. But I shall try. I mean I only have access to those people that choose to respond to my DMs or follow-ups. So far I have sent these to some 10 people and not one has replied. Which is ok. I cant keep getting ignored.

This may take more than 2 years to do (even if I do one story a week, I will need two years) but I think it would be interesting.

I think more than anything else, it would help me with book2. So let’s see.

Ok. I got digressed. The laptop ran out of battery. And when I powered it up, I made the mistake of logging onto WA. That took away some time.

So the next thing I want to talk about is… I don’t know.

Damn, I lost the flow. The lesson is that always ensure that the laptop has enough juice. I am anyway hoping to get a new laptop as soon as Croma gets the M1 Air in stock. I have some points that I want to use.

Ok I know.

So lately I have been away from Twitter. In case you don’t follow me, I am @saurabh. I mean I do tweet out things but I am spending considerably lesser time on it. And I need to change that. No, I don’t want to spam the world there but I need to get active. The kind of connections you make there and the kind of access that opens us there is unparalleled. And I know I can add value and contribute and help others grow. While I grow myself. That’s how life ought to be.

So when I get active, I need to identify what I want to stand for. The thing is, for someone like me, an aspiring polymath, it is tough to get siloed into one. Plus every time I choose one thing, I fear that I will miss out on all the things that I am NOT choosing. You know, if I talk about films, I will miss out on books. If I talk of books, I will miss being a marketer. If I focus on that, I will get away from startup ideas. If I don’t proactively think of a unicorn-able idea, I would not be able to create a large impact in the world. If I don’t create a large impact, I would die unfulfilled. If I die unfulfilled, what’s the point of living this life and knowing all that I know and chasing all that I want to know?

I mean I can live like an “influencer” that lives in a bubble (I hope Daku doesn’t cringe at this) and post pictures of the mountains in the distance, the breakfast on the table, the biggini shoots, the parties, unpacking of gifts that “brands” send me and so on and so forth. That life is not bad either. Like I keep saying, being an influencer is not a bad idea. I wish I had the flair to be one! Of course, if you are Daku, you do none of the above and silently add value to your community, like he does. Or what I tried with SoG.

Ok, back at serious matters at hand.

I need to get active on Twitter. And before that, I need to identify what I want to stand for in life. The generic, all-purpose, please-all, ice-cream-like positioning won’t work.

Ideas anyone?


PS: So I have had Krishna and Prad give me feedback on all that I’ve been writing. Thanks, guys. While I don’t talk about your inputs here, I do add those to my Roam and think and plan to act on those.

PPS: Every time I publish these morning pages, I send these to a few friends on WhatsApp. In case you want to be added to the broadcast list, lemme know.

271220 – Morning Pages

I talk about, well, morning pages. And I talk about music, films, people, ideas and more. In a nutshell, just another day 🙂

8:51 AM

Another day when I woke up late.

That’s cool. I am finally in the Goa state of mind, you know, not worried about work or money. For a change. Guess the hippi-isation of me is complete.

So morning pages for the day. Since I started asking people about this, am getting great feedback. Note2Self. Stop using “great” a lot. The word has been sort of patented by someone greater that is hoping to make his country great again. I love how you create such slogans. I wish I could!

On the morning pages, BG told me that these are not meant to rant and then seek feedback. I agree with her and while I may rant, the intention is not at all to seek feedback. Ranting and being critical is my nature. I like being ultra harsh on myself and others around me. I have had people drift away from me cos of this. And you know what, it has worked well for me so far. So I am ok. Maybe once I stop being harsh, I will know if the harshness was actually working!

So despite BG’s input, I will continue with the morning pages in the same manner that I have been going in. Though I would take Krishna’s input on making these more about ideas and less about reflection and future-gazing.

Lemme start with a few ideas.

Remember that caretaker-hustler that I talked about a few day ago that is trying to sell me a disputed property? He’s back. This time he has a 4 bedroom place that he wants to sell for a crore and a half. I am not sure how he’s getting these fancy notions about me. Poor thing doesn’t know that am not known to have a penchant for real-estate deals.

Yesterday was a particularly useful day for ideas. Spoke to two Nikhils and talked about two different ideas. One related to events. Other related to content. The two things that I think I know well. Not sure which one of these would work but I realized that I need to be able to sit across the table to crack such conversations. I am not being able to do these virtual meetings and conversations well. Guess I am too old. Wait. Why do I want to abuse the older generation? Most seem to have taken it well. It’s me who’s an anomaly.

The thinking that I did on book2 in the first few days of moving here? That seems to have taken a back seat. That’s the thing about creative projects. If you stop working on those, work stops! So need to get going on that.

Oh, while I am writing, I am tripping on music from Dangal. Here.

Back to morning pages.

So ideas.

While talking to NA yesterday, I realized that I am more of an idea man than anything else. The trouble is that there are way too many idea-men around me. And everyone has learned that adage that ideas are a dime-a-dozen and execution is what matters. So, my value is diminished per se. That probably needs changing. Either, the ideas get so superlative that you can’t ignore. Or you find a partner that is as cool with execution. Like a Shikha. Or Prakruti. Or Akshay.

Wait. Rather than talking about ideas, lemme talk of an idea.

So, today I am supposed to go watch a filmscreening at the Museum of Goa. It is followed by a talk with the writer and the actors. There are some big names here. What if I put the film festival in motion at this venue? The guy clearly has a screening space for films. I have had this idea to do a screening festival for at least 2 years, if not forever. So, why not?

Here’s another idea

Get a house in Goa and convert that into a BnB. That challenges obviously is to manage guests in the times of COVID. But from what I am seeing, there are people that have moved here lock, stock and barrel. And there are people that are moving in for a few weeks, few months to work from here. If nothing else, it is solid passive income. Need someone to throw in the money though.

That’s the thing. Money gets money. Even WEB had access to money when he started his partnerships.

In absence of that, like Naval says, you need a network to create opportunities. And that will probably be the trip for me in 2021. I have stayed away from creating networks and time and again I have seen people reach places they don’t deserve just because they can network their way in. No, I am not sore at those people. I am surprised that I missed this simple fact. If there is one lesson that I can pass on to the next generation, I would say they ought to go to the fanciest schools, colleges, live in places that are above their means, get memberships at clubs, play golf and so on and so forth. These are the places where you get to meet interesting people. If there was a social network to get all these people online, I’d love to join that. ASmallWorld did that well in early 2000s. I don’t know where they are. Maybe create a platform for such people in Goa to interact with each other? What could this platform be built on top of? A Who’s Who guide in Goa? A magazine? Do people still read magazines? A physical club? Like Soho House? Again, do people frequent clubs anymore? And will people travel in Goa? Will have to think more. What do you think?

Ok, the last bit for the day.

Living in Public.

Everyone knows about building in public. A movement where start-up founders are creating businesses in public. They share what they are upto. They share the lessons. They talk about failures. They do small experiments to see what sticks. They pivot fast. Each pivot is public (far cry from the secrecy that typical startups are known for)

I think this living in public is going to be the future of life. It would make you more accountable, more accessible, more human, more authentic, more connected, more consistent. It would reveal your true nature. You know, like you are naked. If everything you did, even in the privacy of your bedroom were to be published on the front page of a newspaper, how would you change?

In one of the unpublished pieces I wrote for one of my books, I talk of a guy that dies in his bathtub. The guy outwardly is an Alpha, a macho. But he has these ducks floating in his bathtub. Imagine when the world finds that, how would it change your reputaiton? That!

So yeah. I want to talk more and more about this living in public. May be write a manifesto or something that encourages others to do so.

It beings immense peace when you know that you dont have to keep pretences!

With this, its over and out for the day.

See you guys on the other side.

953 AM

PS: Every time I publish these morning pages, I send these to a few friends on WhatsApp. In case you want to be added to the broadcast list, lemme know.