300421 – Meditations

For a change, today’s morning pages is a list of things that I am grateful for. And a list of things that I must work on. Read on.

7:21. Woke a few minutes ago. Not a lot of the mind as I wake up but for some reason heart and the head is heavy. I don’t know what this is but I can hide behind the garb of ennui. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of action happening. I am learning new things. I am talking to multiple people. I am getting stretched to the edge of my mental faculty.

I think I am just bugged that I’ve been holed up in this house. I think (I will have to dig out what I wrote) but I was fairly happy with my previous house. In the sense that it was new, spacious, airy and I could walk around. I think I am perfectly ok with the loneliness and staying alone, as long as I can meet people once in a while.

In this one, none of those is true.

Anyhow. What started as description of what’s on my head ended up a rant. Lemme talk about a few things I am grateful for. Let’s see what I have.

a/ I paid salaries to people on my teams – C4E, Podium, TRS, PPP, and more. I even added a team member at C4E for a project. So all in all, grateful that I can support some other people. No, none of these people are paid a lot. No the money we pay to these people is enough to run the house. But we do offer meaningful, polite, aligned to their interests work. Of course, people come and go (I’ve always wanted to create businesses where people do not leave but people do leave and that’s ok) but I am very sure that not one person would have complaints about how I work. So that’s a good thing I guess.

I just hope I could scale the business to a point where all of us are chasing our dreams and have more than enough!

b/ Got back to taking extensive notes. Since I moved to Goa, because I was on the move all the time (no place to work, bad internet, too much baggage, etc), I had stopped taking notes with a pen and paper. Now that I am back, I am beating myself in the head about why I even stopped! It was THE best thing that happened to me. So so so glad to be back on it.

Krishna gave me an amazing tip. He said I could have positioned myself as the productivity guy – you know, a combination of habits, notes, and multi-tasking. If I can teach this to the world, it would be awesome! Need to think. #note2self.

c/ I started to port these meditations to Roam. With time, I want to move all my content ever (all blogs, books, photos, memories etc) to a system like Roam and actually create a repository of all my things on the cloud.

The idea is to discover patterns and hidden connections in my thoughts. And then act on those. Someone told me that as you grow older, you start with the journey on the inside. I think tools like Roam are going to revolutionize how knowledge workers live and play!

d/ Discovered The Murshidabadi Project while searching for new music. Loved it! Love love them. Especially the way the dude sings. Love the nirvana he is in when he’s performing. Wow! I am tripping on this track. Prior to this, I saw this. If soulful music is your thing, you must check these people out.

Side #note2self. Must pull some strings to get to teach at MDI Murshidabad. I really think teaching is my calling. Even if I am not paid, I would like to deliver impact as a teacher. Plus I am the happiest when I see others see their dreams come true. Let’s see.

So that.
Ok felt good.
Lemme now get back to the mean. And be harsh on myself and talk about things I did not do. Here’s a list as well.

  1. Did not do Surya Namaskar. I think it’s been 4 days now since I’ve not done it. I am not walking. I am not doing anything for fitness. Damn.
  2. After almost 15 days, I ate crappy Indian food. I had this sudden craving to eat crappy carbs loaded with spicy things. I tried to resist but could not. As the last resort, I tossed a coin 5 times. Out of that 4 times, it told me to go ahead and eat. And I did. I ordered Aaloo Parantha and some Ice Cream. My taste buds couldn’t comprehend the sugar rush from the ice cream. Now that I’ve broken the clean eating thingy, I plan to order Maggi, Pizza, Chole Bhature, Samosa, and maybe some more Indian over the next two days. No, no Coke. No Coffee. Maybe I will get started with coffee. Let’s see. But from Monday on, I will get back to serious Keto. Probably get a subscription, even though it’s expensive. I hope whatever my irrational mind decides, I can justify it on my blog.
  3. I have been immersed in work so much that I haven’t had the time to write anything new. Nothing on Roshan. Nothing on book2. Grrr.

That’s about it for the day.

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 138
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 51
  • #noCoke – 51
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Have missed this for 4 days now.

More tomorrow.

290421 – Morning Meditations

A note on things that are important to me but may not matter to the world at large. Read if you want to. Ignore if you want to.

7:56. Been up for more than half an hour. Pottering about. Thinking about the dreams I had. Logged them on my Roam. The interesting thing was that dream last night was like a non-stop, ongoing film that did not seem to end. Plus it was in English. I mean at one point in the dream, I used the word anomaly to describe myself!

Last week and this entire week have been mad like hell. To a point that I was bugged and did not sleep well and all that. I think I was so exhausted yesterday that I took it easy. I did attend a few meetings and a few calls but I did not do anything creative. Plus luckily or unluckily, there were not too many meetings planned for the day. So I could rest. As I grow old, I have started to see the merit in taking breaks. But then the young-at-head me refuses to believe that I need breaks. And that means I need to do a lot more than what I have been doing on fitness.

Lemme talk about what am trying to be fit.

a, Last three days I tried a Keto meal service. It was good but at 20K a month, at this time in my life, it’s expensive. I am supposed to toss a coin on that and decide.

b, I try to walk 10K steps every day. Of course, the last few days have been busy and lockdown is not helping at all. But even then I was able to pull in some 6K on an average. Here’s a chart.

c. I started with Surya Namaskars. I follow this video. I don’t do variations. I suck with a plank (you know, Hernia). By the time I get done, I am a dead man. I have to literally lie on the floor for an hour to catch my breath.

d. I live on the 8th floor and I try to walk up the stairs once a day. Again, by the time I reach the 8th floor, I am crawling to my door. And just like walking, I must have done this 3-4 times in toto but I do it.

e. Stopped ordering out (except Keto / Lo-Carb foods). So that’s saving me big money as well. Yay!

So that. I am glad I have some action to show for!

Lemme move to other things that I have not really expressed per se. Lemme try to articulate.

I am away from Twitter and Instagram. I still lurk around on Facebook (a recent phenomenon). On Whatsapp, I have muted EVERY group that I am a part of. I only engage in selective conversations with people. Most times I don’t talk. Most times when I talk, I don’t know how to talk. How do you talk to someone who’s lost a close friend? Family member? If they’ve not lost people, they’ve lost their vocation. They’ve lost their jobs. People like me are losing sanity.

Everyone around me (on twitter, insta etc) is doing whatever they can to help. To a point that they have left whatever they had behind to contribute. And I am clearly not doing anything at all. To a point that I have become a silent spectator that only rants and does nothing else. I am even being a cynic where I try and see ulterior motives of people that are offering any sort of help. I know I have been an escapist where I run away from all troubles

The funny thing is, with my work, I am little more rational, I mean I take harsh decisions, eager to correct mistakes, action things even if they hurt me. All my work where I invest time and money is actually that – I am giving away so much value that people call me fool. They call it impractical idealism. They have stopped thinking of me as a rational personal. They dont trust me with things. In fact, they hide even common things that I could be effective with. It’s not cool at all. Wait, I am ranting. This is not the point of rant today.

The point is that at this time where everyone is doing everything they can to help the world, I am sitting on the sidelines, twaddling my thumbs and merely writing a blogpost. I am sure I can do lot more than this!

And this is one of the reasons why I don’t want to be on any social media channel. I don’t want to pile myself with more guilt (than what I have right now) and get myself stuck in more grief at all this unnecessary loss of life. Unnecessary because all this could’ve been prevented. The action could have happened from everyone – from people to the administration to the policymakers to the government. It just plain sucks.

So that’s it for the day. Time to get going. Yet again, have a lot to do. Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 137
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 50 (wow! 50 days!)
  • #noCoke – 50 (yay)
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0. Did not do yesterday.
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0. I think I will remove this. No point fooling myself.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Have missed this for 3 days now. Have to do today, come what may. I will gun for 12 rounds but let’s see how many I get in.

That’s about it. Over and out.

As I was writing this, something happened. A friend called who has a friend that needs help with writing a book. If I did not write my book all those years ago, I wouldn’t have got this opportunity to speak with someone else! Two things.

a. Validation that the world respects action and wants a proof of action. Rather than merely believing in potential.

b. If there’s any sign from God (lol), than this is as clear as it gets. Work. Deliver. Publish. Ship. Release. Set it free. And it will come back to you.

Now that I am writing, the piece I wrote about living and working in Goa, even that got me connected to a few people that I would have otherwise not met! Need to thus ship more! And take all the more shots.

So yeah, that’s it. Over and out. Surya Namaskar time!

280421 – Morning Pages

A short rant on house I want to have, minimalism and more.

8:36.
Woke up a few minutes ago. Still hungover from all the work I did yesterday. I would’ve spent 23 hours on calls yesterday. I started work at 830/845 types. I ended at 10. With no breaks except the ones to pee. I ate while the calls were on. I sleepwalked through the day. To a point that I was finally sick of a computer and I threw the laptop aside and went to sleep.

Of course, I did not sleep and whiled time on the Internet till 2. And as a result, I am groggy and tired. Both in the head and in the body. I think I’ll go for a short walk to get my body to move. Maybe that will give me the feeling of an escape. I have been trapped in this house for 3 days now and I need a way out. Or I can alternatively do them Surya Namaskars. I havent done for 2 days now. Let’s see what I end up doing.

I am listening to this track after a while and I must say, it gets my brain moving! I mean it makes me think and groove and wonder at amazement and does all sorts of interesting things. I love this idea of music playing out loud in the morning. To a point that I am enticed to buy a big-ass speaker that plays good music. But then, the minimalist in me would hate seeing it around every day.

Lemme talk about that.

I think I know what I need. I need one space where I have all these fancy things that make life comfortable – you know, a large screen TV, fancy speakers, deep rugs, writing chairs, coffee makers, fancy bookshelf with all my books on it, lamps, walls full of paintings, art, and some shelves with all the other things that I want to have. May be I will use this place as a storehouse where I will dump all those things that I have gathered over the years (to be honest a lot of those are no longer with me – every time I move house, I discard some of those, including the ones that I have the largest affinity to).

And then I need a space that’s barren like a desert. Much like one of my earlier houses. Where all I have in a large bedroom is one thick mattress, some pillows, dark curtains, the silentest AC, and some water bottles. And that’s about it. Outside that bedroom, I want another large room with literally nothing. I need space to walk around. I need to be able to walk to a large balcony and stare at the world outside. I can’t do with these closet houses where they make large windows and yet you look over at a dump. This place has to be on one of the higher floors, if not the highest floor ever.

I miss the time when I could simply go to a broker and ask him/her to get me the house on the topmost floor. I can no longer do that. May be in a few months acche din will be back. May be I will get this cluttered workspace and sparse living and thinking space.

Sigh. Wishful thinking. Anyhow. Need to start the day and get going with work. Not too many things around writing etc. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 136
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 49
  • #noCoke – 49
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 2 today’s the second day on the trot when I am not doing this.

That’s about it. Over and out.

270421 – Morning Pages

A quick post about an acquaintance that succumbed to COVID-19. May trigger you. Please be advised.

7:04 AM. I had what I will call a fitful sleep. I wont have a lot to talk about today – there’s way too much on my plate and I cant afford the indulgence of an hour that I typically take to write this. I am giving myself 30 minutes. Will hit publish at soon as it’s 7:30.

So yesterday, I was told that one of the people I used to play poker with, at my own house succumbed to COVID. The guy was all of 32. I haven’t met in some 5 years but I am still part of that tiny community of people that bonded over this game called Poker. When I think about him, I remember him as one of those always full of life people. He had a joke or two. He liked to dress up. He loved the idea of getting attention. He hated to lose but he would take it in a stride and always come back with vengeance the next time we played. I was even envious of how he lived. He’s gone. No goodbyes. No promises to meet again.

To be honest, I had forgotten him. I hadn’t thought about him in all these years. But now that he’s gone, the loss somehow feels far closer. While playing Poker, we sat around a table for many nights over a period of 2-3 years that we played. We would’ve shared quite a few meals. He would’ve bluffed me into holding rockets with his crappy hole cards. Damn, it’s not cool that he’s gone. It just sucks that us humans have such unpredictable expiry dates.

The thing is, this is probably the first person that I knew personally that has succumbed to COVID. I have heard stories from close friends, relatives, seniors from college, and more that have experienced loss from close. They’ve tried to talk to me about how it is to lose a loved one. While I could empathize with them, I was unable to comprehend.

May be this is what it feels like. I mean if it sucks so much to lose an acquaintance (I can’t call him a friend), I can’t even imagine how it must feel like to lose a loved one. So much pain, so much suffering caused by I don’t even know what. I can blame it on people’s carelessness. I can blame it on the government’s inaction. I can blame it on the damn place where the virus originated. But the damn blame will not bring back this guy. Or all the others that have passed away.

I really hope this is over soon. I hope others don’t face as much pain and everyone gets back to their homes healthy, happy, and well. As I write this, there’s just one question in my head. Kab tak sidelines pe rahoge Mr. Garg?

That’s about it. See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully.

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 135
  • #aPicADay – 116. Stopping this project. I can no longer log in to Instagram without getting triggered about all the suffering around us. Will stop tracking from tomorrow.
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 48
  • #noCoke – 48
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1

Nothing on Roshan. Have a lot of work. See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully.

260421 – Morning Meditations

A longish rant on tough love and hard work and the kinds of people you encounter in life! Reader discretion advised.

6:40 AM
I woke up at around 5. I saw the time and the darkness inside and the blackness inside and I slept again. Woke at with an alarm at 6:10 interrupting a dream about a game of chess that I seem to be playing. Lol. In my dream.

So the weekend came and went in a jiffy. To a point that I did not realize where the time went. I did not do yoga. Neither did I write a lot. The to-do list is staring at me with all its fury. I hope this week is easy. I am implementing maker-manager strictly from today on. Today is a manager day – way too many meetings on a Monday.

I also realize that this always-on work that I am engaged in is not sustainable. I need to find a way out and create alternative revenue streams. Or do some startups.

In other news, I spoke to a friend last night (NG) and he said something that surprised me. He said, “tu action me nahi aata“. And I thought I was the one that jumps to actions like no one’s business. But when it comes from NG, I take it seriously. He is someone that I respect at multiple levels. So need to think on this.

In other news, SK sent me this video by this motivational speaker called Dan Pena. The 75ish-year-old man talks screams and hurls abuses about how “tough love” is what moves things. He says that in the day and age we live in, hard work is out of fashion. He says show me your friends and I will show you your future. Etc etc. You get the drift.

Now, I am the kinds to stay away from such motivational gurus and shamans. Especially the ones that are rude and obnoxious. But… but I seem to agree that hard work is out of fashion. The world wants to be kind and under the garb, hard work is indeed going out of fashion. People want to take breaks and recharge and sleep and handle their cats and whatnot. While all these are what makes us human but I sincerely believe that we need more people to work hard. Of course, the antidote is working smart. Inheriting great education. Scheming your way around. And all that. But these are things that a tiny percentage of people are capable of. At least I am not. I can only work hard, throw darts and then hope like hell that one of them hits.

Wait. I am not sure if I am articulating this well – I probably need to mull over it. May be talk to PS about it. He is on the other spectrum of where I am. Intelligent. Works hard. Discharges his duties as a family man. Contributes to society. Cares for pets. And yet believes in kindness.

The point is, there are people (let’s call these Cat A) that are comfortable with what they have – you know, a stable job, a fixed salary that goes up every year, enough and more time to chase hobbies and all that. Most of their lives are spent on auto-pilot and waiting for the next weekend. Weekends are full of social obligations like dinners and parties and getaways and drinking fests where most of the conversations tend to be about showering their employees and the world at large with abuse and talking about how they are miserable in a job and working from weekend to weekend. Of course, they are!

No, nothing wrong with it. It’s their choice. Who are we am I to question it. Oh, there are people (Cat B) who genuinely like the idea of working for the weekends. These people are the happiest! I have nothing to say to these people except wishing them luck! I am jealous of these people. Really am.

Then there are people (Cat C) that have little less than what Cat A people have. These people have some sort of stability, some sort of safety, some clarity where life is headed, some fun on the weekends et al. No, not to the degree that Cat A people have. But enough to be content, if they wanted to be. Most of these in Cat C will actually be content. They will accept their realities and succumb to them. Or may be live they would happily ever after. But if I were to take an educated guess, they will nudge towards becoming Cat A (not B) and would probably decline on the happiness chart. Probably is the operative word here.

Within C, there are people like me. Lemme call these Cat D. The ones that have tasted some blood and they want more. These people at different degrees of comfort (and if I may, discomfort) and yet not content. Still wanting more. These people probably will never be content. At least I wouldn’t be. Even when I am on the top of Everest, I would be like, “Ok, this is done. What next?” You know, people with super-high ambitions and expectations from themselves. Our life will not be spent chasing that mythical point where life is comfortable but delivering impact and in the process creating wealth and happiness and contentment for self and others. Lol. Do you see the paradox there?

Then there are people (Cat E) that are nobodies right now. You know, youngsters, aspiring talent, people without opportunities in the subsets I mentioned above, people just starting their careers and other such, etc.

Then there are people that grew up in cocoons (Cat F; kids of movie stars, spouses of famous people, people that grew up in business dynasties, the ones that have a sheltered upbringing, and all that). The only time these people troubled themselves was probably to switch on the AC and that too only when their “domestic help” and not “maid” was not around. They grew up with the proverbial silver spoon up their ass. Of course, these people have fancy lives which include getting the best of the education that makes them aware enough about moral issues that we are facing, especially around American culture. sadly they are bereft of any ideas about more immediate issues closer home. Which is ok. Cocoon. Of, these people mostly love virtue signaling. They have teams of “content creators” to help throw a signal out in the world. And of course, these are famous and are thus lusted upon by almost all other categories of people I spoke about.

And no, nothing wrong with it. You won the ovarian lottery and you better cash that cheque. Good luck. Again, I am envious of you guys :D. Wait, I don’t think any Cat F people are ever reading this people. Reading is a lot of work, you know. Maybe one of the “team members” (and not “employees”) could make a summary and deliver the Red Pill.

Cat G is the ones that have made it. You know, the role models. The ones that did not have a fancy upbringing and yet made that dent in the world. These are entrepreneurs, artists, doers, trouble makers, and more that have reached a point where they and their work is respected and creates impact at scale. Love you guys! The only request is that I hope you don’t let your kids drift into Cat F.

The rant from here on is about people like me and younger ones just starting their lives. Cat D and Cat E. For Cats A, B, C, F, and G, I have no advice to give. Good for them. Can only wish them luck. I may have a rant or two though, as you may have noticed already.

So, coming to Cat D junta. People like me. Who want to do more. Reach the famed Cat G. Excel. The question I have is, how can your vision of your success not inspire you enough to work so hard so much that you leave everyone behind? I am not saying that you become that hare in a mad rush. Be a tortoise. But keep at it. Work hard. Smart, if you can. But there’s no substitute for that. You can not become what you want to if you think it’s ok to work 7 hours a day for 4 days a week. And go on two foreign holidays twice a year and get out on each weekend. And attend each birthday party even if it’s the 4th cake of the pet of some other kid from the pilates class that your kid went to once about six months ago.

I don’t understand how Cat D people sleep at night knowing that they could have used the time they were taking a break at Lonavala to create more opportunities for themselves.

However, with the Cat E cohort, before I write more, lemme acknowledge that there are people that want to take different paths in life. I hope that most of these land up in Cat B, live comfortable lives for the rest of their lives. Not Cat A – these are probably the most unhappy of the lot – apart from cribfests, armchair activism, and socialite conversations with people that don’t really matter, they have nothing to show for.

So, if you are in Cat E and want to move to Cats A or D or even G, this is for you. Please know that this is NOT for everyone. Read at peril. If you are soft-hearted, quit. There’s more in life that you can do without this unsolicited advice of a have-been, old armchair activist. Who am I to talk about things? I have shown no signs of any success anywhere. Even when my friends introduce me, they use confusing and vague terms like, “he dons multiple hats”. I mean WTF!

So with that disclaimer out of the way, here’s what I have to say to you guys. I will use bullet points to avoid rambling.

  1. There is no substitute for hard work. Do not let anyone fool you that you need to work smart. If you were the kind to know how to work smart, you would be in Cat C at least by now. Harsh. But that’s how it is.
  2. Acknowledge that life is random and luck is real. You are the most talented person you know ever but unless you are lucky to find a giant that you can climb on the shoulder of, you are no one.
  3. You may not be lucky but you can definitely increase your odds at being lucky. How? By working hard. See point 1. And throwing as many darts as you can. See what sticks. And then double down on it. There is a lot of text on this. Look up.
  4. STOP idolizing people in Cat F. You are NOT one of those. If you were, you wouldn’t need to read such things or struggle through life.
  5. In fact, stop idolizing altogether. Learn from each person – good or bad. Stop hero worship. In this day and age, heroes will more or less fail you.
  6. Try and see what went behind the success of people in Cat G and look at the outward facade they put in. You see them partying but you need to see that they worked hard for 20 years non-stop to reach a point where they have people in Cat A and B manage their work. And thus, they can party.
  7. Life values action more than it values potential. I learned this fairly late. I was one of those perfectionists. And I realized I wasted the best years of my life (my 20s) chasing perfection with things. This is one of the biggest mistakes I have made ever. To a point that I regret it. Do NOT make this mistake. Please ACT. please ship. Even if what you post is crap, it’s cool. Feedback from people would help you get better. The best comedians apparently work on their 10-second punchline for years before it is perfect enough to land the audience in thunderous applause. They practice their lines each day with audiences in smaller clubs, unknown places before they climb that large stage. Practise. Think. Be aware of your reputation. But PLEASE SHIP.
  8. It’s ok to be wrong. Unless you are wrong enough times, you would not get right. So try things. Do things. Get told that you were wrong. Lift your chin up. And try again. Till you are right.
  9. Friends are fleeting. This is probably the most counter-intuitive thing that I am putting on paper. Maybe because I did not have deep friendships in life. Maybe because I have turned a cynic – most of my friends refused to help me when I needed help. Maybe I have not seen friendship in action at work. Ok rant. Dont want to remove this even if I am tagged a sore loser by readers. The lesson is, stop living for your friends. Live for yourselves. You owe a moral responsibility to yourself, your success, your output. Friends will come and go. The business transactions that you make would stick. At least, in my case.
  10. Act. This is important enough to repeat. See point 7. PLEASE.
  11. Stay close to the ones that nudge you to act. You would meet people that will ask you to take a break. You would find people that would tell you that it’s ok to recharge batteries. Nah. Life is too short if you want to be in Cat G. They did not take breaks when they were growing up. They worked. Acted. So, find people that inspire you to act and not take breaks. Act till you are there.

That’s it for the time being.

If there’s one thing that you want to take away from this, please take home Point No. 10 and the one-word message. Act. Everything else will happen if you act.

Ok enough. It’s almost two hours (it’s 8:30) that I’ve been writing ranting. Need to get on with the day. I did not know I would have had so much to say about this. This is a 2500-word tome already and I am not even half done! May be I will pick this up tomorrow. For the time being, here’s streaks. Also logged here.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 134
  • #aPicADay – 115
  • 10K steps a day – 2
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 47
  • #noCoke – 47
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

And no, nothing on Roshan today either. Second day on the trot. I have a sinking feeling I will miss this :(. For all the rant I made above, I should’ve worked on the story. I can justify this by saying that I did work hard over the weekend and thus was left with no time. But that’s all that is – a justification. Damn!