160721 – Morning Pages

A quick post about work, food, minimalism and more. Loved writing it, even if it didnt come out too good.

6:34. Been up for about 20 minutes. Played a game of chess as I was coming back to life. So this one is going to be a short one. I have a long day at work and I don’t have even the 45 minutes that I typically take for writing these morning pages. More than the long day, I am running behind on the deliverables. Like crazy. I have calls throughout the day and I need to present on those calls and I haven’t been able to figure what to say on those. I am gonna wing it. Let’s see how I do.

The lesson that I am taking away is that I tend to overestimate what I can do in a day. I think I read this somewhere that people routinely do that. Underestimate what they can do over long periods and overestimate what they can over shorter durations. I am no different. However, in my case, I think the goals that I have for the long-term are definitely not small ones. It’s the short-term that I need to find a way to fix.

Ok, am digressing towards the rant.

So the highlight of yesterday has to be that I managed 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar. I couldn’t walk as much as I would’ve wanted to. But 12 rounds literally killed me. I decided to eat disciplined. Which I did till about 8 PM last night. But then I ordered the love of my life – rice. Sigh.

Fuck epiphany happened! I was lurking on Twitter last night when I saw Shaan Puri talk about an in-home chef. I think that is what I need. VG has had one for a while and I can see the difference that it has made to his family’s food. I think I need to think about getting one. Just that I don’t want to maintain a kitchen, you know minimalism. Maybe I need to get into an arrangement with some friend? I mean most of my friends have a cook coming over a couple of times a day and make their food. I can use that facility and get my food made? The challenge however is that in-home chef can use ingredients that you want at a time when you want.

Wait. I have an idea. I will keep a running score of arguments in favor of and against minimalism. By the time I come back to Mumbai (after Diwali), depending on where the score is, I will move in that direction. So, the in-home chef is against minimalism. I am at -1 on that.

Also, lemme define minimalism. It is not really not having a lot of things. It’s really an abstraction for having no attachment to things. You know, how people have a favorite tee-shirt, a favorite postcard that they’ve got from someplace? a favorite memory that they continue to cling on to? I don’t want to get attached to anything. I want to live in the present. I thus consciously try to forget about things that are in the past. Lol. Not consciously. I just can’t seem to remember. So, I don’t want to cling to things. I don’t want to be a hoarder. I don’t want things to become obstacles to how I live and operate. An easy way to practice it is by reducing the number of things you have, you own, you like. And thus the chase of minimalism. And the way to do so is by having as few things as possible.

So yeah. That.

Right now, Shaan’s comments and VG’s experience are making me reconsider. Let’s see what I end up doing. By Diwali. And why Diwali? Well, like I’ve been saying, I need to be in Delhi for Diwali, and once I come back, I will find a house all over again. And this time, I will get a fancy and a big one with as few things in it as possible. Wishful thinking πŸ˜€

Guess this is it for the day. Not sure what else to write. Plus, like I said in the beginning, have a lot to work on. So, with this, over and out. See you guys on the other side.

Oh, the game I played as I woke up? I lost!

And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 127
  • #noCoffee – 16
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Minimaslism – -1. Started this today.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. Let’s see if I can manage today.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 217

PS: I realize that I have been talking a lot about work the last few days. I need to get over it. Once this week is over, I will streamline it to a point that I am no longer ranting or cribbing about it.

150721 – Morning Pages

I talk about rants, house hunting, SRK, music, work and more.

6:20. Woke up a few minutes ago. Woke up with a nightmare. I mean a nightmare of sorts. On a regular day, it would have affected me a lot and would have made me a man possessed. But for some reason, I am still as water and calm as fire. Also, as I woke up, I am less groggy than I would typically be. I dont know why or how. I again ate multiple meals. And that too full of carbs and oils. I still have a lot on my head with respect to work. There’s so much that I don’t know what to do about! Grrr! I even ranted on Twitter. Here. That’s another thing. I am ranting a lot on Twitter now. My engagement there is shit. I need to grow it to be able to get opportunities to come to me. But I am unable to πŸ™

Anyhow.

So, just a month to go for EBC. Need to inform everyone about it. Everyone means people that I work with. Need to make arrangements. Need to wrap the house. Give away whatever is left here. Send whatever needs to be stored to Delhi. Limit my life to as few things as I can (preferably 20 – a number that looks highly improbable). Need to give notice to the landlord so that I can vacate peacefully.

As of now, I am thinking I will move to Delhi by September (assuming there’s no third wave by then) and then stay back till Diwali (mid-November). And come back post that. And look for a new house. This time I am sure I want to live on a higher floor at a fancy society. Enough of kachra living. Or maybe go to Goa. There’s hardly anything that I have left in Mumbai that I look forward to.

Just that I am not sure if I can work from Delhi but let’s see. All this is wishful thinking. We Will see if this pans out.

So on music, today it’s the SRK fest. Mitwa. Pretty Woman. Yeh Dil. Dildara. And a Farhan Akhtar song (Sindbad the Sailor). I know, I know. These guys are mere actors and the credit must go to the lyricists and composers and musicians and all that. Please do excuse me for that.

I dont know what else to write. That’s all that’s on the top of my head.

Ok, lemme try. What did I learn yesterday? Few things…

  1. I am not great at managing time.
    Even with all the fancy tools that I have access to.
  2. I am not disciplined.
    In the sense that I know that to lose weight, I need to do a lot of things consistently for a long time (eat better, eat clean, work out etc etc). I do that as and when I get time. Rather I could be making time for those! I can make small sacrifices (giving up Coke, writing everyday) but I cant seem to workout consistently. Dunno why.
  3. I like giving gyaan to people that can potentially help them.
    I was talking to a stranger and talking about how notes and calendars could get her to do her things better. And it was brilliant! I mean I think I did show her the way but the validation I got for myself was fascinating!
  4. I continue to be that person that doesnt want to disappoint others.
    In fact, I seek validation and all that. Not just from people I care about. But even from strangers on the internet. I wish I could become a different person πŸ™

Wait.

These are personal lessons. Why would someone want to read these? Rather, need to figure out lessons that are useful for others. And then post those. You know, things like, wake up early and you’d be awesome. Lol. These are random conjectures that may or may not carry any weight.

But then, these morning pages lose meaning. To a point that I write these for myself. Not for others to read. So it’s cool that these lessons are for me and for no one else.

Anyhow. To close this short post, couple of things that I am taking away from this brain dump. These are…

A. I need to get disciplined. Starting today I will be. At least with food if not with workouts. I will stop eating from outside for as long as I can manage. I will get a home cook to make simple meals for me. You know, less oil, fewer spices, better ingredients, etc. At eat just one time in the day.
Lol! This starting today has lost meaning. I dont know how many times have I said this πŸ˜€

B. Will stop thinking about how much work I have on my plate. I would rather do things. I will no longer talk about the unavailability of office space. Or a Starbucks. I will make do with whatever I have and get work done. Enough of fucking slacking and throwing reasons around.

Guess this is it for the day.
Hope you have a great day as well.
Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 126
  • #noCoffee – 15
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 216

140721 – Morning Pages

A quick note where I talk to self. And dump whatever is on the top of my head. Things like people, mentors, work, leverage and more.

7:05. Woke up groggy. And a choked nose. And soreness in the neck. Damn old age. I had decided that I will focus on three things yesterday and do just those. I am glad to say I could manage just one (being sarcastic) and the other two are now overdue. And this means that the three things that I need to work on today will get pushed. And I will miss a few more deadlines. Damn!

I now know what work stress is! In the sense, what the stress of non-delivery is. Need to pull socks and deliver the magic that I am known to have delivered in the past.

So that. There’s nothing else on the top of my mind. Oh, I walked up 8 stories yesterday. I need to be able to do 100 stories everyday without losing breath. The day I can do that is the day I can, well, breathe easy. I also ate three meals yesterday. And that too full of carbs. You know, Pizza. My guilty pleasure. How the F would I lose weight? Yesterday only VG was telling me that for someone my height and age, I need to be lighter by 17 KGs. 17! I don’t even know how I would get to that number. It’s not about starving but probably about burning the calories and then the excess fat.

Chalo, aaj fast. Come what may. Even if stress forces me to order shit and eat as if a famine is coming, I will NOT eat. Neither I would have coffee. Green tea, #ftw!

Apart from these two things (health and work), to be honest, there isn’t much on the top of my head. But then there are a couple of things that happened yesterday that I need to take note of.

One, I spoke to two of my mentors. And my sis. Each conversation was around a certain thing (work, emotion, etc). And while talking to each of these, I felt really really grateful that I have their patronage. And respect. And mindshare. I must have done something incredibly right to have this. Super grateful. Need to grow more such relationships. Where there’s mutual respect, no hidden agendas, and comfort. I know you can’t really do this with people. But I will do whatever it takes to deliver on things from my side to grow into such relationships.

Two, I realized yet again that on the work front (and even on the life front), I don’t want to be the person that executes. I don’t want to trade my time for money (work). I want to rather be the one the opens doors and gets things delivered. I want to be the one that leverages his relationships and trades the knowledge to make ends meet (time). You know, become that person that doesn’t need to have a laptop open ever. I should use my phone, team of people and deliver magic. Now, this is far easier said than done. Especially at the stage where I am at. In the sense, I am still not stable enough to get work that pays me consistently. Most of it comes to be after I put in an insane amount of time and effort. And what I do is not rocket science. So that means that I need to consistently deliver great things to keep the engine running.

In fact, the second one has been a recurring theme. I need to find a thing that can be done about it. Thankfully, with the current scheme of things at work, I have taken a step towards building a team that can do things in my absence. Let’s see when that comes together.

Oh, I have to write this. I was talking to my sis and while talking, I told her that I often abstract myself away from what’s happening to me. I sort of float over my body and look down upon me. I see this 38-year old struggling to make ends meet, trying to get better, striving on a day-to-day basis. And I see a dude trying to be cool, making mistakes, slacking, giving in to temptation on a regular basis. While there are both positives and negatives in the person I see, the abstraction allows me to help the person I am seeing. By giving him inspiration. You know, the kinds I am told I am able to. Others call this phenomenon self-talk. I call this, well, zooming-out. Irrespective. It works. Try it.

So that. That’s it for the day. See you guys tomorrow. I have a lot to do today and tomorrow and this week in general. And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 125
  • #noCoffee – 14
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 215

130721 – Morning Pages

Quick update from how I spent yesterday. Some thoughts about my relationship with food. And then some about work.

8:24. Starbucks. I slept late. Not late really. At around 1. Had a lot of work and I decided that I will finish all that and then sleep. Of course, I couldn’t finish. But I still got late. Lol, adulting!

And then I got late in waking up. And then it was raining (oh, I love it!). And then I had to start the day and work and all that. So. Here I am at Starbucks. Must put on paper that despite my thing about working, I did not get myself a coffee. Pat on the back, Mr. Garg!

But then, I did eat a lot. I think it was stress eating more than anything else. I was not hungry. I did not even feel like eating. I was just stressed about work. So I ate.

In fact, lemme delve into this. I think there has to be a connection between growing up with scarcity and trying to eat like a mad man. I know this is anecdotal evidence at best (with a sample size of 1) but at least in my case, every time my system spots a scary thing (missed deadline, failure at something, knowing that the day’s gonna go to shit, etc), I tend to want to eat. Mind you, I don’t get hungry. I don’t get hunger pangs. I don’t get cravings. But for some reason, I want to stuff myself. As much as I can. Even though I know that after I eat, I will probably slouch and the thing that is scaring me, I will be less equipped to handle that. And yet I want to eat! I think it’s the body’s reaction that may be a famine is coming and it must load up on whatever it can get. I am not sure though.

So that.

Moving on. The day was a busy one. The highlight has to be a meeting with NT for the Aram Nagar documentary. I’ve known him for a while and this was the first time I met him. Even though this was an online meeting, he was candid, open, honest, and upfront about what he thought about it. The world needs more people like him. I am glad I know him.

For today, while I have a lot to work on, I am thinking I will spend the bulk of the time on just three things. No, I dont want to write those here (confidentiality and all that) but I have taken those notes, and let’s see how it goes. If I can deliver on these three things, a large part of the stress will get managed.

Lemme talk of work. Which I often dont talk about.

So on the work front, I do a few things. I write (yeah, I get paid to write). I think (marketing, strategy, etc). And I manage (people, things, etc). I am brilliant when it comes to writing. I am very good at thinking. I am terrible at managing. In the sense that I dont know what it takes to inspire others. So most of my time is spent juggling these things. Plus, I refuse to take up full-time engagements. This means that I need to be always on the lookout for new work, new connections, new things, new ideas, etc. And that also fills a large part of my time. And then I am the lesser half at a few other things. Not that I spend a lot of time there but it does take away attention. And thus, I am perpetually short of time. No, I am not bad at managing time. I think I am very good, to be honest. Just that I have filled my 24 hours (and head) with things that require 48 hours. You know, am trying to be a multipotentialite. Lol.

Of course am not. And thus I am failing at it. And thus I need to get my act together. And thus focus on a few things at a time. And thus the idea of doing just three things today.

Let’s see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 124
  • #noCoffee – 13
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. I will see if I can do this during the day to keep the streak alive.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 214

120721 – Morning Pages

While talking to a friend last night, epiphany happened. And here’s a record of that.

6:20. Woke up a few minutes ago. I feel ok. Not as full of energy as I would want to be. But then, not drowsy either. It’s fascinating to see bodily functions come to life. On today’s agenda, before anything else (and after these morning pages) is Surya Namaskars. And if all goes well, 10K steps, at least. And unless I am running late, I am not taking lifts for up to 10 stories.

Today’s gonna be a busy day. A lot needs to be done. And most things were to be done as of yesterday. So, a busy day indeed!

Yesterday, they released information about a film based on Navrasa. The film is an anthology of stories, being made by Maniratnam. And that means it will be a great piece of cinema to watch. And that means people would be more aware of the concept from here on. And that means that my book2 will always be considered inspired by this. While I am ok with the comparison and all that, the lesson for me is that I need to do things fast. Soon. Even if I am not prepared.

In fact, I was having another conversation with someone about something similar. I was talking about how as an artist it is important to ship your work — books, paintings, poems, etc. And to be able to ship, you MUST seek whatever help you can get access to. I mean if you write, get an editor. If you paint, you must get apprentices to help you visualize. I believe that the lone genius needs an army of believers to enable the creation to come out. I can give many anecdotal pieces of evidence to support this. The point is, I needed to get the second book out in 2015. The first half of 2021 is over and even after 6 and half years, I am far from any sort of shipping. So that.

Anyhow. Let’s see when the book happens.

So, while chatting with SNR about work and life, I said something interesting. This is the first time I’ve said that out loud. In fact, it’s the first time I even thought about it – consciously or subconsciously. I actually said two things.

A, I like the idea of project business. You know, where you have a lot of work for some time. And then you have long periods of no-work time. I then said the second and more important thing.

B, Which is that I would thus love to be in the films business. When I am working on a film, I will have nothing else to work on and will be so busy that it’s not funny. And when I am not on a film, I will have such a large amount of idle time that I can while it away by reading, learning, reflecting, and all that.

And then I said something that was even a revelation to me. I said that over the next two years, I want to make enough and save money to be able to pay off the debt. And then save some more to last me two years. And in those two years, I will jump head-first into filmmaking. I will use the savings to pick up whatever work I can get and learn like an apprentice and then see where things lead me. So that!

I did not know that I wanted to make films this bad. That I am willing to let go of all that I have to be able to be part of the films business. May be it’s not the films per se but the lust to control how I spend my time!

So that. I dont know if I’d be able to do this in the next two years. Only time will tell. Let’s see where it goes.

So yeah. That. There are more things I can write about but that was the major epiphany that happened over the weekend. Guess it could happen because I didn’t do anything important or substantial over the last two to three days.

Other insignificant things that are worth noting are…

  1. Eating like a pig. Out of famine. Not cool. Today, I will try to fast. And if not that, OMAD for sure. And even with OMAD, will pick food that has less carbs.
  2. Slacking with work. To a point that I will probably get fired. So need to change that.
  3. Not using my time better. While there is a calendar that I use per se, I need to get attached to it so much that I don’t do anything that is not on my calendar.

Guess that’s about it. Can’t think of the 4th πŸ˜€

Need to get on with the day. And some Surya Namaskars to start with the day. Let’s see if I can do 12 πŸ˜€ Update. I did 12. With this as a companion video!

And, as I start my day, here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 123
  • #noCoffee – 12
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Even though I did today, will add to streak from tomorrow.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 213