161021 – Morning Pages

A rambling post talking about things I am thinking about this Saturday morning. A lot of it is work. Need to get it out of the way.

7:17. Home.

The screen time across devices has reached a pandemic level. I am spending more than 18 hours on the phone and the laptop. I need to control it. I am literally addicted to social networking websites and I am scrolling those feeds without thinking. I am not even registering what I am seeing. I am merely moving. I am constantly checking even when I am engaged in other things. Need to get away from that.

Yesterday was good. I met one of the people I care for. I spoke to two more that I care for. And I met the friend that I literally grew up with. Drove around the town (realized how much I love driving) with him and talked about what he could do (realized how much I love thinking about work). Or what we could do together. We went to Theo’s and ate. Realised how much I love good cafes and getting out of the house even though I dont like the food. The concept of someone serving you and you being able to sit and all that is nice. I love them. If you are in Noida and want to eat good continental food or baked things, you have to go eat at Theo’s. At Theo’s I even had Diet Coke but that’s ok. It’s from the next week that I plan to get into action. So that’s cool.

#epiphany just happened. Maybe I dont like spending time at home because I dont have things that bind me at home. You know, relationships. People. Etc. Or may be I dont have the kind of space that I want – physical or personal. Maybe this is why I love the idea of moving from one place to another. Maybe this is why I hate indoors? Need to think.

In other things, saw this tweet where Visa (love this guy’s work and thoughts) says that Morgan wrote 3000+ articles before he became the phenomenal writer of Psychology of Money. This has reaffirmed my view on quantity vs quality debate. I need to double down on the output and continue writing. I mean I want to make a life as a content creator. I have merely written like 3 pieces and I am hoping to be famous. How dare I? Need to write a 100 pieces to start with. And then a 1000. And then ask the question to God, the Universe or whatever about success and failure.

So that!

I guess this is it. Oh, must log that I couldn’t get sleep last night for some reason. I was up till 3ish. Need to fix this.

Here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: 🙂
    Right now I am ok. I have just woken up and I am little tired and groggy (was up till 3 AM). Need to get back to better sleep and a better state of mind. I think if I stop being on so many devices all the time, it would be better.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 0.
    Literally 0. Distracted all the time. Need to find a solution.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. So many people put their faith in me. I am grateful that I have them around. It gives meaning to my life.
  4. Things that would make my today great
    1. Work. I have been stalling it this entire week. And this is the week after the trek. I should’ve done a lot to be honest. But I did not. I need to ship a lot of things. Must work hard today.
    2. Better food. I need to be mindful of what I eat. Today on, I will get onto OMAD. Haven’t done it in a while. Will be tough. Let’s see if I can manage.
  5. A daily affirmation
    I am a super hero and I can get things done at a snap of my fingers. I will show how cool I am and will get things done.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. Met Monu. Spoke to people from #teamSG.
    2. I drove a car after a while. I realised that I love it so so much that it’s not funny.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. If I could’ve avoided Diet Coke, I wouldn’t have broken the streak.
    2. I wish I found the time to get some work done. It’s just playing too much on my mind. And if it’s wrecking such havoc on how I think and I am living, I need to find a way out. It is not worth taking all this stress. #note2self.
    3. If I could have slept on time, it would have been nice.
  8. Quote for the day
    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra

PS: I could only write one thing that I am grateful for. I need to ensure that each day I force myself to think of three things.

PPS: I also need to avoid repetition. I wrote about a thing and then I am repeating it in the journal. I need to find a way to not waste words.

And here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 0. Had one Diet Coke yesterday.
  • #noCoffee – 2
  • #aPicADay – 8. I am yet to post today’s. I plan to take a new one. So if I post today, I will make the streak 9. If I dont, I am back to 0.
  • Daily Journal – 9
  • Money spent – 6361. I am back to tracking it rigourously. Ergo.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 9
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 9

240721 – Morning Pages

Thoda sad post. Maybe very sad. Read with caution. Please dismiss this as a rant of a sad man.

6:18. All the good work that I did in the first 4 days (3 actually, if I ignore the break) went to the gutter yesterday. I had a day where I was so buried in work that I did not get to make health the priority. I was working till late and then I ate carbs after 10 PM. I did not go for a walk. I did not do pushups. I did walk up to my house. I did nothing that would make me proud. I even wasted time on Chess and twitter (I stay away but did browse the website) and other such websites. Even though I spoke to V, I still am as spaced. I have absolutely no clue what to do about this instability in the head and this randomness that I am afflicted with!

Anyhow. I will try and pick up from where I left. Let’s see.

I have a lot to do on the work front. I plan to spend the day at the airport Starbucks, you know the one that’s open on the weekends. I plan to carry my shoes when I go and then on the way back, I plan to walk back. Let’s see if I can.

Even on the projects front, there are quite a few things open. Need to work on those. Hope I get those done.

Here’s a thought that just dawned on me while I was writing this. I think I am burying myself with work and random things to escape from things that are clouding my head and heart. I am sort of running away. From the house I live in. From the relationships I have. From the current life I live.

Thing is, I’ve always ran. Away. Metaphorically. And always to an unknown place. Of course, I can’t get away from a lot of things, some people are now part of me forever. Some things now have come to define me. Some relationships are as important to me as breathing is. In fact, this burying into non-stop work is probably my way to cope with whatever is happening with me on the inside.

I think I need to get stronger in my head. I also think I need to get away once again. Probably go live in a place where I don’t know anyone and there are no chances of any encounters with anyone I know. I tried that with Goa last year. No, it did not help. May be a move to another country? Lol. Or maybe I should just quit everything I am working on and go become a taxi driver or something. And read with whatever little time I get on the side.

I actually don’t know. Thoda muddled hai. I think I will let the thought stay in my head and maybe the answer will pop up. I just need to ensure that I, as Joseph Campbell said, follow my bliss. Maybe this struggle to stay sane and stay focussed and stay on the path is the reward in itself? Maybe this life where I continue to strive to look at larger things is the very reward that my life will get? And now that I already have, why bother seeking affirmations and validation from others?

Kind of dark.

Ok, an epiphany happened. While showering. Funny how many good ideas come in when I am in the shower. Funnier how little time I spend in the shower. Must take longer baths. Anyhow. So epiphany. I was thinking about the email that I want to send to Anjum Sir about Toofan. While I was thinking about it, I wanted to be polite when I ask him questions. I realized that may be, just may be, I know more than him? Of course, I am being a mere critic. And I am assuming that he had control over the script even after the production started. So this is when I realized that may be my destiny, my bliss is not in actually doing things but enabling others to do. You know, like Anjum sir. Like Drona. Like Mickey. Like other such illustrious teachers.

May be I was sent here to enable others.

And not that I haven’t tried to be that coach to others. I have in the past work with countless people as a friend, coach, mentor, etc. And with a few more with deeper engagement with projects like TRS, PPP, GP, and more.

Clearly, I have been ineffective with those. I mean none of those is a roaring success. They do ok but none of those has gone on to become an Arjuna or anything. They remain far from self-sustenance. I am glad they don’t need my intervention on a day-to-day basis but if I stop the funding, they will probably die.

I know that in a few years, they would be really big in terms of their impact and reach and money and all that. I hope I am there when that happens. They are literally my life’s work. The people that work on these are like my children. My babies, my creations. Instead of bearing kids with my DNA, I have given these all that I have. And more. More than I’d probably give to any other offspring in the future. Even M. Guess I am done with it. For the time being. Till something shakes me.

And no, I am not taking credit for their success. If they fail, I am indeed responsible but if they succeed, it would be an outcome of their hard work. aNd I know each of them will become large roaring successes. I hope soon. If not soon, then I know, in a few years. These things take time.

Ok, I digressed.

The point was, maybe my bliss, my raison d’etre is not making it big. But helping others make big. Maybe I need to accept that I will live in anonymity and poverty and I will help others make money. Maybe with this awareness, I need to change how I think, how I imagine, how I plan, how I evaluate myself, and how I work?

May be.

Let this mince around in my head for a few days.

Here’s the streaks though.

  • OMAD – 0. Ate like a pig yesterday 🙁
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 135
  • #noCoffee – 4
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Walked literally 0 steps yesterday.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -1
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 225

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 😀

Need to get on with the day. And some Surya Namaskars to start with the day. Let’s see if I can do 12 😀 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

090721 – Morning Pages

Quick, short post on my chase of minimalism.

8:32. Starbucks. Not my usual one. I am at the one in Powai. I have to go to the end o the world for a meeting and since there is no Starbucks there, I am parked here till about an hour to go for the meeting. I hope it works out well and the ordeal of these clothes etc is worth it!

So something interesting happened yesterday. Prak was over and while talking to her, the distracted one I am, I started to clean things that I have at my house. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. You know, move to minimalism. Just that I hadn’t had the opportunity to even get started. I did make small starts by giving away a few things but it is those little trinkets that you hold close that you can’t seem to give away. So while talking to her, I sort of emptied various shelves out, took out things, thought about them, and then discarded a lot of those. It was scary for a bit but then after a while, it felt ok.

Some were tough to remove. Some were easy. Some I’ve continued to cling to. I will probably throw those away in the next pass (whenever that happens).

Thing is, my ambition is to own just 20 things. Including Passport, computers, phones, toothbrushes, first-aid, even undies, etc. It sounds impossible but let’s see if I can reach that point. If not that, then I have to be at a point when I just have enough that can fit in a carry-on bag in the most commercial of airlines in their cattle class.

More here

A couple of people asked me why am I doing this.

I think the answer is complex and there are multiple factors at play here.

For starters, I have wanted to live a simpler life where I think on a higher plane (whatever that means). Then, lately, I’ve been reading and consuming a lot of content from Dandapani. I think the final straw was when I thought deeply about life and death a few days ago. I was at a point where I realized that when I am gone, would I want to have my affairs in order? Or will I just go and leave things open.

Now, as someone who’s like the biggest loser I know and as someone that leaves so many things unfinished, when I go, I really want to have things in order. In the sense that there can’t be anything that expects someone to come back. The place has to be vacated. The lights need to be shut. All things discarded. At places where they can’t be attributed to me. In fact, in my will, one of the things I’ve mentioned is that all my digital footprint must be deleted. As much as possible, at least.

So that.

Also, I realized I think the best when I talk out loud to others. Not write, not think but when I talk out loud. But then I need people like Prak to talk to. You know the ones that would not judge and will not impose their thoughts and ideas on my situation. The trouble is, I dont know many people like her.

Anyhow. I have a very long Friday ahead. And even longer weekend. And the next week. The list of to-dos is almost reaching the moon. I need to either find a thing where I dont rent my time or I need to marry a rich heiress of an infinite fortune. Know anyone?

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 4
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 120
  • #noCoffee – 9
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 210

100621 – Morning Pages

Quick post on a lazy day about things at the top of my head. Lot of transactional stuff. You may skip reading this.

8:58. Woke up a few minutes ago. Slept at I think 1 or so but I did have an Americano at around 8 last night. Guess that’s why I had a fitful night. So on with today’s post. Like yesterday, I will try to not context switch. The music is set. I made a list of what I want to write about. I don’t have a lot of time – I know I am late today and I need to start the day and all that but I don’t have any pressing engagements today so I can take it easy. I may even go to a Starbucks. I did not enjoy, to be honest, that I worked from the home house last night.

Here we go. Will use bullets…

A. So, I restarted on an old project yesterday where I am helping a senior from the IT industry with his biography. It is very very interesting and exciting and I really enjoy the grind when I work on it. In fact, in life, if I can get more projects like that, I would be really happy. Of course, this means that the next few days weeks would be crazy but that’s ok. It’s the kind of craziness that I like 🙂

B. Saw this video yesterday where someone has summarised James Clear’s Atomic Habits. One of the things that stayed with me is Warren Buffett’s advice on the 5/25 rule. In one line, it says that you must make a list of 25 of your long-term goals and focus on the top 5 and put the other 20 in the do NOT do / focus list. I think I must make such a list soon! I also have a fairly limited number of years left and I am craving for some success and all that. Must think about this over the next few days. So that.

C. I plan to get back to life and the world from today on. I am of course out there and working and all that but I have kept a low profile. As low as someone like me possibly can. I mean I am off Twitter, Insta, and all that. I know that I need to be out there and working and all that and it’s important for both personal and professional growth. Most of my opportunities have come to me just because I was on these platforms constantly. And I know that the doors I open today get me opportunities after literally decades!

D. I am also recording a podcast after a few weeks today. Let’s see how it goes. I can’t say I am fully prepared but I enjoy talking to people and podcasts are an important step towards that.

E. LHV is finding it tough. More on this some other day.

F. Thanks to the rain and all that yesterday, the second meal of the day did not arrive at all. I could’ve not had food after that but all the coffee I had made me jittery and I had to order something to get over. Ordered myself a Peanut Butter Mousse. Dying with guilt. There’s no way I’ll lose weight or climb Mt. Everest. I clearly can’t work out. The arm is still shaky after the vaccine last Saturday, so no Yoga. I can’t control what I eat. Grrrr…

Ok, I plan to try and fast today. At least not order anything for as long as I can control. Let’s see how it goes.

G. I am lagging on Write Your First Novel. I plan to take it up today. I am late on Mare’s review. I started the post but I couldn’t find the inspiration, even though I really want to do it. I think I must clearly slot these into weekends or after work hours. As life gets busier, I need to find a way to get more strict with time. I mean I am as strict as they come but I need to go another step now. I must not not do a single thing that is not on my calendar and if I miss something, I miss it. I will not try to fit it in during the day.

So that’s about it for day. Kaafi transactional details but that’s what is on the top of my head.

Wait. While writing this, an epiphany happened. None of these talk about my work as a marketer. And that means a good thing and a bad thing. Good in the sense that work to me is a problem to be solved, a thing to be done, a transaction that I dont care about. Bad in the sense that if I dont write about it, people I work with dont know about it and thus I remain away from opportunities. I mean I know that what I do is not really a long-term thing that I want to do. I’d rather build something that scales and impacts the world but the path to that seems to be missing. I think I am not even sure if I will ever be on that path – I am way too old and the world is way too complex now. Ok, I am getting in the rant zone. Lemme stay away from that.

Here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 179
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 91
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0