180721 – Morning Pages

A braindump of a thousand things that’ve been on the top of my head. Little ranty. Read with caution.

8:15. Woke up a few minutes ago. Have a lot on the top of my head. Let’s see how much of that gets translated onto the post. I am speculating that this would have 1200 odd words. Let’s see how many words I need to dump things here. Since most things are unrelated, I will use sections.

A. Health
If you know me, you will know that I’ve always kept my health the last in the list of priorities. To date, the order of priority has been work > family (including SG2, M, Team SG) > money > friends > writing > hedonism. And then if I was left with time, I’d think about health.

Starting tomorrow, I will change this. I will put health even above work. This means that I will not start my day till I have done some sort of workout – walk, run, yoga, push-ups, etc. I know it’s important for me to start the day early. At a Starbucks. With this brain dump. My best ideas come to me early in the morning. But I will let go of those for the next 2 months. I think I can survive that.

I will also have to sleep well. So that means, no late nights. Nothing after 9:30. Again, thoda tough. But let’s see how it goes.

Oh, related.
I’ve been noticing that the last few days the right eye is losing its sight. When I close my left eye, the right one is unable to focus on things in front of me. Plus I need to squint my eyes to look at things. Especially on the phone.

Brings to another related thing…

B. Social Media.
I am torn between growing my audience and reach on various SM platforms (you know, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, blog, etc.) and spending limited time with these distracting things.

Building a following, credibility, and reach takes a lot of effort, energy, thought, and time. Especially if you are like me. You know, with limited talent and a very limited understanding of human nature.

As I try hard to find things that I am interested in and are things that people may resonate with, I end up investing wasting a lot of time on these apps. Like any other sucker for a dopamine hit, I keep scrolling the infinite feed. And before I know it, I have wasted some 2 hours on these apps.

So I don’t know what to do about that.

In the long run, SM is important. Very important to build a personal brand and attract opportunities. Especially for people like me. But then I don’t know how to use it in moderation. On a whim, a couple of days back, I uninstalled Instagram. But then installed it back last night. And I just deleted it again. As I write this.

Lol, hate this love-hate relationship.

Ok. I have an idea. What if I install all these distracting apps on a different phone and use those once in a while?

Wait.

I am trying to reduce things that I have. This will add one more phone and one more charger.

Hmmm.

No, I don’t want to. I will keep things on the primary phone. I will test my self-control and see how long do I take before I install Instagram again and waste time on it. I plan to not use it till October. Let’s see.

Next.

C. Coffee.
I had coffee yesterday. After 17 days. No, I was not craving it. No, I was not sleepy. No, I was not bored. I just had it on a whim. You know, for no reason.

May I liked the aroma of coffee and Hazelnut flavor that Pooja had when I met her.

And no, after I had it, I did not feel any great or moved or energized. Even the tinge of Hazelnut on Americano wasn’t as tasty as I thought it would be!

D. Starbucks
The aforementioned coffee? I had it at a Starbucks. That was open on a Saturday. And will be open on a Sunday as well. Yay! In case you are curious, it’s the one at the arrival area at T2. It’s open from 7 AM till about 10 PM. And they have a private loo. So, for the weekends, I am sorted. Just that there’s no internet. So in case you choose to work from there, please ensure that you carry a charger and have a mobile connection that works. And they only have 2-3 charging points, so you need to go there early enough.

So, life is sort. Weekends are made. I plan to go there again today in a while. In case you want to meet me, you’re welcome πŸ™‚

The best part? It’s at the airport. While I am not transiting anywhere but the feel of an airport is what I crave for!

E. The iPhone troubles
The iPhone charging cable went kaput. And that means I will have to buy another one. I think I would have spent more money on iPhone cables and changing screens than I would’ve spent on the damn phones.

F. The Bombay Bhai
This is what I was waiting to write. Last night, on my way back from the airport, I stopped at a chemist to buy snacks and all. And while I was in there, a gentleman, not more than 30 walked in. Following him was a secretary kind of person. And a beefy bodyguard. The dude was dressed in white and gold. You know, gold bracelets, rings, chains, earrings, etc. Even the chappal he wore had golden straps. The secretary carried two phones. The bodyguard has a gun holstered. Really. No masks though.

And I regret to say this, I was intimidated. The guy was drunk and was making misogynist jokes. To give him credit, he was joking around within the group and not disturbing anyone else. But he was very loud. And very drunk. And very scary. No, I don’t get scared easily. But yesterday was something else.

After I bought my things, as I stepped out, I saw a Mercedes parked in a way that had blocked half the road. Clearly, the guy was used to such pitstops at night. I’d pit him as the son of a local politician. Or a builder. Or he could be a self-made man as well. You know, he could have had a startup that he sold to investors for billions? Or got IPOd?

Anyhow. So I was intimidated at that time. But as I write this, I think I was more jealous than afraid. I mean the guy had everything that I want in life. Money. People that he trusted. A good life. I on the other hand have just this blog and rants. The worse part is that I don’t even know if I ever will make it to be able to afford a good life. I mean I am almost 40. I am way past an age where you are useful. I don’t even have a thing that could potentially become big tomorrow. By the time you are 40, you’ve either made it. Or accepted that you will never make it. I am neither. I am a mere dreamer that can only rant.

In fact, I read this thread last night. I have been thinking about it since. I fucking want to be that elite. Not because I care for signals or trophies. But each duel, each attempt at bettering others can shape me. And allow me to deliver more impact. See this tweet as well. I want to do this at scale!

Ok, deep breath.

Back to the blog. Last thing that I want to write.

G. Rap Music.
I don’t know how but I stumbled onto music from Gully Boy. I heard Ranveer Singh, the actor rap. Is there a thing he can’t do?

I then moved to Divine.
And then to Ikka Singh.
And more.
And I am hooked.

I know these artists may be very commercial and may not be the best or whatever. But I think I am initiated in the rap music scene. I will explore more over the next few days. Let’s see where I end.

Oh, I have to mention that Ikka’s slur around Jamna Paar? It resonated so hard! So so hard! I don’t think it’s as ghettoized as Dharavi is but it was a slur nonetheless and growing up, it did feel strange when people from other parts of Delhi frowned at Jamna Paar.

So that.

Guess this is about it for the day.

Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 129
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had an Americano yesterday
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -1
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 219

Oh, and I had speculated, this would be a 1200 word piece. This is 1460 something. Not bad, Mr. G!

230621 – Morning Pages

A ranty post before I start the day. From outside a Starbucks that shut for the day.

7:38. Outside my regular Starbucks.

I came in early. Thinking, it’s a long day and I will get a head start on what I do. I was thinking of crafty ways to allow the Starbucks baristas to let me in early. After all, I am a regular patron. And I can talk my way through most situations.

But no. It’s been booked by a bank for one of its promotions. The entire place. For the entire day. Damn!

What this means is that acche din are back (in the sense banks are spending on BTL promotions). This also means that I need to do more to get things done on this long day. Sigh!Β 

Now that I have started the day on the wrong foot, lemme talk of all the negatives that have been happening with me lately.

A. I spottedΒ a cockroach at my house. The sole reason for not having a kitchen at my place is to avoid these pests. I hate them. I loathe them. I abhor them. I know I know that these pests are needed for evolutionary change and all that. But not in my house!

Must make a rule to only move into newly constructed houses. Irrespective of the place I go to – Goa, Dubai, Mumbai, etc.

B. Since Friday, I’ve been eating like a man just out of famine. In yesterday alone, I had four full meals – each with a pot of rice. I had 2 Venti Americanos. I even had a Red Bull. And then I whiled the time away on Instagram! Binging on Fauda at 1.5x speed! I mean WTF! Need to get my act together!!

C. I am hating the way I am right now. In the sense, eating like a mad man. Not getting enough sleep. So many incomplete tasks. So many todos! So listless. So lacking in direction.

I don’t know a way out.

One of the friends I spoke to (rr) told me that I need to see a doctor or something. At 38, this is not cool. I am strongly thinking I will go see one. Let’s see when. Will keep everyone posted.

Ok, enough.
Lemme talk of positives.

A. In the morning, I saw this tweet and it made me think. Since I was half-asleep, I sent out the first thing that came to my head.

His question was, “What’s your personal elevator pitch?”

My responses were…

When working for others – “Whatever you hire me to work on, I am resourceful enough to get it done. Come hell or high water.”

When working for self – “Aim for the moon and throw million darts. Few of those will hit the stars.”

Must spend more time thinking about these kinds of things!

To be honest, I think what I wrote is exactly how I feel and think and behave and do. So that.

B. I also got the iPhone fixed. For 5K. In case any of you wants to get broken iPhones (broken screens, software crashes, memory glitches, etc), please do let me know. Can connect to the guy who does it for me. He sends his technician to wherever you are and ensures that it works before he asks for money. Love his service!

I have to say, LOVE the damn phone. I felt so much better, so much at peace as I got back on the iPhone. I felt as if someone has given me my powers back. I could type fast. I could switch apps fast. There was no lag. Things just, well, worked!

C. Attended a session where one of the A-list celebs gave some founders from the Founder Thesis podcast gyaan about how to manage celebrity endorsements. Must create more such opportunities and get people to talk to each other.

And then be bang in the middle of it!

This is exactly what am hoping to achieve with each piece of work I do – from writing to creating networks to enabling people to speaking and even with Long Haul!

Let’s see if I can scale this as I go along. This, to be honest, sounds like a good way to live life!

D. Took a stranger through my notes. Actual notes. Screenshare of my Roam graphs. I realized that I don’t really care much what people think of me or my private thoughts. I guess I am at a point where I am truly living in public.

I think this is about it for the time being. Let’s see how the day goes.

And as I end this, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 192
  • #aPicADay – 1. I posted one yesterday. Now that the iPhone is back, let’s see if I can post one today as well.
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 104
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

170621 – Morning Pages

Quick note on things that are on the top of my head.

8:25. While I’ve been up since 7, I’ve been a zombie. I’ve now shat-showered-powdered and waiting for my breakfast to arrive. And while the plan was to write this from the Starbucks, I thought, lemme grab a bite before I am stuck in a Starbucks for next few hours.

So, I did not sleep well last night. Guess too much coffee. Too much food. Too many distractions. Too much on my mind. And too much Fauda. And that too at 1.25X speed. I mean I am not enjoying the show or seeing it from the critical eye that I typically see things from. I am merely seeing the rushes. The joy of watching a story unfold in front of my eyes has been sucked away. I am merely going thru the motions.

Lemme try and clear things that are sort of clouding my mind. Including work and non-work. And in no order.

  • Today marks the end of my one-month Keto subscription. I dont think I’ve lost weight. No, I don’t feel energetic. In fact, I am the same as I was a month ago. I probably chose the wrong supplier to save on money. Need to think of what to do with my meals from Monday onward. Weekend any way I am out.
  • The side effect of this vegetarian keto attempt is that I have started to hate paneer from the bottom of my heart. I’ve had enough paneer for the rest of my life. I have to either turn into a non-vegetarian or find a way to lose weight. I can’t work out, can’t lift weights πŸ™
  • On the other hand, I can’t stop having the Egg Soup. I ordered it twice yesterday!
  • Need to stop with the coffee. No, I don’t enjoy coffee as much I love other beverages (like Coke). But the thing is, I dont like the idea of being a freeloader at a Starbucks. While I can shift to Green Tea or even Water to pay for the time I spend there, I feel criminal about paying so much for water. So I dont know the way out.
  • So yesterday, a friend sent me this video of a woman with She (by Elvis Costello) playing in the background. That video took my heart away! She took my heart away. I instantly knew I had to write about it. And, I am struggling to write my ode to it. I mean I started writing it yesterday and I am yet to find the right words. Breakthrough isn’t in sight. It was triggered by an Instagram post that a friend sent me.
  • Went for a walk. Met Ken. Talked about films and all. Spotted the sea.
  • Workwise, this week has been easy. One of the clients is literally silent. The other is chugging along. So more or less, things are ok there.
  • I got a new intern on board. Not sure if she will stay for long. But she’s on. It’s amazing how one client that pays you fairly allows you to expand where you are and what you do. I just need to be more prudent with my money and start saving more so that I can
  • On Friday, I am conducting the first paid session for NFG on Notetaking 101. I am not getting paid a lot but I am getting paid to speak and share what I know. Yay!
  • Life has come to a point where I have some money coming in. Enough for me to not think about where the next meal will come from. Enough to even pay back all the debt that I had loaded myself with. No, it’s still not smooth. It is at the tenterhooks. I lose one client and I am back to square one. But after at least 18 months or so, I am at that point where I am now thinking a lot more about the things I can do that take me closer to my goal of inspiring a billion people! I had thought Long Haul will be that. But it’s been really hard on that front. No one wants to trust me with their money. I a
  • Oh, while typing this, I decided that I will not buy a new iPhone. I will get this one fixed. I will spend another 8K but I will get this fixed. I want to save and get over the debt. The only money I will spend is on people and projects.
  • The most important. I had thought I will start with this. Lemme get this out of the bullets.

I have started to give away things that I’ve owned. Yesterday, I gave away the TV. I have also parted with the guitar that VG gifted me I don’t know how many years ago.

Now, I am left with a writing table, a bookshelf that has I don’t know how many books (and paper and notes and all that), a yoga mat, knick-knacks that I have gathered over the years, and some clothes. No, I don’t have a functioning kitchen. And computers (laptop – this and old, hard disk drives, pen drives, etc).

The idea is to dispose of everything and have just enough that can be carried in a laptop bag and a big hard-top lug. I don’t like duffels. I am ok to live with very few things and in this post-pandemic world, that should be the norm. I am just worried about all the notes that I’ve taken. I will probably digitize those? I don’t know yet. After I lost my phone data, I have stopped worrying about losing important things. The ephemerality of life is a lot more apparent and visible. Thank you, COVID-19 for that.

So yeah, the idea is that by end of this month (or may be the next), I would have disposed of all the things that I hate. The ones that I need to store (I’ll try that these are as few as possible), I will send those to Delhi, to my parent’s place. The rest, I will carry on me. Let’s see how it goes.

So yeah. All this.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 186
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 98
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. I did not do it yesterday. Neither I did it today πŸ™

150621 – iWant iPhone

A rant on how Android sucks, how I miss an office space, how I am unable to do yoga. And a couple of more things.

6:28. Woke up a few minutes ago.

I went for a walk last night for an hour or so. I took along the Vivo phone I use and I realized how much I miss an iPhone and what all would I do to get one! I mean I want to really get one.

This Android system is not for me. Not just the bloatware that comes preinstalled but also the speed at which it works. Plus I am so used to the iOS ecosystem of apps that I am literally struggling half the time to get things done. I still don’t know how to “quit” an app that’s running. The other day I had to hunt for where the alarm is. Then I have no clue how to abort all those “system” apps that keep running in the background that hog limited memory that the phone has. I don’t have a pedometer and the external app I installed (the one that is the highest-rated) has so many bugs and ads that it’s impossible to use. Plus, each time I install or uninstall an app, I get a notification about a “recommendation” to install another app. It sucks. Literally. Everyone that goes gaga over Android and its “flexibility” and “openness” clearly is blind to these. Or may be these are not issues in the first place. Maybe it’s my quirks that I need to get over. I mean I do get that the cheaper Andoird OS has given immense power to people with a computer in their hands. The impact has been literally world-changing. But then, it is not for me. I am happy in the closed, restricted, expensive, slick and at least for me, convenient iOS.

I just have to get an iPhone. ASAP. I have to get another client soon to be able to get one. That’s the goal for this month. Wish me luck.

Funny that all through my hour-long walk last night, I kept thinking about how I will write about how much an Andoird based phone sucks but when I started writing, I could only manage a handful of words!

Anyhow. Moving on.

Today’s my parent’s anniversary. They complete 40 years together (or 41, not sure). I will never understand their generation. I am the kind to not have completed 4 years with any of my significant others. And here they are. At 40 years. Wow!

I think I know what the “secret” sauce here is. And I know that I can’t comprehend the way they lived their lives, in the times they lived. But what I know is that togetherness for all those years is remarkable.

I pine for long-term relationships in everything – work, friendships, speech etc. And here I have. A live example in my very home. Heck, I am an outcome of that. Whatever I stand for, what I do, whatever I think of, all of it is the outcome of that union all those years ago!

Yoga. In other news, I did attempt Surya Namaskar yesterday, right after I published the morning pages. I could do just 8 rounds. And that too was a pain. I had to stop after 3. I took a break after the 6th. And I gave up after the 8th. I am that out of practice. At a point, I could do 12 and I was thinking of 20. But here I am. Out of breath and will at 8. ! Oh, that’s the other thing I decided yesterday when I was out for a walk. That come hell or high water, I will do yoga on a daily basis. I will carve out time for yoga, the way I do for these morning pages. The way morning pages builds my writing muscle, the daily practice of yoga will hopefully build my health muscle. All I need is 20 minutes. I don’t think I can’t find 20 minutes.

Next. Work. Lately, I’ve realized that whatever work I do before 6 is what I end my day with (unless I have a place to work out from, Starbucks, office, co-work, or something). The lure of bed is irresistible to me. I see one and I want to lie down. This is the reason I don’t even get into my bedroom at all and spread a mattress each night on the floor of the hall. And then I roll it back each night. Of course, it’s a different matter that the AC in the bedroom doesn’t work at all; the one in the hall at least throws air.

I digressed. The point I was trying to make was, I am literally unable to focus on work post 7 most days. And that’s how it would be till I get Starbucks open for longer hours. Or I get myself a seat at a coworking. The point (finally, I came to the point!) is, I will try to pack in more work during these hours.

That.

I think this is it for the day. Oh, I did meet Prak yesterday after almost 2 years. We can’t wait to start PPP all over again. With renewed vigor and energy and ideas and things. Let’s see where we go. Wish us luck πŸ™‚

Chalo, time for those Surya Namaskars. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 184
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 96
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

300521. Morning Pages

A personal account of how I am feeling (not good). And no, there’s no plan in terms of what I will do to fix it.

7:50. Even though I slept at 1030ish, I woke up groggy. Similar to yesterday. I don’t know what’s wrong. Or may be it’s good to get sleep this deep. I don’t know. But I don’t like this grogginess first thing in the morning.

It makes me unable to think and it’s hard when I login and cant write. Like today, its almost 30 minutes and I am yet to write anything.

Lemme try from the recap of yesterday.

I didn’t do anything, to be honest. I was like a zombie. I indulged in some ice cream (lost self-control :(). I slept through the day. Even took a shower in the evening. Did not walk. Did not write. Did literally nothing πŸ™ No yoga. No writing. No meditation. No call home. Need to think and reflect if I am depressed or something. I am not sure. I am lucky to have a solid mental state most days and times but this is not cool. I am not even working. For people that are paying me. If not my laziness, my moral compass (of delivering work and value to people that pay you) ensures that I deliver. And yet I have been slacking to a point that work is suffering and everyone – my partners and my team – can see that. If there’s one thing that I hate the most in this world – it’s the loss of reputation. Each action of mine is guided by up or down on this reputation. I don’t want to lose it ever. For whatever price!

Anyhow. Moving on from rant. Yesterday evening, I met some friends and then went to play the match of my life. It had to be “pushed” due to “technical” issues. Issues like M’s tablet running out of juice! Till the time we played, I was comfortably leading. But then, in a game of Ludo, things can change real fast. The battle remains unfinished. Will pick it up again sometime next week.

In other news, broke the screen of the phone again. Don’t ask me how. I can no longer afford to get it repaired. I will move to an Android phone I had got for myself when I moved to Goa. Goodbye, all those steps and expenses and all the other things I was tracking. Goodbye, all the messages and links and tabs and notes and photos that I had saved in the last few days. Goodbye, the ability to click ordinary pictures and the use of Snapspeed to edit those. Goodbye, the ability to make phone calls while walking (I don’t have headphones that connect to the 3.5 mm jack). Goodbye, feeling cool about flipping open an iPhone and being able to navigate blind. In fact, the first order of the day is to install shit on the Android phone. All my life I have stayed away from signing into an Android ecosystem with my personal email address (you never know what all they track) but I will now have to. Sigh! I guess I will get used in a few days. But, I shall be back to the Apple ecosystem as soon as I get the next client. Pray for me.

Oh, I finally found a solution to my music thingy. I will only play the 80s and 90s music for the next few days. I am hoping that would be enough for Youtube to reset the recommendation engine and start recommending more variety. The change is, I must say, refreshing. I am listening to this right now. Prior to that, I heard tracks from Taal.

Ok. Dont know what else to write. I am at 9.06. More than an hour since I started writing. And yet I managed like 200 words πŸ™

Guess this is about it for the day. Need to get back in action. Oh, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 168
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 80
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0