The 200th post (not really) since I started writing these morning pages. Nothing special to report though.
6:52 AM. 1st of July.
▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░░ 50% of the year is done. The time’s flying so fast and is changing so many things that we aren’t even noticing! Guess that’s the thing with time. You know that it’s omnipresent, always on the move, and among other things, a great healer. You could either fight it by reminiscing about the time gone by or you could embrace it by rubbing shoulders and continuing to move on.
Wow so much philosophy first thing in the morning. Must include this in my quarterly update.
So, I thought today is the 200th post on Morning Pages. But when I went to check, I realized I have published for 201 days already! So today’s 202nd. I may have missed updating the numbers on one of these days.
Honestly, numbers dont matter. The thing is that the streak is now 200+ days long. I am very very impressed with myself. Never thought I’d be able to write so consistently for so long. Especially when I typically dont have anything specific to write. And come to think of it, it started as a way to get inspiration for #book2. That of course has taken a back seat with all the work. But I am glad that I am on it!
The other good thing to report is that yesterday I managed to avoid coffee even though I was at a Starbucks. And I ate in just a 2-hour slot (I did eat a lot but all of that was in a 2-hour window). Yay!
To get closer to where I want to be in life, I just need to add workouts to my routine. And may be stop going to Starbucks to spend all that money! Wait, lemme finish this fast. I need to reach Starbucks by 8 so that I can get things done – as always a lot on my plate 😀
I dont know what else to write. Will come back to it. Lemme use my electric toothbrush to some use 😀
Ok. I am at a Starbucks now.
I still don’t know what to write, to be honest. I mean I can write about the mile-long list of todo I have. Or I can talk about how I am having a nightmare with Tata Card and their service. I think Indian businesses take customers too lightly. In the last few days, I’ve had trouble with a credit card company, an insurance seller, and the brokerage that I use. All are in the financial services business and it plain sucks that I am taken for a ride like that.
It’s 9:11 and I need to get moving with work. The idea of being at a Starbucks and spend on expensive coffee is to get things done. And that’s what I am going to do after this call.
Quick and yet longish post. Mostly in response to a longish phone call with a friend about morning pages.
6:48 I woke up a minute ago. And I slept at like 3 AM. For some reason, I was not sleepy at all last night. For a large part, I couldn’t figure out why. And then it dawned onto me that I had an iced tea at around 9. And since I have been away from coffee for all these days, maybe this tea played havoc with my schedule? Maybe. Maybe not.
So, morning pages. Quite a few things to write and talk about. Lest I forget, here’s what I want to talk about. Screen Time. COVID. Chat with PM. Book2.
Screen Time. Yesterday I met someone for a walk and while talking about things, I realized that I have been spending an insane amount of time on my computer and my phone. Here’s a screenshot.
And this is down 24% from last week! I have to have to reduce this. A deeper analysis revealed that I am spending a lot of time on Chess, Twitter, and Instagram. I will probably uninstall these. I mean I anyway don’t have time and I definitely don’t want to “invest” that time on these non-value-add things. I mean they do add value. But at this stage, I have other things to work on.
Next up is COVID. The number of new cases in Mumbai is touching 3000. I am alarmed, scared, and confused. I don’t know if this is a second wave or not but now I do know that I will also get it one of these days. There are so many people that I know that got COVID in the last few days. And each of these people has been super super careful. To a point that some weren’t even stepping out. I just hope that I don’t get it. Not because I am worried that something weird would happen to me. But because I meet a million people and I don’t want to be the one spreading. I mean I will definitely be the superspreader!
This one is important. I had a longish chat with PM about various things. We talked about my first ever video on Youtube, Founder Thesis Podcast, Investor Thesis Podcast, Life, Morning Pages, and a lot more. While the others may not be relevant, lemme talk about our chat about morning pages per se. For context, PM is one of the daily readers of my pages. So what he says carries a lot of weight. He said, and I agree with each thing he said, that…
a, the morning pages have started to get boring. Agree.
b, these pages seem to paint a picture of a person that is not happy with his life (he did not use the word unhappy but he implied that). PM, correct me if I am wrong.
c, I need to stop with the streak. It adds no value to the reader.
d, I need to restart work on #book2. 😀
e, I can write things that are a lot more value-adding. For example, I am working on a podcast where I want to chat with investors. PM mentioned that I could write about that and showcase my thinking on that.
Lemme try and address each. No, I don’t mean to give explanations or defend anything but lemme think out loud about each thing he mentioned.
Boring – agree. Even as a writer, I feel that my pages are getting repetitive. A simple explanation is that on a day-to-day basis, very few things change. So I don’t know what to report per se. Assuming that morning pages are supposed to be a journal. I think the original intent with which Julia created the idea of morning pages was to merely exercise your writing muscle and not create something new each day. I am not sure. I will get back to the book and figure it out. The other dimension is that I don’t really write these for anyone to consume. I mean I do post these on a public forum but these are not supposed to, lest you get feedback. That is exactly what’s happening right now. Friends are well-meaning creatures and they want you to do well and they give you feedback (negative or positive) and you shift behavior! That is what morning pages is not supposed to be. So, that.
One of his suggestions was to write more on book2 and less on journal per se. I agree. But the way I can dump my thoughs, I may not be able to write new things. But I will try. Not today. My first meeting is at 8 and then I have back to back things.
Unhappy person. This is important. Till a few years ago, I was the kinds who could find a problem with even Maryada Purushotam, Bhagwan Shree Raam. I mean his character is fairly problematic if you were to look at him objectively. The point is that I would find problems and then crib about those all the time. Most people that would interact with me would be able to see that. I was shrouded in negativity. Not negativity per se but critical. I hope you get the drift.
Once I realised that I was cribbing, ranting all the time, I worked very hard to change my personality. I became a people pleaser, I stopped voicing my opinions that could be critical, I avoided confrontations, I ceded control, I stopped questioning things that were wrong, I got aware of what I put out on public platforms. And eventually with time, started getting lot more equanimous with things. If someone did something that I did not approve of, rather than passing my opinion, I would zoom out and try to look at things from that person’s perspective. And that in itself would solve half the things. I think I have become a lot better and I want to remain that.
So there is no way I want the morning pages to postulate that I am a negative person that only rants and cribs and is struggling with things. I could write a lot more about things that I could consider happy but I think writing allows me to think better and I often need to think about things that I need to change. And these are often the things that are broken. And may be this is why the pages come across as unhappy rants. I will see if I want to change the tone or fix. Let’s see.
Next. Streaks. Well, here it is. Totally ignoring PM’s opinion.
Morning Pages – 97
#aPicADay – 78
10K steps a day – 2. I actually did 19K steps!
OMAD – 1. Yay! In fact, the last meal was around 11 PM on 17th! If I can manage today, I would have done a 48-hour fast!
#noCoffee – 9
#noCoke – 9
10 mins of meditation – 0
#book2 – 0
Thing is, if I publish things on a public medium, I feel a tad more compelled to stick to it.
#book2. I don’t know when I’d be able to start on this. But I do know and do realize that I need to get started. I have realized that I crave for nothing but respect (not fame; respect) and I can not command respect. I need to earn it. And you earn it by the virtue of your actions. And your output. And not just thoughts. The world values outputs. Not ideas. So I need to move my ass.
Value-Adding Things. I agree on this one. I can ensure that each post adds value to the reader. But then, do I need to worry about the reader with the morning pages? I am not sure. This is my space and these are my reflections and ideas and thoughts. Like I said, the reason I make these public is because I like the idea of public accountability. I do want to write things that move the mountains. But I think that’s not what the morning pages is for.
So yeah. That’s it for the day. See you tomorrow.
Over and out.
@PM, do read and lemme know what you think. I think I am better when it comes to communicating with the written word and please please please don’t hold feedback and inputs. I value each piece of input that you’ve shared with me.
Just another update from just another day in the string of days that seem to blend into one another. Wow, what a line!
Starbucks! Yay! This thing about being able to walk into a place that’s ready to help you get to work (AC, Internet, Coffee, Chair, Table, etc) is one of the most underrated things in life. Thanks to this “predictability”, yesterday I shuttled between three different outlets and I spent close to 2000 bucks. No, I did not pay for coffee per se – it was more for ambiance, AC, cleanliness, politeness, friendly nods, and more! Businesses in Goa need to understand this tweak how they work.
So I have a lot on my plate today. While most people tend to chill on the weekend, my weekends are more packed. Simple reason. I try to do things that I haven’t had the time to work on during the week. And most people that need me to get back to them do not work. And thus I have a super relaxed time when I can do things that I want to, at my pace, in the way I like to.
No this is not a rant. I am sorry if it comes acorss like that.
Moving on. The morning pages journal for the day. Lemme address this conundrum between pages and journal. When I started, it was supposed to be a tool to help me with my creativity. But when I started writing, this became a journal where I would rant and write about things that happened in the day that went by and the things that I have planned for the day ahead. So, the “creative” journal has reduced to a daily journal. I feel that I need to break out of this habit of journaling but then I don’t want to. I mean I started this more than two months ago. Proud to say that I have not missed a single day. There were days when I was busy – those days I wrote less. But I did. Along the way, learned discovered quite a few things about myself. I think this is one of the best habits I have acquired in the recent past. I just need to nudge this to create better things. If you are reading this and want to pick a hobby that makes you better, morning pages.
Anyhow. Onto the pages.
Like I said, I have a lot on my plate today. And a lot more on my mind. Lemme try and pour it all here. Like always, in no specific order.
I am shifting to a calendar-based system for managing time. And funnily I was supposed to write these from 8 to 9. And one of those people that I really care for called and she wanted to chat about life and work and the calendar went for a toss. Sigh. But then the idea of a calendar is to be able to do more and enable more people like here. So, if I cant shift my calendar to give as much time to my people, no point. Oh, and she told me that apart from her vitals, everything (including lunch is on her Google Calendar). Guess this is a sign!
Met M&m yesterday. Kids are probably the most amazing creation of the universe. Though I maintain that I hate em, I like these two. Each time I meet them, I am inspired to do more. To be able to give them a better life. No, I can’t do better than what is already being done for them but still.
I had a call with a random person about some work. Think of it as a pitch per se. We were to figure out if we could work together. When I spoke to him, I found that the guy had done enough research on me to know that I am from Hissar and I like Nagraaj and Super Commando Dhruv! I am not sure I have ever written that! The dude was that good with his research. Damn living in public!
The other thing that I did yesterday was to move data from cloud on the new M1. The offline copies would help me cope the Goa Internet. Oh, the piece I wrote about Goa? I am so so grateful that I did. It is making me meet so many new people and making me learn so many things and sparking so many ideas that I am tempted to write more. The only trouble is that for someone like me, writing takes far far longer than what it takes for other people. So that!
I think this is it for the day. When I started writing, I had thought I would write a lot more but I guess not. May be tomorrow.
And no, no #book2 today either. There’s work to be done 🙁
I talk about where to take these morning pages next. And I post a few ideas that I have been toying with as I live in Goa.
I woke up late. Even though I slept early. And not that I worked or thought hard last night. Just that I walked some 22K odd steps. Did that after a while, in Mumbai during the partial unblock, I would routinely do 20K. But since a month before Diwali, I hadnt been doing it. If I can do it for a week or so and get into the habit, that would be nice.
So yesterday I was podering who to make morning pages better. I think I have an answer. Here it is.
Krishna says that I need to stop thinking about the past and future and talk only about ideas. I don’t agree. It has to be a mix of all. But yes, I need to lean on ideas more.
Atul tells me that he would not want to see them on the broadcast. I understand it could be spammy. He recommends that I put it out as a status update and whoever wants to click can click.
I will make another broadcast list of people that I think like me and I will send these updates to them. This is similar to that bade log list where I email once in a while and update about how I am doing. I have learned that if you keep people posted, they know how to react and how to extend help.
So that. If you have any other inputs, am a tweet away.
Now, coming to ideas that I’ve been toying with lately.
Here’s one. I have been tripping onto Dil Haare even now. On loop. So much so that it has become the track that I am listening to non-stop while working, while writing, while walking, while putting myself to sleep. I am thinking, I will make a fan video of the track. The artist may or may not like it but I really would like to tell a story with Dil Haare as the background. I’ve already put things in motion as of yesterday. Let’s see where it comes.
Here’s another. I’ve been taking tons of pictures with the phone and I think I am doing a decent job at em. For a change, I am ok to take credit for things :D. So, I am thinking, I will start to focus a little more on photography and see if I can learn more about it and get a bit better at it? May be.
Here are a couple of pics for you to look at. Lemme know what you think of these. Can I make a career in this?
Third idea. Get a bungalow or something here in Goa and convert that into a cultural space where doers hang out and do their things. I am not sure where to get the money for this one, but could be interesting to look at. It would allow me to hang out with the creative kinds, the kinds that I get my energy and ideas from!
Idea 4. On similar lines as the third one, open a co-working space in Goa. This again is with the intention of meeting interesting people. I use Clay once in a while here and it’s fabulous! If I was any closer to Anjuna, I would probably literally live there!
The trouble with all these ideas is that these are what I call, lifestyle ideas. These are good when you have one large income stream coming in and you want to augment that with little trickles. Or you want to give back to society. These are not really sustainable ideas on a standalone basis. Neither do these have any potential to scale. Am yet to accept that I can not create a unicorn and reach a billion people. May be when I do accept my inability to create a world-class impact, I would open up a cafe. But today, no!
What else to talk about? I feel like I want to write more and say more but the words are escaping me. Not words. The ideas, thoughts are escaping me. I dont know what to write.
Maybe I will come back during the day? May be not. It defeats the purpose of morning pages.