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! 

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 spotted 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

230521 – Ennui and my attempt at fending it off!

A quick post on my attempts to fend off the boredom that has set in. And an attempt to find some sanity.

8:13 AM
Woke up a while ago. The alarm first rang at 5. I was supposed to record a podcast at 830 but canceled it last night. There’s so much pain around me that I was in no position to make a coherent conversation. It’s really affecting my work and all 🙁

In fact, the last night I was on the bed for hours and couldn’t find sleep. I was so fried that even playing a game of chess was a pain. I just couldn’t even surf Youtube or any other website. I think ennui is back.

Actually, come to think of it, it’s not ennui per se. I think it was the mental fatigue that you feel after you spend a hard day at work. While it was not a hard day per se, I did do a few things. In fact, during the day yesterday, I had a breakthrough of sorts. Since I was sleeping all the time while I was home house, I decided I will go to a friend’s place.

And I did.

I went to a friend’s place to work. While the table there was cramped and the chair was uncomfortable, I managed to spend enough and more time on a computer. To a point that I even put the writing page live! Of course, I need to add a lot more to this page. But I made the start.

Plus I was not sleepy. I did not sleep. I did not feel drowsy. Maybe it was the venti Americano that I had. And all this despite the place not being to my liking. He did not have an AC in the hall and I was sweating like a pig with all the garmi. But I managed to stay alert till about 6 and I spoke to new people. I was as much in the zone as I would be on a regular working day. I plan to go to his place today as well. Let’s see how today goes. I have to finish three large presentations today. If I can manage these, It would be awesome and I would know that things that

In other news, yesterday, I attended the pitching session of DocEdge. It was awe-inspiring, spell-binding, and eye-opening to say the least. Filmmakers from across the world presented the projects they are working on, on subjects that ranged from personal stories to communities to even national boundaries. I realized that I am living in a cocoon and the cinema I want to stand for is probably in the non-fiction space. I mean I do want to entertain the world and all that but I really want to inspire the world as well and what better way to do that than cinema?

Oh, and in attendance was a filmmaker that has won a Palme d’Or. Adding that to my #lifeGoals!

So that.

Like I said, I have three decks to write today. And attend DocEdge sessions. And think of how I can make a dent in the world. I plan to go over to the friend’s place again today and see how I perform.

So yeah. That’s about it for the day. Over and out. And here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 161
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0 (had coffee yesterday. Will have more today as well)
  • #noCoke – 73
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (did 12 rounds)

Day 6. 161220

On day 6 of my daily morning pages, I write about how poker could be a career for me. And how it may not be! And ofcourse I rant a bit!

16th December. More than half of December is gone. Also, 10 days since I’ve moved to Goa. Probably the longest I have been away from Delhi or Mumbai without any work / agenda. I do have a sense of how this is going (not good, to save you suspense) and I do know how to fix this (get a better Internet connection, fix a schedule, a public space that has 24×7 access, etc) and I will if I know that this is where my base is going to be. PS: I miss this 24X7 bit more than I miss anything else in the world, btw.

But as I write this, at 6:23 AM in the morning and funnily, work and base are not the first things on my mind. I am increasingly thinking about ideas and I am itching to start executing one. I wish I was paid to think of ideas.

I think it’s an outcome of people finding out that am in Goa and then assuming that I am working on my next book (which is based in Goa) and asking me the same question. In fact, at least three people asked me about the book just yesterday (Daku, Kamat, and Aka). High time I get going. If only I can find the time. I think I will have to make time (and not find the time), if I need to get the book out.

Like I said, I don’t have thoughts about any one particular project but about something. Something that I can do and kickstart. It’s been a few months since I did something new. I guess this is what happens when you get bored and the ennui induced by the day to day living makes you restless.

So yeah. That. Apart from this, I don’t know what to write. The heads got a million thoughts but I don’t know what to write. I want to quit this post here but JC says you need to write three pages (or 30 minutes in my world), I will write till it’s 7 AM.

Let’s see what’s been clouding my head. I have to deliver a few presentations today. Each will take me 2-3 hours to deliver. So that. I need to finish editing a book. That will take a few more hours. I may get to play poker in the evening. Not sure though. Poker needs at least 5 players and it’s often tough to find people that like that game like I do, even though I am lousy at it.

In fact, poker could be a thing that I can talk about. Poker is probably as perfect a game as they have invented. There is luck, there is skill. Even with lousy cards, with some skill (bluffing, reading people et al), you can do well. I think Poker could be my sustainable vocation. Just that the learning curve is steep and I need to put in some 10000 hours (or play a million hands) to build a mental repository. It is much like chess. You build a repository and you can play from experience. The difference is that chess is more or less a finite game where each move can eventually lead to a certain conclusion (and thus computers have beaten humans), poker is not.

Poker requires patience. It requires a bankroll (that you can build up with time. Random trivia – I have a record of more or less every poker game I have played since 2012 and numbers tell me that I not a good player).

Poker is excitement. The adrenaline that you get after you win a tough hand? Wow. The validation of getting out of a tough spot? That. The feeling of achievement after you have won? Yes! Tangible results? Of course!

It has everything that I want.

Sense of achievement. After all the results are tangible. With books, films, they are not. You are left guessing about what you’ve written.

Ability to travel the world (COVID-19 withstanding). There are probably as many casinos as there are rich, touristy destinations.

Opportunity to meet interesting people (most poker players have interesting lives, the kinds that make interesting stories).

Better with age. Rather than sports like Tennis and Chess, you get better with time (till a point, of course).

There are a few things missing as well. Here’s a list.

No impact. Even if I become a Kid Poker, I wouldn’t be able to make an impact. May be I will if I go the Chamath or Jason way.

No scale. It’s a solitary game. How do I create a community? How do I do things at scale?

No physical effort. Apart from being able to sit at the chair for long.

I am sure there are more things that I can write on both how poker has everything I want and what is missing. But the point is, it sounds like a thing that I could easily do for a living! Just that I need to make a commitment and then not move from it for 3 years.

Wish I had the means to do so! Damn them means. Have chased means all my life and I am losing the race and I can see that. And I can’t find a way out. If not for friends and family, I wouldn’t know what to do. This Goa trip has been made possible only because Rajesh was kind to give me his house. Nupura was kind to chaperone me. My parents were kind to not frown on my decision to stay away. My sis was kind to fund the last few months (and probably a few more). If not for all this kindness, I wouldn’t know where I’d be.

So yeah. That.

Oh, the thing for the day? Rather than lamenting about lack of means, I am grateful for the abundance of this kindness. Lol, I sound like a Buddhist monk but heck yeah! That’s how it is! That’s that! I am grateful that I can make my fingers dance on this keyboard and express myself. To the void. Or to the world at large. Or may be, to myself!

With this, over and out!

May you live in interesting times!

A rant on how “interesting” the 5th day of ’30 minutes of writing for 30 days’ project was. Read at peril.

This is the 5th day of this new project where I try and write every day for 30 minutes. As I start writing this, it is 11:17 PM (ended at 11:54 – well over 30) and I don’t have a lot of time (have some work) and thus I may not get 30 minutes under the belt. Plus, what I have to say is anyway not going to take much. So let’s see.

Today was an “interesting” day. For a lot of reasons. Lemme see if I can describe the reasons for interestingness in an interesting manner so as to do justice to the grandeur of this day.

A. The Helping Hand

For starters, three different people asked me to help them today.

One wanted help on writing, second on managing time, and third on reaching his life purpose. I know these three people from three different circles (one from MDI, second from Twitter, and third from work). Each lives in a different city.

And yet each of these people thought that I could help them with their respective predicaments.

While I am not sure I can help them, but I am glad to know that people have started to recognize me as someone they could reach out to when they need help. This is definitely a step in the direction of my #lifeGoal! So, yay!

B. The Good and The Bad and The Resolve

I have recently picked a few gigs where I am giving away fixed hours in exchange for money (counter-intuitive to every advice that I have ever held dear about how to get rich). And even though its not even been a month, I can clearly see why its a bad idea. And why its a good idea. Lemme elaborate.

Bad

I believe life is far larger and far meaningful than wasting time by doing things that don’t matter (to you!). Such as, wasting an entire day at an office, only to pick a laptop! And spending your night, working on a presentation that did not require any urgency per se.

Good

I had to pick these gigs cos the work that gave me the money to live a fairly good life? That has dried up (thank you, COVID. And thank you, SG for some really stupid decisions). And if I did not have these “stable” businesses wanting to hire explorers like me, we’d die hungry.

And I also appreciate that there may be people that like the idea of “stable” work that sucks their soul, in exchange for money that allows them to experience grand things in life on the weekends. Even though it is not for me, it’s not a bad tradeoff if you ask me.

So yeah, bad and good.

The resolve?

Well, I promise that I will get back to a point where I work for anyone but myself. The way things are, I don’t think that will happen before a year and each day in the year would be, well, interesting. I’d ideally love to run away from it as fast as a rat runs away from a ship that has hit an iceberg!

But I promise to myself that I would stay for at least a year (if not more). And I will use each “interesting” day to make my resolve stronger. And my hustler, harder. All in hopes that I don’t ever have to see these interesting times again.

C. The Notches

I wore denims and a formal shirt and sports shoes. My typical work attire. Or any formal occasion attire for that matter. And while I did that, I also wore a belt and I realised that I have put on so much weight that I need to add a notch on the belt.

While I should be gunning for removing notches from the belt, here I am, growing (quite literally) in the other direction. When this lockdown thingy started, I had resolved (where did I hear this word recently?) to lose weight, learn guitar, finish #book2 and I dont know what else. Of all the goals, I was fairly confident of losing weight. After all, I am not a foodie. Wait, lemme munch onto this Egg Roll that I just ordered. So, yeah, I am not a foodie and I could have lost weight but I put on weight! And I need to do something about it.

That’s it. That’s the third part. Nothing more. Nothing less. A reminder to self that I need to lose weight.

***

So yeah. This is for the post of the day. A ranty one. But at least I shipped. After all, real artists ship! Even on interesting days.

PS: If someone wishes you that “may you live in interesting times“, you now know what to do. Don’t you?

This is part of the ’30 posts in 30 days’ project. This was Day 5. Other posts are at 301031100111, 0211