190621 – Morning Pages

Quick short note on what’s at the top of my mind while I am trying to stay away from work.

7:26. So, I woke up 5 minutes ago. Off a new bed. In a new place (Panchgani).

I am on a break of sorts for the next two days. The idea is to not use the computer or the phone as much as I would typically do on a regular day. I had thought I will think about things that are important to me and I can’t think of thinking while I am busy with regular humdrum.

But then I dont think that will happen here. For a simple reason that I am not prepared. I was to, yesterday. But work. So, these two days are “wasted” from that perspective. But then a break is gonna happen nonetheless. So that’s a great outcome.

Anyhow, yesterday, I did an NFG session for an audience that had paid to listen to me talk. For me, this was my first such session. Where I was paid to be a speaker on a specific subject.

However, thing is, all my life I have stayed away from charging for sharing my knowledge. I’ve never written about it. But let me try and talk about it today.

A. I have had this fear that if I charge people money and they dont enjoy what I had to say, would they not feel cheated? I mean I feel cheated when I pay for something and then I dont derive desired value from it. I dont want people that pay on the other side like that.

This is the same reason why I wrote this page on tnks. I did not want people to feel sad about buying my book and then not enjoying it.

B. I am very wary of coming across as one of those slick salesmen that are merely interested in selling things. The genuineness is fake. The conversations are to drive you toward a purchase. The agenda is to sell something. There is so much manipulation in each conversation that you know that your best interest is far away from their heads.

And I am by design not a person that wants to manipulate others. I like the idea of free will. I love the idea of people taking rational decisions (and not merely rationalising the ones they’ve taken). While I love brands and business and money, I am also an anti-consumerism-ist. I like the idea of less being more. I know that most selling is probably not needed. This is also a reason why I probably suck at sales as a discipline.

I know, I know. I need to believe that what I am selling is of value. And the decision getting taken on the other side (by the one you’re selling to) is being made without any coercion per se. I know that if I don’t sell, I will die hungry. It’s the same story as an antelope trying to outrun the slowest of the pack to survive that day.

So that.

Oh, this also reminds me of what one of my ex-bosses once told me. That I dont like the idea of having money. Every time I get some money, I start wailing in the misery of having money. I start pining for the days when I did not have the money. I get restless with the idea of money in my bank and I start spending it like a mad man. While I want to be rich and all that, this is probably the reason that I am still not wealthy. You know, the handicap with the art of selling and the discomfort with money in the bank.

Ok, now that I know what’s wrong, maybe I’ll work on it over?
Let’s see when. Adding to #sgToDo.

Chalo, enough.
Time to pack the laptop back in the bag. Will get back to it tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I am back to Ankur Tewari’s Dil Haare.

And here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 188
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 100. Yay!
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

301220 – Morning Pages

Rant about how the world is being unfair to me. And how I would publish on a ‘Work With Me’ manifesto. You can ignore if you want to.

7:49 AM.

I was up at 530. And then I dozed off again. And then I woke up at again at 6. And then dozed off at 630. And then woke at 730 again. And just when I was about to sleep again, I decided that I need to get my butt moving. Took me two hours but here I am.

The year is coming to a close in a day and I am still to do my 2021 lists. Maybe I will spend the rest of the day with those. Let’s see.

So, I met with a friend from MDI yesterday (GK). This was the first time I was meeting with him, after MDI. And a lot has changed since then. It was tough to hold a conversation with him for the time I spent with him but it was compassionable and it felt easy. Guess that’s what cults do to you. Reinforces my belief that education at pedigreed schools and colleges is imperative.

I told him what all have I been up to lately. Asked him about his trip. Realised that he’s been spending time with dance. Told him that I want to pick up dancing as it will help my social skills. Our chats ranged from Jordon Peterson to Future of Humanity to Startups to Careers to MDI to common friends, food, and a lot more. I even narrated the outline of book2 and he seems to have liked it!

He talked about his belief that you could only be exceptional at 2-3 things in life and for multipotentialites like me, the real pain is to quit doing all the other thousand things that you know you are good at! May be that is the pain that I need to go thru to become great?

Oh, while parting, he sent me this…

Greatest lesson ever!

The other thing at the top of my head is that for some reason, the game (the world) and the players (aka people) in the game are not being kind to me. More so, I feel they are out there to take undue advantage. I have many examples but let me talk of two that are affecting me so much that I am, well, fucked in the head.

A, am trying to make a short film to learn the craft. And to of course pay a tribute to the track that I have come to love so much (Ankur Tewari’s Dil Haare). No, AT has not commissioned. He doesn’t even know this. I. am merely going. touse the track as backing audio. I don’t plan to release it except put it on youtube.

So, now, I have a limited understanding of the camera and I have been trying to meet people to seek help on it. And everyone that I talk to seems to be asking for a ridiculous amount of money. Even though I sound like an n00b when it comes to films, I am a co-producer with 2 short films now and I think I know what it takes / costs. And yet I am being taken for a ride. And the worst is that I can see that they are taking me for a ride. And I am telling them that I can see what they are doing and yet they are insistent! Funny No?

I am not expecting them to work for free. I am not taking away credit from them. All I am expecting is that they are reasonable. And yet they are not being.

B, The other is at the podcast thing. Without getting into specifics, people that I thought were nice and reasonable and easy to work with are acting funny. And I don’t like it. And I made it clear in as many words that I did not like it. And yet I am being disrespected. I mean all I have earned in life is a bit of respect (that too went down the drain when I had to take on debt to pay bills) and if something questions that, I don’t know what to do.

I was angry af but then I saw Pale Blue Dot and Steve’s video and I was ok.

But I would make some changes in the way I work. I’ll come to it in a bit but before that, I think the world needs to learn humility and kindness and niceness. The world needs to learn that they are not in a one-time, winner-takes-all game. Life is long and you are known by the reputation that you build. What matters is what people talk about you when you are not in the room!

Anyhow. So the changes.

Here is a list.

  1. Paperwork. I was one of those that would trust a handshake when I went into a business or work transactions. Now, I will ensure that everything I do will have a paper trail with everything in black and while. I need to spend time with contracts, terms, entry clauses, exit clauses, etc. I don’t like the idea of doing this and I thought I could change the way I worked. But no longer.
  2. Work With Me’ Manifesto. Because I like working with multiple people on multiple projects, I need to write a ‘Work With Me’ Manifesto that I would mandate everyone to read and understand and internalize. I would add parts about trust, kindness, respect, long-term thinking, etc in that. Will even make it public and publish it on the blog for everyone to read and comment and make it watertight. Each new project that I get onto, the first email that I exchange, would have this. Update (as on 14 Aug 2021) – the manifesto is here. Still WIP though.
  3. Live in Public. I have been talking about it last few days. I need to accelerate it. You think blockchain will solve all the trust deficit that we have? Nah. Living in Public will. Each time I get into a contract with someone, even though it may sound premature, I would make it public and post on the blog and on Twitter (the two places that I trust more than God).

That’s about it I guess for the time being.

While writing, I realised. I am still not cool btw 🙁

Moving on.

Had an interesting epiphany yesterday while I was waiting for GK to arrive. I realized that since I started writing these morning pages, I have not been writing at all. Plus these morning pages are like journals where I merely talk to myself. I am not creating content that I normally would. the ones where I want others to read, consume, think, bring about a change in their lives, give me feedback on, etc. Need to change that in 2021. Maybe bring back SoG?

Talking of change, the other thing that I would change in 2021 is that I would work very hard on creating a brand for myself.

This is something that I think about every year but hardly work on – I am way too introverted and shy to do this. Plus I think what is that I have achieved to be able to tom-tom myself? Isn’t the world already full of too many cluster-fucks, self-congratulatory messages, neverending stories of pathos, societies of mutual admiration, and more?

Why do I want to add to that noise?

I don’t know yet but what I do know is that I need to be out there if I want opportunities to come to me. And more importantly to people that I know of. And I need a brand for that. And that brand needs to stand atop one thing that encapsulates it all. May be marketing. May be side projects. May be Goa. I don’t know.

But brand SG has to get elevated in 2021.

And finally, before I end this, Sonali’s digital art is now online here! Yay! Please head over there and see if you like it and if you do, please consider spreading the word, and still better, buying!

With this, over and out!