260621 – Morning Pages

A very lengthy super-rant on all things Saurabh – work, personal, thoughts, health and everything else that makes me.

8:51. Woke up a few minutes ago.

The feeling of listlessness continues. While I am not stressed about any one thing in particular but I am discontent. I am uninspired. I am like a vegetable. I am slacking at work. I am pushing things around unnecessarily. I am wasting a lot of time on Fauda. Thank God I finished all three seasons, some 36 hours of it, yesterday. Here’s a promise to self about not see anything unless something comes highly recommended. Wait. May be that’s not the right metric. May be the right way would be to see just one thing a month. You know system vs goals. So that I can choose only select things.

I digressed. Netflix is not important. I don’t think I am addicted to it. The problem is, I am uninspired and I lack the spring in the step. There’s no, as they say, joie de vivre! You know what I am saying? My shoulders are slouched. I am being lazy where I should not be. I mean I am not even replacing the water container in the kitchen! I order 1-litre bottles. Expensive. Plastic. But then, very convenient. Damn!

And no, it’s not ok to feel like this. While I don’t chase hedonistic pleasures all the time but there’s a reason why I am here. There is things that I need to do to fulfill promises I’ve made to people. Heck, promises that I’ve made to myself. I still remember I’d once said that I would buy Mannat. No, I dont talk about these things frivolously. The idea is to aim very very high. There’s a higher purpose I chase. And so, it’s not ok to slack.

I need to snap out of it. Find a way out. Find an answer. Lemme try on this post.

So, most things that happen, there’s a cause for those somewhere deep down. You know, cause and effect? This listlessness, thus, has to be a direct outcome of one (or many) of my actions. Lemme try and list things that could be the cause. And then change those (once I spot those).

May be it’s all the crappy food I’ve been eating last 10 days?
Maybe it’s fucking with my gut and with my brain and making me restless?

Maybe it’s all the coffee am gulping that’s keeping me up at night.
Coupled with bad food that has upset my system, maybe coffee is acting as a larger catalyst.

I could have said it’s the lack of action on the work front.
I can’t complain there. There is enough and more interesting work that I can engage in. There is of course boring, mundane, dreary things that I need to work on. There are bad colleagues. There is imperfect information. There is a lot that I can complain about. But there is LOT more that I can be grateful for on the work front. There is so many new things to do. Most things I am working on are new to me and like a child in a candy store, I must feel excited about those. But I am not!

May be I am overwhelmed by all that I am working on?
At any given point in time, I have a thousand tasks open on my Asana. Maybe I am so scared and overwhelmed with the monsterity of that list? I mean imagine if you were one of those 300 at Sparta and you saw a sea of more than a lakh well-trained, heavily-armed, dying-to-kill-you soldiers. You would probably lose the battle even before it starts! May be that’s causing me hurt?

I may say that I am excited and I do well when I have so many things to do. But may be, deep down, I am scared and I dont want to do any of those?

I dont know. Looks like a plausible thing. Will come back to this.

It’s definitely not the money.
While I am still in debt and the money situation is far from being ideal, I am ok on that front. I have a fairly generous credit line in Sonali, my father, NG, RD and more.

Could be it sleep?
I mean it’s no secret that I don’t sleep well. Combination of shitty AC + distractions + restlessness + monkey mind. Of course I know the importance of sleep. I know a good night’s sleep is probably the biggest contributor towards well being. And I get very little of it.

Could it be time I spend on social media?
I feel compelled to create an audience so that I can become independent. I am thus forced to spend a lot of time on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And maybe the fancy lives of people is filling me with envy and making me sad?

Or do I need to get active physically?
You know, yoga, running and all that? I had actually started to enjoy Surya Namaskars. But I hated the time it takes to recover after I was done. Plus I hate to waste my morning on anything but work. May be I need to get more protective about my evening time as well? The way I protect my mornings?

Is it relationships?
I am probably at the lowest point when it comes to this. I’ve been away from my parents since Diwali. In terms of friends, most of those have reduced to mere transactions (both work-wise and other societal obligations). There’s no love life – active or passive. I continue to avoid places with a lot of people. Making new friends / romantic interests is an investment that I am unwilling to make. I mean I am willing to but I dont know how to.

Could it be my posture?
I just realised that I am slouched forward as I type this. Nah. At Starbucks, I alternate between sitting and standing.

Spirituality? Meditation? Higher purpose?
I haven’t meditated in ages now. I can look at streaks and come back and tell you guys when I last meditated. Or I can open Headspace. Wait. That’s not the point. No one cares about the date. All I care for is that I haven’t been.

Or do I need to work harder on my tiny acts that become a tsunami of gigantic proportions with time? I mean, rather than trying to find one large reason for this snafu in life, could be it that I need to make tiny adjustments and create systems that impact all of the above? For example…

  1. Rather than ordering in each meal, three times a day, I find a place that gives me home-cooked meals (and I go back to OMAD).
  2. I could stop having coffee altogether. If I have to go to Starbucks, I start having green tea. I know it would waste money with flavored water, but it’s ok.
  3. Each time I have the urge to check social media, maybe I do two pushups? Lemme do two right now. Done! Three. Arms are gone.
  4. I start taking the stairs as much as I can.
  5. I block time after 6 PM for walks. Even if I have to take calls, I ensure that I am walking around. To hell with the world. I can give them time from 10 to 6 and that’s enough.
  6. Rather than blocking 10 minutes for meditation, I start with 3 minutes sets?
  7. I switch off my phone at 10:30 PM each night. One of my friends used to do it. I hated her for that but she would and she would sleep well (I am guessing). I need to do the same.
  8. I start adjusting for not having people around and fix the dependence on others for validation, attention, conversation etc.

You get the drift.

I am not sure if I will do all or even any of these. But the deal is, there is radical change needed if I have to live till 120 and climb the Mt. Everest and all that. And it starts today.

I have this dying urge to order in some food. But I shall not. I will go to a friend’s place and get his cook to make something for me. I will start with OMAD today. Let’s see.

So that.

Kaafi heavy!
Kaafi dil se!

Anyhow. In other news, I am seeing videos by Dandapani. He’s one of those rare spiritual / motivational gurus that I seem to relate to. I saw this before I launched into the above “discourse”.

No, the video did not open any third-eye per se but I will try and practice what he’s saying. That I need to do one thing at a time.

Guess that’s about it for today. Lot to think about. Lot to ponder over. Over and out.

Oh, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 195
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 107
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

250621 – Morning Pages

I talk about sleep, luck, writing and electric toothbrush 😀

5:56 AM. Woke up a few minutes ago.
I am surprised that I even get these 4 hours of sleep. I am having too much coffee. I even had a Red Bull while I was recording a podcast!

Sleep = rekt!

So this sleep thing has been on my mind a lot lately! And it’s uncanny that someone I know via Twitter gifted me this book, without me asking for it.

If this is not a sign, I don’t know what is!

Actually lemme decode it.
How the gift happened.
And decode how we “spot” signs when they don’t really exist.

So I know that I’ve not been sleeping well. To a point that my work is getting affected. It’s a loop – get work done -> goto Starbucks -> compelled to order something -> unable to finish work -> stay up late -> get coffee -> can’t focus -> delay. Plus it’s too hot and the AC that I have makes so much noise that it could very well drown out the sound made by a drilling machine trying to poke through a rock!

In one word, my sleep is rekt!

Sleep thus is on my mind. A lot.

This is when VK put up a display picture on his WA about a piece that he’s read from the book. It talks about how caffeine is the second most traded thing in the world (after water or oil, I am not sure now). I was sipping onto coffee at that point and being the know-it-all jerk I am, I said, it’s not caffeine per se, but it’s tea. I was ready to go to war with that “knowledge”.

VK remained patient and told me to not get into semantics and get the drift of the argument. Which I did. But had to be told by him. After that, we got talking about the book. I asked for the name and while he did tell me, he said that he wants to send me a copy. He even said it’s probably the best book he’s ever read!

I, of course, said no.
He insisted.
And here we are.
The book in my mailbox.

Now, I have to read it and make changes.
And hopefully sleep better.

So that. It’s not a sign per se. I created circumstances that made me create these signs! I think we can do the same with life. Whatever you wish to get, acquire, own et al, you can create opportunities and signs for those to come true. You can, in one line, create luck!

Luck = Real

Ok.
Moving on.
And yet, staying on the course, the podcast that I recorded was with a VC and apart from other things we talked about, we spoke at length about luck. And how to create it. If I were to summarise what he said, he said that movement creates luck. Do things. Never pause. Act. And over time, get better at spotting how to create movement. You must listen to the podcast (it’s at least a month away from release). Sign up here and I would send you an email when it comes out.

This is such common wisdom and yet people miss it. This is similar to my theory of movement. And of throwing darts. In fact, one of the things that I would teach people, if I could, would be to be more open, take more chances and do more things. While the focus is great, the times we live in demand we are generalists and more rounded!

Focus -> Writing

Ok. The next thing I want to talk write think about out loud is, writing. Again, something that’s super close to my heart.

So, over the last few days, I have had multiple conversations with multiple groups of people about writing. There are many lessons and ideas and thoughts. But one thing is clear.

I need to take my writing more seriously.

I mean I was always serious about my writing. I’ve been writing this series of posts for almost 200 days now! I probably write publish more than 1000 words each day. In the last six months, I would have published 200,000 words on just this blog.

The problem (not really a problem per se, but a limiting factor) is that I write for myself. I don’t care if people read what I write. Writing makes me think better, center myself, get my thoughts in place, and all that. And thus I write.

I just need to make the pivot to writing for others.
And build an audience.
And let that audience work to create opportunities for me.
You know, get lucky!

Thing is, the life I’ve chosen for myself and where I am headed, I will have to connect with people at scale. And that means the ability to write well will come in handy. No, not just handy. It would become imperative. And will be the most important thing I’d do.

So, I need to now start thinking about what others like and how do I tweak what I write to ensure that others read. For starters, I dont think anyone is interested in these daily rants. I may not stop these posts but I need to find an avenue to write things that others would like to consume.

The biggest problem with that is that not everyone reads everything. So I will have to choose some niches that are wide enough to attract interest. For example, can I write about marketing for non-marketers? I am sure there is an audience for that. Can I write about insights from India? I am sure there is an audience for that. Can I write about how to get an unfair advantage in life? I am sure there is an audience for that!

You get the drift. I need to find a niche. SoG was a series to write for others. But then it saw very limited success. I could not grow an audience beyond friends and family. Even those people did not read what I wrote. Maybe I will restart those? And this time, write with a perspective of getting more people to read? And build a community?

Let’s see.

I think this is about it for the day.
Regular things from life continue to haunt me – too many things open at work, slacking at work, not eating well, etc.

The electric toothbrush experiment is going nice. I am getting used to it. Not sure if it cleans my mouth as well as manual scrubbing does. But it’s a new thing and thus keeps me interested. Time to go do that.

Meanwhile, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 194
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 106
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

130621 – Morning Pages

A short post that was such a struggle to write that I almost did not publish.

8:13. Woke up some 10 minutes ago. I am a little less groggy today compared to other days. The only thing I changed is that I went for an hour-long walk last night, I ate less and I kept the phone out of my arms reach when I decided to sleep. I will try to repeat these three and see where I land.

So, after the snafu yesterday, I am little more informed and thus I am firmly seated on a plastic chair and a wooden desk as I write this. I will probably go for a walk after I have sent this out and replied to a few emails.

The list of things I made that I had to work on, I made some start with some of those things. I’d say I was ok with the progress made. I could’ve done more but considering I was at the house, I think I did ok. Trying not to be harsh on myself. I need to close those today.

Creating connections and raising capital for Long Haul remains a challenge. I know it’s a long road and I need to tread on it a step at a time. It is tough. But it is also helping me do more than what I’ve done so far. So that’s cool. Just that it sucks that I dont have a runaway success to prove my mettle.

Also, made me realize, if, despite all that I have done, I am finding it tough to make connections, what about young ones that don’t have even what I have? They must feel the pinch so bad that they probably would want to give up!

So that.

Coming to the things that I have in store for today.

Wait. Lemme talk about a new culinary delight I have discovered. I have taken in a liking for egg soup. In fact, I think I will like all clear soups – you know, wonton and all those. No, I am not qualified to talk about food but I am hooked to egg soup. I’ve had it some 10 times in the last one week. One day I had it for all three meals! And croutons – uff!

So things for today.

I dont know to be honest. Just the list from yesterday. And maybe some more. Dont know what else to write. Guess this is about it for today.

Wait. This is all of 400 words. I think I will get on with other work and come back to this in a bit and see if I want to write more.

Back at 9:12

Let’s use bullets.

A. So, I re-activated the anonymous feedback form that I use to gather feedback on how I am doing. It is here. In case. I get impolite feedback all the time and I try to work on those. Here’s one I recently got – “Why are YOU your only topic of discussion. Always. Self-obsession.” and “Develop interests in matters other than yourself. Talk about some things that people like to talk about. Don’t always walk only about yourself.” I am taking the input and as I get along with SoG, I will try to write more about more things that are of wider interest. On the blog, however, I will have to continue to write about myself. After all, this is MY blog where I get to rant 😀

B. The law of numbers. Must talk about this at some point in time in life. I’ve learnt that most things in life, including luck, are a direct outcome of the number of shots you take. If you are good, you will land 1 in 10. If you are great, you will land 2. But if you are like me, average, you would need to take 100 shots before 1 of them hits. And when it does, you better deliver the best you can so that next time, along with the shots you are taking, this delivery of a thing aids you get more opportunity.

I learnt this while trying to build a network of LP’s for Long Haul.

So that.

C. I am learning that I dont like people putting unnecessary pressure on me. The world needs to be polite, kind, easygoing and all that. I know that you need to chase things and follow up and all that. But all those could happen with some degree of humanness, if nothing else.

Ok. Enough. I cant force myself to write more. Guess I will take a break and come back tomorrow with a better piece.

With this, it’s over and out. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 182
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 94
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

120421 – Meditations

A conversation with self about a wide range of things that include health, sleep, book2 and more.

7:47 AM. Andheri.

I just woke up. I actually woke up the second time today. I slept at 8 last night. Woke up at 1. did some work till 4. And then slept again. And then I woke up. am a little tired but far better than what I thought I would be like. Guess polyphasic sleep is not bad. No, I am not advising anyone to change any patterns. Yes, I know more and more people have found to be a solid 8-hour of sleep to be life-changing. Anyhow. Different discussion for a different day.

COVID is now knocking on the doors. A good friend got it. Is recovering. Another good friend’s mother is in ICU. A former roommate’s parents got it the day before. An ex-girlfriend’s parents got it. They are still recovering. Quite a few colleagues have it. It’s a matter of time before I or my immediate family get it. I need to be mentally prepared for it. I can say all I want to but how do you cope with something as inexplicable as a communicable disease that spreads like wildfire ravages through tinder?

I don’t know how to escape. I have resigned to fate that it will strike my family and me at some point in time. I can delay it till I get the vaccine (assuming I want to get a vaccine – that’s another matter altogether). However, if it does strike, I am mentally prepared for all eventualities. But like I said, I hope it stays at bay.

In fact, these recent snafus around public health are troubling to be honest. I am scared that time would run out before I get to those lofty goals that I have for myself. The first deadline has just about 1800 days to go. I am thinking, should I try micro-dosing? There are 4 considerations here.

  • Moral – do I want the undue advantage? Guess this is easily answered.
  • Physical (long-term effect) – I am not sure of this. I need to read more and talk to people and see what they say.
  • Affordability – Again, I am not sure. Need to find out.
  • Access – Should not be a problem. If there’s one thing that I am sure of is my resourcefulness. I will get it from somewhere, if I decide to do it.

Wait!

Lemme write about this in #book2 as well. Allows me to conduct research for an unrelated matter. And add another dimension. May be the conflict could be to control the supply? Or could be to created under the influence? Let’s see!

So that. I have a busy day today. And the week for that matter. So, no time to waste. Its 8:13. I need to be ready and up and about by 9. Wait. I spend almost an hour on this everyday. Does this add up? Do I see any benefit in this? Do I get to inspire people from these notes? I am not sure. I may want to relook at this. The only tangible outcome I see is that I have something to look forward to when I wake up! Let’s see how this pans out. Like most things, I will let this simmer in my head and then will see what comes out of it.

No book2. Work needs to be done. See you guys tomorrow. And as I end this post, here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 120
  • #aPicADay – 101
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 33
  • #noCoke – 33
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0

290121 – Morning Pages

One of those days when even though I have slept for hours, I am unable to write :(. The post has nothing interesting. You may skip.

7:32. I woke up a minute ago. My eyes are still not open. And I slept at some 9:30 last night. I think I’ve slept for this long after ages. No, I wasn’t tired. No, I wasn’t mindfucked (I mean, I am about things but not the kinds that make me sleep for long!). No, I don’t have any recollections of any dreams per se.

It’s almost the end of Jan. I need to start thinking about moving into a permanent house in Goa. Or not. I mean if I am going to be in Goa then I need to have a more permanent house. I can’t pile on Rajesh Sir forever. The decision to move to Goa needs a couple of factors – work (how do I make my money) and people (the ones I love and want to spend a lot of time with, they are not in Goa).

Ok, the mind is so blank that I can’t think of anything to write. Tomorrow is a big day – we have that pitch event and I need to work on that during the day today. Also, I will probably manage NickyM’s today. If you are hanging around Baga / Calangute, come drop by.

I know what to talk about. Mental exhaustion. For some reason, I feel exhausted af in the head these days. Goa was supposed to do the opposite. No? Make me feel relaxed and easy in the mind and all that. But no. I am anything but that. No, I am not agitated either. I am ok in the head. I function normally. I am as kind as I could be to anyone or anything. I am better than I was at most times in my life. Just that I am tired. You know the kinds that make you want to do nothing but lie down in the bed and hope you had a personal masseuse to give you champi as you interviewed on national TV.

I think I need to add some workout routine in my life. I dont know what though. I am famously inept to do any sort of workout. I can walk at best but that’s no workout.

Nah, the words aint not flowing. Is this what writer’s block is? Dunno. I think I will take a break for the day. Lemme see how I do on #freewriting for #book2. Here we go…

It was a Wolf-moon night. And in absence of those blinding lights that humanity has installed to dispel the darkness, the sky was lit with a million stars. And of course, the moon. Raunak had seen many a nights like that in his life time. He was born in a time and place where what they called the human development had yet to touch their village. They slept under the stars most days, even if it was in a courtyard of the house, or on the roof. He remembered that as they drifted to sleep, his father would look at the sky and the moon and stars and could guess the date and time. These moons and the stars were the only clocks that people had in that era.

Raunak had to stretch his rickety limbs to reach the top of the window that allowed him a glimpse of the infinite sky and the neverending, never-resting ocean that spread out just beyond the jail. And his window. And his grasp.

He loved the moon. His father had often told him that he was like a Wolf and he got his energy from the moon. He believed it for the longest time. Till he started traveling and reading. Once he knew that the wolves did not howl at the moon, he was tempted to burst the bubble but his father was almost on the death bed. He knew that you don’t pop bubbles of people that are dying soon. Their entire lives start to seem meaningless to them when them bubbles pop. Let them remain in their cages made of biases stronger than the iron rods.

Raunak could finally spot the moon and he beamed at it. It’s the most beautiful thing that Mother Nature had made. Well, to him, at least. If others saw today’s moon, they probably would concur with Raunak. But then, what others? Raunak was in isolation for so many years that he had lost track. His conversations were limited to asking for the guards to help him run errands and those too materialized only if the guards felt like.

He continued to stare at it. Continued to think of the times that were long gone. Continued to imagine a different life if only he had decided to not leave his home all those years back. On yet another Wolf-moon night.

***

Phew. That was tough. But I think I like how it has come out. What do you guys think?