170821 – Morning Pages

A ranty post about work, Starbucks and how I am dependent on public places to get things done.

7:21. Woke up a few minutes ago. Little groggy. Tired as well. I dont know why. I did not do anything that would leave me like this. Plus, I have a long day ahead. And a lot of what I am busy with, I need to be the one talking. So, it’s going to be a long and interesting day. And by the end of it, I would probably be exhausted. Not exactly the kind of busyness that I like but theek hai. That’s where life is right now and can’t complain. Or rejoice. Let’s see how it goes.

Oh, because I am the one talking, if I talk well and I see that people are enjoying what am saying, I would end the day on a high. And if everything goes flat, I would be sad. Yeah, my work is what guides my happiness and sadness.

Ok, yesterday. This amazing thing happened. I worked for more than 12 hours! I mean I am not proud but I realised that that’s all I have to my life. And I could only do this because stores are now allowed to remain open till 10 PM.

I started at 830 with morning pages. Took a break around 12 for lunch etc. And then went back to a Starbucks at 5ish or something. And stayed till 945. So I was up and about for longer. And rather than sleeping by 945, I actually did more things. I must say that the vibe at a Starbucks in the morning is way different than the Starbucks in the evening. There are many more people merely chilling, catching up, gossiping in the evening. The crowds are more effervescent. There are larger groups, noises are louder. Morning is more intimate. People are mostly working and trying to get things done. I think I am indifferent to this vibe per se, as long as I get a place to sit and bury myself in my laptop. And of course, being a morning person and all that, I prefer mornings. Even if the vibe was wild like a club!

Thing is, this dependence on public places to work from is not really cool. I need to be less dependent on things. You know, walk on my journey by myself. Plus, It’s not cheap at all. I mean I spend almost 1000 bucks each day there. Making it the most expensive indulgence I have. But then, I am thinking, if it allows me to get things done, why not? Plus I am sure once offices are open and I get back to a WeWork or something, I would manage it cheaper.

Let’s see.

The point remains that I am more effective when I am not alone. And definitely far far better when I am not at this house. The good part is that I am gonna be out in less than 15 days. Yay!

In other news, I restarted with a lo-carb diet. I mean it’s just been one day but I plan to continue with it till the time I am in Mumbai. Once I go to Delhi, I am sure I would want to eat all the street food strewn out there on every nook and cranny!

Nothing else to report per se. As always, I have way too many ideas. Way less time. And I still dont ship. Sigh. Need to fix it. Somehow. And before I spiral down into a full-blown rant and a depressive cave, must move on. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0. No work on any book yesterday.
  • #noCoke – 159
  • #noCoffee – 2. Had none. Had 2 chais.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1880
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 2. Did 12 rounds today as well.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 249

080821 – Morning Pages

I talk about being Indian, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal, Speaking Well, Dr. Peterson and more. And some shower-thoughts and wants!

6:34. Long day ahead. Lots of work. That’s what happens when I take a break for a day or so. But then I cant complain about how I spent yesterday. It was a good day, to be honest. I met M and it is fascinating to see her grow and discover and fight for and find her place in the world. I wish I had more understanding when it comes to kids and all that. And I wish I would assert more on how kids that matter to me are brought up. Wishful thinking.

Anyhow. I just wish I had the money and time and lack of ambition to live a day yesterday often. I mean a day spent with leisure and all that. More on #echochamber.

Moving on.

I woke up a few minutes ago. Two things that I am thinking about are, 1, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold medal at Olympics 2020. And 2, this video by Dr. Peterson as soon as I woke up. In this, he talks about how misery could be a source of your inspiration. Lemme talk about these two.

I saw the Tiranga getting raised to the top and then the national anthem being played at Tokyo. It was a heartening sight. Made me think about how things and time change. And how I have changed with time. There was a time when I was as staunch and as hardened Indian as they come. I believed in our supremacy. I was blinded to the mistakes we made as a country and as a society. I would dismiss the apparent flaws in our culture. I would love the “chalta hai” way to respond to things. I would take wows to make us proud and reclaim the lost glory we’d grown up reading about. You know, before the time invaders starting plundering our “great” nation.

But then, over the last few years, something changed me. May be I became more aware. May be I got more “educated”. Maybe society became more extremist, more hardened. May be, I saw how other cultures and societies are “better”.

Somewhere, I lost the fanaticism I had for India. Of course, I remain proud and grateful that I am an Indian. I know I can’t change that about myself. But I do now think and wish and hope and pray that I could live in a different country and a different place. There are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the very meaning of freedom / independence and being an Indian is lost. We are now a country of people blinded by religious dogma and blind extremism around religion. We are now a country where we celebrate the failure of others rather than the success of self. We want to become Atam Nirbhar in conduct and yet turn a blind eye to this conduct when faced with adversity. The right to speech is being taken away. The ability to do things is being made more and more difficult by the day. We are now deeply engaged in plastering everything we have with a photo of a man in a white beard and not concerned that the history books are re-written and laws of the land are being crafted that would put even the cavemen to recede deeper into the folds of the mountains. Even the athletes that are winning the medals are being ignored and the entire nation is captivated by the one phone call congratulating these athletes and their coaches.

Anyhow. I can rant for hours if I have to but I am not as well educated or informed. I am sure there are people that will justify the actions of people. After all, we know how to defend ourselves.

Lemme move on. Saw this video.

In this one, he says, resentment could be a great teacher. I think everything I feel that life’s being unfair and I am getting a raw hand in relationships or work and things, I would do 10 push-ups. Simple. I would make my resentment a road to fitness if nothing else. And then from there on, I will do whatever it takes to sort things.

So that.

I want to talk more about this resentment as fuel for life but not today. Need to start work. I do have to talk about something worth noting though. The ability to speak well. Dr. Peterson speaks so so well. It’s not funny how many times I let my rational / thinking mind ignore what he’s saying just because he speaks so well!

Staying this ability to speak well, yesterday I got talking about some of the best orators of Hindi as a language. Ashutosh Rana (this and this) comes to mind. Then VG told me about Kumar Vishwas (this). Rahat Indori Saab (I dont even know how many to link here) has been among the best orators ever. Even this from one of those nationalistic films is a great case of someone inducing goosebumps only via the power of words.

I really wish I could speak as well as these people.

I think I can decode these. There are two things at play here.

A, the content. I mean, these are great words, great poetry that is being narrated. The words themselves are goosebumps-inducing. The stories are inspirations.

And B, as important, the way they’ve been narrated. The passion, the pauses, the clarity of tone, the breathing, the speed, and all that. Ufff!

I need to get better at it. Point me to some source. PLEASE!

So yeah. That.

Lemme end today’s post with something that I have been thinking about, over the last few days. I even wrote about it on the 4th. The book I have been editing is done. And the time slot from 8 AM to 9:30 AM is now available. Should I just assume that it’s a sign (great proses, Dr. Peterson, my misery, my want for validation, my poverty et al) and create something for myself? I mean I am definitely not a one-hit-wonder and it’s high time I get going and work on something for myself. A book, a film, a large-ish project (like a Jigsaw Puzzle, a magnum opus or something). #note2self. Lemme try and start from tomorrow, even if I am supposed to take a break for a few days in Sep.

Let’s see. What. When. If.

That’s it for the day. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 150
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Tall. Americanos.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 250 + 250 + 1500 + 257 (2257)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 240

PS: I speculated that yesterday that ink in my system has run dry. But then I got back to writing these today, I realized I can rant a lot. Yay!

PPS: #showerThoughts. Had this really cool thought while showering today. Lemme give context. While brushing my teeth, I realized that I have these huge bags underneath my eyes. And this is probably because of the last two-three days of lack of sleep. Which is probably induced by too much coffee. So, what if I go to my local Starbucks and talk to the store manager and ask him that I am gonna sit there for 4 hours each day and NOT buy a coffee. Of course, I dont want to be a freeloader and thus I am happy to buy their merch / food. Or even donate. But I dont want to consume. Would they then allow me to sit at Starbucks and work? Let’s see. Will try on Monday.

010821 – Morning Pages

A quick post about what I did yesterday and what I plan to do about those. More rant than anything else to be honest.

5:24. Woke up a few minutes ago. And I have less than 20 minutes to write today. Need to leave at 6 for a longish walk. I hope to do 20K steps today from 7ish till about 9ish. Let’s see how many I get in.

So let’s dive in. Here’s a quick recap of yesterday. And quick thoughts.

I took a break from walking. I averaged 15K steps this week before yesterday. I was on track to do 110K steps. Now, if I can get to 100K, I would be happy. And I am anyway eating like a mad man. Will stop from tomorrow on. I will also implement a no-call before 2 PM rule from tomorrow. At least I will not allow any calls to be scheduled before 2. The ones that are already on the calendar, I will honor those.

I realized yet again that success gets you friends like nothing else. If you are famous, rich, successful, funny, fit, good-looking, or anything on these lines, you would have FAR more friends than you’d normally have. I think I need to start working on this. I can’t change the way I look or my sense of humor. But I can work on getting rich and famous. So that’s next. After am back from EBC, I will focus on one thing only – getting famous. Come hell or high water.

I was forced to work from where I live in the morning as I had a podcast recording at an awkward time. And while I did that, I ate like crap, I wasted time like I was 19, I slept like I had all the money in the world. After the recording, I went to the Starbucks at the airport, and even though I spent like 3-4 hours there, I could get a lot done. I was in the zone while I was there. I need to find ways to get to a Starbucks or a co-working space as soon as I wake up. #note2self

I had a dark moment. At least two people I care for acted like dicks. They did not understand why I do things I do. They dont understand the sacrifices I am making to make ends meet. And not that I haven’t spelled it out for them. Despite that, they sort of piled onto me emotionally and made me lose track. I know they dont do it intentionally. And I know I need to be stoic enough to not let that affect me. I am working on it. I honestly dont really care what people tell me and how they behave with me. But when the ones I care for and want to care for me pile emotional baggage on me, I lose it. I need to find a way to not get swayed by these things.

Recorded a podcast. Loved it. Even though the conversation could be richer, I absolutely loved it. Must do more podcasts. If I have my way, I can do a podcast a day. But the thing is, I am one of those perfectionists and I want things to be perfect. And that means I dont allow my team to release these conversations. And thus affect the output. Maybe I will rely on my team for releases and then we’d see where it goes?

So yeah, these things. There’s more that I want to write but that’s all the time I have right now. Need to leave for a walk.

And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 143
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Did not walk at all.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 233

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 🙂

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! 

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