201021 – Morning Pages

A short note on how the day was and what’s on the top of my head. Not a lot apart from work.

7:19. Yet another hotel room. Loving this life where I work for a large part of the day. And then I drag the small suitcase to the hotel that I want to. And while I do that, I catch up with a friend. And then I sleep. And then I wake up and get writing these morning pages. I could get used to a life like this. In fact, this entire movement around and not having a stable place to be at is giving me the feels! Yeah, man. The feels!

Ok. In terms of yesterday. Work and all. Thoughts and all. Life and all.

So the second day of the workshop went ok. It wasn’t as good as the first one. But went ok. I can improve on a few things. Let’s see how the next one is. One thing is for sure. I need to talk more about this to people. I mean I think I do a good job and this deserves to reach more people. Need to make it more popular and known. #note2self #sgTodo

The other things that I was supposed to, I did work on a lot but I could not find to close all of those. I’d say I could’ve done more. Let’s see when I get to a day when I have done enough to be able to have a big smile on my face when I am writing these morning pages.

Today I have a lot on my plate. Let’s see what I deliver on it. It’s 7:40 right now and once it’s about 9, I will have to literally dive into work! And I have a few lot of things that are open ever since I’ve come back from the base camp. Including a travelogue that I want to write about the basecamp trek!

In things that I want to capture is the intolerance and the worst and the best that religious conversations bring out. Yesterday, on the alumni group of my business school, the alumni committee wishes everyone on the occasion of Eid. Someone responded and asked why did they skip wishing on other festivals. It was not long before it took a communal angle. And then from there it just went downhill. People that have gone to a premier business school engaged in heated exchanges, name-calling, questioning, and dunno what else. And this is a group of highly educated, reasonably smart people that are probably more aware than an average joe.

I dont know what has happened to the country that I’ve grown in. I dont know what to do about it. Can’t blame others. Can’t find the problem. Can’t fix it. DAMN!

Anyhow. This is about the morning pages. Here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: :). I feel good. Even though I did not sleep ok, I am at a desk, staring into the sun, appreciating it as it comes up and fills me with life. No photo can do justice to how it is.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 1.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. I am grateful that I have this sun coming up as I am writing this. I am so so so content in this moment. I have no worries and even though things I am working on need urgent attention, I am not anxious.
    2. I am grateful that I love water so much. I have had 2 litres since I woke up.
    3. I am grateul that I am able to plan a large part of my day.
  4. Things that would make my today great
    1. I would love if I can deliver on open projects. If not all, some.
    2. I would be great if I could actually go back home. Only to meet my parents. And nothing else.
    3. Like yesterday, If I can skip coke, it would be great. In fact, I would love it if I could do OMAD.
  5. A daily affirmation. I look great and I have this brilliant sense of clothing and dressing.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. I could yet again make things happen for people around me. This time I did not create opportunties per se but helped people close on projects that they needed help with.
    2. I had a tough conversation with someone else about things that needed to be done. I am typically the kinds to avoid tough conversations. But I managed one. I should lean more into such tougher chats more often. #note2self
    3. Got CM to agree to spending sometime everyday on helping me with where I want to be in life. I have tried to have multiple people like that but none seems to be panning out. Let’s see if CM sticks. Wish me luck.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. If I could deliver on more things at work, I would have liked it. I had decided that I would not sleep last night till I finish various projects. But I could not. The day would’ve been better if I could.
    2. If I could have got about 10 minutes of meditation in, it would have been better. I would try to get it in today. Right after shower. Let’s see.
    3. Again, if I could skip coffee, it would have been amazing. To be honest, I would not be able to do it today either. But I can definitely skip Coke. And gun for OMAD.
  8. Quote for the day
    “Discipline not desire, determines destiny.” – Anon. Thanks to Harshit for sending me this. Must say that he sends me a quote everyday and I read those and they are really unlifting. He’s been doing it for 1069 days as we speak. I am amazed as his consistency!

Guess this is about it for the day. And here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 1. Avoided it. I almost had one. But then skipped.
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had quite a few. Let’s see if I can quit today on.
  • #aPicADay – 12. Yesterday’s here.
  • Daily Journal – 13
  • Money spent – 19501. Again, random expense. From today on, need to get these in order.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 13
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 13

151021 – Morning Pages

A #shortPost for the day where I talk about what I am thinking about.

8:27. Home. Woke up a few minutes ago. Had a very very long day. Worked so much that I did not realize when it was like 11:30 in the night. I think I did this much work after a while. Which is ok. Right now, I need to work hard to make things work. But the thing is, I feel spent. Even though I have slept for like 7 hours. It’s like, you know when you have nothing to create, nothing to do. You feel all your energy and creative juices have been taken away from you. If I feel like this on a day-to-day basis, I would probably feel burnt out.

Anyhow. Moving on.

So the plan for the day is go to some Starbucks (nearest is 12 KMs away :() and get some work done. I need to move out. I feel the need to see things on the outside. I am so glad that lockdown is over and I can go out and all that. Just that Delhi does not offer a Starbucks next to my place. That’s one thing I miss btw about Mumbai. I could literally walk to so many Starbucks outlets. Sigh.

Wait. Maybe Gurgaon could offer what Mumbai had. Maybe I could live in Gurgaon for a few days? Yeah! Sounds like a plan.

Must act and find a place. Let’s see how do I find short-term rentals. In an ideal world, I want to live in a hotel. Let’s see if I can afford one. Shall spend time looking for one. Know of any decent ones?

Also, here’s a thing that I have been thinking about. Can I create a like where I am a writer / podcaster / YouTube / content creator? Where 1000 true fans pay me enough to not worry about work? And then I create that dent. I mean could being a content creator be a path to financial independence? #currentThoughts

Guess this is about it. Here’s the song for the day. Hotel California.

And here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: :|.
    Still feeling shitty. I think it’s the general state of mind that I need to work on.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 1.
    Need to work on this. Yesterday, after shower, I did sit for 3 minutes of meditation but even that was difficult. Need to amp up.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. I am grateful that most people that I am with, they allow me to be who I want to be.
    2. I could avoid coffee yesterday. Now that I have gone without one for a day, I will try to not have it today either. Let’s see how it goes.
    3. One amazing thing of being at home is that get home-made food. Now that I have it, I realise how much I craved for simple meals. Food anyway is not big on my agenda. So that.
  4. Things that would make my today great
    1. Like yesterday, I think the greatness is linked to work. If I can get some work done, I would feel like I am on the top of the world.
    2. I want to step out and sit somewhere and work. Let’s see when I manage to do that.
    3. I want to meet some of my people. You know, old friends, my team, others that I know already. The ones that I want to see happy, successful, thriving etc.
  5. A daily affirmation
    I am worth a billion dollars and I use this money and access to enable my people to do more with their lives.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. I could skip coffee. I have captured this already.
    2. I had a tough situation at work. I have been able to manage it. I may end up not working with that client but at least it’s not getting dirty.
    3. I could manage time to juggle various projects that I am on. It’s a little tricky but I could.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. If I could’ve got some sort of a workout in, I would have felt better. So far, I havent been able to.
    2. If I did not have to loan my time for money, it have been awesome.
    3. If people in general were little nicer in terms of how they speak, the world would be a far far better place.
  8. Quote for the day
    “Passion is for losers and for hobbies. Have obsession with your purpose in life” – Naveen Jain

And here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 1
  • #noCoffee – 1
  • #aPicADay – 8. Here is today’s.
  • Daily Journal – 8
  • Money spent – 0 :D. And no, I did not track. Just that I was indoors and did not step out and thus no expenses.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 8
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 8

010921 – Morning Pages

Today’s post talks about the sadness that September brings, the unpreparedness for the walk to EBC and a few others things.

8:27. Starbucks.

September. The month has continued to send me into inexplicable sadness. All my underachievements and failures come back to haunt me. And since I am in this zone where I am sad about things, I often make errors in judgment and that makes me more prone to mistakes. And that means things that can go wrong, start going wrong. And that means the spiral of sadness starts moving faster. And I dont know what to do about it.

So that. Lemme digress and talk about other things.

Yesterday, I was at the shoot of my next short film. While I was there, I got yelled at, despite me being the one who’s enabling all that to happen. I often dont take credit for things I do. I mean the world doesn’t stop if you stop existing. It finds its way. Always has. I just happen to be at a place at a time where I played a role that moved the ball further. Now when I do that, and I say this with all humility, I want to be anything but the person that gets yelled at.

Plus it’s getting reinforced that a producer really has no role in anything that happens. Apart from being the one that’s bankrolling the whole jingbang. I knew it to be honest but now I know it as well. So that’s that.

The action point is to stop this free flow of money to fuel other people’s dreams, unless I am the one whose work is getting created. Or I am the one that will get credit beyond a producer. And thus, I need to move onto the other side. My writing doesn’t seem to work with people. I have no clue what directing is. I am anything but acting material. Plus I dont watch a lot of films anyway. So need to think hard about this love of making films. Lemme add this to the list of things I want to think about in the break in the second half of September. Let’s see what I come up with. #toThinkOn.

Oh, the internet at the house I live at, aka, the shelter has stopped working. And funnily, I am ok to face the inconvenience of not having the Internet, when compared to the effort required to make calls to the ISP and getting it fixed. Plus, I am around for today and tomorrow. Day after I am gone.

In the happy, hopeful things to talk about, I have just about 15 days left to go for the break (and the walk to the EBC – I refuse to call it a trek. It’s a walk). I am looking forward to the experiment of not having the phone and being cut off from the world. I do plan to use a phone to make a vlog about the journey and take notes about things that I am thinking about. But that’s about it. I want to be with myself for a large part of this journey. Reduce contact to minimal. Talk when spoken to. Not distract myself with news, entertainment, or any modern, pop-culture-y thing. I’ll try to not even be that problem solver that I have this compelling obsession to be when I am in taxing situations. Let’s see how it goes.

For some reason, while I wrote the para above, I was reminded of the time I spent when I went for Vipassana. I think I must go again. I may not be able to do so in 2021 but I will try and do it sometime in 2022 for sure. #in2022.

The thing though is that Vipassana requires little in terms of physical preparedness. The walk to EBC is more taxing. And I am not ready. I have not worked out. I am not doing any breathing exercises. I refuse to wear shoes. I am eating crap all the time. I am making the walk all the more difficult. I think I need to live the next 17 days the best I can. This means, eat less and do some breathing exercises. I can’t work out, I can’t walk – not time to do this. Lots of work on my hands.

Oh, lemme get this load off my head by writing this. On the work front, I am suffering. To a point that I am back to a point where I no longer have enough coming in to keep my team together and will have to sort of seek out a loan each month to feed my team. I think things are different from the last time around (in the sense that the world has finally adopted this work-from-home thingy and people are now investing in marketing, communications, events, etc). I need to make myself different now to be able to leverage these new opportunities and create work for myself. And my team. And my Kutumb.

I also need to find an office space for myself. I can’t focus when I am at home / house / shelter. I can’t be at Starbucks all the time. Way too expensive and inefficient for the kind of work I do (meetings, selling, etc). So, once I am back, even if I choose to live in Delhi with my parents (to save on rent), I will need to find an office of sorts. Let’s see.

Been writing for about an hour now. Guess will take a break and get on with the day. Here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 174
  • #noCoffee – 17
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1900
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 264. I think I will reach 280 or so days before I go for the trek. Let’s see. Maybe the vlog I make will be the morning pages and I will publish those on the blog?

300821 – Morning Pages

Today I talk about producing short films, being a shoulder and one of the greatest fears I have in life – the one of being treated unfairly!

7:53. Starbucks Powai.

Here for a day-long meeting. Have another meeting here tomorrow. Thankfully that’s not all day. I can be in and out. Just that travel to Ghatkopar is a pain with traffic and Metro construction and all that. It’s a sin. It’s a mortal waste of time. Anyhow. So, morning pages. A dump of what’s on my head.

So, I am constantly thinking of how I should be doing more. Wow! I have been able to capture this so well! Do more in terms of fitness, office work, relationships, and all that. This thing about wanting to do more is literally guiding my thoughts, emotions, and actions. To a point that I am living in this La La land. You know, in the sandcastles in the head. Guess I need to jolt out of it. Let’s see how and when I do that. Maybe the upcoming break from work and a computer would help. Of course, the sad part would be that I would have to break this morning pages streak that I have been on since December of last year!

Ok, enough of sadness. Let’s move on.

So, tomorrow is the first day of the next short that I am involved with. This would be the 4th film that I am part of. I have primarily been a co-producer on all these 4. For the uninitiated, a producer is primarily a financier. And then s/he does other things like getting the project together and ensuring that it works out well.

And no, most short films dont really make money. Actually, wait. I must say, a short-film that makes money is a rarity.

The deal with shorts is that the writer and / or the director gets to show their work. The crew gets one more credit on IMDB. The producer / financier is the fool that does not gain anything. Except opportunities to share stories and reels about it on Instagram. And for someone like me who doesn’t care about these bragging rights, there is no ROI. I mean I can get happy with the validation that I lent a shoulder to some people but that’s that. I can sleep a tad better with the knowledge that I acted like the giant that others could stand on the shoulder of. I can be happy that people want to play games with me (ref: yesterday’s post). But that’s that, to be honest.

I just hope at some point in time in life these things make sense. And the ones that I am lending a shoulder to remember to lend their shoulders to others.

I often think about why I support these endeavors when I dont have the money in the first place. And especially when I believe that I am wise and all that. Lol. I think I suffer from the Dunning-Kruger thingy. I mean I think I am wise but maybe I am not that wise. If it’s pinching me, why am I even trying to do things? Why can’t I just sit idle and let a corpus get built? Even if it takes years for that to happen?

I guess these are those questions that we’d never find answers to. Not that I need the answers. I mean I dont want to find out, to be honest. If I realize that I was wrong, it would break my heart. This risk of being treated unfairly by people that I support is more than the misery of taking on debt and funding my dreams. In fact, this probably is my biggest fear. I hope I dont have to face that day when I see my people being unfair. I mean I know life is unfair. Things are unpredictable. People change. Pandemics happen. But the implicit contract with my people needs to be sacrosanct. Cast in stone. Un-fuckable-with.

Ok, enough. Time to get on with work. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 172
  • #noCoffee – 15 (wow!)
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1322
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 262

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

060821 – Morning Pages

A list of things on the top of my head. This includes money, twitter, movement, Dr. Peterson and more.

6:42. Just woke up.

Less than a month to go when I leave this house. Couldn’t be happier. I just hope the next one I get to is better than this one. I think the way to make it better would be to find a house in a new building, on a higher floor with little furniture in it. Let’s see when I do that. Not till Diwali for sure. But whevever I do, these variables have to be kept in consideration as primary. And then secondary ones will include things like access to a Starbucks, commercial / cultural hubs, promixmity to whoever is the friend at that time. Etc. etc.

So that.

Chalo, lets start the day. And with things that I am thinking about.

A. Money

Lemme start with the thing from the top of my head.
Money.
Mine. And others. Others that work with me.

Thing with money is, it enables you to do more. It makes you free. It gives you access to things that you did not have otherwise access to. It helps you push things and go into unchartered places. It helps you grow. It gives you confidence to do more things. It is the thing that moves you. Plus, the world also works in a funny way. It rewards people that alreday have the money! I mean it’s the rich that can create opportunties and make more money along the way. Of course a few poor ones make money as well but those are that. Few. Few and far between. Generally it’s the rich. Money gets you more money.

Ok. I am getting into a rant.
Lemme track back.
And talk about the money for others that I work with.

So, I am directly responsible for a team of almost 13 people. Indirectly many more. But these 13 people, I am their primary source of revenue. Each month, on the month end, I am thinking about how would I pay these people on time. Somehow it works out!

And no, I dont pay them a lot of money but I do pay them as much as I can. I know that it’s not enough. Not even enough for them to buy a coffee at Starbucks on a daily basis (what I do!). And I want to change this. I want to be in a utopian world where everyone has the money they need to live life the way they want to. You know, not worried about meeting the basics.

Thing is, I want to pay my people enough so that they can live happily and engaged and all that. I am lucky that most people I work with understand where I come from, see that I am doing the best I can and thus they support me. I am sure they feel the lack of money (I feel!) but they dont complain.

The thing is, this house of cards hangs precariously on my ability to get work. Last year, during the pandemic, the house literally crumbled and if not for a few friends that extended loan and gave me work, I would probably be forced to let go of people. That time’s passe.

Now that I have some work on my plate, I need to find opportunities to grow, make more and then make some more. And of course use whatever I make to support my people. Again in the best way possible.

Thing is, money is never enough. It’s like playing a game. You know, you reach a certain level. And then you want to move up to the more difficult and advanced ones. Similarly, you reach a certain stage in life and you want more from there on. And money fuels this never-ending ride that keeps going to the moon and beyond. And I dont want to be that rich dad that just keeps giving without a concern for how that is being spent. So, I have to be this judicious old man that can predict how much a certain person with their personalty and lifestyle needs. And wants. And then, I want to give them more than their needs. And yet, not feed their wants.

The other thing is that most people I work with are in this (with me) because they see me as someone who’s got his heart at the right place. So that’s a good thing. Plus, most of these are in it for their respective passions (and not just to have that “work-life” balance thing going for them). And I anyway want to run my team, my setup as an entrepreneurial one where each person owns the thing they work on. Even if there is no money to be made per se. They must own a piece of thing they work on. I want to show them the “the vast and endless sea” and make them “to yearn” for that.

Ok. Moving on.

B. Dr. Peterson

I am back to seeing Jordan Peterson’s videos. There’s this pattern that I’ve spotted. Everytime I am little fucked about things, work or otherwise, YT throws either Peterson or Seneca at me. Really. So I dont know how the algorithm knows how I am feeling but it does!

So, Dr. Peterson is controversial but his takes are fascinating and I think I like what he says. I am still not deep into what he says and I only see edited, highlights version of what he preaches but I can relate to a lot that he says. From male dominance to power to relationships to individuality and more. I wish I could attend some sort of a long-form course where he talks about life and philosophy and all that. I saw these videos over yesterday…

Fuck, the range of people that I am influenced by is so wide. Steve Jobs, Dandapani, Jordon Peterson!

Anyhow. Moving on.
To movement.

C. Movement

In other news, I was talking to someone yesterday and I realised that I am a doer and a lazy bum at the same time.

Doer – I like to make things move. You know, cause movement.

Lazy – I dont want to do things myself. I’d rather put in some people to manage those ideas.

So this combination makes me a weirdo. Need to think more on this as I go along. Could be important. #note2self

D. No Twitter

So, I havent been on twitter for some 10-12 days now.

I do check it but I dont post it. I dont engage with people. I dont expect replies. I dont mindlessly scroll what people are posting. I dont bookmark threads hoping to never revisit / read those.

This staying off has been good. And bad.
Lemme try to tabulate things.

Bad. Twitter was like my mouth piece. My echochamber. I would let a lot of unfiltered thoughts move onto paper in shape of tweets. And then basis of feedback (if any) I get from my followers, I would shape my thoughts and opinions. Now that I dont have Twitter to post emo-tweets and all that, I am thinking about things all the time. I am unable to get negative thoughts out of my mind. And thus I am regurgitating those all the time. You know, from concisous to the back of my head to back to the front again. And it’s not cool. I think I am losing my stoicism! Lol! ;P

Often these thoughts / ideas are temporary flares. You know, a car cuts your rick the wrong way? You want to rant about it quick. You do that on twitter and you move on. So those times, I think twitter served well.

Other times, the thoughts are tad deeper. For example, I am clearly suffering on the relationship front. I have no one to talk to. Twitter was my only solace. So, in past when I suffered, I would put something on twitter to cope up with what’s hurting me. More often than not, this act of writing a tweet and posting was similar to talking to a confidante. I would thus be over whatever was hurting me. So that helped. Muck was out of me. I was ok.

Of course, this temporal messages phenomenon is not good. You dont really go deep. You dont delve and mull over things. Worse. If I dont delve, I merely scratch the surface and I dont go deeper. At the level where I need to solve it. So, I need to fix this. If I am suffering, I need to layer down to the very bottom and try and find an answer to that. And then solve it. Even if, I need to move on, like Dr. Peterson says.

Bad. I no longer have access to a hive brain that can throw back ideas, links, suggestions, connections etc to me. Not cool at all. This probably is the single-largest thing I miss about not being able to post on twitter.

Good. My screen time is drastically lower. Probably at the lowest point in life right now. So that’s great! Need to find a way to keep the screentime low for when I come back on twitter.


So yeah. This is about it. Ya, a lot on my mind! And, here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 148
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Tall. Americanos.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 30 + 575 + 30 + 1425 + 163 + 189 + 35 (2447)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Walked super slow but I did walk.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 238

160721 – Morning Pages

A quick post about work, food, minimalism and more. Loved writing it, even if it didnt come out too good.

6:34. Been up for about 20 minutes. Played a game of chess as I was coming back to life. So this one is going to be a short one. I have a long day at work and I don’t have even the 45 minutes that I typically take for writing these morning pages. More than the long day, I am running behind on the deliverables. Like crazy. I have calls throughout the day and I need to present on those calls and I haven’t been able to figure what to say on those. I am gonna wing it. Let’s see how I do.

The lesson that I am taking away is that I tend to overestimate what I can do in a day. I think I read this somewhere that people routinely do that. Underestimate what they can do over long periods and overestimate what they can over shorter durations. I am no different. However, in my case, I think the goals that I have for the long-term are definitely not small ones. It’s the short-term that I need to find a way to fix.

Ok, am digressing towards the rant.

So the highlight of yesterday has to be that I managed 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar. I couldn’t walk as much as I would’ve wanted to. But 12 rounds literally killed me. I decided to eat disciplined. Which I did till about 8 PM last night. But then I ordered the love of my life – rice. Sigh.

Fuck epiphany happened! I was lurking on Twitter last night when I saw Shaan Puri talk about an in-home chef. I think that is what I need. VG has had one for a while and I can see the difference that it has made to his family’s food. I think I need to think about getting one. Just that I don’t want to maintain a kitchen, you know minimalism. Maybe I need to get into an arrangement with some friend? I mean most of my friends have a cook coming over a couple of times a day and make their food. I can use that facility and get my food made? The challenge however is that in-home chef can use ingredients that you want at a time when you want.

Wait. I have an idea. I will keep a running score of arguments in favor of and against minimalism. By the time I come back to Mumbai (after Diwali), depending on where the score is, I will move in that direction. So, the in-home chef is against minimalism. I am at -1 on that.

Also, lemme define minimalism. It is not really not having a lot of things. It’s really an abstraction for having no attachment to things. You know, how people have a favorite tee-shirt, a favorite postcard that they’ve got from someplace? a favorite memory that they continue to cling on to? I don’t want to get attached to anything. I want to live in the present. I thus consciously try to forget about things that are in the past. Lol. Not consciously. I just can’t seem to remember. So, I don’t want to cling to things. I don’t want to be a hoarder. I don’t want things to become obstacles to how I live and operate. An easy way to practice it is by reducing the number of things you have, you own, you like. And thus the chase of minimalism. And the way to do so is by having as few things as possible.

So yeah. That.

Right now, Shaan’s comments and VG’s experience are making me reconsider. Let’s see what I end up doing. By Diwali. And why Diwali? Well, like I’ve been saying, I need to be in Delhi for Diwali, and once I come back, I will find a house all over again. And this time, I will get a fancy and a big one with as few things in it as possible. Wishful thinking 😀

Guess this is it for the day. Not sure what else to write. Plus, like I said in the beginning, have a lot to work on. So, with this, over and out. See you guys on the other side.

Oh, the game I played as I woke up? I lost!

And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 127
  • #noCoffee – 16
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Minimaslism – -1. Started this today.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. Let’s see if I can manage today.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 217

PS: I realize that I have been talking a lot about work the last few days. I need to get over it. Once this week is over, I will streamline it to a point that I am no longer ranting or cribbing about it.

140721 – Morning Pages

A quick note where I talk to self. And dump whatever is on the top of my head. Things like people, mentors, work, leverage and more.

7:05. Woke up groggy. And a choked nose. And soreness in the neck. Damn old age. I had decided that I will focus on three things yesterday and do just those. I am glad to say I could manage just one (being sarcastic) and the other two are now overdue. And this means that the three things that I need to work on today will get pushed. And I will miss a few more deadlines. Damn!

I now know what work stress is! In the sense, what the stress of non-delivery is. Need to pull socks and deliver the magic that I am known to have delivered in the past.

So that. There’s nothing else on the top of my mind. Oh, I walked up 8 stories yesterday. I need to be able to do 100 stories everyday without losing breath. The day I can do that is the day I can, well, breathe easy. I also ate three meals yesterday. And that too full of carbs. You know, Pizza. My guilty pleasure. How the F would I lose weight? Yesterday only VG was telling me that for someone my height and age, I need to be lighter by 17 KGs. 17! I don’t even know how I would get to that number. It’s not about starving but probably about burning the calories and then the excess fat.

Chalo, aaj fast. Come what may. Even if stress forces me to order shit and eat as if a famine is coming, I will NOT eat. Neither I would have coffee. Green tea, #ftw!

Apart from these two things (health and work), to be honest, there isn’t much on the top of my head. But then there are a couple of things that happened yesterday that I need to take note of.

One, I spoke to two of my mentors. And my sis. Each conversation was around a certain thing (work, emotion, etc). And while talking to each of these, I felt really really grateful that I have their patronage. And respect. And mindshare. I must have done something incredibly right to have this. Super grateful. Need to grow more such relationships. Where there’s mutual respect, no hidden agendas, and comfort. I know you can’t really do this with people. But I will do whatever it takes to deliver on things from my side to grow into such relationships.

Two, I realized yet again that on the work front (and even on the life front), I don’t want to be the person that executes. I don’t want to trade my time for money (work). I want to rather be the one the opens doors and gets things delivered. I want to be the one that leverages his relationships and trades the knowledge to make ends meet (time). You know, become that person that doesn’t need to have a laptop open ever. I should use my phone, team of people and deliver magic. Now, this is far easier said than done. Especially at the stage where I am at. In the sense, I am still not stable enough to get work that pays me consistently. Most of it comes to be after I put in an insane amount of time and effort. And what I do is not rocket science. So that means that I need to consistently deliver great things to keep the engine running.

In fact, the second one has been a recurring theme. I need to find a thing that can be done about it. Thankfully, with the current scheme of things at work, I have taken a step towards building a team that can do things in my absence. Let’s see when that comes together.

Oh, I have to write this. I was talking to my sis and while talking, I told her that I often abstract myself away from what’s happening to me. I sort of float over my body and look down upon me. I see this 38-year old struggling to make ends meet, trying to get better, striving on a day-to-day basis. And I see a dude trying to be cool, making mistakes, slacking, giving in to temptation on a regular basis. While there are both positives and negatives in the person I see, the abstraction allows me to help the person I am seeing. By giving him inspiration. You know, the kinds I am told I am able to. Others call this phenomenon self-talk. I call this, well, zooming-out. Irrespective. It works. Try it.

So that. That’s it for the day. See you guys tomorrow. I have a lot to do today and tomorrow and this week in general. And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 125
  • #noCoffee – 14
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 215

130721 – Morning Pages

Quick update from how I spent yesterday. Some thoughts about my relationship with food. And then some about work.

8:24. Starbucks. I slept late. Not late really. At around 1. Had a lot of work and I decided that I will finish all that and then sleep. Of course, I couldn’t finish. But I still got late. Lol, adulting!

And then I got late in waking up. And then it was raining (oh, I love it!). And then I had to start the day and work and all that. So. Here I am at Starbucks. Must put on paper that despite my thing about working, I did not get myself a coffee. Pat on the back, Mr. Garg!

But then, I did eat a lot. I think it was stress eating more than anything else. I was not hungry. I did not even feel like eating. I was just stressed about work. So I ate.

In fact, lemme delve into this. I think there has to be a connection between growing up with scarcity and trying to eat like a mad man. I know this is anecdotal evidence at best (with a sample size of 1) but at least in my case, every time my system spots a scary thing (missed deadline, failure at something, knowing that the day’s gonna go to shit, etc), I tend to want to eat. Mind you, I don’t get hungry. I don’t get hunger pangs. I don’t get cravings. But for some reason, I want to stuff myself. As much as I can. Even though I know that after I eat, I will probably slouch and the thing that is scaring me, I will be less equipped to handle that. And yet I want to eat! I think it’s the body’s reaction that may be a famine is coming and it must load up on whatever it can get. I am not sure though.

So that.

Moving on. The day was a busy one. The highlight has to be a meeting with NT for the Aram Nagar documentary. I’ve known him for a while and this was the first time I met him. Even though this was an online meeting, he was candid, open, honest, and upfront about what he thought about it. The world needs more people like him. I am glad I know him.

For today, while I have a lot to work on, I am thinking I will spend the bulk of the time on just three things. No, I dont want to write those here (confidentiality and all that) but I have taken those notes, and let’s see how it goes. If I can deliver on these three things, a large part of the stress will get managed.

Lemme talk of work. Which I often dont talk about.

So on the work front, I do a few things. I write (yeah, I get paid to write). I think (marketing, strategy, etc). And I manage (people, things, etc). I am brilliant when it comes to writing. I am very good at thinking. I am terrible at managing. In the sense that I dont know what it takes to inspire others. So most of my time is spent juggling these things. Plus, I refuse to take up full-time engagements. This means that I need to be always on the lookout for new work, new connections, new things, new ideas, etc. And that also fills a large part of my time. And then I am the lesser half at a few other things. Not that I spend a lot of time there but it does take away attention. And thus, I am perpetually short of time. No, I am not bad at managing time. I think I am very good, to be honest. Just that I have filled my 24 hours (and head) with things that require 48 hours. You know, am trying to be a multipotentialite. Lol.

Of course am not. And thus I am failing at it. And thus I need to get my act together. And thus focus on a few things at a time. And thus the idea of doing just three things today.

Let’s see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 124
  • #noCoffee – 13
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. I will see if I can do this during the day to keep the streak alive.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 214

020721 – Morning Pages

I normally dont rant about work. But this is exactly that. A long rant. About work.

6:10. Woke a few minutes ago. I slept ok. Plus I slept for almost 7 hours. I was in my bed at around 11 I think and I woke up at 5:50ish. My back and neck are sore, like most days. I either need to find a new mattress or a new pillow. Actually, I need a new house. Damn!

These small things like comfortable place to live and other things that make it convenient to live in are so so important for a day to day happiness. I know there are people that would consider my house as lavish. I know there are people that get things done even if they are living with one-hundredth of what I have. And I know they do far better than I. Guess this is where people are different. You know, they can perform miracles. I, on the other hand, need comfort to do that!

This is what I think is the toll of the lockdown on me. The productivity levels are at lowest I’ve had in the last few months. I am sure it’s evident from the output on these morning pages. It at least evident from my Screen Time (which is at 10 hours right now). Guess I need to move to a non-smartphone for a few days. All I need on it is Whatsapp. Will try.

Thing is, I am unable to do any meaningful, deep work. I can blame it on too many meetings that I am a part of. But than that’s that. A blame. I think it’s the inability to get in to a regiment and create inspiring, designed-for-work places around me. I need to have a largish table and a chair at the right hight. I need to have the AC on. I need infinite supply of water (and access to a loo). I need my music on headphones. I need to have people around me. I need everything to be perfect before I can do my work.

As a knowledge worker, this is the worst you can do. To a point that I need to stop calling myself one. The idea is that I could have a location independent life that allows me to work and earn. With this kind of want of perfection, I don’t think I will ever have such a life!

Or maybe I need to stop work altogether and have my network work for me! You know, find an avenue for passive income. Let’s see.

Staying with this work conundrum, I tried to list what all could be wrong. You know why is that I am uninspired despite me needing work. Here are some plausible reasons.

  1. No access to an inspiring place to work from. I just can’t seem to get work done from where I live. I slack a lot more than I should. I lie down more than I should. I waste time on Youtube and Instagram a lot more than I must. I just can’t work once I am back from Starbucks. So today, I plan to stay there till they shut and do things. Let’s see how it goes. I have a lot to do.
  2. I am unhappy about something else and it’s rubbing off on my work. What could that be? Relationships? Health? Money? Not sure.
  3. I have work that’s beyond my capability to deliver? Dont think so.
  4. I have too much work? No. I am at a point where I turning down work. This is for the first time that I am doing this! Plus, it’s not a capacity issue. I have added people wherever I can.
  5. Too many meetings? Yes. I mean I spend way too much time in those meetings but then that’s part and parcel of work.

Guess these are it.

From the looks of it, these look like excuses and rants and third-party projections about slacking. I don’t know a way out. The city is still under preventive shut-down. Co-working spaces are still not open. The ones that are open don’t put their AC on. They remain filthy. Starbucks is a viable option but that shuts at 4. And I can’t take calls from there. Which is ok. I am ok to stay quiet on calls and come back to where I live for serious calls.

Need to find a way out!

Ok.

Enough of rant, Mr. Garg.

Moving on.

So in good news, yesterday, I literally assaulted my stomach. With oily paranthas, ice-cream, street food reheated in stale vegetable oil, chips and I don’t know what all. I need to start eating clean. And order in from places that probably understand fitness. If there are places like that. They sell vegetable, low-fat, high-carb things as fitness food. Lol. Anyway, yesterday, the saving grace was that I ate in a 3-hour window.

I am hoping to fast today. Since I plan to stay at Starbucks till 4 today and I want to avoid bread and all that, let’s see if I can manage to not eat.

So that.

In other news, I finally published my Ode to She. It’s here. This is one of those pieces that took a long time to happen but am I glad it happened! I am still not sure if this is good enough for a wider circulation but I am not happy with it. That’s the thing. When I write things, even if I dont like those, I still go ahead and publish. For that allows others to read and give me feedback. When I dont publish, the output that I have created remains hidden and there’s no way for the world to discover its awesomeness or patheticness. And I want to know both things about it. You know, if it’s awesome, I want to write more. Push it even more. If it’s pathetic, I want to know how to improve. Even if readers are unable to point out the problems, at least I know that the piece is not being appreciated. So yeah, I publish.

If you want to write for a living, you have to embrace this. You have to publish and share it with as many people as you can.

Ok. Enough.

I will try to fast today. Let’s see.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 203
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 2
  • #noCoffee – 2
  • #noCoke – 113
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0