190321 – Morning Pages

Quick and yet longish post. Mostly in response to a longish phone call with a friend about morning pages.

6:48
I woke up a minute ago. And I slept at like 3 AM. For some reason, I was not sleepy at all last night. For a large part, I couldn’t figure out why. And then it dawned onto me that I had an iced tea at around 9. And since I have been away from coffee for all these days, maybe this tea played havoc with my schedule? Maybe. Maybe not.

So, morning pages. Quite a few things to write and talk about. Lest I forget, here’s what I want to talk about. Screen Time. COVID. Chat with PM. Book2.

Let’s go.

Screen Time.
Yesterday I met someone for a walk and while talking about things, I realized that I have been spending an insane amount of time on my computer and my phone. Here’s a screenshot.

And this is down 24% from last week! I have to have to reduce this. A deeper analysis revealed that I am spending a lot of time on Chess, Twitter, and Instagram. I will probably uninstall these. I mean I anyway don’t have time and I definitely don’t want to “invest” that time on these non-value-add things. I mean they do add value. But at this stage, I have other things to work on.

So that.

Next up is COVID. The number of new cases in Mumbai is touching 3000. I am alarmed, scared, and confused. I don’t know if this is a second wave or not but now I do know that I will also get it one of these days. There are so many people that I know that got COVID in the last few days. And each of these people has been super super careful. To a point that some weren’t even stepping out. I just hope that I don’t get it. Not because I am worried that something weird would happen to me. But because I meet a million people and I don’t want to be the one spreading. I mean I will definitely be the superspreader!

This one is important. I had a longish chat with PM about various things. We talked about my first ever video on Youtube, Founder Thesis Podcast, Investor Thesis Podcast, Life, Morning Pages, and a lot more. While the others may not be relevant, lemme talk about our chat about morning pages per se. For context, PM is one of the daily readers of my pages. So what he says carries a lot of weight. He said, and I agree with each thing he said, that…

  • a, the morning pages have started to get boring. Agree.
  • b, these pages seem to paint a picture of a person that is not happy with his life (he did not use the word unhappy but he implied that). PM, correct me if I am wrong.
  • c, I need to stop with the streak. It adds no value to the reader.
  • d, I need to restart work on #book2. 😀
  • e, I can write things that are a lot more value-adding. For example, I am working on a podcast where I want to chat with investors. PM mentioned that I could write about that and showcase my thinking on that.

Lemme try and address each.
No, I don’t mean to give explanations or defend anything but lemme think out loud about each thing he mentioned.

Boring – agree. Even as a writer, I feel that my pages are getting repetitive. A simple explanation is that on a day-to-day basis, very few things change. So I don’t know what to report per se. Assuming that morning pages are supposed to be a journal. I think the original intent with which Julia created the idea of morning pages was to merely exercise your writing muscle and not create something new each day. I am not sure. I will get back to the book and figure it out. The other dimension is that I don’t really write these for anyone to consume. I mean I do post these on a public forum but these are not supposed to, lest you get feedback. That is exactly what’s happening right now. Friends are well-meaning creatures and they want you to do well and they give you feedback (negative or positive) and you shift behavior! That is what morning pages is not supposed to be. So, that.

One of his suggestions was to write more on book2 and less on journal per se. I agree. But the way I can dump my thoughs, I may not be able to write new things. But I will try. Not today. My first meeting is at 8 and then I have back to back things.

Unhappy person. This is important. Till a few years ago, I was the kinds who could find a problem with even Maryada Purushotam, Bhagwan Shree Raam. I mean his character is fairly problematic if you were to look at him objectively. The point is that I would find problems and then crib about those all the time. Most people that would interact with me would be able to see that. I was shrouded in negativity. Not negativity per se but critical. I hope you get the drift.

Once I realised that I was cribbing, ranting all the time, I worked very hard to change my personality. I became a people pleaser, I stopped voicing my opinions that could be critical, I avoided confrontations, I ceded control, I stopped questioning things that were wrong, I got aware of what I put out on public platforms. And eventually with time, started getting lot more equanimous with things. If someone did something that I did not approve of, rather than passing my opinion, I would zoom out and try to look at things from that person’s perspective. And that in itself would solve half the things. I think I have become a lot better and I want to remain that.

So there is no way I want the morning pages to postulate that I am a negative person that only rants and cribs and is struggling with things. I could write a lot more about things that I could consider happy but I think writing allows me to think better and I often need to think about things that I need to change. And these are often the things that are broken. And may be this is why the pages come across as unhappy rants. I will see if I want to change the tone or fix. Let’s see.

Next. Streaks. Well, here it is. Totally ignoring PM’s opinion.

  • Morning Pages – 97
  • #aPicADay – 78
  • 10K steps a day – 2. I actually did 19K steps!
  • OMAD – 1. Yay! In fact, the last meal was around 11 PM on 17th! If I can manage today, I would have done a 48-hour fast!
  • #noCoffee – 9
  • #noCoke – 9
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

Thing is, if I publish things on a public medium, I feel a tad more compelled to stick to it.

#book2. I don’t know when I’d be able to start on this. But I do know and do realize that I need to get started. I have realized that I crave for nothing but respect (not fame; respect) and I can not command respect. I need to earn it. And you earn it by the virtue of your actions. And your output. And not just thoughts. The world values outputs. Not ideas. So I need to move my ass.

Value-Adding Things. I agree on this one. I can ensure that each post adds value to the reader. But then, do I need to worry about the reader with the morning pages? I am not sure. This is my space and these are my reflections and ideas and thoughts. Like I said, the reason I make these public is because I like the idea of public accountability. I do want to write things that move the mountains. But I think that’s not what the morning pages is for.

So yeah. That’s it for the day. See you tomorrow.

Over and out.

@PM, do read and lemme know what you think. I think I am better when it comes to communicating with the written word and please please please don’t hold feedback and inputs. I value each piece of input that you’ve shared with me.

One thought on “190321 – Morning Pages”

  1. Best to reply here, I thought.

    My suggestions about book2 was that it be what you end with. Not because I want less of the Morning Pages.

    Write as you normally would. But, ending with book2 felt like a pallet cleanser. Also, that is fresh content. So, it serves two purposes.

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