Habits, Life, Transformation

Fail #Day 18

100% (5)

It does come together. Everything. The power of faith, was the unseen force that I realized in the end. The reaffirmations do work, when every single cell in your body is aligned, to the same destiny.

It had been a tough 4 weeks practice. I had lost most of the games. It was hot and peak summer. We didn’t have air conditioning those day. Table tennis is considered one of the fastest games, because it requires sharp reflex and focus. My brother and I would go and practice in a small club, which had good players. Our father wanted to us to move a notch up in the game. From a nice cozy environment, the arena had changed to much bigger and we found ourselves like a tiny fish in an ocean. The players in the club worked hard and competed fervently to squeeze out every single point possible. I was at the receiving end and hated it.

Sports is a great teacher, and I was lucky enough to have this discipline in our family. My father played cricket until very long, as did many of my uncles. My father would compare sports to a real life, an arena that prepares you hard. It makes you humble and accept defeat and failure. If you played a sport, you would know that the real life is about not surrendering after a failure. And standing up again to give it another go.

And I was in one of the district level matches, one of the many that I had attended. There were new players that I had to play with. I was almost certain that I would face a very tough competition and may get knocked out by 2nd round or so. Since it was my participation money at stake, the only option left was to to try and with same intensity as during my practice.

It didn’t go that bad, I lost in the final. Thank goodness, that I lost. It was more disappointing than losing in the second round. And I got my money back.

I still enjoy playing table tennis today and when I get into the flow, I’m quite relentless. Thanks to my loss in final, I have kept playing in some way or the other.

Failure is a good proof of our limitations. If we give in, it would mean that we are literally limited in our virtue. Subliminally, we tend categories events as good and bad; the easy way to predispose our minds and actions. When we create these silos, we ourselves have become our greatest obstacle. We narrow down our definition of possibility. We limit our mind set. We are less open to experiments and become fixated. In doing so, you may never fail, but you will also never grow.

One of Robin Sharma’s favorite quote is Rumi’s and is beautiful…

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

Embracing new shouldn’t be a chore. Periodically, we would need to step out of our comfort zone. It may also sound mundane, but this is where the greatest potential lies. When we challenge ourselves, we expand our universe. We define new possibilities. Individuals with such growth mindset are most happy, when they are learning, creating a value for themselves. Not when they are flawless.

Do try something new today, which you would be scared of or not comfortable doing. And do it for at least 66 days. You may be surprised to find a new you.

By the way, I still have to win a final in Table tennis and have a feeling I’m getting there.

Photo & layout courtesy: canva.com

 

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Habits, Life, Transformation

100% #Day 13

100%

I’m often amazed at how many times the same thing happens to me, again and again before I realize it. I’m supposed to be getting more intelligent every minute, with every experience adding to my life. However, despite that I end up making the same mistake again and again. And on the contrary, if I succeed, the same action is hardest to repeat. Success is a difficult habit to imbibe.

I have come to a conclusion that it is important to breathe, pause and reflect, not only in morning, without distraction, but also at regular intervals in time during the day. During this brief 2-3 minutes period, I would be only be only aware of myself, where I am, and what am I doing. Sounds surreal, and I can assure you if you do the same, it will help you being present where you are with 100% efficiency. When you do so, you are no longer the slave of the passing moment, but master of your destiny. You may not reduce your mistakes, however, you will be present 100% with yourself and would take a conscious decision. And therefore more responsible for your action.

This post has been the essence of the new habit that I’m trying to inculcate, the habit of night audit. This is a 5 minutes exercise where I’m writing the answers to following questions…

  1. What were the good results of my day and why do I think they were good?
  2. Which outcomes I would categorize as bad and why?
  3. What actions I could have avoided and why?
  4. What could I have done more during the day which would have made my day 100%?

The activity takes 15 minutes at night to complete. At this point in time I’m writing only specific points and not elaborating the why as text. The Evernote application is a great cross device application, which I can access both on my laptop as well as my phone. At times when I’m in hurry, I would use my phone to write the points. If I don’t have any points for any of the above headers, I don’t write them.

Since I go through these points, just before sleeping, I also try to think about the why while I’m sleeping. Especially the point 3 and 4, which is the learning part of the exercise. I’m also hoping that this way few deeper experience connect with the sub-conscious and help me raise red flags, when I would be close to encountering such experience again. Only time will tell, how successful this exercise has been. I’m quite sure, when you start looking, you end up finding amazing things.

These 15 minutes like morning, should be completely by yourself, where you start tracing back the day minutes by minute. You can also take help of your calendar to recheck, if you’ve had a hectic day. Answers to the questions will be the treasured experience of the day, and more often it would be a gratitude list for the first question. In all my 13 days of this habit, my “Good” experiences have outnumbered the bad and could have avoided. It is a feeling of contentment when you end the day in such a way.

What I would like to start is the extension of this habit through the day, which I was talking about earlier. I would like to take a 3 minute break after every 2 hour, when I’m in office. In these 3 minutes, my intension would be to repeat similar questions. The only difference would be that the response of these questions would be tied to the objective of that hour. Such as if I’m working on an important proposal, during that hour, I would like to remind my self whether I’m making a satisfactory progress or no and what would I need to make it a success.

It takes only a few minutes to pause and to reflect what went well and what didn’t. A brief pause is what you need to be 100%.

Image & Layout Courtesy: Canva.com

Habits, Life, Transformation

Spontaneity & Spectacles

spontaneity

Today I was pondering on thoughts: the best things in life have been unplanned; it happened when I least expected it to.

This week will be the celebration spontaneity. I’m unfollowing all my plan and schedules for the day and take it as it comes. The structure will be no structure; but what I feel at the spur of the moment. For this week my priorities are uncategorised; the instinct decides the course of action.

Result, it took me more time to write this post than any of the others. I realised being spontaneous is so difficult. Being with yourself is difficult and deciding what you want to do is more difficult. Spontaneity doesn’t come easy and naturally.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book wrote one needs 10,000 hours to be good at any new skill, a thumb rule. Though the rule has been challenged by many other theories, such as one needs to have a huge amount of emotional quotient, passion and drive to excel. But as a thumb rule, the number 10,000 suits just fine. You may not survive 10,000 hours if you are not passionate about the subject. Maybe it takes that much time to discover oneself (or even more.

Spontaneity is closely associated with Social media, which I must acknowledge that I’m not very good at. I think a lot before composing that tweet or post. The folks who are good at it, know have it on their finger tips. Perpetually on their phone they would know what to post and when to post. More importantly, these folks know how to cut across the noise which is there in the social space because they have their niche and stick to it.

The most that I’m impressed by and have started the 10,000 hours in my mastery of this Social mastery journey is Snapchat. The ephemeral medium and celebrates moments in life. The user experience in creating the stories is unmatched; Snapchat is creating newer experiences continuously. I know of few organisations who mandate Snapchat skills as the essential for recruitment ( I would definitely be under qualified for such organisations). Brands are benefiting from the great user experience that it provides.

The recent launch of Spectacles from Snapchat, is a demonstration that innovation is just not the forte for Googles and Apples of the world. Spectacles is a device that enables you to   grab memories and wirelessly transfer to Snapchat and share. The Spectacles charge when they are put back in the case. The launch reminded of Apple launches and the long queues before the product hits the store.

spectacle

Snapchat is continuously innovating experiences and raising the bar of user experience. Maybe this will be my conduit to discover spontaneity!