Habits, Life, Transformation

100% #Day 13


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%.

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Life, Transformation

Endurance #Day 4

A Rolling Stone...Gathers Momentum (3)

Being a long distance runner I love endurance, which is defined as follows

The capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear.

The prime objective of training (esp. marathon) is to build endurance and typically starts 16 weeks (roughly 3 months) prior to the actual run. If strictly followed, the ordeal takes the subject to the limit of his physical self. First few weeks, the first time runner may find himself walking like a zombie in his work day, with all parts of his body aching. It is critical that one doesn’t give up during these testing times, because this would not just limit the physical built up, but more importantly, the mental toughness. During this 16 week ordeal, the runner craves for just one ambition, crossing the finish line. The high that you get by achieving this feat is unparalleled. Once you cross the finish line, chances are likely that you would say, “It was tough, but I made it. And I would do it again!”.

The second time you do it, it is much easier. The problem is that now you would aim for a much bigger challenge.

I’ve read Ms Duckworth’s book “Grit” definitely more than one time and have intensions of reading it several times again. It is one of the most well researched books and simplifies the definition of success and breaks the common norms.

She says,

Focus on talent distracts us  from something that is at least as important, and that is EFFORT. Effort counts twice. The most dazzling human achievement are in fact the aggregate of countless individual elements, each of which is ordinary.

Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills, or activities, each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into a habit.

Success lies in enduring the ordinary and the mundane, repeated over and over again, till it assumes the shape of flawlessness. Whether one would like to use the statistics of 10,000 hours or not, the celebration of human spirit lies in the celebration of these ordinary acts, which done again and again, becomes a part of us as a habit. And what you would see from outside is a pure symphony, an act of brilliance.

And to understand this is not rocket science. Simply put,


Therefore, a sales man making more calls is more likely to make a sale.

Therefore, a manager putting more hours at work is more likely to achieve the goal.

Therefore, an athlete putting is more hours of practice is more likely to win the race.

Consistency of effort over the long run is better predictor of success.

“The separation of talent and skill.”, Will Smith, the celebrated actor points out, “Is one of the most common misunderstood concept for people, who are trying to excel, who have dreams and who want to do things. Talent you naturally have. Skill is developed by hours and hours and hours of beating your craft.”

Most of us are enthusiastic (read passionate), but only few of us have the endurance to take it really far and do things better than they have been done before. Therefore, to do anything well, you will have to stretch yourself, and do it over and over again, so that it becomes you, your habit and second nature.

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Day 4 has come along fine, though still the night audit to be done. The goodness is hinging on complete the chores for holiday shopping and making everyone happy in the house. There are 2 weeks to go for Priya and Dhriti to fly to HongKong to meet our latest family member, Raina and then to Gurgaon to unite with the rest of the family. I would be joining them later in July

I hope not to miss them too much by working more, which is much needed for the new initiative. The holiday period will be the test for the 66 day ordeal.

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