This is what my usual day looks like. I am up by 6.30 am and in the gym by 7.15 am. Depending on what my workout of the day is I usually am able to come back home by 9.30 am (showered and ready to leave for office). I am in my office by 10.30 usually and unless I have a meeting elsewhere I am there till at least 8 8-30. I reach home by 9 9-15, depending on the traffic, where I spend the next 1 hr or so having dinner and catching up with my wife. She is usually in the bed by 10 am and I by 11 am since we both are early risers. I am sure this is more or less (except the workout) your schedule as well. Our lives are a hamster wheel loop of sleep-work-sleep which we are turning, trying to be faster, all day every day. Most of the leisure, let’s call it that though I prefer the words culture or happiness, we defer for weekends. Not much is accomplished on such weekends. I wish I could read more. I wish I could do something about my health. I wish I could travel more. I wish. We all carry a lot of such related regrets on our shoulders which we take off your back from time to time, stare at them, sigh and put them back blaming the busyness of our lives for not being able to do what we wish. Days go by and one activity that kept us busy is replaced by two more and the chance of ever making time for the “I wish”s. I realized that I am stuck in this loop and there is no way out of this. At least no immediate way that I could see. Finally, I came to a conclusion that I will have to force the culture and my “I wish”s into this loop only and somehow make it work.
My first wish was that I wanted to incorporate some kind of physical activity in my live. Around 3 years back I decided to force this in my life. Like most of us on New Year, I too started as resolutioners, highly motivated to build a healthy life. Soon I realized that motivation was not enough. Motivation will get you out of your bed on a cold Delhi morning maybe for a week but will fail, rather miserably, to do so in the subsequent. The human mind is great at making excuses and will come up with such great ones to skip a workout that you yourself will be amazed. When motivation fails, discipline comes to the rescue. Fortunately, I was able to force the habit of regular workout into my life and not it is not something I do or have to do but something which is a part of my lifestyle. This is now a habit for life and I could myself blessed to have been able to do it.
My second “I wish” was reading. I have always loved reading. I used to read a lot until I was in college. My personal record is completely reading “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy over a single weekend. (Full disclosure: It was my second reading of the book so that helped speed up the process). Once I started working I started reading less. Once I started my startup it became even less. All the time I could have spent reading was now going towards work. Read, which once was a core part of my life, became an “I wish”. Until I discovered audiobooks. About 1 year back, after having avoided them all my life, I gave my first audio book a try. It was this book. I will not be exaggerating if I say that it was an eye opener. Now I could be listening to books while I was working out, which by now was a constant in my life, or while driving. I did not necessarily have to make time for reading but now I read within the loop only. I am now able to get through a book every 1-2 weeks and I could not have been happier.
I started YouTubing this year and my videos are mostly first-person perspectives commonly known as vlogs. There could not have been a better mirror to show me that I am running in a loop than this vlogging habit. The fact that I at times struggle to find content worth sharing is an alarming sign of how boring this loopy loop life is. My new “I wish” is to have some gradual variations in my life. I say some and gradual is because I know well enough that sudden change of life only happens in movies. Life is a slow long process which I now plan to log one video at a time. And I have learned from my past - this will have to be forced into my life as well.
What are your “I wish’s”? Maybe I could help you in figuring out a way to ‘force’ them into your life. You can comment below or tweet to me. Also check out my youtube channel here and subscribe if you want to receive regular updates.
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex