Discipline > Motivation

#68/100

“A great way to develop self-discipline is to make it a habit to do the things you should be doing when you feel the laziest. Every time you feel really lazy, do the opposite of what you feel like doing.”

-Anonymous

I used to chase motivation before. I waited every single day to do a task that truly motivates me and that task never saw the light of the day. Motivation comes very rarely to me. Most of times I have to force myself to do work according to my schedule or requirement.

Mornings are tough these days. I don’t feel like waking up. I somehow feel stressed with my responsibilities at home and work. I feel like screaming from frustration most of the time. I am fighting a battle between my heart and mind everyday. My day is filled with work that doesn’t make me happy. I do get ample time but I feel too dejected to use it fruitfully.

Motivation is a very important factor to lead a productive life. However, it doesn’t work in our favor most of the time. The foolproof way of getting work done is to create a habit out of it. You create a to-do list for the day and get down to strike off every single item on the list. Big goals such as preparing for an exam or losing weight needs your consistent effort over a long period of time. In such cases, you cannot leave it to your will to decide if you are motivated enough to work on it for the day.

I’ve decided to try creating a morning routine which is a humongous challenge for me. I really wish to create a daily practice of visualization/gratitude, meditation and journaling. At the moment, my morning consists of me groggily waking up and zoning out for almost an hour, procrastinating my office work by wasting my time on the phone and rushing through the rest of the day as everything is already delayed by that time.

Since I’m a morning person, I’m contemplating to wake up 30 mins early each day till I’m habituated to wake up at 5 am everyday. I KNOW, SOUNDS INSANE RIGHT? I absolutely don’t find time to meditate and journal once I start my office work. This might be the best manner to squeeze out a little time each day for myself and work on things that’ll help improve my mental health and be beneficial in my goal to become a better version of myself.

I know I’m looking at a challenge that looks too difficult to accomplish. My weight loss was also one such impossible challenge which I succeeded only by being disciplined and making exercise and healthy eating a lifelong habit.

I’ll try my best to live up to this challenge. No better day to start it than the start of a new month. I’ll post about my experience with this challenge at the end of October. Till then, wish me luck!

I can and I will

#67/100

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

-Jim Rohn

It’s so easy to give up when the situations start getting a little tough. I keep getting frustrated, confused, blame myself for everything and can’t seem to find a way out. Losing hope and ending the battle seems like the only logical conclusion. I feel drained of my energy and nothing helps in reverting my personality back to my positive self.

But there’s a small, almost muffled voice inside my head says “Don’t give up, you are doing well!” I don’t know if that’s my subconscious mind or just my heart who only wants the best for me. I just don’t give up.

I’ve decided to channel my inner “Wonder Woman” to discharge my responsibilities well.

I know it’s easier said than done. More often than not, our mind starts behaving like the biggest antagonist of our life and doesn’t allow us to work efficiently. The strategy that I have decided is to prepare a daily schedule and work on all tasks without thinking twice about it. When we think about something, it leads to a continued phase of vicious overthinking. I don’t wish to fall in that trap again and get work done as much as possible.

My manner to combat overthinking and negative thoughts is to prepare a list and act on it immediately. Hopefully next time, I have a story of hope and positivity.

HaPpY despite the odds

#66/100

“Life is a journey, and if you fall in love with the journey, you will be in love forever.” 

Peter Hagerty

Do you know why we feel so nostalgic about our childhood memories? Why do we always feel that we were happier as kids? “Adulting” is mostly associated with stress, anger and frustration. Then comes the quarter life, mid-life crisis situations. Why is everything a crisis once we grow up? Firstly, once we grow up, other people start having expectations from us to do certain things and behave in a certain manner. Secondly, as kids, the one thing we enjoyed the most was the freedom to do what we wanted. As a child we didn’t realize it. Most of the kids don’t particularly enjoy studying and they feel forced to do it. Yet, as kids, our desires were basic and we found time to fulfil all of them. Once we grow up and have to take care of personal and professional responsibilities that take up most of our time. Happiness is all about doing what is in sync with our mind and heart. When we don’t do such things for whatever reasons, depression slowly crawls it’s way to our lives.

For the last couple of days, I’ve been meaning to wake up early, be organized with my work, complete everything before time and strike off items from my to-do list. Yet, I’ve been experiencing insane bouts of laziness ever since I’ve been with additional responsibilities at home after my mother fractured her arm. Every day in the morning all I wish to do is continue sleeping to avoid experiencing another day filled with activities that I don’t particularly enjoy. What should I rather be doing in such situations to keep my cool and be happy?

As I’ve said few times before, I’ve been experiencing indescribable happiness from small little things/events that take place in our daily life. As I’m feeling overwhelmed with work at the moment, the only thing I wish to do is sleep a little while longer to avoid facing a new day. At the end of the day, I feel content to have completed other responsibilities on time. Yet, I experience a big void as I was too lazy to indulge in activities that truly light up my soul.

Doing things that make your inner soul happy is a foolproof way of being consistently happy despite the odds. That’s exactly what I’m procrastinating now and am unable to experience happiness at the end of the day.

Please make time for activities that truly make you happy. These things should be part of your daily life and can be as basic as listening to your favorite song. This might give you the much needed happiness boost to make each day worthwhile.

Nostalgia

#65/100

“nostalgia makes the past dress up in prettier clothes than those the present is wearing”

Dahi Tamara Koch

Barring few events from my past, I’ve always longed to turn back time and restart my life from the beginning. As I grow older, I realize that I’ve lost way too much time in life to overcome my fears and weaknesses. I always wonder how I would have turned out if I had all the realizations and knowledge that I gained over the years a little earlier in life. I keep regretting few elements of my life and wonder if things would have turned out differently for me in their absence. The past always seems like a bittersweet memory yet I feel most comfortable in there.

Since we have already know what our past looks like, it seems familiar and comfortable to us. For some reason, living in the present is one of the most difficult things in life. I keep thinking about the past or be scared about the future. The best way to live a happy and content life is to concentrate on our present. Our mind spews out thoughts at the speed of light. Meditation helps in becoming aware of our thought process thus it helps us acknowledge the flow of our thoughts. Once we are better at doing that, we are able to redirect our thought process to the present. The future is like a horror ride in an amusement park. We really can’t predict anything and are surprised by the events that we aren’t prepared for.

Our present and future consists of a world of immense possibilities. Yet, we tend to slip back to our past which is our comfort zone. As human beings, we always tend to favor our past than be scared for our future. But I wish to break out of this barrier and focus all my energy on the present. My past is a learning experience for me to give my best in the present. It’s good to remember our past but we can’t allow our past to set up unreasonable high standards for the present and future to fulfil. The mind has all sorts of thoughts in a day, there’s no point stressing over our past and future as the situation is totally imaginary. Our brain senses danger and sends out fear signals in the mind for possible threat and makes us fearful about our future. I’ve decided to only use my past as a learning experience for my present and future.

A little bit of nostalgia is important, however, if our past makes us lose track of our goal , it should be ignored as much as possible.

Patience is virtue

#64/100

Do you remember the feeling of complete disbelief you have when you come across any gigantic challenge in life? I’m talking about the tasks that require us to work hard for a very long time before we start seeing any results on it. We are a generation which is used to “instant gratification”. We are absolutely not ready to wait for a long time for our reward. For us hard work and rewards go hand in hand. Technology and the current corporations have utilized this phenomena to their best capacity to bring us applications that cater to the needs of the current generation. Everything is digitalized and available to us at the push of a button. We have the attention span of a goldfish, we need to see visible results for us to continue working on it.

The experience that I am about to share now relates to my struggle to continue working hard while battling the ill effects of this phenomena. The first month of my weight loss journey was extremely hard. I had never seen results with any weight loss method (casual ones) I had applied before. I had zero hope of being successful at this attempt (honest one) as I was trying it out for the very first time. Every single workout session was a challenge. There were so many instances when I questioned my decision of subjecting myself to the pain of exercise. For a person who has never been into any form of physical activity before, working out consistently without seeing any results whatsoever was a battle between the ease of giving up and my resolve to lose weight. It wasn’t just this, I had refrained from eating unhealthy food. That means I had to sacrifice on all the food that excited my taste buds but were unhealthy for my body.

However, I wanted to share this experience because it has been one of the biggest life altering lessons of my life. Though there were times I wanted to give up, I was able to motivate myself to continue working hard. I kept telling myself that the pain won’t last forever, I just have to do this for 3 months (that’s the deadline I had set for myself) and I can give up if I don’t see any results after that. This experience taught me to live in the present. For some reason, I felt that I needed to lose weight in a specific time frame, anything beyond that would be a waste of time. I really don’t understand why I kept chasing time earlier. Working on myself is a life long process, one can’t put a timeline on it. No one will judge us for not doing it before or after a certain time. The best time to start any activity is “NOW” and the best way to be consistent at it is to work on it “one day at a time“. We tend to compare our daily results to the end goal and get disappointed for not being successful at it.

I broke down my goal into monthly targets and celebrated each milestone. My initial goal was to lose over 12 kgs in 3 months. For the first few days I kept checking my weight after every difficult workout session and wanted to give up on not seeing any results (classic mistake!). Then I decided to mark one day each month (milestone) to check my weight and maintain a log of my daily food and exercise schedules. This helped me immensely as I could see gradual progress in my food and workout habits daily and that kept me motivated till my milestone days. On each milestone day, I could see a considerable progress in my weight, body and fitness levels and that just boosted my confidence to next level.

Although my initial reason for my weight loss was for completely aesthetic, healthy eating and workouts have become an integral part of my life. I have become stronger, physically and mentally after consistently working on myself and achieving this goal. This experience has taught me to stay patient and to keep going when things get tough. As they say, “The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart

The next time you have a huge task and keep questioning your abilities to complete it, just remember to be consistent at it, one day at a time.

My relationship with food

#63/100

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

― Hippocrates

Food is an essential part of our survival, perhaps the sole reason behind it. Food can instantly change my mood, make me happy, energized, motivated and exhilarated. I’ve experienced severe bouts of anger, irritation to the point of absolute frustration when I’m hungry. I’m extremely blessed to have a belly full of food whenever I desire it. My mother has always been an amazing cook and have prepared scrumptious dishes for our family all my life. At the end of a tiring day, having good food prepared by my mother has the power to reverse back all the stress built up during the day.

But I’ve never had a cordial relationship with food. While growing up I was overweight. I never thought that I ate too much to gain that weight. It was much later in life that I was introduced to the terms “binge eating” and “stress eating” to deal with it during my childhood. I was oblivious to the amount of food I had during the day as a child.

I always tend to eat too fast and too much. I somehow feel the need to have more than necessary portions of food to feel satiated. I tend to eat an indescribable amount of sugary treats when I’m sad or depressed. The dopamine rush that I get when I eat sugary food used to be my way to deal with stressful situations in life. I absolutely couldn’t live without sugar or sweet food. I swore of sugary food for a year and a half about 3 years back as a sacrifice to achieve one of my goals at that time. As silly as it may sound, it was my way of pleasing the universe to manifest my dream in exchange of something that I absolutely couldn’t give up. I never ended up fulfilling my dream but my abstinence from sugar made me mentally strong to deal with the frustrating situations in life.

The second breakthrough with my food habits came during my weight loss journey. I gave up eating all of my favorite food (junk, processed, with refined sugar etc) and resorted to healthy eating only. My portion sizes were also limited. I forced myself to eat slow and chew more, giving ample time for my brain to realize that it’s full. I drank water first whenever I felt hunger pangs to avoid eating because of boredom. I slowly acquired a taste for all the healthy food that I absolutely detested before. The effects of healthy eating showed up on my mind, body and overall health within a span of 3 months. I couldn’t have been happier.

My relationship with food still isn’t the best but I’m learning everyday. I feel extremely guilty when I have junk food or excess food. I feel the need to workout more than usual just to burn off the extra calories consumed from having “unhealthy food”. Up until few months back, I could eat multiple bars of chocolates in one sitting to cope with my anxiety issues. I don’t know how I got over it but I don’t crave sugary food anymore. I still tend to gulp down my food without realizing it. I order large portion sizes of food just for the sake of it and find it difficult to eat everything leading to overeating. There are many instances where I tend to allow food to control me rather than it being the other way around.

I’m learning each day and trying to heal my relationship with food. My mind has a lot to do with my food choices as I tend to use food as a punishment when I feel guilty of eating unhealthy food. I’m working very hard on my mental health and the desire to be happy despite any adverse circumstances. If we can get our mind to calm down and be patient, each and every aspect of our life would flourish, especially our food choices. So let’s try to understand our mind better and be patient enough to love every aspect of our life. Let’s be stronger, little by little, ever day!

Becoming unstoppable

#62/100

“Who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.” 

Zdravko Cvijetic

Okay, so there have been few inconsistencies in my life of late. My routine has undergone a 360 degree change. I’m incredibly blessed to have a mother who understands the importance of having a stable mental health and doesn’t force me to do things I don’t feel like. Yet, I know I’m not giving my best. She has fractured her hand and needs complete rest at the moment. I am currently overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the house as well as office at the same time. I have been doing a terrible job at both since the day I took the responsibility.

I have the tendency to consider myself a victim of every uncomfortable situation that I’m put through. My initial reaction is to blame every person/thing that I consider responsible for being the reason behind my misery. My way to cope up with such situations is to do nothing about it. Since I’m a perfectionist, I take a long time to do any work that is expected of me. That makes it difficult for me to manage a lot of work at the same time causing me to procrastinate everything till the last moment.

But I’m really tired of finding the easy way out in all the difficult situations of my life. I always waste time when I have a lot of it. The minute I’m supposed to do something that I don’t wish to do, I’m reminded of all the work that I could have done in that time instead. My defense mechanism goes overboard to make me feel absolutely terrible at times.

So I’ve decided that this time, I won’t pick the safe route. I’ll get all work done, in the manner that I’m supposed to do, to the best of my ability. My mom is my biggest inspiration in life. Her grit and positivity always shines bright on me. The way she has handled all the difficult situations in life can be a rulebook to ones who get scared of it. She gets motivated to work harder when things don’t go as per her wish. I’ve hardly seen her disappointed with failures. She takes every mistake as a learning lesson and challenges herself to do better next time. This is exactly what I’m planning to do.

Cheers to a new challenge. If I can deal with all the brick backs life throws at me and end up learning something new in the process, won’t I become the person that I truly want to be? Be truly unstoppable! Let’s do this!!

Making my time count

#61/100

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”

-Michael Altshuler

I wanted to do so many things today. Yet, I’m sitting on my bed at the end of the day today, completely clueless about the manner in which I spent my day. I woke up in the morning with a plan to complete all my work on time. I had a mental list of everything that I wanted to work on today. But I ended up having an extremely rushed day, wasting most of the time zoning out or on the phone and just like that, my day got over.

I don’t know why I’m unable to take action on every task on my to-do list. When I almost get around to do it, there’s a voice in my head which says this can be done tomorrow and I listen to it like an ardent follower. Why am I being so lazy? I have absolutely no clue. I am totally aware that I can work on completing every work on my list on the same day if I put my mind to it. So what’s exactly wrong?

I’m not a lazy person yet there are times when my easy going nature causes a lot of inconsistencies with the timing of my work. I really don’t wish to waste even a single millisecond of my life.

The best way to get a hold on our life is by journaling. When I pen down our thoughts, I understand myself a little better each time. Fighting procrastination has been one of the main goals my life.

I’m too overwhelmed with housework and office work at the moment. I know that I can do much better than this. Every day I wake up with the intention of doing all my work before time and I end up doing the exact opposite of that. My mind isn’t able to handle my volatile emotions and has decided to seek the safe way out by doing absolutely nothing.

Looking forward to a better tomorrow.

Good night!

I am my hope

#60/100

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” 

― J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

There was a time when I endlessly waited for happy things to take place in my life. I believed that I was stuck at the same place without any respite. My life seemed dull and eventless. I truly believed that I was a victim of the situation that I was in and waited to be rescued by a prince in shining armor. I couldn’t see any way out of the situation and was unhappy with the way things were progressing in my life. I hated my job, the crowded local trains, my work, my profession, basically everything that accounts for a fulfilled life. I thought that I was living my life for other people and didn’t indulge in any activity that truly made me happy. I somehow couldn’t find a way out and my future seemed very bleak at that moment.

But….

I don’t feel like this anymore. I am truly happy with my life now. I have time to work on all the activities that make me happy. My work is the same but it doesn’t frustrate me anymore. I’m in the same profession yet it doesn’t drain all my energy. I do feel sad and upset at times but am able to bounce back to my happy self soon. What has really changed?

The old me truly believed that the situation she was going through, the bad ones, the frustrating ones, were her reality. She couldn’t find happiness in the present nor had any hope for the future. She wasn’t able to disassociate her future from the present. She believed that happiness exists in the big events and the small ones are either insignificant or don’t last long. She was on a constant wait for her life to change for the better but didn’t know how her ‘better future‘ looked like.

So what changed now? I know that my present situations have little or no control over my future. I consider myself limitless, I don’t feel tied down by my current circumstances. I find happiness in the tiniest things, they could be as basic as making homemade chocolates or shopping for stuff online. I feel an immense sense of gratitude for everything that I have and count my blessings. I hold myself responsible for my life. I know I have the power to change it for the better, anytime, every time. This has helped me build my hope for the future. In all the self help books that I’ve read till date, the most prominent hack for a happy life is to find happiness in the present. I always found it difficult to find happiness in my present life when everything seemed going downhill. It felt absolutely impossible to like a job I absolutely hated. One day I just happened to watch a good show and it filled me with immense happiness. The show was great, but I longed to feel that happy always. That’s when I decided to revel in my happiness, find it in as many things as possible (be it big or small) and live a fulfilled life.

Ever since I’ve started looking at the bright side of every incident, my life changed. I don’t feel trapped by any situation. I take a deep breath rather than being frustrated by any inconsistency and think calmly to find the best possible solution. No matter how difficult the situation is, I know that it’s not my reality or future. That helps me look at my life as a spectator and pick the option that makes me most happy. This has made me realize that it’s not that difficult to stay happy if we put in a little effort each day. Happiness is liberating and I want to be happy and positive in every situation I face in life.

Trapped

#59/100

“Life is a reality don’t live it like a rehearsal.”

Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

My mom had a procedure done for her fractured arm at the hospital today. We were there for almost 12 hrs. I don’t know what I was thinking when I went there without my phone charger or any backup/alternative to pass my time there. My mom had the procedure done and was advised to rest. My phone battery died after 6 hrs of usage. For almost 4 hrs after that, I wandered inside the hospital pointlessly just to pass my time.

I had so many thoughts in my mind when my phone died. Firstly, every single second without my phone inside the hospital felt like a year. When I’m at home, an aimless scrolling session on Instagram eats up half an hour of my time without any realization. I don’t know why those 4 hrs felt like a criminal wastage of time. I just kept thinking of so many things I could have done instead of allowing time to just pass by. But I never have the same guilt when I’m at home doing absolutely nothing.

When I finally got hold of my phone charger, I felt like I got a new lease of life! It’s funny how I’ve allowed technology to take over my life and let it call the shots. I always felt that I wasn’t overtly dependent on mobile phones for my survival. I was horribly mistaken. My phone is my lifeline. I could have done a million things from my phone in those 4 hours. Also I had another big realization about the way we spend our time. I feel guilty of not pursuing my goals to the best of my ability only when I’m in a situation where I end up wasting time without my control. On the other hand, wasting time at the comfort of my home doing absolutely nothing feels like a much deserved break.

Time is extremely precious. And our time on this planet are numbered. After today, I really wish to be more prepared in life and utilize my time in the best possible manner. Rest and free time are the most important elements to keep our mind stable. However, we can’t keep wasting time in the name of rest and recovery.

I have decided to plan my days well. I don’t wish to feel rushed throughout the day for lack of better time management skills. The first step to achieving any goal is to “take action“. I’m going to plan my days to include time for rest and entertainment so that I don’t burnout without even realizing it. This is a new lifestyle change that I’ll try and adapt to. I’m excited to know about my accomplishments through this new lifestyle change.