Chasing growth

I’ve had a long hiatus from blogging. The reason I couldn’t post regularly anymore is because I sensed a feeling of stagnancy in my writing. I felt that I was writing about the same stuff, time and again and had nothing new to offer to this community. The break was needed and a lot of things happened in my life during this period of 4 odd months that I was away from word press, with the exception of my monthly recaps. I feel much better now, mentally and I consider that a huge plus considering my frame of mind in the last 4 months.

My initial purpose of starting this blog was to write about my thoughts and feelings freely here and gain some mental clarity in the process. Today, I’ve come back here to do the same thing. I’ve had a nagging thought going on in my head for a long time now and I desperately wanted to stop pondering over it. I tried drafting this post multiple times in the last 2 weeks but just wasn’t able to get my thoughts together. It’s Sunday today and I have all the time in the world to complete this post and bring a closure to my thought process on this topic.

Let me start with a question. How close are you with your childhood friends now? I guess this question is relevant to the people who have crossed the major milestones in their lives (school > college > job > marriage). As we grow older and shoulder more responsibilities in life, our priorities changes at times and we aren’t able to sustain the same level of connection with our friends in the same manner as during our teenage or young adulthood days. Some may accept this change quickly and move on with their lives. Others may wait endlessly for things to revert back to good old days and refuse to come out of their comfort zone. The sooner we realize that each and every person we know is capable of change, sometimes into a completely different version of them that we no longer connect to, the better it is for us to prioritize our own growth.

For the longest time, I was upset and hurt at these people who left without a trace, who went from talking about every random thing in the world everyday to finding it difficult to hold a conversation, who only contacted me only when they needed to get some information or work done, whose thought process or ideologies did not resonate with me anymore. There were times when I could see my close friends in pain and agony because of their mindset and negative beliefs and I felt absolutely helpless as my words or actions were of no help to them. It made me feel incapable of providing support, emotionally drained and mentally exhausted. I blamed myself for not being a good friend, not being there for my closed ones when they needed me the most, not being able to help them out of their misery. This also took a toll on my mental health as I felt guilty of not being a good friend or even a helpful human being and I blamed myself for leaving such people in distress to concentrate on my own well being.

However, in the past couple of months I’ve realized that you don’t need to change your core nature, your beliefs in the pretext of helping others. The ones who seek help, will figure out a way of dealing with their troubles (if you no longer serve the purpose) and connect with those who make them feel better in their own right. You shouldn’t blame or bash yourself for not being the one helping them or be upset with them for reaching out to others for support. While they are away figuring out their lives, it’s imperative that you concentrate on your own and make sure that you make yourself a priority.

We spend most of our life in our head, amidst our thoughts. Naturally, we need to ensure that our mind is the most positive and encouraging place to be. Feed the thoughts that foster your growth, keep the negative thoughts at bay, nourish them by being grateful towards our existence and thankful for all the opportunities that have led to our growth in life. There is no one way to lead a happy life but we can figure out the things that definitely don’t add value to it.

Recently I saw an amazing keynote speech by Hal Elrod, #1 international bestselling author of The Miracle Morning. He discussed an amazing rule that he swears by to keep his emotions in check.

He calls it the 5- minute rule.

According to it, when things go wrong, it’s okay to be completely negative–but not for more than five minutes. With this rule, Elrod learned to set a timer, moan, complain, whine, and express every negative emotion he liked during a period of five minutes, and then took a deep breath to say three remarkably powerful words:

Can’t Change It.

“It’s simply an acknowledgement that I can’t change what’s already happened, so there’s no value in wishing it were different,” he explains.

With this, I’ll stop thinking about ways to change the external factors in my life or regret my past actions. I’ll work on taking complete responsibility of my life and make sure to do everything to improve it’s quality. It makes no sense to blame our circumstances for everything that goes wrong as it doesn’t provide any solution or help us with the way forward.

Accept it, own it and hustle harder.

Monthly recap : July 2021

I don’t have much to share in this month’s recap as well. My mom was diagnosed with covid on 13th July and subsequently on 17th July, the rest of the family (including me) tested positive. I didn’t feel like doing any of the self care activities during this time. However, in the hindsight, I truly believe that spending some time on self care each day could have helped me cope up with this demanding phase of life in a much better manner. Lesson learnt.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 1/31 days.
  • Journaled/documented my day for days.
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days.

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I handled the household responsibilities and took care of my mom as she was diagnosed with covid a week before us. Although it isn’t a talent or a skill to be talked about, I’m glad I was able to pull through this mentally exhausting phase.

Workouts

  • Zero outdoor/indoor runs
  • Worked out for 4/31 days

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum. Exam has been deferred to March 2022.
  • Zero online courses completed in July

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 1 book – Mint your money by Pranjal Kamra. It’s an amazing read especially for the ones who want to understand the basics and begin their financial planning journey. (More than halfway through 2 books.)
  • I watched the season 2 of Never Have I Ever and absolutely loved it. It distracted me from all that was going on at home when we were recovering from covid. A must watch!
  • Also breezed through Mimi on Netflix. Pretty mediocre, can be skipped.

Ending on a positive note and hoping that I can start afresh and accomplish the goals that I set for August.