The one with the hundredth

100/100

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” 

-Bernice Johnson Reagon

WOW! My emotions are all over the place today. I feel emotional, elated, proud and ecstatic at the same time!! I DID IT!! I completed my challenge of posting an article daily for 100 days. This feels surreal. To be honest, I was very scared of leaving this goal unaccomplished during the initial days of this challenge. I do have the tendency to set huge goals for myself and realize later on that I don’t have the ability or willpower to accomplish it. But this was different. Writing an article on my blog never felt like a task, it was something that helped clear my mind everyday. My day felt incomplete without posting on my blog. Maybe that’s the reason I was able to conquer my irrational fears about this challenge and reached the shore without having to experience any sort of turbulence on the way.

The impact of this challenge on my life

When I started out, I had zero confidence in my writing skills. This challenge forced me to think beyond my limitations and pour my heart out every single day on this blog. I have a long way to go in the field of blogging and accomplishing this challenge is a step in the right direction for me as it helped clear a lot of mental blocks such as :-

  • I was worried that I would run out of topics to write about for 100 days. Turns out as long as we are alive in the Universe, we will always have something to share to the world.
  • It is not as difficult as my mind made it seem like in the beginning. I started taking each day as it comes and broke down the 100 days into 1 article each day and concentrated only on that day’s article. Thinking of the challenge as a whole can be quite overwhelming, breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals is less intimidating to our mind.
  • I don’t know if my there has been any improvement in my writing skills, but I sure am much quicker and better at putting my thoughts into words now. That’s a big win for me!
  • Whether you do something or not, time passes by anyways. It’s better to utilize time to the best of our ability and do everything that our mind can dream of.
  • You don’t need to have a particular skillset or extraordinary talent to do something you like. If you are truly passionate about it, you will grow along the way and become better with each attempt. Don’t let the fear of societal judgement hold you back from your dreams.
  • You can never know what you are capable of unless you attempt it.

Gratitude to the readers and my blogger friends

I started from square on with about 6 followers and now I have about 160+ of you following my blog. This is the biggest level of appreciation for me and motivates me to continue doing what I love. Thank you for your amazing comments, likes, support and feedback, I cherish them dearly and it fills me up with gratitude and love!! All the bloggers on this platform are superstars in their own right and have the most amazing writing style. I get to learn something new from each one of you. Keep up the great work, you guys are INCREDIBLE!!!

What next?

The challenge has come to an end but this isn’t the end of my blogging journey. I’ll continue to post articles (hopefully daily) for as long as I can think of till I find my niche and a fixed schedule to follow. A heartfelt thank you for all the support and amazing friends I have made here. I am truly overwhelmed!

Change is the only constant

#83/100

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

– George Eliot

I was talking to my colleague today and ending up learning a lot of things from him in what started off as a casual discussion. There has been a lot of changes in my office recently. The colleague I was talking to is a sales professional who handles a clientele belonging to a particular sector in the industry. The changes I was talking about relates to shuffling of these sectors and the client base in the process. While other sales team handle sectors and clientele that have been part of the organisation since a long time, my colleague used to handle a sector that was newly introduced in our department. He along with his teammate were responsible in setting up the sector from scratch and building the client base.

I asked him if he was upset that his sector was taken away or if he had any apprehensions about the change. His answer just blew me away. He said, “Not even a bit. I would have had a regret had I not been able to give my 100% to my work. I sowed the seeds, watered the plant diligently and was blessed enough to enjoy the fruit of my labour. Now, I seek a change in the routine, a new challenge, a new adventure.!” He also asked me if I see myself working in the same organisation 6 months down the line, although my reply is a glaring NO, I chose not to comment. If you cannot see yourself working in the same place even for the next 6 months, what is the point of being so attached to the work you do? I was astounded by the clarity and ease in his replies.

I still remember my attitude towards work in my previous organisation. The attrition rate was very high causing a lot of team shuffles and changes in work profile. I dreaded it every single time. I was too comfortable with my daily routine and couldn’t bring myself to test my skills in a new and challenging environment. Basically, I had zero confidence in my ability. I have outgrown this phase however still haven’t been able to develop a thick skin to any big change in life like my incredible colleague. He did tell me it takes time and patience, all I can do is work on it consistently.

That is all I can do. Work on my skills consistently, learn whatever I wish to learn, be attentive in the present moment, do what makes me happy, make time for myself and celebrate my life. I might not be able to predict any big changes in my life but I can be prepared by striving to be the best version of myself, each day, every day!

Boomers vs Millennials

#80/100

“OK Boomer!”

a viral internet slang phrase used, often in a humorous or ironic manner, to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the Baby Boomer generation and older people more generally

-https://time.com/5782508/ok-boomer-meaning-slang-dictionary/

“Do you want to have a pastry?” asks my dad, a diabetic! “No, dad, sugar is bad for health. Besides, you are the one who shouldn’t be eating it!”. This advise falls on deaf ears as I find a box of pastries on the dining table in the evening. My dad is from of a generation where going to school was considered a luxury. He has had a hard life, I admit it. Yet, I cannot understand half of things he does or considers absolutely necessary to do.

I understand ‘baby boomers’ have lived way longer than us and have had richer life experiences. But there are certain things that millennials understand better and no amount of life experiences can supersede that. Baby boomers have absolute disregard towards the issues that millennials face in their day to day life. Yes I understand that our life may not be as hard as yours, but that doesn’t reduce the severity of our problems. Also, what’s with the deal with never admitting to their mistakes? They never apologize and have an excuse for everything they do, even if it’s visibly wrong.

In March this year, when our country had just started with the lockdown, everyone aged above 60 years were strictly asked to be inside the house. I tried reasoning with my father who wished to go on a morning walk, despite our fears and concerns about the situation. He eventually had his way because science is dumb and coronavirus is just a myth! My mother and I have a big generation gap too, yet she understands her kids and their situation so well, it astounds me. Why can’t my dad? Why can’t he at least try?

I had a very important office call to attend today so I locked the door of my room for the call. I don’t really have a room, I work in the living room of my house. In the middle of the call, I could hear someone frantically banging the door. Yes, you guessed it right! It was my father. I guess he had an important space mission to attend to which absolutely couldn’t wait any longer. I continued with the call and was in the middle of answering a query when I heard a loud voice asking me to open the door! He had his way, like always! “How can you have such a long call? What am I supposed to do inside? came his reply!

I was so disappointed by this entire incident. No, I didn’t worry much about the call. I always feel helpless when it comes to my father’s behavior. It would have been really nice to have a parent who at least empathizes with our life even if they don’t relate to it. Talking to him never has any outcome. I still tried. I told him how disappointed I was with his behavior. For once, I felt that he listened to me when he didn’t reply for a while. Is this for real? Did he actually understand my issue with his behavior?

“Do you want to have a pastry?” Turns out, he was thinking about his pastry the entire time!

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!

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!!

Getting work done

#57/100

“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.”

-John Ortberg

Life has thrown me a curve ball when I least expected it. I’ve been having a pretty relaxed routine ever since the beginning of our quarantine and grown very comfortable with it. I did my work at my own sweet time and didn’t care about the time that went in vain. I had a lot of things to do in my mental to do list but decided to take it easy and pushed things off to tomorrow that weren’t a priority. Ever since my mom fractured her hand, I am pressed for time. There’s lot of work to do in little time and all I feel like doing is to sleep.

I know that I desperately need to work on my time management skills. If I make good use of time, I’ll be able to get more work done now than ever before. Whenever I feel pressurized or burdened, my initial reaction is to slack. Call it anxiety or sheer nervousness, my fear of not getting perfect results in everything I do, makes me want to quit the situation all together. I tend to waste my time not doing anything rather than utilizing every single millisecond to do my best and not think too much about the output.

I have a lot of work on my hand and the only thing that will help me deal with it is to “Act before I think” or rather “overthink”. I haven’t been following this of late and have allowed my fearful thoughts to take the driver seat. It’s time to take action or else I will be stuck at the same place forever.

I’ve come across this quote many times before “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger!” Now is the right time to prove this quote right. Our human mind is capable of truly great things. Our fear of survival tends to put a lot of limitations on us making it difficult for us to reach our true potential. I really wish to move beyond my psychological limitations and work on my goal of becoming the best version of myself. Let’s do this!

Be fit 2.0 : Milestone 1

#38/100

Yay! I hit the first milestone of my 2020 fitness resolve. On 10th August, I decided to do everything possible to get into the best shape of my life. August has been a month of hits and misses however I’m pretty happy with my overall fitness progress. After having a fairly chilled out first month of the journey, I’ve realized I need to buck up to meet my target in the next 4 months. The goal is completely doable but demands a little extra focus and determination.

Here are my achievements for this month :-

Weight :-

Starting weight (10th August) : 62.9 kgs

Milestone 1 (31st August) : 62.5 kgs (Lost 0.4 kgs)

Workouts :-

Was regular on most days with a one rest day in a week. However, the first week that I had to attend office for 2 consecutive days (13th & 14th Aug) and had to travel almost 11 hrs each day, I missed 4 consecutive days of workouts (13th to 16th Aug). I made it up the next week by rope skipping early in the morning on office going days.

Meditation :-

Have not been meditating at all for the past 2 weeks. I plan to resume it from tomorrow on wards. I somehow stop meditating once I start feeling better and happier in my life.I am aware of the amazing benefits of meditation in our overall growth and well being and will try my best to make it a daily habit tomorrow on wards.

Food :-

I’m pretty proud of myself for eating healthy as much as possible. I did indulge in cakes and ice cream once a week but my portion size was limited. I’ve outgrown my sweet tooth and do not enjoy extremely sweet desserts. I also indulged in few cheat foods during the weekend and enjoyed them thoroughly.

Key achievements :

  • Longest rope skipping session of 2000 skips on 23rd August
  • Attempted a 10 km indoor running session for a virtual marathon event on 30th August. Although I took double the amount of time to complete the distance as the indoor are made me feel more tired and suffocated (1.42.15 hrs), I’m extremely happy to have completed the run.
  • Attempted two different 30 min difficult HIIT sessions in the same week.

Goals for Milestone 2 (30th September):-

  • Workout 6 days a week
  • No refined sugar
  • Limit cheat meals (Fried, processed food)
  • Rope skip every evening at least 500 times
  • Attempt 10 push ups
  • Run at least 5 kms every Sunday
  • Meditate at least for 5 mins everyday

See you until the next milestone!!

Be fit 2.0

#17/100

About 2 years back in September 2018, I embarked on my weight loss journey. This wasn’t the first time that I was attempting to lose weight. I’ve been insecure of my looks and weight ever since I was teased and mocked about it by my cousins during my childhood. I have been overweight all my life with absolutely zero association with sports and fitness.

In September 2018, I was fed up of my insecurities and low self esteem issues connected to my weight. I decided to give an “all or nothing” attempt to lose weight. I forced myself to do everything possible to lose weight till 31st December 2018. The deadline was very important. The countdown to 31st December gave me immense motivation to be on track. Every time I faltered, I convinced myself to bounce back by saying that I only had x number of days left. The first month was extraordinarily difficult but I managed to sail through all the hurdles till the end of my self imposed deadline. Needless to say, I hit my goal weight in December.

I learnt a lot after my weight loss journey. My initial attempt was only to please the society. I badly wanted to fit in, be called beautiful and get acknowledged for my looks. Newsflash, nothing of that sort happened. I was told I had lost too much weight, looked weak, that the weight loss didn’t suit me at all and I looked better before.

It hurt me a lot. My post weight loss experience was nothing like I had imagined. But I kept on going with my fitness schedule. My weight loss gave me a new found confidence, improved my self esteem to never seen before heights, made me happy, strong and fit physically and mentally. It was like being bestowed with a new life and I wasn’t ready to go back to the old, pitiful one. Despite being disapproved by the society, I decided the only approval that mattered was my own. And I wasn’t ready to give up on myself this time.

2 years later, I wish to embark on a new journey. I wish to be in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. This one also has a deadline, 31st December 2020. As I said before, deadlines add a fun element as well as provide a sigh of relief on this journey.

My goal : Lose 5 kgs (I weighed 62.9 kgs in the morning today, my goal is to hit 58 kgs)

Below are the ground rules that I’ll strictly follow on this journey.

  • No refined sugar ( They bloat me up and add empty calories that are difficult to burn)
  • Workout everyday (Mix of HIIT {High Intensity Interval training} as well as low intensity workouts, skipping and running)
  • No junk food (Healthy alternatives cooked at home allowed)
  • Meditate everyday (Best way to improve my mental health)
  • Weigh in and progress posts at the end of each month
  • Set new workout goals for each month and crush them

I guess that’s it. This is random but my last random attempt was the most successful one so I can count on this one to yield favorable results too. Let’s do this!

I’ll upload my first progress post on 31st August 2020. Till then, let’s work to be the best version of ourselves.

The missing pendant

#1/100

To kick start my first article of this challenge, let me document one of the most miraculous days of my life.

Ever since my childhood, I had developed a habit of wearing a gold chain on my neck. I call it a habit because I’m not particularly interested in jewelry or accessorizing as such, it’s just a thing I had picked up as part of our community values. I know it doesn’t make sense at all, it’s just one of the crazy things we south Indians do, “Your neck looks bare, wear a gold chain!”

As I started using the public transport for my work commute, I became extremely fearful of wearing a gold chain on a daily basis. There have been many instances of chain snatching on the trains or railway platforms and that honestly scared the shit out of me. I still carried on with determination and built up my confidence after almost a decade of using the public transport.

However, an incident that took place about a year and a half back forced me to change my view on this. I had started going on long morning runs ranging from 7 to 10 kms during the weekends. On one such run, after completing few rounds, I slowly felt my gold chain slipping through my back. I turned around and saw it on the ground. In the momentary celebration of having found my gold chain back I realized that it didn’t have the most important element, my precious tortoise pendant.

Although I didn’t have an interest in wearing jewelry, I absolutely loved the pendant. It was a beautiful small gold and diamond pendant in the shape of a tortoise, it even had eyes carved on it for crying out loud! Let me insert a reference picture here for you to understand why I absolutely adored it.

https://www.bluestone.com/pendants/the-tortoise-pendant~9509.html

The realization struck soon, I might have lost the pendant way before the gold chain slipped from my neck and I just wasn’t ready to lose it. I was running on a concrete road with tiny pebbles and leaves all around. It was physically next to impossible to find the pendant on the ground. I still spent the next 45 mins going over the same stretch of the road multiple times to try and locate my precious pendant. All through the ordeal, my mind was exceptionally calm and confident that I would find it. However, the positive chatter soon ended when I wasn’t successful in retrieving it. Reluctantly, I decided to head back home. I couldn’t complete my running target either and honestly that bothered me even more.

I started taking painfully slow steps back home with my eyes still fixated on the ground, eagerly trying to locate my precious pendant, without any hope left to find it. I walked for sometime, probably the most disappointing walk of my life, when my eyes fell on something shiny on the ground. You’ve got to be kidding me, there lay my pendant, smothered in mud and tiny pebbles! This place was way behind the path where I had felt my chain slipping from my neck so I had no inclination of searching for it here. My pendant had slipped from the chain almost a kilometre before the chain lost it’s balance. I had spent 45 mins looking for it in the completely wrong direction and path. I was exhilarated! I absolutely couldn’t believe my luck! I found my pendant back!

I had an exciting story to share to my mom that day and also a valid reason for tucking the chain and pendant safely inside the locker. To celebrate this miraculous victory, I decided to complete the run that was disrupted by the missing pendant incident. Yeah, that’s how I celebrate, I run!