Existential crisis

#86/100

“I don’t know if what I’m going to say will hurt or help, but screw it. Do you know what’s really happening right now? You’re learning what it is like to be human. All humans are aware of death. So… we’re all a little bit sad.”

-Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place

I’m watching an absolutely mind boggling American TV series these days called “The Good Place”. The show is witty, quirky, funny and the theme also involves a fantasy element which is a big win-win situation for me. What I love most about the show is the underlying philosophical interpretation of every human’s life in general. I’m drawn to philosophy and finding out the greater meaning of life, any person, show or thing that connects me over and above the basic knowledge of our existence has all my attention.

In one of the episodes of this show (I don’t want to give out any spoilers, watch it, you’ll be mind blown!), they discuss the concept of existential crisis, in a witty and funny manner of course. The show has an immortal being who doesn’t have a conscience. The concept of having regrets or guilt doesn’t apply to this being as they live on forever. They don’t have to deal with these feelings at the present moment as it disappears with time which they have in abundance.

Humans on the other hand have a fixed shelf life. Our biggest fear is the fear of non-existence. I always felt that I feared many things above death, but that’s not true. When I say I fear public speaking, I am scared to make a fool of myself and end up in an embarrassing situation. This will cause me to lose face in front of others and become non-existent in a manner that I won’t be acknowledged, respected or considered unworthy of attention. We constantly feel pangs of sadness, guilt and episodes of depression all through our life as we believe that we aren’t making the fixed time of our existence on this planet, worthwhile. At the end of each day I feel upset for not having a remarkable day, wasting my time is considered the biggest sin by my mind, I constantly fear the future, I feel like I would eventually die without living an extraordinary life.

The fear of non-existence can make us do crazy stuff at times. But it’s high time that we slow down a bit and pause to pay attention to the present. There’s no yard scale to measure an extraordinary life. You don’t have to do everything that’s considered cool or awesome by others to feel cool or awesome yourself. As long as you do every single thing that makes you happy, you are doing a great job! It’s time I lift the heavy burden of this self imposed deadline on my life and cut myself a little slack. I don’t wish to feel sad every Sunday evening for not having spent the weekend productively, upset before any big event for not having prepared well or empty at the end of my birthday for having to wait another year to feel special. I don’t know if we can truly be unbothered by fear of the unknown or regrets of our past, I will try to divert my attention to the present at every single opportunity I get. That’s what I learn in my meditation exercise every day.

Distractions are everywhere. Notice what takes your attention, acknowledge it, and then let it go.

-Headspace

My fickle mind

#79/100

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.” 

Chris Page

My weekends are turning out to be the most unproductive days of my life at the moment. There are a 100 things I wish do during the weekend and I wish to do all those things at the same time. Yesterday I sat down to watch a YouTube video, it was a really engrossing video about the “neuroscience of love”. The video had a neurologist explaining what happens in the brain when a person is in love. 5 minutes into the video, my eyes fell on an unread book besides me and I somehow desperately wanted to start reading the book. I picked up the book, went through a page when my phone beeped, it was a comment on my instagram post. I ended up spending almost 30 minutes scrolling through random feeds on instagram right after that. I hope you get the idea by now, my mind is a like a kid in a candy store during the weekends. It wants to do everything at once.

This reminds me of my childhood. I’ve always been a day dreamer. My primary school teacher had the same complaint about me during the parent teacher’s meet, she mostly found me gazing at the sky outside the window in the middle of a lecture. I’ve consistently found it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time.

I still haven’t found a way out to deal with my hyperactive mind. It might be because I’m yet to work on myself to get past this limitation thrown by my mind. I guess it’s high time I take up the challenge to control my attention deficiency and use it fruitfully to get my work done!

I tried researching on the best ways to counteract lack of focus (I am not calling it Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder yet because I haven’t been diagnosed by a certified psychologist but most of my symptoms point right at it). I’m planning to consistently try out these techniques for 90 days starting tomorrow (I’ve never been able to form a habit in 21 days) and post my experience about it after the end of this experiment (January 9th, 2021).

As per the internet, YouTube videos and TedX speeches by people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, below listed techniques have helped them immensely to make ADD/ADHD their superpower :-

  • Nutrition : Eat wholesome organic food and drink more water. Quitting food that drains our energy and makes us feel hazy. (Sugar, processed food, junk etc)
  • Sweat everyday : Workout everyday, even if it’s just for 10 mins.
  • 8 hrs of sleep everyday
  • Morning routine : Meditation + Gratitude journaling + Workout
  • 30 mins POMODORO : Break your to-do list into smaller tasks, set up a timer for 25 mins, work non-stop for 25 mins against the timer, take a 5 min break
  • Music : Use music as a backdrop to avoid any background distraction while you work
  • Block Time : Schedule time for each activity during the day. Set up a to-do list for the next day and review it by the end of the day.

Hope to see a positive change in my life (possibly a transformation) by the end of my experiment.