Hope is all we have

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

-Laini Taylor

I didn’t have a very comfortable life as a child. We had many financial and household issues to deal with. Everyday was a struggle for us, especially my mom. However, if I were to compare my mental strength back then to now, I was way more happy, hopeful and positive in the past. I refrained from overthinking every single aspect of my life, I was hopeful and positive of a bright future, I knew things would turn out in our favour sooner or later. I had something to look forward to, I had a lot of goals for my future, the future seemed like a happy dream that I was eager to convert to reality.

Things did work out in our favour. Most of my childhood goals have been accomplished (from earning a degree, getting a stable job, fulfilling the basic materialistic goals such as buying a branded cell phone to fancy clothes to renovating my house). Life should be amazing, I should be happy, I shouldn’t have anything to crib about anymore. Well that’s the issue, why does all of this still seem difficult? Why do we forget everything that has worked for us and always focus on the things that we don’t have? Why does my mind have to overthink every single moment of my life and present me with situations that always seem unfavorable and scary? I was never this confused during my childhood when we had very few reasons to be happy or grateful for. But now when I have a zillion things to be happy about, my mind keeps redirecting me to that one thing that I don’t have or that one goal I might never achieve!

I had problems back in my childhood as well. But I was hopeful of a happy future and that dream kept me alive. It gave me the energy to fight the devils of my mind and just focus on the task at hand. As I grew up and came across more failures in life, my hopeful nature lost it’s sheen and my mind started storing and reliving the real life experiences of feeling lost, disappointed, hurt and scared. Because of this I’ve reached at a phase in life where every new decision causes my mind to relive all the pain and trauma I’ve experienced in the past. Thus, I’m unable to think straight, hope for a bright future, work towards a goal or simply be happy without overthinking any aspect of my life.

Overthinking sucks big time. It makes every simple decision of my life into a life or death situation. It completely drains my energy and distorts my ability to think straight. I know happiness is not a destination but a life long journey. A single event or goal in our life doesn’t have the ability to keep us happy forever. It’s a daily process, a life long effort and developing a hopeful attitude towards life.

I might have mentioned this many times before but I need to reiterate it to myself as I’ve lost my track and fallen deep into the black hole of overthinking. It has drained me and is now clouding my judgement. It isn’t allowing me to enjoy a single moment of peace and happiness without thinking twice about it. Few minor changes that I’m planning to make henceforth to avoid my mind to take control of my life.

  • Practice being in the present : Focus only on the present moment
  • Focus on what I have control over : Ignore what we can’t change, work on things we can control
  • Write down your thoughts when it gets overwhelming : Maintain a daily journal
  • Figure out solutions than mulling over problems : Think about all the possible way out and how it can be effective in solving the problem
  • Become a person of action : Especially in making simple decisions, take decisions right away rather than pondering over it indefinitely.

I’ll share my thoughts and experiences on the effect of making these simple changes in my life soon. Till then, let’s be happy and focus on living our life to the fullest!

It’s getting scary

“Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.”

Napoleon Hill

Day 24/30

The covid-19 situation in India is getting scarier by the day. People are struggling to get beds in hospitals, medicines aren’t easily available, test results are taking longer than 2 days, the health care system has broken down, the number of active cases has reached it’s peak, the number of daily cases have crossed all time high. In short, the situation is murky and it’s getting worse by the day.

I don’t want to play the blame game here and try to find out what went wrong. It’s not one single person’s fault. Right now, the situation is so bad that we don’t know how long it’ll take for this dark phase to end. In the last week alone, I must have heard a new case in my contacts (friends and extended family) for every single day of the week. Covid has hit way too close to our home and we are scrambling for safety.

My aunt had been hospitalized because of covid about 12 days back. Initially we were told that she had a mild infection and was stable. As days passed by, her condition started deteriorating. Yesterday, my cousin messaged me saying that she is critical. A shiver ran down my spine, I did not expect this. Most of the cases that I’ve heard till now had a positive recovery rate. I was hoping that it would be the same with my aunt. I took life and the current scenario for granted. I was sure that it would be a mild infection and she’ll be back home soon. Yesterday’s news broke me completely. I am scared. Hoping against hope that she’ll be back hale and hearty soon.

Please don’t take anything in life for granted. We need to be grateful for everything that we have in life. Our time on this planet is limited and very precious. Respond to that message, take that call, listen to those stories, forgive and forget, move past those grudges, don’t let anger and ego ruin any relationship, make time for your loved ones.

Praying that the situation gets better, praying that my aunt gets better.

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Eat healthy food, workout, take care of your mental health, wear a mask, stay safe. We are not bigger than this virus.

Small wins

Do you have a bad habit which you’ve been trying to quit since a long time without any success? For me, it has been my addiction to sugar. I’ve been heavily dependent on sugar for my constant source of happiness ever since I was a kid. I didn’t understand the repercussions of having such a dangerous addiction back then. More than the health hazards, I wanted to quit sugar to gain more control over my decisions. I have a tendency to indulge in sugar and sugary foods whenever I am sad or low in life. The cravings I get during such phases are massive and I have absolutely no control over the amount of sugary food I dump inside my body. I ate (rather gobbled up) sweet food for the sake of it, sometimes to feel better, many a times to punish myself for not working hard enough.

I spent many months and years into controlling my sugar cravings. Initially I restricted myself which backfired as I ended consuming double the quantity later on. As restricting completely didn’t work I decided to allow myself a cheat day. This also was counter productive as I consumed large portions even during my cheat days. Then I started learning about the ill effects of sugar consumption. The facts connected to this topic blew my mind yet it wasn’t enough to gain control back from sugar which wholly controlled my cravings. What I didn’t know was that all my efforts were getting counted even if the visible progress seemed slow. I would call “meditation” a breakthrough in my struggle to quit my sugar addiction. I gained more clarity and have been feeling a slight decrease in my sugar cravings.

26 days of continued mediation streak later, I finally had my eureka moment today. I ordered a bunch of sugary foods as I was feeling a bit dejected due to my office work. I picked up one pastry with the intention of eating another one after it. Halfway through eating the cake I realized I found it too sweet for my liking and couldn’t finish. This has never happened before. I could never control my mind when it comes to sugary food but I did it today and it felt extremely empowering. I will test few more times to be completely sure of it. As of now I am celebrating as this incident made me extremely happy!

If you believe something, you can make it happen. That’s all you need.  

Franklin A. Ohiozebau

Be fit 2.0 : Milestone 2

#69/100

And it’s time for the second milestone already. I had a fairly disciplined fitness and healthy eating regime during the first half of this month. In the second half, my mother had an injury at home and the doctor had to put a cast on her hand for 6 weeks. Since my routine went for a toss, I had a difficult time adjusting to the new one which involved managing house and office work together. I ended up missing few days of my workouts, couldn’t manage a consistent running schedule and had a multiple stress eating incidents. I’m slowly adjusting myself to the new routine and planning to bounce back on track, stronger than ever.

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)

Milestone 2 (1st October) : 61.4 kgs (Lost 1.1 kgs)

Workouts :-

I was regular on most days. On the days I had to go to office, I made sure to wake up early and rope skip. I started with 500 rounds and gradually increased it to 1000 by the end of the month. It helped me clear my mind and gave a great endorphin boost at the start of the day. However, I did miss 4/5 days of workouts after my mother’s injury. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my workout progress.

Meditation :-

I haven’t meditated even once in the past month. I plan on meditating for at least 10 mins right after I wake up so that I don’t procrastinate it throughout the day. This is my goal for October.

Food :-

This month has been tumultuous when it comes to my food habits. I stress ate on many occasions and indulged in a lot of junk food. My water intake hasn’t been up to the mark. I plan on improving it in October

Key achievements :

  • Ran twice outdoors, 6 kms in 44 mins on 6th September and 10 kms in 1.14.06 hrs on 13th September.

Goals for Milestone 3 (31st October):-

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

See you until the next milestone!!