Happy New You
As the new year is about to dawn, most of us are all set to work out our yearend routine - picking up new resolutions with the belief that we can make it work this time. Some of us might have decided it would not work out as it has in past years and, hence, chose not to pick anything as a resolution. I have been there and done that. I feel you. I don't want to bore you with another inspirational blog post; instead, I will share something that worked for me. The objective of this post is to kindle a different perspective or a thought process that may help you. Let's jump in.
This blog post is the English transcript version of my Tamil podcast episode on the same topic.
Why not now?
I don't believe in making a resolution for so-called special days like New Year, Birthdays, and so on. If you believe that something is worth doing or changing, why do we need to wait for a magical occasion to start it? How about starting it now?
Most of us live with the false assumption that we need an inspirational moment/person to kickstart an action/change. But the reality is the opposite. It's our action and initial step toward an aspiration that brings the inspiration.
Physically speaking (pun intended), to overcome the resistance, we need a force. But if we are in motion, our momentum takes care of the force, and the resistance will slowly fade.
Motivation is a byproduct of action, not the catalyst for it. When I just can’t bring myself to start, that’s when it’s most important to just do it — it always completely fixes how I’m feeling - Adam Wathan
This thought process is a revolution for me.
What's your mental weight?
We give so much importance to our physical weight, and we know that obesity is not suitable for our physical health. But have we thought about the weight of the thoughts that we carry in our minds?
The more you take, the less you have. - Oogway
Let's assume that you are constructing your first home next year. It will consume a lot of mental energy. You need to be "mentally" aware of so many things, which adds significant mental weight. Suppose you are an over-ambitious/enthusiastic person. In that case, you will likely commit to a few more things assuming that you can efficiently work on multiple things parallelly - Like saying yes to a new assignment at your work which demands more mental energy ("weight"), starting a new venture/side-project with your relatives/friends, etc., If you end up taking all these, for sure you will be burned out mentally.
I have been a victim of this, mentally obese for a very long time, and still in recovery mode. But this awareness has brought me a world of good. I stopped overcommitting to so many things, and most importantly, I became comfortable with the fear of missing out!
It's ok for me to look like a looser, but I am mentally healthier than ever 😃
Are you distracting your distractions?
Thanks to technological advancements, most of us become a slave to distractions. Binge watching become a status symbol. Clever social media algorithms make us addicted and steal a significant portion of our lives. Sadly, we are feeding these distractions to the next generation so that they don't distract us from indulging in these distractions. Where are we going?
It took an enormous amount of mental energy to come out of this, and thank god, now I have time to do what I wish. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of things that I did.
- No television at home.
- No personal accounts on Instagram and Facebook.
- I always carry a book - If I have the urge to check my mobile, I start reading the book instead.
- I am paying for an app that prevents me from accessing any apps (including web browser) from 9.30 PM to 8.30 AM.
- Stopped watching, listening, and reading news
- Subscribed to paid plans in apps to stop showing ads.
- I turned off watch history on YouTube (to stop suggesting videos), Discover Feed in Android Chrome, and turned off "Google Feed" in Android.
In a nutshell, I have created enough distractions to distract my distractions so that I can focus on what matters to me without getting distracted 😃
Have you thought about your stress?
My all-time favorite quote.
Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over – Jeff Bezos.
When I came across this quote, it completely blew my mind. From that point onwards, whenever I experience any stress, this quote has become a lifesaver.
Asking myself two simple questions,
- Is it in my control?
- If yes, what do I need to do to overcome it?
giving me clarity to overcome many of my struggles with "Stress." Give it a try, and thank me later 😃
Are you truly happy?
Modern comforts are not making us happy. We are unable to differentiate between cravings and real hunger - Comfort Crisis
We live a more comfortable life than our previous generations, but we gave up happiness in this trade. You may argue that we are happier, but we are satisfying our craving here more than our hunger! Your mileage may vary.
In the daily routine of a so-called busy life, we forget what it means to be truly happy. That's why the word "Soul Searching" has become a norm in the current era.
We started attaching "What's in it for me?" in whatever we do and neglected so many meaningful things by categorizing them as a waste of time and money using this attachment.
We all have happiness around us, and we don't need a trip to a remote place to find it. Spending quality time with yourself and listening to your inner voice will make a lot of difference.
What is driving you?
We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like. ― Dave Ramsey
We are all influenced by peer pressure and fear of missing out. Unfortunately, this influence has deeply affected most of us, and we live without realizing it.
Why can you only follow up on any New Year resolutions before January? Ask yourself!
- We went to the gym not to become healthy but to look good in front of others.
- We did a certification not to increase our knowledge but to get a promotion, which we hate.
- We put our kids in the "XYZ" institution not to help them in holistic living; we did it because it follows the "ABC" syllabus, and that's what most people are following.
- We joined/are preparing for an "XYZ" company not to build a sustainable career, but we did it because "XYZ" is the buzz in Linkedin.
These are some trivial examples; if you ask yourself and listen to your inner voice, it will fall under either peer pressure or the fear of missing out for most of us.
How long are we going to live like this?
When are you going to live a life that you drive?