5K on 5th Dec

In the morning today I promised someone what I will write 5000 words today. Its 8:50 PM and I havent written a single word. So I have a few hours to go and 5000 words to crank out. And where else to start from but here. And what else to talk about but shit that's floating inside my head.

P.S.: I started writing this on the 5th. Today it's the 6th and since I was in office, it took me multiple passes to give shape to the post. The focus is on getting as many words of inane text out as possible. Lets see how many I get in. Also, I love this idea of sprints. This allows me to not worry about quality and all I am doing is pushing words out on paper. Perfect if you ask me. 

Lemme dump everything that I have on my mind. May be I'll feel lighter.

1. Year End
The year is ending and I am the kinds to actually take a stock of how the year went. I love making lists and then try to achieve the tasks on those lists. While I live with the lists throughout the year, I get really active around this time. I set lofty targets for the year and then I make plans for achieving those targets. So far, in none of the years that I've made lists in, I've achieved my targets - may be I dont have what it takes to do things. Or may be I love stretch targets. Irrespective. I love this list and yearly goal setting.

This year is ending soon and if luck would have it, I will get a couple of days off to plan for the life ahead. And even if I dont get time, I am happy to report that I have already started thinking about things. While I have a little clarity about things that I want to focus on, I need to figure out a lot of peripherals. I know that 2018 will be all about health. And not money for a change. I have chased money all my life and I am yet to get rich. So may be I'd focus on health and how that pans out.

Apart from health, the second most important thing will be writing (why? See 5). And then I will worry about work. This will be a marked difference from how I've operated in life. Lets see how that goes. 

2. The ever-expanding plate
I am involved in a million projects and anyone who's like that is bound to miss deadlines. On not just yearly goals but on other short-term goals as well.

For context, on last count, I am working on 48 major projects. These range from plans of taking over the world to public art to opening a college to teach events management to stationary and what not. And while I am a great beginner, I start things, I am very average finisher.

Plus I am now beginning to see the sense in the maxim that you can only do so many things with your life. I need to know that I am not limitless. Which sucks but such is life!

Or maybe, I need to discard this feeling of being inadequate and get back to being what gives me the most amount of happiness - day dreaming and cooking up a million things at the same time. Who says I ought to stop at 48? Why can't I have 96 projects there?

You dig what am saying? 

3. Fit/Fatness
Yesterday Day before it rained really hard in Mumbai and I got drenched. And as a result, the only pair of denims I had got wet. And I had this really important meeting today yesterday and thus I had to buy a new pair.

I went to the mall and went to each shop that the mall had. And in those scores of stores and hundreds of pairs of pants, denims, nothing seemed to fit!! I am unhealthy as fuck! I have become so fat lately. What do you mean lately? I have been fat since I can remember! 

And then I have this goal of climbing to the very top of the Everest. Can you imagine a fat man on top of Everest? I will stick out as, what Charles said, a cockroach on a wedding cake.

Apart from just being an impediment to my goals, it makes me look ugly. I mean I am not the one to have been blessed with stellar looks, the fat makes it uglier. I know, body shaming. But the point is that if I can, I must. It will probably motivate me enough to do something about my life. In fact as I write this, I am already having a green tea. In regular course, I would've had a coffee. Or a coke. But green tea. I hate the taste and it makes me pukish. But I am told that the pukish bit is because of all the toxins in my body. Once they are out, I wont be pukish anymore.

I am digressing. The point is I need to get fit. And fit like Jason. If I get fit like him, I am sure my bald head (with the new found physique) will make me like a darker version of him. That would be something. No?

4. Work
Work is in an interesting phase. There is enough and there is not enough. Enough that I am busy. Not enough that I dont make enough money. Enough money is the kind of money that allows me to get a car for myself, allow me to spend without thinking about bank balance, help me invest in bright people that may need help and finally, take care of my people. 

And I cant seem to fix it. Despite my brains and all that. And despite some super amazing friends that have done everything they could. And despite all the hard work. I mean the only way I know to success is through hard work. Increasingly, its about connections and all that.

I dont know what would it take to do so. In case you wish to offer assistance, you know my email address.

In fact as I talk of work, in the last few days, I actually got an offer to work for someone I really admire. But I could not make myself leave people who've backed me up when I needed them. Rationality says that I need to move on and all that. But I am not rational. More on this if I come out ahead. I dont want to sound like a sore loser.

5. Book2 
I heard this text by Allan Watts and I realised that what I really really want to do if money were not an object, is to write. Now I know that my writing is not good enough to help me get by but I know that I really want to write. I do not know how did I get #tnks out of the door. I was lucky I guess. Or my head was not this cluttered with all the shit on the huge plate (see 2). Whatever it was. Its been 3 years that I have been meaning to work on #book2 and despite repeated reminds and kicks on the backside. I havent done shit on it.

I have threatened myself, promised friends, even sgMS that if I did not write the book by the end of the year, I will stop chasing the idea of writing the book. And yet I havent done anything about it. I think I make too many promises and thus the promises lose significance.

Now on, I probably need to reduce these promises and live upto the deadlines. Which is in direct contrast to my personality. I love challenges. And if you want to bring the best in me out, dont tell me about the reward I stand to get but make it sound like a challenge. Throw me one please.

And may be I need a muse, like I said a few days ago.

P.S.: While I was trying to look up the link, I realised that all that I have covered here is like a summary of things that I have posted already. Theek hai. As long as I get some words on paper.

6. To give up or not
This one is tad philosophical. Post my MBA, even though I have held full-time jobs, I havent been able to make it big. Either in terms of impact or money or reputation or doing enough to inspire others. I wont be wrong if I say that have been struggling.

I increasingly feel that life is like a race where I am sort of getting left behind by everyone else around me. And even strangers. Its like am running in the slow motion, on a treadmill. And they are in the fast lane with rocket propulsion jets under their bums. And to a fly on the wall, I look like a stagnant shit while everyone is just whizzing past.

I know this is a stupid feeling to have but I have been having thoughts to reconsider this entire entrepreneurship thing.

I look at people who are like me and have done well, they are either super smart (which I am not sure if I am), super handsome (I am definitely not), super connected (I have zero connections that work - see next point). Or a combination thereof. They are confident, clear and have a large problem to work on. I on the other hand have a run of the mill business that I am trying to approach differently.

Everywhere I look, people are doing things that make me take note and go "oh faaak". And here I am. Wielding my fury dismay on a keypad. Trying to reach the goal of 5000 words for the day.

Thing is, I have been "struggling" since 2014. And unlike the struggle by other artists where they need one hit to take them to the next level, my struggle doesn't add up. For example, if you are a film-maker, you spend a month learning the skill and then you spend 10 years honing the craft. And then one fine day, you make a film that makes everyone's jaws drop. When that happens, all the struggle of the previous 10 years, one fine day and one month seems like a journey. A journey towards creating that masterpiece that gives you the platform to do whatever. Including an option to never work on your craft again and just become an armchair activist. You know what I am saying? An Anurag Kashyap doesnt have to make any movies anymore. After Wasseypur or Dev D or any of his masterpieces, he could choose to become a mere producer and give talks and all that. Its a different thing that he continues to work. I am sure we can find umpteen examples of one-hit wonders who knew they dont want to work hard again after they've found success.

In my case where I am a capitalist, my success does not depend on that one flash in the pan moment of brilliance. For me, I need to come up with hit after hit after hit. Like Elon. Steve. etc. There has to be a string of successes that I have to establish if I have to make those billion dollars. And the impact.

Oh, I define success as a point mile-stone in your career life where you stop the hustle and whatever you've done so far gets you more opportunities. Example, if you are Elon Musk, after you sold Paypal, a lot of opportunities would come your way. Because you have set a precedence in the market by doing Paypal. You attract opportunities. Right now, I am Joe Nobody. Even if I am the right parter for something, people will not want to talk to me or get me on board.

7. People
Last few days have been rough in the sense that people that I always thought I could rely on have been acting weird. To the extent that I am not sure if I want to continue to help others. And these are people that have been like family. These people and I go back years. Almost a decade in one case.

I have stood like a rock. For things big or small. And when I need them, for whast I think is a small favour, I get a curt response. Now I understand that they may be busy and all that. And I also understand what Gita says about this - karma kar, fal ki chinta mat kar. But, you know, I am human. A, it sucks that I am in a spot that I cant get out of myself. B, I am actually seeking help. And C, the person you thought could help you is not interested in even giving you a proper response.

A better way to visualise A, B and C is to think that you were riding down a steep slope and you realise that the breaks have filed. And once you realise that you cant do shit about it, you prepare to jump and tell yourself that the jump will probably break a few bones but it'll not let you die. But when you actually take the plunge, you are hit mid-air but an oncoming freight train. That you never saw or considered. Makes sense?

8. The point of this blog
Honestly, no one reads this. Apart from VG. I mean even I dont read this blog. So why do I take the effort to write in the first place? All this is so stupid and meaningless. I mean it could be meaningful if tomorrow I chose to run for a public office and someone actually goes through all 1500 or so posts to dig dirt on me. Apart from that I dont see an application. Because, a Vanita says, we are all but specks of dust in this one big coincidence.

Maybe its the only place where I can pour my heart out and have a non-judgmental audience? Or may be it is that when I write, I get this clarity that I can never get while I am thinking. Or may be I just love the feeling of writing on this blog - you know, like I am doing this for the sake of doing this?

Like Sheldon (Cooper) says, "we'd never know."

9. Memory loss
Last few days I have noticed that I cant seem to recall things. I have always been the kinds to be able to not use a notepad and remember conversations, things, quirks, birthdays etc etc. At a point in time, I could use a memory place and remember a deck of cards. Now I cant even remember the 6-digit OTP pins that we get as SMS. Hell, I dont even know passwords to half things I know. I just go reset the accounts when I have to use a machine that does not have my data saved.

Note to hackers - yes my data is all inline and my password is ridiculously easy to guess. Want to take a shot?

Coming back. I need to do something about memory loss. The worse part is, whoever I talk to, they dismiss this as a shenanigan of a man who's growing old. They dont see the pain I go through when I am reminded that I was part of the conversation and I have forgotten. Reminds me of this piece by Robin Williams' wife on his last days. Funny that I am reminded of something when I talk about my memory loss. Do read that piece. Its really poignant.

To me, memory and recollection is not just one bodily function. To me, its a matter of pride that I dont forget things easily. I may not have an eidetic memory but people do call me an Elephant! And it sucks to be not able to remember things.

I am assuming that this is temporary and I will be back to being the amazing brain I was a few months ago. I have started using a few mobile apps to "train" the memory muscle. If its a muscle and actually helps to exercise it. These apps are making me do mundane tasks that simulate the brain for sure. I feel engaged and challenged. Its been a couple of days only and I am yet to see results but I remain hopeful.

Oh, in case this exercise does not work out, VG, please take to someone who can help. A doctor perhaps?

10. The music on loop
While I write this, I am at a Starbucks and I am listening to this song on loop. Why did I put this here? I dont know. Thats a lifehack, in case you are interested. Listening to the same familiar song over and over again, on loop, helps you focus. Trust me. Read about it.

11. Focus. 
I love multitasking to the extent that I have 23 tabs open in 3 windows. Yes I counted them. And since I starting writing this I have exchanged messages with friends, done a long phone call (who's hustling to become a comedian), had a tea and played Bubble Breaker (you must try - its an amazing game).

In the second pass while I was writing this, I have a Watsapp window open and I am talking to people on that. And what am I talking about? How to lose weight! I am telling you, I am super with making plans. ;P

12. The way I write
I am the kinds to write and not edit. I want to get things right in the first time I write em. So, as I write, I am constantly looking at grammar and spellings and links and other such things. However, this post, I am making a list of things that I want to cover. And then writing notes on each. The idea is that I want to cover a lot and optimise the way I write.

After I made a list and tried to fill in, the following happened.
- After I made a list, I had a goal. To fill in those bullet points. That helped me stay on course.
- It became easy to write in short bursts. I could write for one bullet point and then digress to a conversation on watsapp
- More words happens. Simply because I have a lot to talk about each bullet point and when I am focussed on that one bullet, I can write everything about that bullet.
- The fact that the list was incomplete gave me an itch. And I had to scratch it. That helped.
- When I got stuck with a bullet, I could move onto the next one. So I wrote more. Now I can of course edit it out and all that but to me the path to quality is paved with quantity.

So yeah, this experiment has sort of worked. I hope I can use this for #book2.

13. And this is the last. #aPicADay on Instagram.
On Instagram, I have reached Day 9 10 of the #aPicADay pact that I made with Anusha. Today is Day 10. I will post something before mid-night. Lets see. Follow me on http://instagram.com/altsaurabh. Tell me which of the 10 is your favorite.


And with this, its a wrap. Thanks for indulging!

Mumbai, Dec 2017

P.S.: Stats for nerds.
As on typing this line, time is 9:44 PM. Word count is: 1215.
As on typing this line, time is 10:16 PM. Word count is: 2306. Breaking to walk back home.
After I finished writing the post, date is 6th Dec. Word count is: 3354 or so.

P.P.S.: Whoever is reading this, if you care, please do tell me (in comments or on email / whatsapp) if this post sounds cribby and all that. I am trying to be someone who doesnt crib. Thanks! 

1 comment:

Neo said...

Don’t worry about memory. It’s only because of stress and overload of mind. Once you are happy with yourself it comes back.

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