I would've slept for like 8 hours yesterday. And when I woke up, I was not really fresh and all that but was groggy. I think the ideal hours for me is probably 6. I need to discover this. #note2self: find out the optimal sleep thing.
Thanks to the whack in the head while I was writing post for day 9, I finished reading Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing. I am glad that I read this book. If you are a writer, you HAVE to read the book. I know that I will add this to my like of Superbooks and will go back to it again and again. Next book that I am going to read is Murakami on running. I've read this earlier but I think I will revisit this.
So, today I want to talk about the kindness of pseudo-strangers. Pseudo-strangers because while there is common thread, common background, I dont really know them.
Since I've come here, apart from not working, I've tried to keep myself busy by meeting people that I've known from previous life (MDI etc.). And I am surprised at the reception I've got. Each person I've met has been kind. They gave me their time, their homes and most importantly, their respect. Something that I am not used to - considering I am not really a big deal and all I do is events.
I think living in a different country does that you. You are so far from home that any thread, anything that connects you back to your roots, you welcome that. Each person I met had a connection to me - MDI, friends of friends etc.
#note2self: How about a business that takes advantage of this pining for home?
Lemme talk about one person in specific. The dude am living with here. We grew up together in a lower-middle class part of Delhi. And he is a Punjabi that went to shadiest schools possible. Not because his parents couldnt afford the school but because he wasnt the kinds to study - so why waste money? Fast forward to 2018. Today, he manages a business in Dubai that has about 20 full-time employees. And has some 250 clients - most of them firangs. Lemme recap. A Punjabi from Delhi can manage firangs and employees from 5 nationalities.
And how's he able to do this? He got thrown into the deep end of the pool - Dubai in this case - and came out on top. When was the last time I threw myself into a deep pool? While he was in India, he was one of those resourceful, hardworking and funny kinds. In India, he lived in comfort, with his parents. At Dubai, he's had to figure out things for himself. And that figuring out probably made the man he's become. Dubai has been his coming of age.
I know for a fact that I need to come of age. I need to grow up. And I cant seem to find a way to do so. Do I need a jolt like that? Will it make sense to change countries? Change career? P.S.: This is the third trigger that I can remember (first one was Jan Chipchase's newsletter, second is all these friends that are moving to Canada / Australia etc.).
May be I will. If things dont work out by end of this year, I promise I will.
Adding this to my Asana (link here). And is this how seeds are planted in your head? You think of something. You write it down. And you start thinking about it. Letting it simmer in your head. Till the raw ingredients turn into this gravy that you can resist? And to a point where you are so consumed by the idea that you cant think of anything but that. That idea.
The other thing that I realised while I am here is that entropy is such a strong phenomenon. Ok, wait. Entropy for me does not mean the thermodynamics one. But the one where it means "a gradual decline into disorder."
My interpretation is that if left to itself, most systems will reduce themselves into ashes. They will move towards the path of least resistance and stop striving. Most people will not want to work. They will become sloths. Easier way to explain? A man will do whatever it takes to NOT think about things. Find excuses - AC is not working, my head hurts, there is a monster under my bed, I am menstruating (dont kill me for this - I know of women who work harder when they are in obvious distress), I hurt my foot, I am sleepy, tired, my parents need me etc.
The same person, in same breath, with all the issues plaguing his existence will be happy to switch on Netflix and chug onto some beer. No? I bet my ass they will.
You see deep work is hard. Wait. Deep thinking is harder. And to find examples of people shunning this deep thinking work, I dont have to go far. I am a living testimony. I am supposed to think hard about how to position C4E as a business. And I am doing anything but that. I am trying to not think and I am filling my time with blogs, books, ideas, thoughts and mental masturbation.
Just struck me. I somehow have all the time in the world. I mean I have this bed that I wake up from. I get ready in about 20 minutes. There is no breakfast (trying IF) and then I walk to the local Starbucks (20 minutes walk) and by 8:30 I am on my computer. Working. Or pretending to work. Or whatever. I am done by 1. I go back. Sleep for an hour. Restart work at 2. And then I am done by 7ish. And then I have time to go for walks, gym etc (which I dont do). There is no one trying to get your attention. There is hardly any pesky meetings that will take forever to conduct. You are by yourself. If I had the talents of a solopreneur, I promise I would have moved to fucking Thane and probably beyond - air would've been cleaner, life would be slower and I'd get lot more done. Maybe I should. It wont be that bad (if I can get maker-manager going).
The point is, if things are managed for you (making bed, cleaning etc), you can be lot more productive. Maybe once I am go back, I need to put this in motion? Spend money to manage things so that I have all the time for myself?
Also, the maker-manager thing brings another thought to head. For context, maker-manager (thanks Paul Graham) says that you divide your week into working days (where you create things) and meeting days (where you manage others, do meetings etc). My addition to this is that you keep a tab on every chunk of 10 mins (probably learned this from Tim Urban). And you get anal about how you spend it. Every minute that you are up, you ought to spend on things that move you ahead. And you need to be ruthless about things that dont add up, or push you ahead.
Which essentially makes life boring, predictable and well, drab. I mean is this how life is supposed to be? This mechanical? I am not sure if all those businessmen (Neeraj Kanwar comes to mind) live drab lives. I am not sure all those filmstars have boring lives. Or may I dont see the grind that they go through to be able to enjoy life? Maybe we just see a fraction of a fraction of their life (when they are dressed well and are hobnobbing with other celebrities or posting those fabulous pics on Instagram)?
And assuming you slog it out over the next 5 years, make that billion dollars. Then what? I mean you'd probably be conditioned into thinking about work and work only. If you had all that money and all that clout what would you do?
I have an answer! Use that to try and change the world. Enable other people. Make lives better. And if not better, happier for sure. How? By being that jester!
Brings me to the last piece for the day. Guess who's the easiest person to fool? The one who's not as well read as you? The one who's a simpleton? The one cant speak well?
Nah. The person easiest to fool is yourself. Dont know who said this but as I grow up, I am realising how true this is! I've been fooling myself for sure. For way too long. Into thinking that I am working hard. But maybe I am not. Maybe I am merely pushing paper? Need to think Mr. Garg.
Oh, I said yesterday that I am done with Coke. Yet I had 2. And as I write this, I am on to the third one. Sigh. Is there a way out? Help me!!
23 April 2018
P.S.: These posts are sounding lot more like meditations.
Hah, you wish!
Of course! Like Marcus, I am on this quest to learn more things all the time. AND improve myself! Not just in one chosen vocation. But as an individual.
And why do you want to do that?
Well, remember what Joker said? I am like that dog thats chasing a car. He just loves the chase. He wont know what to do with it, if he catches is. So, I am merely chasing a better me. I dont know what I'd do once am there. May be I will once I reach there?