The day when it started to come together. Dubai 2018, Day 09

So finally I got a good solid day of work done. Yay to that.

I walked some, I thought some, I wrote some and I did catch up on that cat nap as well!

Perfect! Save for meditation and reading.

I ate well, I think (I had almonds and peanut butter for lunch and egg curry for dinner - closet to keto. If not keto, low carb for sure). I slept at 11 and I woke up at 7. 8 hours of sleep (which I think is way too much for me - considering how groggy I am since morning).

And how did all this happen? I switched off the mobile data (I kept the radio on - so people could call / sms me). And since no one calls anyone anymore, I had no access to anything that could distract me!

Brings me to the revelation of the day... 

The Mobile Phone Dependence 
Lemme give context. When the phone data was off, I was trying to engross myself in work and failing at it. I was restless af. Side note. Do read about this fascinating study on Marshmallows (as Indians, we probably dont know what this is).

I couldn't focus, couldn't concentrate and was super restless as if something important's been taken away from me! I dont know how the fishes feels when you take em out of water (apparently the fishes are, well, dying to get back into the water!). I was dying to switch on the data and get back to the world where I had a thousand WA groups and messages vying for attention. Damn right I was.

You see, the phone was in my arms reach. Around me, I could see and hear people busy on their respective phones. And my phone on the other hand was a dud device. I mean the radio was on and I could've called whoever I wanted to. Or whoever wanted to speak to me could call me. But I dint want to call up one single person (I did make phone calls back home and to a couple of more people). Neither did I have anyone calling me. So lesson - you are not as important as you think. Life moves on. You are not wanted by anyone. 

I am sure you've experienced the same. When we are on the planes. You know when you are forced to switch off the phone? But the thing is, when on a plane you know that you are on a flight and the phones cant work in the flights and all that. Plus you know that once you touchdown, the phones will be back online. And you will be back online.

But this was unlike the plane. My phone was working. Just that the data wasnt. I knew all it would take is a flick of a button. It was tough 3 hours. Excruciating. Was tough to endure. But hey, I dint die. You know that already. Dont you? Lesson? You I can survive without constant connectivity and next time I take a break, I need to have radio silence!

So, I think I am going to observe a day of data silence every week. Of course I will still have SMS and I will have access to phone calls. But all the things that trigger the dopamine will no longer be active. Lets see if I can do it. Sundays could be a good idea. And that is the day when I could get some writing done? Ok stop day dreaming. 

P.S.: As I write this, its day 2 of switching off the data on my phone. And tbh, I am itching to go online and check on my whatsapp and twitter and instagram and all those apps. Thankfully I dont use Facebook much, so thats a relief. 

On Coke 
The other thing, I think I am done with the idea and concept of Coke. Or Diet Coke.

I realised that I dont really love the taste. Its just that I love to sip on to something all the time and I am not really fond of tasteless things (water). I dont like the taste of tea and I hate the milk in coffee. Plus lemon is probably the worst thing EVER invented! So, the only thing I was left with, to consume, was the Coke!

I need to find an alternative. Flavoured water wont cut it - its way too many crabs and sugar for someone who wants to transform his life into a healthier and fitter version of self. Alternatives anyone?

On reading and meditation 
As the trip is nearing the end (not really nearing but there are less days to go compared to days I've been here), if I were to do an objective analysis, the trip hasnt had the best outcome. I mean I did think about things and it was interesting to live in a new country without an agenda (no tourism, no soaking in the culture or the sights etc etc). Just that I had specific things that I wanted to achieve while I was here. I wanted to get fitter (eat better, meditate, run / jog etc.), inculcate better habits (re-start reading, writing etc). I had to decide on where life was gonna go from here on (like I said, all is good but nothing is amazing; journey is good, rewards are good but not great) and how do make this life a great adventure. The list of things to do, on my Asana ran into 14 pages. I kid you not. 

And I've made very little progress on most things. Of course there is time left. There is one whole week and things have started to fall in place since yesterday. I can probably hustle up and work harder and get to those things in place. None of them require a build up, like fitness does or like reading does. I mean I cant do a million crunches and get those abs. I can on the other hand sit for long hours and say, craft that personal mission statement that I've wanted to. You may argue that if I sit for long, my efficiency and thought process will go for a toss etc. Overruled, as a judge would say. The thing that I havent worked on and I think I should've was, meditation. And reading.

Meditation. The idea was that I had to build up a practise while I was here. The same practise could've continued and made me a calmer, better person. But I dint do shit about it.

Note2Self 2: Meditation probably takes about 20 mins. Why cant you do this today? Its just 11 AM and maybe you can do this before you start the next session, once you are back at the hotel?

Reading. I carried a few books with me when I came here (Bradbury, Murakami on writing and running, Checklist Manifesto, Longevity Diet, Creativity Inc and more). I did read some chapters of Bradbury but that was that.

I can decide today that I am going to read 100 pages everyday, at about 2 mins per page, I will need just about 3 hours to do this. Can I do this, I am sure. Will I do this? I dont know.

So there. To sum things, its been an interesting ride. Just that I need to pull up my socks as I come to the fag end. I know that once am back home, I am facing the same drudgery and predictable life. And a life where I have my people and my things.

Epiphany: I've shunned people all my life and what's making me call India home? People! Need to think more, Mr. Garg. 

So yeah, that's about it for the day. See you guys tomorrow.

Note2Self: I could've done all this and probably more while I was back home. I dint have to spend time and money on this.

Saurabh Garg
22 April 2018

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