15 years (and 7% of the year). #3

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Yo whoever still reads this on a regular basis. Wassup?

So, the first post on this blog came up on Jan 18, 2004. See it here. And yes, its cringe-inducing. But heck it was a start. To something that has become such an integral part of my life that I cant imagine a life without it. There have been times when I've thought of shutting the blog down, making it private, publishing an archive in to a book and merging with other publications that I have started at various times in life. I am sure I must have had many more bright ideas about the blog. Thankfully, I did not pay heed to any of those. This blog has become a constant for me. Something that I cant imagine my life without! Really.

Ok, time to stop reminiscing and look at today. And at the future.

As on 26th, 7% of the year is over. Yes! It feels like yesterday when everyone was chilling and making merry and ringing in the new year. But ladies and gents, time flies. At least for me.

27 days are over and I have not moved an inch in this year. I mean I did...
- signup for what could be the project of the lifetime,
- a 40-hour fast,
- start working on book2,
- start writing #SoG and have been almost consistent with those.

I also am meditating on and off. I recorded a podcast with Krishna. I am journaling very regularly. I have been able to lo-tech in my daily life (more pen and paper etc). And other small things.

But these remain scattered. And these dont really add up. You know.

And, I am still poor and look up to friends when the month ends. I am not yet fit. The abs are like a million workouts away. I have a million reasons to be sad. But then, like they said in Inside Out, I dont want Sadness to control my machine. I'd rather have Joy talk to you.

So Joy! He says that life has been good. Things are going great. Things are actually looking up. Need to sort relationships and money. Rest of it is in place. And no, havent given up on the dream to make a dent in the world. Or make a billion dollars. Or to climb the Everest. I will do it. The last two, before Jan 1, 2026. I am committed.

I just need to pull my socks and get back to the grind. I feel that digital detox that I did in Dec 2018 is to blame. I never came back. I mean I started using technology but I never picked up speed with work. The way I was at it. And you know the worse part? I am perfectly ok with not delivery. And no, its not cool. I will fix it. Promise.


How is it going for you guys? Are you on track with your yearly goals? This piece on Harvard can actually help! Or may be not. I shared with a few friends and they were dismissal of this piece. Clickbait, they said.

What are your ideas / strategies for staying on course?

The Shoe Situation

The pair of Crocs that I wear everywhere I go.
If you know me, you would know of my hatred for shoes. 

And you'd know that I have a million pairs already (even though I dont wear them). 

And I have tried rather unsuccessfully in the past to start wearing em. At times its been at the insistence of my mentors, at times at the need thrown by attempts at losing weight, at times by my own wild thoughts and opinions about how I want to run my life. 

But then none of these have been successful. And lapse back into this routine where I just throw on the Crocs and I am on my way. 

But this changes from today on. Here are some reasons why.

Reason 1. I want to dress better.
No serious. 
I mean even though I love all the ads that Raymonds makes, I have hated the concept of a well-dressed man. But now I know that I need to change that. Because I work in a world that evaluates people on the basis of what they wear and how they look. 

I cant change the way I look but I can for sure change the way I dress. 
Shoes is a great starting point! 
The next would be clothing. At some point in life. 

Plus, at the Mastermind group that I am a part of, I have made a commitment that I will be more presentable. This means that I need to have "decent" clothes on. Including shoes. And even though my design sense sucks, my choice of clothes is probably the worst ever, I will make an effort to be better. As long as I dont have to buy way too many clothes, minimalism you see. 

Reason 2. Mumbai Metro! 
Yes. The Metro. 
No, people arent stomping on my feet just as yet but the entire city of Mumbai is dug up like a minefield and the ones like me who like to walk (and live in chappals) end up with feet that look like a mason's. 
Which is ok. 
But then most times when I walk, I club it with work. And like I said, we are judged by what we wear and signals we create rather than work we do. So I dont want to reach meetings with my feet covered in dust and muck. 

From what I know, its ok to have a pair of shoes that is dirty but its a strict no to have feet that are dirty. Ergo. 

And yes, I know people that carry a pair of shoes in their cars. You see when they step in a meeting, they change into those shoes. 
I'd do this as well someday. 
But lemme get a car. Which if all goes well, will be this year! Like I've been planning for almost 5 years! 

Reason 3. Age. 
Well, I am 36. And that means my body is on a downward spiral now. Joints, cartilages, muscles, tendons and I dont know what all are now weak, brittle and prone to breakage. And if I have to live till 120 (one of my #lifegoals), I better take care of these "assets". 

Reason 4. All Birds. 
All Birds has done what Nike (or Shoe Dog for that matter could not). No, they dint make a smart shoe or whatever. It has captured my attention (like all other things that wannabe hipsters like me chase). This is a pair of shoe I want! I dont need it. I have enough. But I want. You know what am saying?  


In the end, if 2019 has to be a year of change (and superlative success), why would I not want to change this thing called dressing up? 
Even though its devastating to have to change at 36 to be able to fit in. To get proved wrong after half the useful life is over.

But I think its not too late. 
We remain students and we ought to continue to grow. 
And improve. 
And change. 

Starting with shoes. 

#in2019, I will...

Hello hello! Long time no see!

In case you dint hear, I was on this self-imposed digital detox. I know these things are often attempts at vanity but trust me I was not trying to be vain. A lot was (and is) happening with life and I needed a break from the routine. And routine from me was work, hustle, dream. Repeated in an unending cycle. In an ideal world, you want this cycle to be a growing spiral (you know the difference? Dont you? Scroll to the bottom of my version of difference). But since it was a circle, I needed to get away from it and look up. And thus the break.


So, its 2019. We are one year away from that fabled 2020 that all of us looked up to when we were kids. Unrelated, the other fabled time horizon that everyone looked up to was Y2K. And thats like 20 years ago. 

Truth be told, 2018 hasnt been the best year of my life.
Far from it.
In fact if I could undo it, I would.
I am not sure what did I get out of the year, apart from some very expensive lessons. I will probably talk about them in a few days (once I am ready) but for the time being, allow me to see ahead.

Coming to 2019.
2019, ladies and gents, means a new year. A new beginning.
And like every year, I want to make a longish list of all the great things that I will achieve in this year!

Oh, I dont know if you know or not, I am big on this concept of new year. Each year I spend substantial time thinking about how I'd make the new year the best of my life.
I write long notes on what I want to do.
I think hard about the year gone by.
I think harder about where I want to be.
And I look at my abilities.
I marry all three and then I come up with a list of things that I think I can do in the year ahead.
And because I was in this digidetox towards the end of 2018, I could not access my tools to do the homework required. I even made plans to travel to the hills for 3 days to work on these yearly things but because of a last minute snafu I couldnt go. Lol, such a cry baby! 

Not important.

Important is that even though I could not spend the days leading to the new year in deep contemplation, I could still think of 4 large themes that I would chase in2019.

These are Writing, Health, Meditation, Relationships (how obvious ;) and how similar are these to your previous year themes!)!

From these four keywords, I have culled out things, goals, resolutions, plans that I want to work towards and achieve in 2019. Each thing adds up to get me closer to these 4 things. And these 4 take me closer to my life goals (Everest, $1Bn, Impact a billion lives).

So, in2019, I will...
  1. attend a 10-day Vipassana retreat. I went for one in 2009 and its apt that I go after 10 years! 
  2. do 4 Keto cycles of 20 days each.
  3. launch 12 new projects. One each month. I am not sure what these projects would be but they have to be side hustles that allow me to make money. And more importantly, teach me!
  4. turn off technology for 3 consecutive days (weekends hopefully), once a month.
  5. read 24 books. I used to be a voracious reader at a point in time. I lost it somewhere. I will get back to reading this year. Biographies and supertexts only.
  6. work with 50 students and be the shoulder that they could stand on. Preferably MBA students. If you know someone who may need a mentor or sorts, please do point them to me. 
  7. do a water-fast one day each week.
  8. run / walk 10KMs every day.
  9. meditate 20+ minutes each day. Want to be able to do 45 minutes everyday. YNH does 2 hours EVERY day! 
  10. write 200,000 words this year that are available for public consumption. These would be spread across my blog, SoG, Book2, Podium etc.
I will track these goals and more importantly the progress here (a shared cloud document).
You are welcome to see and recommend changes.

Each thing has a reason for being in the list. 
Each is a number. So I can measure how I am doing with respect to the goal. 
Most have a frequency component (for example, to be able to write 200K words in the year, I will have to write about 700 words per day on an average). This will allow me to track my progress. 

I know I have conspicuously left out work here.
Not that it is not important to me - rather, I cant differentiate work from life (or home or play or whatever). Just that I am not prepared to think of tangible work goals yet. I will do so over the next few days. Before the first week is over. That will leave me with 51 weeks but its ok. One of the things that I learnt in last year was not to be harsh on myself.  

Thats about it! 

Oh, if you do wish to indulge me further, pray do tell me what is that one big thing that you'd do this year. And do tell me if you need help with that. If not with specifics, I can be a great tool that reminds you to stay on course. 

All the best for 2019. 
Hope the year is full of love, luck and happiness. 
May you live long and prosper. 


P.S.: In case you are curious, here are similar posts from previous years: 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

P.P.S.: Oh, while I wrote this, I was tripping onto Faridkot's Haal E Dil. Must support more indie work. Wish there were a way to show people beyond the ones that can buy media! Maybe I'll add to my todo list.

P.P.P.S.: Cycle vs Spiral.
Cycle - a never-ending loop that does not have the beginning or the end.
But has distinct stages.
And you are merely moving between those stages without any growth.

Spiral - again, a never-ending structure with distinct stages.
But at each stage, you grow up and you are doing things at a larger scale.
You are growing.

I' rather be in a growing spiral.

P.P.P.P.S.: This is probably one of those few years where I have not included wealth (or money) in my list. Of course I want to move towards that. There IS a financial goal that I have set for myself. But I want it to be the byproduct of how I live. Journey, as they say, has to be more rewarding.

#note2self. Must do a post on how 2018 went and the big lessons I took from the year. 

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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