HABITS

 

PART 2

HABITS

For the longest time, I have been a student of habits.

I don’t set goals, for two reasons:

– You do it for a destination, instead of becoming someone in the process

– You invariably start chasing another destination, upon reaching one.

Instead, habits have come to help me in the smallest to biggest things in life.

Be it a habit of sleeping on time.

Or recording videos religiously for four-plus years, when no one was watching me.

Or writing by blog since 2005, which has somehow eventually led to this book.

I love habits, because the kind of person I become pursuing them opens up multiple doors, instead of chasing goals that may (perhaps) lead to just one door if one gets lucky.

Habits build us, goals lay us barren.

The trick to waking up early is not waking up early.

It is sleeping on time!

The secret is not merely waking up early. Any alarm clock could do that for you.

The secret is to be energized, happy and productive in the morning.

Nothing could ensure this other than sleeping on time. Otherwise, what’s the use of waking up early and feeling groggy and eventually hating yourself?

Waking up early fizzles out, sleeping on time is what flourishes.

Share your journey.

Document your journey.

Narrate your journey.

Your story is valuable.

Maybe you don’t see it.

Think of it as a guide for someone who hasn’t yet gone through what you have.

If only you looked at yourself through the eyes of the ones you inspired.

Every time you stop from sharing what you know because ‘who will listen to me; I am nobody’, some nobody is sharing what they know and that becomes the ‘gold standard’.

You have a moral responsibility to share.

Curiosity has created more opportunities than hard work ever will.

Why isn’t my favourite startup founder creating content?

How could I add value to the person I’m writing a cold email to before asking them something in return?

Why not?

The key to having more opportunities in life is to give yourself enough opportunities to get curious.

You have no idea how the dumb questions that you avoid asking could solve someone’s dilemma that they can’t avoid!

Targets are the enemy of habits.

Don’t set targets.

Set habits!

Setting targets instead of habits makes us forget the kind of person we want to become.

We not only want to run a marathon. We also want to get fit.

We not only want to look sculpted. We want to see how disciplined we are.

We do not want to crack just the sales numbers. We want to solve more customer problems.

The more we get the process right, the closer we get to the targets.

The more we run after targets, the more we sign up for feeling hollow once we achieve them.

Habits hire us forever and take us higher, whereas targets tame us and leave us clueless after we achieve them.

Don’t try to minimize your struggle.

Try to make it more meaningful.

You can never minimize your struggle. It will only suppress your emotions.

However, you can always figure out what it means.

Feeling intimidated by a colleague daily? Does it mean you aren’t ‘cool enough’ or does it simply mean they do not make you feel involved?

Trying too hard to find work you love? Does this mean you aren’t worth it or does it mean your efforts are compounding to give you 10X return?

Parents asking you for small things? Does this mean they are poking their nose or does this mean they simply want to lower their anxiety by making sure you’re safe?

When we suppress struggle, it doesn’t go away. It just bottles up making us question ourselves daily.

When we choose the meaning of our struggle, we use it instead of it using us.

Before you assume, try this crazy thing.

ASK!

Someone is ignoring you? Perhaps they are going through a tough time, and don’t even know they are ignoring you. Why not ask?

People aren’t good to you? Maybe they are trying to be good to themselves as well. Why not ask?

Want to talk to your parents? Maybe they want to, as well. Why not ask?

Asking is the best thing to do, before making assumptions.

It either validates your assumption or you get to understand people better. Either way, you get to be a better communicator.

Win-win :)

Most important skills today that are hardly taught: 

Humour

Storytelling

Managing money

Human psychology

Cold emailing

You won’t get out of laziness for something you don’t want to do.

I wake up at 4:30 a.m. every morning. After meditating, singing practice and reading, I head to play tennis. Daily.

Whether it is 36 degrees in June or 6 degrees in December. Just because I love it!

However, I might not do that to watch cricket on TV. Or I might not want to watch a trending series. I might certainly never make any effort to create a fixed deposit.

Only because I don’t want to!

We don’t need more productivity hacks. We need to spend more time with ourselves doing what we want to do.

The best form of writing is the one that is written neither out of fear nor with the willingness to share.

Write not because you want to be liked.

Write not because you want more likes.

Write not because someone else will be impressed by you.

Write, because you want to express yourself.

Write, because you will read it.

Write, because if you won’t, your bottled-up emotions will harm you alone.

Write, because if you won’t write it, how will you ever read what you need?

Write, because no one could ever be You 2.0.

To start the habit of reading books, read books that you will enjoy.

Not books that the world thinks you should be reading!

Three things that will tell you who/what you consider as important in your life.

1. Your first hour after you wake up

2. Your last hour before you sleep

3. Your calendar

The first 60 minutes of my day are me-time.

I sip water like wine. Just smile at the blessings I have. Meditate.

The last 60 minutes of my day are family time.

Either I read with Vidur, or I help Ruchi put Uzma to bed, before we catch up on our day. Lovely time!

Some of the things my calendar has that are super-important to me: Afternoon nap, 1:1 catch-ups with my team, reading time, music lessons, getting my daughter ready for the morning.

The things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy to ignore.

If you choose to do them with consistency instead of ignorance, they can change your life completely.

Daily progress isn’t about becoming an expert in your field.

It is developing the mindset that progress is a way of life.

It is like breathing.

We rarely stop to acknowledge it.

But we breathe every second.

We would die without it.

Reading books will not make you smart.

Watching motivational videos will not make you driven.

Writing will not make your thoughts clearer.

We are not shaped by these things.

We are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves.

Reading books isn’t the answer. The answer is what we take away from them.

Writing isn’t the answer to clarity. The answer lies in whether we write to get more at peace or whether we write to seek validation.

Motivational videos certainly aren’t the answer (even though I make a bunch every week). The video we turn our life into after watching those videos is the answer.

Nothing changes until we change what lives between our two ears.

We know others through their actions.

We know ourselves through our thoughts.

What others are thinking, we don’t know. We only know what they are doing.

That is exactly what they see when they look at us – what we do, instead of what we think.

We may have a hundred plans, but, what others see is the one we are executing.

Plans are plain without performance.

Thoughts are powerful, when they are converted into actions.

Without action, they are simply broken promises.

We nod to show that we are listening.

But we are not listening to the opposite person.

Instead, we are listening to our mind telling us what to say.

When we listen, do we truly listen or are we preparing a response in our heads?

When we listen, are we coming with an open mind, or just a closed book that knows all the answers?

When we listen, do we intend to help or do we just want to impose our point of view?

We nod to show we are listening to respond.

However, what if we nodded to purely listen to what others have to truly convey?

What if we nodded to understand what’s coming in, instead of structuring what we had already planned?

Your attendance doesn’t define your discipline.

Your attention does.

College requires you to have certain attendance.

Some companies want you to be in the office for attendance.

Worse, even relatives want you to be present at parties you hate!

What if you are present, but not happily present?

You’ll be lost, hating everyone, and hating your life.

Your discipline is defined when you are fully present, for all the times you are present.

That shows you are interested, enjoying the process, and in the flow!

The quality of your presence is way more important than the forced quantity of your attendance when you’re not present.

Who you spend time with will define the stories you hear.

The stories you hear will define the stories in your head.

The stories in your head will define you.

Choose who you spend time with, wisely!

Optimize for learning, not salary.

Optimize for progress, not stability.

Optimize for facing fears, not for comfort.

If you have two job offers with a similar salary, the one with growth is the one you want to pick up.

If you really want stability in terms of money and career, no one gets it unless they embrace progress as their way of life.

Comfort stems from facing what you fear. Staying in the comfort zone is the most dangerous thing to do.

The things that are the easiest to do are the things that are the hardest to live with.

Yet they are the only things that make our life easier.

As a fresher, you do not have a hope in hell of getting noticed.

Just work, don’t ask questions, don’t challenge, say yes to your boss, don’t try to be too friendly.

The key is to stick around.

And lie low.

Just one of the many lies told to us.

Some of the smartest people in the world are competing for your sleep time.

You know what that means?

Your sleep is VERY IMPORTANT!

to you AND to them.

Don’t let them win!

The social media and streaming platforms are designed in a manner that hooks your attention.

More you like the content

More they will recommend it.

More watch time. Less sleep time.

Disconnection helps, because motivation can’t, especially if all the smartest minds of the world are 24x7 thinking on how to keep you glued.

Saying no to everything else and sleeping on time – is the greatest secret sauce of self-love.

Do not allow comfort to make you believe that you no longer need to try!

You’ve got a good job through hard work.

Shouldn’t try to get better any more.

Having beautiful relationships with people you care for.

Shouldn’t try to care for them any more.

Got a sculpted body after relentless hard work.

Shouldn’t try to maintain it any more.

Wrong.

Comfort is a destination.

Trying more is a path.

To get to the next level of destination of comfort.

If we stay stuck in just one destination (comfort), we forget our home (happiness).

Happiness certainly never comes through staying cool in what seems comfortable.

Happiness is simply a result of slaying your comfort, so you always stay comfortable staying out of your comfort zone.

No step is small, as long as it is headed in the direction of where we want to go.

In a society that is obsessed with hard work and career success, seeking boredom is an act of rebellion.

Seeking boredom through free time helps you feel comfortable in your skin.

Seeking boredom in your own company makes you not crave for anyone else’s company.

Seeking boredom in the relentless daily habits makes you create success automatically.

We want success and work hard to get there, hardly ever knowing that the hardest work is to seek ease in the mundane.

Find it hard to say no to people, when you know you should?

It’s mostly because you worry about what they will think of you.

If you follow the right set of people on social media, opportunities will come by design.

Not by luck!

You become like the people you spend your time with – online and offline.

Approaching life questions.

Complaining or figuring out solutions.

Saying no to new things or asking ‘what if’ and ‘why not’.

They are a result of the choices we’ve made to follow people online.

And it’s almost impossible to not have great opportunities because following the right people teaches you how to create your life around having new opportunities.

A sneak peek into my habits 

While you now know what I think about habits, here is how habits think through me.

A sneak peek, into my habits.

Habit 1

I always carry a notebook with me.

I take notes like a school student.

I put tasks in a calendar.

I send myself emails in the future.

My mind’s energy should be spent in thinking.

Not remembering!

Habit 2

Document EVERYTHING!

At any point I have three notebooks

1. Ideas.

2. To-do lists for the day.

3. Meeting notes.

And I write things down.

Writing helps tell the brain that this is important.

And it helps me not to ‘try and remember’ anything.

Habit 3

I put everything on a calendar.

My calendar is my lifeline.

Everything is on my calendar.

Bills to pay, birthdays to remember, threads to write, weekly routines.

Over fifty percent of my waking time goes towards things that are important, but not urgent! :) 

Habit 4

I schedule emails to myself, for the future.

There are so many things that interest me, that it becomes important to prioritize.

And for me prioritization is about scheduling.

Future emails serve that purpose.

Habit 5

Using technology for everything possible.

There are a lot of tasks that suck your time, but do not make you move forward.

Consider using technology to solve them for you.

Habit 6

Sharing my calendar with my wife.

I kid you not, this is a game changer.

She has hundred per cent access, so she can add, edit and delete things from my calendar.

So I do not have to think about anything when it comes to family events, birthdays, or even things she wants me to do.

She simply adds it to my calendar.

Productivity MAX!

Habit 7

I have two WhatsApp self-groups.

Create a group on WhatsApp with someone.

Once done, delete that someone else.

Now it’s just you in the group.

Pin that group to the top.

And use it for easy sharing and access.

1. Docs/Images

Which is where I store my important images (PAN Card, License Copy, passport copy, etc.) and documents for easy access (tickets, etc.).

2. Thoughts

Which I use to just type something on the run, or click something, or record/shoot something.

Habit 8

Afternoon nap is my daily ritual.

I grew up in a home where Ma insisted, we sleep for an hour after lunch.

I guess that’s just stayed.

Then I remember going to China and Korea and saw that in offices, too, there was a culture of an afternoon nap (heads down on the table) Never implemented it in nearbuy, but did implement it personally.

I used to grab 15 minutes of a power nap while in the office. And since I stepped down from nearbuy, I have tried to nap for an hour.

My daughter and I sleep together. Nothing feels better :) 

Habit 9

Setting the right environment is super-important.

I never work from my bed, always on a table.

I never read lying down, always on a chair.

I never eat while watching something.

I never work in a dark room. Always natural light.

Even when it is work from home, change into ‘office attire’ while working and not be in your PJs – subconsciously tricks your mind to get into the comfort zone!

Do not underestimate your surroundings while trying to create flow!

Habit 10

Create sensory hooks for what is important (not what is urgent).

As a species, our senses have evolved to work for us. What we see, smell, touch, hear and taste, drives almost all of our reactions.

I use my senses to drive action.

Keep your phone in another room while sleeping.

Place your dumb-bells right next to your bed

Keep the book where you can see it easily.

Set your alarm to that song that lifts you up.

Apply your favourite deo/perfume when starting the day.

These things work!

As the world progresses, it is getting easier to slump into laziness and feel lethargic.

And it is getting equally easier to lift yourself out of slumber and get moving.

It is frankly a matter of intent.

Not capability any more.

Not even access.

The human mind is conditioned to feel happy and fulfilled while making progress.

Set your life in such a manner that you can measure this progress.

Even a tiny improvement in your productivity will yield results over time.





THANKS FOR READING EPIC BEING!





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