New year resolutions – 2017

Last year I first published a list of my top 10 new year resolutions for the year of 2016. So I’m continuing the tradition, cause it helped me move in the right direction in the last year throughout. I would go back each month to this resolution list and see my progress. It was a fun and productive process.

It’s the new year day today. New hopes, New resolutions and a report of last year’s resolutions. Here you go.

New year resolutions – 2017

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Resistance

'Resistance' - Picture courtesy — The coffeelicious post — http://bitly.com/2bvtCVt

‘Resistance’ – Picture courtesy — The coffeelicious post — http://bitly.com/2bvtCVt

 

She was standing on the edge of the cliff.

The gray blind still on her eyes, covering the blind of her hair on her face. She was ready to give in. But why?

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Story of my first Half Marathon.

Some people are born to be Athletes. Well, I’m definitely not one of them.
 
In my childhood, I was always game for sports. All kind of sports. I played badminton, cricket, basketball etc. I always wanted to take part in sports but I was more of jack of all rather then being a specialist. I never focused on one single sport, I was little there in each of the sport.
 
But as I came out of college and started working on my first job in Mumbai. I realized that I needed to get back into sports. I was now too skinny and a long way from fit. Then it started getting worse. I became under weight.
 
The picture below is from 2010 (5 years back). Yes, that’s me. Some of you might not even believe it (Even though its all smiles but still). You had to see me to believe it.

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Gratefulness, motivation and running stories!

Earlier I’ve written about my daily rituals and how I keep myself going. If you have read my earlier post, you may remember the importance I give to gratefulness in my life.

Everyday I wake up, I see the sun rise, I go for my morning run, while running the breeze comes on my face, I get to see beautiful scenes of nature – trees, stray dogs, fallen leaves, the sea flowing. All these things make me feel alive. At that time, I tell myself how grateful I am to the creator, who shows me the real beauty in everyday life.

Each day in my daily prayer I pause for a moment to think about the world we live in right now. Where we can breathe fresh air, walk and run freely, eat whatever we like, wear whatever we feel good in, go where ever we want. I feel grateful for this abundance of nature, this freedom. This habit of being grateful keeps me motivated.

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Looking through the tiny keyhole

We all see the world through our own tiny keyhole.

Today we are living in a comparatively peaceful world then the last couple of centuries. We should be grateful for that. Days of literal war are a talk of the past. But everyone fights a different kind of war today. We fight it everyday. A beggar fights for a meal, a rich fight to stay rich, an artist fights the block, an athlete fights to reach their optimum performance.

It doesn’t matter how hard you fight, what matters the most is if you are consistently putting efforts. Its not about how furious you are its about how consistent you are.

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How this amazing medium helped me read more than 9 hours a week?

Recently I’ve found interest in an old school medium of book and article reading, even though its old but still got its charm. It literally helped me gain more knowledge than ever before in past sometime.

This medium is Audio! by the mean of Audio books & Podcast.

How it can benefit?

While commuting or going for a run, earlier I used to listen to all types of music. But recently after reading an article from a guy who works at buffer. He shared amazing routine of his where he listens to audio books and podcasts while running or commuting. Here is a brief of the reasoning he gave.

“Often we use to put aside less time for reading articles or books than we would want due to busy life. But guess what! its not that we have less time, its how we make best of our time.”

His words gave me a reason to stop and reflect on my daily routine. Lately I’ve started 3 new books and have put many articles in my read it later app. But yet I’ve not made any significant progress in that front. Not because I’m too lazy, but because my day job and workout routine  leave me rarely any time for reading books and articles. So I tried to think, where can I cut some slack and add myself some reading time? That’s where the power of this audio medium crossed my mind.

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How these 3 things will change your life forever.

Building a good habit or cutting out a bad habit is not that easy. As we grow up, we start to change, cause life happens. Things which we used to like few years back, might not interest us now. Vice-verse, things which we didn’t like a few years back, we might start liking.

We as humans are prone to change in ourselves. More over, the age and time demands change as well. But sometimes a single incident can change your life forever. I’ll tell you a story about that.

“In mid 50’s, there was a lower middle class couple living in a small town in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India.  They were living a frugal life. They had a girl named ‘Shanti’ as their only child.

Shanti who couldn’t get too much in her childhood in comparison of any other child of a middle class family kid in that time. But still she was a happy child. She would run behind the sheep, the shepherd will shout at her in joy as she was a cute little freak.

As she grew up she got habituated of treating the animals badly. She would throw stones at the street dogs, kick the sheep or abuse any of the sort of animals. Her parents who thought they were giving her great cultural values didn’t know about this bad habit of her.

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I carry your heart with me! I carry it in my heart!!

Today I would like to share with you all, one of my favorite poems by the great E. E. Cummings.

 

Whenever I recite this poem, it takes me deep down the memory lane to strike that intentionally hidden chord. Hope you all enjoy it with all it’s due respect.

 

I carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear

no fate
(for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world
(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962 AD)

Creation is the best way to self-contentment!

Creating something takes a lot of efforts. It’s something which takes thinking, it’s something which requires us to go that extra mile and when you do that, when you take that step, when you take that action which results in a creation. That’s when you feel complete in yourself. That’s when you feel ultimate contentment. That’s what gives you eternal joy. It releases those juices of happiness into your brains.

Most of the successful artisans create things very frequently. But in the process of making things they fail too, they fail on regular basis. They are the curious souls who always wonder how things work. As kids they take things apart to see inside, ‘what makes that thing tick?’. Then they put it back together as well.

A normal person who might not be an artisan but still if he creates something (creating something can be anything, writing, drawing, painting, joining parts with screws to make a machine, sculpturing, making strategies, developing buildings or may be codes for a software) it will eventually give him great eternal joy which will make him content with himself.

We should always keep creating things, like we did in our childhoods. We should always be curious, because this world is a never ending mystery. It will always keep us surprising. But if we keep exploring, keep making things, we will enjoy and cherish this life more than just fearing all the time with the uncertainties of this world and this life.

Creation is the base of evolution. When we create things, even if that thing is not pretty good, it facilitates a path of evolution, from there it can evolve, it can be better. So the basic rule is, something will only evolve if it exists. For example if a beginner painter starts painting, he can’t create his masterpiece just by fluke. Creating a masterpiece takes earth shattering efforts. First of all he should start painting, then in the process of the creation he’ll fail one time, two times, may be hundred times. Even though he’s failing but in the process he’s evolving as well. When he would have put more efforts then he actually was supposed to, then comes a moment of the perfection. Then comes the masterpiece.

Pablo Picasso the legendary Spanish painter was once was once passing by some local thrift shops. A lady comes praising and requests him to make a painting of her. Picasso who rarely carried his painting tools, fortunately was carrying them that day. He agreed and started making the painting, while talking to her, in 10 minutes he created a painting of her and handed it over to her saying ‘that will be 10,000 pesetas (España currency of that time)’. Lady was awestruck on seeing the masterpiece but was also astounded by the price and said, “It only took you ten minutes to make this painting, isn’t 10,000 pesetas a lot for 10 minutes work?”

“It took me 30 years to make that painting in 10 minutes, that’s why.” Picasso replied.
Some people are gifted artists but even they have to practice their artistry regularly. But when they create their masterpieces, is only when they find their extreme contentment.

Creating requires creativity, but it requires discipline more. Some people say, I am only creative at certain times. But this is far from truth. Most of the successful writers, painters, artisans created their masterpieces after years of practice and failure, they followed their routines religiously. Hence it’s safe to say that if you practice your creation on regular basis, it’s most probable that you’ll achieve it faster than just sitting back and waiting for that creative thought to occur. If you are a writer, write daily. If you are a painter, paint daily. If you are a coder, code daily. That’s the only thing which will make you better in your creation. Create things and then make them better. That’s how things evolve to get perfect.

So belt up, put your creative cap on and start putting your efforts towards creating something, anything which gives you joy and satisfaction. Make things and then make them better. I bet you’ll discover self-contentment which you have never ever discovered before.