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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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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Treat your body well and it will treat you back amazingly.

Woke up at 5:30am, feeling afresh I was ready to rock the day!

Ran the daily errands and quickly got ready for daily run. I had planned my day in advance yesterday as it was not going to be a routine day as it was an offsite IT town hall of my office. So we had to go to Airport road. First time ever I was going to ride the Mumbai metro – Ghatkopar ~ Varasova. We had to reach the venue – ‘The Leela’ hotel which was just by the side of airport road metro station. Having every bit of this in my mind, last night only I thought. “Oh shit! How I’m gonna run tomorrow. I can’t miss any day as Mumbai Marathon is around the corner.” So I decided to sleep early and get up early morning and go get that run!

Had early dinner and then set my smart alarm to wake me up at around 5:30am. I fell asleep instantaneously. Woke up at 5:25 sharp before even the alarm buzzed. I must say body treats you well when you give it a good night sleep. However, I snoozed myself from getting outta bed for another 5 mins. But then eventually I got up. Afresh.

Then I stepped out of my apartment into the day before even the sunrise. Earliest morning for me this year. Street lights still on. Street dogs still asleep. I warmed up and started the running session on strava (my run track app) and started running. I completed my first kilometer under 7:30 minutes. I was wearing my hoody to avoid the morning cool. But after first kilometer only I started sweating. But I kept going. I was feeling more energetic then I usual do. Second kilometer didn’t go better than the first one, I reached 7:40 pace. But I was concentrating on completing my overall session under 22:50 minutes.

I did manage to do that. I was feeling so joyous. But I was still wondering on that guy from the other day about which I had talked about in my last post.  Never heard from him or saw him again on track.

Anyways earliest morning and the fastest run today. 7:01 minutes per km.

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.

Taking the control of your own life!

In our lives, we live through different phases. We meet new people, different people. People who were just strangers to us and then they slowly become our acquaintances, then friends and sometimes something more.
 
As this happens to everybody, this all has had happened to me as well. After leaving home years back, when I came to start a new phase of my life. It was the start of my professional career. I started meeting new people, everyday. Some of them I didn’t even notice when they came in and went out of my life. But some of them came to stay for long. Friends, close friends, best friends and more. We met, we laughed our stomachs out, we roamed, we explored, we shared things, we conversed. I felt really blessed with these people in my life. But then the next phase came in my life, when i saw these people go out my life as well. I was a whole new person, when they went.
 
Before these people came in my life, I was living a normal, not much funny, a bit serious, disciplined life. But the life i was living was joyous, self-contented, not dependent on somebody else, not living through someone else’s decisions. I was happy. I was enjoying life. I was alive. Not that with these people I didn’t enjoy or felt alive. But there was something else to this. I felt changed after their vanishing act.
 
Post their existence in my life, my life started changing, I as a person started changing. The circumstances which came along with these people, stirred the change in my life and my personality.
 
Now I was totally engaged with these people. When people meet their values, their thoughts, their personalities collide and affect mutually. I saw myself adapting myself values that those people had. Earlier, I had a habit of not letting things go, but now I was letting things go. I started taking decisions based on the circumstances, decisions which could make a great negative difference to my life in a longer run. I saw myself loosing out on my own values.
 
But all these people come as a phase in our life, unless they are your true soul mate. Rest of the people come and go. Like the waves in the ocean, some waves are high and some are low. High waves make a great impact on the surfer and low waves doesn’t.
 
When these people went of my life and I got the chance to reassess the path of my life. I saw how my path had deviated after i had met these people. If I didn’t take any actions my life’s path which is now deviated from it’s original course, it’s gonna stay this way. So I started list down all the aspects on which had caused the deviation.
 
I came up with the following things:
  • Letting go attitude
  • Loosing out on my own values
  • Being too selfless for those people
  • Doing things which mattered to those people, but might be against my own values or morals
  • Leaving my own regular routines (i.e. fitness routing), for giving out more time to those people
 
Then I thought how can I fall back to my original path of life from which I had deviated. Things which should make me the same man I was before, were as following:
  • Discipline
  • To value my own values
  • Stay on the routines, no matter what
  • Self-compassion
  • Do what I love
 
I started following these things again now with more rigidity and I can now see where I am heading. I’m heading the right way. I’m meeting new people still, making friends still but while keeping up with the above things. I found the control of my own life back to myself.
 
By taking my own example here, I had mentioned several things above. But it doesn’t mean that people that I had met were wrong or they disturbed my life. No! That’s not what it is. The reason for my life path’s deviation was myself. I started loosing out on myself. That’s what caused this deviation.
 
This happens with a great number of people in the world. When they take decisions under painful situations or circumstances, which leads them to a life path which is not good in the longer run.
 
So the bottom line is we will live through different phases of life. We will definitely meet different people. These situations will arise. But it’s up to you, what you choose and what you let go. If you choose to stay with your own values or let them go. If you choose your disciple or let them go. If you choose to do what you love or let it go.
 
Of-course sometimes compromising a little is not that bad, for something or someone you love. Sometimes it’s not that bad to loosen up a bit and let go. It’s not wrong. But just watch out, if you don’t compromise your whole personality for someone else’s sake and you don’t let go of yourself. That IS wrong.
 
Just put your values on priority and keep up with your routines, no matter what! Cause these are the things you do for yourself, not for others. If you mix these things right, while you being with the people you love. That would be the life worth living with joy, pride and no regrets.
 
So go ahead, take back the control of your own life. Be yourself and stay motivated.