The 2 minute rule

It’s not only Maggi which is cooked in 2 minutes, good habits also do. We have been taught at the Management college to break down a bigger problem into smaller, manageable problems. It helps to look at seemingly tough habits similarly. Eg If you have to get into a habit of exercising for 15 minutes daily, start with those 2 minutes, and just leave it there. You will slowly cook the 15-minute exercising habit. Let us see other examples of this:

  1. To cultivate writing as a habit  – Just scribble your random ideas ( 2 minutes)
  2.  Gratitude Journal – Write just 3 lines of gratitude, without think of what, who, How and where, let it all come naturally ( 2 minutes)
  3.  Conversation on phone – Pick up the phone and call rather than typing a message    ( 5 seconds)
  4.  Helping someone – Just move forward and start helping, won’t even take a minute to start  ( 1 minutes to start)
  5. Striking conversation with strangers – Say “Hi” with a smile ( 5 seconds)

Qabit – habits worth quitting ( like right now)

Like everything else in life, there are two sides to habits as well. There are good habits and there are bad. Good habits are what the most of this blog is dedicated to. But today, for a change, we will talk about the bad ones.  While some of these can be put in a debatable bucket ( they bring some benefits ); there are few which is a sure shot way to doom ( and gloom). The earlier one quits these habits, the better it is for the universe( and oneself). Let’s call these “worth quitting today, right this moment” habits – QABITS.

QABIT- Quit this Habit

While even these habits might give temporary and ephemeral joy/ sense of achievement to the person pursuing the habit, if done in a long run proves fatal; either to the person or to her character or to larger humankind or to the entire universe. I am all for freedom of opinion and freedom of habits. But there are some truths which can not be relative. Ever seen the sun rising in the west. You got the drift. So let’s try to list some of these qabits. We like bucketing things, so let’s try to bucket these under Health, Character, and Universe:

Health

  1. Smoking ( Has to be at the top)
  2. Drinking carbonated beverages
  3. Narcotics
  4. Eating junk/packaged food
  5. Using too many chemicals/cosmetics/Medicines

Character

  1. Using abusive language
  2. Being late
  3. Social Media reading ( yes it’s a habit)
  4. Couch Potato” ing
  5. Career> Family>Fun

Universe

  1. Taking Selfies
  2. Cutting queues ( or traffic)
  3. Yelling at someone in public place
  4. Snoring in a public transport
  5. Pulling people down

5 Each I could think of for now.

 

Keep being Awesome.

Mother of all Life Habits – Waking up Early

It has to be the best and the simplest ( okay not that simple :P) of all habits we can have in our lives. Waking up early is not one habit, it is the seed of at least 10 other simple habits such as

1. Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning

2. Get fresh morning air

3. Do pranayama ( breath exercises ) empty stomach in the morning

4. Write a morning goodness journal

5. Do some morning yoga

6. Wish your beloved/ parents/ kids – ilu ilu 🙂

7. Have a nice shower

8. Listen to some good music

9. Make your bed

10. Water your plants

11. Make a good breakfast for your partner

12. Have a small cheat nap after 2 hours of waking up

13. Write and record a poem/note

14. Wish one friend good morning on phone/in person

15. Write a hand written letter to your partner/kids/ your future self

The above fifteen are some of the great habits which can be accomplished all if you just do one thing – wake up early.  Wake up not later than 6 Am. This will allow you to have 2 hours to do all the above and then have a hearty breakfast before leaving for work.

Play the Roles – the KRAs

One of the most simple life habits I can think of is just playing the role we are supposed to, with our 100%. In our lives, we get ourselves burdened by trying to play so many roles so many times.  Roles which we call upon ourselves. Which is additional to the roles which the universe has given us to play automatically.  Let’s call the automatic roles as our KRAs ( Key Result Areas) and additional roles as Out of KRA. It’s good to achieve out of KRA things, but we will always be rated on our KRAs.

So which are these KRAs? I will try to look at it from a Man`s perspective. Essentially these are the roles which I have towards the females in my life. The roles of a son to my mother, a brother to my sister, a beloved to my soulmate, a husband to my wife, a father to my daughter, a grandfather to my granddaughter. Notice I have conveniently removed the roles I have towards the males in my life. We will talk about it some other blog. I am a strong believer that if we do justice to our roles towards the opposite sex, everything else will be taken care of by itself.

So how will we achieve these KRAs. What are the parameters of measurement.

  1. Trust and understanding
  2. Expression of love, need and difference of opinions
  3. Patience
  4. Time given to the relationship
  5. That special KRA ( this has to be filled by the BOSS in relationship)

We should actually do a bi-annual review of ourselves on these KRAs. It might also be a good idea to actually get this done by the person at the receiving end.  In addition to the sincerity element, it would bring the fun in the relationship.  You could take an exclusive day out just for the 2 of you when you do this session with that person. It’s akin to a professional off site for review and goal setting. Imagine such an outing with your daughter.

“I and Dhaani went out to her favorite park for the mid year relationship review.  We purposely did not put a structure to the day as we wanted it to be a free-flowing exchange of ideas and feedback.  We had agreed on my deliverables in the beginning of the year. I was hoping I get at least a “SUPER DAD” this year, so the mid year review was very important. We started the day with some games and then went on the salad bar where she told me she was very happy with my top most deliverable which was the time given to her. I scored the max there. Even in areas which i thought i needed to bucked up eg patience and her special KRA , i got good ratings. It was a fun day which was special in many ways for me and also gave me lot of boost for my papahood.”

Amazing, isn’t it?  If we start taking our relationships as ( ideally it should be more) professionally then our jobs/career, the whole paradigm changes.

In the next few posts , i will talk about these specific roles

  • Son to my Mother
  • Brother to my Sisters
  • Beloved to my Soulmate
  • Husband to my Wife ( same as above in my case)
  • Father to my Daughter

 

Keep being Awesome.

 

 

Power of “Unsurity”

I got a new bicycle as a gift from my parents when I got good marks in my 10th board. My elder brother took me next morning to the ground to teach me how to ride. Within the next 2-3 days , I could ride the cycle with him holding the carrier loosely.  On the forth day, he said that he will leave the carrier as i can ride on my own now. I was not ready…and i was not sure. I panicked and fell the first time he left the carrier. He then apologized and said he would hold the carrier, I do not need to worry. On the 6th day, when i turned back after completing a small lap; i found that he was not holding the carrier. He had left it midway, and i did my first ride without his support.

That is but one example of how simply we proceeded in our lives. I will give another example below.

I went to Delhi to prepare for my IIT JEE in 2001. Most of my friends had taken admission in FIITJEE for the JEE coaching. When I landed in Delhi however, the FIITJEE admissions were over. I had to pay an additional fee for late admission( or whatever they would have called it) Money was a big factor as always and we were evaluating options we had.  A new coaching institute had started operations that year by some former FIITJEE teachers. It was next door to FIITJEE, so we paid a visit. It was a new kid on the block, thus the cost of admission and coaching were 75% of FIIT JEE costs. Was not sure of the credentials then, but i opted to join the other institute.

Both the above examples were from my early years. If we try to visualize the second example`s situation for 17-18 years today it would be something like the following

I wanted to join a coaching institute to prepare for my IIT JEE in 2016. My friends were spread all over the country across 100 coaching institutes. Some of them had taken online courses. I had registered with 5 top institutes each in KOTA, Delhi, and Ranchi for the quotes. Most of them have 5 different packages for which I have given multiple scholarship tests. After the different scholarship amounts and fees adjusted, I have earmarked 6 institutes from which i had to choose one. However, when i looked for reviews on the internet, all of them had negative reviews. Confused, i talked to my friends in different institutes, they all were doing more or less similar in their preparation and i could not decide which institute is the best. Thus, i posted a question on Quora. Most of the answers were by the representatives of the institutes themselves claiming their institutes to be the best. Some independent answers guided me to some extent and i just am going through my gut and joining an institute in KOTA.

 

The above might look like an exaggeration. It is to some an extent, just to drive home a point that our power of proceeding without being sure has diminished like crazy. Techonlogy and information has played ( unwantedly maybe) the biggest role in this. Since there are so many reviews and so much of information about everything on the internet today, we tend to think that we will be able to take 100% correct decision based on these. As you would see in most cases, this is not the case though. Our decisions are still the same,  our decisions. Even after the sea of information, we are at the end driven by our gut. Only thing that the information does is, confuses us, self-doubts creep in. We are still more unsure about the sure decision that we take.

I myself have been a victim of the so called decision paralysis since the available information on the internet does not clearly tell yes/know.  And when it does, we question the integrity of the information.  And not without a reason. In the age and times of twitter influencers and youtube paid review channels, we are more confused than ever. Earlier, we sought advice from our seniors. Today, everyone has a say in our decision making. A boy who might not have used a phone which i am planning to buy – can very easily post a review/opinion video. Since i have asked for the opinion from youtube, i have asked the opinion of the whole world.

 

This superwant of being 100% sure is a byproduct of today`s complicated life.  This has made us loose our power of “Unsurity” . It might sound contrary to conventional wisdom but unsurty has a lot of power in it. Unsurity is a prox:y surity which enable us to do the following in spite of not being aware of the outcomes:

  1. In taking action
  2. In taking that action quickly
  3. In giving 100% effort to the action taken

 

In Taking Action and taking it quickly

Since we know that this is the limited information that is available to us, we tend to not be in constant search for more information. We pat ourselves on our back of evaluating all options and take a decision. The clutter of information which is available in today`s net ( google, youtube etc) is confusing and never ending. One can not evaluate all the options available, as there are so many of them. Thus the satisfaction of having gone through all the options is never reached. In absence of that satisfaction, we keep on doing the research and postpone the action.

In giving 100% effort to the action taken

Even if we end up taking an action after going through the  numerous data avialable, we are not 100% convinced. The self doubt is huge which renders our optimism weak. We become destination oriented rather than journey oriented.  On the contrary in the case of unsurity, we take a decision and make it right. rather than taking the right decision.

 

 

 

 

 

S.I.M.P.L.E.

simple
ˈsɪmp(ə)l/
adjective
  1. easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.
    2.Plain ,basic, or uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much    decoration or ornamentation.

 

The above is what i found when i googled the meaning of SIMPLE. However, i would like to understand SIMPLE as following :

Some Ideas Mighty Plain Last Ever

For those of us who were born before the information boom of 90s ( and still continuing) have seen a life with lack of choices. And in the absence of the following, our life was a bit different.

  1. Google – we had to actually ask someone expert or experienced how to do a thing. A recipe,  a review etc
  2. Facebook – we actually wished some of our friends on their birthdays by calls/ letters
  3. Whatsapp – We actually called our parents/friends for chit chat
  4. Instagram – We had albums where we put our treasured pictures
  5. Mobile Phones  – The time spent on the phone was precious and limited
  6.  Youtube/ Netflix – We waited with bated breath for our loved programs on TV

The list is very long. And as you can see, it focuses only on the demerits of these technological advancements. But that is how it is going to be here.  It has to be SIMPLE. I will not try to complicate the message by being a double agent. The benefits of all the above is very well known ( thus i will not talk about them). We are to focus on the larger damage they have done to our most precious thing. the Simplicity of our lives.

SIMPLE are the ideas/ways/life which are long lasting and true at all times.  They are not dependent on how you use them, how many times you use them, because that’s what they are, simple.

SIMPLE ideas are mostly mighty plain and boring from the outside. They don’t look glamourous and jazzy.

Think about the following ideas

  1. Fully experiencing an event and later sharing it with others  VS modifying the experience in order to share it with others immediately
  2. Talking to people you love VS texting them/messaging them
  3. Reading a book VS reading 100 pages of reviews/comparisons
  4. Receiving a hand written note on your birthday VS wish on a WhatsApp message
  5. Getting 2/3 good options to a problem/ plan VS 200/300 options
  6. Meeting friends in person VS on hangouts/skype

 

Which of the options appeal you more.  Off course the formers in all the above examples. I do not have a problem with technology. It has improved our lives to some extent and in some areas. There obviously were some pain areas in our lives, especially in terms of services( Banking/ Government Works/ Hospitals/Bookings/Financial Transactions etc) and long distance personal works ( communication, financial transactions, signatory transactions, sharing etc). These were supposed to be corrected by the technological advancement. They have been successful in doing that to a large extent I would say. But in the whole process, it has introduced huge cancer in our immediate personal and professional life. It has robbed us of the 3 most essential powers that we had

1.the power of human connection and the power to proceed without being sure.

2.the power to proceed without being sure.

3.the power of lack of choice

I will elaborate about the above three in my future posts. For now, lets go back to the options in the last paragraph. As you would see, the options you would love are the options which were simple ( before they became complicated)

There is one simple rule to an uncomplicated life.  And that rule is since time immemorial. Keep it SIMPLE silly.

 

 

 

 

 

The End

I like twists. Thus the title of the first blog here.  “THE END ” typically was seen at the end of movies in 80s.  Some movies actually were creative and used THE BEGINNING instead. To convey the message that the actual story of the protagonists will start once the movie ends.

THE END here denotes the end of the clutter of information, data, choices for me and the universe. I have pledged to start a journey of simple – life -habits.  This is a universal way of life for me from now on. Universal- since i am going to follow it and will share the same with the universe.In simplelifehabits i am going to focus on the 3 things.

  1. Simple
  2. Life
  3. Habits

The idea here is to understand the 3 things above and enhance the value of each of these in our lives. And doing that in the most uncomplicated way. These 3 are the guiding principle of a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life.

All the posts in this blog will be under one of these 3 core principles.  In the next 3 posts, we would learn about each one of these in the context of this blog.