Wow- I can’t believe January is already gone in this brand new year and we are already a few days in February. As I am writing this I am reminded of something I read – The trouble is, we think we have time. Such a powerful statement and a constant reminder of our mortality.
This year I started with quarterly goals to make sure that I was able to meet them. But the first few weeks in January just whizzed by as the pandemic fatigue took over.
As I was feeling a little depressed and let down against my own expectations, a friend advised that I need to be kind to myself. That reminded me of my vow – let life flow!
The conversation invigorated me and by taking away the pressure of my own expectations, I started achieving them. My daily walk has already become a habit and I have not missed it even during rain.
The highlight in January for me was listening to the various podcasts during my walks. They have become a steady companion for me and I love getting the varied perspectives on things. It has definitely accelerated my learning and fuelled further positivity in my life.
My favourite is Live more. Dr Chatterjee has some amazing guests and his manner makes you feel that you are part of the conversation. I alternate between the full version and the bite size version of his podcasts depending on my state of mind and the length of my walk.
The two that blew me away this month were with Johann Hari and Fearne Cotton. Johann talked about how we have a global attention crisis and shared ways of getting our focus and attention back. My key take aways:
- The decay in our focus and attention is making us lead a low grade version of ourselves.
- There are lot of external factors at play but we can make small changes to get our life back.
- Mind wandering is a type of attention like a symphony where a lot of various parts of the brain light up.
- We have a gap between what we want to do vs what we can do. We need to empower ourselves to close the gap
With Fearne Cotton, I felt I was listening to a conversation between my friends. I could relate to so many things she was talking about and a lot of what she said about her life. Some of the things I noted:
- We need to start with self awareness as we can’t change or be better at what we don’t know.
- Sometimes, listening to someone may work as the best medicine. We don’t need to jump to fix especially people.
- Write down 3 things that make you happy and 3 things that you want to remember at end of your life. Ensure that they are aligned in your day to day to have a fulfilling life.
- Things that you love should not be hard. Think what it would look like if it was not hard and go slow to make it sustainable.
My scorecard so far has been good. That has kept me motivated to continue on this journey.
- Health – My walks have become a habit. While I still have to start to do some form of other exercise, I am happy. My sleep has improved and I am hitting 6-7 hours every day.
- Friends and Family – I have been talking to my parents and sister regularly. It has been good for my soul. I did manage a date with friends but that is something I have to make more of an effort especially as my friends’ calendars are as busy as mine.
- Personal Growth – My book reading has taken off. I have finished 2 and am onto my 3rd book. But learning a new language has still to kick off.
- Money – Very proud that I have not done any personal shopping or spent money on frivolous things that I don’t need.
- My Boys – We have spent a lot of time together as a family but that was partly possible due to summer holidays. We have to make concerted effort to ensure it continues now that we are back to our day to day routine.
While the year has started well, my biggest lesson has been to let life flow without any expectations and be kind to myself when things don’t go as planned. That is the only key to success!