Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.
Acknowledging what’s truly important.
Hello! This past week I focused heavily on altering the conversations I have with myself. Something I have always done is to look for the good even in the worst of situations, acts and interactions with people around me. The next step is to do the same with myself. Here are a few highlights from an eventful week:
Questions to ponder upon for the week
Think Like A Monk- Jay Shetty
My first week here in Mumbai, I met a monk. He left a well-to-do job in the world of finance and went on to embrace monasticism. The conversation fascinated me and made me further curious to read more about the life. I picked up this book to get further insight into the world of monasticism, why they’re considered to be some of the happiest people in the world.
Honestly, the book doesn’t mention things we all don’t already know (except the author’s own stories). We are all aware of (or have heard from our parents, teachers, various pop culture sources) the teachings from our ancient scriptures, the various lessons of life and ways to be fulfilled & purposeful everyday.
Even then, the question that led me to this book was—What stops people from implementing these lessons in life? At a certain level we’re all aware of them and if we’re brutally honest, we’re also all aware of the things we do wrong. What I take back from this book though is that anyone (whether a monk or not) can take conscious actions towards becoming better through simplest of changes in our own thoughts and detachment from our ego.
Here are some lines from the book and questions for you to ponder upon:
Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life — Buddha
I thrive on fear, risk & uncertainty when it comes to taking decisions in my life. Even if I’m stumbling and failing, I’m the one responsible for it and I love that—because then I only have to focus on what I’m in control of and detach from what I’m not.
The line really resonated with me because I genuinely believe that
Q] What is really preventing you from living the life you want to?
Do everything right now that you think you can’t, shouldn’t or mustn’t because it is scary or unconventional or risky or impossible.
The ego makes us liars. The ego is an obstacle to growth.
As the saying goes, “You are who you are when no one is watching”. In our eagerness to present ourselves a certain way in front of the world, we hide our true nature and create multiple layers of an identity for ourselves. We convince others (and ourselves) that this dishonest version of ourself is who we are. Ask yourself:
Q] What would you be if you aren’t attached to a version of your identity that you created?
It is our ego that makes us closed-minded towards growth, learning things from people who know better and changing things about ourselves.
Q] Are you ashamed or grateful when you find out you are wrong about something? Are you defensive or intrigued when you find out something that contradicts your beliefs?
- Really dig in and observe your responses to above.
Let’s talk about your answers or thoughts on above. DM me on Twitter or IG!
What are you reading? Drop in suggestions!
Acknowledging what’s truly important
About 16 years ago, I joined a new school in my 5th grade. There were a few other people who joined with me, one of them being Reecha. Honestly, I don’t think I ever spoke to her until once in the 9th grade (probably discussing some petty teenage problems).
If someone were to ask when did you become such close friends, I don’t think I’d have an answer. Maybe it was when she started thinking of me as a brother and tied me rakhi (still does after 10 years). Maybe it was when I failed & dropped out of college and no one else but her supported me. Maybe it was through the countless challenges life has thrown at both of us since then and neither of us looked at each other any differently. Maybe it was when she moved to Washington & I moved to Mumbai back in 2016-17—the time I know was the most difficult for both of us in our lives out of the last decade. Or maybe when we both came back to Pune in 2019 and absolutely nothing had changed.
There is no one definite moment towards which I can point and say why I love this beautiful woman—it is the whole journey.
Reecha got engaged this Friday and I just couldn’t let myself miss out on it. I started my work at 7:00am, finished everything I had to until 4:30pm and left for Pune, reached by 9:00, spent a couple of hours and went back to Mumbai.
It is important to identify and act upon what is truly important to you. Years later, I am not going to remember the travel—I’m going to remember being there.
Levelling Up - Continued
Last week’s newsletter I mentioned a fun schedule that is in place for the next 3 months here in Mumbai:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Calisthenics
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Yoga
Mornings: Meditation Before Work
Evenings: Quick Run Before I Sleep
I have to say that even with a lot of activity and intense work sessions between it all, I feel great and most importantly, I feel purposeful.
I’m happy to be able to run again. Coming week onwards, I’m going to be documenting my lessons from Yoga and Calisthenics.
If you’re already doing either, reach out to me and let’s have a chat!
DM me on Twitter or IG!
Snippets from my personal journal
Even amidst so much activity, sprucing up my room was the highlight of the week. I wish I could attach a video of how nice and cozy my room is turning out to be. For now, here’s a quick panoramic picture of how it looks.
Of course, making a place your home is not a one-time activity—so wait for more!
Next few changes:
Wall paint, photo frames and a lot of knick-knacks on the display unit.
What was your highlight of the week?
Accepting good things being said about me was not really something I could do without making an awkward face and feeling unworthy of the compliment. Honestly, if I were to read these things a few months ago I’d have ignored them, not wanting to get into the banalities of compliments on how one looks.
But I started this newsletter by saying that I’m trying to look for the good within myself. So, I’m grateful for all of you who take time out to read, follow what I do, my work, my own experiments on personal growth and say such kind words.
Thank you so much :)
What were you grateful for in this past week? I urge you to express it.
Thank you for reading & talk to you next Sunday with more stories from Mumbai!
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