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Happiness is a choice
You have power over your mind.
Hello! For the last couple of weeks I’ve been pushing myself mentally & physically, with intention and I met 2 incredible people in the week (a coach & a Buddhist monk)! Here are a few highlights from a week full of learning:
Questions to ponder upon for the week
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant- Eric Jorgenson
I stumbled upon Naval Ravikant and his immensely engaged twitter community a couple of months ago. Honestly, I’d never heard of the person before that. But I’ve come to really admire his thoughts and perspectives. So, I picked up this book.
I felt so thrilled to see a lot of my own thoughts/perspectives matching with those of Naval’s. Of course, no beliefs are permanent. But I’m only human, and it feels nice to see someone who inspires millions echoing my own thoughts 😌
Lot of thoughts match the way I lead my life currently, hence this section is longer today. Here are some lines from the book & thoughts from me for you to ponder upon:
1) Be a maker who makes something interesting people want. Show your craft, practice your craft, and the right people will eventually find you.
“Create your own luck” is one of those sayings that we’ve always heard, and I believe the essence of it lies in the line above.
Imagine yourself striving to be the best at whatever you wish to be the best at. When you’re determined to put in what it takes to fulfil that craft of yours, eventually the right people will find you. Over time, it is going to become so deterministic, that it’ll stop being luck—you’d have created your destiny.
Personal eg: I landed my current job because someone referred me to someone else, who read my newsletters, asked for some documentation of my work & next thing I know, I was on a flight to Mumbai. When you keep practicing your craft and showing your craft, the right people will find you eventually.
You’ve got to want to be the best at what you wish to do.
Q] What do you wish to be the best at? What actions can you take right now for it?
2) Happiness is a choice. Happiness is learned.
For a long time until 2019, I tried running away from answering the question “What is happiness for me?”. Honestly, I’d have rated myself unhappy if asked. The biggest thing I learnt back in 2019 is that happiness is a default state of being, not a fleeting emotion. I’ve been happy ever since.
We’ve all been programmed to think a certain way about what is happiness. The problem with the representation of the same to me is that happiness for me is more about the innate peace than outwardly joy. For me, happiness does not mean being “happy” all the time. It simply means no external event, person or temptation hampers my innate peace.
Just like I work on my fitness, I work on happiness—intentionally & consciously.
- I’m not attached to an identity of myself
- My mind is quiet, at peace (there’s always a song playing though)
- I don’t play short term games
- I read & make time for philosophical discourse
- I seriously don’t care for things that don’t matter to me (labels, titles, comparisons, gossip, money, societal hierarchies, instant gratification)
- I’m detached from people who suck out energy
- I invest time in resilient people who work on themselves
- I invest time in myself.
All of us can work on our body, and similarly, all of us can work on our mind.
Q] What is your default state of being? What do you need to do for it to be happiness?
Really dig in and observe your responses to the above. I want to talk more about the same book next week as well. It is exciting!
What are you reading? Drop in suggestions!
Na Mu Myoho Renge Kyo
This week I had the pleasure of visiting a quaint Buddhist temple in the heart of Mumbai’s urban locality of Worli (click on the picture above). I spent about half an hour meditating and a few more minutes after that journaling in the temple, before meeting the resident Japanese Buddhist monk—Bhikshu Morita.
Bhikshu Morita, who arrived in India about 45 years ago, asked us to speak to him in Hindi. He had an endearing laughter that one could only witness on someone wise, spiritual and kind. He spoke to us at length about the peace marches—padyatra—that he has carried throughout his time here in India.
He kindly quoted teachings from Buddhism, the Bhagwad Gita, even Mahatma Gandhi, in response to our questions about the world today. With childlike excitement he showed us pictures with the biggest of businessmen, political leaders, his speeches in colleges and gave us all a book to read when we left.
It is hard not to be enchanted by the stories and simplicity of life embodied by these spiritual leaders. He is a prime example of the kind of happiness I’m talking about in the previous seciton.
Strength lies in the mind
When I talk about fitness, for some reason the person at the end of the conversation starts thinking of perfectly done exercises, heavy equipments and ripped bodies. Maybe because that’s what people on social media have made it to be.
But what we generally don’t talk about is that behind that perfect set, a great rep or the long/fast run lie moments where picking yourself up feels terribly challenging.
Yes, our body is performing, I want to challenge you to control your exercise with your mind—that you can do another set, that you can take another kilometre, that you can push one more time—tell me what happens then.
I’ve started uploading reels of my routines every single day, no glorified msgs—simple documentation of good or even the bad workout days. Maybe they help you get off this newsletter & go for a run ;)
I’d be the happiest if you stopped reading even right now and go for a run. Do tell me about it when you do.
DM me on Twitter or IG!
Snippets from my personal journal
I believe our mind is as vast as the universe we live in, and it has the potential to be as limitless. You can become the greatest version of yourself just by training your mind to believe certain things. What are those for you?
In one of my meditations this week, an old chain of thought resurfaced and I couldn’t help but be thankful. To an extent that I immediately reached out to those people and told them on a call how grateful I am to them. It was the best feeling. I couldn’t stop smiling. Gratitude will give you more than you realise.
What were you grateful for in this past week? I urge you to express it. It’ll come back.
Thank you for reading & talk to you next Sunday with more stories from Mumbai!
In the meantime if you like this, show some love & tell your friends! ♥️