Infinitely Positive — A new process!
Journey & Destination
The journey and the destination are intertwined. While some focus more on the journey and others focus more on the destination, it is effortless to let go of the focus on both the journey and the destination. Interestingly, some of our wishes want us to get into a profound journey. But with time and endless chores, we can drift far apart easily without even realizing it.
I started this journey of becoming ‘Infinitely Positive’ a few weeks back with much hope and enthusiasm. There is always a ‘high’ when you start something new. So is the starting ‘high’ fizzling out and I’m beginning to drift apart? Both ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’
Musings on the last fortnight
When I reflect on the last couple of weeks, my emotions have ranged from just about low to very happy. Some things made me happy and energetic. Some things tried to pull me down. But between them, there was a lot of time where I lost myself in the things I had to do and I don’t know how I felt during most of those times. I’m sure that I neither felt excellent nor bad. But I’m not sure how I was feeling precisely in those times. I was consumed.
When I set out myself on a path to sustainable positivity, can I be unmindful about how I feel at most times? This question strikes me deep. Mindfulness is a deep subject. I realize that being mindful can help me in this journey. But when I see myself in a place wherein I have to be mindful about being mindful of my feelings at most times, I find it both strange and exciting.
While I want to get better in this, I don’t want to be hard on myself for being this. After all, I’m just starting a long journey. I’m hopeful that things will fall in place when I keep going one small step at a time. So, I’m happy to be mindful that I’m unmindful of my exact feelings and emotions many times.
I have never been an organized person all my life. I remember when I was profiled a few years before for the Myers Briggs personality test. My coach told me that being organized doesn’t work for me based on my results. She encouraged me not to feel wrong about being not organized and just cautioned me not to drift too apart.
My brain works the best just a few minutes before the deadline. When I set myself out to share my experiences in this journey every two weeks, my fingers don’t start typing anything, or my mind has no clue about what to share until ‘Day 14’ of those two weeks. Sometimes I try to think and write a few days before, to be met with the apparent result of epic failure. But on ‘Day 14’, when I set myself out to share my experiences in the last two weeks and my thoughts around this journey, it flows effortlessly. I’m going through that experience right now as I type this.
As I grow, I realize that the cost of being disorganized or non-structured multiplies. I have not felt much of this pinch in my early years. Even now, not significantly. But when you are prone to get very consumed in things that you get in and have no plan about the things you can get in, the picture isn’t attractive. Sometimes, it’s chaos and pain. Can I thrive without a dream or a structure?
A New Process:
When I quit my work a couple of months back, I wanted to work on myself a bit more than working on many exciting things. To recoup my old self from the havoc of the post-pandemic world and get even better. I wanted no magic pills. I wanted no easy steps. Before the pandemic, I worked hard to be in a great routine. It was all perfect from waking up early and squeezing a run before work to working out in the evening with a well-balanced dinner and sleep. There were no plans, checklists or tasks. I could pull it off.
With pandemic, it was a continuum of work all day within the four walls of my home. If there is something challenging for me, that’s getting into my old habit after breaking it significantly. All through the last year, I tried to get back to at least pieces of my old routine, to keep failing. What I used to do before so effortlessly was becoming challenging, even with a lot of conscious effort. My old ways are just useless anymore. I can’t explain how much this was pulling me down.
But got some time to reflect and think after quitting my work couple of months before. I decided not to force myself into my old routine. It’s easy to push myself entirely in that direction, given the ample time that I would have during this break. But when my time and work constraints start to come back, I will be very likely to go down the same path I went in the last few years.
I felt the need to simplify my day and routine. One day after my morning walk, I opened my laptop and listed down the things that I would like to do on any given day. The items were simple. The list ranged from a long walk, peaceful sleep, watching an insightful video, journaling, work plan and even as simple as having a bath. I refined the list and finally zeroed in on little more than ten things. These are the things I would like to do every day, making my day productive, peaceful, and going a long way in my physical and mental wellness. These things seemed easy when looked singularly but a challenge when looked at as a whole. But I got clarity on what are the things I should do to feel complete and satisfied every day.
I was happy that I got the clarity. Now, I didn’t want to start doing those things religiously daily from that very moment. I wished I list these as my recurring daily tasks and only track my routine over time.
It was just a thought to start a process of knowing what should be my daily routine and what I am doing every day. I can’t explain the importance of this thought enough. I’m someone who has lived for thirty years with almost no rules, structures, task lists, or any form of order. For me, to have this organic flow of thought to start a process of defining and tracking my routine was no simple thing. I’m happy that this occurred organically. Maybe I’m just changing.
I was clear that I was not going to force myself to do anything on the list just for doing it. After all, I didn’t want to get into a great routine with this, but I only wanted to define what a great routine would be for me and know what I’m doing every day. It’s very different. Rather than pressurizing myself to do so much every day, I just wanted a process to know what I do every day. So I created a simple recurring daily task list in an online tool with 13 items that I would like to do every day. I also made a spreadsheet. The sheet will help me see the tasks that I have completed everyday. I decided not to get sad or down when I passed a day wherein I didn’t do those tasks. Also not to be very happy when I do all those thirteen tasks. Again, the intent was not to do those 13 things, but only to know what I’m doing among them.
As I write this, it’s 67 days since I started this process of recording my activities daily, and I’m glad that I’m sticking to this process. Sometimes I feel that this is not me. But I like this. I’m not close to doing all those things daily or having an impeccable routine. But I know where I’m, and I’m glad about it.
So, I’m making some minor progress in this journey of becoming infinitely positive by setting up a simple process for myself and sticking to it. A small win! I’m moving on with better clarity!