Tuesday 17 January 2023

A Year To Do Fewer Things

2023 is going to be the year that I don't do many things. Wait what? Pretty underwhelming for a New Year's resolution isn't it? Well, that is the point. I've noticed that one of my personality traits is I have a very weak focus concerning the things I am pursuing over a period of time. For example, I would be inspired to learn guitar but as soon as things get difficult my mind starts looking for other low-hanging fruits from which I can get a quicker sense of accomplishment (looks at the unused Harmonica lying on my side table). This has enabled me to take an interest in different things but has also kept me from being able to get good at any one of them. The beginner's high is exciting which exists in the initial period of a new venture but what I long to experience is the pure joy that comes after going at a certain thing for a long enough time that I am not only able to tolerate the lows in the learning but also enjoy it. Passion; derived from the Latin word patior, means 'to suffer'. When you are truly passionate, you are pushed along by your desire to the point where you are willing to endure pain, suffering and loss for the object which is the focus of your attention. Well looking back I don't recall having such a strong desire for anything and I think one of the reasons must be that I have never followed my curious new ventures to the depths of their metaphorical oceans deep enough, depths lower than even the sun would see, that the only thing keeping me going is my determination to touch the seabed. This is the year that I am planning to change that.

The very first book that I finished this year is by Seth Godin called The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). Came across this very interesting title when browsing through the productivity subreddit and immediately found it added to my Goodreads list. In this book, the author is trying to talk to the readers about the seemingly long and difficult to navigate through a period of difficulty in pursuit of your goals which he calls The Dip. Seth describes the dip as the part of anything you are pursuing in life where the rewards you get versus the effort you are putting in is low and keeps decreasing before it starts to increase at a rapid pace. The author also argues that any and everything worth pursuing in this life will have a stage of the dip in it. Knowing this he suggests one should always ask themselves one very important question before starting something new in their life: "Will I be the best in the world at this thing?" or simply speaking "Will I make it past the dip?". You must be thinking, "This is so stupid?". My friend, if you look at your side you'll see me (from the past) seated in the same boat as you. There can only be one person who is the best at something in the world and if everyone is to be best at at-least one thing then soon we will run out of things to be best at. But when the author says 'world' he means that it is for us to define its boundaries. For example, if you are an electrician, you don't necessarily have to be the best in the whole wide world to reap the benefits of being number one. You just have to be the best in your city or the area you serve in that would be enough. Saving ourselves from going on a tangent of talking about this book what it essentially means is that don't waste time and energy on too many things neither of which you make out of the dip but pick paths you are sure about and focus 101% of your efforts in that area. So this year I will make an effort not to get good at a lot of things that I wish to be but to not even begin them in the first place and if already done so shut them down. Only pursuing things about which I am sure that if put in enough effort, I would make it past the dip.

Thursday 24 November 2022

Ideas, Motivation and Writer's Block

I was always fascinated with the internet even before we had an internet connection in my house. Websites being the face of the internet were at the centre of that fascination. Right from creating a blog for my then active technology YouTube channel to learning web development from YouTube videos to just creating static local HTML pages, I kept finding ways to have my space on the net. Having my own domain where people could go and read what I wrote or just see my website was the dream. 

Exactly a year before I remember entering my payment details on my domain registrar's website while purchasing this domain which I was very happy was available. I had decided to buy this domain as a gift to myself for cracking my job interview and landing myself a placement offer in the 7th semester of my undergraduate itself. "So, what's the problem?" one might ask. Well since the date of purchase to this day I haven't posted a single blog entry to the blog that I imagined would be flooded with the gems of thoughts that my brain would come up with. In hindsight, it was never a problem of lack of ideas as well. I was able to come up with multiple nuggets of thoughts that one could have chased to make them type from a sentence or two to Paul Graham-style long-form essays. Then why was I not able to do so? Well the reason I believe was very simple. Writer's Block. A condition where a writer is not able to come up with new work. Although my case does not completely align with the definition I think that it does point in the right direction. Frequently when reminded about my ownership of this blog I would daydream about how I was just a few good ideas or the perfect motivating Sunday afternoon away from penning down my first blog post. But unfortunately those would remain what I correctly described them as: daydreams.

One of my motive to publishing this post is just to get the ball rolling. I believe the only way for me to get out of this rut and to actualise the ideas I get into blog posts is to just open my laptop and start typing. Will my posts be the best literary work this world has seen? Not really, I have no plans for it to be that way. I hope to just be able to document what I think about on this blog because instead of boring the brains out of someone I know I would rather ramble on the internet. If I did bore you with all of this then well it was your choice to read it in the first place wasn't it?