Day 7 – Consistency

NaBloPoMo November 2016

I am uber talented. In everything I take up.

Something always prevents me from making it to the top. Even if I do make it, there is a nagging feeling of being unaccomplished. Why?

I do everything in bursts, not streaks. Example : I started NaBloPoMo and fizzled out on Day 3.

Streaks happen when the doer is consistent. Here’s a piece I wrote in January about how being consistent can bring about a major change.

As I mentioned before, I am preparing for pre-nationals in 10m  Air Pistol to be held in mid-November. Our coach has started a new program where we train in group. First he gives us individual targets (e.g- Shoot 46 in 5 shots, each shot has a maximum value of 10 points). Then we are divided into teams and have to shoot the given number of shots to the best of our capacity.

One day, I consistently shot well and won a tie-breaker by scoring a perfect 10 (bullseye). Our team won. Next day, barring some problem with the weapon, I shot okay-ish. The highlight was – a perfect 10, which I followed up with a measly 6. A 6! At this level, I should not be going beyond 8 and this was in the white-space. Anyhoo, our team won one round and next round – we at least did not end up in the bottom.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because despite having all the potential and skill required for a certain task, I often fall short of giving my best to it (forget doing best). And the reason of falling short is – not giving enough time daily to the activity. Be it shooting, writing or my in-pipeline start-up – everything needs chunks of time DAILY from my routine. Instead, I end up doing stupid mundane things like doing the dishes, making food or organising the closet. Or in extreme cases of escapist moods – I can be found dozing off or reading. Grrr…

Coach’s advice : Do not belittle yourself. Pat your back every time you do well. You have to practice daily to achieve a certain level of confidence. But, if you are not coming to practice regularly, you can still shoot well if you believe in whatever training you have managed to do.

Bottomline : You can get away with being irregular, if you manage to do the required thing on time and with quality. To do this, you have to believe in yourself. Because (and I realise this at this precise moment) regularity or repetitions are different from being consistent. Consistency is performing well regardless of how regularly you do the activity. There is a shadow of doubt though – can you really be consistent without DAILY practice? Of course, there is a bare minimum level you need to attain first. After that, you can be fairly good, even great, if you have ‘just enough’ practice and a truck load of confidence (not over confidence).

Do you have difficulty in being consistent or regular? How do you deal with it?

It’s okay if you tell me this is a pretty pointless post, but this self-talk at least makes me post the Day 7 NaBloPoMo post.

30s Gyaan

I am turning 30 this 6th October.

Though I have been feeling 30 since I was 26, the official event occurs next week.

This makes me want to share what I have known about life in these 3 decades.

As Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh says in Chhoti si Baat :

 “Ye ek art hai, kala hai. Ye meri 65 saal ki zindagi ka nichod hai.”

 

(In my case, ye meri 30 saal ki zindagi ka nichod hai.)

Since today is 29th, and I am still 29, this seems a good day to start my sermons.

Let me start by citing some facts about the age 30 (applicable to me, may or may not be applicable to others).

Fact #1

You don’t feel as old as you had thought you might. 

I had to write a composition in Sr.Kg. Essentially, it was a fill-in-the-blanks assignment titled ‘My Mother’. It read – My mother’s name is _____. My mother is _____ years old. And so on.

It was a homework assignment. My Mom used to take my studies. I filled her name. I asked her, what do I fill in the second sentence? She said, fill what age you think I am. I thought a lot, and thought, to be old enough to be my Mom, she has to be at least 30. So I wrote 30 and my Mom graciously let it be. (She was 28 then.)

And now I sit writing this, at the age I thought she was then!

Recently, when she turned 51, she told me, she doesn’t feel the age. I believe her now. My Grandma once told me, even when you turn 80, you’ll realise it only when you look into the mirror or your health starts failing you. I fantasise about turning 80 sometimes. And unlike the figure of 30, which has intimidated me since last 4 years, 80 doesn’t. Maybe, because it seems so far away…

Fact #2

People begin to take you seriously.

Try telling people you want to be a writer or an entrepreneur at 18 and try telling the same at 30. Odds are, the distractors will tear your dreams apart at 18, but find no points worth mentioning at 30. At least, that is what has happened to me.

Walk into a shop, take a cab, get the grocery – everywhere, if you have the personality to match the age, people will listen to you more seriously than they would a teen.Sad, but true. (I say teen because in my early 20s, I felt like a teen and in the late, like a 30 year old. I have not experienced the 20s mentally.)

Fact #3

You begin to live for yourself.

Aye, you have tried your best to put yourself above the demands of the mundane till now, but seldom succeeded. At 30, you gain the assertiveness to really put your foot down and start living. You can even successfully contradict a bossy grown-up!

Fact #4

You begin to form a wall around your emotional self.

Gone are the days when trivial remarks used to affect you. You learn to ignore what is not important to your personal life. You do not make time for negative people and surround yourself with friends, family and mentors who contribute to general well-being.

Fact #5

You are not afraid of failing.

3 decades are enough to show that no man is exempted from failure. Small or big failures have come your way, and have toughened you enough to not shy away from embarking on anything new. You take risks, but not like you did in the wild 20s. You know when to go forth and when to retreat. Giving up – you have learned. You no longer make it an ego point. But you have also learned what will work, and are not afraid of going after it.

Fact #6

You are more confident than your teen years and twenties.

From my experience, till you are in school, the focus of your life is pretty restricted. If you do well in studies and sports at a certain level, your confidence in yourself is unchallengeable. As you move out of school and are exposed to a bigger and real world, where people around you know things you don’t know yet, you begin to falter. It is the acceptance of the fact that there is so much to know that brings self-doubt. Which is good within limits; but if it crosses a certain level, it causes one to retreat into a shell for no apparent reason. This self-doubt can eat up decades altogether, till you learn that – everybody who excels at something, lags in other things. Also, even an expert cannot say that he knows everything! So, what you know, till now, counts for something and is not vain, if you do not consider yourself an expert in it.

30 in way, returns to you the confidence of your childhood.

These were my observations for today. I would like to know how valid these are, from those who have already been 30 or are approaching 30. 

 

 

Day 11 : Something that you always think “What if…” about

I haven’t had to think much about this. There are a very few events about which I think what if.

I was in school, probably not over 5th standard. My Grandpa used to drop me to school on our Kinetic Honda.

School always opened in the first week of June, which also marks (…err used to mark, now monsoon is too erratic) the beginning of monsoon. Because of the ‘kichad’ that covered the kaccha road to school up to 5-to-10 blocks, we had to park near another school and walk all the way to the gate.

Grandpa was so caring that he used to walk up to the school at leaving time. I never walked alone to the parked scooter. One such day, we were walking back from school and I noticed some puddles formed at the side of the road. I was tempted to step in them.

There was a big puddle, larger than the bucket-sized ones. I looked up at Grandpa and asked, “Should I jump in it?” He smiled and said, “Why not?”

We were some steps away from the puddle. I was wearing pristine white socks and jet black shoes (which weren’t that black anymore). A curious thought occurred to me. “What if Mom shouts that I got my socks dirty?”

Now that I look back, that thought seems to be triggered by Providence itself because I have never cared enough for Mom’s reprimands or the fact that she will have to wash soiled socks (yes, I feel bad). BUT, you get the point, right? That thought occurred to me, and half out of fear and half out of concern, I did not go through with my decision.

When we were about to reach the parked scooter, an acquaintance of Grandpa’s came up to him, they got talking and I was looking around me, utterly bored when only under a minute had passed. Suddenly my ears pricked at a sentence I heard – Only 3 days back, a child had fallen into one of the uncovered wells a few kms away. There is a growth in wells dug up and abandoned when they don’t hit water. People don’t build a boundary wall around them and unsuspecting children and animals fall in them. There’s one such well right behind you! See? Last week’s rains have filled it to the brim and now it looks like just another puddle…”

WHAAA? I stood with my mouth agape. My Grandpa finished the conversation and walked on as if nothing had happened. I looked up at him and asked, “What if I had jumped in the puddle, erm, well?” He smiled and said, “Nothing. I would have saved you.”

That was reassuring, as my Grandpa is a very skilled swimmer. But I still shudder at the thought of having put a foot in a puddle and stumbling into a well!

I know my writing style has deteriorated of late. Please bear.

Taking stock

Half of 2016 is over. (according to me)

There have been a lot of changes since January 2016 in my life. We came back to India.

This is what I wrote in January – the things I am excited about :

  1. This online HTML/CSS/Javascript I am taking on Coursera. I have stayed put and actually finished the first week. Here I am, creating an ordered list using HTMLtags, on my own blog. How cool!
    Did not finish. But learned enough.
  2. Starting my own software development team, which I aim to make into a service-based startup. And eventually a product-based company. It’s called The Mavericks.
    Licensing under process. Website up. 
  3. The prospect of learning ice skating basics.
    Since we came back to India, the plan stands cancelled. I am continuing learning Air Pistol Shooting instead.
  4. Writing my fashion blog The Damsel in.
    4 posts written. Should write more.
  5. Planning a vacation in May. As a new year present, the hubby’s got me a planner notebook for 50 places I want to visit.}:)
    Planned a wonderful vacation in Himachal Pradesh and made lifetime memories in the picturesque DevBhoomi. 
  6. Reading 100 books this year, of which I am on the verge of completing the first.
    Lagging behind, but reading regularly. Print and eBooks both.13 done.
  7. My recipe being published in Photoawardme calendar, sponsored by Jamie magazine, for the GCC region. And me being inspired enough to take up cooking on a regular basis. Psst…learning to bake a cake and muffins is in the offing.
    Haven’t started baking. Long way to go. It has taken a backseat for the moment.
  8. Running a fun run at the Dubai marathon.
    I did run and completed 5K.
  9. Getting to watch the finale of Downton Abbey soon.
    Haven’t watched.
  10. The prospect of turning into an amateur fashion designer. No kidding! I get visions of the garments I wanna make, like Jenna does in The Waitress.
    I am learning to draw. I can’t put my designs on paper unless I know how to draw.

About the New Year Resolutions :

1. Pursue a sport. Shooting
2. Start coding again. Taking on-off courses.
3. Write without the fear of your inner editor. Wrote a letter to the editor. Have to write now.
4. Learn baking. This won’t happen soon.
5. Prepare a virtual travelogue. Should work on this.
6. Read 100 books. Reading continuously.
7. Draw the fashion designs in your head. Learn to draw, if need be. Learning to draw on thevirtualinstructor.com.
8. Start video blogging/podcasting. Recorded a short video in Manali.
9. Love your blog(s). Let it show. Needs work.
10. Be your own mentor in all walks of life. Failing terribly. Need to take myself seriously.

 

Day 18 : Post 30 facts about yourself

  1. I will turn 30 this October. I was plagued by worry since I turned 26, but now I am rather looking forward to 30s. My Dad says nature gives humans the right thoughts for the age that they are, to control any regrets or disappointments. I kinda agree now.
  2. I topped my town’s SSC exams (amongst girls). I am not very proud of it when I have to mention my percentage. The only matter of pride is – I topped the exams without copying. Which is a big deal because our town has a lot of copying going on in every board exams.I copied a verbal problem in Chemistry in HSC. The supervisor put me up to it – to boost my percentage. I never copied in Engineering. I never ever solved a verbal problem after Chemistry paper. I got 64 in Physics because I left 20+20 marks verbal problems simply because it bored me to solve maths. My college Principal noticed me when I got to 4th year and told me publicly – Well,done! For the one who doesn’t like maths, you have made it throughout to the last semester. I flushed.
  3. I love language. Especially English.
  4. I am a cat person. Dogs, I like, but not as much as cats. IMHO, dogs are too gullible.
  5. I am trying to be a morning person since about 2 decades.
  6. I have encyclopaedic knowledge about trivia related to movies, series I watch.
  7. I am judgemental. I see a person for who he is, make my conclusions and can still be cordial with that person even if I don’t quite like him/her. In other instances, I understand they are different people and like to get to know their POVs.
  8. Everybody always thinks I am lying, even if I am telling the truth. There’s something about my face. Also outrageous things happen to me. Have you ever been bitten by a mangoose inside your house, by the shoe stand and have had to explain to the science teacher that you did not go to tuition the other day because you were getting a rabies shot because a kid mangoose bit you in the middle of civilisation? Have you ever seen vultures encircling a cow’s skull in your school playground – after school? Have you ever submitted a different subject file with only the index for the subject you are submitting for (by mistake) and gotten away by replacing it the next day? Have you ever written ‘Please smell the paper’ in your science exam, just because you wrote with a scented pen? Have you ever fallen to the hard ground *with* a tree branch in your hand, from about a 2-storey high ‘mountain’ of cotton seed and escaped unhurt and told everyone years after the incident happened? Have you ever rubbed a whole pencil-written answer because you wrote the answer to the 5th question in place of the 4th one (not in a printed quiz, but in your own notebook) and wrote the correct answer for both again and the teacher postpones checking for some reason, you are made to take the notebook home and then the next day you are accused of correcting (how presumptuous that I could have written a wrong answer) the answer at home – because she says – why did you not just switch the numbers?! (I have a mild OCD, for God’s sake!) Nobody believes me!
  9. I am a confrontation avoider. I will never argue a case or voice a different opinion if it serves to make the scene ugly. My folks say I argue a lot. So did my teachers say about me. These are two diametrically opposite things – make your own conclusions about me.
  10. I don’t swear. I don’t have aversion to other people swearing. I have often wondered if any of my characters would swear. Why, of course they would, if they are such people who swear. It’s not that I am afraid of swearing, I never felt the need for it.
  11. Most people have never seen me angry. Close family and friends who have seen me angry at times are surprised that I have that kinda emotion in me. When I am angry, I vent out in English (not writing…I speak my heart out in English.). I also alliterate when angry.
  12. I can spend an entire day just thinking. I often end up with the result ‘INTP’ in personality type test.
  13. I have tried a busy life and a lazy life. Both have not given me peace of mind. I am in the process of finding a middle ground.
  14. In my head, I have a model’s body, a movie star’s body language. I have written several books and head a successful organisation. My closet is rich and organized. I am working towards the goals each day.
  15. I start new things, expand ideas and often miss following them through. I think it has a lot to do with me being the INTP type.
  16. I like to experiment with my hair.
  17. I am an outdoor person who never steps out of home. Beat that.
  18. I have a very few real friends. The kind of friends who do not expect anything from me and are there to hear out my fantasies and ventings. I exploit them a lot.
  19. I am the kind of friend who will sometimes entertain your idiosyncrasies throughout the day and sometimes just shut you out even though you are speaking to me. As long as I know you are in no serious trouble, I can be like that. If you are in trouble or have an event in your life, I will be there hands and feet, waiting on you and shielding you from unnecessary stress coming your way.
  20. I like getting gifts. I like giving gifts. Sometimes I have already given the gift in my mind, so you don’t get anything from me on your weddings, birthdays, or when you have children.
  21. I do not belong to the world around me. At times I feel difficult to breathe thinking my life will be spent doing the mundane.
  22. Once, I wanted to change the world. Not anymore. Now I want to make myself the best work of my life.
  23. I start skin care routines and never follow through. Same with medicines. I just see the doctor and feel I have been cured.
  24. I feel an urgent need to stop time. At other times, I happily while away days reading for hours on end.
  25. I wanted to be a fighter pilot, a scientist, an astronomer, a RAW agent and a politician.
  26. I want to start public speaking, debating and video blogging. Someone at the Dubai International Film Festival told me I am a natural at speaking into the camera…whatever that means.
  27. I am never tired of self-flattery. I am a boaster (miya-mithoo, if you may) and I know it.
  28. I seldom get to eat the food I like. I never consciously think about food.
  29. I like cartoons much. I have not been in touch with the latest cartoons and comics for the last 10+ years.
  30. Some days I feel the world is a hype and I am at peace in my cocoon. Some days I feel I am not at pace with the world. I revel in wistfulness I guess.