My dad said to me, “You are a lucky guy”.
He never was around when I was growing up. I am getting to know him now. Maybe I am lucky. Luck seems to strike only when you take initiatives, in all my life situations. Even with him, I initiated the connection between us. We also spoke about Love. He wondered has love stuck.
What’s he on about. Love was the most disgusting thing in the world to me. Love was living in another neighbourhood right now. Maybe on another planet, I can't seem to find the fuel for my rocket right now. Maybe because I haven't taken the initiative to find the oil field.
Luck was all about rolling the dice. Or finding a coin on the ground. Or seeing a double rainbow after a quick storm. I feel old. I need luck to be constantly transfused into me or I run out of it.
Without luck, I’m dead. For me, good luck equals happiness. On a scale of happiness from 0 to 10, I think I’m about a seven or eight. But that’s a big improvement. When I was lying on the floor here, the same spot I type from, I was probably about a zero. Or at different points in this story, I was maybe at negative. So I’m trending upwards. I tried to improve my life 1% everyday over the past 4 years. I am 1465% better.
I started to get lucky when I stick to three simple goals in my life:
My Only Three Goals in Life
1. I want to be happy.
2. I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life.
3. I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.
That’s it. I’m not asking for much. I need simple goals, or else I can’t achieve them. I hit that negative at age 2, I didn’t understand this until I was 16. In the last 10 years, at least 10 times, I hit so low that, I felt like I would never achieve the above three things and the world would be better off without me. Other times I felt like I was stuck at a crossroads and would never figure out which road to take. Each time I bounced back.
When I look back at these times now, I tried to find the common thread to let me do this. Each time there were four things, and only four things, that were always in place in order for me to bounce back.
Now I try to incorporate these four things into a daily practice so I never dip low again.
3. Mental, and
My Daily Practice
1. Physical – being in shape. Doing some form of exercise.
In 2012 I woke up at 5 a.m. every day and from 5-6 a.m. I ran or played basketball. I am fat still but I felt good physically. Every day (even when it rained). Trains would pass and people at 5:30 a.m. walking their dogs will say hello. They all seemed so happy at 5.30. Maybe it’s a secret for happiness.
All you need to do, in a minimalist way, exercise enough to break a sweat for 10 minutes. So about 20-30 minutes worth of exercise a day. This is not to get “ripped” or “shredded”. But just to be healthy. I felt confident. I have slacked in the past 3 months. The daily practise are never perfect. We all try. We are human. We all fail. Then we try again. Creating a schedule of my week was the best thing I have ever done. Time management is key to the daily practice.
You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy. Also, spending this time helps your mind better deal with its daily anxieties. If you can breathe easy when your body is in pain then its easier to breathe during difficult situations.
Here’s other things that are a part of this but a little bit harder:
1: Wake up by 4-5 a.m. every day.
2: Go to sleep by 8:30-9. (Good to sleep 8 hours a night!)
3: No eating after 5:30 p.m. Can’t dream happy if indigested at night.
2. Emotional – If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out.
If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Over the past 2 years, I have cut out 95% of the people in my life. I only have time for my family and friends I can count in one hand.
These are people I will give my life for. If a plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first. Then family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for them and help. I don’t have people wasting my time anymore. Or taking advantage anymore. I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This rule will never again be broken.
Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining. Along this, another important rule: always be honest. Its fun. Nobody is honest anymore and people are afraid of it. Try being honest for a day (without being hurtful). It’s amazing where the boundaries are of how honest one can be. It’s much bigger than I thought.
A consequence I have learnt of this is: I no longer do anything I don’t want to do anymore. For the first time I promised to do something and wasn’t able to deliver. I was in a bad situation. I prioritised. It’s something I just couldn’t bring myself to do. I was at a low point. It wasn’t going to help me. Sorry Robin.
Practise saying No. You are not obliged to anything anymore. Not to anyone.
3. Mental – Every day I write down ideas. 10 ideas, yesterday I didn’t do any. Day before I came up with 110 ideas for 11 target clients. It hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more. I couldn’t come up with anymore.
Today I targeted 10 – Came up with 30 ideas for #WeekendHack. It definitely stretched my head. Need ideas for lists of ideas for business services for your start-up? Try to think of 10 ideas you can start from home (and be realistic how you can execute them).
Give me 10 ideas of directions this blog can go in. Think of 20 ways Teresa May can improve the country. List every productive thing you did yesterday (this improves memory also and gives you ideas for today). The “idea muscle” atrophies within days if you don’t use it. Just like walking. If you don’t use your legs for a week, they atrophy.
You need to exercise the idea muscle. It takes about 3-6 months to build up once it atrophies. Trust me on this.
Write down the ideas and then throw it in the bin. 10 ideas everyday = 3650 ideas every year. Not all of them are going to be good. Most of them are going to be atrocious. But, you only need one great idea. When you come across this idea, it will obsess you like a disease.
4. Spiritual – I feel that most people don’t like the word “spiritual.” They think it means “god.” Or “religion.” But it doesn’t. I don’t know what it means actually. But I feel like I have a spiritual practice when I do one of the following:
(doesn’t matter if I’m praying to a god or to dead people or to the sun or to a chair in front of me – it just means being thankful. And not taking all the credit, for just a few seconds of the day).
Meditation for more than a few minutes is hard. It’s boring. You can also meditate for 15 seconds by really visualising what it would be like meditate for 60 minutes. Here’s a simple meditation: sit in a chair, keep the back straight, watch yourself breathe. If you get distracted, no problem. Just pull yourself back to your breath. Try it for 1 minute. Then two.
3: Being grateful
I try to think of everyone in my life I’m grateful for. Then I try to think of more people. Then more. It’s hard.
I picture everyone who has done me wrong. I visualise gratefulness for them (but not pity).
If I read a spiritual text (doesn’t matter what it is: Quran, Bible, Tao Te Ching, anything Zen related, even inspirational self-help stuff, doesn’t matter) I tend to feel good. This is not as powerful as praying or meditating (it doesn’t train your mind to cut out the BS) but it still makes me feel good.
My own experience: I can never achieve the three “simple” goals on a steady basis without doing the above practice on a daily basis. And every time I’ve hit bottom (or close to a bottom, or I’ve been at some sort of crossroads) and started dong the above 4 items magic would happen:
1: Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.
2: Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.
3: Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.
4: Within a year my life was always completely different. 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc.
And then I’d get lazy and stop doing the practice. And everything falls apart again. But now I’m trying to do it every day. It’s hard to do all of this every day. Nobody is perfect. I don’t know if I’ll do all of these things today. But I know when I do it, it works. I wish someone was here to help me when I was down. People are busy with their own life problems. I want to practise 2 – Emotional right now. I want to show gratitude for being in a position to be able to help other.
If you are anywhere from negative to 5 on the scale. Let me know.
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