I didn’t write a headline for this post, I will just kinda do a stream of consciousness and then just see what comes, then slap the general theme or whatever conclusions I might come to as the headline. So let’s go…
May Madness Challenge is now running on its second week, and so far I have been successful, even if just grazing the bar sometimes with my 50 points a day requirement. It could have been an easier landing to the challenge, though.
First setback obviously has been my erratic sleeping pattern, which makes consistency hard and planning of days tricky. I cannot complain about that too much, though, as that is entirely in my control. Bigger problem has been falling sick in the beginning and in fact I am still having health problems. Nothing severe, just a bit of a fever, but it does make putting in longer work hours bit tougher.
No cutting slack though. I would cut myself some slack if I set a really difficult target like 100 points per day, which gets borderline impossible if you are sick and feeling lethargic, but I precisely set the 50 point daily limit to have some room for manuevering. So no mercy on that. 50 points is not that hard to get, just put in few hours of concentrated work during the day, read a bit and do some other good shit, and you will get there. So I am not doing anything earth shattering here even though I am sick.
It just shows how much of our lives is just up to our decision, though. I am far from my best conditions, yet if I just commit to it, being that productive every day is not that hard. It is not an impressive level anyway, but it will lead to some improvements already in a person’s life, and to point out how rarely I reach even this measly levels, last time I scored 50 points on nine successive days was back in 2013 – unfortunately that is not something I cannot confirm as I lost all my old records expect the top-10 weeks of all time, but given I had scored multiple over 400 point weeks in a row it is likely I also stayed above the 50-point line.
In the end the points itself don’t matter – it is just a tool for measurement, something to show how much a simple decision and emotional leverage to stay disciplined can cause change in your life. My points increased by about 50 % from the average of previous few weeks. Was my life strictly speaking better? No, to be honest not, as I was still adjusting to the new limitations and hence not being as free to go out etc, as well as getting sick, but I got done a lot more than I have been getting done lately. Again, I am still on no impressive level, but you cannot jump from 1 to 100… Or maybe you can, who knows, but point is I am not trying to sell you on some magic pill that changes everything. I am still on the red on most individual things in my tracking spreadsheet – which means I am still not doing enough of almost everything by my own standards.
Few weeks of 400 points got a book done, and few weeks of 300-500 points that the challenge ought to bring would make me get shit done on more acceptable pace.
Thing is, what I am describing here is what the high-achievers will get on their worst weeks.For high-achievers, even when they are taking a break from working, stuff like meditation, reading, social relationships, etc. are such prevalent things in their life, that they would rack them up into the 300s easily every week.
Why is that? Well my first instinct was to phrase it above that it comes naturally to high-achievers, but I am sure that for lot of them it did not come naturally to begin with – but over time it became natural for them. It was all a matter of self-training. They had strong enough motivations to keep enduring in self-discipline for years and years to build habits that naturally support a good life. I have done it in the past too, but I have to admit that lately I have ceased to really actively build positive habits. Why that is would merit a whole another post pondering.
Thing is, always keep moving. You might have been standing still for past two years, and lament how you used to be sprinting ahead of the pack and now struggle to even keep up jogging pace. You gotta build it up again. Or you don’t have to – you can always choose mediocrity. I am not even being sarcastically motivating you with reverse psychology – for some people it really is satisfying choice and they can be happy just chilling their life. Not everyone has to push everything in their life to the max, you can also just chill it to the max and be happy, some people can certainly do that.
For me, the force that set me moving, the dissatisfaction, the knowing that I can do better than this, the need to prove to myself time and time again that I am awesome and can become awesome every day, is now counter-balanced with the force of feeling everything is good and right, chill and satisfactory. The good is the enemy of the best. Breaking the inertia of the chill and having all your basic needs met is a tricky thing, again worthy of a post of its own.
I have struck some chord within myself with this challenge though, cause for all the little nuisances I am still going and seem to have the mindset to keep going until the end. The first week is always the hardest, and with the added difficulty I have been enduring it is unlikely things would get harder – hope I won’t jinx it by saying that. Just goes to show how granted I have been taking my health and my time to not even match what I am now doing while healthy.
So perhaps it all comes back to that old notion about life being short, thing that I have already taken multiple times to reiterate. It is a hard lesson to internalize. Easy to know as a thought, but to internalize so you really have understanding of it is a whole different ballgame. You love someone more when you almost lost them and know deep down you might lose them again. Every moment with them becomes precious. So too becomes life when you fully, deeply realize with every cell of your body that your life might be taken away from you any moment. We all lead a cushy existance that rarely pits us eye to eye with that reality of death, even death of our loved ones does not necessarily be enough to give us that deep understanding.
Thing is, I am about to slip into another monologue that would be worthy of its own post, so I am gonna cut this one here. As expected, this was exactly the kind of post you would think about after I said I will write a stream of consciouness; rambling, lacking focus, just generally all over the place. If there was any thread running through the post, it was that we all have to power to change our lives at any moment and all it takes is to find a way to get over ourselves.