For the past 3 weeks, I’ve not traveled. That made me put a walking routine in the morning around my apartment. I enjoy time with nature and these lines keep inviting me, ” The woods are closer than they appear and if you listen closely, you’ll hear them calling you near“. I am all for sunshine and that is when I pick up time for all my morning follow-up calls when I go down for a walk late. Otherwise, it is the time I get a chance to listen to some of my favorite podcasts. Walking along with podcasts has helped me navigate thoughts and bring up ideas that otherwise would not have happened in a state of rest. There were days I used to walk with a certain target. But these days by talking or listening the miles take care of themselves. An initial couple of rounds are the toughest and that is when I need to make that connection with nature and forcibly train my mind to push forward. In one of the podcasts, Naval said, ” By facing the sun, smiling more you get serotonin in reverse which means they are not outward loops of being happy but feedback loops of being happy”. So there is one thing I have noticed doing my walk was that I started recording my thoughts onto my iPhone notes and that has come in handy for writing blogs as well. So even if someone says that go for a walk without a destination in mind my automatic loop of listening – Talking – Writing (Typing) all on the go has given me a destiny to be fulfilled which is the draft for blogs. So my morning creativity burst happens thanks to this Daily walk with angels ( very few these days)
One of the skills I am building is also reading and retaining information which was very essential for blogging. I get an opportunity to read daily newspapers and I prefer hard copies even though I had switched to e-version during the pandemic. Since we have a lot of screen time, I preferred to get back to holding the paper and scribbling away when I notice something interesting. Apart from skimming the pages, I double down on the edit pages of Times of India and Economic Times. It has helped me to understand the current affairs nationally and globally and also get to experience the skills of great writers like Swaminathan Aiyer, Jug Suraiya, and Arnab Ray to mention a few of the writers. I have also started noticing the structure of their writing and how they have composed the whole issue and expressed it in a unique language and style with the right usage of words. I place a lot of compliments on these writers who cover these varied subjects and convey it so meaningfully and there lies the richness of their contributions. For some philosophical angle, I turn to Bark tree and for some humor, I go through the Jest in Jest, wit and wisdom, and Bell curves. Finally, how can I not leave the quotes so I turn to Contra Punto in Economic times and Quotes in The Times of India. I do not forget to cover the ET Panache and Startup page which has some nice Twitter picks. So I would put myself in a very good mood to handle the day if after the walk I am able to read, comprehend and apply some of the things I was able to pick from that exercise. The challenge is to retain the kind of information and that is where I am looking for a lot of hacks to digest and make it usable on an ongoing basis.
Growing inside is the title of my daily journal, where I keep a record of all the major events in the day. My plan is always to record in the morning but I have been consistently slipping on it ending sometimes in the afternoon or worst case in the night. So far not missed one day this year. The writing of the day helped me to reflect on how the day went and also allows space to place on record gratitude. Another interesting feature was the ability to pick up some nuances of the day and highlight them in the journal. My idea initially was to focus on the personal development front with the journal but I have not been able to capture and retain those facets. I still have a long way to go. The daily writing practice has also helped me to find material for weekend blogging. The ideas, thoughts, and wisdom shots from different people also find a place in the journal. All the pages have aphorisms from great leaders so that helps me to focus on anecdotes, activities, and simply writing how I felt about the day.
So the formula of GOYA( Get off Your Ass), ABR ( Always be Reading), and ABC( Apply Butt to Chair) has created conditions for freedom of expression. I need to get my Daily Speaking on Camera next after finishing Blog 200.
Great to know insights of your writing ideas. Reminded of a friend, Azhagi Vishwanathan(www.azhagi.com) creator of language transliteration software, recording codes whenever he gets it in his mind.
Walking with angels is an awesome practice indeed. I am going to remember all the time I go for a walk.