September Madham

It was Sunday, October 1st and that evening I was trying to write a blog and it seemed to be becoming very difficult to put my thoughts and ideas together. This is happening after a lot of attempts…

I tried to write with a pen, typed on my laptop, then finally I took out my big klickety-klack keyboard. Neither the pen nor other keyboards could help me with the flow state I wanted. I even tried things that had worked for me in the past. Playing music and then getting my ideas organized. But this time not sure what was blocking. I had made notes on paper. I directly made notes on WordPress. Jotted down on my iPhone and still I was staring up and not getting the lead threads to write. The moment I got into Google and started typing- after I captured some quotes, my mind wandered to the next tabs and I went down the rabbit hole or as I learned in a book I am reading “Making Time” where he put this as “ Infinity pool”. So here I am finally locked in a chair at 6:15 PM on a Sunday evening trying to draft a blog. There is one thing I had done which was to go through my daily journal and put down some points for me to get a sense to write. It started getting jarring and uncomfortable.

My last blog was on Sept 5th. I was wondering what to write and then it came to my mind “Why not reflect on September?”. In a podcast session that I regularly hear, I heard Marshall Goldsmith asking this question, ” What does it take to have a great life?”. Sounds philosophical. By the way, I also learned the meaning of the word Philosophy in September.

Philo means love and Sophy means knowledge. So in this blog, I thought of capturing some of my learnings and views which I encountered in the month of September.

It was September 29th and I was having a call with my boss and we were discussing our next year’s plans. As a company, our financial year is from October to September. At the end of the conversation, he told me ” Take a break.” That moment made me think about how hectic September had been.

I noticed that my younger daughter can make cookies now and I was unnecessarily making a fuss out of it when I saw her along with her friend next to the hot oven and I alerted my wife to oversee. I tasted a couple of cookies and was literally after my daughter to share that last piece of cookie.

I got an opportunity to get some spiritual insights thanks to my friend who held two sessions this September and one was an extempore one. I was happy to read a Rumi quote that was very pertinent as I felt that my friend brought all his knowledge together and every fortnight prepares to share it with us and it is up to us to live it and make it a reality.

If there is one scene apart from the last scene of Pursuit of Happyness ( this part of my life is called happiness) that I love to see again and again then I would add this one to that playlist: When Matt Damon says, “A shoe is just a shoe until somebody steps into it“. There are dialogues that give you goosebumps and as I like speeches I keep looking for those kinds of movies and speeches. Apart from this movie, I am not sure If I was impressed with anything else. But there were 7 things that impressed me this September…

  1. Amit Tandon’s entire Masala Sandwich series of episodes was a treat to watch. It was great to see my wife explaining to me some of the colloquial usage of Hindi. I am sure my Hindi usage is getting better which is feedback I have been working on for some time now.
  2. Books I am reading: ” Make Time”, ” What all things to Learn from Military”, ” PARA” and ” Song of Significance”. I will share my insights and takeaways in my future blogs.
  3. The podcasts that impressed me were the Knowledge podcast( Shane Parish) with Naval Ravikant and Ryan Holiday with Impact Theory.
  4. One thing I must be proud of this September was that I introduced flash cards to my daughter and I have seen her using them to a good extent and hopefully, it would reap the dividends. In fact, she came to me one day and said that it was working for her.
  5. I was engrossed in one conversation between Ryan Holiday and Tom Bilyeu (Impact Theory) where they spoke about Alexander and Diogenes. I liked how Diogenes responded to Alexander when he mentioned “ I have conquered the need to conquer the world.” 
  6. Xeno’s inputs on doing hard things every day to keep yourself on track. I was thinking of making a list of things which is to push myself to do hard things. We treat the body rigorously so that it is not disobedient to the mind.
  7. Learned a new word called ennui, a feeling of little sense and dissatisfaction arising from the lack of occupation and excitement. French word that combines tiredness and boredom.

Marshall Goldsmith’s response to Shane Parrish’s “ What is the definition of a good life?” was very interesting. He mentioned Health, Middle Income, and Relationships and then went on to describe Aspiration ( why), Ambition (Achievement), and Day to Day activities. I thought of all these elements and felt that sometimes I am too focused and miss the woods for the trees… One day, my wife had bought a stand and she had unpacked it, assembled it, and kept it in the balcony with the pots of plants. I would regularly go to the balcony and spread my towel. I failed to see that stand after several trips to the balcony! She pointed it out to me- you are so focused on one thing that you missed seeing what was happening around you! Gandhi ji came to my mind…

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