After being MIA for about two weeks, I am finally here. The last month has been really good. My partner and I spent a lot of quality time together, made vacation plans, tapped into our creative sides together, and had a great time! We also fixed up a study corner in our room and that has revolutionized my productivity. I also used this time to reflect on things that I needed to work on and come up with a plan on how I wish to take my career forward.
With that in mind, I realized that I need to address a pressing issue that I deal with almost every day. I love spending hours just reading about ideas and different aspects of experiences that affect our lives. Watching or listening to people exchange thoughts and opinions about topics of my interest is my food for thought. In fact, there came a point in 2016 when I was reading at least five journal articles on social psychology, politics and economics every day. In addition to this, I was spending at least two hours every day on Medium, reading what everyone had to say about productivity and creativity. It was only a couple of months ago that I realized that all of that information load had only damaged my self-confidence instead of building it. You see, while I was reading, watching and listening to all this, my brain refused to apply those very aspects and ‘tips’ in real life. At the end of the day, I would be so overwhelmed with everything that I had consumed that my mind would be too tired to retain it.
How did I realize it?
One day during a conversation with my brother, we were discussing why instant gratification feels awesome and why it is so so harmful for that very reason. After an hour-long chat we hung up and I went back to scrolling through my Instagram feed. I was doing the same thing that we just criticised. At that moment, it felt great. An hour later, it felt horrendous because my eyes were aching, I had a throbbing headache and my task for the day lay incomplete. Instead of going back to the task, I compulsively watched a TED talk about productivity, which then led me to watch five more videos. You see where I am going with this, right?
As 2018 started I made a customary entry in my journal. A list of things that I want to get rid of and of things that I want to achieve. Before this year, I hadn’t made these lists. What has changed? Well, for starters, I am making a conscious effort to understand new roles in life and do my best to them. Being a good partner is extremely important to me and with that, come a plethora of other roles that I have to excel at. Being away from our families means that we have to put extra effort into ensuring that we’re there for them. Manoeuvring through new career goals needs its own special efforts. So I have to be the best version of myself to be able to excel at these.
All those articles that I read, all those videos I watched, and all those podcasts that I listened to emphasized the importance of visualizing your future self. If I want to be a researcher in the future, I have to practice to be one in the present. Consequently, my actions must reflect that choice. Delayed gratification goes a long way! If you want to be a writer, you must write every day. If you want to be a master in the kitchen, you must cook every day. It is simple, yet extremely difficult. I fail quite often. Sometimes, I just forget. I wake up in the morning with a hazy mind and it takes me hours to get my ‘mojo’ back. But I persist. And so should you!
One of my goals this year is to take risks and not stick to my comfort zone. This blog is part of that. I have been wary of marketing my content and I am only learning, but I want to get rid of my inhibitions regarding that. While listening to a TED podcast, I learned that girls are conditioned to be perfect whereas boys are conditioned to be brave. It made a lot of sense as to why so many of my girlfriends (and I) feel like failures if they cannot do a task well, while boys are encouraged to take risks and are allowed to fail. This strengthened my goal to be brave. The key is to keep at it. Perceive your goals and everything that you want to achieve, persevere through your efforts, and be persistent in your hard work.
All that time spent listening, reading, and watching informative and perceptive content was worth it, after all!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the next post where I talk about rejection.
Until next time