kushal samant \ Parcel
A mind that creates
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately.
- “The mind that creates” is my personal journal on aims to capture routines and behaviours that come from people who are successful in different walks of life. E.g. The 4am club. I am a stern believer that the miniscule things that we do everyday amount to a lot in our life. If you have read James Clerk’s thesis on the Pareto principle, you will find that to the 1% of the world who happen to be winning at life, winning doesn’t happen. Winning is created. Curiously carved, over a long period of time. Waking up at 4am is an easy thing to do. If you differ with me on this point then that’s because it is also easy not to. The early hours of a day can give you the energy to get more done without much stress. Time flies, and at 4am it surely does. Every moment you spend in not doing or following your life’s purpose is a moment spent in undoing it.
- Most of the successful people I have met, track time consciously. And they don’t do it by the hour. They do it by the minute. Once you get here, your amount of focus will determine if you will track time by the seconds. Peak performance is not an aim, it is a way of life. If you can get yourself to a happy, energetic mood before the hustle bustle of the world around your begins, then you have half won the day. Preparation is often the only differentiator between what gets done easy, and what gets done hardly. Consistency on the other hand will drive you into a spiral. Forward going, or backward moving spiral depends on the habits that you cultivate. Cultivation is a daily activity.
So here’s a thing to do.
- Wake up at 4am and read. Read whatever you think will spur your interest, and read something positive. Let positivity spur your interest. This is the beginning of a spiral. Most of my guests spend their mornings in utter silence. They be in the moment, and they design the moment as a stepping stone for all the moments that follow in the day. Some people run at 5am. Running/ any kind of exercise as Casey Neistat often says, helps you cover for lesser sleep. It means that if you sleep for 6 hours a day, and run for 2 hours in the morning. Your mind, and body will feel, and be healthier than sleeping for 8 hours, without any exercise.
- Usually, no mind bursts into unproductive habits the moment it wakes up. You need to give it direction. You can only make a few good decisions in a day. And the surety of a decision being good lies on how early in the day do you make a decision. Capitalize on the silence that you get in the morning. Not by making coffee though. Not by trudging through whatever direction your mind picks. But by being wakeful. By consciously knowing where you want to head, and what do you want to achieve. This is what my guests spend an hour thinking in the morning.
- They don’t take down notes. They de-cide. Our brain is a database. It has stored memory, years of daily experiences which form the basis of your instinct. When you ask it a question, the first answer that you will get, is the right answer. The answer that your mind tells you, not the answer you speak out. Things will slowly accumulate to give you an edge. E.g. It took me some many bullet points to write a paragraph without having to strive for it. The most common mistake we do, is to not de-clutter. When you know how you spend your time, you have the power to question every action you take. And by actions I mean things like looking left or glancing right.
- These small involuntary actions can shape a lot of your decisions. Because your senses will feed on the surplus of information that is now so easily available in this age. Your job is to consciously say “NO!” It might take you days before you start catching yourself doing this. It might take you another few weeks to start saying “NO!” with ease. So a faster way of doing this is by beginning the day with self scrutiny. Analyzing your usual. An hour spent knowing where to catch yourself will help you catch yourself doing dumb shit better. You now have an exact summary of where your time goes. If you relentlessly de-clutter, and spend your time doing only those things that you do in a day simultaneously, you will find yourself doing your usual at unusual hours.
- This bit itself is curiosity inspiring. Being curious is essential at being creative. And if you do your work beforehand, you will end up with mass, and I mean MASS amounts of time in the same day, without a clue of what more can you do. This is like writing down a bucket list with a 100 things on it. Most people have to really start thinking hard about their dreams once they fill in about 25–50 things. You will have to really put your mind to work in figuring out the not so dumb to do things for the rest of your day. That my friends, is a dilemma worth being in. If you are a creative, let me rephrase that. Life is a creative establishment. And creativity is the only positive way to live.
- Nothing in life is easy. You can be anyone you want. You could be anyone now. But you will not be joyful if you don’t innovate your way through life. You should essentially think of the solutions to your most daunting problems/challenges at 6AM, or to be more exact, in the shower after your run. And read closely. Think of the solutions/challenges, not of your daunting problems. Make it a habit to take an hour long shower. This does not mean that you waste water by keeping your taps running. It solely means leaving your phone outside the bath, and spending an hour thinking in that closed room, undisturbed.
- Silence and solitude is an antidote to stress. See, the human mind zones out if it has to go through tremendous amount of mental stress, or physical pain. It zones out not as a cowardly response, but as a mere attempt to research for relief. It is searching for silence and solitude so that it can be less distracted when it is working on finding the solutions to the objects of stress. Change of jobs is also a means of taking a break. I don’t mean your day-job. I mean doing something else at hand for sometime. It’s like you can either dribble yourself tired across the football pitch and try to score a goal, or better, you can pass the ball from player to player and be fresh enough to try scoring the goal again. You can choose to edit your bath short, and zone out while you make yourself some breakfast. But thinking while your eating can set in a habit of daydreaming.
- Also, rejuvenating your body without paying close attention to the activity is not that healthy. Let’s stick to longer time in the showers for starters. Once you are ready to go-to work or wherever without a roof on yourself, try to find your horizon. Not mentally, but physically. Look at the further point of the street. I bet that you have not taken this gaze intently before. You will see things that you did not notice before. It can be a busy street, or it can be a plant on a field. But you will see new things. This is helpful because here’s what funny.
- Your life is the exact replica of the things you notice, the things you do, and the behaviours you follow — your habits. One of my Hungarian friends has a knack for cleanliness, a kind of an OCD. He told me that it was an Hungarian thing. But I don’t think it’s something that is specific to a particular race of people. What he told me was this. There is a reason why human beings behave in a certain fashion to others based on a perceived effect of the person they are interacting with. We are all blinking (refer Malcolm Gladwell) at each other without a moment’s restraint. We are looking for the things we do. We are searching for clues. We are sizing people up.
- Largely because “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This is the same reason why we humans have things like dinner dates, and luncheon meetings. It is a neat way of figuring someone out subconsciously by watching them eat. No wait, it’s watching them manage their plate rather. The way you organize yourself at the table can help people gauge your habits or reactions to life. The way you manage your food, or say resources. The way you treat table manners, or rules. What you do with the leftovers, if you have any. There are a lot of clues if you look closely. It is essentially the most believable metric to the effect of how our behaviors connect.
- Our habits shape us. We really have a few habits. Only different scenarios and variations of it. The most common habit that is widely evident in people is neglect. It is also one of the starting and fueling habits of all the downward spirals in the history of mankind. Looking at the horizon physically, will help you look at your mental horizon. Your mind stretches in a direct proportion to the depth of your gaze. This is the effect of space on our minds. Space can effect our minds, emotions, thoughts, and hence hold an influence over the behaviors that we exhibit. After seeing people huddled together in a tiny space under the pretext of an event or a gathering, in spaces designed to accommodate such affairs, I have gathered an interest in better understanding people, and the effects that spaces /emotions play in their behaviors.