21 Day Hiatus

The Head and the Heart

God’s way of telling you to take a break …

Many among us are wondering what do we do, while the world has been forced in a lockdown mode. There are some who are catching up on their much-needed sleep; some are catching up on their habit of reading books (great going), and some are still scratching their heads and wondering what to do. Most of us have graduated to the ‘Whatsapp University’ and have applied for the 24 hour subscription.

There are some things that I would like to share from my 25 years in the uniform AND nudge you to imbibe some lessons; I’m positive that this may make a difference in your lives. These 21 days can make or break you. It can be a game changer. It can lead you to a more positive, motivated better YOU. Either that OR status quo … the way you’d been living continues. This is just a hiatus and nothing at all and this too shall pass.

So, what should/ could we do in this holiday … Foremost! Spend some quality time with your family. The most important people in your lives. In this daily mundane office/work -home routine you’d forgotten them. Spend time. Cook. Play board games. Watch TV together. Watch movies together. Share stories. Share memories. Build rapport. Strengthen relations. Make phone calls, to all your near and dear ones; friends and family. Your voice (and one call) can do miracles. Replace screen time with Real time.

Set a routine. Break the past routine. Get up early (5 or max 6 am). Give yourself a 30-minute cardio; basically, pumping up the heartbeat, increase some blood supply to the extremities and strengthen body muscles. Push ups, some abs and lower body exercises. Freshen up and sit at your workstation by 9/9.30. In this time, you could have made breakfast and surprised your family (bonus!). Subscribe to an online course for greater learning. Tea break with family and back to work. Catch up on all your pending work. All. Think and pen your future workplace requirement. Preparing the fresh/ first quarter projections or any other requirement. Your POA (Plan of Action) on resumption of normal service.

Post lunch a quick 20 mins siesta is a luxury provided by mother nature (even Napoleon had his power naps). READ. Pick up some/ any book and read. All the travelling time that is being saved needs to be invested. So, Read!

Post five, back to family time. Listen to songs, sing along, play some board games; we are into “banana peal”; a board game akin to scrabble sans the marks and competition. It helps collaborate. Awesome. A movie/ serial and early to bed.

And just before hitting the pillow, count your blessings and pray for humanity and daughter earth and help develop an attitude of gratitude.

You have tried your way all these years. Try this way for 21 days for an habit to form and then there will be no other way thereafter.

Integrity. Discipline.

Really, But How Do I Do it?

“Salvation lies Within” – Warden Norton, Shawshank Redemption

In these trying times across the globe, a number of people have been advising to keep your spirits up; be optimistic and so forth. So, how does one keep oneself optimistic, while everything around seems to be floundering? While we were deployed in border frontiers our our nation, with zero communication is a small post with just our section (7-9 men) or platoon (32-36 men); one would hardly interact with people days on end. No internet those days. No mobiles. No communication. It takes effort to keep ones morale high. So how did we do it? Here is my take:

+ Cliche but true; positive thinking. Help your brain to seek for positive emotions. It could be anything. It should help you smile. A single +ve thought and the neurotransmitters take off. Oxytocin (love, pleasure, orgasm), Serotonin for mood, Dopamine (stimulates and encourages) are released; reduces blood pressure and makes us feel better. Share something +ve. Chill.

+ Be an eternal optimist. Don’t take anything for granted. Everything has to be earned. There is nothing called luck. The more you strive/ practice/ want and put in effort; your grit – a relentless pursuit will help you get to your objective.

+ Keep learning. Be curious. Pessimists lack curiosity. Curiosity is the cornerstone of knowledge. And I oft repeat, “Knowledge is power”/ “Knowledge gives CONFIDENCE”. It beats “I know it all” and you broaden your horizon. Open your mind (and heart). Remain Alert.

+ Don’t pass the blame. Everything going wrong is due to someone/ government and so on. Take responsibility; then you learn. The mind exaggerates risks, suffering and negativity. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in their seminal work spoke of the choices people make. From the probabilistic standpoint even when the choices are identical, we have strong preferences. We are more willing to gamble when it comes to our gains. We tend to be risk-averse.

+ Put things in perspective. At the face of it, it may look like ‘dooms-day’ but remember ‘nothing is what it seems’. Step back and put it in perspective. It gives you a better understanding and you can truly live ‘ Don’t sweat small stuff’. The event/ issue won’t matter a week/ month/ year from now.

+’Carpe Diem’ (Latin for ‘Seize the Day’); live in the moment. It is a philosophy for happiness. Don’t wait for the pot of gold at the end of the journey. Enjoy the journey, buddy!

Exercise Regularly;
Physical Fitness = Mental Robustness

+ And last but not the least. Keep your energy up. A half-hour physical exercise helps you boost your energy, blood flow, raises positive emotions and increases your immunity. Fresh oxygen, early in the morning, shoots through your system and injects your billion cells.

Live and let Live. Enjoy. Wishing you the best.

Be Safe. Be Home. Hear the chirping of the birds. Enjoy the breath.