“Every day it gets a little easier… But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”
— Jogging Baboon, Bojack Horseman
Here’s your midweek newsletter — a gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive.
Stop Finding The Bad Guy, Watson
When our lives go through any change—voluntary or involuntary—we try to find the bad guy.
For example, when in a new relationship, we immediately draw connections and parallels between our previous ones and the new one.
I was talking to a friend the other day, right before I had shifted cities. Both of us hail from the same town, and also, lived in the same city for work (Pune).
So, as we both talked about moving back to the hometown, I realised our conversation was suddenly more about how insufficient Pune was in comparison to our hometown.
Funnily enough, I remembered us talking about our hometown over coffee earlier this year when the pandemic hadn’t hit yet. However, on that particular day, we had our comparisons reversed.
Was any one city better than the other? Probably not. What was the need for us to find that narrative where one had to be the bad guy when compared to the other?
Often, when change is afoot, we end up making the older experience the bad guy. However, we don’t need to do that. It’s mentally taxing and unnecessary.
It is possible to like something and move forward in life. If something—a city, a relationship, a phase of life—pleased us once, we can let it down softly.
Would you want to paint over a hundred good days just because the situation got awry and you had to face a fraction of bad ones?
You don’t have to hate every yesterday to go to better tomorrows.
Find Motivation You Can Sustain
The problem with being a human being today is that we often see the result of everything.
We see a montage of a writer writing his book as some epic music plays in the background. We see a videographer with his snazzy clips, music and those perfect cuts between shots.
Then, we go: I think I can be that too. And we can!
Of course, we can—only if we’re able to sustain that motivation. That’s where we fail because we’re looking at the result, not the process.
The montage of a writer, hacking away words at his keyboard also has him staring at the screen for seven hours and not knowing what to write. It’s just that it doesn’t look great on screen.
Oh, and the traveller? He missed his bus and had to walk for four hours until he found another one. It just wasn’t a cool shot to add.
When we feel that sudden urge of inspiration and motivation, it pays to pause and ask: Will I love the process for this result? What does the process even look like? Can I ask someone about it?
You can only do things that you can sustain. Always remember, there is a massive crowd in the “did it for a week” and only a couple of people on “still doing it after ten years”.
Little motivation every day is greater than huge motivation on one day.
Don’t find your passion; find what you can sustain.
Reading List: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
“If we want to be more like Leonardo, we have to be fearless about changing our minds based on new information.”
Leonardo da Vinci has been the biggest inspiration of my life ever since I was a kid. I realised that I knew a lot about what he did but not much of how he thought and his early life. I’m yet to go through this book entirely, but I decided to recommend it nonetheless.
If there is a primer on how da Vinci lived his life, this is it. I doubt there’s a better book written on the life of this man because of one pure reason: this one acknowledges his flaws in detail. That approach makes him appear not as a God but as a talented yet flawed human being.
It says that he was someone who did some things right but had a lot of issues to deal with too.
It makes his ideal reachable.
Quick Update On Nudge › How
After a ten-day break, because I was shifting cities, Nudge is back to its former, if not better self. Also, I’m sorry if you aren’t on the social media channels where I announced the break, and were looking forward to a newsletter that didn’t arrive for two consecutive Wednesdays.
The idea to take a break was to get settled in before I start talking about systems. The idea is not to preach what you’re not practising at all times. In any case, we’re back now, and I’ll make sure I keep the updates in the newsletter as well.
In any case, last Saturday, I published an article with the sentence structures I use and am aware of for Cognitive Reframing. The idea is to change the way you describe things, to change the way you feel things. It does work, sometimes.
P.S. I’ll be changing some formats for the Instagram and hopefully Twitter posts. I started with the #TuesdayTidbits post on Instagram yesterday; just making it all look nicer.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.