2019 was a hell of a year for me.
My friends stopped stopping by. The cash ran out. Phones stopped ringing. My career crashed to a grinding halt and my couch became my sanctuary and silent retreat.
It’s 2020 and I am still here.
How did I hustle to stay afloat while the ocean of life dunked me around.
This is a small list of things I did to survive. I hope you find some of the hacks useful if you are feeling a bit under the wave.
I discovered my breath. Every time panic would wash over my body and swirl in the pit of my stomach and rise like a tsunami in my chest — I would just stop and breathe. Just breathe and feel it inside. I would imagine the oxygen dissolving into every dark corner of my cells and washing the carbon dioxide away. I would breathe in and hold my breath to the count of 7 and then breathe out to a count of 7. I would do that for 5 breaths. And I felt better. And the panic would fade away. And I could get back to doing what ever I was doing that was constructive in the moment.
2. Count what is Above the line.
I learnt this from someone I can’t remember the name of . So please credit them as you read this.
I take a page and draw a line in the middle of the page . The line is my mood /state of calm. Below the line is negativity, self doubt and fear. Above the line is hope and enthusiasm and joy.
Count the times you went above the line in your mind. Count the times you could think and do things that made you feel good and tranquil and hopeful. Also count the times you went below the line. And felt small and worthless and afraid and old and feeble. Just count them all. I found just keeping count reminded me that by the end of the day the maths looked better than I thought it would . The numerator had quite a few positives to offset the denominator.
3. Watch your thoughts.
It’s an incredible experience to notice your thoughts as they arise. You quickly realise that you have no control over your next thought that will surface in your mind. You can’t control that but you do have the power to choose what to do with that thought. You can watch it. And then also see it dissolve into the ocean of nothingness. Until the next one appears.
Just getting a handle on the nature of your own mind gives you a power to manage your emotional equilibrium.
4. Feel your values
I crystallized my core values into an acronym. A.C.H.A.A.A
Adventure(sense of) ;Creativity;Humanity; Authenticity; Abundance;Autonomy
And I feel them in my day. I do things or read things or be with people that augment these values in my life. It’s the best way to keep myself focused on my inner wellbeing and not get distracted by my outer realities.
5. Act on what is in your control
I try to act on things that I can control in my day that make me move further and grow towards my goals. I exercise daily, meditate daily to Sam Harris on the waking up App, I make breakfast for my wife and sit and have a long chat with her when she comes home. We cook together and learn new recipes.
I have started my own online brand consulting company and I work on the website.
I write here when I feel I can help someone .
I have started a charity to help talented students with financial constraints.
I have sorted out my financial and legal paper work. I know what my tax liability is how I can manage it better.
I just do a little everyday to push on forward and keep my life feeling in sync with feeling good, feeling complete and feeling full. I live with gratitude and make the utmost effort to be useful to those I can be of use to.
I am not waiting for life to get better. I just feel better and act accordingly.
I am in Seychelles right now sipping the morning dew in the air and hoping that we can all live the life we deserve. A unique incredible life.
I wish you all a tranquil 2020.