Tag Archives: #plan

What’s Next?

When I was a kid – the most persistent common thing I remember being told is to get good marks (grades) so that I could get a good university. So, all through my school, it was about getting admitted to a good college. Then it was getting good marks in college to get a good job. After the job, it was marriage and then after marriage; it was kids. It was somewhere after I got the job that I started questioning this race to something which I was not even sure I wanted or cared about.

Let’s talk about my food habits. I gave up chicken because I did not like its taste and did not want to eat it. Next on the list was fish, then eggs and then dairy and now more trending towards raw. (I am vegan, but I admit I have occasional bone broth and eggs – not because I crave them but because of the health and nutrition purposes). I remember having a conversation with Adam and what next for me on my food journey. Raw vegan seemed to be it – the end of the marathon.

This morning, as I was running – my mind wandered to being a woman and my need for a routine. As a woman, we have our monthly cycles that whether we like it or not dictate how we feel and our mood. And as somebody who thrives on routine sometimes the routine comes into conflict with my body rhythms and natural cycle. The next step on this journey is being aware of my body needs and acting in accordance with that and not to my self-imposed habits. This is scary for me because it means I cannot plan, but this is the next step. Vipassana, the meditation practice I have is also about constant awareness of the change and sensations. And I believe this is where my food journey is also taking me – all roads lead to Rome.

Plans are useless; planning is everything. This is what I am realizing. It’s the planning that helps me prepare for what happens not the actual plan. On that day who know what happens but if I am not worried about sticking to the plan but be present to what arises from all the planning I am prepared.

Life is similar in that way, all your life you are planning not for the plan to come true but being prepared for what life throws your way. The human conditioning deems it a failure if you do not achieve your project – you are rewarded for the outcome not for the journey. The journey is what matters the most, and it is what makes us who we are. Winning the award or the first prize does not make you who you are – it is what went into winning the award. The discipline, the hard work, patience, managing self-talk is what makes the person, the character.

This blog seems all over the place but at the same time very apt – does it matter if I have a point?

What journey are you taking?

A Perfect Life.

Let’s start with a story first. A group of carmakers from the US went to study the car making process in Japan. In the US, there is a stage where the engineer uses a rubber mallet to fit the doors into the car. The US group kept waiting for this to happen in the Japanese cycle but to their surprise, there was no such process. So, one of them asked their Japanese counterpart about this missing process. He replied sheepishly, “We make sure our doors fit from the start.”

In short Japanese carmakers plan their cars so well that when the finished product arrives, it is perfect. They do detailed planning in advance.

Now, have you planned your life like the carmaking process in a) the US or b) Japan?

For example:
Are you playing the violin at a friend’s party now or frustrated that you would like to do so but don’t have time to learn it now?
Are you envious of friends who are lean and trim or upset that you haven’t got a lifestyle diet/exercise habit yet?

These kinds of habits – lifestyle habits take years/decades to build as it is not easy to change ourselves. Change does not happen overnight, but it has to start somewhere. If you are thinking – “This is all well and good, but I should have started ten years ago” – then consider what will you say another ten years down the line.

Firstly, you have to think about your life and where it is headed? If you don’t then you are accepting to drift – there is nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t get upset/frustrated with your choices (or lack thereof) later. For most of us, we do not even think about how we want to live our lives?

Secondly, you have to start the journey to knowing yourself. What do you like? What do you dislike? What qualities do you admire? What are your values? What makes you laugh? What inspires you?

Thirdly, charter a course. Unlike carmaking process, life is a bit more complicated, and hence we have to ready for tons of trial and error, knowing that with each iteration we are understanding more about ourselves and strengthening the muscle to stay put on a course.

Fourth, once you are on the right track – keep repeating the process.

If this sounds REALLY SERIOUS stuff – then yeah! We are talking about your life here! There is no course in university which can teach you this because life is the university in this case. Like everything else starts small – keep a journal once a week, note down what your ideal life means to you? Note down which kind of people you are drawn to naturally. And once you start feeding energy to this process – it will energize you. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I said before it doesn’t matter where you are in your life journey – it’s about what you will be next year.

The idea here is not to plan the life out of your life but to live an intentional life.