Month: November 2015

Highlights of the day

  1. Did 200 push ups (on toes with breaks, of course!) in eight minutes with three other colleagues as part of Movember fund-raising at workplace. I am proud of my employer’s fitness culture.
  2. Weighing scale showed 74 kgs on a full stomach post dinner at 7:30 pm. I thought the scale is faulty, but no, it is not.¬†I know, body weight is not everything¬†but couldn’t resist to step on it when I bumped into a scale.

My Friday is made.

Mindful November

At the end of October I finished reading this book titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. So during this month, I hoped to practice some of the things I learned from this book. Hence Mindful November.

I liked the idea of conserving mental energy that’s otherwise wasted on small stuff so we can use it for the things that really matter. The central theme of this book is to help keep the little things from taking over our lives.

I picked twelve things to practice during November. These rules sound like truisms, but as with all truisms, the challenge is in practicing. I failed miserably multiple times when situations have arisen. Lately some of my ducks are getting out of row (if they aren’t, they are not ducks, are they?). I would have saved a lot of mental energy had I applied some of these rules. But alas, such is life!

It is not all bad though. I did well in some of them. For example, I am not an aggressive driver but I am neither sagacious. I received a rather expensive speeding ticket in mail during the Bay of Islands road trip last month. Much earlier to this, since the start of the last year I decided not to honk at anyone on the road, regardless. Who knows what the other driver is going through. Everyone does mistakes sometime. So there is no point in getting zealous with horn as if I am saintly.

However, I was only not honking. I am still disturbed within when I see bad or dangerous driving. This morning someone cut in front of me in the traffic. But this time, instead of feeling angry, I recalled the following from lines from the book and instantly felt better.

Why not simply allow the driver to have his accident somewhere else? Try to have compassion for the person and remember how painful it is to be in such an enormous hurry. This way we can maintain our own sense of well-being and avoid taking other people’s problems personally.

And from the essay 57,

…you end up saving no time in getting where you want to go.

Nevertheless, I am an optimist and believe in practice. So I will get going.

Here are the twelve things I will continue to practice.

Let others finish.
Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences.

Let others be right.

Let others have the glory.

Let others be more enlightened.
Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you.

Choose being kind over being right or being intelligent.

Praise and blame are all the same.

Become a less aggressive driver.

Think of what you have instead of what you want.

Look beyond behavior.

If someone throws you the ball, you don’t have to catch it.

When trying to be helpful, focus on little things.

Mind your own business.
Avoid analyzing or trying to figure out other people.

Ben Horowitz’s Commencement Speech at Columbia University

Ben Horowitz’s speech at Columbia University is a great commencement speech I enjoyed in a long time.

It is witty, insightful, optimistic and unconventional.

I loved his main idea: follow your contribution instead of your passion. The next thing I loved is this quote:

As human beings we want to be liked. It’s anthropological. If people didn’t like you in caveman days, they will just eat you. So you really have a natural built-in instinct to want to be liked. And the easiest way to be liked is to tell people what they want to hear. And you know what everybody wants to hear? What they already believe to be true. So the last thing they want to hear is an original idea that contradicts their belief system. So it is very hard to even bring that kind of stuff up. But those are the things – those are the only things; things that you believe, that everybody around you doesn’t believe, when you are right, that creates real value in the world. Everything else people already know. It is just business usual. So it is very important to think for yourself.

A must watch!

Weet-Bix October

I ate Weet-Bix for breakfast everyday in October.

Weet-Bix is a high-fiber, low-sugar, and low-cost breakfast cereal widely available in this part of the world. It may not be the healthiest breakfast but I bet they are healthier than most cereals. I reckon only rolled oats are healthier than Weet-Bix. I like Weet-Bix because they are super simple to make, I can’t eat more than two of them and they feel nice and light in the stomach. But like most of the healthy foods, Weet-Bix are bland and tasteless. So I haven’t been eating them as often as I would like and was eating tongue-pleasing options like bread with peanut butter or nut and seed flavored muesli.

At the end of September, I felt I had enough and decided to eat only Weet-Bix for breakfast in October. I haven’t done any 30-day experiment so far this year. So this sounded like a good and healthy experiment.

Here is my breakfast recipe for the last 31 days: Boil little milk for two minutes, add two Weet-Bix, and a smattering of sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a few roast almonds. Wait for two minutes and enjoy!

As a result of this experiment, I loved Weet-Bix more than ever. So I am happy to continue eating them.

My four-year old too loves Weet-Bix and eats two of them with milk and some raisins. Hopefully he will not give in to sugary cereals as he grows up. I will try my best to keep him interested in Weet-Bix by eating them myself, which I am more than happy to.

What do you eat for breakfast and why?