Instead of…

‘A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.’                                            ~Lao Tzu


Instead of Making a to-do list, try an Anti-to do list/ IDoneThis list!

Instead of Aiming for a goal, have no goals at all!

Instead of Having a high expectation, expect low!

Instead of Thinking positively, think inversely!

Instead of Wanting more & more, say enough!

Instead of Writing a lengthy article, create smaller blog snaps…


On Consistency: An excerpt

An excerpt from the book Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking:

The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an A.

Well, come grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity!

It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

What a Stanford Professor Does After Peeing: My Experiment (again) with Tiny Habits

B.J.Fogg is a Professor at Stanford University, USA and an experimental psychologist by education. He studies about behavior changes.

More importantly, he does 2 push-ups after he pees. ‘And I promptly wash my hands after that,’ he says.

What is Tiny Habits?

‘Doing 2 push-ups after he pees’ – is part of Dr.Fogg’s self-experiment on building ‘Tiny Habits’.  It has helped him lose 25 pounds. Fogg’s Tiny Habits program is one of the first useful techniques I learnt to build a habit. He runs this 1-week accountability program to help you learn the patterns of forming new habits.

How Does It Work?

It requires you to build the habit around an intuitive framework.

“After I ____, I will ________”

Rather than relying on our unpredictable will-power and motivation, Fogg’s method builds on a natural process of habit stacking. It basically has 3 components:

  1. Habit: Find the tiniest of the tiny steps of a habit you want to build. For example,
    • If you want to start an exercise habit, start by doing 2 push-ups.
    • If you want to start running, start by putting on your running shoes (not run!).
    • If you want to get the habit of reading, start the tiny habit of reading a sentence, etc.
  2. Anchor: This is the key to this method. Find a trigger/ cue – an already established action or a behavior that the new habit will follow. For example,
    • After I pee…
    • After the phone rings…
    • After my feet touch the ground in the morning…
    • After I put my key on the hook… etc.
  3. Celebration: Follow your tiny habit with a personal cheering that you do for yourself on accomplishing the tiny habit.
What I Am Going To Do After I Pee?

For quite sometime, I have been trying to master the art of habit formation. I struck goldmine when I explored and experimented with B.J.Fogg’s Tiny Habits program. I have enrolled myself in the June 01-05 program. (You can join here). Yes, I have made my own secret plans to do 2 squats after I pee. Not just that, but 2 more other things.

After I pee, I will do 2 squats. After I wake up, I will do 2 push-ups. After I go to my office, I will find my water bottle. 

Find Your 3 Tiny Habits

For more Tiny Habits inspiration – look here. I made my own long list of Tiny Habits (with ‘After I do ___, I will ____’ format). B.J.Fogg (or his coaches) personally reads and emails to all the Habiteers enrolled in the program. You too can enroll for the upcoming program from June 01-05. All the best for your experiment with Tiny Habits!

Follow Your Inner Moonlight

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”

~ Allen Ginsberg

I was inspired by what I read on ‘What is Your True Purpose in Life?‘ by Kim.
So, I too made a list…
  • live a life of creativity
  • cherish the little moments
  • eat gregariously
  • speak truly
  • listen intently
  • listen to nature
  • say enough
  • live lightly
  • forgive myself
  • write freely
  • share honestly
  • fight for a cause
  • live with purpose
  • be at peace

What is your purpose in life.. Share yours in the comment.

Jyotika, A New French Law and My 3-Year Old Niece

What does a French Law, a crazy taxi-driver in Kolkatta and a new flick starring Jyotika have in common?

Recently we made a trip to Mamallapuram and when we were returning in the evening, I apparently felt the change in the weather right when we were crossing Sholinganallur (signalling the entry of urban area). The transformation of the weather was so evident that my uncle and aunt who were visiting Chennai from Coimbatore for the summer holidays said it out loudly.

I was taken aback when my aunt told me that their 3-year old little daughter said, ‘Verkkuthu!’ (which means sweaty) for the first time to her. She wasn’t exactly proud of it, neither was I happy about it.

Recently France has passed a law making ‘Green roofs’ mandatory compliance as part of any new building construction. And a week back I read about the news on a taxi with rooftop garden. And didn’t Jyothika, in the movie, ’36 Vayathinilae’, discovered herself by rooftop gardening.

Now do you see the connection. There is something blooming here!

Previously I wrote about living a simpler life. I am guessing, roof top gardening and other alternative practices is something that we must explore seriously on.

While back I collated an potential features of a green house using mind mapping. Though it sounds like a dream, the technology is already available with us to make it a reality.

1. Green Energy: First and the most know concept of a Green House is sourcing energy from renewable sources of energy like Solar & Wind Energy. Reducing the cost of power grid by aiming for decentralized energy production and using energy efficient instruments like CFL light bulbs can also be included in this.

2. Green Food: Being conscious of buying locally grown food (to avoid loss due to food mileage), better still growing one’s own food are another set of features.

3. Green Cooking: Using solar water heaters, gobar/ bio-gas for cooking are better alternatives

4. Green Water: Harvesting rainwater, recycling water and using water use efficiency systems like double-geared flush and WUE taps are some examples

5. Green Sanitation: Reusing/ recycling dry wastes like paper, plastic, metal and composting wet wastes (domestic/ kitchen wastes) are ideal features. I have heard of Ecosan toilets also.

6. Green Design: Theoretically, there seems to be lot of discussion on Sustainable Architecture, Bio-designs. Hopefully, we will see more of it soon in reality.

I hope, we will be able to adopt, if not all, at least of few of these practices in our homes.

As for my niece, she had left to Coimbatore. The first thing she asked her mom the next morning is, ‘Can we go to mama’s home?’ I hope I will give her more than enough reasons to welcome her to Chennai.

If you have any ideas or practices that you already adopting at your home, kindly share it with me. I will be glad to hear of such practices.