Saturday, October 27, 2012


Two months ago, I decided that the root of all my problems is going to bed late. After that, I think I attempted to sleep earlier. Sum developed an amazing cycle of sleeping 10 PM to 4 AM, more or less. That ensures that she can get most of her work done in a quite environment (everyone's asleep), without distractions (no one's online), with a fresh mind after sleep and during the time of baraqah. My mum has this sleep cycle too, and she is one of the most balanced people I have seen in my entire life. And of course, in general, we always hear that successful people wake up early, rather than stay up late. So, for a while, I did attempt to follow their examples. Sum and I texted each other before going to sleep and called each other to wake ourselves up. Not exactly sure what happened along the way, except, knowing myself, I think I came up with some lame excuse one day to stay up late, and thwarted my entire cycle.

So, the problem that must be addressed is not the fact that I do not sleep on time. It is the fact that I have very little self discipline. (Although, this is one of those chickens-and-eggs things). So, after repeated attempt and trying and failing to discipline myself, and seeing the negative results sprout up in every aspect of my life, I decided to do some research. A lot of the times, I have done things intuitively and later figured they were the right decisions to make. However, with this sort of a trial-and-error method, its very easy to lose track of what works and what doesn't. So sometimes, it helps to learn from other people's experiences and knowledge.

One thing that I have done right is this - thinking about why I should do something rather than how - ie: abstract thinking vs concrete thinking. Although personally, I remember getting results when I think concretely, rather than abstractly, so, I tend to force myself to do so. However, this is probably because concrete thinking gets you forward a few steps, and you only remember those first few steps. Abstract thinking may take time to take you forward, but, it makes you last longer in your decision. I think this is what I used when I decided to change my career path two years ago.

I also found another blog that gave five steps towards self-discipline. This was written by a guy who transformed his life quite majorly in fourteen years. He was one of those (read - us) bums who sat around all day without doing anything, highlight of whose living was hanging out with friends. He had no jobs, did not study, did not clean, did not eat healthy. Basically, if predicted his lifespan from his twenty year old self, he was probably supposed to die in five years. Fourteen years later - he is now a husband and father of two children. He gets up at five every morning, exercises six days a week, eats healthy, has a company on the side and is currently writing a book to be published soon. This gave me hope!

The five 'pillars' were pretty broad and intuitive - acceptance, will-power, hard work, industry and persistence. Its the details of each that were interesting, though. Basically, he said you should start from the level in which you currently are. You cannot expect to start getting up at 5 AM every morning, if your day usually begins at 10 AM. In which case, you should aim for 9.45, maybe. He also talked about targeting one specific field, instead of every field in your life that's falling apart. 'Make overs' do not work. This is where I usually go wrong. I try to jump too many steps, then gain a huge cognitive dissonance and fall further than where I began. He also said that will-power is not something that is meant to get your through your life. It is a short burst of energy that you are supposed to use in planning and setting the scene. If the scene is set, you can continue in your endeavour even after your burst of energy mellows down. Hard work, industry, persistence - working hard, smart and consistently (ie: the hardest part!).

On a (sort of) completely different note - B&B came over two nights ago. They seem much happier and much more at ease with each other. They made me realise that in a relationship, this is what I would want - for things to work out better in the long term rather than the short. It is natural for us to think that if we 'hit it off' with someone at the first go, that we would be compatible in a relationship. Of course, it depends on what sort of a relationship you want to be in. If you are looking for short term, without too many commitments, then going forward from 'hitting it off' would be the right choice. But, if you are looking to get into a long term relationship, its important to know what is important to both of you. We have a tendency to judge others based on our own criteria. If theirs do not match ours, we tend to think there is something wrong with their concept. But, its important to realise that a relationship is very personal, and would vary from couple to couple. What should be is not always what is, and that is fine, because you can always work towards what should be with what is.

Another thing I realised, again, is how important my family is to me. I love the fact that all eight of us can sit around the breakfast table and laugh for hours about some lame joke my dad cracked. I love how we can all go googly-eyed when we talk with little Z. I love how every one of us put in our little bit of contribution in cooking, cleaning and other mundane chores. I love that each of us have a different personality, and we have began to accept and cherish our differences. I love feeling 'at home' when I'm at home. There are many things I would like to change about myself. There are many different ways I would like to move forward. But, I realised, I would rather do them while keeping my family happy. And there are wisdom and blessings in doing so.

1 comment:

  1. the last paragraphed made me misty eyed. i love being with the fam. <3