Progress and Action

My 2 good habits that I have managed to be consistent with, since the lockdown started are: Meditation and  Exercise.

I started by doing 20 push-ups a day and meditating every morning. Since last summer, I had been very inconsistent with practising martial arts or doing exercise. Perhaps going to counselling and showing up for the sessions kept me weighed down. During the whole process, I was listening to audiobooks, podcasts and watching YT videos as an escape. Escape because, my time was mostly filled by listening to fictional novels from some of my favourite authors. With the start of 2020 and having finished with counselling sessions, I wanted to re-implement some of the good habits that have stuck with me throughout difficult times. The two being meditation and exercise! It’s always these two that help me find balance and reorganise my mind.

This Spring with lockdown in place I tried a new combination of meditation followed by exercise for 90 days… I skipped a few days here and there. Skipped either am or pm session. It didn’t go as I planned, however, I managed to develop these habits back into my daily routine with greater consistency. I was meant to update my daily log of accountability but I really found that a chore lol. Still I started by doing 20 push-ups right after a meditation session. Usually I like meditating after an intense workout and emptying my mind and just sitting with myself observing and enhancing the focus and emptiness… this time, I was meditating first and to reward myself (the brain) I was doing push-ups. The idea being that my brain needs dopamine and endorphins released to feel pleasure and for the habit to stick. I can say that it worked really well. I also went from doing 20 push-ups to 50 push-ups. Then changed it up to 100 push-ups a day (5 sets × 20 reps).  Now, I have brought another slight change and started to lift weights too. The day I don’t lift weights, I do 100 push-ups. The other days I lift. I still maintain my focus on core strength and flexibility because I want to keep my taekwondo skills up to par.

Why am I sharing this? I can keep carrying on quietly and do what I am doing. My reasons for sharing are simple, everyone goes through different life challenges. You never know what others may find inspirational. I am not really going to post pictures up lol because I hardly take pictures. I don’t have a habit of taking selfies or pictures. So sadly, I don’t have the skinny me before and some after gains haha… The idea behind sharing this is that, you can start no matter your level, start with habits that you want to develop and stick with them, challenge yourself, hold yourself accountable through social media posts or through a friend. Become consistent, do a little bit everyday, rather than not doing anything at all.

Personally for me, consistency matters a lot. If I am able to stay consistent with my habits… hopefully it filters through to other aspects of life too and become consistent with everything I want to do and plan to do. Focussing on the process, not the outcome. The next steps for me are filling in the daily report card with consistency. To see what I am referring to check out these previous posts:

I want this progress and action to filter into my process and auction too.

Until next time,

Put in those reps

Sleep/Dream Learning

It’s happened twice, or probably many times but two instances where I have a clear memory of what I learnt in the dream.

Have you ever fallen asleep while listening to an audiobook? Or listening to a podcast? Something similar along the lines of lucid dreaming, which I experience often when I fall asleep listening to stuff. In those dreams however, I know that I fell asleep listening to whatever I am at that time and be able to use that to shape my own dreams. Or influence the dream via whatever I happen to be listening to.

However, in these instances, it was just a dream, a dream where I am dreaming and, the podcast sets the stage for the dream and shapes it.

The first time it happened I was just an observer, the host and the guest on the stage. I am the only person in the audience and watching the show live. I had the dream probably, because I recognise the voices so well, that I was able to picture them in my dream. Or the voices and content that I can relate to perhaps took shape in my dream. I didn’t dream the complete podcast both times, just the bits perhaps that I could relate to most or probably something my subconscious wanted to hear most. Hmm, writing it down made me realise this, I never thought much of it before, never particularly thought why I would hear just part of the podcasts and not the rest. This seems to make more sense now. Trying to find links for the podcast so I can tell the whole story ha-ha.

The podcast’s called Work Life with Adam Grant and the first episode I saw in my dream was How to Love Criticism. The bit that I saw in my dream is where Adam Grant is having a conversation with Ray Dalio, I am standing as the only person in audience and listening to their conversation, the stage is dimly lit, with curtains folded to both sides, there’s two chairs in the centre of the stage about 4 metres apart, there is a drum set behind the chairs, aligned perfectly in the middle. No one is playing the drums, but the music is on, now and then. The discussion is obviously about Ray’s idea of meritocracy and how to respond to criticism in a positive way. Using the criticism to improve your decisions, ideas and thinking.

The second podcast which I dreamt about earlier is once more Work Life with Adam Grant but a different episode. Bonus: Relationships at Work with Esther Perel. In this dream, I fell asleep listening to the latest episode, but when this episode came on, my dream begun. Esther was the mother, Adam Grant looked like a college graduate and I was a small kid around 9-10 years old but with the same intellect and wisdom I hold as an adult. Not trying to praise myself here ha-ha, but for some reason I seemed to be thinking of responses to their discussions in my head and listening intently. Esther was having a discussion with her children and for some reason I only remember Adam Grant’s college version, her other two kids were sitting in the circle somewhere in the background. I was sitting at the place where the discussion was happening. The surroundings were well known to me from my childhood. Adam was racing around talking and Esther was calmly listening to him. Mind you, I mostly, listen to the podcasts at 1.30x speed, maybe that was the reason Adam was racing around. I even had a sense that we belonged to different communities and that we were sitting having an intellectual and helpful discussion- Esther being Adam’s mom in the dream. I have never heard or listened to her before, but thinking about it now, I see why she appeared as a young Mom in the dream probably in her late 30s or early 40s. I think the ages in the dream denotes the level of wisdom for each person according to the discussion that is ongoing. Hence why, I was a kid with the least wisdom when compared to Adam and Esther. Haha so I wasn’t really praising myself, rather acknowledging my level of wisdom and intellect. 35 mins into the podcast, I woke up and realised I was listening to the podcast and I had fallen asleep. So, I looked to see which episode it was on and who the speakers were. Listening to the rest of it till the end, wide awake, I could make sense of why the dream appeared in such a form. It was like a therapy session from wise mother giving advice about relationships, trust and admitting the wrongs and all the good stuff. I even remembered my responses that I was thinking of in my head in the dream. Hahaha

I think because I have read a lot of their work and listened to their books, that’s the reason, I can learn from them even when I am sleeping. Have you ever had a similar learning experience? It’ll be cool to hear of your dream learning experience.

Until next time,

Sweet dreams