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:

http://macropassions.com/2020/04/05/how-to-motivate-yourself-to-sustain-your-productivity/

http://macropassions.com/2020/02/29/leap-progress-process/

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

Until next time,

Put in those reps

A Drink from the Cup of Knowledge

Long ago in a distant land, a boy was looking to find something to give him purpose in life. He searched and searched, but then everything changed, when he decided to go at war. War within himself. He set on a journey to travel within. 

He decided to walk down the same path of overcoming the ego that many great people had tread before him. 

Once when Rumi’s Friday procession was marching towards the masjid to deliver the Friday sermon. On the way, he encountered a mystic, a wanderer. The wanderer stopped his horse by getting in the way, looked at Rumi and asked him this question. Shams [(sun)-the name of the wanderer)] asked of the scholar, “O you who are as knowledgeable in meanings as a money-changer is with coins, tell me who was greater, Muhammad, the Elect of God, or Bayazid?”

“Muhammad is the Prince and the Commander of all the Prophets and all the Friends of God. All power and greatness is his.” Rumi Replied. 

Shamsuddin asked, “In that case, what does it mean that the Prophet said, ‘Glory be to You! We have not known You as You ought to be known,’ while Bayazid said, ‘How great is my glory. How exalted am I, the sultan of sultans.’”

Some may have called Bayazid’s statement/poetry Blasphemy, but Rumi knew what it really meant.
Rumi answered, “Bayazid’s thirst was quenched and the container of his comprehension was filled by a single sip, and he appeared to have been satisfied. The light entered in proportion to the opening of his heart. The Chosen one of God (peace and blessings upon him) had a profound desire that had yet to be satisfied. For the Prophet it was thirst upon thirst. His blessed chest had become God’s vast dominion… For that reason he said, ‘I have not known You as You ought to be known’.”

The cup of knowledge/wisdom and the thirst for knowledge/wisdom are directly proportional, the greater the thirst, the more it can hold. 

How big is your cup? How thirsty are you for knowledge and wisdom? Are you content with little or let ego take control and make you think you know it all. Or, do you continually learn and learn more because your heart and mind remain open?  This is a great reminder for a people who once sought knowledge even if they had to travel to far places, places as far as Fars and Cheen. In the medieval times, those were vast distances to cover. Have a listen to this lecture, thank you Youtube for recommending it to me. Spirit of Islam. p.s. I am not trying to preach, that is not my intent. I am not qualified to do so, neither do I have knowledge of such level. I am a firm believer of the teaching; practise what you preach! I struggle everyday. We bicker more than we do Dhikr. That made me laugh, listen for some good Islamic rhymes. Liquor conference and Dhikr Conference. Hamza Yusuf is one of my favourite scholars. To check out his work go to https://zaytuna.edu/ this is the college he has established for traditional Islamic studies in Amreeka. Check out https://sandala.org/ to access his lectures, recordings and explanation of many books. Amazing person(Tayyab, Mumtaaz) and very humble. So if you wonder, where does my knowledge of the self and Ruh(soul) comes from, it is Hamza Yusuf’s lectures and explanations of the many books he has delivered lectures on. While you’re at it, check out these lectures 17 benefits of tribulations.

In all chosen paths of enlightenment, be it the way of Buddha, the way of Moses, the way of Christ or the way of Muhammad peace be upon them all. Or even just a spiritual path to enlightenment. First, you measure your cup and see whether your thirst has already been quenched. Refill your cup over and over, the gems will hold, and the froth will be removed just like when a cup overflows with excess liquid. But once you find your chosen path and after many lessons you have learnt to hold more gems than froth. Dig down in that cup and turn it into a well. Perhaps something even magical that never seems to get full. This reminds of the scene when Dumbledore is drinking to recover the fake amulet (a Horcrux) already recovered by R.A. Black. No more Harry, please stop! That’s a little magical crazy. I am not talking in that sense. 

Hmm, talking about this and thinking of Dumbledore and his old friend the dark wizard, forgot his name lol and I call myself a Harry Potter fan. Oh yeah- Grindelwald. Grindelwald and Dumbledore once set upon a journey to become great wizards seeking power and motivated by greed. Don’t be the dumb Dumbledore. Be the wise Dumbledore, who upon realising that love is a stronger force than power, changed his ways, although only after suffering great losses. I don’t know why I even started comparing the path of righteousness and purification to the path of Deathly Hallows. I guess, some of you might find it interesting looking at it from this perspective. The path of enlightenment whether righteousness, gaining knowledge or whatever pursuit of happiness you choose to go after, they all have similarities. Principles, you find them take different outward appearances but principles hold through time. As Dumbledore says, “Love Harry, it’s love that protected you and shielded you. That’s how you got the scar on your forehead.” 

In all paths to greatness, the road is rocky, the path is difficult to remain steadfast upon. Grit, persistence, overcoming setbacks, abundance, believing in Providence are your tools through all thick and thin.
Grit, virtue, focus and drive
Resilience and persistence 
A thick skin! 

Found this through James Clear’s 3 2 1 Newsletter. An excerpt from the poem “Youth” by Samuel Ullman, a Jewish poet:

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living.”

Source: Youth

Why am I linking what I have just shared with this poem? The way I see it is that, to follow the path of your choosing, you must live in your youth as Samuel Ullman mentions it is a state of mind, a matter of the will, a quality of imagination and the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Radically inspired 2020!

This song is all about radical truth and radical transparency! Let your new year start with a bang!

Chorus:

Radically truthful, radically transparent!
Can you handle the test? When I drop this mic, give it my best, the words will carry on, echoing!
Radically creating this space beckoning, 
Radically calling you out for this reckoning!

Verse 1

Too many manz
Want to be dissing others but when shit hits them back, they’re blinded.
Sign of the close minded. I am only talking the truth, listen with your eyes open, be reminded 
You best decide how you want to be with each other and put the past behind it 
Won’t ever stop, cuz am here screaming it out, the truth 
But your ego loves only misery, stressed
Lyrically you’re getting  messed 
Around in circles, smoking the reefa vexed
Stoically, you think you can handle it. Depressed 
Habitually, he backstabs his own circle. Behest
Blatantly, I spell it out, anger & this angst distressed 
Chronically, he will follow this path fatigued 

Chorus: 

Radically truthful, radically transparent!
Can you handle the test? When I drop this mic, give it my best, the words will carry on, echoing!
Radically creating this space beckoning, 
Radically calling you out for this reckoning!

Verse 2 

How can he be radically truthful or radically transparent? He only talks about hate and division, 
He did not see (Nazi) revision! 
The history has lessons to teach but, he skipped school to pursue his vision.
Blinded by his ego, sowing dissent turned into his mission, 
He labels it freedom of speech, radically charged nuclear fission!
Dropping bombs to blow you away, peace & love I wish ’em!
Life is a journey, not a comparison race, a healthy competition envisioned!
Point your finger at me without prejudice & hate, no ego barrier amidst ’em! 

Chorus:
Radically truthful, radically transparent!
Can you handle the test? When I drop this mic, give it my best, the words will carry on, echoing!
Radically creating this space beckoning, 
Radically calling you out for this reckoning!

Verse 3 

Getting the culture and people right, this is an idea meritocracy
Getting rid of all hypocrisy 
We’re still only one ship in the sea
Getting the crew right will determine our very might 
How consistent are you aligned with your values and what you preach? 
He believes in freedom like Edward D Teach
Newgate was the real hero who built the family right, expanding his reach!
Roger was robbed of kingship through natural disease 
The objective of my mission is to have a blast playing the game I love with passion 
Evolving with time and growing in fashion 
Distributing the meals across in right ration 
The real treasure I seek, the art of thoughtful disagreement, not condescending 
Believe in your mission & abilities, 
Stop politicising non-existent hierarchies 
Embrace reality, follow the steps to deal with it effectively 
Hold each other to high standards, survive the best you can, bring out the best you can, 
And if you don’t like what you see, there’s the D O R (door), Repeat with me- “ it’s the Man not the Dan”

Some backstory below:

These lyrics or poem, whatever the right term for it, was written after having spit some bars with a friend over the phone. They were inspired by Principles by Ray Dalio, and obviously have some references to martial arts and One Piece anime/manga by Oda.

For more on Ray’s work, follow these steps. This is how I approached it. It will make it all very easy to understand. He has written it all in an easy to understand terminology and language.

  1. Watch the 30 min youtube video. How the economic machine works?
  2. Read or Listen to his book Principles.
  3. Read his Template for Understanding Debt Crises (available online for free)
  4. Read the series of LinkedIn articles
  5. To expand further, you can read Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, Graham Allison’s Destined for War, Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads and The New Silk Roads.
  6. In my history blog I will be summarising these books chapter by chapter.
  7. I am doing it for 2 reasons, studying it myself in more detail. Share it with everyone.