Saturday, July 3, 2010

The biggest mistake of my life

"Where is the story you promised?" you ask.
Well, it is in there in my drafts folder. Just another paragraph to be added and lo! it could hit the blog screen!
"Ummm...okk, so what are you waiting for?"
Mmm...I...I frankly dont know. Trust me!

'What am I waiting for?' is the question I ask myself a zillion times these days. What am I waiting for to publish all those posts that are almost done? What am I waiting for to get that chaotic mess of a work desk in order? What am I waiting for to start sorting a million thoughts entangled and twined together? What am I waiting for to get life in shape?

Now, though it might seem that the intensity of efforts to do the list of items mentioned above needs to increase with every succeeding item in order, the truth is, all it takes for all of it is just an hour or so of time with a clear mind prepared to act! An hour or so can be had easily. Thankfully I have not yet come to that point in life where I need to beg for an hour off from the work dumped on my to-do list. But a clear mind prepared to act? Ah! that would be the top thing on my wish list.

One possibility is perhaps that I have gotten plain lazy with time. Lazy to act, lazy to talk... worst of all, lazy to think! Yes, that could sure be likely. Yet, why should a lazy mind acknowledge that there is so much yet to do in life? Why should the lazy mind have such an acute realization of the plethora of possibilities and experience that the future could hold? Why should the lazy mind still know at the back of it, of what is to be done, how it is to be done and why it needs to be done? It would be ideal if a lazy mind is dumb, ignorant and devoid of ambitions. A lazy mind ought not to be idealistic, aspiring and lover of all the good things life could present. It is a truly lethal combination. Yet, is such a combination even possible?

What then, if the laziness is merely a symptom of something more deep and not a state by itself. What if the unending procrastination was caused by something else? Perhaps, I have just put myself on hold. Pressed the pause button in life... waiting...waiting for the perfect time...the right conditions to start everything else. Yes, that is it - Indulging in conditional clauses in life. "Let that first happen... then, I would do the rest" ... but 'that' never happened. or rather, is still yet to happen. So, the 'rest' are in a never-ending state of rest. Is one incapable of indulging in multiple tasks simultaneously? Are we limited by the capacity to devote energy to just one major goal of life at one time? An affirmative answer would be a big lie..a major sham... and yes, my biggest mistake of life.

Waiting for one thing to happen and letting everything else wait for the same has been the blunder that cost a lot - lot of time, lot of joy, a lot of hair (literally!) and a hell a lot of people! It is all about balance. Yet, the irony of life lies in the fact that soemtimes, mere realizations have little power to commence a process of change. Realizing that gossiping is wrong is one thing. Yet, stopping yourslef from gossiping the next day, is something that requires far more subtle and gross changes to happen in the mysterious neural connections of the mind.

Waiting for so long, perhaps the mind has found solace in stagnation. The mind resists change, BIG TIME and would send across any thought of overwhelming power to force you to believe against your deeply held values, goals and aspirations. When thoughts themselves then could be masked enemies, the only solution that exists - DONT THINK! JUST DO IT! A friend of mine often remarks, 'you think too much!', and I would stammer a reply .."Umm..yeahh', thinking whether that was meant as a compliment or a cue for all my woes. In the end, I would know that irrespective of how he meant it, it really is the latter.

If life indeed is all about balance, then I guess thinking as a process too got to be in balance. I can vouch for a fact that most of the people I meet out there never think. By, think, I dont mean your decision-making while driving or in work or conjuring a plan to surprise your boss. Yes, a lot of thinking is involved in all these, accepted. The 'thinking' that I am talking about is by no means superior to that involved in the tasks mentioned. Yet, the 'thinking' that I talk about is one that is encountered the least... and one, that does not perhaps have very strong relationship to education... it is about maturity, intra-personal knowledge, meta-physical analysis and connections from within and with the self. It could probably be had by anyone, more from a spark by an experience than ernest attempts. Probably a few minutes of meditation could get you 'thinking'... probably hours of meditation might not. It just got to happen. It got to be meant to happen.

It is a beautiful experience... no doubt. I intensely enjoy moments of 'thinking' and feel a sense of completion at the end of it all. Yet, the downside of it all starts when one starts over-doing it or rather, gets too dependent on it I guess. Wanting to reach a conclusion for the next chore of necessity, like waking up, making your bed or having your grub is probably not needed at all. If thinking is a treasure, not thinking is probably a must, to sustain it as just that - a treasure. Waiting for the 'eureka' moment of thought segregation to start doing something has become a fatal point of waste. I need to stop thinking....and start living. It is ok if I still cant figure out why I need to do what I need to do. Yet, as long I realize I need to do it, well, I need to do it! The big picture will probably sort out and present itself in due course of time. Not worth waiting for it. Probably, it could sort out only when when some 'doing' starts.
CONCLUSION: I have been blabbling some non-sense that probably dint make sense to anyone who has read it. I doubt anyone having reaching this point of end of the page. If you have, I salute your perseverence to have read this! The few who had been consistently having doubts on my sanity have probably reached the inevitable conclusion after reading this post. Lol. Nevertheless, it feels better for the author to have vent some steam off and having something been done to completion - this post.

Oh yes, and by the way, I simply loved the images that came up when I googled 'thinking too much' (lol!) and I guess I am going to enlarge and frame the 'savage chickens' cartoon clip in my room and wake up to it everyday!!


CHIBI said...

Through this post u gave an Interesting reply for my offline msg..!

I too loved the cartoons.. very apt wit the reading.

We can never stop thinking.. if we stop then we become vegetables. So the phrase " don't think, just do it" doesn't really exist. Coz even for blind actions, we do need some stupid thinking. Thinking doesn't really require a solution or a conclusion.. it cud go on for life.

mr.weirdo!! said...

there are so many branches - a lot of points that is making me THINK though you have "entangled and twined" them to that one mother root of a tree.

* on the contrary i believe a lazy will be idealistic & aspiring as it has only the vision - it sees the door with its eyes close only when we open our eyes we see the obstacles that will hamper our progress. And if the process of seeing, trying & pausing continues we will end up in a slumber were our "idealistic" mind will stop to reach out of the horizon

* am beating the bush trying to figure what you imply by " laziness is a symptom of something more deep" ?

* do you really think you are hold back by that one spark? if that is true then how can you actually execute different things (not finishing though) while that still awaits? am not opposing here as am in that state of urs too but the answers seems to be not fitting enough for my absorption.

* 'thinking'-It got to be meant to happen. its a trade off actually. you wait for things to fall in place in your mind to act. acting is actually a formality for you as setting the act right in your mind is wat count. But it need not be 1st do it and lets think, or let the doing start and see where it goes - as you summarised here in my opinion. when some1 is confident at something we let the subconscious mind take over it while he oversee the work. that is how professionals are born i think - like you said here - "It is ok if I still cant figure out why I need to do what I need to do. Yet, as long I realize I need to do it, well, I need to do it!". the ability to learn to bring in the natural flare by hardwork. why this is important because like you said we cant concentrate on everything - let our subconscious mind take care of the rules while we play with it - and that is wat you meant by balanced mind/thinking if am not wrong.

* "I intensely enjoy moments of 'thinking' and feel a sense of completion at the end of it all."
oh thats a premonition i tell you. you feel the urge to stop executing after that happens. And sometimes when you come of that ebb ur work wont live upto the treasure you dreamt - SCARY!!!

* "If thinking is a treasure, not thinking is probably a must, to sustain it as just that - a treasure." i dont agree here much though. i have moved ahead of that notion that we have to execute exactly what we thought. so while thinking, or while executing i try thinking regardless of it improving or detracting me. yes it does takes a lot of time and more importantly wasted energy. but i still believe the answers will be more clear and justifiable that way. or else we will still be at peril as to why we did it. and if things go wrong i take it that i have started on a weak thought. its a continuously thinking/learning experience.

PS: the chicken is fine. but its very rude :( i want to be dreamer regardless of losing the race.

amudhan said...

"cost a lot - lot of time, lot of joy, a lot of hair (literally!)" - literally made me laugh aloud...

Honestly, I have to read this post some more times to understand it fully. I understood parts of it and couldn't understand some parts. But that is not the problem with this post, that is a problem with myself.

Besides, be very careful when you are uploading pictures from google. They may be copyrighted and it may be a problem.

I will probably write another comment when I understand this post fully...

amudhan said...

Sindu, I would say that it is NOT laziness which keeps you piling up things-to-do... It is lack of commitment. As you said, if you are plain lazy, you wouldn't even want to do things. You would accept and know that you are lazy and would be immensely proud of being lazy.

And I really don't agree with 'if that happens then I will do this' is what ruining your plan. Can you name all the 'if' things which ruin your plans? I am sure that all the if things are the things which you would/could have done, but not done because of lack of full commitment.

Why I can positively say this to you, is, I am also exactly like this. I will write down a todo list and post-it in my work place so that I see it daily. I knew/know that I wouldn't do them. Why didn't I do them in the time I took to write it and post-it? For example, "Call SmithBarney and activate your account" had been in front of me for several months. I didn't have the actual commitment to do it.

You know... telling that 'I am lazy' is a fashionable statement than telling 'I don't have commitment' :). I am telling this from my own experience. For any of the to-do list in our life, we know that we can (can in the literal meaning, being able) to do it. We will not have if I climb Mount Everest, I will do charity or something as we know that we can not and will not climb it.

Or I am totally wrong. Lack of commitment is what laziness means in this world? I am confused and I am lazy too think which is right :)

'Dont think... just do it' doesn't work all the times. Even in programming, there are these two approaches. "Plan everything properly and start coding" and "just start coding and progressively plan". Both have +ve and -ves.

Your notion about 'thinking' is a very good one, but I didn't understand the context of that in this post.

I am sorry for this big junk not-making-any-sense-at-all comment :)

abhster said...

lol ..... I had to read this a couple of times to understand what it meant . Have you noticed when " thought " starts , it doesnt seem to end . It goes on and on and on . The " savage chickens " picture was interesting .

My conclusion : a long post that gets more interesting by the line which hardly takes any perseverence to read . Nice to see one like it :D

Anonymous said...

Love the new look of the blog Sindu, its awesome....

abhster said...

Well my take ( although I may be wrong ) on your " laziness " is just lack of " desire " or " eagerness " to start the task given to you. Perhaps , your mind told you to log into yahoo instead of starting your work ( mine does this all the time ).

amudhan said...

Sindu, the new look of your blog is wonderful! I wanted to tell this as the first thing, but forgot about it.

This new look will encourage people to visit more as it is lovely!

ThunderEmperor said...

I enjoy being lazy... laziness is amazing thing... some of the best things in my life have happened when I put have avoided work and put things for later

Sindu said...

@Everyone who commented on the post: Thanks a lot for reading through and leaving a comment! Interestingly, most of you do not seem to have agreed with what I thought struck a striking realization in my life. Nevertheless, counter arguments are what give shape to the truth, if there is anything like that.

However to assimilate the points put forth really requires me to devote a stretch of solid time and well,well...THINK. It would be bashful to say, 'sorry, i dont have time now to think'. I would rather say, I feel the need to do justice to the valuable inputs you all have put forth and hence, I shall get back to the topic in a short while.

Sindu said...

@Chibi: I am not really talking from a scientific / biological point of view. It is true that every second of our lives some activity is going on it that brain of ours. I really dint mean that. By 'thinking' I meant mulling too deep and probing further and further intentionally into some matter at hand.

Sindu said...

@ Mr.Weirdo: Hmmmmm... your first point makes a lot of sense. Yet, there is a difference between optimistic and idealistic. It is true that lazy people could be very optimistic since they are never indulging in the process of 'doing' and hence have limited knowledge on the hurdles that one could face in the process. Yet, I am referring to the inclination. I am saying that most of the lazy ones do not have the 'inclination' at all.

As for that something more deep, well, it was indended not to carry too much explanation so as to not divulge far too much personal musings and rantings :)

And yes, that one spark holds me back. Yet, its importance is not a fact. It is a belief - my belief. I could and should undo that belief.

Sindu said...

@ Mr.Weirdo: * "I intensely enjoy moments of 'thinking' and feel a sense of completion at the end of it all."
oh thats a premonition i tell you. you feel the urge to stop executing after that happens. And sometimes when you come of that ebb ur work wont live upto the treasure you dreamt - SCARY!!!" - TOTALLY LOVED THIS POINT.

As for not thinking being a treasure, well I am talking about just shutting the thought engines totally. I mean, striking a balance between planning and letting go. We cant afford to get too caught up thinking about every single detail of the execution. A certain amount of thinking is conducive to spice up the efficiency, anything more brings down the efficiency. Its more like a bell-shaped curve. (wooo... the scientist in me!)

End of the day it it all about striking the right note of balance that decides whether you keep dreaming or you actually win the race!

Sindu said...

@ Amudhan:
Amudhan, you made a very very VALID point on the lack of commitment. That certainly exists in my case to an extent. However since that is not the main demon here, I had to overlook its importance. Hmmm, ok, I will take an e.g of how aweful my thinking gets and spoils my doing:

I want to inculcate a habit of reading the newspaper.I conjure that reading the newspaper at 7 AM in the morning is the best thing to make as a habit. I take the paper at 7 and sit down. Then, comes the inevitable call. Damn! It is 8 by the time I hang up. I am still free and I still could start reading the paper. Yet, I will not. I would wait for 7 the next day. WTH?! You know what, just as I am typing this, it occurs to me - I am a perfectionist!! and hence, my life has gone by waiting for the right time and perfect conditions to start things. TRUST me, every damn thing is on hold waiting for something else!! :(

Which is why, I have to tell myself "You know what, its OK! just do it!" . Unfortunately I have gotten way too addicted to this.

Sindu said...

@ Abhster: Your definition of laziness is true and perfectly right. Unfortunately laziness is not the (only) culprit here.

Sindu said...

@Anonymous and Amudhan: Thnk you so much! Just suddenly felt that everything in life, including this blog needed a makeover.

Sindu said...

@Thunderemperor: I do not wish to sound preachy here but laziness is a slow poison. It might seem very enjoyable at the moment. However unseen and behind the stage, it slowly starts wreaking havoc that emerges in the long term. While you might argue that you wldnt overdo it, the fact remains that if you postpone it today, the chance increases manifold that you would postpone it tomo too and the vicious cycle starts.

Sindu said...

@Siddharth: Yes, 'K-I-S-S' in bold letters would find a place next to the frame of the chicken picture.

ThunderEmperor said...

Well like the joker said.....something that can't kill you can only make u stranger

C.V.Varun said...

Alright, it was too long i have to agree, but it was too good!!! Your conclusion reminds me of my blog!!! only that I put it up like a disclaimer!!! :P he he....

All I want for christmas is a Ho said...

Came :(
Read :|
Left :)

The Visitor said...

@Sindu - Yes, I read through the entire post and reached here. :)

There is a post that I would like to point to you, which might be relevant (though remotely) to this post - Writing for a Living.

Sorry to be swamping you with these posts.

The Visitor said...

Interesting post - strikes a chord within me too. Some of my responses to this post and to some of the comments:

One possibility is perhaps that I have gotten plain lazy with time. Lazy to act, lazy to talk... worst of all, lazy to think!
That is just a lot of hogwash. You couldn't have written this post, in as lucid a manner as possible, without thinking.

It is a beautiful experience... no doubt. I intensely enjoy moments of 'thinking' and feel a sense of completion at the end of it all.
One of the most dangerous things that can happen. This sense of completion (accomplishment) is not real because nothing has been really 'done' or 'achieved'.

A situation where thinking, or thinking too much leads to inaction is referred to as Analysis Paralysis. The wiki link was particularly interesting to read. Quoting a line from it: "Prince Hamlet, is often said to have a mortal flaw of thinking too much" (emphasis mine). You could get more info on this by an internet search.

Some interesting POVs of Amudhan that I liked:
... I would say that it is NOT laziness which keeps you piling up things-to-do... It is lack of commitment. .
Perhaps very true.

... telling that 'I am lazy' is a fashionable statement than telling 'I don't have commitment'
LOL. I never thought about that. :D

Going a little deeper can one ask, "Why don't I have commitment?" Would that be the root cause for the lack of commitment or laziness?

Which is what abhster has probably done and got the answer. I quote him, Well my take ( although I may be wrong ) on your " laziness " is just lack of " desire " or " eagerness " to start the task given to you.

Finally one question, "What are the things that one does each day and do we like doing them?" To which my answer is, "I do things that do not require much thought (mechanical), or things that absolutely need to be done, irrespective of whether I like them or not.

My thoughts on this are numerous, but I end here because I may lose my audience.

I would love your responses to my comments. They (comments) validate my existence and are my raison d'etre, so please, please...

The Visitor said...

OK - I've given up.

Sindu said...

No! No! No! Wait! Pl don't write me off so soon :)

Why am I not replying to comments as frequently as I should?

The post should have answered you visitor. Now, this might all sound like one big drama-queen reason but imagine this scenario.

A mind which can't just stop unnecessarily peeling layer after layer of meaning and much so that, after a point, everything that should matter is in a stand-still. A mind waiting for that spark of current to start the gears of life again. A mind that has procrastinated so much from practicality that a bit too late, it realizes it is in a failing battle with time.

I wish I could disown this mind.. one that is so stuck its own complex web of intricate meanings. Luckily, I detach a few thoughts from the web and write them down. It is a relief. A slight weight unburdened.

Every comment needs me to get back to the web and the overbearing maze of reason. It is scary. Maybe I am just dumb that I need so much time to come up with answers.

Excuses apart, I understand I have a responsibility to respect the time that someone has taken to leave a comment. (Though even a simple statement like this could lead us to a philosophical debate on what responsibility and respect really mean)

Point taken Visitor. I am sorry. I have given myself one tight slap at the back to jerk myself out of my passive zone. All comments thereon shall be responded to at the earliest! :)

The Visitor said...

Thanks for responding. :)

I had a lot more to say, but am unable to marshal my thoughts now.