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These 6 Habits Have Changed My Life
And can change yours
As a strong believer in the power of habits, I can say that my habits have played a major role in shaping me and my life.
John Dryden has rightly said,
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
From children’s magazines like Chandamama, Champak, Tinkle, etc. to English classics and Nonfiction like 1984, Gone With The Wind, Atomic Habits, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Sapiens, etc, I have been a voracious reader all my life.
From getting lost in my imagination of the fantasy worlds of Eragon and Percy Jackson to having my mind blown by 1984 to sinking deep in thought after Sapiens, every book has been a journey leaving me with — a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, fresh insights, new ideas, and a wider perspective of life.
Apart from books, the habit of reading, in general, has greatly benefitted me in 4 main ways:
Faster reading speed and improved focus: This has greatly improved my productivity in tasks that involve reading — studying for exams, reading emails, reading labels, reading texts, surfing the internet, etc.
Better and faster writing: Things like writing emails, essays, descriptive exams, proposals, reports, etc. become easier and quicker to do.
Learning: Every good book or article is the result of its writer pouring his knowledge and experience into it which the reader can benefit from. With every good book I read, I become a little wiser and more knowledgeable.
Better communication: Reading has made me a better speaker and communicator in general. Improved vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation mean that I can accurately and fluently communicate.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” — George R.R. Martin
As a middle schooler, I was bullied and called effeminate as I used to stutter, was skinny fat, shy, and soft-spoken. I suffered from severely low self-esteem, depression, and zero self-confidence as a result.
The moment I lifted my first dumbbell, I fell in love.
As I pushed myself past my limits day in day out, I saw progress — both physically and mentally.
As I gained strength and muscle, I simultaneously regained my self-esteem and self-confidence. My stutter completely vanished and I became outspoken and cheerful.
Lifting weights has since become an integral part of my life — my daily stress buster and something I look forward to every day.
It has taught me the importance of hard work and consistency, led me to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and inculcated a strong desire for personal development in all aspects of my life.
Jack LaLanne has rightly said,
“I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”
In high school, I was an arrogant prick that acted tough and picked fights for the slightest of reasons. This was my version of redeeming myself after having been bullied in middle school. Thanks to a bunch of similar friends, nothing seemed wrong with me.
But in college, a string of events happened that made me realize I needed to change but was at a loss when it came to how and what I needed to change.
In the ensuing summer, I got to spend a lot of time in solitude which made me deeply think about my actions, thoughts, and overall mental makeup. This triggered a radical change in me.
I have become a strong proponent of introspection since then.
The simple act of examining my thoughts, emotions, and actions has helped build my character, know myself better, widen my mental horizons, understand others better, and grow as an individual.
“Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things...then do better yourself”
My first quality conversation was with someone I met in the gym. We spoke for 2 hours starting with something about fitness and ending with philosophy.
This “someone,” now a good friend of mine, is one of the few that I converse with for hours at once.
Every such conversation is a rich exchange of ideas and thoughts that leaves me a bit wiser and in a positive mood.
Apart from the ideas and thoughts I gain from listening to the other person(s), I sometimes tend to even discover things about myself and come up with new ideas as I speak — making it an introspective exercise too!
“Deep conversations with the right people are priceless”
A Good Sleep Routine
When I used to stay up late, going to bed as late as 3:00 or even 4:00 AM only to wake up the next day in the afternoon, I had huge bags under my eyes, felt tired all day, and had an unhealthy pallor.
When I fixed my erratic sleep routine and developed a good sleep routine, I felt and looked much better but I again slowly slipped back into my shoddy sleeping ways.
Only when I suffered from a bout of insomnia that made me experience the debilitating effects of sleep deprivation, did I finally change my ways.
Research has found sleep to be of paramount importance with sleep deprivation having debilitating effects — affected brain functioning, increase in blood pressure, increased risk of heart diseases, disruption of hormones, weight gain, and even death.
I now get to bed by 11:00 PM and sleep for 8–9 hours every night.
Studies have found that most adults require at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
I also have a relaxing sleep routine where I put away all electronic devices an hour or two prior to bed and read a good book or jot down writing ideas in a notebook before going to bed.
Well, the age-old cliche isn’t wrong after all.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” — Benjamin Franklin
Every night, I sit with my notebook, brainstorm, and when I hit upon a good idea, I excitedly chalk out a rough structure and happily go to bed visualizing the first draft.
The next morning, I get to work, and as the piece starts coming together, I experience a mounting sense of fulfillment and happiness. The beauty of pouring life into my feelings, thoughts, ideas is the reason I love writing.
For me, writing is and has been a therapeutic, mindful, and introspective exercise.
The magic of writing is that the same piece of writing can convey something different to each reader based on the interpretation — sometimes radically different from what the writer wanted to convey.
“When you need to talk but there’s no one to listen to, a pen and a piece of paper will always be there.”
Top Posts Of The Week
This week was probably one of the most productive weeks I’ve had in quite some time and I published 5 to 6 articles. Here are the three that received the most love:
P.S: These are locked behind paywalls but I have provided friend links so you can read these for free.
6 Teachings from 4 Philosophies that Have Changed My Life. Philosophy has been life-changing for me and these 4 philosophies have taught me things pertaining to suffering, mindset, core values, and perspective that you are sure to find very valuable.
8 Books that Have Actually Changed My Life. This one wasn’t published last week but damn, the kind of attention it’s been getting prompted me to put it in this list. A lot of people are enjoying this so I thought even you might.
4 Uncommon Lessons in Charm From the Most Likable Person I Know. A close friend of mine unconsciously taught me things about likability that go completely against what is traditionally advised. You might find this an interesting read.
Finally, Something to Ponder Over
I talked about 6 habits that have changed my life, do you have any that have changed your life?
If yes, then I strongly encourage you to list them down and think about how they’ve impacted your life. If no, then think about picking up at least one new habit. Search, pick something that seems interesting, and start it right away!
I and the other readers would love to know about your existing/new habits and how they have/ they will impact your life.
That’s all for this week folks! As always, you can reply directly to this email to interact with me. If you enjoyed what you read, you can hit ‘like’ on this email, or leave a comment.
If you really liked what you read, please hit ‘share’ and tell a few friends! I would really appreciate it. Cya next week!
Thank you for reading,