Thinking about the year
How to live a life
Some people live day by day (clearing their “to do” tasks by the end of the day), others live by the year (making resolutions every year), mine is charted week by week.
A day is too short, while a year is too long and measuring month is too difficult.
Organising by week seems like the perfect solution since there are 52 weeks in a year.
Mathematically, it is always easy to slice and dice the 52 weeks. Every 13 weeks makes a quarter and it is easy to measure your progress or lack of it since every quarter is 13 weeks. If you take out the last 2 weeks as holidays, then every 10 weeks (20%) is a great metric to chart your progress.
Sense of Week, Day and Time:
29th Dec 2023 is technically the last day and week of the year for me since my week "started" on the 31st December 2021- Saturday.
It is a wonder how a simple mental change such as changing the day to start your week can "shift" my brain chemistry. A Saturday start meant that the week started with "leisure" making the working week feel so much "shorter". If the state of the mind determines the week, then a relaxed start of the week means that the week just feels so much easier?
People who dread going to work should just seriously consider mentally switching their start of the day to Saturday. It may not be too good for your career but it is definitely good for your mental health.
My current preference is to start my week on a Monday. You start the week working and you can easily stretch your working week past Friday giving you the illusion that you have "achieved" so much more. I am not figuratively saying that more had been done, but somehow the change of the start of the week had "tricked" my brain into feeling that I could have and would have "achieved " so much more.
For the feeling of "Achievement" wise, a Monday start feels more satisfying than a Saturday start. So the year of 2024, it will start on a Monday - 1st Jan 2024.
Does the mental treatment of the week, day and time change one sense of week, day and time?
One sense of time definitely changes when one goes for an extended break. People often lose track of their day when they are on holiday. While some will rue that the holidaying week seems to whizz right by, others will feel that the day during holiday feels so much longer.
Or maybe it is the other way round. Everyone's perspective of time differs from the person’s perspective.
It is not that the day has gotten shorter or longer but just that there is a difference in the awareness of time.
When awareness of time becomes keener, the day feels longer/shorter, when awareness of time becomes less keen, the day feels shorter/longer.
Sense of Balance of Life:
Since changing the start of the day of your week affects your sense of the week, the balance between work-play-family would be affected by how you structure your day-week-month-year.
Routine-cycle used to be essential for the working of life since our living life is dictated by seasons.
Modern life (without a need to worry about the change in seasons) has changed all that.
There are ways to tilt towards an un-balance life where the day could feel long, new and satisfying - by building a keener awareness of time. To build a keener awareness of time, means that one needs to continue embarking on learning and creating.
Like a student-artist, the art of learning and creation melts away the dullness of time and brings joy to the soul.
We need to choose to lose our time to something that is new, exciting and satisfying.
This reminds me of the new understanding of the quote from Steve Jobs.
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully." - Steve Jobs
The recent realisation is the sentence of "saying no to the hundred other good ideas".
To focus, it is not good enough to say no to "bad ideas", it is essential to say no to "good ideas" as well. There is a need to know what are good ideas and what is a damn good idea.
Sense of Mind in Self:
If it is a damn good idea, then one must be finding tons of joy working on it which means that life will be unbalanced. You will forsake balance for the extreme joy to work on such an idea.
There are people who espouse the idea of working less but how could better work come from lesser time spent? Better work comes from spending more time on the things that matter. Since the number of hours worked matters to the quality of the work, the ability to spend more time on that one damn good idea meant that it should be an improved one.
Since working hard is essential for success, then an unbalanced life is what you need for any small success (the greater the success the more unbalanced life has to be).
So what is the truth?
Everything is Relative:
It seems that to get a sense of how to work effectively, one would need to structure their environment to achieve the adequate "imbalance" so that you can have the proper quality output you seek in life.
This could be a creation of an art piece, a business worth pursuing or simply a life that is worth living.
I used to write from a third person perspective until one lecturer asked me to not do so. Writing I seems more personable, but it is not reflective at all. I still prefer to write in a third person perspective, seeing my life from an angle away from the life I am living now. This form of detachment allows me to keep every failure and success at arms length. Like watching a show which I know is going to end, this detachment also allows me to keep calm and continue to soldier on with this thing called life.
And for that I will leave you with my favourite poem from Rudyard Kipling for that may be the way to possibly live life well.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!