i have been thinking about the word “practice”.
it started off with me watching oprah interview thich naht hanh. when asked about his “peaceful aura”, thich replied, “this is my training. this is my practice.”
i believe this practice takes a lifetime.
what is my training? what is my practice?
what is yours?
for the last year, my practice was reading regularly, thinking and writing about what i read. this is the first time i had a year-long project and it’s been immense.
for 2017, i will have 2 annual projects, one of which i will share publicly.
it’s an idea from this book.
“Here are five things that I attempt to do every morning. Realistically, if I hit three out of five, I consider myself having won the morning. And if you win the morning, you win the day.”
the five things are:
1. Making my bed (<3 minutes)
…even when I’m staying in a hotel.
2. Meditate (10-20 minutes)
3. Do 5-10 reps of an exercise (<1 minute) and shower
“The 5 to 10 reps here are not a workout. They are intended to “state prime” and wake me up. Getting into my body, even for 30 seconds, has a dramatic effect on my mood and quiets mental chatter.”
to “state prime”, i have found a cold shower to be useful. i used to take a warm one but i embrace the cold shower now and its benefits (reportedly “weight loss stimulation, increased circulation… stress reduction and potential antidepressant”).
4. Make tea (2-3 minutes)
5. Morning pages or 5 minute journal (5-10 minutes)
Morning pages: Write (don’t type) 3 pages of anything that comes to your mind (for example, you can write: “i don’t know what to write now, mind is a blank. wait. sandwiches. ok. what do i need to get done today.”) don’t censor. don’t worry if you can’t complete 3 pages.
5 minute journal: write 3 things each on: 1.what you’re grateful for 2. what would make today great 3. daily affirmations. i am… e.g. what i wrote today: 1. i am kind. 2. i am a good son. 3. I treat milou with care and kindness)
although these are tim ferriss’ morning rituals, i’m not going to second guess nor try to understand everything before acting.
i will just practise. and in march 2017, i will review and customise these rituals if necessary.
i doubt i will change much. making your bed is an easy win. i want to meditate more and will consider doing a Transcendental Meditation course (read this). journaling is another good practice.
i have already started even though it’s a 2017 project.
i need practice.
what is yours?
Mark Zuckerberg inspired me to start an annual personal project – read a non-fiction book every week and write about it.
My previous newsletters are here: https://isaiahlim.wordpress.com/category/isaiahlim_newsletter/