goals and all that jazz

the encounter

In late 2022 - I started taking dance classes. Enjoyed it quite a bit and vowed to do more dancing next year. 2023 - first two weeks in - all good. But then one day - I stumbled upon people playing volleyball in the park. Young, old, and middle-aged - characters from all age groups. My eyes were fixated. I was itching to play. I used to play in school. My hands remembered. They were full of sensations. But I didn't know these folks. I mustered up some courage and asked if I can join in. A chubby bear-faced uncle welcomed me in. I started playing. It was a great feeling. Sport is amazing. Deserves a separate blog post. But coming back to the point - I started playing volleyball after dance class for a bit. But it was hard to do both. I was faced with a choice. Should I continue dancing or play volleyball?

the shift

Learning to dance was a goal. A long pending one. A resolution for 2023. But volleyball came in. I enjoyed both - volleyball more. And part of my plan for 2023 went for a toss. Now, this might seem like a small thing. Not really a major life decision. But it made me contemplate how little control we have over what the future has in store for us.


You are so sure of the thing that you are doing. You can't imagine yourself doing something else. You become confident and set up goals for the future. Life happens. And you are doing a completely new thing. Is having goals useless? Some people say you should have themes instead of specific goals. Some rally for systems. I have mixed feelings. I feel the specificity of goals helps. It's easier to get complacent with broad themes. But at the same time - life is so uncertain. Achieving the exact thing you set out for may not always be feasible. But without goals - it's easier to just wander aimlessly until one day life catches up to us. I guess we can have both. A general theme and specific goals. Caution with goals is to assess the current situation and make changes. Or give them up entirely for new ones. But again - not necessary that the new thing you choose will be better. Tradeoffs. I guess what we need is contentment. Acceptance that things will not always go the way we want them to but that shouldn't stop us from trying. Yin yang. I feel like emphasizing that trying is very important. But mere trying is not enough. How to try better?

awareness and reflection

Two things come to my mind - building awareness and reflection. How to build awareness? I find meditation to be the most effective solution. At least on a day-to-day basis. When you meditate regularly - you notice things. There is a delay in your reactions. It really helps. 

Now meditating builds reflection as well. But we need to remember our patterns to reflect. Nothing like writing for this. Mental checkpoints of what, why and how of things we did. You can get insight into your behaviour, your patterns, your ticks. So, yeah theme for this year is to meditate and write more. Have set some specific goals as well. Let's see how it turns out.



The other day I was watching IPL (T20 Cricket League) - the biggest event in India. The best and hottest brands line up for an ad spot during the overs. I was curious to see the ads. Interestingly - even more than the match itself. Maybe because the match wasn't that interesting. There was the novelty factor in play as well.  And of course, they are brilliantly executed by top executives from IIM and the like earning crores.

Not really a surprise but it did make me feel poignant that almost all of the ads were around gambling and debt. The remaining slot was taken by gluttony and speed. It's kind of representative of how life has become. It's no longer slow and human. A little hesitant to use the word human because whatever we do is natural isn't it? It kind of makes me wonder where we are headed as a generation and as a nation. Debt and gluttony. Runs contrary with the whole idea of you first need to work for it and then get it. 

On permanence

Permanence is what prompted me to buy a subscription ($5/month) to this blog even though my writing habit and financial status caution otherwise. There is something about permanence that compels - perhaps it's the negation of human nature. The fact that we are mortal makes us yearn for something permanent.