Tag Archives: work

21 Day Challenge | Aug-Sep 2018 | Day 9

It’s been slightly over a week since I started the 21 Day Challenge, but man, it feels like it’s over two weeks! I wanted to write a quick post to update you all on my progress.

Wake up early:

Achievement: 7 days out of 9 days, averaging around 7.30 AM.

This one has not been much of a struggle since I put my mind to it. I usually try to get to bed around 11.30 PM, and have been mostly successful in doing so.

Waking up in the mornings is made easier because of the promise of the fresh smoothie that I have made a practice of making every day now. I also go for a walk every day and sit in the small park behind my apartment for a couple of minutes, taking the time to feel grateful about the things that I have in my life. I also spend those minutes observing nature: birds flying, chirping, the white clouds in the royal blue sky, the buildings.

On that note, I wanted to share with you all a not-so-clear picture of my cute neighbor, The Squirrel!

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These days I spend a lot of time at the table, studying and I observed The Squirrel sit on a specific branch around 9 in the morning for two days! The sun is usually bright at the time, and I like to think that The Squirrel likes to sunbathe. I guess for me it is so exciting because I usually see the squirrels moving so fast on the trees that watching them rest feels like such a delight! I hope I see The Squirrel tomorrow as well!

Find a career purpose:

I have made good progress in this as well. I have been working as an analyst for the past three years and have taken on many multidimensional roles in this time. However, currently, I am in the services industry, and I realize that I miss out on the excitement of building a product that I had in college working on small electronics projects. So, I wish to get back to the product domain. I have been studying to build up the relevant skillsets and also opened up towards new opportunities.

For at least my 5 year plan, I hope to get to a product manager role, which require quite a diverse array of skill-sets ranging from tech expertise to eye for design to sales attributes. Eventually, when I feel I am in a position to do so, I might open something of my own, so I can apply my career learnings there and enjoy the excitement of building something of my own.

Taking this 21 day challenge has enabled me to think in a specific direction and put certain behaviors around them.

Okay, time to head off from the blog now. I’ll see you all in another post, soon-ish! 🙂

Love,

Arpita

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #2

Hola writers and novelists and readers of the blog!

I am back again with another update on my WriMo progress. It’s November the 9th and I am done with the 15K words, very much in line with the goal on the ninth day.

Eight out of the nine days I have been able to complete the daily goal of 1,667 words, except November 7th, when I had gone to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore (I might cover that in another post – let me know in the Comments if you are interested). Primarily, idea is spending more time in solo travel in the coming days and I wanted to make the start from places within Bangalore. There is a lot to Bangalore that I am yet to see and I am looking forward to cover them in 2018.

Okay, back to the writing update now: I am done with two short stories (spanning 6K and 4K words) and am working on the third, which I actually began before the 4K story, but is not complete yet. I am confident, at this rate, I would be able to complete the 50K goal with as many as ten stories. I don’t have ideas fleshed out for all the remaining seven stories yet (have only two more ideas left in my bucket list) and I am constantly looking out for inspiration to strike me. In fact, my Nov. 7th travel plans inspired the third story, which I started writing after putting a temporary pause on the second one.

In the past, whenever I have written stories, I have mostly completed them in a day. I find the process of writing a short story over a course of three to four days very helpful. First, it helps me get out the rut of being the the same characters’ skin for too long a time – I have noticed the plot points tend to suck and I end up beating about the bush too much if I am writing continuously for a long period. On the other hand, a day gives me fresh perspective and new ideas to fill my stories with. Because of my full-time job, I work with a lot of different people, coming across multiple viewpoints and thoughts around the clock. This helps me see life in a different way every single day. All these experience enrich me and by extension, my writing. Sometimes, I find the reflection of the current character I am writing in a coworker. Sometimes, I find a suitable dialogue for my character while I am in the elevator. This has helped me a lot in layering the characters. A charater who started out as docile will suddenly show streaks of mischief because I am in a different mood the next day.

As of work, we had somewhat of a kickoff call on the new project yesterday night. The pressure has not yet started building in and probably won’t as well for most of November, which only helps my cause of NaNoWriMo.

Fortunately for me, I have a senior team lead in the new project, which leaves me with a lot of time to focus on the details of my work instead of worrying about management. I am truly starting to think of it as a bliss. I had been leading a team of four people in my last account and it had kind of thrown me in a dump. It took me a long time to get over the emotional tiredness that the engagement has caused me. Right now, I find myself with a newly-found freedom at work, to do the things that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, I am also continuing with the regime of exercises and good food at home. Any kind of routine makes me feel good about myself: the fact that I was able to get back to my word count yesterday after I staggered on Nov. 7th made me feel so much confidence yesterday.

It is incredible how much a day’s work can do for you: be it in your writing project, or your day job or your exercise routine. If, at the beginning of November, someone asked me to give them a book of 50K words by the end of the month, I would be like, “Are you kidding me?” But everyday, as I spend an hour on writing and consistently meet the daily word count, it feels as if the book is writing itself, without much effort from my side.

How’s November treating you guys? Let me know your NaNoWriMo progress in the Comments below.

Until later, keep at whatever you are doing one day at a time! I will bring you the next update soon! ❤

Laughter is the best medicine

The last two weeks had been crazy at work – I had been returning late everyday. This week things are starting to look better.

Here is what I ensured to make sure we start leaving on time:

  • Setting right expectations with onsites – pushing back on deliverables that I do not foresee team completing without stretching
  • Trying to plan the day better

I realize that it is a continuous learning process and mistakes will happen. There will be days where we have to stretch, but things will get better as well. We just need to keep faith in ourselves.

The other thing that really keeps me going is the kind of fun environment we have at work. We are all mostly of the same age, so there is a open camaraderie. We are constantly cracking jokes, making fun of each other over silly things and laughing it out. Due to this, even during the most trying times, we can stay cool.

Tell me about some hard times you faced at work. What did you do to make things better?

‘Getting it’

Life hasn’t been particularly nice since I returned to Bangalore two weeks back. Work has been crazy. I got into a couple of fights. The fights I had came from a place where I was trying to make things better, for myself and for other people. But in this universe, it is really difficult to communicate with someone the exact motivations of your actions.

I have started being more accepting about some things, a little defensive about some other things. Feels like I am reaching a point where I am really ‘getting it’. I am getting what all the politics, all the TV shows are about. It is like I am seeing things through a new lens. I am finding it easier to relate to symbolism and metaphors. Even though the last two weeks have not been spectacularly nice, I am gaining a rare clarity in my life.

I am also realizing a braver side to me which I did not know existed. It is interesting how certain losses impact us, make us stronger. I feel like I have shed a self. I am standing up for my beliefs more often now. I am learning to be more straightforward, because the situations are making me do things that I couldn’t possibly have done before. There are still pangs of guilt for when I feel I have been a little to blunt. But sometimes, there is a point of no return. It is not a happy place yet, but I am getting there.

Nothing much is happening on the writing front as of now. I have not even got the time to properly promote my second book. So here goes:

If you have read How I tamed the dragon named fear, please leave a review on Amazon. It helps me see through the flaws in my writing and become better at it. It also allows other readers to decide whether they really want to read the book or not. So exercise your right of expression and let your thoughts be known. Even if you absolutely hated the book! 😀

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“How I Tamed the Dragon Named Fear” is an interactive self-help book with an autobiographical element designed to guide individuals in dealing with fear and anxiety in everyday life. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book motivates the reader to live a fuller life by changing their outlook towards fear and the negativity induced by it.