Reflections 2019

The year 2019 is about to end and like every year, I am off to a distant land where I enjoy spending my time the most – Europe.

Utpal Vaishnav (Europe Trip)

Although I visited 6 countries in 2019 thus far (2 for the first time), I have not posted about my travel experiences on any public forum, unlike previous years.

I did not make public posts to observe how it impacts me psychologically (the amount of β€˜craving’ to share what I observe/experience/learn) … and how it impacts my first and second circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who regularly read, reflect, sometimes disagree and celebrate my travel experiences virtually.

Today, I am beginning my trip to Europe starting from Switzerland. It is one country I visit a few times every year. It offers the best of the Nature that I have experienced thus far and I have not felt ‘enough’ about spending time with Switzerland.

So, for the next 3 weeks, we will be in Europe again, sipping mulled wine 🍷 and reflecting on the moments of life I could generate in a (mostly) living dead πŸ’€ world.

I have no goals for this trip. I only have a hope that I will be reflecting on my past year and be aware of what mattered to me in 2019 and what β€˜theme’ I want my 2020 to have.

Observe. Create.

Then again observe. Then again create.

The observation is for being aware.

The creation is for engrossment.

~UV (20191223 15:15)

A life well engrossed is a life well lived, isn’t it so?

The year 2019 was full of diverse experiences: Intense personal experiences. Intense professional experiences. Growth in business. Growth in personal awareness. And more.

The year 2019 also included a feeling of sadness and low spirits for about a couple of weeks near the mid-year … and again recreation of my present self that leverages peace and power to its wish.

I’d like to call the year 2019 as a year of Discipline for me. Since almost the beginning of me on this earth in my present form, Discipline and I never had a romantic relationship … but my affair with Discipline started from late 2018 and now we are going steady and rock solid and I have no plan to break up with it! 😎

I began 2019 with what I call β€˜the 3D challenge’: Daring, Determination, and Discipline!

πŸ‘‰ Daring: I did not have any issues in this area; πŸ˜‡
πŸ‘‰ Determination: I was doing good in this area too;
πŸ‘‰ Discipline: I was not very good in this area. My excuse? I am more creative than many so I thought I can trade off discipline for that. Turns out it was very limiting + self-disserving thought.

  • I started this year by waking up at 5:30 am;
  • I remained consistent and now I wake up by 5 am;
  • That follows a 3km morning walk followed by 45 mins of Gym-time;
  • with military discipline;
  • and deliberate intention;
  • listening to a few insightful podcasts (Masters of Scale, The Tim Ferris Show and more).

This behavioral change instilled a sense of better meaning in my life. I recommend this habit change to anyone who wants to take charge of their life and put a dent in the universe … or not!

As the journey continued, I landed upon a MindValley Masterclass from Steven Kotler and started practicing being in the FLOW state.

Being in a FLOW state is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It gave me the necessary kick while enjoying the present moment. I became clearer, more straight and deliberate about the things and people who matter to me or I matter to them.

When I was just getting started with being in the FLOW state, The Slight Edge from Jeff Olson made aΒ  notable impact on me. The compounding principle that I thought I knew but I really didn’t became so clear that I started seeing the compounding effect in almost anything that I pour my attention into. And it gives a great awareness + deliberation about our next actions.

While in 2019, I did not post much about my travel experiences on Facebook, I did continue experimenting with my travels and exploration in general.

While there were 3-4 domestic short trips also this year, I visited 6 different countries. Mostly these countries are repeated countries except Canada and Kuwait which I visited for the first time this year.

April 2019: Dubai πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ, Kuwait πŸ‡°πŸ‡Ό
July 2019: Switzerland πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­, France πŸ‡«πŸ‡·
August 2019: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦, USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

There are a lot of observations and learnings and I have made several conscious notes from all these travel experiences.

The last few days of 2019 is the time to reflect on those notes and be more conscious about the theme for 2020. So I thought why don’t we spend some time at the place where I feel I belong the most and spend a few weeks there.

Stay tuned to my Facebook if you like to see/read my travelogue.

PS: This time, I might compile all my travel experiences in form of an ebook, and share it freely so you can use it to experience travel (and life) in a semi-planned way though I am not sure about it. Let's see!

On discipline

Why do we need Discipline?

We need Discipline so that we can leverage the generally proven method to live a life better than what we have been living.

We believe that the future will be better than the present, so we let all the different kinds of imagination, concepts, and experiences communicate to us that our present is worse than the future.

This thinking may or may not be accurate, but it is a prevailing belief that  most of us have.

Granted that being disciplined is a learnable skill, but the inside push to learn it comes only if we have a belief that our present is not good.

So, the question is, should you be + stay disciplined or not?

Discipline

You should, if you want your future to be better (read: specific + predictable) than your present.

Let’s look at what 26th US president Theodore Roosevelt said about discipline:

“With self-discipline, most anything is possible!”

There is no disagreement with this thinking but what if you are 100% in your present? Uninfluenced by any sort of future worries?

What if you are in the utmost bliss?

Then you don’t need virtues such as Discipline in your life … Because you become a celebration and you become the celebrator.

And by its nature, celebrations don’t require being disciplined, although the process of organizing celebrations may require a lot of Discipline.

Think for yourself.