Gain from Everything

I’m not going to lie to you. Lately there have been days when I haven’t been feeling too well. It isn’t a full-blown depression, or a case of highly unfortunate incidents either, it’s just that the combination of non-eventfulness and various roadblocks in the way of skill-improvement have laid me in a pervasive mire of funk.I’m not sure if the last sentence made sense, but all I’m trying to say is that I’ve been feeling a little bit unmotivated.

There are days when I seriously consider just staying at home, even though people have been asking me to go out and ‘do stuff’ with them. It could be just shopping, or visiting a sick friend, or finding a job; and I’d be so tempted to just say “no, I’m busy doing stuff at home,” and they’ll ask “Like what?”, and I’ll say, “Oh you know, the usual. Writing, playing the drums, working out.” To them they’d think that it was nothing much. Unfortunately, to me, leaving the house for social events would usually mean that my various schedules get out of gear and would require fixing some time later. For instance, last week was a particularly social week. I spent 4 out of the 7 days out with friend(s). It was mortifying to my schedule. My workout days shrank from 3 days to 2, I did absolutely 0 cardio, and didn’t have the energy to push harder on the days that I did manage to train. I spent the past 3 out of 4 days not practicing my drums, which means that I have only 3 days left before my lesson, and I could be horribly unprepared. Also, I’m taking forever to edit my novella. That basically means that I might need to fix it by working harder this week. Argh!

But then again, when I look at it from another perspective, it’s so darn refreshing. I’ve recently come across this idea that proposes that you can literally gain from every experience. When you think of it that way, it’s no longer about trying to endlessly avoid situations that are out of your control. You can be far more open, far more receptive to experiences because it always has a present for you!

I used to tell people no all the time: No, I can’t go out because I need to study, I can’t watch a movie tomorrow because I’m out of money for the month, I’m practicing for my drum exams so I can’t go to the beach next week et cetera et cetera. Now I’ve started to say yes (still selectively), and I’m finally seeing what happens when I acknowledge the inevitable – I’m not always in control of my time. Perhaps you aren’t as protective of your time as me, or maybe you can completely identify too, hardcore introvert or not, but the moment you start giving part of your time to the friends around you, you’d realize that there would be parts of your life that would be time-deficient. I hate that, because it’s so disconcerting. But then again, I realize that chaos is essential for growth.

It is possible to gain from everything, even from what you think hurts you.

In my case, having my internal world thrown into chaos was exactly what I needed to get some fresh creative spark going. I was able to write a short story based on my little experience of following my friend about when he decided on a whim to go job-hunting after watching a movie (no I don’t think the movie inspired the job-hunting, but good guess anyway). Also, being pressed for time, I turned back to the Minimum Effective Dose training that Tim Ferriss espoused in his best-selling “4-Hour Body”. It was a new way of training that in my experience, really stresses the muscles for a short time without actually causing it to be too defunct after words, meaning you don’t suffer too badly from aches the next day, so you can remain active. Also, having spent so much time off the drum set, the one time I finally got to it (yesterday), saw me really practicing like never before. I think deprivation of certain ‘regulars’ in life is necessary for growth. Shaking things up a little really helps to keep things moving forward. And if you have the mindset that you will gain from everything, you really can find some gain in everything.

So yes, these days I have been feeling a little bit unmotivated, and I may have been lying in a mire of funk, but saying “yes” to all the last-minute switch-ups in my schedule may have reversed that effect. And for that, I’m thankful.

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