What drives us? What keeps us movng forward in life?

Subscribe to Feedly | Posted by N K I on January 21, 2019.
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Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

Introduction

I have been pondering about the thought of having or loving certain things that keeps us from getting drowned in day to day things, work, life. We all feel high, low and content and yet some of us feel disappointed & stay depressed, what keeps people from falling into depression or from loosing physical fitness?

What I found out?

What I came to know is that we all need stimulation in life. It is what causes a person to either try harder or give up. Let me explain it in layman’s terms. Say we have two students who share similar build and skills. If we ask both of the participants to practice sprinting for one month and provide both of them the same environment/training and coaching but we don’t let one of the athletes to get the required stimulus(Either by creating a circumstance where he cant enjoy the sport or where he doesn’t get the results of what he envisioned.(We ask too much of him when we setup this programme.) from the exercise what we will see is the athlete who didn’t have the feedback loop of exercising > stimulus will perform worse and would give up under stress than the one who had complete feedback loop.

We all have our own perspective and set of needs, wants and plans for the future. We all create our own feedback loops. We may know it or not these loops shape and have a very deep impact in our lives. For me as I grew older I have thankfully had an opportunity to be self aware and expand my thinking about my habits, wants, needs expectations goals and outlook of my life. We all know that we get stimulation in many ways. Some forms are mentioned below.

And we all have internal priority system for the level of kick we get from each activity and which deserves more dopamine. We are wired like that from the day we start developing mentally and physically. Some people develop in a way that they form the proper links and loops and some people don’t develop it naturally and don’t develop the mechanism properly. I have friends who always thought less about work/studies an did things in great way and some who were geniuses but didn’t succeed until later stages of life.(Citation needed in future as I am only 21 and its too soon to take it as a fact) I never had dully developed feedback loop in my life. I always seemed to do just fine but never too great. I loved breaking things/ learning about parts and using computers, cycling and drawing from young age but I never felt deep happiness and satisfied with what I did even though I was good at it and could develop it further. I had the basic stimulation loop for the tasks. Say for sketching my parents always appreciated me for my sketches and encouraged me to learn more and express more. But I quit drawing after 5th or 6th grade. My loop never matured as it didn’t stand test of time. I do draw now an you can checkout my IG or Blog for the sketches but I don’t feel the deep connection with my works anymore as I did in the start. I tried to force myself into creating and completing a challenge and setup a reward for myself in that challenge. The name and goal of the challenge was to sketch everyday for 365 days and post it on IG and blog. At the end of the challenge the reward was the improved skills and beautiful artwork that I would have collected over those 365 days. The reward for realistic independent of outward inputs and self-fulfilling. But I couldn’t complete that challenge. I didn’t know the reason at that time but now I know it very well.

  1. I didn’t focus on setting up a ritual for the project.
  2. Didn’t appreciate my work an self loathed my creations as I always thought or felt I could have done better.
  3. Didn’t setup a reward system for each progress.
  4. Didn’t have total focus on the project as a whole. I was always somewhat distracted about my plans for growing my businesses and doing the other things that I loved while sketching my art that it removed the fun aspect of it. I was not in the moment.
  5. Didn’t associate it with something of great value.(Materially and spiritually)

Now that I know to some extent that I don’t have a very organized or developed loop, I have taken it as a last actionable step to make the change and develop it before I run out of time.

The same reasons go for My reason of opting to drop out from Eng(M.E.C/Salem). I had big plans when I joined the course and had goals and expectations to learn deeply about computers and programming develop apps and services which people(I) could use in real life scenarios. But my loop broke when we entered out computer lab for the first time. We had systems which ran on Windows XP ( :fearful: ) and were taught to use MS Word, Excel and were asked to write assignments about it.(Basically write all the documents which we typed in word on paper and submit it as an assignment.) The second bullet in the head for me was when we were told that we would be taught about C programming. I was really pumped up about this but when the classes began we were taught absolute basics and even had some syntax errors which no student was interested in debugging or learning. We didn’t have any real life inspired use case for the language an were taught just to cram the syntax and code to our brains. I quickly became very disappointed and soon due to my inaction about the situation at hand no control about the situation I became depressed had made an ultimatum of either quitting the course or dying either by force or mentally (Due to stress and lack of interest in anything).

As soon as I quit and gave my application I could get back the control of life and could make plans on what to do about the situation and to improve it. To move on with life.(I would like to remind that I didn’t have any idea about the way mind works or about stimulation and feedback loops.) I decided to shift to Chennai and Move to a city rather than stay in that village. Village life was never a good thing for me I guess in my hindsight. Under my parents pressure I decided that I should join some course so as to keep my hopes up for the future.(I might say I have great parents who have supported me well over all my endeavors and learnt a lot about me in these past years.)

As a result I joined SRM and took B.S.E. V.I.S.C.O.M. And in this period I also started planning and strategizing about my business Ideas. I wanted to be more expressive an opportunistic. I was enjoying the course and quickly built great relationship with my peers and professors. But my loop had started to corrode again. As I was utilizing my resources in an increasing manner I was running out of resources. I started loosing interest in the photography classes as there was hardly any technical knowledge shared, Tamil and Hindi were made(I came to know about it after I joined the course compulsory for the first two years). I didn’t feel justified about the time/effort that I was spending in the college doing nothing as opposed to saving the money which was to be invested for fees into building and running my businesses. I decided to quit the course before I became depressed and fell in to the crippling depression. In my hindsight I made a huge mistake of choosing to join and continue the thing that I hated the most. I felt void whenever I went and attended the classes as I knew very well that all that knowledge had little to no real world use case and the teaching method was archaic at best. I started deeply researching and collecting knowledge about startups, how to run businesses and manage finances. I planned on getting funds for my venture from my parents who had already setup some funds for my higher education. I wrote plans, made priorities and then kick started my businesses. Technavneet was officially started in July, 2016, I got GST Number and had all the necessary resources at hand. It has been 2 Years since than and I cannot believe that I was able to make great progress and keep it going for so far even after having very bad financial troubles at home. I was also able to build a team to provide services other than IT Solutions as I wanted to diversify and improve cash-flow. Even though the progress was being made, I was somehow very dejected at the pace of it. Given all the financial issues and my sole effort into the business at the beginning, I have come a long way but I never felt satisfied and always knew i could push the boundaries further as i already had everything written down, planned, thought out. All I required at this point was to get a extra set of hands and to setup a loop of rewards based on the progress accomplished along the way so that I can keep myself effective and passionate. I setup a way to be grateful on every step after every small accomplishment by doing/getting something I wanted.(Books, PC Part etc). But the thing that gave me the biggest kick was to see my plans to fruition. I always felt more effective whenever I could strike off my work TODO’s. What I hated during all of this is I usually was unable to get an idea of my capabilities. I use to waste a lot of energy on loosing customers, needy customers an used to say yes to every single thing. I had a very bad experience with aa particular customer who ripped me off badly. I provided a lot of ideas, tips and knowledge just for them to extort me into working for them for 6 months on single project. I used that experience to improve my working methods. I setup a S.O.P, from then on I started putting agreements, payment terms and also started to drop clients if they couldn’t satisfy my needs, requirements. I changed a lot ways, my communication ws more thorough and to the point. I also started to ask for help from my friends and family. I learned that a person is most effective when he is independent and interdependent. I started to become independent and taking care of my expenses, earnings and also started to manage business expenses closely so that I could optimize the cash flow at hand. In between all of this I have started dying inside again as I think so I couldn’t setup a robust reward, stimulus in the process as I started taking more and more. I also have an ideology ingrained in me, that Its better to die than to live a useless unproductive simple life. For me the rate of progress is unsatisfactory and In recent weeks things have turned horrible. We had a small electric issue in our office and I was unable to get the issue resolved even after repeatedly getting in touch with TNEB guys and Electricians. I have realized that humans can achieve great things but only if they can work together and get the job done in timely manner. Proper communication goes a long way in life. I feel like my growth has stumped. I have tried to resuscitate my interests by doing what I like, I updated my blog, moved domains and tried to watch some videos which are backlogged.(I have 6000 + videos backlogged in my YouTube Playlist. Most of them are tech & D.I.Y Educational videos). I couldnt get my mojo back. I dont want to die in vain. thats the reason I am writing this post. I am going to leave something valuable behind before I meet my END. I have started loosing my weight again, My energy levels are laughable low , I feel exhausted most of the days. I want to share the below things. I feel I am in a time crunch as I feel like I have a very limited time if I don’t do something useful.

  1. I have a detailed plans for Technavneet and nDesignworks, with plans on income generation and growth.
  2. I also have paper with charts which describes the field’s that I plan to enter as my companies grow and mature.
  3. I have few pdf’s on my PC which go into my plans in more details. As I don’t see my self reaching required levels of interest, kick and stimulus for me to function properly in my duties I would rather perish than to be a burden and suffer life without doing anything meaningful. I first felt like this when I sacrificed and gave up playing football. Now I am feeling the same I feel I didn’t/couldn’t get the necessary response out of my projects and I am deeply disappointed in my self and my abilities.

Things I would change if I were reborn.

  1. Eating Habits
  2. Be more forgiving of myself. Set more tackle-able goals and time-frames.
  3. Never give-up on my passion for football.
  4. Be more chilled out about my look on life.
  5. Never wire myself for this cluster fuck of situation.
  6. I would be the same in terms of I take the blame solely on myself, I created the exact scenarios through my conscious decisions and actions.
  7. Go out with friends and family more and build more deep connections.
  8. Be more independent and effective.
  9. Build a more robust loop for self reliant stimulus and rewarding system.
  10. Do more exercise and maintain more healthy shape and fitness.

Foot Notes:

  1. Falling in to Depression has a very bad effect on health. It sets a timer on your life expectancy and well being.
  2. Depression can effect your work/life balance.
  3. Seek a professional immediately if you catch the symptoms.
  4. It is curable or manageable in most cases with help of CBT and other medical treatments.
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