Week 4 | 6M² Phase Alpha (Warrior)
The sun never came out today.
I emerged from the cold artificial light in Clarke Quay station to sombre grey skies at 0700hrs, when on a typical day it should be a pastel blue. Light drizzle.
At this point in Phase Alpha I’m once again acutely aware of my own inertia; the motivation has been wearing off since Week 3 and laziness has slid back into my DMs.
Motivation is fleeting; discipline is forever.
Before embarking on this entire project I swore to myself that I would recover the discipline that had commissioned me as an officer. Not in the new year’s resolution way, no; I swore. I knew that the initial motivation is an inefficient fuel that would run out quickly, and that I’d have to get off and push for the rest of the way.
I threw my massive towel over my head as I left the gym because the rain has, by then, fully awakened, and would go on to last well into the next day.
We are all on an uphill hike. Look back, and you’d go hurtling down the slippery slope; look forwards, and the only way is up. There lies a thin line between a vicious and virtuous cycle, so to remain within a virtuous cycle we need to design an environment which incorporates necessary checks and balances tailored to our individual fears and vulnerabilities.
Mine is just an alarm app called Alarmy. This piece of shit raises hell (I’m using a siren sound at 100% volume) until I take a specific photo of a preset object or place. There’s literally no other way to shut it up. I have one each for the morning (to wake up) and night (to go to sleep), and it’s the most disruptive and effective thing ever. A month on, I haven’t gotten used to this devil’s spawn, and it forces me to be extremely deliberate every single day in sticking to my routine.
So even though yesterday’s rain continues to linger in the sickly air, I got out of bed — and stayed out.
I’m sure everyone who has tried to work out understands the gruelling reality of dealing with tiredness and lack of motivation. I dragged a semi-asleep body through a mild drizzle that softened it with every drop as if it were cardboard, to an hour-long boxing session followed by an hour and a half in the gym, then again through the rain back home to cook.
It wasn’t easy — I wouldn’t pretend it was — but I was relying on deliberate effort, instead of the momentum of routine, to carry me through.
And that, I believe, is what defines discipline. It isn’t a magical property that makes life incredibly easy for those who were born with it. Rather, it’s just a name for making consistent, conscious, painful decisions, that only gets harder with time.
For the past month I’ve had trouble giving a satisfactory explanation of what 6M² is all about. 6M² had begun as an iffy cloud in my head, an idea that at first I didn’t think anyone else can understand.
But really, if I’d learnt anything as a creative, it’d be that an artist’s value lies in his ability to communicate ideas.
The ‘creative’ who gets his message across is an artist; the one who cannot is a mere lunatic.
My first article about happiness addresses my thought process and the underlying ideology behind 6M², but I realized that as an outsider it simply doesn’t offer enough information and structure to effectively communicate the nature and framework of the project.
So here is a closer look at what 6M² is really about.
The elusive clear morning means I finally get to go back to the pool after a half-week hiatus. Much-needed, too, since the past consecutive days of gym workouts has started to take a slight toll.
Still, pretty satisfied with how I’ve been adapting to the physical exertion. Where previously a single workout would necessitate days of rest to recover from aches, I’m now doing six-day training weeks with boxing, gym and swimming all mashed up without too much strain.
Officially, the last day of Phase Alpha. Went for two boxing sessions instead of one today — I might just continue this in the next phase. But as far as the project is concerned, WARRIOR is a mission success.
A full overview of the entire Phase Alpha will be coming very soon. In the meantime, Bravo is under way…