How To Live Simple & Better-Life Stories
I did these experiments sometime back and have been sitting since then. They talk about our day today life, how tech is hijacking it & what I did about it, on staying positive and focused & more.
So finally today I thought of starting my blog. I am not a great writer but I am good at stories. So I will be sharing my experiences and experiments on internet. One of my friends said if you know something it is your duty to let others know. Here we go..
I am not fooling around!
Happy April fools day. I think it’s a good day to start anything for obvious reasons. Well no one fooled me today. I am happy to feel intelligent. I even asked my boss who is on a medical leave today (he dropped an email today morning) with serious back injury if he is playing a prank on us!
I am not high on gadgets but still I own a Galaxy S2. It’s a nice phone. I do a lot of stuff on it. My recent addiction is “Scramble with friends” thanks to my friend. It’s crazy I keep on playing it all through the night. I also play practice games to improve my score. I use my S2 for other purposes also like I do my emails, facebook, chatting and general reading on my phone. All in all it is fun but yes time and eyes consuming.
Last Saturday there was this Tiesto concert in Bangalore. Me and my friends we were all ready to go. I just picked my phone to check the battery there was hardly any. I did some quick thinking. Recently I had bought a new phone (a simple 1000 rupees phone). Let’s call it Free phone for convenience. I thought I should charge it for some 10 mins and take that phone. It’s battery will last long. I put my sim in the free phone and got going.
On my way I realized my friend had a car charger and I could have used that! But then I had a brand new phone in my hand, it was quite small and anyways I was in a concert so it doesn’t matter. I explored my new phone it had some features like colored screen, games, chat (I don’t know how it works) etc. Good job for 1000 bucks.
So we enjoyed the concert. It was exhilarating. Amazing crowd, awesome music. And I took my phone out only once for a call. While coming back there was good jam and everyone was really tired and sleepy or on phone doing something. I got some time to think about the concert. I really enjoyed it. For that matter I really saw the whole concert without any distraction. Actually I had nothing else to do. I remember looking around and seeing people taking pictures, recording videos on their phones. Thankfully I couldn’t do all that. It is better to see and experience in real than on video recorded by you at the event!
And even now while we were in the car I was the one who was free to enjoy the drive and the weather. This free phone is really making free I thought. So I decided to continue with this phone for a week.
It’s been two days on my free phone and couple of things which I can feel. When I meet my friends I really talk to them. I listen to them. I don’t fiddle with my phone or check emails, chats etc. I just talk to my friends. I just try to be there. I hope my friends vouch for this :). At work I see a difference I don’t check my phone often. Honestly I don’t check it at all. It rings or vibrates when some one calls or messages me :)!! I think i had forgotten that. And it’s a small phone. Easily slips into my pocket. It’s been good two days I think I am more in the moment. And one of the best thing the battery lasts for 2 days!! Man..
I will keep you all posted with what happens next.
Yesterday was a good day. I met one of my friend for dinner. I think me and my friend are pretty much on the same boat when it comes to what we do for living.
He selects a target. Let’s name the target as Mr. X. Shows him the ultimate universe and cons him to use his products. Once that is done poor Mr. X ends up buying something he would never require. Now once that is accomplished my friend explains Mr. X that buying his product alone will not help him. They are of no use until you use them to make something bigger. Mr. X is directed to me. (Thanks my dear friend you help me for my living!)
Again Mr. X is shown what all he can do in his ultimate universe probably can find some more planets. We basically sell him the idea how complexity will lead him to simplicity. I swear I don’t know how I do it but Mr. X is convinced that it is the only way and we are the only one! And we charge Mr. X a bomb for this. And yes I don’t forget my friend we convince Mr. X that he should have more things/products/ jazz in his ultimate universe so that he can build more universes. I swear!! Mr. X buys into all this and goes back to my friend. He wants more universe :).
And me and my friend don’t work for next 3 months!!
It’s been a crazy day so far. I was about to miss my flight because of crazy bangalore traffic. Thank goodness for the driver. Just made in in time. Now for all the crazy time I was in car I tried connecting with the airline to accommodate me since there has been an unanticipated traffic and the fact that I am light traveler. No check in nothing.
During all this while I am with my free phone. I would admit there were times when I wanted internet connectivity to find number to airlines, to respond to my emails and yes I was feeling irritated with this free phone of mine because I was restricted. At one time I thought of enough let me change my phone right away. But something hold me. It was a very profound thought for a small stuff like this but still I will share. I thought maybe I am tested on my this quest of simplicity. I thought I should be patient and just focus on doing what is required. Hence I picked up my phone called just dial took the airline number an d called them. It was tad different from what I was used to, still it was working. I was doing only what was necessary. Well I had the conversation with the airline personnel and it was of no use. But I realized something that maybe I should do just what is required rather than everything else. In this scenario I would have used my smartphone to first find airline number on internet and then have a conversation. Then since I had the connectivity I would have used gps to figure out my location and see how far I am from the destination. I would have checked this every 2 minute knowing the fact I cannot do anything about it! I think my free phone saved me from that anxiety. And I rather used that time to pray “oh god please let me catch the flight. Promise I will leave on time next time.” And I say it works. And yes I reached airport 35 minutes before the departure. Checked and responded to my emails at the airport. I was a bit more relaxed.
One more observation I had my constant interaction with the driver Mr. Venu from Meru Cabs actually helped. After some 10 mins of hearing my story he just wanted to make sure I catch the flight. We were constantly talking and he was saying “madam don’t worry I will make sure you reach”. I think the conversation helped.
The experiment is turning out to be good. But I will admit I have certain times when I just want to be back using my phone. It’s an urge which I try hard to stop. So I was in Mumbai for work. I am used to this city for that matter I love this city. I have some idea about the major routes so it is easy. All in all I am able to manage. Well I forget when I said “manage” I used GPS!
So early morning in Mumbai rushing for the meeting no idea of the destination and no connectivity. My head is full of anticipation it’s an important meeting. I need to sync up with my colleagues in hotel well in time. I am getting late and I don’t know the way. We were heading towards the destination and the auto guy asked me “madam exact location batao”. I had no clue. That time I took my s2 out and said it is the time I need to use it. While I was in my thoughts the auto guy stopped in front of the pan wala and asked him for the location. The pan wala gave him some directions. I thought of taking the risk. And bingo after 2 minutes I was at the destination with my s2 in my hand still not used. Man this happens only in India! We have GPS all around us. They know all the routes and importantly you tend to talk to a person rather than a machine. “The human touch” for which every company is striving: to build it in their products, in their services, in their people. Strange first we kill then we strive for it! Let’s get human in a humanly way.
So I refrained a bit from blogging about the experiment for the obvious reasons. I don’t want to bore with the same rhetoric. Now I have something new to share. It’s been ten days and till now I have talked about how the free phone is helping me focus more on what I am doing be it talking to people etc. I am actually able to have more time and it is helping me enjoy the moment. But yes there are quite some but’s. It’s all been good but there are couple of practical issues that I face with this free phone. At the top is Voice quality.
I have been a user of a smartphone and frankly I am spoiled. I am use to that super fine audio quality of the smartphone that I just can’t hear anything on my free phone. It’s becoming difficult. And since most of the time I am talking to customers it is not good to say “sorry can you please repeat”. This is a real challenge and I don’t know what to do about it.
My smart phone has some awesome features. I am not sure if these features are making me smart. I am not in a habit of saving numbers. The reason being they are easily available on my smartphone call log which just goes on. Now in my poor free phone I think I have a call log of just 10 or less. So I can’t retain numbers. The only way is to store there and then else you loose it. And I promise when your client calls up and you don’t have their number saved it’s quite a bad beginning of a conversation. It seems you just don’t want to talk to them. They ask “Hi this is XYZ do you remember”. You are digging your own grave.
I thought I have a good memory and I can remember who called me when and all that. I was proved totally wrong when I called some other customer talked to him for close to 2 minutes and later realized after his confused silence he is not the one!! I begged pardon, I begged!
And yes in my smartphone I can actually track my whole message conversation. I am totally hapless these days with my free phone.
On a different thought I am thinking probably I need to be more organized and stop procrastinating. Maybe if I can store the important numbers then and there on my free phone I save myself a lot of hassle. If I am able to complete my sms conversations and save whatever needs to be saved that very moment I am good. I don’t need to go back to them or search. Now for that matter I think search is only required when you are disorganized and you procrastinate. World was running happily even before computers, smartphones etc. were invented. I think if we go back a bit to the definition of word “computer”
“A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations. Since a sequence of operations can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem.” (Source wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer)
I swear on whatever I don’t do any arithmetic or logical problem solving on my computer. I don’t even use the calculator since I am quite comfortable with the real calculator (the one made of matter :) )
Coming back to now I have a thought is my smartphone really smarter than me. Maybe yes , it gives me options to procrastinate, to note down things which I can easily remember (I have already written my phone number!).
Talk to you soon..
It’s been good enough time with my first part of experiment on being simple. The Free phone actually freed lot of time for me and I felt good. There were no withdrawal symptoms as such. The only issue I faced was around voice quality and call log size. I struggled a lot with the voice quality issue and finally gave up. I had to use my smartphone!
Then what about my whole experiment and the anxiety less life I had for some 25 days. No way I would compromise on that. So finally got an idea I got the data connection on my smartphone cancelled. WOW!! Now I have a device with super fine audio quality, unlimited call log and that’s all :) :).
I am having a good time being (trying to) simple. Will be starting with another experiment soon!!
Practical Experiments: Be Positive Be Inspired! (On a daily basis)
We live in a world full of information and connectedness. Constant interaction with people is the norm of the day. We undertake so many conversation each day. Some leave us in an exalted state and some drain us out. So how can we manage these conversations. How can we stay positive and focused irrespective of these everyday inputs we receive that try to pull us down.
Yes this is my next experiment which I will undertake and share my thoughts.
The reason for starting this post is I heard how one of my friend got quite depressed when her family asked her to change a picture she had uploaded on a social networking site. The whole day she has been depressed, a lot of negativity grasped her which ended in a headache through out the day. So what can we do in a situation like this? Obviously you cannot shun your folks just because they think differently. Something should be there that can keep us positive irrespective of conversations like this. Maybe it just not good old talks or articles but an understanding at a different level. Let’s explore
I talk to a lot of different people everyday. So at times a lot of negative thoughts stay in my mind knowing or unknowingly. As we all know our mind has definitely more affinity to anything that is negative maybe because negative thoughts arise a very very strong sensations to our brain for a short while. Well I don’t know why this happens but yes it happens.
I strongly believe that our brain is like an input-output machine. The kind of emotions go in a parallel output comes out in the form of action. So for example if you are angry you can hit someone. Man… this human mind is so much of affinity towards anything negative!!
Yes coming back to my point if we can give only positive input to our brains we should expect a positive action. Now giving a positive input all the time is not possible. What if someone is yelling at you? I can’t stay calm or give a happy emotion to my mind positively. I can’t control situations’ like this. So here is what I try to do: leaving apart the situation I have mentioned above I make sure everything I read, scan through my eyes or even talk is positive. Now there can be situations where I hear painful or negative stuff from people. In these cases this is what I did: it tried leading these people to the positive side of the situation. This helps really helps both me and the person I am having a conversation with.
This is what I have tried so far. In the next post I will share more.
So B +ve! B Inspired!
I will be adding more to these stories. If you like please share and spread the word.