“Just do it, just do it, there is no reason not to”
I have a bucket-list that is constantly accumulating in my mind. I want to learn how to fly, I want to get ripped, I want to cook, I want to code, I want to read more etc. etc. etc. My curiosity doesn’t cease to exist. After a lot of introspection, however, I have realized that though I get a quick burst of joy in adding to the list I feel a more powerful sense of dread knowing that I rarely take the efforts necessary to embark on these tasks. I feel a personal shame that contributes to my internal cognitive dissonance. My inner critic has gotten to powerful, and I need to fight back.
For the past few years the main way I have been dealing with these self-esteem pressures has been through 2 main mood-enhancing substances — alcohol and nicotine — a simple escape from my perceived reality. Beer, JUUL, Beer, JUUL, I would rationalize that the bottle and the USB stick were my supposed keys to unlocking my ideal self. Deep down, however, I knew that these substances did nothing more then strengthen my inner critic.
Its been almost two months since I graduated from Cornell. The vast majority of this time has been spent traveling, eating exotic foods, and generally enjoying life. My inner critic was less vocal during this time, however, it would pop-up here and there and was especially prominent when I spent a week at home in between my arrival from India and my departure to Japan. During this period one of the vices I thought I had gotten rid of, the JUUL, made a brief re-appearance. A day before my flight to Tokyo, however, I finally recycled the USB and came to terms with the fact that that the JUUL did nothing but perpetuate my anxiety.
After touching down from Japan I became determined to start my quest of self-improvement. Referencing back to my bucket-list, I started prioritize a few key activities that I feel will serve to not only make me feel more accomplished but will also significantly diminish my inner critic. First and foremost, I decided to start religiously using the self-esteem module of the app Headspace. With this app I am learning to delineate thought from reality in order to rest in a space of mere observation. Though the first few days have been tough I will try to continue utilizing the app and self-reflect on my progress. Additionally, I am hopeful about the new company that I am starting, SportSpot. The team behind it is fantastic, the idea is exciting, and the future looks bright. With this venture, I have accepted that I know less than the collective body and want to use my leadership to enable members of our team to be their best selves. Stay tuned for the launch this week.
Another goal that I am working towards is getting more physically fit. In college, I used my nicotine habit as an excuse for why I couldn’t habitually workout but that is no more. I will gain more muscle, lose a ton of fat, and channel my disapproval about my body image into a better looking version of my self. Finally, I will start studying for the GMAT seriously for hopes of being admitted to a great business school. This overarching goal is less enjoyable and more “practical” but I suppose it should be included due to the straight forwardness of it. Not going to lie it would be great to be a graduate of HBS or Stanford Business School.
On top of all of this, I am working to cultivate a renaissance man mindset that I will parlay into a myriad of other activities such as reading, writing, coding, cooking, and poker skill (hopefully.) This will reinforce my self-improvement mantra and work to silence my inner critic. For these activities I don’t necessarily need to have a mastery but rather prove to myself that I am not afraid to commence on new paths of learning.
Overall, I am determined to become more confident. I am hoping to use medium as a channel of self-reflection and personal gauge progress. I don’t really care if anyone reads my publications, and for those who do I am sorry for my choppy streams of consciousness. Like everything else I have and am going to start, I know that I will get better. For now though, I am just happy that I finally had the courage to sit down and publish my first piece of writing.