A thread of 'stories about myself' that I've confronted and changed.
At some point I realized that "I" was a collection of stories and beliefs. Some were told to me, some accumulated unexamined. I realized I could look at these stories, consider them, and change them.
The first was "I don't enjoy dancing." Sometime in my mid 20s it became clear this was really: "I'm afraid to dance, and I don't know how". But I loved beats and rhythm. I was dating a dancer. My friends started to DJ bigger parties. I couldn't keep hanging back.
This was the first time I consciously decided I would become a different person by adopting a new story for myself. I wanted to become someone who believed and lived: "Dancing is good, I like to do it, and I do it with ease". It felt important.
Through years of dark rooms, thumping bass, shots and joints, silly friends, and the realization that everyone's just thinking about themselves, I got to the other side. Now I close my eyes, feel the music, let my body do its thing, and love it. Oh and I met my gf while dancing.
Next, "I don't care about money". Easy to say when you're comfortable, and slightly guilty about it. I can make software + have some EQ, so I'll never be unemployed. But making a good salary is not the same as being wealthy. And being wealthy makes a difference...
With wealth, you can buy freedom. You can afford to experiment. You can dream bigger and invest in making those dreams come true. You can also support others and help them do the same, something I didn't know I cared about until it started to feel possible.
My dad always said that as Indians, our family was our social security. Security comes from the people we know x the strength of the bond x their ability to provide. I must be that security for my family, and I want to provide it for my friends. Time to plan for it, guilt free.
"I'm always going to be skinny fat". I come from a family of soft belly vegetarians. Classic landowner / merchant-class Indians. Hard to get swoll without meat protein. Hard to get a flat stomach with a sweet tooth. Besides, gyms are boring.
But, being fit matters: A strong core makes all movement and sport easier, which'll keep you young as you age. Looking fit also matters: A flat stomach is a source of confidence. A good body makes all clothes look better. Looking good opens doors and greases paths.
This Halloween, I'd just watched Thelma and Louise, I saw my gf's white cowboy hat, and thought what a simple, cheap, and great costume Brad Pitt's iconic look would make. But, sixpack required...Well, the new story is that I can have one, and will by Halloween 2022.
I found an excellent vegan complete protein (complete is important, and most plant proteins aren't). I drink protein shakes for dessert. Greek yogurt and eggs for breakfast And I've found bouldering, Ido Portal's movements, slacklining, and dive bombers. It's happening.
"I'm not a runner" It's boring, my lungs can't handle it, my knees aren't strong enough... Well my knees hurt because I wasn't stretching, and my asthma is totally manageable, especially when my gut is healthy (just discovered this connection).
Once I decided I'd have a six pack by Halloween, and once I gave myself permission to start with short runs, it all changed. The quiet mental space, the body awareness, the micro adjustments, the time for podcasts...now I miss running on my off days. 8 miles a week in 2022.
"I don't tweet" Even as a lurker, Twitter has changed my life. It has reshaped my mind, shown me 10-100x investments, and connected me to huge opportunities. I'm a co-founder of @MavenHQ because I DM'd @gaganbiyani, who I didn't know.
Reading Twitter has been incredible, but writing is scary. Are my ideas any good? Do I have things to say? Doesn't matter. Flush out the bad ideas so new ones can emerge. Sharpen the skills by using them. Build on other's ideas. Start anywhere, and it'll lead to good places.
Realizing that I'm malleable, that I can observe, debug, and edit myself, and that adopting new fantasies and making them reality is not only possible but the path to life-changing fun and goodness has been, well, life-changing. And hey, look, I tweet now.