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In defense of the daily practice

It was more than six years ago now that I decided to stop having big events in my life. No more exams, interviews, presentations, that would deviate me from my daily routine.

The grand canyon wasn't the result of an earthquake, but of constant erosion over several years. Yes, occasionally, there will be a meteorite strike that causes immediate impact, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs in a mass extinction event, but most significant changes happen gradually, over time.

Especially so in our lives.

A handful of people do win the lottery, but nobody leads their life in the hope that they will win a lottery at the right time, every time. Instead, what works is the daily practice. The gradual build up of skills and potential.

It is tempting to think that a big act here and another big act there adds up to make a wholesome life and a series of lull periods in between is par for the course.

These are merely traps and distractions.

The daily practice, on the other hand, is like erosion. The immediate effects are negligible, but over time, something as impressive as the grand canyon will be the end result.

A one percent improvement each day.

"Enjoy the work, Kumar", my gym instructor tells me whenever he sees me struggling during a workout.

The key ingredient to the daily practice is enjoyment. When I used to do something in anticipation of a big impact event, like an exam or an interview, I could push through and put in more effort than I normally do by convincing myself that it is a one off and that I can relax once the big event was over.

But I got out of this fallacy.

It is a fallacy because, the moment I'm done with one big event, I already see another looming around the corner, leaving little room for relaxing. Besides, I wanted to get out of this life of extremes where I was either working very hard or not working at all. With big events coming thick and fast like a tropical monsoon, we run out of room to relax and begin to constantly sprint.

Until one day, when we fall off.

But the daily practice is different. Since it is something that I now do every single day in the hope of getting better than I was the previous day, it is a completely different ball game. There is no room for soaking up temporary pain. There is no scope to convince myself to go through short term pain.

Because there is nothing that is short term.

Everything is an addition to the lifestyle. Eating healthy, working out, writing a thousand words a day, writing a blog post a day, everything becomes a part of the routine and the lifestyle.

And what will result, is hopefully, something as grand as the grand canyon. If not, at least I'm enjoying each day.

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