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When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity. - Haruki Murakami

Rhythm and repetition in daily life while in the act of creation allows for the input that our mind has taken to find a quiet room to be analyzed, processed and consolidated. Rhythm and repetition, shunts out novelty. Novelty threatens to overpopulate and overstimulate the brain, disallowing the mind to digest what it has swallowed. Discipline is like fasting that allows the brain to empty itself out and form nutrients. As in fasting, where a few healthy ingredients are carefully chosen to be ingested, its important that we choose healthy habits while processing our minds of its food.

One can find happiness in the most debilitating situations and sadness in the best of situations. Most situations are neutral and our feelings of happiness or sadness a choice. We choose to be cynical at the cost of genuine happiness.

pessimism holds a special place in our hearts. Pessimism isn’t just more common than optimism. It also sounds smarter. It’s intellectually captivating, and it’s paid more attention than optimism, which is often viewed as being oblivious to risk - Morgan Housel (Psychology of Money)

Maybe we have just chosen to look smarter than be happier. Looking smarter gets us more attention and we all crave attention from time to time in various ways. We could inquire what gives us more lasting mental peace though, from time to time.

An artist I knew sometime back would always work on multiple artworks simultaneously. He would tell me that in his break from one painting he would work on the other, allow it to physically dry and perceptually harden in his mind.

When we work on a particular task there is a set amount of neuronal activity that is taking place and a bunch of neurons lighting up in our brains. Our feeling of getting stuck is probably our need and inability to move beyond this set bunch. Thats where breaks come into picture.

A break need not be whiling away time or sitting empty. Most times the best breaks are the ones that include set tasks as they take you a good distance away from your primary task and engulf you into a new world of neurons somewhere far away. Picking up that guitar, organizing a small corner of your room, tending to your plants, etc. can feel much more rejuvenating as such. One can even pick up a mundane task that requires less effort to be executed in a break. (Probably something my artist friend would do)

The idea is to engulf yourself in another world without draining your energies down so that you can return to your primary task rejuvenated.


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