Today could have been a bad day. But it wasn’t.
It started as usual, but with a slight fatigue (I didn’t sleep quite well, so got up a bit tired). Because of that, I decided to take a shorter route to the work place (which is, as always, a coffee shop). After I got there, it got crowded pretty fast, and a bit noisier than usual. I put on my earbuds and started a playlist. I was still not 100% in shape, so I started with the easier stuff.
In about two hours, I was caught up with the most important stuff for the day, but not all of it. Although I didn’t finish everything, I decided to take a few 5 minutes breaks to do some research or just browse through the very few newsletters I’m still subscribed to these days. Alternating these short breaks with 20 minutes work windows seemed to work pretty well, so by lunch I was all caught up.
At that moment I decided the day can unfold as usual, so I followed my normal routine: go home for lunch, keep working after lunch, and at the end of the day go out for some mild socializing around a couple of craft beers.
From the outside, it looked like a normal, maybe slightly wobbly day. A bit of a valley in the morning, but by noon everything ok.
But from the inside it was nothing like that.
There were at least 3-4 insertions points in which it could have take a very different path. The morning fatigue could have easily segued into a bad mood, without too much work. Even if I would overtake that, the short breaks after that could easily have stretched into a couple of hours of mindless browsing, which would have resulted in almost no work done.
And yet, none of that happened.
Any potential drawback simply didn’t manifest. And, as surprising as this may seem, there are only 2 things responsible for that: what I eat, and what I (try to) think.
I am very careful about these two activities. I may not write much these days about my eating habits, but I’ve been doing a lot of experiments in this area. From trying raw vegan diets way before it was cool, to intermittent fasting. I’m at an equilibrium point right now, where I don’t feel the need to experiment anymore. I found something that works for me, and I use it every day.
Similarly, I implemented a few changes related to how I focus, and that translates into some pretty fixed habits. I do yoga every morning, even if it’s just 15 minutes. I also try to keep a decent level of awareness during the day, so every potential slip into downward spirals is more or less managed.
Both habits are actively maintained: I refrain myself from mindless eating, and I keep my morning routine almost religiously.
So food and thoughts are under active control.
It’s like you’re driving a car, and the speed and momentum you can achieve are both linked to the quality of the fuel. It’s so fundamental, yet so easily overlooked. We would rather try and find exotic theories about why we can’t focus, or why we’re feeling tired, instead of just eating enough and training our mind.
You wouldn’t put bad fuel in your car, wouldn’t you?
Then why putting bad fuel in yourself?