I got some games in my office laptop. The best among them is Asphalt 8 : Airborne. Once in a while I log in and drive cars to my heart’s content. Video games can be considered microcosm of our lives (not all of them!) and no matter whatever is happening around us, we can never lose inside a video game. Well, it seems like you can but technically, you can’t. You have a magical replay button that gives you another shot at it and you are just back in the game, almost instantly.
I am so guilty of grossly abusing this replay button on video games. For instance, if I am at a stage like this, I would probably hit the replay button without even completing the race. Of course, I want my perfect fresh start. 🤷
So the race just started and I am at a last place due to a wrong turn. I am so tempted to restart the race and make a perfect start.
I don’t know why but I continued playing this match and subsequently this lead to one of my phenomenal epiphanies.
Emotional about the start
We have this habit of starting perfectly. I mean, we make new year resolutions, wait for the next Monday or sometimes just decide to play a random car racing game for 12 minutes because it is 1:48 PM. After all, a job well begun is half done. Right?
I think we all took this small adage a bit too far and completely distorted it. It had become more of an excuse to procrastinate. Tell me, how any day or any hour is different from the present one and I might try to pursue your argument further. Sadly, it doesn’t stop at this. This behavior transforms and seeps down into other areas of our lives unannounced. For example, people who are on some kind of diet program but indulge heavily during the dinner time simply because they had a an extra cookie somewhere in the morning. So essentially, they went a bit off road and now since the day is already wasted so why not drive royally into this guilt ridden wilderness. According to them, they could always start next day, it is just a matter of time.
Now imagine, you bought a white plain linen and you got it stained with an ink blotch. Are you going to wash it down or throw it away? Obviously the rational choice is to look beyond the small stain and realize that the linen is far too valuable to be thrown away just for this blotch. Surprisingly, this natural realization seems grossly unnatural in the face of our daily activities. Finding a perfect beginning can be closely associated with perfectionism. A lot of times, it is not required and could be counter productive. Just think about all those small stories that you didn’t complete because you were waiting for a divine inspiration to produce a remarkable work. I would say, anything creative is better than nothing at all. So while you were searching for your perfect start someone else had started progressing with their wobbly feet and they would reach there. Perhaps before you even decide to put your pants on.
I like to lift. I do it 6 times a week and I am really particular about the consistency here. But it is all easy to do when you are fully charged. I realized this, when I had a weird Deltoid strain and was not feeling particularly happy about it. It is pretty natural to have thoughts of skipping the training because it is better to take rest rather than over exerting a strained muscle. But if show you my training plan for that day, you will realize I was just searching for my Restart button.
Except for the encircled exercise, there is almost no engagement of the strained muscle.
Yeah, so it was basically my leg day with just a single exercise that was affected due to that strained muscle. But you see, my perfect plan was ruined and I had the feeling of staining my white linen with a curry stain. I was really tempted to skip my workout that day, essentially to throw away the entire linen. How conveniently this innocuous habit of starting a new game every time something unexpected happens had seeped deep inside my psyche. But it isn’t easy to find the replay button always.
This was a very curious case, of creating false inter dependencies and disregarding the atomic nature of daily transactions. Clearly, there was just one exercise that I had to skip that day because rest all could have been performed independently of the affected muscle. They were just like atomic transactions and should have been perceived as such. But it is this attraction of to win it entirely all or lose it all together that makes us really myopic and we could not notice that small street that leads to adaptability.
Cutting it down, not erasing it
Our lives are just a string of unexpected events (And some events which fell into place, unexpectedly). Therefore we often start on a wrong foot, the moment we start defining our perfect start. There would always be this temptation to undo everything and start fresh. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. Rather than an easy, emotional and rash decision it is always helpful to visualize our progress towards a task as fragmented as possible. Until you are truly blocked on a path and there is no other path to tread, don’t wait for any cosmic intervention.
It is okay to falter and proceed imperfectly. The important part is to go till the end without worrying too much about the mess in middle. Nobody will judge you long enough for it. Essentially, resist this feeling of hitting Replay again and again. You can’t plan your life like a 2 hour long edited movie. So accept this fact gracefully.
As far as I am concerned I went for that leg workout (Don’t skip legs, please!)
So I raced till the end. I didn’t win or maybe I did. 🏆