Staying disciplined amidst flux

Staying disciplined amidst flux

Close your eyes. Imagine you were thirteen again. You wake up to a warm summer day. No plans. No care in the world. You’ve got a whole day ahead of you. What do you do?

It’s been two and a half weeks since I left my job. I don’t think you ever leave a place. In some ways, you’ve shaped the environment you’ve left. While I no longer work for the company, I’m sure I’ve left a lasting impact somehow. Whether it’s in the code I wrote, the ideas I’ve expressed, or the people I’ve touched, my spirit is still very much alive and present.

So, how’s it been so far? Different.

Without a job, every day feels like a new Phineas and Ferb episode. Whatever I feel like doing that day, I have the freedom to just do it (unexpected Nike ad). I’ve become a little more tuned to the varying degrees of creative energies within me. If I feel inspired to write, I’ll write. When I feel the need to code, I’ll code features for the product I’m currently working on. Sometimes, I’ll play the piano. Other times, I’ll read. I may even catch up with an old friend here and there. No more meetings around yesterday’s meetings. No more routine time-taker-uppers. This is what liberation feels like: spontaneity at its finest.

Leaving at a time like this has been one of the most challenging decisions in my life. The truth is, so far, it’s shown net positive effects. The event had reconnected me with old friends, while strengthening relationships at work to beyond just being colleagues. Previous senior leadership became allies instead of just bosses. The timing of it all had created a story. Most importantly, my work now offers a greater sense of fulfillment, since I’m now building my own dreams instead of someone else’s.

Paying for university taught me a very valuable lesson: that you have to commit to it since you’ve paid for it. It’s kind of the same thing now. I just paid for freedom instead.

So far so good though, right?

It’s been challenging. There were a few days where I felt uninspired. A few days where I felt unproductive. I’m trying to design, build, and market a product to eventually start making an income off of it. But where do I start? There’s so much to do and learn that just the thought of it can get overwhelming. But this is where discipline comes in.

My habits, as it turns out, have spilled over to my new life. Everyday, I have to exercise, meditate, and produce something, just as I did previously. Not because I want to, but because I have to. It’s the only way I’ll survive and stay sane. The very same habits had gotten me to this point, allowing me to build up the necessary courage to do what I did. By proof of induction, the very same habits will build up the necessary courage for whatever’s next!

Here’re the three goals I have to accomplish each and every single day to stay disciplined:

  • 💪 Lift
  • ❤️ Love
  • 🚀 Launch

While I intend to give a more in-depth dissection of this formula in upcoming posts, here’s an example to give you a better idea of what it’s all about:

💪 Lift: back + biceps
❤️ Love: caught up with a childhood friend over Thai food
🚀 Launch: new feature for CrowdParty

This simple formula allows me to stay disciplined while I slowly pick away at my dreams. No matter how rough it gets, at the end of the day, if we’ve taken care of our bodies, spent time with those we love, and contributed towards our ideas, then I’ve got a good feeling that we’ll be alright. Rinse and repeat, then succeed.

So for those who’ve been asking how it’s been like so far: let me tell you, I feel like I’m on summer vacation. 🏝

💵 Balance: $19,460

Speaking of which, I’ve launched on Instagram, a community where creatives, innovators, and philosophers alike can go and discuss how we can engineer our lives. Check it out and join the community!

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