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April 30, 2018

Push the boundary – expand your horizon

by unlockinsatori

 WhatsApp Image 2018-04-30 at 12.21.25 PM

All of us have our own self-drawn boundaries both physically and in the head…and there is the usual chatter in the mind… I have never done that, I can’t do this at this age… I am … years old, that’s unthinkable for me…

The interesting thing about pushing boundaries, once we push one boundary… transformation occurs in several another area of life.

For a 100 meters men’s race no one breached the 10-second mark for years (1910 to 1970) and once the same boundary is pushed to under 10 seconds in 1970, suddenly there is a barrage of people who cross that mark. The current record is by Usain Bolt 9.58 seconds…

It’s like many racers have been waiting for someone else to push that boundary, once the boundary is breached they are ready to push it, as it becomes within the thinkable reach of humanly possible.

On a personal note, It was not usual for me to drive across cities in India, I did most of my driving in the US. It was more of need-based driving purely within the city in India, and for some reason, I have not experienced the pure exhilarated fun of driving on the Indian highways.

When I relocated to Pune, I had to come to Hyderabad, the usual was a train or a bus/flight. Owing to the urgency of attending a family event, I had to drive with family from Pune to Bangalore.

And that’s it everything changed, I have not driven much on Indian Highways between 18 to 38 Possibly about 10–14,000 km in India (mostly city driving) and Once I started hitting the highway about 39.. in last 5 years I have driven 84,000 km in India…

So we are talking about an expansion in one area of our life, has a knock-on effect on several other areas… and once you cross a boundary which was earlier deemed impossible, slowly several other dimensions of your life starts to change.

How to move from the person knowing about people who have pushed the boundaries, or watching it on the news, to do it for yourself. I am sure you have your own boundaries, impossibilities never did that’.. can’t do this.. … a long list.

Here are the couple of ways to push your boundaries

1. Let’s say you are trying hard to hit that next level in your career, just try to push the boundaries of your own mind in a simple hobby, or pick up a new activity that you never did and start practicing it.

Example

  I started learning guitar when I was 40, I had a lot of discomforts initially as I was the oldest student in the class everyone else was teens or early 20’s… but I kept doing it and started loving it actually. And that aspect of overcoming my discomfort in one area, really helped me how I interacted with my leadership team at work. I gave them more freedom to take decisions in some areas which helped their teams (versus a series of several meetings to make a call, I took myself out of those decisions, as I told them any change you make, must result in improving some business outcomes the team achieved).

2. Making a simple change (could be temporary) in your life that is visible publicly…

Example

  get a funky haircut, get a tattoo.. change in style of garments you wear , choosing a different mode of transport than your usual, exposing yourself to new social circles. Where you push a boundary in your own mind and deal with the discomfort of facing it every day with people around you.

Personal Example 

 After 15 years of my driving in a car for my daily commute, I changed over to a bike.. a Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc/the bull

it was hard to make that choice, as I would have gotten any simple two-wheeler, a scooter… or a regular 100/150 cc lighter bikes available here in India, but I choose a 200kg … beast… the bull

I did have butterflies in my stomach for the first couple of weeks every time I ride on the bullet… is this right thing to do.. it is heavy… is it needed..at this age of 44…

Now let’s get into what happens when you do these couple of things…You are not just changing one aspect of life, it succinctly starts to change other aspects.. gradually …

After 4 weeks of driving a bike to work, I was able to get such a confidence and emotional high, now I relish riding the bull and really enjoy every moment spent on it, and look forward to it every day.

Dealing with the change… discomfort… … gradually building confidence in driving my bike has started influencing my other decision making, in several areas I was delaying earlier.

One of which is a family vacation of 10 days to Himachal Pradesh… While I do take two family vacations of about a week and shorter trips of 2 days several times a year… I was comfortable with driving in my car… As no bookings of travel, only booking the stay… … I have driven distances from 500 to 900 km very frequently with my wife and kids in the car (even when the kids were young almost a 1-year-old baby)

When It came to booking flights for a vacation, especially the whole thing of booking flights, hotels etc., 30–45 days in advance to get a good deal… was not my cup of tea…

The usual doubts of what if something comes up, oh flights too expensive… is it worth it, cant I experience the same fun of travel and rejuvenation going to any nearby hill station, beach or waterfalls within my zone of 400–500 km… without having to spend time, money and energy on booking the flight.

I got the bull on 1st March and 4th April I booked the flight tickets and made arrangements of stay to travel to Himachal Pradesh.

I used to work out 3 years ago, stopped due to a minor back and shin niggle and started working out in January… (right after I booked the Bull on 1st Jan 2018), as I wanted to look fit and strong on the Bull… My best lift was 100 kg/225 pounds, and in last 15 weeks I gradually reached up to 65kg/ 146 pounds (Jan-April 2018)… I never expected I would pull thru thus far… and now trying to meet my previous best… and actually, exceed it!!

I was never comfortable leaving my kids anywhere for an overnight stay, after a lot of internal struggle and discussions, I did leave them with grandparents for a week last year, and this year it is for 4 weeks…

I have been planning to take my wife out for vacation, just both of us… and was not able to do it after 14 years of our marriage, we got a chance to go out for 3 days to a nearby hill station… Just us…

All this happened between Jan2018 to April 2018… do I need to say more… a minor change in one area, pushing the boundaries in my own mind, of what am I capable of and actually unlocked several other bins in my head, to make many decisions, push the boundaries much faster than I ever made in my life.

So… don’t have to do a major reshuffle of things if you are not comfortable, start small… it could be just a minor change in how you do a small thing in your daily life…

Like I mentioned above, try making the simple change, in the way you commute, get a tattoo, take pottery lessons… learn French… whatever you have fantasized … these things are very small and simple to do, but then never do it. The self-chatter in your head would say, not possible to take out that time, it would not add up to what I am doing with my career now etc., This not only changes your mindset but also changes the perception that people have about you…

So continue to find a way to push your boundaries, any which way… your profession, workout…. relationship, any little thing… watching a different language movie… venturing out alone…

Lot of us fret being alone /travel alone just being with the self… as you tend to sink your head deep into our smartphone/tablet or a laptop to be able to be alone…. Learn to deal with it… as pushing the boundary of being in peace with the self.. alone … could push your boundaries on several other aspects of life…

Now I am going to reward myself for writing this article… off I go.. zoom on by Bull.. pure exhilaration… enjoyment… no bounds only Joy… connectedness togetherness

#Veijay.

 

 

 

 

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