My recent stoic assignments
- #28 to make – I came across these 28 daily creative project ideas that were sent to my inbox daily in the month of February of 2016 to help me get back in the habit of creating and honing my craft as a creative. A commitment for 28 days to create a habit of being able to create every day. These assignments were sent in the month of February – #28tomake. These daily stoic assignments were done in the pursuit of Deep Work and quitting social media slowly.
“To be great at something is to be well myelinated.” – Cal Newport
Every day without fail in February I pursued these assignments which helped me to cultivate myelin, in time that is what insulates neurons in my brain which is essential to improve on any skill or be great at something. As a result, the electric impulses flow powerfully and more consistently if one deliberately practices a skill. In this case, it was photography – iPhone photography. I wanted to experiment with the idea put forth by Chase Jarvis “The camera is the one in your pocket.” No matter what happened, I posted them on my Instagram profile with the objective in mind to be doing things right rather than doing the right things, Newport states this rule in one of his other books So Good They Can’t Ignore You.
2. Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team.
With these micro stoic assignments, I was committed to imminent deadlines on Monday mornings with the objective to capture the assignments over the weekend. In addition, I saw a great opportunity to be featured on the Instagram blog. I, still to this date, look forward to these micro-assignments every Friday afternoon.
Photos captured by yours truly –
3. Key Takeaways – Stoicism and Tiny Habits
Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge and that the wise live in harmony with the divine reason that governs nature and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.
I stumbled upon stoicism in the latter half of 2016, a year which has been an eventful year as you know it. I was rooting or in search for a philosophy that speaks to the mind in an objective manner. Stoicism known for its proponents and applications helps practicing misfortune, training perception, realizing life is ephemeral and cages the monkey mind. Check out Stoicism 101 by Tim Ferris. A philosophy that I am more dwelling into by reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, another author I admire.
Pondering on this quote from the book (Pictures by yours truly) –
I participated in TIFFxShorts Festival in 2016 and 2017 capturing the cultural landscape of Toronto and reflecting on things I learnt. I came across a fascinating concept, Tiny Habits, via Ramit Sethi’s interviews with his mentor BJ Fogg. For more than year of doing the WHP assignments, I noticed the massive improvement in my craft as a storyteller, the unique engagements and the opportunities I received. For example, A passion project The Man and his 98% – Water Exploitation crisis based on this concept and in-depth research on the water crisis by our team was recently acknowledged by an A list director Shekhar Kapur on his Instagram account. He has a great body of work. One of my favorite movies Mr. India and Bandit Queen was created by this guy. Thanks to the universe for closing the loop and shoutout to my two online mentors, Sethi and Fogg respectively.
The climax of the series ended on Tiny Habits as a solution to change behavior of people taking long showers around me. Macro problem with micro solution.
Another positive outcome was a year long writing a feature film script, through a connection we were able to land a meeting with another A list director in the Indian Film Industry a.k.a Bollywood. Our hardwork finally paid off when it generated interested and when he personally emailed our team that he was interested in reading the script further. Fortunately and unfortunately, his benchmark for a script is at 150 drafts. We had approached him with 20 polished pages with 7 drafts, an outline and a lookbook (saved the day to be honest by having something to show visually). However, now that we were happy to climb Mt. Everest, that was meeting him, we were quickly given a reality check when we reached the peak of the mountain – there are more mountains to climb.
Tiny Habits is a term coined by BJ Fogg, who is the director at Persuasive tech Lab in Stanford University where he talks about behavioral change. He believes only three things will change our behavior in the long term – Epiphany, Changing Your Environment, and taking baby steps aka Tiny habits. Simply put, creating an epiphany is difficult, but other two are practical solutions in changing our behavior.
These three part 1 minute short mini series was a result of our 2000+ words blog research and the team’s specialization in media production and communications.
- ‘Option A – Have an epiphany’ refers to a moment of sudden revelation or insight. For example, here is a moment of insight from behind the scenes of our film ‘Ch1. If These Trees Could Talk’ on what epiphany is, well explained by dir. Akhil Khithani.
- This is ‘Option B – Changing your environment’ whats surrounds you.
For example, Jadav Payang. Majuli in 1979 was a barren wasteland with high erosion rates that inspired our subject on a revolution to save the place where he was born. Payang took upon himself on taking action and has been planting since then. The forest now is bigger than central park. A sister-project with the talented @sorabh.sharma33 and @hansraj_raj on our next venture – a feature film.
- This is ‘Option C, taking baby steps. a.k.a. Tiny Habits.’ For example – Ogalalla Aquifier will be 001 Feet deep in 2040. What tiny/ micro habit can you apply right now to save water? Watch end till of the clip for solution and let me know what you think.
I’m thrilled about what the future holds for us. And look forward to upcoming adventures. Please check it out and let me know how think in the comment section below.
- Newport, C. Deep Work, P.28
- Aurelius, M. The Thoughts of The Emperor Marcus Aurelius, p.124
- It Takes 28 Days To Make Or Break A Habit, https://www.creativelive.com/courses/28-to-make
- Ferris, T. Stoicism 101 – A practical guide for entrepreneurs
- Fogg, B.J., Tiny Habits.com