How life has changed?
The early part of my life was relatively simple. My day consisted of just 3 or 4 activities.
- I woke up, washed, prayed, read Quran and got ready for school or work.
- At school or work just got on with the job. Focused on doing things efficiently and giving everything my 100% focus and very best effort. Help as many people as I could along the way.
- Go home practice Kung Fu, chill out with a few friends and watch sports such as football, boxing and cricket. On Saturday Match of the Day was a must. Every 4 years must watch Olympics and World Cup. Make sure do homework when at school.
This was my life for the first quarter of a century. It was simple and delightful. I remember feeling excited and looking forward to things in anticipation. I did not have high ambitions or any specific goals. I simply did my best and did not expect to move the world. During this phase, I got a PhD, bought a house, got married and had 3 amazing children, black belt in Martial Arts, got job with the largest company in Europe as a Research Scientist and felt content and happy. Always waking up excited and looking forward to the next day.
As time went by I started studying successful people and over analysing things. I started setting more and more goals, pushing myself harder, trying to improve myself, multitasking, parallel living, processing more information, computers and internet came. I thought these things will give me greater success, happiness and more money. By the end of the my to do list was longer than at the beginning of the day. It was like running on a treadmill and never coming to an end. If I achieved some goals immediately I set new ones. My satisfaction lasted a few hours and then I felt tension of the gap between where I was and where I wanted to go. Hard work, long hours, complex routine, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, office politics, worrying about other people, setting higher goals were normal routine and intense stress.
What was my routine?
- Wake up, quick shower and get in the car, have breakfast whilst driving and make calls.
- Get my To do list out and get going. It has 12 tasks on it.
- Task 1, tick.
- Task 2, tick
- Task 3, tick, —
- Task 12 tick
- Look at my to do list. “S–t, it has 24 task on it, they are all urgent, must be done today.
- Ok go home get on with the tasks”.
- Task 13 tick
- Task 14 tick, —
- Task 20, tick —
- Work harder, can’t sleep, must get them finished, don’t want to let people down, don’t want to look bad.
- Look at task list. I feel like I am going to die. I remember another half a dozen things I must do. Look at emails, I am behind on so many things.
- Make excuses for not completing the tasks. All lies. I feel like crap and such a fake.
This goes on for 30 years. I am so stupid. I never learn.
What did I achieve? Moved up the ladder at work, got a Chair in Nanotechnology, published numerous books, supervised over 70 PhD students, 500 research papers, my kids grew up (Oh no, where did the time go? I am lucky at least my wife did not take eyes off her the ball and focused on kids. At least they are healthy and balanced) and health problems.
My new routine.
- Wake up, pray, read Quran and have breakfast and get ready for work. Meditate for 15 minutes.
- Get on with the job. Do the best you can. Give it 100% focus and best effort. Try to help as many people as possible. Be kind and wherever you go and whoever you meet give your gift of extreme happiness and be grateful for everything.
- Go home. Do whatever you want. Watch sport, spend time with friends and family. Exercise and watch what you eat. Pray and meditate for 15 minutes and go to sleep feeling grateful and extremely happy for whatever happened – good or bad.