Monday, September 19, 2016


10 days for the challenge is up and it's been an interesting experience.The best part of the challenge was setting aside some time in each day to delve deep into my own mind and heart. It was scary, it was fun and it definitely gave me direction.

My favorite challenge day would be the first day itself - it was downright scary and tough jumping into the deep end and then sharing my innermost thoughts with the world. The biggest takeaway I've had from doing the challenge has been to break down my work bursts into 25 minute blocks and also not to be afraid to dream big.

What am I doing to make my freedom plan a reality - everything!!! Now it's just a matter of keeping focus and be persistent in going after my goals. Will I continue the blog - I haven't made up my mind yet and will leave the answer till a later time.

Overall I'd highly recommend you to try out the 10 Day Blog challenge and you'll surprise yourself with what you find.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The world is my oyster

The idea of location independence is something that captivates each and everyone of us. Travel the world and not have to worry about the money - sounds good, doesn't it? My view on things are slightly different in the sense that I love what New Zealand has to offer and I can't imagine being away from it for looking periods of time. My sense of independence would come from being able to travel and explore the world atleast 2-3 times a year with New Zealand as a base.

Now how would I make a living while traveling or what would I do while on an exotic holiday that would contribute to my ability to make a difference in my professional life and make a living. The charm of screenwriting is that it can be done anywhere in the world - all you need is your iPad and a cafe but that's not gonna make me money in the short run. Exploring the place and being open to people and new experiences is what would enrich the inner life, that in turn translates to writing stories with depth.

The other thing I'd do is explore the various fitness options and Crossfit gyms that are available in the place I'm visiting and see what they've got to offer. During that time I'll film a story about the gym, people there and gain perspective on what makes them unique. If I invested in a laptop I could edit as I went and put the stories up for the world to see.

Will it make me money straight away - I don't know but in my current view that's a great first step towards achieving total location independence. Ultimately I'd love to do what Stefan Sagmeister does as per his TED Talk. 

What do you think?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Adventure and Fun

Today is supposed to be a day of fun and adventure on the Blog Challenge but it's a work day and there was no time left for an adventure. But in a way I already completed the challenge yesterday which was so much fun and very fulfilling.

The day started off with me opening the Crossfit gym, writing up the workout for the day and then coaching my first couple of classes. It was exhilarating and fun being able to implement lessons I learnt over the course of the week from Andy - the owner-head coach.

Once the classes were done, I got my own workout in as I waited on some of the members to finish up with their open gym time. It was followed straight with a lunch catch up with my friends Glen, Una and Zoe, at one of my favorite cafes.

A small afternoon nap later I spent some time reading 'How Champions Think' by Dr. Bob Rotella. I tied up FaceTime session for this morning with my sister and also sorted out training time for today with one of my Crossfit friends.

A quick chat with my mom on WhatsApp rounded up the evening, before I finished uploading a fitness video that I'd edited to FB and then I spruced myself up and went out to Belinda's surprise birthday party.

Eating, sharing stories and memories with close friends from the old Crossfit gym was a perfect end to a great day.

Here's to many more of these awesome fun days in the coming future.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Life overwhelms us with so many paths and options and temptations that sometimes we come to a real stand still. I think my barrier is trying to do too many things at the same time.

So for the next 30 days, I'll meditate for 5 minutes every day to calm down my mind and find my focus and priorities. One of the things I'll incorporate into the process is listening to Buddhify - an app that helps in being more mindful. Is it a perfect action for finding my center- I don't know but will find out in a month's time.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tribal Nature

We are tribal by nature and I’m lucky that I’ve recently found an awesome coach in Andy Rodgers – the owner and head coach of Southern Latitude Crossfit. He has created an awesome tribe at the gym and I’m fortunate enough to be part of the magic.  There are a couple of other individuals who I consider to be my heroes and would love to be part of their tribe as well and learn from them.

Susanne Bier is an amazing director, who’s made some amazing films like ‘After the Wedding’; ‘Brothers’; Oscar winning ‘In a Better World’ - to name a few and also the more recent TV series ‘The Night Manager’. Her movies have an emotional heart while also being critical and financial successes.  I’d love to learn the secrets of the craft from her and how she manages to find the balance between commercial and art. The second question I’d love to know is how she brings such morally complex characters to life in a balanced way.

My second hero that I’d love to learn from is C.J.Martin – the owner and head coach at Crossfit Invictus. He’s created an amazing community that’s also been producing world class athletes and teams over the past 10 years. I was fortunate that I managed to have a very brief conversation at Crossfit Games this year and the thing that came across loud and clear is that he cares for his athletes and is aware of the bigger picture. Thing I’d love to learn from him is how has been able to create a successful and close knit community? And how he’s been able to sustain and build his business over an extended period of time and what's his 'Why?'
Here's to crossing paths with them one of these days.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

25 mins and counting down

Success plans are tricky business because we start our days with the best of intentions and then it goes downhill as the enormity of the task overwhelms us. Today's blog challenge video really simplifies the task into something that makes it achievable.

I'm usually a stickler for planning ahead and Google calendar is a close friend of mine. The thing that's been missing has been breaking my 'productive freedom time' has been mismanaged because of scheduling in long chunks of time and that usually leads to lot of lag time.

Refining on my plan - from now on the work loads are going to be in 25 minute blocks for the 2 hours a day that I've available when I'm not 'working'. My ideal place for working on my script is a cafe as it takes me into work mode straight away. The first 2 blocks are going into writing atleast one page of script - anything more and that's a bonus.

The 2 remaining blocks are for study and research related to my core interest areas like fitness, coaching, Crossfit. If there's a small edit project going on then both the blocks will be devoted to the edit. In all the said cases, I like reading and working from the comfort of my bedroom and need to make sure that the work station is kept tidy and clutter free.

What happens when I'm traveling? The 2 blocks for script writing become easier and the remaining 2 blocks get devoted to understanding the local market and local audience in terms of story consumption as well as fitness trends.

This blog took me about 25 minutes to write and seems like I'm subconsciously already implementing the new plan.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Here cometh Kindman

"Unbreakable" - one of M. Night Shyamalan's movie is a movie that captivated me when it was released because of the way it dealt with couple of normal guys dealing with their ability aka superpower. All of us have our own abilities and the key is delving deep to find out what those sore and that's part of today's "10 Day blog challenge".

What are my superpowers? The list is based on what I believe are my strengths and what a couple of people who know me closely have pointed out to me.

Kind: My first superpower is kindness and I like to understand the other person's point of view. Seeing the world through someone else's eyes is a blessing. Jogging my memory back to school days, I've always been to quick to jump in to help out and that's a trend that's continued to the day. Sometimes I feel that it's detrimental to me as it supersedes my own want in that particular moment and it can be frustrating. At end of the day I feel better for having made the journey easier for someone other than me.

Loyal: Once you've got my trust you've got to do something unbelievably silly to break my confidence and loyalty to you. This also translates into not compromising on my personal and professional integrity - no matter what the cost.

Tenacious: Proactive and persistent are couple of words that always come up when someone describes me and it'd be hard for me to refute those words. When something needs to get done- it needs to get done and there's no two ways about it. I'm good at initiating projects and making sure they reach completion by finding the most efficient way possible, even when sometimes they take longer than planned for.

Now to find a happy intersection where I can get people to pay me for using my superpowers. ;-)

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Perfect Day

What would a perfect day look like for me? What does my mind see?

I wake up to the beautiful smile of my wife and give her a big hug. I'm grateful to the universe for it's blessings. We get out of bed and do a 20 minute stretching and mobility exercises together before getting the day started. I head over into the kitchen and make myself a protein shake and  then walk over to the study lounge that's got uninterrupted views of the ocean and close the door behind. The room is free of clutter and I sit down on the desk for an uninterrupted hour of work - whether it be script or planning or mapping out future work strategy.  My wife has her own  retreat space that she uses for her work.

Once the hour is up I change into my workout clothes and head down the corridor into the Crossfit gym. The music is pumping and the first class is halfway through. The members for next class are streaming in, so I mobilize and socialize with them before doing the class with them. After the class is over, I head into the coaches office space to check in with the coaches if there's any operational things that have come up over the past day or week and the follow ups. I delegate the duties based on their skill sets and roles, before heading back into the house for a shower.

After the shower I get into the kitchen and make breakfast for my wife and myself. We catch up over breakfast on what we've got planned for the evening - whether it be family time, socializing with friends or a date night. The next 3 hours are spent at the gym, working on the business future and making myself available to the staff for any business related matters. After the midday class is complete, all of us at the business head over to the gym's cafe for lunch. It's a ritual that everyone enjoys as it's filled with laughs. It's something that's been factored into business costs right from inception.

I head back into the house for another ritual - a short nap. 30 minutes later, I head back into my work retreat space to spend a similar hour to the morning but this time focusing on media related work. The next hour is devoted back to any meetings or catch ups related to creative or business work. After a quick change, I walk over into the gym again - this time to coach a class for teenagers. The class is packed and it's usually 2 other coaches and me who run the class, so that everyone gets proper attention. This class is a loss leader but works great for creating a vibrant community and goodwill while also building future athletes and in turn creating a long term relationship with them that will keep sustaining the business through future generations.

Based on what's planned for the evening with my wife, I'll either stay on after the teens class to attend a specialist skills class or head back into the house to spend rest of the time with my wife and carry on with social events.

I'll sign off  this vision share here even though I could go on for a fair bit as I'm only up till about 4.30pm on this vision. That would make for a very long read.

Needless to say I'm already feeling really grateful to the universe for taking care on me.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Finding my Why?

Why do we do what we do? Couple of years back I was fortunate enough to have been in an accident, which had me off from all active thinking and work for a couple of months and gave me a chance to reflect on what's important to me in life and what does it mean to be free.

First and foremost is Family. Part of my family is in India and other part of family is in USA and for me freedom means being able to plan my overseas travel to visit them or travel with them. It's the driving factor for all my decisions.
Traveling with mom and dad in Thailand
With uncle, aunt, sister, bro-in-law, nephew and niece in San Diego 
Freedom for me also means spending my creative energy to bring stories to life that explore relationships and cultures. Empathy let's us experience the world through someone else's eyes and get to the essence of humanity and what makes us tick as people. So telling stories ties into my love for understanding people and gives me an added drive to travel and explore new cultures.
Happy place - working on stories at a cafe
This view never gets boring - except during turbulence ;-)
Smile is the universal language when you can't speak to each other
Exploring places to see how we interact with our past
And finally freedom for me means being able to help people on their fitness journey. Fitness saved my health as a young kid and it also helped give me a discipline that was missing before that. I fell off the bandwagon during my 20s and saw the detrimental impact it had on me. Discovering fitness again through crossfit and feeling stronger and fitter than ever has also renewed my passion to enable people to become healthier version of themselves and find their fitness path. And hoping that my actions would inspire my family and friends to take better care of their health.

Capturing what I love about fitness - the drive to improve
In an ideal world - I'd love to combine travel, storytelling, fitness and family time into one nice little synergistic ball. This is my 'Why?' - what's your?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life is a challenge (and an opportunity)

The opportunity to take part in 10 Day blog challenge came up and I figured that a 15 minute investment a day is easy enough to commit, to find ways to improve my life. Cue shock and horror when the first day's challenge - this blog post - is to list 2-3 challenges I think I'm facing right now and put it out in the open. Gulp!!!! It's scary as shit but here goes 1st day of the challenge.

1) Creative headwinds: Those of you who don't know me- I'm a filmmaker, who has made couple of independent feature films - that were relatively successful in their time. I've also had setbacks on couple of projects that folded in various stages of development. Through the years, I've kept pushing myself because of my innate self belief of my skills as a filmmaker. But besides a few close industry friends who believe in my talent, I haven't been able to attract even a dollar of official funding.

The current feature film script that I'm working on has been 4 years in the making and I've got this massive fear based on last couple of experiences that the movie might never see light of the day for factors out of my control - like lack of funding. It's a challenge to keep ignoring my fears and to keep focusing on the immediate task at hand - which is to make sure that the story I'm trying to tell flows together nicely.

2) Relationships: This is an even more scarier one for me to write as I'm very guarded when it comes to sharing my private emotions. My ratio of heartbreaks to deeply fulfilling relationships is skewed in favor of the former. Those two factors combined with my 'fish out of water' personality (literally and figuratively) means that my last relationship was 2 years back, when my then-girlfriend called it off. The question that lingers, in back of my mind, how will I attract the right girl, if I'm now so afraid of rejection and heartbreak that I'm not letting my guard down.

If you have any words of advise or suggestions to help me tackle my current challenges comment below or drop me a line.