21 days. A lockdown that I desperately needed. An enforced opportunity to just sit back, think, re-evaluate and plan.
This period of stillness has taught me that quiet is good. With my life as a whole, I have been pondering what I should do next.
What do I know?
What am I good at?
What am I happy doing?
Would I be successful?
I recently came across the Japanese concept of ‘Ikigai’. It propagates finding the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing. It is their mantra for a long and happy life.
I recently wrote my first novel, a work of fiction in the crime-thriller genre. I took things that upset me deeply and fictionalised it. I loved the process. Over the last month or so, I have been working on my second book. When the ‘Lockdown’ started, I decided that this was my big opportunity. I want to be a good writer.
Today, I realise that in nine days:
I finished my second book.
I watched multiple ‘Masterclass’ sessions with great writers.I finished reading four books by authors that I admire.
I took e-lessons on how to write a screenplay. I foster dreams of being a great screenplay writer someday.
I have now begun writing my first screenplay based on my book, Myla: Insurrection.
I listen to great music every day — Latin, Rock & Roll, some Pop, some Blues. Genres that I love. Songs that make me happy.
I also watch and admire my wife as she learns how to play the piano again.
I have spoken to my family and friends more in the last nine days than in the last many years, engaging in all manner of conversations and having a good laugh. With all of this, I still manage to get in an afternoon nap.
We need to keep ourselves busy, our minds occupied. Most importantly, we need to stay happy. ‘Ikigai’ has become something that I want to embrace. Imbibe.
Take care of yourself, stay happy and most importantly, stay indoors.
Rao is the author of the book, Myla: Insurrection