Tiny Habits, as explained by Goscinny & Uderzo

If you’ve not heard about Dr. BJ Fogg or Tiny Habits, let me suggest this 800-word primer on the habit guru’s key principles. If you are struggling with an unambiguous definition of tiny, the masters Goscinny and Uderzo (and if these are new names to you, I won’t judge you but will exhort you to …

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On suppression vs dissipation of desire

My Jiddu Krishnamurti friend painstakingly reminds me that desire suppression is very different from desire dissipation. Between the two, the latter is desirable (pun intended) because suppression means it could always come back.. with a vengeance. Karmically speaking, there are some desires that must be consummated before they can be dissipated. Then there are other …

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Chipping away at FOMO

To add is human, to subtract divine. – Anonymous This weekend, I had two reasons to raise a celebratory toast. All my running friends were running Mumbai Marathon. When registrations opened 6 months ago, I wasn’t tempted. When they were talking about hotel bookings, I wasn’t tempted. In the last week of tapering, no whiff …

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When does a streak become a habit?

A conversation with a colleague years ago in Chicago. He: “Heard you started doing meditation?” Me (feeling rather smug): “Yeah. I took this class at Himalayan Institute 4 months ago and I continued after class got over. I may have acquired a life long habit.” He (with an ominous look): “Lifelong, eh?” Me: “Well.. I …

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Can you survive on 5 tabs?

Years ago I took a course on Effective Time Management. There were quite a few productivity hacks that I adopted (some permanently). However, his most controversial hack was to declare war on post-its. Still remember his words “Every time you return to your desk, those colorful little squares that you neatly arrange all around your …

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Getting healthy.. the slow way

“Nobody wants to become rich slowly.” – Warren Buffet Replace “rich” with “healthy” and the quote will still ring true. In late 2008, after 1.5 decades of asthma-free bliss, my top worry as I settled into Bangalore living was “how the heck would I manage in India’s asthma capital?“ My answer was to start running. …

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Quitting in the age of vaping

If vaping was a thing back in the early ’90’s, I seriously doubt I’d have quit smoking when I did. Not that it was easy. It took a year of umpteen failed attempts with quit streaks ranging from days to months. I still don’t know the precise reason why attempt #67 worked. Perhaps it was …

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Resetting habit defaults

We know adding good habits is hard. Stopping bad habits is harder.. though Sam Thomas Davies will have you believe it’s not impossible. Exercise every day? Good. Smoking? Bad. Eat vegetables? Good. Daily drinking? Bad. Sleep 7-8 hours daily? Good. What about the vast spectrum of decisions in between? Uber or Ola? Flipkart or Amazon? …

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Experiments in Tiny Habits

I once audited a class at Stanford. The year was 2007. I was in the midst of a startup (Graspr.com – an attempt to create a ‘howto slice’ of Youtube), yet I was intrigued enough to take that class. It was no ordinary class. Dr. BJ Fogg, a psychology professor and Director of the Stanford …

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The two jeans ten shirts man

The TJTS man drove a small car. Actually a very small car. A car described by his wife as “a kid’s toy car being driven even after he grew up”. The TJTS man liked his small car. He didn’t mind the stares, smiles and weird looks he frequently got at traffic lights. He didn’t know …

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