It all started last year in the month of March. Imbued by a video on YouTube, I took a challenge on myself to perform 300 push-ups a day for two weeks. That was supposed to be a one-time thing. I never knew the process was going to change my life forever.
I had seen the video (aforementioned) in the month of February 2016, and then I dedicated an entire month to prepare my body to sustain 300 push-ups every day. The reader can get an idea of the degree of preparation from the idea that I could hardly perform 3 or four consecutive push-ups in a set, and at max hit a cumulative total of 30 over the entire day.
Ergo, the challenge that I had posed myself with was a pretty big one. So, I would go running over 2 KMs every day with my athlete friend, Rohit Prajapati. I would practice pushups with varied positions of my hands with altering degrees and also try various other exercises to bolster the endurance of my back, chest and triceps specifically.
And, backed by that month long preparation, I sustained through and accomplished not just two weeks but, back to back 20 days performing 300 pushups. In fact almost a month after that I even broke the 450 countdown for a day.
That was the greatest feat I had accomplished in my life hitherto then. Not my education and academic accomplishments but this physical accomplishment are what I call my grandest feat ever. And, here is why I say so!
The course of transforming from a person who could hardly perform 3-4 push-ups in a set I had grown to perform up to 40 push-ups in a single set. This taught me that one never knows their real capability unless they break the shell of comfort they have built around themselves and experiment and explore.
This challenge had left me brimming with a booming confidence as I had now learned another very crucial lesson about life. We often tend to say things like, “I am not capable of doing a certain job. I am not meant for this. It’s too tough for me.”
People giving up and succumbing to the challenges of life with such demeaning thoughts is perhaps not unknown to anyone of us. And, after fruition of the challenge I had partaken, I learned that it’s a fallacy!
Unless you try a thing, you can never harbinger if you are meant for it or not. One must get their hands dirty at something, to really know their capabilities pertaining to that particular aspect or domain of life. The experience taught, ingrained and gestated in me the attitude of trying before reaching the conclusion whether I can do a certain thing or not.
And, parsing my experience of trying sundry activities and habits over the past year (Some of which are mentioned later in this post) that I otherwise would have given up on at once, I can proudly say that there are hardly a bunch of things that you cannot accomplish in life- Given you prepare for it and work hard to be worthy of the accomplishment.
I learned to never say those vicious belittling words again which had sapped me of various great opportunities that I could have benefitted from.
And, then came another great benefit that I derived from this experience. Imbued by the great lessons I had learned and discoveries I had made about myself, I decided to regularly take up certain challenges which would push me off my comfort zone, help me discover my sequestered capabilities, interests and abilities, and also help me develop life-enhancing habits.
And, that was the advent of transformation that I today refer to as My Reinvention. And, the reinvention that began back then, has never stopped and will never stop. That is because there is always scope for improvement and to glean more greatness on one’s name once you have achieved something. The positive transformation must never stop.
Anyway, now I would like to share various challenges that I took over this course of the past year (Not in a definite order)-
Vocabulary Boosting Challenges-
- Add 150 words to vocabulary in a month. (Accomplished twice.)
- Add 200 words to vocabulary in a month.
- Add 300 words to vocabulary in a month. (Accomplished twice.)
- Add 300 words to vocabulary in a month with another person in tandem. (Ongoing)
- 300 push-ups a day for two weeks.
- 300 push-ups a day for twenty days.
- 300 push-ups a day for a month.
- 450 push-ups a day for two weeks.
Eating Habits Challenges-
- No fried food for a month.
- No canteen food for a month. (Successively extended to three months later.)
- No aerated/cold drink for a month. (Successively extended to 11 months & soon to accomplish a year in May.)
Social & Gratitude Challenges-
- Say thanks to at least three people a day for a month.
- Call three people every day and make them smile for a month.
- A letter a day for a month to some celebrity or renowned personality who inspired me in one way or another. (Ongoing)
- Write ten ideas a day on any subject/topic for two weeks.
- Write ten ideas a day on any subject/topic for a month.
- Write average one answer on Quora a day for three months.
- Write average two answers on Quora a day for a month.
- Write two answers on Quora a day for six months. (Ongoing)
- Write minimum 500 words a day for a month.
- Write minimum 2,000 words a day for a month.
- Save Rs.15 a day for a month by cutting expenses. (Extended and accomplished for a year.)
- Save Rs.30 a day for a month by cutting expenses. (Ongoing)
- Read 30 pages of a book a day for a month.
- Read 50 pages of a book a day for a month.
- Read 5 Newspaper editorials and 50 pages of a book a day for a month.
Better Living Challenges-
- No gossip for a month.
- Wake up by 6:30 am for a month.
- Wake up by 5:00 am for a month. (Ongoing)
- No social media for a month. (Accomplished twice.)
- Fifteen minutes of deep breathing meditation a day for a month.
There are various challenges that I took and failed to accomplish. Out of a little shame, I didn’t have the guts to share those maybe. But, once I accomplish those, I would definitely write about them as well when the right time comes.
But, talking of the sundry challenges that I have aforementioned, I have only one small thing to say- Those transformed my life. I was a mess. Perhaps I still am. But, I a lot less of a mess than I used to be, and that matters a lot when I look back at my life.
Back then, I used to feel pity for myself, but the outlook of self which I gained from these challenges about my abilities have absolutely changed the way I think of myself. There is no room for pity anymore as I am too busy chartering a path to actualize the greatness I aspire.
The sole intent behind writing this post was to share the experience of how one challenge led to a myriad of others and ultimately transformed my life for the best. And, if a person like me could have managed to glean so much of abundance in just a year, everyone can. In fact, I believe if I could have experienced so much of goodness, every other person breathing on this planet deserves much more than that.
So, take a challenge in your life today. Something you otherwise would not have dared to accomplish otherwise but would have loved to be capable of. Who knows what new side of yours, you may discover in this run!
Ah! I forgot to mention above, I just began a new challenge today. It’s to take myself out on a date with myself every two weeks for six months. I know it sounds kooky and strange. I mean, the reader must be scratching the head thinking, “How can someone go on a date with themselves?”
Well, that’s a secret for now. I’ll be dwelling and elucidating more about that challenge in the times to come sharing what it’s all about and what benefits I envisage to reap from it. I wonder why I am even writing about it then! Maybe because this post has reference to all my ongoing challenges.
Anyway. Don’t forget the basic motto that I have tried to underscore in this post. Keep pushing off that comfort zone until there is no defined limit to your potential and greatness. Make it large!