I enter the mall excited. I imagine wearing my new Dri-FIT shirt, my slim-fit tracks, and my Air Epic Speed Tr II Nike shoes. I am running on the treadmill — as everyone stares at the shiny swoosh on my shoes. I imagine my walk with the new gym bag. I am deodorized in the fragrance of narcissistic smugness. Mirror mirror on the wall!
Make way, I need to wake up. This is Day 4. Actually, Day 1.
I can’t go to the gym like that. I had to shop for stuff, the tools. Once I had everything I needed, I was excited and new during my first week at the gym.
The second week was less exciting as my snooze button swung into motherly action; I still managed to go every alternate day. I went two days in the third week.
There was no fourth week.
Been there, done that? We all have at some point. It was okay when you were a kid. But, not so fun once you grow up. Because now you start to think about all the money you blew and Dad takes a dig at you just as you are waking up: “So, how was gym today? Will your shoes fit me?”
The mistake we make when we start something new is that we fall in love with the tools. That’s a sign that we are not in it for the right reason. Because if you want to know what you will really love doing, what you should fall in love with is the process. You go to the gym because you enjoy beating the resistance and the sweat in weird places and the aftermath next morning when you can’t decide which part of your body hurts more.
Because the shoe is a mere tool. Often, we don’t begin things because we think we don’t have the right tools. When I started writing, I thought I should get myself a MacBook.
Thankfully, the price required me to sell off a couple of kidneys and a part of my brain and hence I settled for my brother’s 8-year-old ugly-ass Dell. It’s one of the best tools I have used. Not because it made me a better writer or anything – as you can see – but it made me realize it’s the process that matters and what you write on hardly makes a difference.
You will never hear Piccaso attribute his art to the paint brand he used (he used common house paint). He drew on paper napkins as one famous legend goes. Tolstoy didn’t wait until moleskins came by before he wrote War and Peace. He wrote on scraps of paper.
A tool won’t make the process easy. It may help you suffer less. But that’s only once you are already on your way to mastery. The process is what always matters. It’s what will decide how long you will stay the course.
If tools were the solution, we would all be creating masterpieces, half-naked, showing off our ripped bodies.
1.The picture here is Jackson Pollock at work, painting; a mind-numbing process in itself. He used worn-out brushes, sticks and resin paint all his life.