Each day I sleep with the guilt of not making my day productive but the next day I waste it again. I am getting depressed now. What should I do?

Each day I sleep with the guilt of not making my day productive but the next day I waste it again. I am getting depressed now. What should I do?

To win the race, you gotta be in the race…

Tanya Dixit: I was in the same situation a while back. I would come home from work, binge on Netflix, and get some 5–6 hours of sleep, before heading for work again.

And I did this for more than a year.

To top it all off, I was depressed too. I used to cry almost everyday, used to get anxious very easily, and was diagnosed with a mild case of OCD too.

Then one day I was discussing my future goals with a friend, and he asked me, “How do you think you’ll accomplish all you just told me?”

And I went blank. It hit me that I hadn’t actually made any plan, had never sat down and worked towards something. All I did was just daydream, and hope that my dreams somehow come true.

And then another realization hit me – “Will I ever be able to reach the goal, if I am not even working towards it?”

There is a quote, “To win the race, you gotta be in the race”

I asked myself, “Am I even in the race?”

And the answer was a resounding NO.

After that I analyzed myself for a day. I took off, sat in my room, and wrote down everything I wanted from my life. I reevaluated my goals, and wrote out the WHY – Why I want to do what I want to do. That was the first most important step.

After I had clearly defined my WHY, I moved on to my WHAT. What skills I need to learn to reach my goal? What mindset I need to develop? What are the technologies I need to learn?

Once I knew my WHY and my WHAT, the HOW was easy to figure out. I wanted to learn Machine Learning. I started looking for online courses, meetups, and books on this topic.

I followed people who regularly wrote about Machine Learning on Medium. I followed the Titans of this field on Twitter. I created an environment that will reflect what I was trying to learn.

I started talking about Machine Learning with friends, colleagues, and even my parents.

I became process oriented rather than outcome oriented. I started enjoying the process of learning, however difficult that was.

I used to talk to myself like a mentor would talk to me. I stopped myself from watching too much Netflix, or binge eating or anything that was not beneficial to my WHAT. I questioned all my negative thoughts and started reasoning out everything that was going on my mind using only ONE filter: “Is this beneficial to my goal?” If that thought was a result of fear or insecurity, I discarded it. If that thought helped me grow, and exposed my shortcomings, I worked on it.

I started reading books that were dense, difficult to read, but helped me push my limits.

I started pushing myself, and became my own worst critic, and my own cheerleader too.

Slowly, when these small changes pulled me out of my depression, and my stasis, I started to see possibilities instead of problems everywhere.

I started to feel good about myself, which inspired me even further.

Progress = Happiness -> As I started seeing progress, I was cured of my self-doubt, anxiety (to a certain extent), and my self-sabotaging behaviors.

Just remember, even if you do 1%, your progress compounds over a long period of time, and slowly you’ll get better at what you want to do. But if you are doing nothing, you are getting better at that too – doing nothing and being distracted.

I am still learning, but questioning myself, my own thoughts, has made all the difference for me.

You should watch this TED talk Unwavering Focus | Dandapani | TEDxReno It’s really good.

All The Best. Keep smiling..


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