It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog. I originally started this blog back in 2020 as a way to start over and become the best version of myself, and I’m so thankful that I did start this blog because so much has changed since 2020. I ran my first half-marathon, started an international book club, released a song, won a national business competition, met tons of new people, rekindled some old friendships, and even started my PhD in biomedical engineering. However, despite all the external accomplishments, I still felt somewhat empty. It’s as if I was changing, but not really growing. At least, I didn’t feel like I grew that much. I did a lot of new things, felt proud of my accomplishments, and just went right back into coasting. Luckily, a good friend of mine helped me realize that I wasn’t the person I really thought I was and that I should put in the work to try and be the person I first wrote about in this blog back in 2020.
I’m really excited to be back blogging and documenting the things I learn. I hope that you guys can join me each week so we can all grow as we go. This time around, I think I’m going to be incorporating conversations from experts, my friends, and really, just dive much deeper into topics that I think are most important for the current phase of my life.
Thanks for tuning in.
P.S I felt like writing a post just to say that my life has been all over the place and that I’m back to blogging was kind of lame. Below are some of my recent random reflections.
1.Is change and understanding yourself as hard as everyone makes it out to be?
I often find myself asking questions like, “why didn’t I start doing ‘x’ earlier” or “why am I so bad at sticking to this promise I made myself?” Maybe, you ask yourself these types of questions too. The truth is, it’s really hard to make big changes in your life and behaviour. For most things in life, we need to make small 1% changes that compound over time (aka “Atomic Habits”). That said, I do think there’s times where you can make huge life-lasting changes in a very short period of time. I think we’ve all seen it. If you really thought you had to, you could lose 20 lbs in a month. You could go from not knowing how to play an instrument to playing at your local coffee shop. You could go from not knowing anything about a field to being decently informed. Okay…..those are just physical changes and skills learned, what about mental and internal changes? Recently, mental health researchers at BetterHelp found that it only takes as little as 6 sessions with a professional therapist to start seeing changes, and as little as 15 sessions for 50% of patients to recover from self-reported symptoms.
Is change easy? No, but if you really had a reason to, you could make some incredible progress really quickly.
2.Everyone needs a friend that’s an enabler
We all have different types of friends. Some of our friends serve as our voice of reason, and others serve as enablers. I think there’s a weird stigma around being an enabler. For some reason, many people associate enablers as people who encourage or support negative and self-destructive behaviour in another person. Yes, enablers could encourage bad decisions, but they could also encourage you to take the right risks that are needed for you to grow and be the person you want to be. Let’s be real, change is hard if we’re not uncomfortable. Enablers can sometimes help push us into zones where we feel uncomfortable. Let me give you an example. I’ve always wanted to travel and meet new people. Most of my friends told me to save money, wait for the right time, and to think about how much vacation time I might need. On the flip side, when I told my old college roommate, he started looking at flight details and asking how many meetings I could take virtually. Next thing I knew, I pretty much had a trip to Grenada planned.
Sometimes you just need someone to help you take the dive into the things that are not so easy to do.
3.Your life needs a soundtrack
An old friend once told me about his monthly Spotify challenge that seemed cool. The challenge is to create a new playlist every month with new music that reflects how you feel. Every song that goes into this playlist needs to be a new song that you found. The idea is that when you look back on that particular month you get a sense of how you were feeling and how that’s changed.
Music has always been one of my passions, so send me your playlists and song recommendations.
I'm Farshad. I'm a PhD student 🔬, musician 🎶, and productivity nerd 🤓, who's currently researching nanotechnologies and cancer. In my spare time, I enjoy learning and exploring new ideas in the world of science, technology, and philosophy. I'm also always exploring new ways to help myself and others live better, happier and more meaningful lives.