A fresh coat of paint

The smallest of things can throw a day out of gear. A splinter in your finger. A toenail clipped too close to the skin. Or in this case last week, a bedroom being repainted. My clothes are in a different cupboard. I don’t get to sit in my favourite chair and have my morning chai. I can’t find my aftershave. Nothing earth-shattering but enough to throw me off balance and upset my routine.

The importance of environment. All the lovely greenery from the balcony that I gaze upon to ease my way into the day is gone. The comfort of the familiar is missing. It’s a bit like hot desking versus having my favourite corner of the office to myself. I can’t complain about the hot desk. It has everything one needs to function efficiently. However, the feeling of having “my desk” and “my chair” with my favourite picture staring at me from my soft board and my lucky plant growing quietly in one corner somehow makes me more effective. I just feel more settled and at peace with my little corner of the world. 

Don’t take things for granted. The painters are going about their job completely unaware of the disruption they are causing in my life. Three days of this and it feels like the home is in disarray. It takes so little to bring about this change and it reminds me not to take the simple things for granted. My bedside table with everything I need at arm’s length is not there. I still have access to it all but the effort to get to it is much more. 

Learn to adapt. The painters as our house guests were also a reminder of the need to stay flexible and adapt. Yes, my routine was turned upside down but on the bright side, I was sleeping in my son’s bedroom since he is away at university. Instead of watching TV at night, I spent time reading. I also got to cuddle up with little Cookie (the most beautiful doggie in the world according to me) who is allowed to sleep on my son’s bed. The change of routine gave me these gifts. It also reminded me of the importance of travelling light. What do I need? Other than my toothbrush, a few medicines, my clothes and my devices, I need to begin each day with gratitude and a good mood. If I carry those with me wherever I go, I will be painting the kind of pictures that brighten up my day and those around me too. 

I must confess, that I found it difficult to practice what I preach. I felt irritated and on edge and I had to work really hard to get into the right headspace so that by the time I walked into the office I was not carrying that aura with me. A fresh coat of paint is something I managed to give myself on the long drive from Gurugram to Okhla. I used a part of that journey, 33 minutes to be precise, of guided meditation and a reminder to myself that I must not let a precious day in my life go waste. With that help to clear my mind and get grounded, I was back in the game. 

I get to choose what colours to paint my day with. I get to paint each day afresh and so do you. 

Choose a nice colour and give your day a fresh coat of paint.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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