Last week, I decided to switch gears and reduce my focus on Project: Balance and increase my focus on Unshackled.
This was not an easy decision.
If you’ve been part of this newsletter for a while, you know how dearly I hold the idea to my heart.
Working on this book for the past 5 months has made me a much better person.
It made me read about how stress works, where our desires come from, why balance is important, how to think about agency, and a dozen more topics that I would not have explored otherwise. It helped me improve my habits by creating a Sunday Growth Club, working with an accountability buddy, and waking up on time every day. Anytime I found my life going out of balance, it alerted me by saying, Psst, Pooja! You’re writing a book on the importance of balance in life. Let’s practice what we preach.
And, most of all, it gave me a chance to start this newsletter and meet many wonderful people from the newsletter community. <3
Sometimes, the pursuit of something is already reward enough.
This is one of those instances where I realized what that means.
So, to now abandon working on it, even temporarily, makes me feel ashamed.
It’s a decision I resisted for many weeks now, even though all the signs were clear.
But last week, I ended up spending almost 30 hours on Unshackled and made some incredible progress across various fronts. By Saturday, it was clear to me that this book needed me more than Project: Balance now. There was too much to be done, and it was on me to do it.
Abraham Maslow, the inventor of the renowned Maslow’s Hierarchy, did something in the twilight years of his life that only a few people know about.
He added an extra layer on top of his hierarchy.
Most people think Maslow’s Hierarchy looks like the following.
He added a final layer of self-transcendence.
Ironically, while self-actualization was about realizing your fullest potential, self-transcendence (the last layer) is about going beyond yourself to serve those around you.
The former is inward-looking; the latter is outward-looking.
In a similar way, for me, working on Project: Balance was more of an inward-looking project. While working on Unshackled is more outward-looking. It’s about helping the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in this country who feel stuck in their job, uncertain of how to start their company, and creatively shackled.
It’s all the things I felt for a long time before I quit my job.
So, I feel a calling higher than me to work on this book and project.
In the end, this might just be me rationalizing my decision and learning to overcome the shame I feel.
But, it is what I’m feeling.
I hope you understand and will forgive me for making this change.
In conclusion, I want to make two things clear though:
- I’m not giving up my work with Project: Balance. I’m still planning to continue working on it for a small portion of my time every week and create a proposal to submit to publishers by the end of September.
- I still plan to continue sending my weekly newsletter, with a short essay on an interesting topic, behind-the-scenes of Unshackled’s creation and recommended readings. 🙂