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When the going gets tough…use a safety net

I binge-watched 6 episodes of a Netflix series on Sunday. Almost 5 hours of TV.

It was good, while it lasted. Eyes glued. The excitement of watching a thriller. Rooting for the protagonist. Hoping the villain would suffer what he deserved.


And then after it’s all over, the eerie silence starts.

Those open problems – that I had escaped from, for a good 6 hours – had now caught up with me. Facing me once again, head-on.

Too weak to even think about those problems, I turned off my computer and went to bed.


Monday morning. 4:45 AM.

“Aren’t you attending the Pranayama class? You have 15min to get ready. Come on.” – My wife nudges me.

Considering the tough day ahead, I thought I’d sleep in and procrastinate just a bit more.

But the nudge was all it took to start moving forward again.

15 minutes later, I find myself on the Zoom meeting with my teacher. All set and ready to learn and practice Pranayama from him.

Fast forward another 30min, I was more relaxed. But more importantly..I now had a better perspective.


I was now able to zoom out and see the problems as challenges. They were an an opportunity for me to grow, rather than obstacles that were stifling my progress.

Then I went further. I felt grateful for those challenges.

A 180 degree shift in perspective in just 30 minutes.

But it didn’t happen by accident. It was by design.


What worked for me was that I’d pre-booked my classes and set an expectation with both my teacher and my wife that I would be attending the 5AM class. And that made it harder to skip practice.

The preset schedule acted like a safety net for me, when I was in a free fall mode.

A common safety net that we rely on are our school or office schedules. While that could work as well, its better to have something that you know is going to be a positive experience, every single time.

That could be a dance class, sports practice, a gym session, Yoga or a Pranayama session.


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” – that’s how the common adage goes.

While its great (and necessary) to build self-resilience to weather storms…its also good to rely on our environment and community to prop us back up, every once in a while.

Life is a roller coaster. But if you put these kinds of safety net systems in place, you can bounce back from the more-difficult moments sooner than later.

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