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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #2

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week was a good one. We had two days of bank holiday in the UK for celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (70 years on the throne). She is the longest serving British Monarch since she became the Queen at the age of 25.
The time off gave some much needed relaxed time with family and friends and we were lucky with the British weather.
🌍 Earth
I recently read an article about evolution and I found it the most fascinating one.
In this article by Walter Murch he tries to answer the question
How did birds get such great lungs? They inherited them from dinosaurs. But why did dinosaurs have them?
The story starts with how amazing the lungs of birds are and then goes on to discuss about earth’s gravity, oxygen levels, and ends up with global warming. All this is packed into one amazing story that you could finish in 10-15 mins.
💷UK Finance
As the UK is going through rising inflation, I thought of exploring how the government earns and where does it spend our taxes.
So this is how the government earns through various taxes and levies. The majority of the government income comes from Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and VAT.
And this is how the government spends. The majority of our taxes are spent on Health, Welfare, Economic Affairs and Pensions.
🏋️ Strength Training
Over the last couple of years I have been training with my Personal Trainer, Steve. It was actually my wife who found Steve and trained with him for a couple of sessions before I joined her.
When I started in late 2019, I was somewhat skinny but with a belly and with very low upper body strength. The training with Steve was always on a Sunday morning (still is) which meant we couldn’t be out late on Saturday or get too drunk. This was intentional so we could maintain a healthy lifestyle just by the act of deciding to train on a Sunday. And since we were training with Steve, it also meant that we were accountable to him and we couldn’t let someone else down even if we could let ourselves down.
Recently, I have started training by myself as well. But with an infant in our home it sometimes can get tricky to find the time to do a good workout.
So I have developed my own quick 10 mins full body workout that helps to exercise almost all my muscles with added weights. The idea behind the 10 mins workout is to do something regularly without it taking too much of my time. This meant I didn’t have any excuse to skip workout. And because its just 10 mins, it means I can do the same workout everyday without getting sore.
Workout 1
  • 20 X KB Swings - 16 kg
  • 20 X KB Dead Lift - 16 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Overhead press - 10 kg/hand
  • 20 X KB Bent over rows - 16 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Triceps Extension - 10 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Bench Press - 10 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Hammer Curls - 10 kg/hand
Workout 2
  • 20 X KB Swings - 16 kg
  • 20 X KB Goblet squats - 16 kg
  • 20 X KB Bent over rows - 16 kg/hand
  • 20 X KB Dead Lift - 16 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Overhead press - 10 kg/hand
  • 20 X DB Forward Lunge - 10 kg/hand, 10/leg
  • 20 X Push-ups
KB stands for Kettle Bell. DB stands for Dumb Bell.
Building strength is key to having an injury free lifestyle, especially as we grow old.
📚 Book
This week I have started reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book has been recommended by many people I follow on social media as well as by my wife who asked me to pick this book after I finished my last one.
One of the quotes that has moved me so far has been
Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.
In order to find meaning in our lives we need to commit ourselves to doing deep work. Deep work involves thinking with full focus about something, without any distractions, for a long period of time to produce something meaningful like a book, a newspaper article, a research paper, a software program or even a musical symphony. It could also be solving a problem bothering us for a long time.
This is different from the shallow work that we are all used to in this age of the internet. For example, replying to emails and thinking we have been productive. The challenge actually with today’s work is that its not possible to measure it easily nor objectively.
I have reached about 30% of the book on my Kindle and one of the things I have stared actively doing is to start reading more and reduce my usage of social media. This has helped me gain more focus on things that I want to do rather than things happening to me.
Another quote that resonated with me is
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.
This may not be relevant for all but I think it does resonate with me.
My son is less than a year old. By the time he grows up, getting a Bachelor’s degree alone will not be enough. By that time getting a Ph.D. would be the minimum norm. The bar of being average itself would be raised much higher as technology progresses and everyone has access to everything anytime.
🎬 Movie
This week I saw Top Gun: Maverick and was simply blown away by the dogfight scenes in the film.
Tom Cruise is a very thorough actor and a very passionate aviator. All the scenes have been shot in an actual fighter plane with real actors in the cockpit. The actors themselves were not flying the aircrafts but the movie makes it feel that they are.
The dogfight scenes are thrilling and jaw dropping. It was a feast to my senses watching this film at the cinemas. I came out of the movie wanting to experience something more than 1 G-Force myself 😂.
Enjoy your week, and see you all next week.

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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom