I used to be proud of my to-do lists, but the truth is, I couldn’t keep up with them. I’m sure most of us go through that. But there’s always that one thing which is a non-negotiable on that list, right? For me, that is reading. But the sad reality is, I couldn’t even keep up with that, this year, because of (cliche alert), “being busy”. I was miserably behind my reading target so much that for a moment I felt that let me just let it be for this year. But then, how could I, it was a non-negotiable! Sure I was missing my books, but what was I doing about it?

Quite simply: Nothing. At least for a few months.

And that’s when my days started feeling a little not so fulfilling. Sure, they were good. But something was missing. Do you feel that yearning to do something ‘more’ in your day but don’t know what it is? YES THAT! Exactly that is the feeling I had. Took me sometime to find out what was missing, and sure enough, it was reading. As soon as the realization dawned, I picked up my kindle (Yes, I’m trying to read Ebooks these days). I stumbled across a free book titled ‘A River in Darkness’ by Masaji Ishikawa. To be honest with you, I picked it up because it was a short one (it would help me close in on my reading challenge gap). But truth be told, it has been one of the most moving books I have ever read.

When I read the first few lines I knew I would find myself turning every page. Here goes:

“……. Sometimes in life, you have to grab your so-called destiny by the throat and wring its neck.”

And just like that, out of nowhere, after finishing the last page, I felt like a much more learned person. I submitted no report and completed no deadline to achieve that sense of fulfillment. I simply added a small component of what I loved doing to my day, and that was exactly the garnish my day was lacking.

The more I stopped sitting on things, and started doing them, the more accomplished I felt. And I realized, that a to-do list is complete not when it is made, but when it is demolished by ticking off every single thing that you intended to do.

I chose to wring the neck of my daily routine and stole the time to do things which genuinely make me joyful.

What about you?

P.S. AND YES! I am not lagging behind my reading target anymore!

P.P.S I highly recommend “A River in Darkness” to all the reading enthusiasts.


  • Prachi is currently studying Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom. She loves reading and writing, while creating value. Her primary motivation for writing is sharing her own experiences with people.