Walk out of your Head – Haqiqat Ali
Walk out of your Head – Haqiqat Ali
‘Walk Out of Your Head’ is your debut novel. How was your experience as a first time author? Also, what was the publishing process like?
It was amazing; the experience of not only writing but taking it to the readers and sharing my views on the issue of overthinking and cluttered mind. It prompted people to approach me and learn more about my methods in more detail as they had been experiencing similar scenario in their lives. Getting to know people and their problem gave me an added satisfaction, which indeed was my motto too, when I had decided to write a self-help book rather than a fiction novel.
For publishing I had gotten to know about Invincible Publishers very early while looking for suitable publishers in Delhi NCR. I was happy to get them onboard and happier to get the opportunity to launch the book in Gurgaon Literature festival, 1st edition in November 2018. I am extremely thankful to Ajay and team who expedited the entire process on my request. While reviewing and reviewing the edited script, I learnt a lot about how a raw script is presented to the readers in the form of a published book.
You have expressed your desire to write novels on romance, tragedy and adventure. Can we expect a second book in any of these genres soon?
Romance has been a favorite genre of mine since I have been writing romantic poetry having the taste of life, longing and philosophy for as long as 12 years, performed too in Delhi at a few open mic events, apart from getting a poem published in Dainik Jagran in 2007. After finishing WALK OUT OF YOUR HEAD, I had started working on a story of 2 lovers having different level of quest and for survival when a tragedy struck them and that approach made all the difference in the end (so you got the storyline idea of my next novel!). Romance excited me (perhaps because all Librans are romantic by nature!). Though Romance is considered cliché but still gives great scope of playing with story and characters and hence never goes out of fashion. Romance perhaps has a close connection with tragedy and some of the classic romances have tragedy as the back bone of their story. However, adventure can be written separately, like the alchemist. I love the way it’s written. I love how it changes our perspective of looking at our life. I feel, to be able to write something like this would be an ultimate achievement and I surely will try it but perhaps not so soon. So if there will be next novel it will either be a romantic story or perhaps another self -help book based on my current interaction with people I meet. I am learning further as to how they handle other people, situations, career, relationships etc in the context of their nature and individuality.
Many chapters in Walk out of your Head deal with the chaos in the corporate world. Could you please tell us about how this became a theme for you?
I have been a part of corporate culture having worked in Indian companies, MNCs and MNCs outside the country. Into my fifth year of doing a corporate job I have already switched 4 companies, current one being fifth. This adventure of having a rather Questionable CV (due to changing jobs frequently) has however let me analyze these cultures and understand it better. I have seen people in these corporate as to how the management decisions and their job profiles lead to nothing but their dissatisfaction in many cases. Some can find better opportunities outside and some can’t. What they do as a result? Be worried, over think, clutter their mind, and grow a disliking for the organization, manager, job profile or the entire industry. The question here is; can they really find their way out of their misery? Look around you, how many people in corporate are happy with their job, decisions taken for them and by them. Can they happily accept these decisions and situations? And if not! What do they do?
The behavior of an employee’s immediate manager plays a significant role in the mental health of that employee. Corporate has cut throat competition and there is a line outside to fill your shoes in case you decide to move on. So people end up in a deteriorated mental condition. They cannot find an escape, they can’t change people and their behaviour and they can’t change jobs too so easily. So they end up being there stagnated in an un-favourable, unhealthy environment having no way out of it and hence worries, sadness, rumination, over thinking would be the easiest things available for mind, if not serious anxiety, inferiority and depression.
Corporate Job, personally do not have good mental health prospects unless you know your way around it. This way around was required by me my more than anybody at one point of time and I found it. It’s there in my book! And I would recommend you to go and look for it in “Walk out of your head” rather than running away from situations sad and dead (not literally I mean).
And I am still a part of this corporate work culture and I guess doing way better than before.
How did you conceptualize the “Twenty-one Days Approach” method? Can you also tell us about the research, and the inspiration behind this book?
It’s based on a psychological research of 21/90; 21 days to form or un-form a habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle. I found habits, behavior and attitude were the core issues that needed to be dealt with if we have to eliminate over thinking and de-clutter the mind. I was looking for researches in these aspects and got to know about 21/90 approach. Amazingly it works. It’s not a static benchmark that you will definitely achieve the results but it will differ for each individual however with some variations only, depending on their individuals focus and discipline.
Mental disorders like depression and anxiety affect one out of four people worldwide. What role according to you overthinking plays in this?
It goes like this – Worrying, more worrying, over-thinking, significant and continuous over-thinking, looped chaos in mind without any solution, then mild depression and then further.
Because there is no solution to the issue!
it’s simply a timeline. My quest was to address the issue of over thinking before it reaches the level of depression as beyond that point I would be the wrong guy to consult.
It’s a simple correlation. Over thinking happens because of some unfavorable issues in past, present or something potential that might happen in future. Over thinking happens but one does not stop at after over-thinking for a day. The thoughts keep on coming. It reoccurs and reoccurs again. It gets in loop and the person starts over thinking more often. Point to note here is, the person is not doing anything and there is no solution too given by over-thinking. So there would be no end here.
Now add on to it. Let’s have more than one issue that is rattling a person constantly. Again no action and no solution. This becomes a habit and a negative one that keeps on getting more powerful. It will take you to the threshold where you feel nothing but helpless, lost, unable to perform well and still without a clue as to how to deal with it.
And there is your depression smiling at you like a devil.
Your book is an insightful self-help book, aimed at helping others lead a mentally healthy life. What are the activities that you engage in, for your own mental health?
Everything that I have written in the book is followed by me. In fact, this book is more or less a diary for me as to what needs to be done if I am stuck somewhere. I have just given it to the public so that they can find their ways themselves, if my ways described in my book are not so effectively workable. The quest and goal is same however. To address the issue of over thinking and declutter the brain rattling with a thousand thoughts; not healthy at all, not necessary at all and directly resulting in deteriorated life style.
Personally, now I am watchful as to how I start my day, how I behave with my peers, sibling and friends. How I treat those not so privileged like me, and those working as associate to me. I am mindful as to what I consume in food. I am very watchful as to what I consume via social media, television, and news network etc etc. Exercising and having a fearless attitude towards life and work is another aspect I would like to boast about. For, I don’t want to constrict myself because of the things happening around me and if I am right on my part. Basically loving and caring for own self is the first step towards this goal and I try that with honesty and 100% effort.
You have a full time job, and you are an author. How do you manage your time?
Yes, I have a full time 9 to 5 job in Delhi now. Although a 2 days’ weekend helps me a lot when I feel like writing. Since, I am staying with family; I do not have to worry about giving time to them while doing my stuff, which I used to think a lot about when I was not working in Delhi. Time management is quite simple for me. I look for what is important and urgent for me today. Set my priorities and work on them.
Though my brain is a very active organ of me but behavior wise I am a fun loving guy. I like to live life, have fun, spread smiles, help people, chill and relax. Not so overly ambitious about my goals also helps me. Living a good life is what matters more than killing yourself for all the goals and targets. And I’m just 27, I am supposed to live life and have fun. So I would rather stay on my couch watching Netflix than being rattled and living in the head.
Let’s walk of our heads and lead a better life!
About the Interviewee:
Haqiqat Ali is the author of Walk out of your Head.
Haqiqat Ali is the author of Walk out of your Head.