Uncommon Wisdom: Panayot Gaidov
“Uncommon Wisdom” is about sharing those habits or stories that we wouldn’t normally think to share. There’s so much talk about morning routines and self-care practices these days but a lot of it can seem kind of superficial or maybe just predictable and repetitive. This is why we asked a bunch of high-performing creatives and entrepreneurs a few questions about awareness, energy, and productivity. We wanted to learn something a bit more unexpected, and here’s what we found out.
Who is Panayot Gaidov?
Panayot Gaidov is a Bulgarian-born writer, copywriter, and currently host to the only talk show in the country dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and to the topics of authenticity and self-expression. His first novel-in-progress – with a working title Mother Is Angry – is narrated by a boy’s long-suppressed, now vindictive female alter ego and pays homage to Eastern European culture and the strong family ties that bind it.
#1. What's something unexpected or uncommon that made you more aware?
We are most aware when we are listening. Writing by hand makes me listen to myself – something I enjoy a lot – and to what I want to say. Everyone should practice some kind of writing by hand. Whether it be journalling or storytelling, when you write things out your mind starts to process things audibly, and you often end up seeing something in a new way, which can be amazingly freeing.
#2. What's something unexpected or uncommon that gives you energy?
I’ve recently gotten into meditating. I do guided meditations I find online to clear my mind and relax. Getting to this relaxed state actually helps me access new pools of energy. It works the way a nap should. But naps are horrible! Sleeping during the day zombifies me. No, thank you.
#3. What's something unexpected or uncommon that makes you more productive?
Being productive while working from home is a struggle, especially since I have every distraction available to me. I’m about to have breakfast – and I can’t have it without a visual aid of some sort – so I’ll finish answering this after a “Friends” episode. Season 7 is when it kind of gets bad – or as bad as it’s going to get, so perhaps this is my chance to quit; could this be the key to being productive? Indulge every distraction, sink in the sticky feeling that you are wasting your time and that by extension you yourself are a waste of time, look the devil right in the eye and when your eyes are exhausted and your mind half asleep, feel the rush of productive energy, surge out of your complacency and get to work with a fire under your butt that screams “I WILL NEVER WATCH FRIENDS AGAIN; WHAT A MIND NUMBINGLY SILLY SHOW WITH BAD JOKES” – except Phoebe’s – then wake up the next morning for another day at war with yourself. But yeah, “The One with Phoebe’s cookies” is up. Could somebody else answer this question?
#4. What does your morning ritual look like?
The best mornings are the ones that don’t start with a scroll on my phone. Ideally, I wake up without an alarm and do some free writing for up to an hour, depending on the day. Then a 30-minute workout if i can afford it; shower and get started. But often my mornings start with a buzzing alarm, a quick flick through social media – which sometimes does suck me in for ages – and I end up more distracted and slower.
#5. What does your evening ritual look like?
If I am not feeling social, as is often the case since the pandemic, a good night in would have me read a book in bed or write until the early morning hours. When I write, I take dance breaks to shake off my energy and stay awake. It’s the ultimate party for one. That or quality time with my partner.
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