26 May 2007

New drums at 8am

Woohoo, I'm the proud owner of a new set of Pearl Session series drums! Ok, I admit, it's basically a new version of what I previously had so I'm not really "upgrading" but more like "renewing" ;P

I had to hit the road to Tuen Mun at like 7:45am this morning to go take a look at the drums and get them to my band room all the way in Tai Kok Tsui (between MongKok and Olympic). Normally, that'd be alright having to move all the stuff, but at 32 degrees Celcius today, it was torture! Part of me was thinking "what the hell am I doing? It's the same drums I have, just newer!" but the other half was thinking "well, at least it'll feel like I finally own a pair of drums that feels both new and mine". I've always been a 2nd-hand drums player so now I'm getting new drums, at the price of 2nd hand drums and don't have to re-adjust my drumming to suit the new drums. Hmm, I wonder if I'm making any sense here.

I'm so freaking tired now, my brain is trying to shut itself off but I'm too stubborn to let it do so because I don't want to lose my Saturday with sleeping. As much as I gained a lot by being up and awake at 6-ish in the morning, I want more! And speaking of more, I have quite a lot of work pending which is really eating into my Saturday which really was supposed to be my day of rest. Actually, speaking of rest, it's not so much that I've taken on too much work or badly managed my time, I've gotten rest during the week so in a way I'm compensating for it in the weekend which sucks in theory but works out practically. I have to say, I'm getting quite comfortable with my daily routine that I have going on before I officially start work, with my short bit of reading and stuff. I've been reading 1 chapter of The Complete Art of War (History and Warfare) every morning and I think I can assimilate the wisdom better. There are only 14 chapters, so I'll be done in 2 weeks :)

Can't believe it's another day 10 entry already. Time flies but like I said before, I only think that way because I don't actually try to remember all the 53083025805304538503 things I did within these last 10 days ;)

... and it's time to get back to work!

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16 May 2007

Busy = good or bad?

It's been a bit more than 2 weeks since I returned to being my own boss (read freelancing) and life has been hectic. If anything, I'm busier than I was when I had a full time job! Oddly, as much as at the end of the day, I feel like the day's just zoomed by, when I try to recall what I was doing in the morning of the same day, it makes me realize how long it's been! So far my 8am schedule has been up and down. I usually wake up 30 mins +/- of 8am so it's still good, although 7:30 seriously would be awesome if I could pull that off every day!

The cool thing is, now that I realized I have a need to do my own stuff, I try to get all my own stuff finished before I officially start working at 10am. Sometimes I let myself off and start work at 10:30am, but I really shouldn't because 10:30'll turn into 10:45, then 11, and so on. The discipline I need right now is crazy. I need to be really focused if I plan on getting everything I'm involved in done. In a way it's good, all that reading and experimenting with trying to be more efficient and productive is slowly paying off now although I have to admit my greed for doing more and more is also creeping into the gaps during which I'd normally be free to do my own stuff thanks to my new found productivity.

Like I said before, it's all about balance. I really think it's essential I know how to turn off my workaholic switch in the evenings. Last night I decided enough was enough, I'd worked really hard these past 2 days and I deserved a break of not getting anything done. As much as the guilt slowly started seeping in every now and then, I just let myself surf the Internet and accomplish almost nothing in like 2 hours! Right now my brain is thinking "What a waste!" but at that time, it felt good. I felt recharged by just not doing anything that requires total focus for 2 hours. Today I'm ready to tackle some huge things I have to get done for some of my projects. I don't know if all the breathing exercises (mini meditations) have helped with my focusing, but it sure as hell gives me a reason to slow down and relax. I find myself all hyper/tense while working because I want to get things done asap, but I really need to relax a bit more.

Anyways, so today's a lovely Day 10 entry and I only have the following to say. I read half of The Complete Art of War (History and Warfare) and I must say, this book is quite boring. I mean I've read passage of The Art of War before but this book just feels so damn boring so I decided not to waste my time anymore with it and moved on to Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (started reading it yesterday in the morning when I was with my grandmother at the hospital waiting for her Ultrasound scan) which I think is really quite good! I mean, I never had any formal exploration in design documents and that's what this book is all about so I'm all yay'ed about it :). Hopefully this book will help me incorporate better processes into my workflow.

So there you have it, my Day 10 entry which is a bit disappointing compared to what I had hoped it would be, but I did shed some wisdom .... I think :P Anyways its 9:52am and I need to get a lot of my own stuff done, not to mention shower and shave! Eek!

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12 May 2007

Meetings, Camping, Jamming, Working, Resting

One week ago, I was questioning whether I was trying to do too much. Now I've realized I've achieved so much in just one week! As much as it's Saturday night now and I feel like the week has just zoomed by me, when I really take a moment and go through my Moleskin Planner to see my notes of who I have to meet, what I have to do, etc. it makes me realize how much has really happened!

  • Sunday, 6 May 2007: My special lady friend and I met up with my old Fluid co-workers and headed over to Tai Po to go cycling in the afternoon. It was such a perfect day to go cycling I tell you, the sky was blue, the air felt fresh and I was live and kicking and up for letting the wind hit my face and inspire me. It felt so good just cycling with no real destination, with no real goal or anything chasing me. I even thought about coming back here one morning just to cycle on my own, just to see how far I can go and explore the are on wheels. Following cycling, we went bowling! Two games of bowling and it was already 7pm at which time I was quite exhausted myself and so left the gang (who were about to play some snooker/pool).
  • Monday, 7 May 2007: I went over to Hong Kong's Cyberport to visit a company named Outblaze. I got to speak to Mr. Yusuf Goolamabbas as well as some other people there. It really was kind of an interview for a full-time job but I also went because I wanted to learn more about the company, after all, I wasn't looking for a full-time job, not right now at least. It was fascinating, especially since I got to give myself an excuse to visit Cyberport after a two year (I think?) gap. Speaking of full-time jobs, Outblaze is still looking for talented people to join their team. They're looking for people with Flash/Actionscript/Javscript skills. If you're interested, send an email to yusufg AT outblaze DOTcom (replace AT with @ and DOT with .) Anyways, after that, I got in touch with Arthur(from Brown Note Rechords) and scheduled a jam session with him on the coming Wednesday, ooh, it was time to get my beatboxing back in action (note to all beatboxers who read this, I'm not that good, but I'm good enough).
  • Tuesday, 8 May 2007: I started off my day with my weekly computer lesson with a twelve year old. It's fun sharing things with him especially because he's interested in similar things that I am (namely, short-cut keys :P, yes, you read that right). I took him down to Central after the lesson to meet up with his Dad who's been helping me understand a lot more about my funds and options I have when it comes to money. So much to learn! The more I learn the more I get confused! It's exciting but at the same time daunting. I met up with a friend who I worked with on a project before for lunch, oddly enough I was stuffed from the Turkey sandwich I ate earlier on, so I ended up eating maybe 2 - 3 helpings of my lunch, which kind of sucked. On a brighter note, I had a really good chat at least :). And in came the night and boy oh boy was I excited, I was going camping (in a tent!) with my friend Bun! He'd been after me to go wild-camping with him for a while and now that I am more flexible and in control of my time, I figured I might as well. Woah, it was lovely!! I don't know where to start! I know, I know, I really should just upload the photos, but ahh, I'll add that to my GTD list. It's not urgent nor important, so it'll be on my someday/maybe list for now. Going back to the camp, it was wonderful!! We went up a hill in Mui Wo and camped out and got to see the sunrise and then headed down the other side of the mountain into Discovery Bay after which we went home. That sure as heck was an experience I won't forgot :P
  • Wednesday, 9 May 2007: I got home with Bun at around 10am and just took a break before I re-visited my uncle (ie. the kid's Dad who I met on Tuesday) to go through some IPO (Initial Public Offering) forms and later met up with Arthur to jam. We recorded what we did and I'll be meeting him someday to pick up the stuff :P I met up with Belle Liu to talk about some stuff we're working on together.
  • Thursday, 10 May 2007: I met up with my old Fluid co-workers for a friendly lunch together and hear them talk about how things are going on with them at work as well as at home. It's quite fun hearing what's still going on in general even though I've left, because I can still understand what they're talking about and who they're talking about :). After that, more people to meet and discuss potential projects. It's lovely, I love meeting with potential clients directly because I can give them my opinion on what they're trying to achieve. I love hearing what they want to do and see if there's anything I can add value to. I have a feeling I had to meet some other people after that, I don't remember.
  • Friday, 11 May 2007: From what I remember, I woke up late which screwed everything up for me. I started working on one of my freelance projects and really got into the zone but had to stop it because I had to go jamming with my band at around 2pm. I don't like scheduling non-work related stuff during the day time because it breaks my whole work-flow, like I lose the whole work-mood as well. I remember meeting my Aunt that night and coming home feeling all empty because I felt like I hadn't accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I was actually quite tired and at around 11pm, my girlfriend called me to ask if I'd like to come out for drinks. Oddly, I actually had told myself that I wouldn't go if she asked me before she even called simply because I was quite tired and half awake. But when she asked me, and said she would be alone, everything changed, especially since it's a whole different ballgame when you're on the phone being requested to pleasure someone with your company. I got changed and got out. In a way it was fun because I felt like I was in total control of my life, if I wanted to go out, I would. When I was about to get out, I realized it was already 11:20pm! The woman has to take the ferry at 12:30am which meant by the time I even met her, I'd have a little under and hour to hang out. But anyways, I really did want to see her so in its own way it was well worth it :) It became a late night which meant.....
  • Saturday, 12 May 2007: ... I overslept. Damn. I woke up at 11am (who would have thought that there would be a day when I'd wake up at 11am and consider that very late! But I have to admit, it does have an impact. When I oversleep, I can't really do my own daily routine stuff before I feel guilty not having started to get my work done. I lose focus because I keep thinking about my own stuff I want to do, and at the same time feel guilty for not being focused. I eventually caved and just did my own stuff till 3pm at which time I began working on a project I have now. At around 7pm, I called it quits and headed to the gym to get a lovely Saturday night work-out. I love it on Saturday nights because the gym is almost dead empty probably because everyone else is out partying but hey, I love the peacefulness and knowing I don't have to fight for machines with someone else :) And after all that, here I am on a Saturday night, trying to finish up my GTD list of to-do's as much as possible.
In a way, I still don't feel convinced I made the most of my week, but at the same time, I guess this entry proves me wrong :P I wonder where I'll be this time next week. Oohhh, the mystery....


04 May 2007

Am I trying to do too much?

No. I finally realized I'm not trying to do too much.

My passion and desire to do and excel at so many things (as you can see from my blog's sub-title) used to make me feel like I'm lacking focus and direction at times because I'd find myself wanting to do so many different and seemingly unrelated things making it hard to be like many others who are more specialized in one thing and get really, really good at it. I used to feel that the way I was going, I'd eventually be mediocre at many things rather than great at anything.

I love playing drums, making music, reading technology books, taking photos, being as productive as I possible can, exercising, watching comedy and many many more. Some of these aren't just hobbies but are more like passions I strive to excel in, making me often wonder if there's room for me to be good at so many things...

... but I finally see it clearly now. I'm currently reading How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day and it's really opened up my eyes to one of my heroes, Mr. Leondardo da Vinci! Woah, this guy's insane! He was an artist, a scientist, a philosopher and so much more. The more I learn about him, the more I realize how right I am for trying to excel in seemingly very different things! Leonardo was good at many completely different things such as physics and painting. However, the more I learn about him, the more I realize how it was his greatness in these seemingly unrelated fields that really complimented his skills in every way. For example, his knowledge for the human anatomy lead him to make better drawings of the human body and better understand how it can be used and portrayed.

Leonardo talks about sharpening the five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) and to do so you need to not only focus on one thing. I mean, it makes a lot of sense! Much like the saying "A person who doesn't read is as good as a person who can't read.", anyone who neglects one of their senses is really as good as a person who doesn't have it. Leonardo respected his senses so much that he bought clothes of the best materials he could afford because he wanted to appreciate his sense of touch with quality clothing rather than just anything.

My goal now is to sharpen my senses I realized I've been neglecting to a certain extent:
  • Sight: Being a designer, I do expose myself to a lot of visual stimulation. But at the same time my lack of formal training has really hurt me when it comes to being a visual designer and my goal is to break it down and learn to really see. Leonardo da Vinci said that drawing is the fundamental necessity for a person to properly see the world as it requires you to really understand the lines and shapes that make up the reality you're in and so now I've begun trying to learn to really properly draw.
  • Sound: I listen to BrainSync audio, specifically the Positive Thinking one, which oddly was quite depressing when I first started listening to it. Now I'm probably used to it so it doesn't give me that same dream-like feeling where I feel like I was a narrator of my own life and just drifting along with everyone else in the world.
  • Taste: I admit, this is one of my weakest sense simply because I've toned it down so that I don't become fussy with my food and drinks. I suppose it's more than the taste of meals but the taste of rain, the taste of blood when you bite your lip, the taste you get after drinking a glass of milk and not gargling. I suppose I can only try to focus more on my taste when I can.
  • Touch: Again, another one of my weak sense simply because I only notice it for its literal value, when I need to actually feel something. I guess with drumming, I've learned to value my sense of touch because drumming requires my hands to stay light on the drum sticks and learn to appreciate the feeling of sticks bouncing off the drum head.
  • Smell: Once again, a weak sense due to my neglect. I guess the smells I really notice are are usually my body odor just before I'm going to meet someone because I'm inspecting myself so I don't embarrass myself with bad BO.
On a positive note, at least I'm more fired up to keep working at my different passions no matter how unrelated they seem because I have a genius who has proved to me that it is alright to want to do all this. On a negative note, for all I know this may one day drive me insane, so hopefully the breathing exercises I do where I take 5 minutes of pure peace and just relax myself will keep me sane. I look forward to finishing How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day and working on the exercises it suggests and hopefully by the time I'm 25 in September, I'll be the genius I aimed to be :).
I still remember telling myself when I turned 23 that when I'm 25, I have to be settled and have my future in my hands with a clear goal(s). I've still got time which means I've still got a lot of work to do.

So in my usual blog-entry fashion, I'd like to end this one with a good luck to me!

PS. Out of nowhere, I just realized, that if I turned the letter "C" into a sound, it'd be "Kong", why? Because if the letter C was shown as a sound wave, it'd have a treble and a bass and Kong has both, the "k" is the treble, and the "ng" is the bass, both of equal strength.
PPS. Now that I think of it, for the letter "U", it'd be the word "Wow", going from up, down back up. Just wanted to add this in as I thought it was quite interesting.