15 July 2008

In bed

Technically, yesterday was my Day 10, but I'm not really late because I haven't gone to bed yet, so it's still, in my terms, Monday to me right now :P

So I thought I'd share some good things with everyone, seeing as a lot of my posts are usually me sulking about how tough life is or how I need to improve myself to attain a certain level of satisfaction. Lately, I've been really noticing improvements in my drumming because I've gained a lot more control (and speed) over many aspects of my music. Stuff I remember totally going "no freaking way" a few months ago is like "woohoo I did it!" now! It's a great, great feeling if you know how impossible something felt, yet you can do it now, makes you really feel like the world is your oyster. And indeed it is! I've always been a firm believer that nothing is impossible, it's just a matter of putting in the effort to attain what you want to attain. I still remember a few years ago, I was looking into the mirror air drumming and thinking "it'd be so cool if I was a drummer!! I'd be like this awesome rockstar rocking it out!" and guess what! I am a drummer now and I do rock out! Ahaha even when I'm at home, just practicing, I really get into it and go insane! :D It's really good to just shut the world off for 1 hour and go berserk for that period. For some reason, once I get on my drumkit, it's like nothing else matters, I don't care if I have 305353535030392004 things due, I'll tend to it when I'm done with my practice/jamming. It's a good feeling, especially when you pick up exercises you did a few weeks ago, and try them now and totally blow yourself away with how easy it feels! The other day, I was practicing some hand exercises. The last time I did them, I was hitting 180 bpm (beats per minute), and when I picked them up again a monthe later (sometimes I do other exercises in between if I get tired of one book) I was hitting like 220 bpm! I actually stopped and re-checked my notes to make sure I was doing this right and I was!! 40bpm in a month! Now some people might be tapping their thighs right now thinking "er, I seem to be doing 300 bpm, what's the big deal?". No. I'm not talking just 220bpm, I'm talking 220bpm at 16th notes, which makes it 220 x 4 (don't asky why, it just is) = 880! Woohoo! Sure, there's bound to be another drummer who thinks this is no biggie, well it really isn't that good, but to me it's freaking awesome I hit 880 hits per minute! 1000 hits, here I come! :P You know what? The guy with the fastest hands in HK is at 974 hits per minute, so 100 more hits and I might get the new title :P Exciting. Another thing I can tell you is when I first started drumming, I thought 900 hits a minute was totally, ridiculously out of this world! Like I couldn't conceive how the hell a person could do that in just 60 seconds! Let's say 900 hits in 60 seconds means each second you need to be doing 15 strokes! But like I said, nothing is impossible and my drumming has always reminded me this, and lucky me, I keep a log of my progress which means I can always look back and compare where I was and where I am. Don't get me wrong, this hasn't happened overnight, nor has it happened without its fair share of frustration for me! I've had so many occasions where I've been fed up with my drumming abilities, always feeling like I'm just lacking in so many things, and you know, being a metal band doesn't help because metal is all about power and speed, 2 things that only come over time! Even now, when I'm jamming, I can still feel there is so much more I need to improve on to reach the level I want my band to be at for our music. Sigh, but again, I'm not upset about this, this constant need for improvement and change actually is a good thing, it makes sure I never hit a rut or a plateau in my playing, much like my fitness as well.

Anyone who's looked a bit into personal fitness knows that after a certain period, our bodies hit a plateau when it comes to fitness and your progress kind of slows down a lot. You have to constantly change your routine and give your body a new challenge before it'll respond with improvements. This also keeps things fresh and also makes sure it weeds out those that really want something, and those that are just in it for a good time. I'm not saying it's wrong to just scratch the surface of stuff, everyone's got their own style and everyone's got their own passion. I scratch the surface of a lot of things, not because I'm not a passionate guy, but simply because I may not have the same amount of passion towards something as the next guy, and it's not wrong in any way. Heck, I'll give you an example. I've always wanted to draw by hand, I think it helps me express my ideas if I could draw properly, I want to get all these images in my head on paper. I've tried working at it, but never really got much success because I always end up stopping halfway because I'm busy. Now those who know me, know that I'm one to say there's no such thing as "no time", you make time. You find ways to make the time. I can make time to improve my drawing skills, however, I chose not to. Heck, if I really didn't have time, then surely I shouldn't have time to practice drums either? Get my point? I've come across a lot of people that actually tell me how they're frustrated with their life because there's so much they want to do, yet they can't because they have no time to do it. You know, you can still get good at something even with 10 minutes of practice a day. Heck, if you really want to push it, make every commuting minute time to learn that one thing you always wanted to learn. Take off those headphones and stop staring into blank space, and just go learn that thing you wanted to learn! Even if it's 5 minutes a day, in a week, you've hit 35 minutes, in a month you'll have spent 2 hours! 2 hours in a month may not seem a lot, but spread over 4 weeks, your mind is given time to digest what you learnt in 5 minutes each day and you'll be shocked how much you can improve already! :P

Yes, I'm going on and on and on once again, I know, but this is a topic I really enjoy -- self-improvement. I always believe people can improve. Again, a little info about me. I'm one of those guys that don't believe people can change. By this I mean, once a crook, always a crook. I have yet to meet someone who has truly changed. I've met a lot of people who can control themselves better, but they're still the same person as they were before at heart. Like a drunkard is a drunkard to me. You can stop yourself from drinking, but deep down inside you're still the alcoholic you were. Again, I hope to be proved wrong one day because I do believe this is a rather grim way of viewing the people of this world :\. Anyways, going back to self-improvement. However, as much as I believe people don't change. I do firmly believe people can improve and upgrade themselves. A crook can upgrade him/herself to be a more sophisticated crook. A comedian can improve himself to be more spontaneous and natural. You get my drift. And this is something I aim to do daily. I know my personal quota of learning everyday is 2 hours approximately. I know after 2 hours of reading, I hit a point that I'm reading for the sake of reading and it's really a the point where I'm getting diminishing returns of knowledge really. So knowing this, I try my best to take advantage of those hot 2 hours each day and fit in whatever it is I'm trying to get better at or learn. Oh, these 2 hours are the amount of time I can spend reading about something. My drumming practice goes by another system. Just FYI, after 1 hour of drumming, I also end up wasting time. By 1 hour, I mean 1 hour of honest, intense practicing, not mucking around and jamming and stuff. 1 hour usually gives me 3 solid exercises to work on alongside an initial warm up routine.

Hmm, my eyes are slowly closing, I suppose being in bed is sometimes too comforting and that probably explains why I'm typing so damn much in this post. Ahaha, I just feel like I've had all this time to think about so many things, I want to spill them all out and get them written down asap. But if you've read so far, you might as well read on, heck you've spent all this time already, it wouldn't do you justice to stop now. Actually that's another thing I was thinking about. You know how sometimes you're at the bus stop and you're waiting for a bus and it just doesn't come. 20 minutes later, you're thinking if you should just go and find an alternative way to get to where you're going, but you're worried that once you leave, the bus will come, and you end up waiting for an hour, when you could have been home had you just walked from the get go? That, I must say, is something I really hate happening, which also explains why I much prefer walking everywhere than depending on a bus.

So going back to what I was saying, today, is my celebration of where I'm at. I think you should do that for yourself too. It's not often we stop and turn around and look back with a smile. Most of the time we only see where we haven't reached or we only notice all the paths we didn't take, but we don't retrace our steps and appreciate the path we did take and where it's lead us. Sure, this is easier said than done, but it does help to have a log of your pathway. Like I said for my drumming, my log book has been gold in keeping me motivated and encourages me to keep pushing because I do see results! It's a (good) vicious cycle. I see improvements, I want to work harder, I work harder, I see more imporvements! Woohoo! So yes, stop and be happy to be where you are, heck, just be happy to be alive! If your life seems to be in the shitters right now, just put on your favorite song, stop for 1 hour and tell the world to go down the drain (what I do when I go to the gym or when I'm drumming) and just do what you love. I'm serious. It'll do you good :).

Of course, when that 1 hour's up, you have to step back into the craziness that is your life. But before you do, ask yourself this, how many people get to be you? Much like everyone says their family is the worst/craziest, everyone thinks their life is the toughest, but you know deep down inside, your life is the toughest out of them all, so how many people not only get to be you, but survive being you, on a daily basis? Not many, and for that, you deserve a pat on your back.

And I deserve a massage. Hmm, I really could use 1. Have a good day! :D Off to snooze it up!

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Blogger Nora said...

amen! yes yes yo yo yo bring back the self-improvement author!!! i thought the buses were only like that in the UK. seems like the British even brought their very verrry terribly useless bus-system to hk.

wish you'd write less moany posts (i don't really read those ones) but, i can't tell you not to be you and express who you are. sleep well!!

15 July, 2008 07:32  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Wow speedy! Well actually the bus system in HK is kick ass, you just still find yourself commuting for a long time every day to everywhere :\

Ahaha, sorry about the moany posts, but I try to keep it real by writing what I'm thinking at that moment of my blog entry. Not everyday is a happy happy joy joy day in my life :P and in its own way, my blog's kind of another log for me to keep track of how I was and stuff. Heck, when I read back to some of my old posts, I'm still wondering if I had any idea I'd be where I am today when I was writing that old entry :P

But yes, damnit! Don't tell me who to be! Or something *does that whole finger pointing thing* :)

15 July, 2008 10:58  
Blogger Nora said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 July, 2008 06:56  
Blogger Nora said...

haha, what will you do? yes... my bad. yup definitely don't let anything stop you from being true to yourself!!

21 July, 2008 07:01  

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