05 July 2008

Slam Dunk

Alright, so I'm a bit late for my Day 10 entry, but better late than never right?
So I've been busy yadda, yadda, yadda, but recently I've been watching a lot of videos of NBA's Slam Dunk competition on YouTube and boy did that bring back memories. No, I can't dunk, but it did make me remember the days I used to play a lot of basketball and used to want to jump higher and higher and higher. The odd thing is, I never knew how, I just thought "when there's a will there's a way" and figured heck if I want it bad enough and I play more and more basketball, I'm sure I'll improve. Well yes, but not effectively. It's like saying as long as you hit the gym and do your cardio, you're bound to burn up those fat calories. Yes, but you can do so much better if you have an effective training regime. Like when I go to the gym, I see so many people going there to hang out more than to work out. It's like people stand around, reading magazines, or they're comfortably cycling away with minimum sweat, it makes me wonder, what is their objective of going to the gym? Is it just psychological so they feel like they're staying healthy? I suppose it's that, kind of like me and wanting to jump higher so I just took what I thought was right and played more basketball.

I'd recently been doing research on jumping regarding technique and also what training helps you jump higher and I was blown away by the amount of information available! There are so many different types of training! Woah, if only I knew this when I was younger, I'd have gone berserk. Sure, I want to jump high now, but since time is tight, I have to selectively choose what goals I want to reach and right now jumping high isn't a very top priority objective in my life. It's more like a self-accomplishment than a self-advancement goal. But in many ways, this whole "jump higher somehow" idea appears in my life all the time, except that nowadays, I'm not happy just blindly working at something. I enjoy standing on the shoulders of giants and learning from others, then adding my own 2 cents in to improve on that knowledge. But I've come to realize your 2 cents isn't just knowledge that you should be adding, but your personality and style. Another example, I've been watching a lot of Zakk Wylde videos on YouTube and one thing that makes him stand out is that he really has his own style. Like you'll remember who he is even amongst 1053053850386 other guitarists. This is so cool, and the best thing is, he doesn't stand out because of his rock-star personality. The guy is so down to earth! It's ridiculous and he stands out because he's found his own style. That's something that really inspires me and encourages me that sometime you don't need that extra bling bling but maybe just that shiny smile and you'll have a better effect for all you know :).

So life is good now, my projects aren't taking over my days and I've finally got back to a better sleeping routine of sleeping at....... night :P It's quite good. Lack of sunlight really does have an effect on me although I still do enjoy night times. But I've slowly converted my mentality that when the sun is down, it's ok not to work. Speaking of work, I've got a comedy gig tonight and also tomorrow. I just had one yesterday, so this weekend's really been a "funny weekend" for me :P Next week I got a line up of gigs as well! Woah! So much stuff happening now that I think about it, but I don't feel out of control or overwhelmed like before. Maybe because I'm getting more and more comfortable with a packed lifestyle? Who knows.

Going back to the style issue I was talking about. So yea, this is something I've always believed in and has been re-enforced in me recently after watching all these videos, and also learning more about stand-up comedy. The best comedians are the ones who don't try hard, but simply know who they are and work off of that. Anyone can write a generic joke, but no one can deliver it with your style and that's the direction I need to stay focused on. It goes with my freelance web design life as well. Heck, there are tonnes of web designers all over Hong Kong and the world! And with the Internet, you could get someone miles and miles away to design your site for you, yet people enjoy working with me, I suppose because they like my style. Not just in design, but my work process as well. It's good because in many ways, my goal is to create a web solution and solutions mean solving problems, and problems mean stress (usually) so in its own way, my de-stressing my clients by understanding their problem (eg. "I need a website that can bla bla bla bla bla") and providing them with a suitable solution. Of course, this is a subjective issue because like doctors, everyone has a different perspective on the same matter, but generally the answers are the same, or at least leaning towards the same direction.

Well so here we go, the new goal is to realize that personal style is what will set you apart. Of course, that doesn't mean that you don't have to work at other things like technique or focus, but without personal style, you're the same as a machine. They can be programmed to have perfect technique and never get distracted. But since I don't live off of fuel and need to be oiled every now and then, I suppose I don't fit into that category.

PS. Woohoo a hot weekend. I am going to sweat so badly :\



Blogger Nora said...

Heya, I reckon you could program a machine to have a personal style. Don't they kind already?

I reckon we gots Soul and that's what keeps us apart. But the more time we spend working on, and relying on machines, the more we'll become like them. I really really think that.

Oh well. Have an awesome awesome week.

11 July, 2008 09:22  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Hmm, I never really thought of it that way, but you're right, the more I work with machines, the more I become like them. I've found my style slowly becoming more and more about logic and processes where I try to map out everything I need to do in simple steps and just follow them, kind of like a program.

Machines with their own style, I suppose you're right, but I mean, the machine rarely generates its own style or evolves over time unless there is some interference like a virus or malfunctioning....

Ahaha this is going to give me a lot to think about. Thanks Nora, enjoy your weekend :D

11 July, 2008 10:39  
Blogger Nora said...

i know it sounds weird, but you could see the virus and malfunctions as part of the machine's personality couldn't you? what disqualifies that from being part of a machine's 'evolution'? when my computers get old, i treat them like an old person, so i have to be patient with them and very gentle haha and type slowly.

14 July, 2008 03:53  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Hey Nora, wow that's quite deep but actually makes sense! I mean, in many ways, humans have personalities out of their quirks and differences. But that's the thing, personality is one thing, soul/emotions is another. I can see each computer having their own personality and stuff, but will the computer actually "feel"? I mean to a computer, it just considers everything as being... normal/equal. Like you replace one part, it wont miss it, it'll just accept the new part like nothing happened before that. Hmm, this just broke open a whole bunch of thoughts in my head :) Interesting stuff!

15 July, 2008 03:54  
Blogger Nora said...

there are people in this world who are like that: emotionless, lifeless and soul-less. when life's just taken so much out of them (maybe energy wise, maybe physically or emotionally or whatever) or they've just become so cynical you could take away more, and they wouldn't act any different. like they could just be emotionless all the time period. OR they could be angry and depressed consistently - and react to everything like that. i bet you could program emotions! (not provoking reactions for reactions sakes btw, but i'm interested to see where this dilema leads...) humm...

15 July, 2008 07:39  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Actually good point! I know people who are always gray. Like literally, their life is a gray patch and that makes them... well not happy, but satisfied with the status of their being. But it's rather sad, I mean, I've had my occasional patches of being in the gray zone where I'm just quiet and...well... quiet. I suppose we all go through that every now and then, but to live a life like that, that just doesn't do life justice really. I get it, when life takes so much out of a person they pretty much give up and just go by no expectations and thus don't want to expect to improve. Heck, there are parts of me that think like that, oddly, I usually don't expect anything from other people, because so many people have disappointed me that I choose not to get excited over someone just so I prevent myself from crashing into that same ditch again like before. Hmm. You get that every now and then?

15 July, 2008 11:03  
Blogger Nora said...

hmm... i think that's the best way to be, then, if you have no expectations, you'll always be pleasantly surprised as opposed to being disappointed.

yeah, and some people, are just always busy/constantly occupied. i met one this week, started a new temp job.

21 July, 2008 06:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are loads of tips on how to Jump higher and Run faster here - http://springsoles.co.uk/jumphigherrunfaster/

21 July, 2008 21:07  

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