16 September 2008

Better late than never - Day 10 + 6 Months + 100th Post

For all of you who have been keeping track of my blog and wondering why the hell it has been oh-so-long since I last posted, well I've been going through a phase of lack of focus alongside crazy surprises complimented by weeks of constantly new challenges which have left me either mentally exhausted or plain ol' too lazy to blog. I actually felt bad because I missed a 6 Month entry as well as a Day 10 entry not to mention this is my 100th blog entry! 100! Woah I didn't even realize till now to be honest.

Seeing as this is a 6 Month entry, that means I need to evaluate where I was and where I am and since it also is a Day 10 entry, I need to have some wisdom to share with everyone. Oh how much fun that sounds :P

The truth is, my time has been shrinking more and more as I find myself getting deeper and deeper into the things I love. Have you ever noticed how the more advanced you get at something, the more time you have to spend towards just maintaining that level? For example, with my drumming, if I don't practice for say 2 - 3 days, I can see how my playing degrades and I find myself wasting 1 practice session catching up so I get back up to speed. This is a real waste of energy as not only have I missed 2 - 3 days worth of practice time, I've had to pull myself back up to where I was 3 days ago, making it 4 days wasted, not to mention I could have improved today, making it 5 days wasted, which then ends up being a week lost. Wasted time is one of my pet peeves that really frustrates me and ends up discouraging me which then makes me lose my focus, thus wasting more time to get back on track. Yes, it's basically a vicious cycle. The problem is, sometimes I fall into these vicious cycles and just can't pull myself out easily because I've forgotten what it was like when I was in the good cycle and I forget that sense of satisfaction I had when I got my work done or accomplished something :(.

Satisfaction. That's something I really want to dive into and talk about. I live everyday by my motto of "I don't want to wake up tomorrow regretting today". I think this line is really powerful because it forces me to work hard today, but still know that there is a tomorrow. So what I want is to wake up the next day satisfied with where I am and where I was. This is definitely a very, very difficult thing to do because very often I find myself greedy for more. You'll see in many previous entries, I talk about how I'm greedy to live even more. I really am, I always want to do a bit more than I did and this in turn makes me constantly look forward, but then I often forget to appreciate what I've accomplished behind me :(. However, at the same time, deep down inside me, I'm still satisfied with what I've accomplished. It's like I have this mix of emotions where I'm satisfied but not quite all at the same time and I suppose this is where all the frustration comes up which then works against me.

So am I satisfied with what has happened in the last 6 months? To be honest, I am and I'm not. I feel like had I not been bombarded with all these surprises all the time, I'd have been able to better maintain my focus and probably end up accomplishing more. I suppose it's times like these that make me really stop and reflect and realizing that you know what, sometimes things are out of your control and you need to accept the reality of the situation rather than wish it wasn't so. At the same time, it also reminds me that it's good to always have a leeway of space for things to creep up when you least expect it. As I mentioned before, I'm a freelancer, which means that my life is a constant blank canvas waiting to be painted the way I want to paint it. In fact, just today, I was on my way home from watching Cheung Tat Ming's latest Comedic Performance when one of my friends/comedians asked me what time I had to go to work tomorrow and then I told her I was a freelancer and she kept telling me about how lucky I was but how I had to be uber-disciplined to pull it off. It kind of struck a cord in my mind because I realized recently, my discipline has been less than satisfactory.

Discipline. Yes, that's another thing I want to touch upon in this entry. I've realized that my discipline is in sync with the way my environment is. When my environment is a mess, I'm a mess and my discipline falls along with it because I feel like I'm constantly being bombarded because everywhere I look, it seems like something needs to be tended to. I once talked about the art of keeping things simple and to be honest, that's the way I seem to work best. Keep it simple, if I don't need it, I don't need it! And I suggest you think the same way. Almost everything could be useful but is it really useful now? No? Then get rid of it. If I've managed to survive for say the past few months without noticing something, I convince myself that it is unnecessary. The less I have, the less stimulation I have, the less distractions I have and the more I'm able to focus.

Focus. This is a hot topic I always cover in my blog because I'm constantly trying to manage this part of my life because it's like a muscle that I have to keep tamed and trained and continuously improve and make more efficient. I've talked about how I'm an efficiency-aholic and one key aspect of efficiency is to maintain good focus so that the process can be carried out without obstacles such as distractions and unnecessary problems. When I'm in-the-zone, I find I'm really motivated to work, in the sense, I'm not working because I want to get the job done, but instead, I work because I'm enjoying the progress I'm making and it is this progress that is giving me the satisfaction I crave. And in achieving this satisfaction, I remain focused like a donkey who managed to get a bite of the carrot dangling in front of him. I read in many places that it is usually the first 5 minutes of any job that is the hardest, once you get your wheels turning and the work flowing, you just keep working and this is so true for me. I just need to get past that initial inertia of no desire and then I'm all good.

Desire. I always find myself desiring a bit more than I have. Yes, I'm greedy, we all know that. I always wonder what if I had just a bit more? Like a kid wondering what it'd be like if he just had 10 extra minutes on his newest gaming console. I always desire improvements in myself and I often have the ability to map out what needs to be done to achieve those improvements. Of course, mapping it out and actually practicing the plan is a different game. Take my fitness for example, I'm currently in an anabolic phase of my workout routine where I'm bulking up. I try my best to stick to the workout plan as good as I can because I know if I get lazy, my whole plan fails and I'm back to square 1. However, there are times when I just can't help it, like say tomorrow, I normally should be going to the gym because tomorrow is my legs day. However, due to my schedule, I'm unable to do that because I have to be out most of tomorrow and I'm jamming with my band's new guitarist tomorrow night in preparation for jamming on Wednesday with the rest of the band. Not to mention I have to go reset my drum set because it's all a big fat mess. So there goes my gymming out the window. Is it because I lack the desire or this is just reality after all. You can't always get what you want. But I suppose, I'd much rather have a desire for something and not achieve it, than have no desire for anything at all. Woah, imagine life without any sort of drive.

And now a review of where my life is.
And you know what. I'm going to allow myself 12 hours to think about this and finish off this post then.

A week later

Oh man. Did I say 12 hours?! I probably should have said 12 days! I haven't had a chance to sit down and just spend some quality time with my blog for the past week! Sorry about that.

So now my review of everything. The thing is, we're already in October, which kind of makes this a 2008 review so let's start from the beginning. I've found myself, through my stand-up comedy, in a lot of newspapers and press articles. I've been invited to help HK celebrities perform in their promotions, I've been a guest at corporate events where I was treated, literally, like a VIP (still feel weird when people do that). I'm going to be entertaining a lot of Indian people in Hong Kong soon when I perform for the Progressive Diwali Ball this year and I have a lot, and I mean a lot of gigs lined up in front of me :) So my comedy life is really taking off now.

My band, Eve of Sin, got to play our first gig in February 2008 and we're scheduled to play again on 28th Nov 2008 so we're all excited about that! We've been practicing very hard and working out new music as well as improving our skill in general. At least I can say my drumming's gotten much, much better, although I haven't reached my goal I set for myself to hit before the end of 2008... darn. But at least I haven't gone backwards :)

Drumming, well yes, I've been slacking off practicing for the last week just like I slacked off typing up my blog because, seriously, I've been so busy. I mean I'll admit, I've had times when I've found myself literally hanging out at a coffee shop for 2 hours, but that's because I really was mentally exhausted :( I mean I just lost that motivation to work. In fact, to be honest, when I look at my drum set, I just think like "ahh, my body's feeling tired". I know it's a lame excuse I've been giving myself, but I just can't seem to break out of it.

However, fitness wise I've been a good boy. Oddly enough, I think it's just getting out of my room that is the trick I need. When I get out of house, I feel energized and ready to rock, once I hit my room, it's like I don't know where to start. I recently joined Fitness First and now I'll be saving much more time going to the gym, it's like 15 mins walk away from my house which is fantastic, because now it takes me only 30mins to go and come back from the gym! It used to be like 1:20 hours before! :P Almost an hour saved is a big, big deal to me. I think I'm going to stick to weights because I've built up my stabilizing muscles to the point I'm able to control my form properly and am really getting the best bang for my buck it seems. My routine actually has not hit a plateau because of the highly mixed up exercises I use which keeps things really fresh for my muscles :) I love it.

I suppose now is my time to exercise my beloved art if keeping things simple. Instead of me going on and on and on about a topic or talking about how I need to improve life or get more stuff done, I'm going to end this entry here and go practice some drums. Talking the talk is great, but it's walking the walk that counts :)

So have a good day and I'll see you (fingers crossed) in 10 days :)

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