29 July 2009

Doing it the Spanish Way...

And here we are. Day 10 entry. I was actually thinking today in the show man it seems like it's been quite a while since I wrote in my blog? Have I missed a date or something? And sure enough, my trusty GTD system reminds me that today is the big day.

So I'm heading off to Europe for my cousin's wedding in August. So this week's going to be a really hectic week for me with all my work that I want to get done before I head out. I must say, it feels like I've got this intangible deadline when I leave Hong Kong and that if I don't finish all my work, all hell breaks loose in my world. At the same time, I guess it's good incentive as well.

So I've recently started on The DaVinci Method and I must say, had I read this a few years ago, I'd be lost with all the mumbo-jumbo about brainwaves and stuff. This is definitely not a book for a beginner davinci type to use to better get to know him/herself. It's fascinating reading about how there are these so called DaVinci types that stand out from the crowd and as long as they go with their gut feeling and trust there's a reason they're different, they can excel, but if they force themselves to fit in, soon they'll run into a wall and crash emotionally if not physically or spiritually. I also managed to find Da Vinci Decoded at the library today. I remember reading another book by this author called How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci and let me just say that book is freaking awesome! Oh man, it's totally kicked me back into the days when I was so darn fascinated with Leonardo DaVinci! Heck, this blog's subtitle of finding connections is because of him! :)

On a brighter note, my trip to Spain will allow me a lot of reading time hopefully, so I'm planning on scanning the pages of my books and reading them on my laptop one by one, I don't want to lug around books and paper because chances are I'll need to do a heck of a lot of shopping or just carry stuff from different countries back and forth... this is the deal of being Indian, you can't leave a country with your suitcase being underweight, it feels like you didn't make the most of the money you paid for your ticket :P.

Any speaking of making the most of things, I'm off to bed to make the most of the next few hours, I need my Delta wave conciousness combined with my Growth Hormone excretions alongside my REM sleep and well, most importantly -- rest. Yes, I realize I've been reading too much into the art of "rest" :P But heck, it makes me know I'm resting correctly at least!


19 July 2009

The typhoon 9 entry

So Hong Kong got hit with a T9 typhoon signal which makes it a pretty bad-ass typhoon. But now we're back to a mediocre T3 signal which makes it a lame one again. It's good to enjoy the peace of your own room when it's going wild outside. I usually like to go out during typhoons and enjoy the craziness. It's a different feeling when you go out wanting to get wet, you're carefree and fearless and face the hard rain head on.

Speaking of being fearless, I recently went to Singapore to help out at a Comedy workshop as well as be a guest performer at that first and only open mic in Singapore! It was a great experience to see how some of my A-grade bits turned into C-grade bits and also great to meet all the comics there! Man I really want to learn Singlish (Singapore accent English) now :P I must say, everyone there has such a good heart and is willing to take out their spare time to help towards creating a comedy scene there. It's also great to see how people are fearless to go on stage and take advantage of this rare opportunity. Sure, not everyone was hilarious but you could see the sincerity in their speech, their willingness to embrace failure to seek the path of success. Motivating.

I also recently gave a speech at the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) in Hong Kong to a group of ethnic minorities and shared my challenges with getting work and income in Hong Kong, being a foreigner. I suppose I took a different approach, I kept reminding them that being different is a good thing. It's like saying everyone sells hamburgers, why compete on that level of who has the best hamburger? Go a whole new route and sell fishburgers! It was interesting to meet a lot of people, some of them were there writing notes about things such as books I suggested they read, others sat there with hopes I'd give them a job offer. There was a wide range of personalities. When it came to the Questions and Answers session, I must admit it was sad to see that a lot of the audience were so stuck in the box of "I need to find a job" that they forgot about stepping out and looking at the big picture instead. I mean, if you took a little time out and thought about why you didn't have a job, it may trigger a lot of responses and answers such as "perhaps I need to have a skill that differentiates me from the rest?". In many ways that triggered a thinking process in my mind as well. I realized recently, I've been so swamped with my own work that I had lost site of all the goals I had before. Goals such as improving my drumming, writing new comedy bits, enjoying life, rewarding myself, etc. All I'd been doing is get stuff done. Sure I got a lot of stuff done, but at the same time I only got that stuff done, I didn't improve much as a person. My skills haven't been upgraded and my comedy vault has grown stagnant. Having watched Ted Alexandro last week perform woke my comedy side up and really made me realize there's so much more I can do with the opportunity I've got. For one, I could use a comedian website so people interested in me and read about my upcoming shows, my personality and even get to enjoy some new stuff :) The good news is I've added it to my GTD, the bad news is it's at the bottom of a list of 53958304242 things to do.

So all I can say is today's the day I get these wheels rolling and rolling fast. I need to clear this stuff out, and step out of my box, look at the bigger picture and re-consider a lot of stuff. I just hope I don't burn out halfway through it all. But if I do, well maybe I'll just go for a walk in whatever's left of the typhoon. Have a great 10 days and step out of your box!


09 July 2009

The lock up

Woah, that took a while to do my Day 10 entry! I'm only4 days late. But for a very valid reason. I've been busy. Whoever didn't guess that needs to wake up and smell the coffee of life and the fine line between excuses and reality.

I've finally got some time today to catch up on all the 530538068042042853058350369018539 things I have to do because I've locked myself up in my room and I'm not allowed to leave this apartment until 8pm tonight when I go jamming with my band. This weekend is a big test of me sacrificing for my interests. So Ted Alexandro is in Hong Kong and he's performing at TakeOut Comedy from today (9 July 2009) to Saturday (11 July 2009). I opened for him last night at a show at the Hong Kong Football Club and it was awesome! As much as I want to go watch him again tonight, I have to practice with my band because we're scheduled for a recording session at the end of this month for Underground Compilation CD #3! And on top of that, a metal band called Rudra is performing on Saturday 11 July 2009! The kicker is that my band was invited to be an opening act for Rudra and due to the clash with my comedy, we couldn't make it. So I guess it's one of those "you can't have it all" deals.

I've been doing some thinking recently on the idea of when it is ok to not do something because you couldn't do it even if you tried (eg. no electricity) vs. not doing it because you're can't do it (eg. brain dead) vs. not doing it because you just don't want to do it (eg. frustrated and don't care anymore). I've reached all 3 moments in a lot of things and it's like I keep bouncing from one to the other until the job is done. Usually when I hit the point of frustration, I'm propelled back to why I can't do it and what's stopping me and if that's not the case, chances are I'm brain dead which frustates me because I want to get stuff done. In some ways, this mentality of getting things done is a blessing and a curse to me. It's great because I have achieved oh so much more than I ever did, but a curse because it's like a nagging boss never letting you go. I was talking to someone today about how it's already July and I heard the typical sense of unhappiness that the year has gone by so fast and it feels like nothing has been accomplished. I guess for me, it doesn't really happen anymore like that, I no longer feel like my months are getting wasted away, but more like did I maximize my time? I know I accomplished stuff, but could I have accomplished more?

I had begun on the 4-hour workweek but stopped it because it felt like it was going nowhere. Instead of going with my usual attitude of "get it done" by finishing it, I just stopped and moved on. I'm currently toying with a book called Train Your Brain More because I'm a firm believer that the brain is a muscle that needs to be worked out as much as the body to stay in shape and sharp and healthy. On top of that, proper nutrition is essential which is why I've been getting into the habit of eating almonds and nuts which contains good sources of essential fatty acids at least 1 serving a day. Usually at night before I sleep alongside my casein shake. Speaking of training your brain, I recently read an article by Jerry Seinfeld on Lifehacker talking about his productivity tip/technique which was interesting. I can't say it's uber-original or really special, but it makes sense. He basically says to have a big calendar that is stuck on your wall and for everyday you accomplish your goal (in his case, write comedy), you put a bit red X on that date. Over time you'd have this chain of X's which you'd grow fond of and you would not want to break the chain. In doing so, you build the habit of working towards your goal daily and also have the pressure of not ever breaking the chain. I've been using an online tool called Joe's Goals which is similar except it's not a whole calendar long but still lets you keep track of what goals you achieved in a day. I've been using it for a while and the main things I keep track of are:
  • Practiced Drums
  • Went to the Gym
  • Ate well
I used to have a longer list of things to check but it didn't work because if I had 10 things and I only missed 1, it'd seem like I still did 90% of what I set out daily. The problem was that I'd slowly lose that "oh my God I need to work at it!" mentality because 10% was such a small amount. Whereas now, every item is 33%! Fail at one and I've screwed up 1/3 of my daily goals! It's a different mental-effect. Interesting how our minds can whip us into shape when given the right stimulus.

The interesting thing about all this is that at the end it's a matter of just taking the step and doing it, which is often the hardest thing for someone who doesn't have a whipper/boss standing behind them at all times. You're your worst enemy and best friend really. And speaking of friends, my friend Bun is back to Hong Kong! After almost 2 years of photography work in Germany he's here! Wahoo!

Well, I'm off to continue my lock-up and crank out all these tasks and widgets I want to get through before I go mental at my drums tonight! Have a great next 10 days!

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