30 December 2009

Switching off the light of 2009

And here we are. A couple of days away from the end of 2009. What a lovely year it has been, I'm looking through my calendar and just seeing all the appointments I had already blows me away. I mean, did you know that 2009 was the first time I ever went to the US? And to top things off I went twice! Once on my own with my manager, the other sponsored by the US Consulate!

2009 was also the year I went to Singapore and performed comedy there, went to Shanghai for some business, given lectures at universities and secondary schools about how I coped with being a local foreigner, the same year I screwed up my knee by dislocating my knee cap and also hit the lowest body fat % I've ever reached in my life. It's also been the year where I met many new and interesting people as well as the year I realized that when I look back at some of my older blog entries, I understand the importance of the process of success.

There was a video I made on 23 April 2007 (see this entry) in which it was pouring with rain and I hiked my way up the Morning Trail near home. I remember constantly mumbling to myself "greatness awaits" as I tried my very best to psych some self confidence back into myself. Till today that day lingers in my memory because it truly was a low point in my life. Things didn't seem to be working out at all for me and I just felt lost as a person, with no direction nor hope. The only thing I had was myself and that was the turning point of my life. In a couple of years look where I've gotten to!

This year has also been the year I've learned to realize that life is much more than what meets the eye. I'm not talking about God or anything like that, but things like the human touch, how body language can make or break a person, how just smiling can affect a person's day and how the environment you surround yourself in can energize you or tear you apart. For a long time I used to wake up and feel mentally bored with my work environment. It just didn't have that vibe I was looking for. I'd flip through tonnes of interior design books at bookstores and libraries and get inspired by other people's offices, yet once I got into my room it felt dead. I tried re-organizing my stuff, playing with placement and adjusting everything but somehow it just felt dead. I used to spend a long time at different stores and wonder why it was that somehow anything in a particular store just felt so cool while perhaps the same item in another store felt so bland. I started subscribing to a lot of photography websites before it finally hit me. Lighting. It's all about lighting. Great photography must be assisted with great lighting, great restaurants don't just server nice food, they serve nice atmospheres. Why is it that everytime you see photos of geniuses at work they only have a table lamp and surround themselves in darkness? It's about lighting and how it can help you focus.

Much like how make up is nothing more than creating the illusion of perfection, lighting helps me create the illusion that I'm in a different room. If I can't see something, it seems like it doesn't exist. So what I did was re-think the way I lit my room up. For a long time I used to have a flat white light shining over my desk which would basically move my focus to this area while keeping the rest of the room dark. That worked great, it got my mind into work-mode, however, the light made my desk very... flat. Lit up, but flat. While working, I'd be focused but uninspired... which caused me to rethink how I wanted to work on the lighting while I was at my desk. So check it out while it's boring and flat.

Booorrriinnngg! Sure things are organized but do you feel creative sitting here?
So after some adjustments, this is what I look at while working:

For those of you wondering what that purple light at the back is, it's the uber lovely Philips Living Colors LED lamp. When I added it to my room, it totally blew my mind at how it has got me inspired.. alongside the lively lava lamp, I finally don't feel like I'm alone and rotting to die in my room anymore, it feelsl like I'm in a hip lounge and I've got the company of bouncing goo in my lamp :)

I also adjusted my bedside reading area so now it has a lamp from Leitmotiv and my plant. This is what it really is:
This is what it is like with the lights off and just the lamp on:
Yummy eh? Would you want to sit there and read for a bit? I know I would, and I've been doing so before sleeping. A great way to end my day.

Which really brings me to what I want to say, the one thing I learnt from this whole experience is that it's not so much just about shifting your focus, it's creating the environment to suit what you're trying to accomplish. I've always been a big stresser about satisfying your 5 senses and I'm currently doing so with these lights, my scented candle, great lounge beats, a comfortable Microsoft ergonomic keyboard and comfy Logitech mouse and my Aeron chair. I've given up the idea of having tasty snacks nearby because I honestly don't have the need to snack while working, just my trusted bottle of water will suffice.

The 6th sense that no one can identify, in my opinion is that overall feeling when you've touched upon all 5 senses. Right now, I feel at ease. I'm in no way stress free because I still have a pile of to do's to take care of, but I think I've finally reached a point where I don't feel like I need to keep making adjustments to get comfortable...I'm finally working in harmony where the only stressful factor is work and that should be how it is really.

So this is why I say I'm ready to switch off the lights of 2009 and step into the dark world of 2010 and enjoy it as my path gets illuminated by my surroundings. I've already got a lot lined up for the coming year and I've got a bunch of personal goals to achieve. I'm fairly confident this is the year where these dreams of mine are going to be realized. I've built and worked with enough systems to keep my personal growth on track. All these logs I use to keep track of everything has finally paid off allowing me to better understand my life and accordingly make adjustments to better suit it.

And now, I can begin starting up all the things I've planned for 2010, so I'm one step ahead of my expectations... and so should you! Enjoy the last few days of 2009 and I wish you all the success, laughter and happiness that is in store for 2010. Write down how you feel today and compare it after 365 days. You'll be amazed at how far you've gotten from this moment. I know I have :)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many things have happened this year (traveling etc). I'm sure plenty of things will happen in '10 as well :) busy busy busy!

It's fun to see how much a lamp does to a room and transform it all of a sudden. It looks awesome... and I really do like the cartoon wallpaper!

and great to see you all the figures, is that Homer Simpson on your shelf? nice!

- "talk" to you later in '10 and I wish you all the best :) !

30 December, 2009 18:39  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ahahah I shall await the exciting insanity of '10! :D

31 December, 2009 01:38  
Blogger The peach girl said...

nice.. now your doing interior design as well. lol ahhaahh

i want to redo my room too.. but been pushing it back.. i need to get new furniture first.. lol -_-

14 January, 2010 23:31  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ahah yea, ever since i started looking at magazines and interior design books I got hooked on to re-inventing my workspace...

Its a fun process and definitely worth the hassle :)

Good luck hope you find the perfect furniture! :D

15 January, 2010 09:47  

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