26 February 2010

3rd year anniversary!

Woooooooooo!!! 3 years into this blog!!
It's been a loooooong ride but sure worth it! I'm finally reaping the benefits of writing this blog consistently and being able to look back at my life 3 years ago and enjoy the journey.

Today's the day I do a big evaluation of my life so far and to be honest, it's good :) I mean, I still have a lot of goals to achieve but in a way I don't feel like it's filling in holes that are like eye-sores but more like journey's I'm excited to take. My mental shift from feeling inadequate to feeling challenged has been the biggest difference. Before, in my early entries, you'd read about my struggles trying to stay afloat, but now it's a matter of what can I do while on top of things?

In fact, not achieving goals doesn't bum me out like it used to because I've come to realize, if I've failed at one thing, chances are I've succeeded in something else of the same caliber.

I suffered from food poisoning a few days ago and it was one of those bad ones where you just feel dead and don't want to move from bed deals. I was truly annoyed at first because I had everything planned out for the day, things were supposed to move smoothly and nothing seemed like it could get in my way..... except myself.

So a couple of days letting myself rest and now being day 3 since I enjoyed myself some extra special time with the toilet bowl, I'm trying to get back on track as before. So there are a few things I'm trying to get done today, one of them is obviously this entry, then the rest is listed out in my trusty Remember the Milk list of to do's.

I've finally got myself into proper routines that have turned into habits and thanks to rootein.com constantly bitching at me when I slack off, I've managed to use self-expectation to keep myself on track. Speaking of self-expectation, I don't know how many people believe in affirmations but unlike the typical new age way of thinking your way to change, I wake up and promise myself certain things and what happens in it kind of becomes a self-trust thing where I don't want to let myself down. Kind of like how even though you know someone doesn't deserve your help but you still help them because you can't get past yourself as a person if you just stand there watching them fail. In it's own way it's like I subconsciously promise myself certain things and over the day when I feel lazy or lose that motivation, I keep reminding myself "man, but you promised yourself you'd do it" and the idea of that promise keeps it going. It's kind of what David Allen said in Getting Things Done. The reason you feel bad when you don't do the things you always wanted to do is because it's kind of like you promised yourself to do them and ended up breaking that promise. It also helps when you have things reminding you of your promises every now and then. Say this blog, and I have my GTD system remind me of stuff like "Write comedy!" and mark down my calendar which days I should be hitting the gym.

I'll admit, sometimes you mentally lose that focus and want to just give up, but speaking of wanting to just give up, I was randomly searching some youtube clips and came across the training for the movie Ninja Assassin for the actor/singer Rain. Woah, the training he went through puts the seemingly brutal workout I have for myself to shame. Seriously, check this out:

There are a bunch of other clips but it was impressive to watch and realize that sometimes when you have that person watching you, you push yourself that extra mile. Sometimes I try to do this at the gym, like I pretend people are watching me and pretend I want to show off to them. I even get angry at barbells and stuff and pretend they are laughing at me :P It's quite bizarre really.

But my point is, watching people like this push to envelope really reminds me that this is one of my promises to myself. As one of my earliest posts quoted from Albert Einstein:
Imagination is more important than knowledge.

And an even better one by Bruce Mau that really explains a lot of what I think now:
Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we're going, but we will know we want to be there.

Ahh to know that this is what I thought 3 years ago is encouraging. It's great to see how the same things can mean something different over time.

The most interesting thing is, 3 years ago I'd never have my current state of life in mind, I didn't know the outcome but I knew the process I needed to take for the sake of progress. Much like I won't ever know if I will ever win the lottery, but I do know the process of getting there. Along the way I might end up winning or doing something else, but if I never went through the process, I'd only know that winning the lottery would be impossible.

I was speaking to one of the Chinese comics last night about my goals this year and at one point he told me I was really crazy for trying to accomplish so much, but he was more surprised at the fact that I wasn't going nuts about it. Like I wasn't allowing myself to get obsessed about stuff and sacrifice other things. Now I have to admit this is not 100% true, sometimes I do get obsessed and it's hard for me to realize that other things in my life need attention too. For example, everyone knows that I could go on and on and on with blog entries, but I keep trying to keep things simple and set a maximum time for everything. It's quite hard because many things are out of my control to be honest, but whatever I can fix myself, I don't let it slip by my hands without a time stamp of some sort.

So the final verdict, 3 years into this blog is, I've finally come to enjoy the journey more than just achieving the goal and ending my trip. Instead of seeing only 1 light at the end of the tunnel, I'm setting milestones and celebrating everytime they're done :) Heck, at least it gives me more reasons to feel good about everything rather than "be patient" all the time.

And here's to another 6 months of great journeying before my next blog milestone and see you in 10 days!


13 February 2010

Happy New Year! (again!)

And here we are! One day away from the Chinese New Year! I very much enjoy this time of the year because it really allows me to stop. Well it doesn't allow, it kind of forces me to stop. Heck, I can stand in front of shops and other things all I want, they're going to stay closed for a few days no matter how hard I try!

It's interesting how Hong Kong kind of gets 2 new years because the whole 31 Dec/1 Jan thing is kind of like a dress rehearsal at times and it gives you a few weeks to refine things and then Chinese New Year comes and boom! This is the real deal! Then again, it's really hard to get into the "let's things with a bang this year" if everything around you is closed :P But I guess everyone needs a break after all.

So we're hitting the year of the tiger and well, to be honest, whatever year it is, in my opinion doesn't make much of a difference really. It's all in our minds if you ask me. I was watching George Carlin's It's Bad for Ya HBO special. I can't say it's his best work but for a guy who's 70 and to be doing stand up comedy is definitely something worth applauding. At least while watching it it was good to know that when I'm 70, this is still definitely possible! I also rewatched Bill Cosby's Himself and boy did I laugh. Seriously, I'm not a big loud laugh-er at stuff but this one got me good :) Pure genius. Now that I've done stand up comedy, I've learned to appreciate it at such a different level! The way he presents everything, to a certain extent is nothing but a story being told, a story about himself, but the way he presents it you cannot help but laugh. And the fact that there was absolutely no cursing deserves an extra star. Seriously, I've learned to appreciate the lack of cursing so much more now. Especially after watching Wali Collins live and also speaking to him in person. Did you know he plays drums too!? :) Seeing these great comics perform perfectly without having to resort to cursing really re-enforced my love for clean comedy.

It definitely inspired me to take my stand up comedy to a whole new level. Now I use my best efforts to dedicate 2pm - 3pm daily as comedy writing time. Every now and then I allow myself a day of rest to let the information I have digest before I try squeeze our every ounce of the funnies I can find in all the silly things I think of. Not to mention the application Ommwriter is freaking awesome. It totally switches my mind from any other mode to "ok, let's write some magic" once I use that!

I was talking to my building's youngest security guard and we were talking about how many people kind of frown upon our lifestyles. He's 26 but he's a building security guard. A job usually left for old folk but the more I spoke to him, the more I learned he was thinking like me. He was using this job as a period of time to allow him to think of bigger plans. His argument is that instead of sitting at home alone with no pay, he might as well come here, get paid to sit but use his brain for thinking instead. Brilliant! Exactly what I thought of as well! People always get confused when he tells them he's a security guard because they all feel he's just lazy, but after looking at it from his perspective, you'd realize he's being smarter than you think! :D I was talking to him about how greedy I am with my passions that sometimes it's hard to keep up with it, for example, I'm trying to maintain writing everyday while alternating days of going for a work out and practicing drums. Not to mention I still have to fit in my freelance web design work and also balance comedy shows. That is tougher than I thought! But it's a rewarding feeling when you end your day and can check of everything on your to do list. It's fun adding a tick to my calendar on rootein.com :)

So here's to a new year with new fortune and fun times awaiting everyone who has worked their butts off and deserve it! And for those who don't deserve it, well I hope you get lucky and still get rewarded :) As the saying goes, if you turn off someone else's light so that your light shines a bit brighter, you just made the whole world a dimmer place, so let's all be happy! :D

Before I let you go, if you've never heard of this, check out ynevano.com, it's a motivational site created by Wali Collins. I have a wrist band to keep reminding me that You Never Know unless you give it a shot :)


03 February 2010

1 month later...

Woah, check it out, we're in February! And that means Chinese New Year is just round the corner! Wow, time flies!

Well, I lie since time has been fast and slow for me recently. I just registered in my head that it's February and I realize it's already the 3rd of the month! Woah! I guess when you keep yourself busy time zooms by but if you always remind yourself to realize what day it is, it slows down. As I've said before, my Google Calendar now shows me the week number as well as the number of days into the year, which really puts things into perspective for me. At least the idea that it's only week #5 of 2010 lets me realize I'm almost 10% into the year even though February feels like it's still the beginning.

I came across this kick ass thing called Aquanotes and my eyes almost exploded as I saw the video demonstrating how all my whining about great ideas being lost in the shower can now be a thing of the past. I went and ordered a 5-pack so now's the painful part of waiting with excitement! Of course, provided this company doesn't screw me over somehow in the mail. For some reason, there was no extra shipping charges for Hong Kong...hmm?

Speaking of note taking, I've been trying my hardest to have a daily comedy writing habit and I am here to conclude that that has totally failed. Every day, at 2pm, I get a reminder telling me I should stop and write some comedy, but I've come to realize, instead of forcing myself to write comedy, it reminds me to keep my mind open for any humorous ideas that my drop by. Sometimes, I get a bunch of ideas just before I'm about to cross the road and it's just a matter of jotting them down before I forget them. However, from reading the lovely Brain Book I'm still not finished with, I've realized that sometimes when you tell yourself to remember something, you end up......remembering it :P I no longer find myself standing in the middle of the road tapping words into my PDA for fear I'd forget that brilliant idea and risk my life in the process.

I have, however, made progress with my personal fitness. Well, my right knee is getting stronger and stronger, I'm able to climb 2 steps at a time when walking up so that's a very good thing in both saving time and making me feel like I'm getting back to where I was before the injury. Seriously, I hurt my knee in August 2009 and here we are in February 2010 and I'm still paying the price for that injury :\. On a brighter note, it's forced me to evaluate a lot of my other exercises to make sure I have extra good form with whatever I do. Any clicking of joints and I stop to evaluate what is going on. It's made me realize how my whole body seems...crooked. Ahah, I always knew my face was slanted/crooked but now when I really study myself in the mirror in the gym, every little detail is taken into consideration and well I've realized my left arm rotates a little bit more than my right arm, the distance between my left elbow and my kidney is closer than my right elbow and right kidney...hmm?

On another note, I'm going to go to Taiwan in April to go see Lamb of God with my bandmates. I don't think you got that, Lamb of God, me, there, same room! Seriously, this is the first time I'm ever flying anywhere to go see something and come back. Well we're going to be there for a few extra nights just to soak in Taiwan, but I have to say, I'm super excited because I just feel Lamb of God is a band that I must at least experience live before I die. Kind of like stand up comedy :P And see where that took me :) We even got VIP tickets which means we can go meet the band and yes, I know, I know, that's so lame and chances are the band won't ever know who I am nor remember me, but it's something I just have to do. Kind of like seeing a photo of the Mona Lisa and actually experiencing it. You just have to do it to know it.

Today's a crazy wednesday and as much as I don't have 5739537530530 meetings scheduled, I do have 5739425850 tasks to get completed today. The minor blog entry was one of them so I figured do what David Allen always said, go by your list and crank them one by one. No skipping because the next task is easier! It really does make a difference because if you do all the small easy tasks first, you're left with the same big task you wanted to avoid, but now with less energy :\ Then again, sometimes I still do the small tasks first because psychologically it makes me feel better to know I only have 3 big tasks than 58305385035 small tasks + 2 big tasks :P

Oh and one last thing I'd like to share, one big accomplishment for Jan 2010, on top of all the things I did, was that I finally completed and launched the new TakeOut Comedy website. I hope I can say the same when March comes around and I look back at all the great things I did in Feb 2010 :) So here we go!! :D