01 March 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to this!

WOW! I actually thought this was only the 3rd anniversary of my blog! Turns out, this is year #4! It's been 4 years since I once sat down and thought "what's the deal with this blog thing anyway?" and figured one day I'd definitely find it fascinating reading things I wrote a few years ago.
With my blog originally intended for me to just share my thoughts of what I've recently read with my future self and anyone interested, it's grown into something much more, a project-tracker where I am the project.

The weirdest thing is that something just don't change. I guess even after 4 years, I still find myself constantly challenged with the lack of time and days where I question myself and what (and most importantly why) I do... like right now, I'm 4 days late for this anniversary entry, I'm sitting in the Central MTR station, listening to some relaxing music because I'm actually quite exhausted. It's been a long day, but a fruitful day. It started with me rushing my projects and squeezing a little bit o f drum practice, before I zoomed out to do a small comedy gig for a school (which may I saw was an awesome show! The audience was fantastic! The youngsters were going nuts with some of my bits that resonated with them about their school life!) Then popped on over to my first radio interview to help promote stand up comedy in Hong Kong as well as upcoming shows, then to another radio interview to do the same. On my way back, while I was coughing on the train (recently developed a sore throat), I was wondering why I was pushing myself this way? Why jump around everywhere like this, and find myself back at home at 11pm trying to catch up on my day's workload.

It brings me back to something I wrote one of my earlier posts:
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.
-- Bruce Mau, "An Incompletel Manifesto for Growth"

Today in the radio interview, I was asked "so what are your goals as a comedian?" and even though I've been asked this question many many times, I still find myself goal-less. I mean, this always happens because like I said, 5 years ago, I'd have never dreamed of the goal of being a professional stand up comedian and find myself living this kind of lifestyle. So why bother trying to plan everything? Instead, I focus more on the process, each step of the way rather than the end goal. And like I said in the interview, as long as I improve every day, then I'll be just fine. As long as I'm funnier than yesterday, I'll be fine, as long as I drum better than yesterday, then I'll be fine, as long as I work better than yesterday, then I'll be fine. And this method drives me just like what Bruce Mau says, the process drives my outcome, and this in itself lets me reach places I didn't think possible because I keep my doors open to any opportunity. Had I not wanted to do this gig in the afternoon for this school, I'd never have known how deeply some of my material work with a younger audience. I mean, they do well at the comedy club, but to see some of the students laugh so hard they actually stood up cheering was something unexpected! I've never had someone actually stand up during a show because laughing sitting down didn't cut it.

Recently, I've also shifted my focus in comedy to just wanting more exposure for this small comedy scene.  The free comedy workshops, the radio interviews, the performances here and there, all add up to more and more people knowing about this new wave of comedy coming up in Hong Kong.

My daily life no longer works towards trying to achieve this and achieving that. I've slowly learnt to just accept that no day is going to be perfect and as long as I'm getting stuff done, I'm one step towards perfection. Seeing entries in my blog talk about how I'm struggling to stay afloat, then seeing entries that talk about how life is finally working smoothly, things are systematic, to my life today where I've realized things are always going to be fluid and I need to be like that too. As Bruce Lee says, Mind like water. The same way for me. I no longer find myself thinking "oh man, it's 10pm, I was supposed to get this and this and that done!! ARGH!" but I jut focus on trying to make the most effective decisions and accept whatever I can do in whatever circumstances I have. Much like how a beginner drummer might find himself stuck with trying to coordinate his limbs to play grooves, to a seasoned drummer just making sure his body functions like a perfect machine, to the jazz drummer who improvises throughout the whole song because he is above the idea of playing drums and is now playing for the music. He no longer needs to make his limbs make the movements necessary to produce the sounds, he simply makes the sounds, just like we talk without thinking how to make the sound of each letter in the word. Don't get me wrong, life is still hectic, I still burnout very often and things are still not perfect (ie. why this post is 4 days late). But at least, after 4 years, I've finally reached a point of mind like water, the connections between every aspect of my life are finally emerging and things are finally making sense. I no longer feel so much as a slave of my time and my limitations but feel more like these aspects of my life bring a new and refreshing challenge that is welcome because as Bruce Lee said and I quoted in my post before 2011 came to be:
“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”  

And you know what? I believe I'm (still) winning :).



Blogger The Fiery Scribe said...

Boy, defeat may be a state of mind, but denial is a river in Egypt.

Congratulations or something.

02 March, 2011 00:02  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ahahah thanks dude. Woah, boy, if only you were there to tell Bruce Lee himself... sheesh lol :)

06 March, 2011 13:20  

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