09 June 2011

Virtually Real

For a Wednesday, when I have a bunch of work still lined up, I still don't believe where I am right now. I'm enjoying the peace and quiet of the seafront near the Hong Kong Science Park. Yes. Very unlike me to be here when I should be busting out my chops and getting things done.

I was invited to visit the ALIVE lab where they showcase a bunch of Virtual Reality installations and I must say, I am completely blown away. When I experienced some of these creations on display, my mind was very visually and physically stimulated. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We weren't allowed to take any photos of the venue so I can't share this with you, but consider scenes from Minority Report and imagine you were in those scenes where little video clips literally flew around your head and you could control them!

There was another work that involved a hexagon box and you could shine a torch into it to see the virtual world of people walking inside the box, and you could see it from each side of the hexagon in real time! Very fascinating stuff1

But the real reason I'm sitting here writing this is because I needed a moment to calibrate myself back to reality. It's been a while since I just randomly got pulled out (I used to pull myself out) during the day and did something completely out of the ordinary like today. It was both refreshing and necessary. I found I was starting to fall into the grey area between a habitual lifestyle and a rut. I've been spending a lot of time reading stories of other people's struggles that lead to their accomplishments and I'm starting to feel that of my own with everything I'm doing. I am feeling that I'm getting there feeling, but it's kind of like you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you need to remain patient and focused, otherwise you risk wasting away all that hard work from before. Things are taking off big time for me, all those "dream goals" are starting to be realized and I feel like I'm on that tight rope, but I'm feeling my muscles, and mind slowly wear out. I'm not saying I'm tired, but that initial adrenaline has subsided and I need to make sure I focus myself and keep at what I'm doing. Habits are formed, routines are set and things are happening.

I started to feel this way since last night, when I re-visited my old university department (my department used to be in a renovated university car park) and it brought back a lot of care-free memories and good times. Back then, where I am now was a dream I didn't know how to realize. I was still busy building my foundations as a solid human being. Today, being in that virtual reality room, made me realize that all the "cool" things I used to see as a kid, can be realized, it's just a matter of doing it. All my childhood dreams, having my own business, being a drummer, doing stand up comedy, they're all happening, now it's a matter of making sure I can keep feeding fuel into that engine or risk seeing it die down. The chapter on Embracing Ambiguity that I read in Think Like DaVinci has to be one of the most inspiring chapters that have influenced my life like nothing else. It's made me notice how everyone I admire has embraced the idea of "you never know" and just put their faith in themselves and worked at what they wanted. A clear strategy may not have been in place, but it was a mixture of going with your gut, analyzing your situation and just making sure you're progressing in the right direction that got them to where they are. I'm reading the book I'm Dying Here and

It's times like these that I've noticed that all the people with great accomplishments cherish the time they get to spend alone. And that's what I'm doing now. Living in a virtual reality where all life's worries are on hold and I'm just staring into the sea and absorbing the sound of quiet breeze with little tinkles of sweat dripping own my back.

Update: I continue this post a day later, after enjoying the 4th anniversary party for alivenotdead.com at the Happy Valley Race Course. I'm sitting in the train station clearing out all my emails one by one. I wanted to share one more thing. I've started reading I'm Dying Here which retells stories of many famous comedians and how they struggled to follow their dreams as a comedian. It's such a fascinating read I am already 25% into it (yay for kindle books telling you your progress) just 2 days into starting it.

Update #2:The CEO of nuffnang.com came to one of my comedy shows with his family (wife and son) and it was a pleasure to hear his 3 year old son could relate to some of my bits (which makes me wonder what level of humor I'm actually dealing with ;P). The good folks at nuffgang.com are running a competition for all you bloggers out there, so go check it out and possibly win yourself an ipad 2



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