16 August 2011

The fight for everything

 Someone asked me, "Do you hope one day you could do this full time?"
My answer, "No."

Am I missing something because this isn't the first time I've been asked this question regarding one of my passions. As a drummer, I've been asked this question when interviewed with my band Eve of Sin. As a comedian, people who hang out for a drink after the show are curious about this. As a self-employed (who used to consider himself freelance before) web designer, I've heard this, and even as a lazy person, someone has asked this (yes, do you hope one day you can just laze about all day at will?)

Call me greedy, but is it really surprising to people that I'd like to do all of them full time? Yep, I admit, I find myself whining about the lack of time a lot, but that's probably because I'm trying to pursue more passions that the typical person may do so? Maybe I've been too hugely influenced by the multi-talented Leonardo DaVinci or maybe I haven't found the one road I want to be walking?

I'm going to be helping out at a Youth Camp in October and I'm in charge of a self-discovery session where I'll share my stories about growing up and how it helped me better know myself. I suggested to the organizing committee that why don't we present the kids with 100 questions and they can pick any, say, 50 to answer. This idea came from one of the exercises in the book Think like DaVinci but the book required you to write 100 questions in one sitting to ask yourself over the next few days. While creating the questions, I kept running into a recurring term -- "favorite". After writing all those questions, I found I had a problem when I had to pinpoint one thing. Like what is my favorite food? Well it really depends. Is it breakfast? Did I just have a workout? Sometimes I would die for an ice cream, other times all I want are instant noodles. Even when I reversed my question, and asked something like "what is your least favorite subject in school".. again it depended. Sometimes I really hated math, but if it was algebra, I could sit there for hours, but throw in a graph and I'd find myself cringing....

It made me think about a person's passion. I really enjoy drumming, but if you told me I had to drum for 8 hours a day, I'd hate it. I enjoy comedy, but if I had to write funny material all day, I'd be bored and fed up. Ask me to design websites from morning to night and I'd puke the next time I heard the sound of a computer mouse clicking. And honestly, could I expect my body to be able to practice vigorous drumming for more than 2 hours a day? I think not, it needs time to recover. The same goes for my mind...

The more I think about how I live my life, the more I realize it's like how I eat a buffet. I alternate sweet and savory foods because it allows my sweet tooth to be happy without decaying. The interesting thing is while I eat my desserts, I'm not thinking about that bowl of curry chicken at the counter, and perhaps the concept of "doing it full time" could be applied in a similar way. Even thought I may not be using all my 24 hours a day to do one thing, but as long as while I'm doing it, I'm fully immersed in the experience/moment, then I'm as good as the next guy who does nothing but that.

I typed this whole entry while sitting in the train station listening to music and just speaking my mind (with my fingers). I even forgot it's actually quite noisy around me :P Guess someone should ask me if I hope I could blog full time as well :)



Blogger Chi said...

Anyone ever told you you are one greedy man, don't get me wrong that not a bad thing - I rather admire that actually, specially when it's easy to see how multi talented and successfully you are. I too had refused to allow my life to be stale and without variety, good to see it is possible and make it all work

My only question is: do you ever sleep? Where else would you find the time?

05 September, 2011 08:40  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Hey Chi,

I try my best to hit 7 hours a night, but it's hard to find that balance (but hitting the snooze button constantly is a great help!). I guess it's a combination of stubborness and just self-faith and yes, greed.

It's possible but it's tough, but the good thing is, at the end of the day, you sleep happy because you know you made the most of your day and you look forward to seeing how you can conquer tomorrow :)

Good luck!

06 September, 2011 21:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 September, 2011 20:23  
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