26 May 2013

Sri Lanka time (with a pinch of Singapore)

Well hello from Singapore! Yes, Singapore. This is my 1st stop before heading off to Sri Lanka for comedy gigs this coming week.
I know what you're thinking "there's comedy in Sri Lanka?!"
The answer is no. There isn't. But hopefully that'll change in a few days! It's quite crazy to think I'm actually sitting with my friend Umar (the founder of Comedy Masala) relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.. in Singapore. It's been a loonggggg time since I've actually just sat and relaxed on a Sunday afternoon. Usually this is the day when I'm all fired up to get the week ahead prep'd and oddly, I'm pretty much ready for the next few days :)

So I've finally taken my own advise and calmed things down, to the point I'm actually enjoying a zero inbox where my email inbox is nice and empty (although my to-do list isn't,...but baby steps). I've slowed down the projects I take on just to allow myself a little space to breathe and it's quite good because I've finally got some perspective on a lot of things I do.

I recently came across something called flash fiction which is all about telling a story in a short amount of time. It's quite fascinating because it's all about being brief in your story but still staying full-bodied.

One I read, which I think was absolutely fantastic (though the story is really quite sad) is this:

Pretty intense eh? I read that and went...woah.
This does remind me of one-liner comedy bits and of course the first person I thought of is Rodney Dangerfield. His stuff is classic to me!

Anyway, going to enjoy more flash fiction now, heck at least it'll make me feel more productive because I can tell myself I read so many stories in such a short amount of time :P This is what I believe is:

Work smart, not work hard ;P

13 May 2013

The lowdown

Well hello there! I have officially given up on making sure I write a blog entry every 10 days of my life. Why? Well I've been on a mission to simplify my life and just accept that I'm no longer superman

That doesn't mean I'm retiring the suit, just saying that I have to realize that even Superman couldn't save every single person. On a brighter note, I've been able to slow things down a bit and finally focus on the things I want to be doing. I suppose it all started when I had a little spare time and I looked at my past few week's daily schedule and realized I was back in a SSDD life (Same Shit Different Day). It was one of those moments where you kind of go "you know what? Things will just happen, it's my choice that these things are the things that I want to have happen around me". I guess anyone who is living a full life will realize that they'll always be busy but it's really a matter of are you busy doing things you want to be busy doing?

Well this last few weeks has seen a big change in my life. First, I powered through Legend Fighting Championship 11 in Kuala Lumpur. I managed to get my suitcase stolen on my way back to HK but heck, this is why I bought travel insurance right? I saw myself lift the heaviest I ever have at the gym and also suffered through an annoying throat infection. I finally managed to get my email inbox at zero. Yes, zero. This is a huge milestone for me and my to do list is almost clear. I'm currently sitting at City University of Hong Kong typing this because I realized as long as I was in my workplace, I'd somehow find something to do and never get to doing this entry. Speaking of CityU, I wrote an article for the eAlumNet newsletter (I'm a CityU alumni by the way) and have been asked to write 2 more :) The only thing I have yet to accomplish (that I really want to be doing) is working on my new comedy bits. I have so many work-in-progress comedy bits it's annoying because it's like a tiny little voice at the back of my head saying "and then?" that I want to silence with a good punch line.

At least on a brighter note, the Chinese comedy crew is getting bigger and better. There are a lot of rookies and open-mic'ers that just need a bit more time to refine their material and become a regular performing comedian. Having to work with the Chinese comedians and kind of lead them has really taught me a lot about leadership and inter-personal skills. I recently came across a picture and I think it totally summarizes my thoughts:
I'm sure many people who run a business and work with a team have this feeling. I mean, I've come across so many "leaders" who actually end up being like a "boss" and lead by directing rather than inspiring. The more I read about leadership skills, the more I realize it's not so much about doing the job with others, it's more about inspiring others about the direction we're heading and the reward that lies ahead and then working in parallel with them rather than dragging them back because it's your way or the highway. It's interesting because as a leader the hardest thing to do is realize you're not always in the driving seat. Sure you're often the decision maker but man it is tough when you make the wrong decision and now you have to not only fix your problem but also make sure your team is ready to help you pick up  your mess. Poof.

I guess it brings me back to full circle in what I've always believed about leaders. Leaders are always happy to listen to their team's views and suggestions. Then process that information and make the best decision he/she can make based on his/her judgement about the case.

Speaking of listening, I'm currently co-hosting a radio show with RTHK Radio 3 called Hong Kong Lowdown. It's not on air yet but it's a show about interesting aspects of Hong Kong. The coolest part is both myself and my co-host Cruzanne Macalister are very pro-active people so the show has been quite smooth sailing. We've finally found our rhythm working together and know each other's style. The best part about this show is the information I've learned about Hong Kong. Man! This is awesome stuff! After typing this entry, I'm off to RTHK to record about HK Population and I have been going crazy looking at the HK Census statistics. It is complicated but very, very fascinating, learning so much about Hong Kong in general. Want to get in on the fun? Go check out the Build your own table section on the HK Census website.

And that's it for this episode of my entry. It's been a great 30 minutes typing this, enjoying the university atmosphere and for once, not being swamped by emails. Enjoy your next 10 days! :)