07 March 2014

The motivation marathon

First things first, play this song while you read this post.

Alright, now that you have that in the background, wait for like 30 seconds into it and tell me it doesn't feel like the perfect sound track to some sort of "COME BACK" scene, and now 30 second later, it feels like a "VICTORY" scene. Call me crazy but every time I listen to this song (which is my new pre-workout song), I'm all ready to go and feel a new sense of energy flow through me. Of course, this excludes the times when I'm hungry or lacking sleep (still 2 things that can totally defeat me).

So the last few days have been a great test of my endurance with me having to deal with a whole bunch of stuff that requires 100% attention/energy from me. I've had many long days and early mornings and man when you're fatigued, you're fatigued.

Recently I've been reviewing a lot of classic motivation videos that I remember watching a while ago and came across my favorite few:

I remember watching this and it's always been a reminder to me when I'm down to my last 10% of energy that basically, when you're in desperate need of something, you're going to find the energy to do it.

In fact, I recently re-finished Think and Grow Rich and basically it explains that everything boils down to the right mindset. I mean, heck, a few posts ago I posted a TED talk about how stress doesn't have to be the negative thing we think it is as long as we have the right mindset. The more I read books and the more I try to connect the dots, it all boils down to a person's mindset which leads me to realize believe that your day is going to unfold the way you expect it to. Kind of like how every morning I wake up to my daily affirmations and one way or another, I make them happen (As David Allen's GTD book suggestions, either you make the promise and stick to it, or don't make the promise so you won't feel disappointed in yourself).

Which brings me back to the song I asked you to listen to. That mindset of "COME BACK" then "VICTORY" is all a mindset. If I woke up today thinking "I am going to kick ass today!" then chances are I'm going to try to do things that lean towards kicking-ass. Because technically, there are many ways of kicking-ass. I mean, I could kick ass by clearing my room and making it super comfortable. I could kick ass by having a killer workout at the gym. I could kick ass by doing a great set at a comedy show or I could kick ass by simply running up the hell instead of walking. But with the mindset of I'm going to kick ass, it keeps the door open and me alert for any chance to kick ass. Which is exactly why they say Preparation produces opportunity and it's not so much about waiting till you're ready, but being in the mind set that you're ready for the opportunity when it comes.

Interesting as it seems like such a simple shift in one's thinking but of course, theory vs., practice are 2 different games. Well let's see how this mindset game sinks in for me for the next 10 days (or until I write another entry ;)).

Speaking of which, time to kick ass at dinner! MUNCHING HERE I COME!

03 March 2014

The big step, the permanent step

Well as I said a few days ago, my blog is now 7 years old. It would technically get a Hong Kong Permanent Residency card now if it were a human being.

So today I got the privilege of going to a school to speak to some Primary School students about my story and life growing up in Hong Kong. The most interesting part was in my 2nd session (my 1st session was speaking with P.1 - P.3) where I spoke with P.4 - P.6 students, I was quite amazed at how mature these kids were. I mean they were no older than 12 years old but some of them stayed back to talk with me. It's wild to imagine that between us, we had almost 20 years difference and the amount I've seen and learned in 20 years is intense! When I left, I was wondering to myself how funny it'd be if 20 years later we bumped into each other and they remembered me or vice versa! That'd be a great conversation to have!

Working with the Hong Kong Spirit has been great for me because it's opened up my eyes so much in terms of experience Hong Kong. I mean sure I've traveled around HK but man this year I've gone to places I never would imagine going nor knew existed.. Which makes me wonder how much my eyes have been opened in the last 7 years. I've had the privilege of performing stand up comedy around Asia, forming bonds and friendships with people who have similar goals as me. I've had the honor of being in the middle of a ring announcing fights. I've had the rare chance to speak with race car drivers and even be featured in movies on the big screen and TV.

Ever since I'd formed the habit of always being thankful for at least 2 things when I wake up, it's always acted as a great reminder of all the great things ahead. My mixture of writing in ohlife.com makes me look forward to what I will have to say in my day's entry. Now don't get me wrong, not everyday is "Oh man! I want to do so many things!" exciting to me, I have many days where I have to literally drag myself through the day out of exhaustion, frustration and just blatant dis-interest in the day. However, the things I've learned (literally going back to 7 years ago) in the many books/blogs/movies/talks I've enjoyed, things are now in automatic. Like I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed with work and I know I will get through it, I just have to get through it. Like it's not me searching for the light at the end of the tunnel but basically having strong faith that that is a light that I'm looking at. It allows me to keep going without doubting myself too much.

2014 is a big year for me as I've set quite a few personal goals to aim at and so far so good, 2 months into the year and things are going well. I've been honest with myself when I know I can't do something and I've been honest with myself when I pretend I can't do something but I know it's more like I don't want to do it.

I've always been a firm believer that the best way to learn is to teach and recently I've had many opportunities to teach public speaking skills, comedy skills, computer skills and even self-development skills to people (some as me being a guest speaker, some as me being invited as a lecturer). Through all that, I've managed to improve myself because I've had to take what was in my head, write it out clearly and have the ability to transfer those concepts into another person's mind. I've come to realize that is so effective, I literally do that with everything now! It also has taught me how to read people better because I've had workshops/guest speaker spots where I could clearly tell the audience wasn't interested in something new, but interested in someone agreeing with their point. In the classic book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, the story generally reminds us that we need to have an open mind (not a naive, but open mind) to hear things out. As Bruce Lee said,
What I've come to learn is, every day, our mind and bodies are constantly filled with both good and bad things. Our goal is to make sure the good items surpass the bad ones so our balance stays positive. Much like how we take a shower every day to clean our bodies of dirt (without peeling off the good layer of skin), we have to do the same with our minds. This doesn't mean avoiding bad things. I've learned to welcome everything and don't judge. Learning to listen has allowed me to absorb more knowledge than just learning. People say a lot of stuff and I ingest it, then take my time to digest and filter out what is good and bad. Sure I could be subjective, but the point is to realize it's the hacking away that makes you a better person, not just the absorbing. Much like eating food is good for you, but it's also the balance of burning calories that keeps you healthy.

By doing that, you will be able to reveal your true self much like washing your face (rid of dirt, make up, etc.) shows your real face which you can't deny. I mean sure many people are unhappy with their current situation in life, but it's not so much about being satisfied. I've realized being satisfied is not good, but being content with your progress is what keeps you alive. Much like having a six-pack feels great, but looking at photos of you a year ago with a beer gut and look at a picture of you with a 2-pack feels even better. It's the progress and growth that keeps you going. Of course, along the way, many people may lose themselves but ultimately...

I think the older I get, the more I realize there are far too many people in the world who matter and even more people in the world who don't matter. I'm not saying their lives are meaningless, I'm saying their opinions don't hold as much power as many of us think they do. I mean as said in Think and Grow Rich, opinions are everywhere. Everyone has an opinion, but it's not the opinion that matters, it's how it affects you that does.

Ultimately, after 7 years, I grown, learned and digested so much I don't even know where to start. But the good thing is, it's not a cloud of dots in my head, but dots with lines connecting them and just as my blog states, it's all about finding connections between all the things I do. And so far, so good.