12 January 2016

The mirror is not working

Happy new year everyone! I hope 2016 has been being awesome for you. Well this year has been a very different year compared to before. I've decided to take time to self-reflect rather than initiate new adventures. Looking back at 2015 and also random moments of my life in the last 7 years, I realized how much I've not just grown, but also changed.

Sometimes for the worse as well.

My life as a comedian transformed from a kid who always dreamed about this to someone who had to hit gig targets and pay bills with it. My web design business kept growing despite my strict "no new/unknown clients" policy. The hole in  my plan was that if a current client referred someone, that wouldn't count as "unknown" and let's just say my clients are very generous people and enjoy sharing something they like with their friends. I've been very fortunate for that.

My fitness life improved from the guy who often walked with a hunch back without realizing it to the person who is working on hand stands and making sure I stand/sit up straight no matter what.

But somewhere there was still a crack because I often found myself so exhausted at the end of the day, I didn't remember what I enjoyed. It's a classic case of forgetting to stop to smell the roses because you were so busy making the garden perfect.

I love what I do and I am forever thankful for what I am doing. But many nights I'd end it with "OK what else needs to get done" rather than "Wow, I did so much!". It's only now that I've realized I had forgotten one of the key lessons in life. Make meaning, not money.

Sure I was making meaning, I was doing what I loved, but it's weird how even with that, you sometimes forget why you're doing what you're doing since you're so hung up on doing that you forget to take a moment of being.

So far in 2016, I've had to literally force myself to stop because I found I was starting to become a workaholic. I was over-disciplining myself to the point I'd plan what to do in my breaks because I wanted to maximize it. Basically, I forgot one of the lessons I learned from Think like DaVinci, one of the books that really opened my mind -- Be ready to step into the shadows and the unknown. Basically take the leap of faith. Turns out I had forgotten to do that.

I guess this is what they mean by there is no such thing as perfection. Even though I'd system-ized everything, scheduled breaks when I knew I'd needed it, turns out that's not what life is all about. Life is about sometimes wasting time just so you could appreciate the other times you are efficient. Kind of like how I appreciated my foot more when I sprained my ankle vs. when I was hopping down a flight of stairs flawlessly.

As I said, I had to get strict with myself (I know this sounds silly) about letting go of things like discipline once in a while just so I could loosen up. Much like how you have to learn to focus your mind on relaxing yourself, I've been setting limits to my go-go-go-go side so I can stop and smell the roses no matter how crappy the garden was. I've stopped myself from doing any more work after 12am at night and so far 12 days into the year, I'm 100%. I take half of Tuesdays off and force myself to go outside (I'm actually at the sea front now typing this). I'm going to go lie in the grass later and just stare at the sky for an hour. What's that for? Literally nothing. I'm taking things as baby step, but not demanding so much. If I go to the grass and decided I want to reply an email, that's fine. Then next time I'm out, I'll add one more random element and hopefully after a few months this will become 2nd nature, just like my crazy self-discipline became normal to me.

So here I am, enjoying the cool breeze on a work day and all it took was for me to pack up, wear my shoes (oh and another thing is on Tuesdays, I have to wear my good ol' slayer/Vans shoes, like I used to as a kid) and just get stupid. Feel like cup cakes? That's happening.

I encourage you guys to give it a shot as well. I know it sounds pointless, but that's the point. It's not easy, I am still addicted to my work and routines and my mind is still going "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!?!?!?!" but this time, I'm listening to my soul :)

Happy next 10 days everyone!


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