Tag Archive: achievement


What is SUCCESS?

But even before this question, a rather intriguing question passed my mind

What if I am already successful, but I don’t know it?

 

I have been basically torturing myself from the last one month or so regarding the issue of success. I was beating myself up, berating myself and criticizing myself in the meanest ways possible! At the basis of this was comparison to other people whom I perceive to be “successful”. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a full-time musician. And for artists and musicians, success is even more hard to define. Would I call Justin Bieber/Lady Gaga successful? I don’t know. I don’t look up to them and so I actually I don’t care if they failed or not. But I’d say Sting is very successful. Not because of the money or the glamour, but because he does exactly what he wants to do, sings his own songs all around the world. That for me is success. Doing exactly what you want to do and getting paid for it! But everyone can’t be Sting. For example, do you think Sting’s guitar tech or his sound engineer go home and cry because they’ve failed to be on stage with a bass guitar singing a song they’ve written? NO! Because I’m sure they’re pretty satisfied being on Sting’s team and doing exactly what they gain satisfaction from…mixing sound, tuning his guitars etc.

I just thought of all this. From the time I picked up the guitar for the first time when I was 16, I knew that I wanted to play guitar all the time, make music, sing and have fun. And you know what? I’m doing JUST THAT. Isn’t that success? I think it IS! I have been so busy driving myself paranoid because I am not yet on my way to becoming Sting-like, that I haven’t had a moment to acknowledge my success. I am already successful! I have enough money right now that I can sit throughout the day reading books and watching movies and then going out for leisure walks, working out, practising different styles of music on my guitar, buy new equipment etc. That IS success!

Now I am not saying that I am satisfied and that I don’t want anymore money or exciting opportunities to play and perform. But that will happen joyfully only after I’ve fully acknowledged my first successful milestone: Surviving successfully as an independent musician. And I’ve done pretty well upto here…including releasing my debut music album last year.

I have always been relatively shy considering that I am a performer, an artist. I am not flashy or flamboyant even in my daily life. I’m not loud or attention-seeking in conversation- it’s just who I am. And as of today I feel that I won’t feel too bad if I don’t develop showman-ship like some of my idols or my contemporaries. That would be like going against the grain of who I am as a person. I am all for learning and growing and imbibing desirable qualities, but I feel foolish even to imagine being a loud, extroverted performer. From this point on, I have a few dreams and ideas about my future life which truly make me happy. And being ridiculously famous isn’t one of them. I have had the great fortune of being closely connected with a lot of high-achieving, super-famous individuals and friends. One of them gave me a very interesting and intelligent definition of fame. He said that fame only indicates how many people approve or disapprove of you. That’s it. There’s nothing beyond it. It makes so much sense. So for any kind of artists, it’s even more pertinent. Talking of Sting, I recently discovered that not everyone like him! It was shocking to find forums on the internet actually dissing him and his music. So basically a certain number of people dislike him+certain number of people like him=Sting’s fame. Approval+Disapproval. Likes+Dislikes. And I after realizing this, I am not getting along famously with idea of fame πŸ™‚

I have anyway always composed, sung and played what I like. I almost never listen to people when it comes to musical or artistic choices. I can’t be any other way because this way makes me immensely happy. To listen to my own songs exactly the way I wanted them to sound is an unmatched feeling and so, I don’t think I will be affected much by the opinions of listeners.

I’d rather be true to my calling, true to my adventure, making pots and pots of money, travel around the world, soaking in culture, forging friendships, read a lot, attend performances, wake up at noon if I feel like it, build my body, acquire new skills and be happy in my personal life. That will be success for me. But success is not one event or one day or one situation…it’s an ongoing thing. It’s a process. Although I do realize now that I CANNOT get to success from a feeling of failure. Success leads to success. I’ve only failed in being successful at something that I didn’t want to be successful at to begin with! I am okay with that!

So what’s YOUR idea of success?

 

(Wo)Man enough?

I keep hearing about a lot of women who want a “real man”, “gentleman”, “refined man” et al. Ironically, these same women in real life end up hooking up with an excuse of a man! Those wimpy, unsure, spineless, rudderless, approval-seeking, self-pitying breed of men who nobody really looks up to. A real man has personality, an edge, his own opinions and some principles which he will never compromise on. Despite that the manliness of men has always been challenged throughout history and popular culture. But are women woman enough to recognize and respect a “real man” who they declare they want? It’s left to be seen.

I therefore decided to come up with my own list of essential characteristics that I highly admire in the men(and women) that I have interacted with throughout my life including my own parents.

What makes a man, a Man?

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  1. Integrity-Β For me, integrity translates directly to dependability. I can’t trust someone whose actions don’t match their words most of the time. Most people find being predictable to be boring. But if there’s no consistency in actions, values, principles then it becomes difficult for trust to develop in relationships. We take the presence of integrity for granted in our closest relationships which encourages us to “lean on” our partners, open up to them, be vulnerable in front of them. Which means that if our partner has said before that they love us, we are naturally inclined to believe that they have our best interest in mind and that their actions will be in accordance with that sentiment. That is to say that we trust our partner to have integrity. And that’s why integrity comes first!
  2. Generosity- It’s an extremely charming quality to have in a man or woman. The inclination to give without expecting much in return. It could mean, being generous with love, warmth, praise, gifts, attention, hugs, warmth, appreciation, help. A generous spirit speaks a lot about a person. Look out for it!
  3. Commitment- Commitment comes where convenience ends. We don’t need commitment to be on Facebook all day. But we need it to actually accomplish something in real life. It takes commitment to work on and weed out our flaws. It takes commitment to stay on in a relationship when things don’t look too bright. It takes commitment to workout when all we feel like doing is sitting on our behinds. Some people always have one foot in the door when they’re in a relationship because of a notion that being commitment-phobic is cute. It is not really. It doesn’t take any commitment to sleep around with ten women but it takes commitment to make one woman incredibly happy even after ten years. Yeah whatever. Call me old-fashioned but I find commitment very sexy!
  4. Self-assurance/Confidence- A man who has confidence does not wait to seek approval from others, including from women. A confident man acts according to his own will without feeling a need for appeasement. He can call a spade a f*&%ing spade. A confident man doesn’t have to roar nor does he have to discuss his romps with other women to prove how cool he is. A confident man doesn’t feel the need to come across as funny at someone else’s expense. A confident man stands up not just for himself but also for his people, if need be.
  5. Compassion/Caring– An understanding and sensitivity toward his fellow human beings is integral to being a man. These days I see people going a little overboard by being verbally compassionate towards the terrible suffering of the children of Syria but being stone-cold towards their own family! That’s NOT compassion, I am sorry. Does he walk on the traffic-side of the road when you’re together? Does she give you a spontaneous shoulder/foot rub when she knows you’re tired? Does he make himself available when you’re feeling low? Does she buy you a little gift(it could be anything…doesn’t matter) to cheer you up when you’re super-stressed? Does he open doors for you? Is he courteous with his car-cleaners and waiters? If the answers are yes then that’s because of compassion.
  6. Passion– I find people without passion rather dull. They’re not passionate in love nor in life. It’s all like an attitude of passivity; allowing life to operate on auto-pilot. A passionate person is naturally motivated and inspired by something higher than himself. Although I understand that not all of us are fortunate to find an occupation or hobby that we’re passionate about. But that can’t be an excuse to not BE passionate. There’s passion even in love. People who love passionately, allow themselves to feel unhindered emotion for this loved one, they allow themselves to be pulled by their heart, they don’t blunt what they feel under the guise of humour or some other excuse. Passionate people don’t feel ashamed of what they feel. There also could be a passion for sport, self-improvement, music, literature, dance, community service, travel, motivational speaking etc. The list is endless.
  7. Ambition– It’s ambition that drives men. Especially when the men they look up to are achievers, it fuels ambition. To me, a man who’s not ambitious, is a man who doesn’t care to give his personal best. He’s someone who’s unwilling to take risks and digest the possibility of failure. Such men come across as self-satisfied and complacent. Ambition doesn’t just mean talking about becoming a billionaire over and over again. It means doing whatever is needed to achieve that goal. Better life, better body, better mind, better money, better skills etc. Ambition and self-improvement are in that sense a similar thing.
  8. Responsibility– A man takes total responsibility for his life. 100%. No exceptions. There’s a difference between that and blame. Blame is just shifting the responsibility to someone or something else. A responsibility is taken with a resolve to face the consequences without complaining or making the situation better…again without complaining. Really, nobody like a whinoceros! A responsible man will speak and act with thought of consequences not just for himself but also for others. A responsible man is an asset to anyone’s life. He’ll take the responsibility of driving his friends when they all want to drink. He’s the one who’ll wait to drive a lady friend back home even if it’s inconvenient. He takes responsibility for whatever best he can do in his most cherished relationships to make sure that it grows and is well-nurtured. A responsible man is self-reliant. He doesn’t have to shout at his mother or girlfriend to find his socks. He takes responsibility and enjoys it.
  9. Humour- A man who can’t laugh at himself is a sour puss! But at the same time, I am beginning to see sometimes that being funny is overrated. It’s almost like it makes up for not having everything else! “….yeah he’s quite an asshole, but he’s really funny!” BAM! Redemption for being asshole. For instance, I was performing in Germany couple of years back and one such “funny” guy thought it would be hilarious to keep my guitar-case in the middle of the road, after my performance ended. So apparently the joke was: “oh where’s the guitar?!!! It’s in the middle of a road hahaha”.Β  I therefore know that humour is very subjective. But there are still some kinds of funny that are unbecoming of a man/woman. For example, making fun of your guy’s cojones or of your wife’s grandma-style underwear in front of people, your girlfriend’s ass or your boyfriend’s impotence. These are NEVER funny. There’s a difference between being funny and being abusive/offensive. Unfortunately in such cases humour is a lost art. But just yesterday I met a fine young man who’s one of the most silent people I have met. And yet he’s so damn funny! He didn’t need to keep yapping all the time to be funny. He just said these 2-3 hilarious things yesterday that had us in splits!Β  So there, a nice and subtle Chanandler Bong.
  10. Love- Last but not the least. What’s a man who cannot or has not loved! There’s really nothing cute about a man who’s a commitment-phobe. Since we’re on the topic of Chanandler Bong, even Chandler grew a pair and took steps forward when he was in love. EVEN CHANDLER. He had issues, he worked on them. He’s happily married with two kids and Joey. So what if your heart broke once? You’re sit over there and cry like a girl? Or set out on making yourself a man that someone would want to be with? What’s a man who cannot show love and affection? What use is he to anyone who is not passionate about the one he loves?

So this is my list of the “real man”. But these qualities apply to women as well.

universe

I always always know when something amazing is about to happen. It sounds a bit strange since we’re only used to hearing how we know beforehand when something terrible is about to happen. But really, I always know about wonderful news. It may be because I do something very specific and ritualistic everytime I feel like I am stuck in a place or emotion where I’d rather NOT be. In that sense, yesterday was the last straw. I wasted my whole day sulking and terrifying myself about various aspects about my seemingly difficult life. I felt utter hopelessness in people and humanity, listless about love and relationships, insecure about my talents, afraid of what all these thoughts would do to my health. It was a terrible day which I had brought upon myself and I couldn’t get out of it. But then I got up from the bed in a swift motion and shouted “ENOUGH” at my innocent bedroom walls. I don’t know what magic that word ‘enough’ had or perhaps physically moving into a standing posture did it, but something in me changed. It was like a warrior woke up from his slumber. It was then that I decided to take things into my own hands and change whatever was gnawing into my heart. I closed the blinds, put on lights and music and started talking to myself about what was bothering me. I was asking myself questions out loud, “So now what are you going to do about it?!” and then I would answer myself, “I know that the only effective way is to do things within my control and let go of the rest. But it’s hard. Very hard.” Then consoled myself, “I know. I of all people know that it is hard. But how long can you waste time like this? You have things to do, wonderful things to achieve! Go after them now.”

I started feeling better. It was like someone with my highest good and utmost love in mind was talking directly to me, wanting to help me out of this deep hole that I’d dug myself. And then something miraculous happened. I started laughing. Alone. Laughing at the things that were hurting me, holding me down! I mean LAUGHING! It was funny and a bit scary because I really thought I was losing my mind. Then I laughed and cried a little simultaneously and then…BOOM! Clarity dawned.

I sat down and wrote in my book where I usually pen down poetry and compositions. I wrote this:”I have decided that I have finished sulking. That’s the good news. There’s no bad news. From now on slowly and steadily I will start renewing my life, start rethinking goals and work toward them. Fitness, music, wealth, money, love, my philosophy…everything anew. I knew I would be tired of crying very soon.”

And the Universe responded in less than ten minutes with an amazing opportunity for my career! Then in the morning I got a call for work which is to be done tomorrow. The Universe wants to pay me in cash and kind! And this is how I know when something awesome is about to happen to me. Every time I have taken even a small step in the right direction, the Universe has responded with such signs to tell me that I am heading the correct way. Every single time.

I recommend the self-induced laughter therapy very strongly. Whatever it is that will make one feel even a little better is good enough! It feels crazy at first. But hey, it’s not as bat-shit crazy like sulking! So, go for it!

I am currently relishing the silence and peace that has been brought by breaking up with social media. It left my brain buzzing after a long day on Twitter; and by ‘buzzing’, I literally felt that it was buzzing. Going away from Facebook and Twitter has been the best decision of this year so far!

Even more so because I am a huge fan of the Law of attraction and in turn of Personal development or self-improvement. I like to see myself as a deliberate creator of all my experiences-good and bad. And the last one and half year has shown me some great results in my career, interpersonal relationships and finances. I have come from having practically NO money to having more money than I can spend. But now I want more. I want to do much more. What was once out of my reach, is already my comfort zone now. And now begins one more round of thinking about what I really want, how much I want, what will I do once I get it etc.

And that’s the Work! Unless I sift through life-options, I won’t know what I really really really want. For this work to happen, a certain degree of quietude is required. It’s trickier than one would imagine. I know more people who have no frickin’ clue of what they really want(because they don’t see HOW they’ll get it) than the ones who know and are going after it. In fact come to think of it, I know only one such person who is deliberately living happily. And she’s one of the wisest people that I know.

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So this quietude is IMPOSSIBLE with facebook and its other evil twin chipping away at precious mental resources. I also think that too much online presence robs one of emotional responsiveness. At least, that’s what happened to me! I am a musician and composer and emotions are my friends. Dark emotions are my muses. Because of my brain being re-wired to constantly liking or tweeting something, I was hardly ever present in my own life! It seemed impossible to sit down for a couple of hours and finish composing a piece. Firstly, there wasn’t any place in my brain from all that buzzing, for a thought to come and settle down. Secondly, I didn’t have the headspace to give thought to that settled thought. Thirdly, I didn’t want to go through the painful process of seeing the song built till its last chord; tweeting was easier! Everything on social media is so transient. One can’t get attached to any thought/event for longer than 10 seconds. And it was very damaging to the musician’s spirit inside me. I need to be attached to my song. I need to be attached to( at least in that moment) the person that I am holding in my heart as I write the song. Then I have to use my craft, which is chords, rhythm, melody, scales etc and rehearse and repeat the song a hundred times microscopically hovering over every little detail to see if it matches the feeling I want to evoke. It’s an emotionally taxing process. Ask any songwriter worth his salt and he’ll tell you.

Honestly, inspiration to write songs has not struck me yet, but I know that this is a great step in the right direction. I am practising guitar everyday; back to the basics and I know that that’s where all my joy and motivation lies.

If any of you have been thinking of going off Facebook, please do it. It will feel odd at first, but trust me, you’ll be relieved to be out of the black hole!

Creating is beautiful!

So! Apparently I am a carpenter now. One fine morning I realised that I was not feeling all that fine. I knew that I really wanted to distract myself constructively from some very bothersome thoughts. I drew up my options and one of them was this: buying an electric drill. As usual I put that on the backburner and went about doing things I had procrastinated for long: getting my car-insurance renewed etc. And as luck would have it, the car insurance dude’s office was right beside a nice-looking hardware store. I went inside and five minutes later I was the owner of this:

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And after putting up a few wall-frames, key hangers and mirrors on the wall I felt I was ready to make bigger things happen. So I dismantled a huge entertainment unit last night, pulled out plywood that would make good shelves etc. and started to work. I needed a bedside table. I found these:

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And soon(after 2 hours) it was done! Check it out:

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Pretty neat forΒ  a totally untrained carpenter, eh? I think so too!

I am incredibly happy with myself right now. And I think that’s all that matters anyway. I can’t thank the Universe enough for blessing me with unbounded creativity!

Time to go out and buy some cute things to keep on my side-table πŸ˜€

At the onset, I apologize for my extended absence from blogging daily. Good news is that my 30-day challenge was successfully completed. Now working out is a habit and I can safely say that I can’t live without it πŸ™‚

There were a couple of unexpected hurdles along the way to the 30 days. For one, I was hit by a massive common cold attack that took some time to recover. But what I did during the time when I couldn’t get my body to exercise was, I ate healthy. And very very consciously.

I can already see changes in my body and I am very inspired because of that! Also, I took swimming classes. I have only attended 2 till now. But considering that I am awfully scared of swimming pools, this was a giant step for me. So hoping to continue that without making excuses!

Now I understand why they say that working out can change your life! There are so many hidden lessons in this whole process of working out towards fitness. Since the changes in the body happen so incrementally, you know for sure that one week of exercise is not going to get you to your desired goal. Hence patience becomes necessary. Eating the elephant piece by piece comes next. So planning follows. Sore muscles are evidence of changes taking place inside the body even if you can’t see it on the surface as yet. Faith in the goal, no matter how impossible, comes automatically. Also, personally I noticed that I wouldn’t push my body enough when I worked out earlier. But now I am driven more because I know I am making lifestyle changes, painstakingly planning my meals, avoiding falling to temptation to eat pizza etc. And I eat more consciously because I know that I am really giving each work out my 100%. So this diet and exercise motivation is now feeding off each other, which is great!

What I mean is, that exercise has now made it clear to me that with every goal in life, it has to be done in a similar way: one piece at a time, with faith, patience and confidence that it’s going to happen even if I can’t see “how” just as yet. I think, if I HAD to choose a religion, it would be Fitness πŸ˜€ Because it’s makes you an awesome person!

Now I am really feeling lost without a 30-day challenge. Any ideas on what it should be?

 

Day 14- Biceps

Oops! I forgot to update the blog yesterday. But this was my exercise plan:

Mountain climbers- 30/20

Standing elbows to knees- 30/20

Bicep curls- 15/12/12– 8 pounds

Hammer curls 15/12/10– 8 pounds

Basic crunch- 25/25

Skyreachers- 20/15 (not as easy as they look)

Reverse crunch- 20/20

Situps- 20/20

I am not too sure about Situps and then there are a lot of conflicting articles on fitness websites. What do you guys think? Should situps be done at all?

Day 2 Morning Run

Woohooo!!! I woke up at 5.40 AM <insert *APPLAUSE*>, read for a while while sipping chai and was out of the house at 6.35 AM while chewing on 3 almonds on my way.

Today I clocked 2KM which I think is awesome for just the second day. Let’s wait and see what my shins think. Ironically I kept wishing I was lighter so that I could run better!

The morning run provides such specimen that are totally unavailable on the evening run. For instance, plenty of humans were walking with their arms rotating in a propellor-like motion; as if they were trying to take off from the ground! Anyway I felt relatively smarter than ALL of them since I was only trying to run, not fly.

Coming up next, a review of my new running shoes from Nike. Stay tuned!

30 day challenge no. 2

I was looking for some ideas to start my next 30-day challenge after the resounding success of my first one which was to stay off Twitter. I read a list of ideas but none of them were inspiring enough. So I have decided to walk for 30 mins daily for the next 30 days. I have no excuses to not do it. I have bought myself excellent running shoes. And that’s it. Walking anyway doesn’t need any other equipment other than an iron will!

So, there. I’ve declared it. Come hell or high water, I shall walk! \m/

What’s up

Well pretty much everything is looking up! And just when I think that things couldn’t get any better, they DO!

Even though my resolve of writing a blog-post daily lost steam somewhere after the 4th day, I have managed to achieve a LOT else! A personal victory has been being off Twitter for 30 days straight. It’s especially important to me because I was heavily addicted to Twitter to the point of being worried about myself.

Then in this 30-day challenge I released my debut album to a very good reception! I got promoted with my album cover on one of the biggest international apparel and footwear brands’ official page too! I hadn’t planned for all this in detail. But I guess this is my biggest lesson: I made space in my life for the things that are important to me and the Universe paid back with such rich dividends.

What I am currently experiencing is INVINCIBILITY and a feeling of being un-hurtable. It’s a pretty awesome feeling also because it’s sustained over many days πŸ™‚

Of course there are many personal challenges in front of my eyes right now but I know that one very important thing is off my bucket-list, which is my music album. You can get a sneak preview over here πŸ˜€