Tag Archive: wisdom


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 🙂

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?

 

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10 years ago…

Today’s my father’s 10th death anniversary. And a lot has changed in the last decade. Strangely, I can see how it has made me a more positive and aware person. It has made me grateful and responsible.

His death was the biggest eye-opener for me. It happened as suddenly as it could be. He was preparing to go to his studio(he was a painter and commercial artist) and I was going to the movies. The film had barely begun and I got a call from mum saying that dad wasn’t feeling well and so I rushed back home to find that he was gone. He was there in the morning and then two hours later he wasn’t. I was 22 at that time. But by the next day itself I had become much much older. Wrapping up his studio was one of the most tedious tasks! Telling clients that he was dead, taking stock of his gazillion and half books, his instruments, drawing boards, giving away his staff’s salaries and asking them to find other jobs etc. I did all that. It’s sort of unbelievable when I look back upon it exactly a decade later.

My relationship with my father had always been strained ever since I became a teenager. My rebellious ways were too much for him to understand especially when I decided to be a full-time musician and not join an art school like he did. I grew increasingly distant from him through my growing years also because he perceived playing guitar as a waste of time. Till the time of his death, we only had a very functional relationship remaining. But his death still left a gaping hole in my life especially when I looked at my other friends with fathers and saw how protected they were. But that’s that.

What I learnt from it is more important.

  1. I understood once and for all the meaning of ‘not taking anyone’s presence for granted’. I don’t mean it in the negative sense but life is in fact quite unstable. I learned to cherish people and give them my best.
  2. My belief in the potential for change has been reinforced. My mum underwent a radical change after Dad went away. She has made herself into an absolutely amazing being who is now a pillar of support for many other people around her. She is open-minded, supportive, empathetic and far more evolved than ANYONE else I have ever met in my life.
  3. I became responsible. For everything. It used to get really tiring before! But now I understand the power behind taking responsibility for my own life. There’s no one to blame, make excuses for. I became my own best friend. I learned the ways of the world on my own. My father wasn’t around to teach me concepts of career, finances, wealth etc. All those concepts are my own today. And I am proud of it. So, I actually started earning very late in life. But I am enjoying experimenting with financial beliefs.
  4. I learned to figure out people’s intentions very early on. Right now at this stage in life, I believe that there’s no point expecting anything from anyone else but my own self. I say this with no bitterness! It’s a liberating thought. When things go awry, as they will, you have to stick by yourself. I have met a lot of people and interacted with them very closely and I have learned something invaluable that will help me to deal with life’s blows and tickles, effectively. I got exposed to disappointments so many in number and so fast that now the only person I truly depend on is me. It’s better to have this experiential understanding at my age than at 50!
  5. I became independent. I moved out of home couple of years back and I have been managing my life amazingly well! I would’ve never known if I could do that had I been sheltered from life by my parents. And I am independent and HOW! I do everything on my own. You know, the earning, spending, paying bills, buying stuff, repairing things, making music, traveling, cooking, looking after my health, visit a doctor if I fall sick, plan my career, plan my life, dream, go after the dream, invest money, secure my future…EVERYTHING. So in effect, I am my own father! Yeah sure. It gets tiring sometimes. But only sometimes. Otherwise I am busy enjoying knowing that I have balls of f*&#ing steel!! Yeaaaaahhhh!!

I decided to write this today because I wanted to know that there’s a lesson to learned and gratitude to be felt from everything. Even from death of a parent.

I would like to thank every person who stood by me throughout this amazing adventure over the last decade and made it possible to come through to this other side, wiser.

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.

guitarnotepad

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!

Wishlist 2013

These are wishes, not horses; aptly so.  This is what I expect from life in 2013:

  1. More wealth
  2. More health
  3. More conversations
  4. More memories
  5. More friends
  6. More travel
  7. More music
  8. More dreams
  9. More heart
  10. More honesty
  11. More integrity
  12. More generosity
  13. More togetherness
  14. More courage
  15. More companionship
  16. More meaning
  17. More laughter
  18. More dance
  19. More hand-holding
  20. More hugs
  21. More liberty
  22. More freedom
  23. More independence
  24. More offline
  25. More sunrises
  26. More mountains
  27. More lakes
  28. More trees
  29. More beauty
  30. More growth
  31. More learning
  32. More knowledge
  33. More compositions
  34. More poetry
  35. More satisfaction
  36. More bliss
  37. More blessings
  38. More selflessness
  39. More moments
  40. More communication
  41. More deliciousness
  42. More fragrance
  43. More security
  44. More fun
  45. More muscle
  46. More inspiration
  47. More anticipation
  48. More surprises
  49. More room
  50. More LOVE!

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!

Debut music album released!!

My debut album released on the 1st of September 2012! I am so excited that it’s almost dizzying! But this has been finally accomplished and it has done me a world of good already.

It’s available in stores and for a home delivery anywhere in India, please call these toll free numbers 1800 258 8888/ 1800 425 6967 and ORDER FOR YOUR COPY TODAY!

Day 4, 5

Day 4 went away at super-sonic speed. I had a lot to do and ended up doing even more than I had expected. I practised guitar but missed doing most of the other things. I may have to tweak somethings according to my schedule so as to not end up feeling guilty!

Day 5 has begun late. And it brings forth more and more news of what a grueling month August is going to turn out to be! No complaints though 🙂

 

And it’s my 5th happy day without Twitter. Now I don’t miss it at all!

Next update soon!

Day 3

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So my third day is a little less successful than previous two. I woke up late. But I have a very fine excuse…I slept very late and I was very very tired. But I am not allowing myself to feel guilty about it. I mean, what’s the point of that anyway.

Although, I already cooked and had lunch. And there’s still time to accomplish the rest of the 8 things that I am “supposed” to do.

Apart from that I am in a great mood. I have work even tomorrow and I have to drive all the way across the city and come back; totally looking forward to that…NOT! But it means I get money, which is GREAT! So, Yayyy!

My album is done. That’d be one thing off my bucket-list. Now awaiting its release which should be in the next two weeks or so. Most of my idle time goes into getting my marketing plan in place. How do I get my CD to be heard and bought by people whom I’m not connected to directly. How do I get them to know that my music exists.

If you have stumbled across this and have read upto here, please drop in your suggestions. I’ll be more than grateful!

Day 1

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Success!! Woke up happily without the alarm at 6.30 AM sharp. Happy, refreshed and confident is what I was feeling until it struck me how empty my life would seem for some days without Twitter gobbling up most of my time. But after all Twitter is such a waste of life. Think about it! We keep staring at the timeline to update itself, for hours in a day.

But I also realize that there’s great danger of my resolve dissolving by the 10th day or so. But I shall not visit Twitter; for my sake.

I’ve been also de-cluttering my house since morning, I had breakfast 2 hours before my “usual time” and it looks like I’m going to accomplish a lot more today than other days which just go in a blur.

So here’s my 30-day challenge list:

  1. No Twitter (*gulp* Oh god! Oh god oh god!)
  2. Wake up at 6.30 AM
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditate
  5. Cook one meal
  6. No internet after 10.30 PM
  7. Practise guitar for 1 hour
  8. Write a blog post
  9. Eat Fruit
  10. Read a book

….whew!