Validation

Life is a celebration of freedom if you are able to see it that way. I mean I want to say this. But what’s really on my mind is this. Life is a struggle, it’s a pain. On most days. On many days. On some days. This is that struggle between the part of me that wants to be positive and the part of me that wants to express. Both are important. I think expressing is important because it’s important to know what’s really on our mind.

But yes I want to be free and it’s possible. When we get rid of any fear we feel liberated and then we realise that anything is possible. Anything can be done. But in the course of living life in this society that fear tends to creep back in. And so it becomes necessary to be in touch with ourselves once in a while. Take a break from humanity, lock yourself up in your room, go to a village, mountains, whatever it takes. It seems like a dramatic step of escapism. Yet I feel, it’s not dramatic or extreme at all. It is actually rejuvenating and should be treated as a necessary periodic ritual and nothing more.

I say this, because today I feel the need for this. I yearn for human company to validate me, to make me feel wanted and needed and appreciated. I think this is an indicator of the fact that I have lost touch with myself.

Learning to not care

Should we write or perform for likes and praises? I have been guilty of it. Every writer or singer or dancer or actor must be. But what works in the short term, doesn’t always work for the greater cause of creativity or skill development. Many actors / writers have been known to wish that they were not famous, so they could be free to experiment. And writers often take the cover of anonymity and pseudonyms perhaps for the same reason.

Yet today it is easy to be famous. If not on national TV, we can be famous in our own social groups, schools, offices, friend circles, etc. While praises and likes from our friends (turned into fans) is a great motivator to keep churning out content, it makes us want to stick to what works. We may become skilled at being liked, not so much at the art itself.

I believe that the habit of producing content regularly itself is not so bad. It keeps us on our toes. We keep learning and improving. It stops us from becoming complacent. But to do so one must first learn to cut out the flow of both positive and negative comments. CEO of VaynerMedia, Gary Vee who has a following of 8M on Instagram, and has become a source of motivation for many entrepreneurs and artists, often talks about not caring about the opinions of other people. In fact he even believed that Instagram should take off the likes button.

It would make a lot of sense then to have a time for posting content and a different time for logging in again and going through notifications for that post. Just so that we can remember that we were not performing or writing for the sake of likes.

How to get what you want.

Instead of running behind something you want, try and make the best of what’s there in your present. May be you badly want Job B, but first do Job A really well. There is no way to Job B through escaping Job A. First be the best at wherever you are. And do whatever little you get of Job B like it’s gold. This is something I have been working on lately. To do whatever’s on my plate with utmost dedication. It’s not easy to do this. But prayer helps. Gives me the emotional strength to put this into practice.

I must sound crazy for putting “how to get what you want” in the title like I am some life guru. But I believe this is the secret to getting what we want from life. We chase some esoteric or complicated solutions. In the process, we sometimes forget the present and I believe the universe knows what we want and builds the way to it, if only we focus on giving our best to the present moment.

Space

Okay so I am writing this post in the capacity of a singer. But I think it applies to any one doing anything creative.

Honestly I couldn’t understand the importance of deep focus. I used to do all my vocal practices, scales, breathing exercises but with a lot of distractions. Would take breaks every five minutes to check my phone or watch some TV show. And I had convinced myself that as long as I am doing the required practices, it didn’t matter what I did in between to keep myself going.

But my attempt today to shut off all distractions and only focus on my vocal practices made me realise how important it is for the creative process. Not to mention, the time I save and the number of things I could do today despite the brief period of depression in which I kind of lost control and switched on my phone. I think being forced to confront your feelings of boredom or fear or past issues can have that effect. But it also made me come out of my default automated settings.

I started thinking about what I was singing and what practice I was doing. I thought about how I could do these things in a better way. I spent time listening to music and observing how each emotion is represented in the language of music by different artists. My mind had the space to think about all these things instead of being focused on mindless entertainment fed from TV shows or mobile applications.

And getting the space to ponder over things and being able to confront emotions and channel them into creation is so important for the creative process.

Look at my blog too. I wrote three posts in one day. Because I have been thinking about things, I have been struggling with emotions and I have been thinking of solutions at the back of my mind. And some of it found it’s way into my writing.

Basically deep focus gives space for us to be human. The difference between human beings and any other animal is the thought and effort human beings put into everything they do. That is what I was able to do with my music, thanks to the space I gave my brain for thinking without distractions.

I think I have made my point now. Hope it helps some people. Have a good day 🙂

Instant Gratification

The rush of dopamine is what many of us live for. I’ll admit, it happens to me, when I post something on social media. I wait to hear what people think of it. But if I am able to surpass the urge. Look beyond instant gratification and keep working. A bigger gratification would come. My way. I know that. That is why it is so important to overcome the temptation.

Saying NO

We have to say no. Have to say no several times. To parties, to people that only waste your time, to “opportunities” that’ll only keep you stuck doing things you don’t enjoy. And it seems as if you are missing out on something great because who would possibly say no right? But it’s almost as if the universe tempts you to fail. The moment you get resolved to do something it’ll present you with temptations. But if your resolve is strong you will say no. Otherwise you are fickle. And the fickle minded keep bouncing around reacting to people around them and blaming circumstances.

Walls

How long can one live in the fear of being hurt. How long can we guard ourselves and think before we take every step.

It’s true that it hurts like hell when we take off all our masks , break down our walls for someone only to be let down again. It takes away all our energy but isn’t it better that we see the truth sooner than later.

If we feel scared of being vulnerable we will be alone forever because there will be nobody, around whom we can be our true selves. If we are looking for that one person to spend our time or lifetime with shouldn’t that one person make us feel accepted for who we are and not some pretend version of us we bring on dates to impress.

We could play mind games or act like we don’t care so that we don’t come across as needy. We may win the battle of impressing someone for one date or few dates but whom are we really fooling here? That person or ourselves? We are trying to say that the real version of us that expresses how he / she feels and trusts and gives his / her all to one person is not good enough. But then how will anyone love us if we are so ashamed of ourselves. Better be alone than in a situation where we have to manage what we say, when we say and how we feel all the time. It is better that we spend some time alone till we find someone who won’t reject us for being emotional and vulnerable around them but will respond to this brave gesture with respect and sensitivity.

Random thoughts of a dreamer

Some random thoughts

Thought 1: I don’t know what life will be like when I grow old. May be I’ll be bed ridden, may be I won’t remember anything. May be I won’t grow old. May be I won’t live that long. But today I can say one thing confidently. I would’ve lived well. Every day since first stepped out of my home, has been a journey towards self discovery and every day since I quit my job has been a life of living my passion. May be I haven’t reached where I wish to be yet. But that doesn’t matter. The fact that I am on the journey now, that itself gives me peace. So even if I die today, I won’t have any regrets of not having done something. I am doing everything I can.

Thought 2: When someone tells you that they are taking the risk of pursuing their dreams, most people get judgemental. They tell them they are not ready yet, that they should take it slow. They need to learn this and improve that before they can even start.

That person has decided to take the risk, why make them look back? Help them make it work. Or don’t say anything. Why discourage?

Instead why not do this. Tell that person they are amazing for having taken this decision. If you can, guide them as to what can be done next. Applaud them every time they achieve a small success. This way you will give them the strength to continue. And persistence is all it really takes.

Thought 3: As a performer , when I put myself out there on the stage for the audience to judge, sometimes I lose sight of my goal. Pleasing the audience becomes my sole aim. Then in moments of peace, by meditating or clearing my head, I realise that my goal was to perfect my ability to sing and my understanding of music. My goal is to become a musician and a singer that I can listen to and feel proud of. And my goal is to spend my lifetime on this path. So may be the audience didn’t like me today, but it’s not supposed to happen in a day. May be pleasing the audience is the short term requirement that is important. But if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t mean there is no other way of achieving my main goal. The focus should be on working on my main goal every day and one of life’s miracles will unfold and I will find a way to make it happen. I know this sounds like a fantasy. But I have experienced this. Doors do open in ways we would never imagine. As long as we spend some time working on our dreams every day or every alternate day, we can be assured that doors will appear to new paths.

Thought 4: Plans can go haywire. What worked for the last 5 days may stop working now. You may lose things unexpectedly. You may have to start from scratch and it may all seem like a waste. But all of this will add up. So keep planning, keep trying new ways, keep restarting and keep retrying old ideas in new ways. You will be happy about it one day.

That’s it for today. I am not going to promise that I’ll write every day. Because I never keep that promise. But I am happy that whenever i write these days, it’s because I am very happy and I want to share my happiness unlike old days. I am glad that this blog is one place where part of my journey from difficult times to happy times is recorded for me as a reminder of how lucky I am to be where I am today! Thank you God, Thank you Universe, thank you bloggers, thank you Music, Thank you to myself for bringing me this far :). Good day and Merry Christmas!!!

Powering your way through life

Got up late today. Thought it was going to be one of those lazy, unproductive depressing days. But guess what, I decided to just push myself to go for a jog. And though I couldn’t cover my usual distance I still had a good workout. Got back home, had a nice shower and awesome breakfast and got two calls for doing gigs. For those of you who don’t know me I am a singer who quit her job recently to get into music full time. I’m hunting for a job again now but pursuing music remains my number one priority and today just turned out to be a lucky day.

I believe in this sort of thing. Good things and bad things happen in a flow depending on our state of mind. If our state of mind is of positivity, happiness and gratefulness, good things just start happening and we start feeling lucky. And when we feel lucky we get lucky. And the vice versa is true too, which is why some days we go from feeling hopeless to finding and getting new reasons to feel hopeless. But I don’t want to focus on that today.

I want to focus on the fact that I have two gigs now. Definitely getting more and more opportunities for getting into music professionally.

So much for starting the day positively. I think working out every day is probably the best thing I have done for myself recently. It is difficult sometimes. To wake up in the morning and find the energy to leave the comfort of your house. But when you do it you find so much more energy. And that one act if pushing ourselves first thing in the morning, kind of sets the mood for the day. You feel more organised and disciplined, not to mention energetic. And obstacles don’t bother you as much because you are able to power your way through.

So moral of the story for today, work out work out work out, preferably outside the comfort of your home.