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.

What was the point of it?

I lost all this time in my childhood when I was struggling with many things. And now that I am finally free, I still feel that others have an upper hand. And somewhere I keep wondering what advantage must I have gained by what I went through in my past. If I lost out on precious time, I must have gained something. Wisdom? Empathy? I don’t know what it is. But I find myself desperately holding on to my past for this reason. Trying to search for some unique quality I may have gained by my time spent on it. Because while others were busy honing their talents, I was busy overcoming struggles. So that seems like my talent?

That doesn’t mean my share of struggles have come down now. Far from it, my struggles have caused unhealthy behaviours in me that still make me more susceptible to struggling more in life. Unfair isn’t it?

Perhaps one way is to switch off expectations. Let each moment, both good and and bad happen as an experience. And keep watching my own life like a TV show. Because it probably isn’t getting better by a huge degree. Or maybe I’ll manage to make one or two changes that will bring some shifts towards good. But it will always be unfair. There will always be others who got a better start, as there will be others who got a worse start.

So here’s to smiling every moment and experiencing it without feeling disheartened.

Art

I think the first time I wrote something good was when I was reading and searching for something that would help me ease how I felt inside. Something that expressed what I felt. And when that didn’t happen I wrote it myself.

Perhaps creating art is not a straightforward journey of learning a skill. It is a journey of appreciating and finding life in other people’s art and then living your life. Talking to people, getting your heart broken, feeling joy, feeling pain. Allowing yourself to feel and deal with extreme emotions through art and then one day that emotion will express itself through whatever art it is you are using to deal with your emotion.

May be. It’s just a thought.

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.

Keep going even though it seems dark. You have nothing to prove to anyone. You just owe it to yourself to complete what you have already started. Don’t give up just yet!

My Fort Is My Heaven.

Hurt hurt hurt hurt
so many times
It doesn’t hurt anymore
I am cold as stone
In or out
NO half ass human shit for me
The beauty of sitting alone with my music
Is love
nothing else
I won’t share it with anyone
I have conversed with myself all these years
Been there when no one else was there
Craved for love and loved myself
Why should I let anyone in now
This is perfect
Me me myself and music
I don’t need anyone human
When I have all of this
It’s too late now,
Don’t even try
I won’t let anyone touch this
anymore no
I am happy now
And this is my heaven.

Perspective

What makes me unique? Despite everything? I don’t give up and I have love in my heart for music. And I am living in misery, some of which I created myself. Yet everyday I drag myself. And if I ever have a family, and if I ever make it to the top, I’ll have the strength. May be. Or may be I need some friends. May be friends are important. They are the anchor that keeps you from drowning. Family is important. When you have an unsupportive family, you will definitely be weak.

So no. I am not strong. Determined yes. But I WILL break down easily. Struggle has not made me stronger. But perhaps it has made me wiser. And I could write a story. May be it has made me kinder. When i do have friends and family, may be I will value them.

May be this is necessary for art. To have a life that’s different. To feel pain and be able to write and sing about it. But I have lost the ability to empathise. I am so lost in my own pain. May be combine my pain with empathy and may be I can write stories. May be if I could view my own life as a story. And be a viewer. May be then I would be able to see. May be then I can step into shoes. Become a completely different person. May be then I would jump quickly from one experience to another, instead of being stuck on one for days even after it’s over.

May be that’s what is missing. Perspective. The ability to view my life as a story.

When does it get better?

I didn’t know this growing up. But I was always in a state of longing for something. Something that would come and change everything. Make my life good. And I could breathe a sigh of relief. Then I figured I need to leave my home, because that was after all the source of all negativity. But no, you cannot detach yourself that easily. Your family has control over your head even from miles away.

Any way…no one knows my struggle. And today I meet people who judge me for my decisions and for how far behind I am. What do they know.

The fight all my life was
For getting into the game
But now that I am here
I am far behind
The last person running
New players have entered
And they mock me
Because they are already running faster
I have after all grown old
And I have baggage to carry
So I am running , dragging
But I am slow
And I take too many breaks
It’s not good , because
no one here is going to listen to my reasons
I am all alone again
I am on the path of my dreams
But I have no friends

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 🙂