A year of experimentation

It’s already night but the night just gets crowder.

With bustling streets and packed clubs, people are awaiting the coming of the New Year. With bottles of champagne and a company of loved ones, they sat under the stars awaiting the fireworks. However, some of us prefer to sit in solace, accompanied by a good book or just in thought of the opportunities to come.

Yet another year.

Yet another year filled with new disasters, new sadness, new experiences. However, it is also filled with new opportunities. New opportunities to be seized, new paths to tread, new doors to open. We won’t know what 2019 holds until we carefully tread along its path.

Whatever it is, I’m sure we will experience bouts of sadness, happiness, confusion and even depression but we should not allow them to control our lives, not even happiness. We should experience each emotion fully, consciously. With mental health becoming in a huge concern in our society, we should remember to be in check.

Anyway, looking back at my 2018, I feel that I’ve achieved quite a few things.

Firstly, I’ve found the LOML, insyaAllah. She’s been there all these while but I never realised it until May this year. I’m glad to have made the move because I see a future with her. May our love for each other continue to develop for one another over the years to come. May 2019 holds much more growth for both of us.

Secondly, I competed in TSC2018. I’m glad I did because it was one hell of an experience. The vigorous training that we put ourselves in, the hours upon hours of training and the sacrifice that we’ve made. I think it was worth it. However, looking at my future, I don’t think I would be competing as there are other things that I want to focus on this year. It was an experience that I will never forget.

Thirdly, I began to call myself a photographer. After getting a few wedding gigs and being a photographer for a Streetwear event, I realised that this is something that I love to do. This is something that I would pursue. However, to build a business out of it is something hard but it does not mean that it cannot be done. Whatever it is, I would love to keep making art till the day I die. I hope to be an artist until my final breath. This year, I will put more work into this business and hustle further to make my dream a reality.

Also, I went for umrah and sought Allah. It was a memorable moment and I hope for the effects to be life changing. May I continue to seek His pleasure until I die.

2018 has also been a year of broken friendships and broken hearts for many of my friends. I pray that He mends their hearts and heal them from the dark emotions they are facing. May they continue to be true to themselves and seek to do whatever that is good. Amin.

2019 is a year of experimentation. I think I should also implement monthly challenges to motivate me throughout the year. 2019 is all about going ‘All Out’ and to strive for new horizons and break barriers. I cannot wait for what’s in store. Bismillah.

Advertisements

The End of 2018

Every end of the year marks the beginning of a new one.
With each new beginning, one might set goals and aspirations to achieve in the upcoming year.

As usual, I’m one of them.

With new goals in mind and dreams to chase, I think I’ll be ready for the year to come, insyaAllah.

May we continue to seek His pleasure and may we be blessed with His mercy in the year to come. Amin.

A clean slate

We are born as a clean slate.

Whatever happens from there onwards is affected by how we are nurtured and the environment that we find ourselves in.

Those factors shape our minds and the way we think and through that we get the sense of the world that we are living in.

Our fates have already be set on paper by Allah SWT and all we have to do is to live it. However, that does not mean that we do not have free will, instead, it is through free will that we live the lives that Allah SWT has already written for us.

With that free will, we can choose. We can choose between A and B. We can choose between this or that. We are free to choose. With that, we should realise that life is all about options and through those options that we have chosen, we live it just like a mega RPG game.

Through those options that we have chosen, we build an identity for ourselves. We learn what is wrong and what is right, which options will give us maximum benefit and which options should we stay away from. We start to put markings on our clean slate, each mark a memory, a character, the formation of an identity.

Ultimately, we carve a statue of who we’ve become and who we will die as.

Choose our options wisely.

A brand with a story

Personal branding is on the rise.

Alongside social media and the advent of newer ways of communicating, it has become as the most important thing for anyone who is interested in putting themselves out there: Personal branding.

Personal branding is about telling a story. It is not just about the names and the logos but the things that people associate it with.

An example would be Gary Vaynerchuk. People associated with him as the hustler that grinds 24/7/365 but also one that loves the NY Jets and would spill truth to whoever and whenever.

Another would be Casey Neistat. He has built a personal branding of being a filmmaker and also an advocate for Youtube and Samsung. He is known as the ultimate vlogger and people associate such work with him.

Therefore, as we are building our own personal branding, we have to keep in mind the kind of things that we want to be associated with and do those consistently.

What do you want to be associated with?

2019

I met with a few friends the other day and we went into deep discussion about life, business and dreams.

One of the profound things that we discussed is to find the balance between relationships and our future. Firstly, we should try as much as possible to invest in our future. Whatever money that we get, we should put at least 90% of it into the dreams that we want to build. However, sometimes we have relationships and we feel the need to treat the other party well by buying gifts, treating her and such but if we change our mindset into that of an investment, we would slowly start to realise that the other party don’t actually matter much. Maybe not for now. As much as you love her, she too needs to understand that you are building your career for the future and whatever time we spent otherwise are just escapisms (including her).

I believe that we have to adopt such a mindset as being unemployed, we are only capable of focusing our resources on so few things. On the podcast, The Ground Up Show, Thomas Frank gave the analogy of 4 light bulbs. Each of those light bulbs represents a few things, an example would be: relationships, work, health, hobbies. We are only given a limited amount of current to light up those light bulbs. Therefore, at any one time, you can light up one light bulb very brightly or light all light bulbs dimly. I feel it is a good analogy for life as we are humans with limited resources and as imperfect as we are, we can only focus on a few things at a time and by doing so, we would have to neglect others and we shouldn’t feel guilty for that.

Going back to what my friends and I discussed previously, at this point in time, mutual understanding needs to be there about the need to invest in our careers, in our future. Sometimes neglect may come in the form of financial neglect but one needs to understand that if one invests properly, the returns will come in the future and then only can you lavishly spend on whatever you like.

2018 has been a year full of life changing events and I believe that 2019 would be similar. With many new opportunities that will be coming my way in 2019, I cannot wait to continue building my career.

Another Nostalgia Moment

The last time I felt like this was months and months ago. I think I wrote a blog post then too.

Anyway, it came, yet again. It is a feeling that I cannot truly describe but it is as if I’m yearning for the past or rather, the things that happened in the past. I yearn or I longed for the memories that I had such as going to Japan, playing computer games, watching Game of Thrones, playing YuGiOh. I don’t know why but these things call on me. I feel quite sad suddenly and pulled towards it. However, I also realised that if I try to satisfy this emotion, it will not actually disappear.

Anyway, because of that, I’m starting to miss a lot of things and I can get quite emotional inside. Just all round sad.

I hope it goes away but I think since it is the end of the year and with a lot of things that had happened in the past, it will not go away so quickly. It is as if my brain is reminiscing the past just to remind me to be thankful for the memories that I had.

Gah. I really miss everything, how it was like, what I did and such. The past seemed more beautiful now.

Yet.

Another year.

Yet another year is over.

What have I actually done this year?

Well, the saddest part of this year is that my grades are somehow on a downfall. My CAP continues to traverse downwards and has been since the beginning of Year 2.

Last year, I think my issue was that I was too busy with other things. This year, rather, I think I was too free and I slacked off a lot. I mean I felt that I wasn’t doing much most of the semester and I think because of that it took a huge blow on my final results. To be honest, I cannot blame anyone for it except myself. However, despite all of that, I just hope to continue to maintain my current CAP for the last 3 semesters or even bring it back up.

Firstly, allow me to review my semester.

The past semester was very relaxed. Too relaxed in fact. It was to the point where I had almost no motivation to study because I knew that I could catch up at anytime. However, I realised that maybe because of that I wasn’t putting enough time into work. Even to study, I wasn’t actually studying and by the time I realised that, it was too late. I told myself at the beginning of the semester that the library is going to be my friend but it was only until the end of the semester that I studied in the library. Kind of disappointed about that.

Aside from that, I realised that I needed to have a better way of studying. Most of the time, I feel as if I was cramming information into my brain without properly understanding them. The problem with that is precisely that. It was cramming. Furthermore, I seemed to cherry-pick parts of the syllabus which I thought was important but in fact, in the exams, it wasn’t at all. Adding on to that, I feel that my notes were all over the place and I seemed to be studying haphazardly, repeating my notes and flipping too many times just to find the right information. I think I really need to relearn how to study because I really believe that cramming is not the way to go. Okay, that’s one.

Quality over quantity. I seemed to be studying a lot last semester but my mind is always distracted by other things. Now, during the holidays, I realised that it was distracted with a lot of nonsensical things, things that are not at all important. Furthermore, my studying discipline was down last semester and that is one important field that I need to reinforce upon myself.

Secondly, sacrifices. It is not all about studying next semester. I hoped to execute a few things next year and with execution, I need to sacrifice a lot of things. I feel that the time I spent with my social circle has to be reduced, by a lot. It is okay to have fun and games but I think with the heavy commitments and planning for the future that will be happening next year/semester, such sacrifices have to be made.

One thing is for sure, I will be doing my Final Year Project next year. Hopefully, I will learn to like the process of it and it might pave a way for me to do my PhD. If not, it is okay and I will move on. Aside from that, I will be spearheading a project for Freshmen Orientation Camp and one of my goals for the camp is to expose these new and fresh individuals to as many opportunities as possible. Furthermore, I am planning to be more proactive in my business. Photography, videography, China-resell and the likes. A better business model has to be built and it requires focus and a lot of experimentation. I guess you can say that next year will be a year of experimentations.

Fitness-wise, heh. I have to really start exercising again. It has been two years since I frequented the gym and I think I am going to go back to doing powerlifting. It is about time I get back into the shape I was when I came into NUS.

Anyway, the future is coming in fast and with that, I need to know what I’m going to do in the next five years. As far as I know, my plan is to work 2-3 years, get married and during all those time, work on my side hustle which is to intern/build my photography/videography business. Definitely it is going to be hard as the demand for professional photography lies usually in event photography. It is not that I do not like event photography but I feel that it is very stagnant and once I’m in it, it might not be easy to get out of it. However, if I were to stay in a freelance business, that in itself is not easy as your wage would be client dependent and thus, lead to too much flux and changes. Highly not dependable. Therefore, I feel that I need to find something or rather, a business where is inexpensive to start but can be sustained for the long run. My dream is still to build a design studio.

Hmm… There are a lot of things to focus on next year. I need to start priming my life to make that lifestyle a whole lot easier.

Oh, one more thing. I don’t think I will be competing next year as the competition would clash with my FYP submission. That would not be ideal as I’m planning to do my best for FYP so as to use it as a stepping board for maybe to pursue PhD. InsyaAllah.

– social life
– silat
+ library
+ a whole lot of seclusion and studying

I know life ain’t about studying but I need to reach a CAP that is somehow comfortable which should be about a 4.2 – 4.3 so that I’d graduate with a second-upper. InsyaAllah.

It’s going to be one hell of 2019.