Posted on 3 Comments

Aim for Completion not Perfection

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Lao Tzu

Boom, you’re inspired lets fucking do this.

Firstly, I’m going to start by saying: I’m a wreck this week. I’m experiencing a cold for the first time in over a year and my personal life is not in a good shape. I say this because I feel like absolute shit but I’m doing this because I said I would release regular content and I’m not letting the bad shit keep me from doing what I believe in and neither should you.

YOU CAN ALWAYS DO SOMETHING: EVEN IF THE WORLD FEELS LIKE IT’S AGAINST YOU.

You can’t control what you’ve done in the past, you can’t control what you’ll do tomorrow – All you can control is WHAT YOU DO RIGHT NOW.

But I digress, let’s press on.

The Scariest Moment is always just before you start
Stephen King

So, I have this dream of being a musician – have had it since I was a little kid. This dream barely gets realized because other stuff happens. Work, life, Mad Arab, Inspirational blog posts* you get the idea.

I’ve found when I finally sit down and try to start working on music I clam up, get distracted or something else takes my focus. We all know this monster: Procrastination.

But what is procrastination. In a nutshell it’s fear

Fear that my song will be shit. Fear that my muso friends will think it’s shit. Fear that I’ll get stuck half way through and have to abandon another half born child to the folder named ‘WIPs’ because my technical skills and limited knowledge hold me back.

This fear results in failing before I’ve even plugged in my guitar and another day is lost to stupid insecurity and groundless fears.

I’ve found the most powerful tool to combat this anxiety is to say
“even if it’s shit, at least I did it”

Before most of us start any task we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We aim to build the Eiffel tower before we’ve even built a coffee table.

I’ll let you in on a secret: no one cares what  you’re doing because they’re too busy caught up in their own shit – and if anyone shit talks you, it’s usually because they’re mad at themselves for not having done exactly what you’re trying to do. It’s better to have created something and put it out than not even getting started. Even if it’s rubbish, it doesn’t matter people will either love it or click on the next cat video. It’s important to make it and put it out. Why? Because it makes putting out the next thing EVEN EASIER and the next thing might just be the Sistine Chapel or whatever.

So what I’m trying to say is: Aim for Completion not perfection.

You can always go back and fix it later if you’re not happy with it. Or just start something else taking lessons from the last thing you created. However, you can’t do this if you never started to begin with. This idea is also good for stopping yourself before you over think and over process something to the point that it’s truly a piece of rubbish in your eyes because you’re sick of working on it.

If Aiming for Completion not perfection is still too hard for you then try my favourite technique for getting an essay written:

INTENTIONALLY CREATE THE SHITTEST THING YOU CAN!

I remember once having to write an essay on owl feeding habits for uni and I had wicked bad writers block.
So I started with this:

“Owls are birds, they have big fuck off eyes which help them be noctournal and shit(Wikipedia, 2011). They have big talons and can fly and Harry Potter owns one, it’s called Hedwig (Rowling, 1997).”

After I got the initial anxiety of getting started out of the way by purging the stupidity out of my system I got to writing a pretty sweet paper that got me an A-

Obviously I removed the initial sentence once it fulfilled its purpose but I enjoyed writing the rest of the paper BECAUSE I could approach it without the pretension, without the anxiety and without the fear of doing a shit job.

So in light of all this, I’m going to upload this tonight and proof read it tomorrow ( a major cop out for producing shitty work, but you just read an article on the importance of producing work – no matter how shitty).

Fingers crossed I’ll be feeling better next time, because the next topic is important and I want to nail it. If you like what you heard today I’ll recommend the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

If you would like to support my cause feel free to have a look at my online storeget in touch, follow me on the social medias or comment below.

*so I guess this too could be perceived as a form of procrastination but hey, if this helps you then I’ve done a good thing.

Posted on 2 Comments

Why am I doing what I’m currently doing?

A useful question that we don’t ask ourselves often enough. This question is possibly one of the most powerful and important questions I have begun to ask myself when I’m not achieving as much as I’d like to be.

The steps we take today determine where we are tomorrow.

Before anything can be made manifest into the physical world it must begin as a thought- an intention- a desire. Without this: it cannot exist.

When we act without thinking we are usually drawing ourselves to situations and outcomes we do not want. However, if you know what you want and can keep yourself in line with that desire then you can manifest what you wish. Instead of succumbing to your habits and lesser desires which as we discussed previously usually draws you to the same shit in your life that you’d rather not have.

Example One
Why am I currently eating this fatty over processed garbage?
-It was easier than cooking.
-I saw an ad for it on TV.
-The packaging is colourful and drew my attention.
-It takes the loneliness away and gives me a temporary feeling of satisfaction.

Instantly by asking this question (and answering honestly) we realize that our answers are usually really poor excuses for shitty, self destructive behaviour. This is the power of questioning your actions: It really makes you pinpoint why you’re performing potentially destructive behaviour.

Example Two
Why am I staying up late binge watching a TV series I’ve already seen?
-I’m nervous about tomorrow so I’d rather not think about it
-I’m lonely
-There’s nothing better to do
-I’d rather eventually fall asleep in front of this instead of trying to drift off to sleep in silence
-I don’t want to be alone with my own thoughts
Example Three
Why am I drinking this beer?
-I’m watching a game with the lads and it’s the thing to do
-I had a shitty week at work and I’m trying to forget about it
-There’s nothing better to do after a long day at work
-Potentially I may be an alcoholic

These are just a couple of examples of seemingly innocuous behaviours that we all take for granted that we really don’t have good excuses for doing so frequently. I’m not saying stop drinking, I’m just saying ask yourself why you’re doing it.

When you ask yourself ‘Why’ and realise your answer is piss poor then that may lead you to ask:

Is there something better I could be doing right now?

This is important because:
YOUR TIME IS LIMITED. YOU SHOULD BE USING IT EFFECTIVELY IF YOU WANT TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE.

If you have a goal you should be honest with yourself regarding how you spend your time.

If you want to become a musician but spend your free time playing video games because it’s more fun / easier then do you deserve to ever be a guitar shredding, groupie boning musician?

The honest answer is: No

When we begin to question why we’re doing what we’re doing we begin to ask ourselves what should we be doing and this is one of the basic steps in become masters of our own destiny.

Some days you won’t win and you’ll simply answer with ‘because I want to’ and that’s ok but as long as you start to question, the excuses will become less and less effective and you’ll see yourself performing those shitty actions less and less.
The key here is honesty and holding yourself to account:
It is your ship and it is your responsibility to steer it.

We should also ask this question when we’re doing something worthwhile and begin to feel ourselves grow weary.

Why is not only there to question bad things. It’s also there to give your positive behaviours meaning.

 

Example Four
Why am I working like a dog to get this business off the ground even though I’m usually broke and always busy?
-It’s more fulfilling than a full time job
-I want to support my family
-My customers love what I do
-I don’t want to have a midlife crisis and ever ask the question ‘where did the time go?’
-It’s fun

When we ask ourselves this question in times of adversity  while doing worthwhile activities we remember our cause and it bolsters our resolve – giving us more energy and keeping us in sight of land.

Final Example
Why am I writing this entry instead of playing Undertale?
– I still have enough energy to do something worthwhile
-Ultimately this is more satisfying than playing video games
-This benefits the world better than me selfishly playing video games
– I know someone out there needed to read this

So to anyone who has made it this far, thank you for reading and I hope this has given you something to think about. Perhaps this is the day you stop self sabotaging in the name of instant gratification and begin to steer your own ship towards what you actually want in life.

If you would like to support my cause feel free to have a look at my online store, get in touch, follow me on the social medias or comment below.

Now that that’s off my chest, I can go play video games.

Posted on 9 Comments

A Primer on Mastering One’s Destiny

This was originally published on the first version of my website sometime in late 2015. Here it is again. It’s aged reasonably well.

Hello and welcome to another Mad Arab blog. Please note: this will not be about beards.

I see a lot of meh in the world – I also see a lot of people frustrated with the meh but not really sure how to ‘transcend the meh’. So for the longest time I’ve wanted to do something to perhaps help people rise along with me – because even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.

The purpose of this ‘blog’ is to help others get to where I’m going / where I want to be.

So without further delay I present my new segment:

The challenges of mastering ones destiny.

In short: the biggest challenge is mastering yourself before you master the world.

To that some might say ‘Slow down Tony Robbins, lest your giant nose shadow all that ye master’

So to start us off I’m going to give a basic primer on self help as well as a bit of a warning about the biggest hindrance to success.

Success – how do you do it?

It boils down to a few simple things:

1) Believing you can succeed.
2) Having a concrete definition of success.
3) Taking actions that lead to towards that vision of success.
4) Staying the course in the face of adversity.
5) Being earnestly and genuinely grateful for all that you have and all that you will have.

Interestingly the ‘thinking’ is more important than the ‘doing’ but you need to do both.

I was never very into ‘the power of positive thinking’ and all the trappings of New Age until I started this journey and now I would say I’m a firm believer in the power of conscious thought.

That is really what most self help boils down to – it’s not just about reading the books and doing the meal plan. It’s about internalizing it so thinking in a certain way becomes habit.

The barriers you face are mostly of your own creation – when you realize this, you will begin to understand your full potential.

On the subject of drifting

The way people exist in our times is rather passive. People drift through school until they find a job, they drift til they find a partner and  they drift all the while just hoping they’ll win the lottery. Being adrift in an ocean of drifters leads to collisions, capsizes and worst of all -drifting leads to one day waking up and saying “What the fuck happened to my life?”

So how do we avoid such an awful experience on our 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday?
Easy, by not allowing yourself to continue plodding along with no drive and no direction.
Stop drifting and start sailing.

Enough with your punchy catchphrases mate – you’re not a self help Guru.

You’re right my cynical friend, I’m not a self help master. I’m just some guy who’s working through his bullshit so he can succeed. Just like you’ve got to if YOU want to succeed.

Drifting leads to living a reactionary life – at the mercy of the tides. While it is true we are all at the mercy of the waves some of us have the forethought to carry anchors, a compass and sails. Without these provisions a drifter is a shipwreck waiting to happen.

I will visit drifting in more detail in future but for now simply understand that drifting leads down a path of unfulfilment, poor health and general unhappiness. Yes it’s scary being your own person and actually taking charge but it’s the most rewarding thing you can do. You owe it to yourself to be all you can be. Settling for the path of least resistance or the lowest denominator because it’s easy will in the end leave you miserable.

When the opportunity to succumb to your lesser desires presents itself consider the following:

The steps we take today define our destination tomorrow.

Good night and thank you for your time,

Arab, Mad The.

If you found this helpful and would like to support me on my quest, consider buying some of my fine products here: http://madarabindustries.dreamhosters.com/