Gain Freedom by Letting Go of External Validation (and Dancing)

One of my favourite dance partners, Rod. We have a lot of fun.

For the past 2 years I’ve focused quite heavily on self-development and quite specifically, evolving into a more enlightened mind, because in my life-long mission to constantly improve myself, this was an aspect that was lacking. One of the things I’ve wanted to write about for a while is how much freedom I gained from letting go of external validation.

A lot of people tell themselves that they don’t care what other people think; this is mostly temporary and quite often just a shallow belief that they try to convince themselves of on a regular basis. I’m still on that journey though, and the more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know. What I mean when I say that we should let go of external validation, is this: don’t let others define what you do. Don’t let them dictate whether or not you do something, or keep doing something, if you absolutely love doing it. (Unless you’re a psycho that hurts others in some way. Then get some help. I’m not judging, I’m just saying it’s a mental thing that needs to be addressed.)

If no one is noticing what you’re doing, that’s ok. Just keep doing it for you. Or for your mother, your father, your partner, your pets – anyone you want to help that WANTS TO BE HELPED. Soon people will notice. Be consistent. Do quality work. Feed your soul.

If people are noticing and hating, then learn to let go of that noise, especially:

When it comes to your dreams

It’s your dreams and nobody else’s. You own them and they can be as big and crazy as you want them to be! Don’t ever let anyone dismiss your dreams and don’t ever feel stupid about anything you have shared about them. Dreams are sacred and they should be protected. Whatever techniques you need to use to ignore the haters, just do it. Most of those who say you can’t do something aren’t doing anything themselves. It amazes me how most people will project their own fears and insecurities on you and your ideas. Thank them for their input, then be on your merry way.

When it comes to what you create

This is the next step from your dreams – when you manifest them and start the process of bringing them to life. Most of the time, it will take you several, maybe even thousands of tries before you can realise that dream, and that’s ok. It’s all part of the fun. You experiment, you create and re-create and then you improve your methods, your style becomes more distinct, you start to build confidence in your skills and trust in your ideas. Hype yourself and surround yourself with people who will gladly cheer you on. Thank the haters for showing you that you’re on the right path while they stuck in their lives, and keep doing what you doing.

It’s been about 14 months since I’ve started this journey, and it’s been a lot more freeing. I realised that I have this same approach when it comes to dancing, because when I dance, it’s for me, but anyone can watch and observe because I’m happy to share it.

Set yourself free with dancing

I dance to express how music makes me feel, how I physically interpret music; so people’s opinions of the result of that don’t bother me at all. It’s who I am, and I am not ashamed of who I am. I just wanna dance and have fun.I took my first salsa dance class a month ago and ended up straight into the intermediate 2 class. I’ve seen it done, tried it a few times and knew the basic step, but throwing myself in the deep end was fun. Other people told me they would’ve been scared. IT’S A DANCE CLASS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Have fun with it!

I couldn’t believe how serious everyone was, both during and after class, in the social dancing aspect. I was amazed by how uptight they were, counting steps out loud instead of listening to the beat and feeling the rhythm of the music. I kept messing up the whole time, laughing and giggling at my own mistakes, not being used to following the guy as a lead (hey, as a freestyle hip hop dancer, we usually do our own thing) and trying to find the humour in the older men flirting with me. Most of them laughed with me and smiled patiently, a few ignored me and would curse the fact that we didn’t get the routine right the first time. Whatever.

It’s obvious that a lot of people were there to socialise and meet a potential romantic interest, but how can they do that when they’re so serious and fixated on getting the moves right? I’d love to teach a prep class that teaches people how to loosen up a bit and enjoy themselves, then feel the music, then do the moves. A good attitude, a smile and self-deprecating humour wins me over every time, above technical skills.

The most entertaining people to watch on the dance floor are the ones who look like they’re enjoying themselves the most, even though they probably aren’t the best dancers. You get mesmerised when you see someone just enjoying the music and getting lost in the moment. Which is probably why drugs are so popular. But music is my drug. Dance to express, not to impress.

But don’t be a damn reckless fool

I don’t really think that we can or should even completely free ourselves of what other people think; there are times we need guidance, reassurance and feedback on what we’re doing, how we are as people and so on. The trick is to figure out firstly WHO you should believe for certain topics (don’t listen to a broke man about how to manage your finances or an employee/co-worker about becoming an entrepreneur) and then WHAT to do with the information they give you. I can write a whole other piece on applying feedback to improve yourself, because so many people are blind to what’s being said and shown to them.

Be free, lovers!

– K.

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My Latest Obsession: Shark Tank (USA)

I don’t really watch TV and there are only a few shows that I’ve had playing in the background while I’m relaxing at home. I can’t remember how I got onto this video of a pitch on Shark Tank, but it was the most fascinating video I have seen in a very long time. I don’t know many people who watch this, but my obsession with business, entrepreneurs and their journeys to success was immensely satisfied with watching this show.

I was really inspired by two particular entrepreneurs who found success after decades of considerable focus and hard work, resilience and passion. I’m surrounded by too many people wondering how they can make more money, when the question should be, how can they make a really significant and positive impact on the world? These two are my favourite pitches so far, since they address some pretty big issues and their passion goes so deep, you can really feel it from just observing them for a few minutes.

I have become a huge fan of Mark Cuban’s after watching this show; his absolute confidence and no-nonsense approach is inspiring. I have learnt so much from observing these interactions between the ‘sharks’ and the entrepreneur.

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Looking for Inspiration: The School of Greatness Podcast

I am really guilty of having way too many tabs open in my browsers, to the point where I’ve had to completely shut them all down and start with a clean state – I had both Chrome and Firefox open with about 40 tabs each. Excessive.

I just have this habit of finding really good content that I want to share on my blog, but instead of bookmarking them or posting them in a timely manner, I wait until I feel like writing a whole batch of posts in a day.

So today is that day, and while I’m spending the weekend at home still recovering from my crazy 2.5 week trip to the Philippines, I felt that urge to write again.

I find myself struggling with self-doubt on a daily basis, and wonder how it got to this point. I realised, after lots of reflecting on it, that 2014 was full of so much failure and rejection and shitty things, that it really took a toll on my self-confidence. Now I’m back on a journey to an exponentially better version of me, and that consists of doing 2 things: 1. Decluttering and healing (in every aspect) and 2. Rebuilding, re-educating myself with a more sophisticated and positive mindset.

A lot of the material I come across is crap, but I’ve started to find some gold nuggets of information here and there. I want to share them with whoever is in a similar situation and hope that it helps them on their journey to a better life.

This podcast episode in a series by Lewis Howes called ‘The School of Greatness’ is a really good place to start. I’m a big fan of James Altucher and listening to him retell his story and his learnings made me feel relieved to hear from someone who had pretty bad shit happen in their life and how they have bounced back from it.

 

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Random Adventure ft. Zhen, Chris, Ilya, Jenny and Sharen (15 Jan 2015)

I wanted to write up a few posts last night based on the overwhelming support I received from my first post for the year about my one and only resolution for 2015 and beyond, but I got pretty wasted instead. I’m a pretty random person so just before I finished work, I asked my good friend Zhen what he was doing, and from there it became a group of 6 new-ish friends drinking sake and talking a lot of shit at Zhen’s regular spot, Sharak. They have this small lift in the back of the narrow restaurant which trips me out, but they get so busy that the three floors are usually bustling when we’re there.

There were a lot of good calls by Zhen, which are hard to explain via writing; thus our new inside jokes. For my own memories’ sake, there were gold ones that only those who were there would know, like:

  • “You know what rhymes with Anna Kim…?”
  • “Oh Kat I didn’t know you were from New Zealand”

It was brilliant. If the others can remind me, then I’ll add to this list. Anyways. These are the only photos I got…

Chris is like… sup. Ilya’s like… fuck off

Chris is like... sup. Ilya's like... fuck off

Chris and Jenny are like… hmmmm what to do

Chris, Jenny and Ilya are like... hmmmm what to do

Duh… drink. Then “cheers…” until…

Cheers... until...

Ilya: “Fuck off Jenny, that’s mine”

Ilya

Ilya: “Yeah that’s right. Fkn peace.”

Fkn peace

Then we tried to convince the waiter to secretly drink with us, then leave work early to get wasted at Sanctuary Hotel. No go. He’s too honest. And Chris is such a poser.

Trying to convince the waiter to drink with us.

That’s about all the photos I took.

Anyways, next day was basically dealing with the hangover. On the bus to work, I bumped into Will, another good friend and moreso of Zhen’s who said he didn’t come out drinking last night because he was out the night before with Zhen and had to spend last night recovering. Ha! Then I recounted the night for him.

Then throughout the day, this is how I dealt:

Ugh… Steak and mushroom pie and a dirty soy chai#hangovercures

Brother & sister hangover catch up over #laksa. We’re the best and the worst. @mikhailzenon#hangovercures

The Hangover Part 3…chips and gravy with Ponsford#hangovercures #fatty #outtacontrol #cheatday

The Hangover Part 4: creme brulee #dessert

So part 5 would’ve been K-EFFING-C… but I stayed home packing for Boracay instead of getting wasted with Zhen again.

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The Only Resolution That Counts For My 2015 and Beyond

trina hip hop legend

So after a lot of reflection in private, I decided on a few things:

1. I would quietly start sharing my reflections again, because some people might actually learn something from it, and that makes me happy

2. The only resolve I have for my ongoing self-imposed struggles and limiting beliefs is that to make some serious change, I have to become obsessed with being consistent.

That’s it really. After 1 year of introspection and limited social activities, 2014 was a fucked up time where foundations were shaken for a lot of people’s lives; those who I’ve spoken to have sighed over the shitty year that was, and the hope that 2015 will bring better times.

But the danger in looking ahead too often is that it breeds anxiety of the future and doubt from past experiences. The only thing we need to focus on is what’s happening now. Because that’s the only thing we can control. There’s no point in surmising over what we cannot do anything about anymore, or yet.

Now the first point above with the sharing of reflections through this blog stems from point 2. The ‘Consistency Principle of Persuasion‘ by Professor Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University, “states that people live up to what they have publicly said they will do and what they have written down. So Cialdini encourages us to have others write down their commitments as a route to having others live up to their promises.”

If we are consistent with our vision, our core values and beliefs, our goals, then take action on a regular basis i.e. form a habit, then we can basically get up each day and know what we’re doing with our lives.

So what habits am I going to form or keep?

1. Exercise & Stretch

My goal is to get 10 x muscle ups, 10 x handstand push ups and 10x pistol squats

2. Meditation

My goal is to remove anxiety and reduce unnecessary stress from my life. Some stress is good.

3. Writing

I write for me daily, but I’ll write for others more than I have been. I love story telling and inspiring others through my writing.

4. Singing & Dancing

Another form of therapy. Just need to find the best way to share this therapy with others on a bigger scale.

 

It’s really simple when you think about it. Do it, or don’t.

And like in Will Smith’s inspiring story, just lay one brick at a time, as perfectly as you can.

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Someone once told me the definition of Hell…

Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became… will meet the person you could have become.

Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became… will meet the person you could have become.

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[Picture] Come on inner peace…

This made me laugh. I feel like this sometimes, trying to wind down or calm down after someone’s pissed me off. Just look at this and remember it when you get to one of those moments.

Come on inner peace, I haven't got all day

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