When you work really hard, sometimes you lose sight of life’s important things. I remember when I decided to do better. I was at a client’s strategy session for a few days. Then, I left town to facilitate another session in a different city. If you’ve ever done deep thinking, you know that afterwards you feel physically & emotionally drained; like “virtue” has come out of you. You enter this very lonely state, where you crave comfort food, sex and quiet conversation. I think after flying high on intellectual activity for hours, it’s almost an anticlimax when it’s over and you return to the “real world”. Creatives feel the same way.
Loneliness can cause you to reflect on what’s missing and how you can fill the void. Sometimes, this may lead you to discover life’s most important things. Other times, it results in a kind of defiance. You reason that you can’t always have what you crave. So, you decide to channel your energy into something productive, so life doesn’t feel futile. That’s how I settled on pursuits that give me fulfillment; that fill me when I’m drained and that give me a reason to go on when I’m weary. So here are three of my most important things.
1. Words and music: Whether it’s God’s Word or poetry or physics – words affect me like few other things do. Everything I am today is a result of words I’ve heard or read. I’ve become a serial collector of authors. I find one that moves me and then proceed to buy everything they’ve ever written. (I do the same with music). Nowadays, when I look at my bookshelf and imagine the library I’m going to build someday, I derive a deep sense of joy.
I also love to communicate with written words. I’m a serial instant messenger and the depth of my friendships is typically proportional to the chats that are exchanged. It is not uncommon for my data bill to spike when I make a new friend.
I love music too. It uplifts me and helps me to channel my deepest feelings. When I was 17, I was offered a music deal, but I knew it wasn’t my path. Yes, I can write songs and perform them (I have 2 recorded singles and have even picked up an award or two) but, I’d rather be the one buying music than supplying it. As much as music refreshes me, it is the words that are set to music that primarily inspire me. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been a collector of instrumental music – I need the words.
2. Relationships: Deep friendships are one of life’s most important things. Also precious are the relationships I’ve had with mentors, family and even random people who have impacted me. I have been shaped by the thoughts and actions of the people I’ve met. From my Pakistani friend to my friend in the Armed Forces, I’ve learnt that people come in different shapes and sizes, while discretion and character will win you many friends.
I’ve also discovered that I can have entire weeks of conversation via chat and then when I eventually meet my online friends, it’s like we’ve physically known each other for years. I will do incredible things for friends. I once traveled to see a friend I’d never met and thought nothing of it. Anytime I go abroad, I try to meet someone I’ve never met.
Because of the value I place on friendship, I approach the whole male-female thing a bit differently. I don’t think it strange inviting a man out to dinner or drinks, just to catch up.
3. Human potential: I’m obsessed with creating systems and structures that enable people to fulfill their potential. That’s why education is a subject that grips me. I’ve seen lives change because of new thoughts and exposure to different environments. I want to educate as many people as I can. However, I understand that unless people make a conscious decision to engage with new information, you can’t do much for them.
So folks, these are some of the things that are important to me. If you see me lost in thought or working like a crazy person, I’m usually thinking about one of them. They are inextricable parts of my life and soul.
What are your important things?Loneliness can cause you to reflect on what's missing and how you can fill the void. Sometimes, this may lead you to discover life's most important things. Click To Tweet