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Month: July 2018

Seek your scene.

Find a place where you belong. A culture that naturally understands your uniqueness, bears with your shortcomings, shares your dreams, ideals, feelings of rejections. Seek places which feel your pulse, resonate your vibes and makes you feel light.

These are the places where you must stick around. It could be a weekly Toastmasters meeting, a regular business syndicate meeting, a Tuesday night poetry circle, a weekend salsa class, or even a coffee shop! Seek the scene where people like you already hang out. Because people like us, do things like this. And when we come together, it’s magical! Seek your scene and stick to it. Mutually contribute, critique and collaborate.

If, after a lot of searches you are unable to find one, voila! Big-in one! Get going! Together we can make a lot of Galata happen.

It’s OK.

It’s not about perfection, recognition or topping the charts overnight. It happens every now and then. But that’s not for you and I. We are better off delivering work,taking the next step and then the next. Showing up everyday and making something happen. It’ll never get perfect, recognition is elusive, random and unreliable. The only thing you can bank on is doing your craft and delivering. It’s OK. take the next step. Ask for feedback and take the next step.

Now, go make some galata.

Are libraries dead?

Stacked books, empty halls, deadpan silence. Libraries are breathing their last. An industry that’s disrupted. They have lost their appeal. You can get information quickly, effortlessly and at little to no cost on your device, you can plug in your earphones and play the white noise, There’s always a copy of that expensive book on torrent, you can sit at any coffee shop table and read through! Why do we need libraries then?

We don’t need them anymore.

What we do need and what I hope the libraries transform themselves into:

1: We need a sense of community; Where we can openly debate, discuss and derive our opinions, ideas and perspectives. Organising debates on topics that matter to the youth (not from the syllabus but subjects but around it that youth wants to voice out. think: sex, religion and politics.).

2: We are over informed and under skilled. Libraries need to transform into a workshop. It needs to create a bias for action by setting up pop-up stalls or workshops of skills that are valuable but not available as a full-time course: Tattooing, Vlogging, photography, handwriting analysis. 0 investment yet higher footfalls in the library. People will eventually refer books to deepen their understanding of the newly acquired skills.

3: Open house sessions with authors that are championing ideas, theories, stories that are relevant.

4: Don’t push students into the library. Through the means of attendance shortage, excessive research-oriented assignments, free-hours. Pull them instead. Create the environment that encourages learning, ask interesting questions, create quizzes and reward them bountifully, recommend top 5 books, make it fun.

5: A democratic library. Let the students lead the organising of events, engagements. Let them vote, recommend and edit the list of books to be bought, let them donate their used books. Let them browse through any website of their choice.

Libraries are not competing against Google, Wikipedia and the entire internet. They are complementing them. Their purpose is to educate, inform and inspire students to learn. Its high time they stop boasting about the number of books they stack. It’s time they boast about how many students who never pick up books to read are taking out the time to read? How many students are voicing their informed, well thought out opinions?

Now, go make something happen.

Copying works.

Don’t re-invent the wheel, don’t take the trial and error approach. Both are extremely slow. If starting out, copy! Yes, but don’t become a copy-cat, become a builder! Build on it. Tweak it, fine tune it, add your flavour to it. Begin by copying, as you keep adding layers, it’ll slowly morph into a different, unique style. Whether it’s writing, acting, public speaking or business. Copy, shamelessly. Build on it relentlessly.

The big break is a myth.

The big break is a myth. It makes one lazy, complacent and at times desperate. Do the work instead. Keep doing the work. It stacks up slowly but steadily. To a point where your body of work can’t be ignored. Then a little opportunity can also be turned into a big one due to the skills, abilities and perspectives you bring to the table because of the work you had been doing.

There are many that get the big break, shine and disappear just as quickly as they had arrived. Then, there are those that continue to shine and only seem to grow bigger. Do the work, it’s your BIGINNING. Go make some galata.

Self start to stay ahead.

Do you wait for a kick, a shake or even a recession to propel you to do something? Self-start is a brilliant concept! You don’t need to kick-start the vehicle, push it down the road and then press ignition or even tilt the vehicle in the hopes of getting it started. It’s similar to humans, being driven to achieve something is like having a self-start button.

Don’t wait, the perfect time, situation, encouragement will never come. Develop a self-start mechanism. Start small, start now.

Timepass is a myth.

You are always learning whether through social network feeds, streaming videos, movie marathons or binging on biographies. The question is what are you doing with what you are learning? You can watch a comedy show and decide to refine your sense of humour, you may watch a movie and get inspired to plunge into your passion, you can listen to a song and realise the musician in you, you can read a biography and resolve to create history.

What will you allow to influence you to be, do, give more!

One movie, one song, one book, one quote, one joke can change your life!

Whatever is your indulgence, use it to benefit you beyond the momentary escape.

Whats next?

If you are just starting out, you don’t need the world to acknowledge, appreciate, admire your work. You just need to begin and focus on the next little step. The pursuit of big things is achieved by doing the small things consistently, by showing-up daily, persistently pursuing though the goal is not in sight, the edges are rough, the systems are buggy or even non-existent.
Keep taking the little step. They compound over time! You can’t appreciate it looking into ahead but you can feel its power by reflecting on others past.
Making something happen is a long journey. There are no guarantees or promises. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself over how far you are from the destination, you are better of focusing on the next small step.
Now, go do some galata.

A debaters checklist.

Debating is an underestimated skill. If engaged it’s usually with anger, out of frustration or driven by emotions rather than thoughtful conversations. It’s got a bad rep in the name of arguments, back-answering.

The essence of debating is really about better thinking, better listening and better speaking. It’s about showing possibilities, alternatives or a different point of view. An important checklist for every budding debater (we all are every now and then):

  • Actively listen instead of waiting for your turn or strategising your moves.
  • Address others respectfully. You are here to explore a common subject.
  • Use facts, ideas and statistics to further your stance.
  • Increase the level of argument, always.
  • Stay on agenda, when deviated, own up the responsibility to get everyone focused back to the topic.
  • Enjoy the discussion and conclude with everyone’s points in mind.

Debating is not a tug-of-war game, it’s not a race to speak the most. In fact, it’s an attempt to understand the person to your right and left and move towards something better.

Now, go make a ruckus!

Ps; Thanks to Transcend PU college for letting me judge their debating event. I couldn’t personally give a feedback hence, this blog. If you haven’t yet subscribed, now is a good time to do so.