Do you understand ‘The Joker’?

Yes, I’m referring to ”The Joker” from the movie ‘Joker’, a masterpiece of work by Todd Phillips and amazingly enacted by Joaquin Phoenix. You’ve watched that movie? Yes, that movie, which is one of the most depressing movies of all time!

If not, go watch that movie, not for entertainment, but to observe and learn objectively.

When I first watched the movie, I was completely taken aback. First of all, I don’t like depressing movies. It may be true that most of those movies are far nearer to the truth than those that showcase all fairy-tale, win-win, positive ending stories, but I believe movies are not meant mainly for that. It’s good and ideal that movies are made with ”lessons to be learned” or the moral as the central objective. But it should not be at the cost of the viewer’s good mood. It should not be at the cost of the actor’s mental health. Most moviegoers go to a movie, not to learn but escape from their daily mundane lifestyles, in other words, their realities. They don’t want to be shown the same or even worse in movies for which they’ve come as an escape. And movies like Joker even have the power to aggravate the wild, rash, harming, dangerous part of a person undergoing extreme pain. So, I still stand on the opposite side of making such films.

However, today I’m not just here to talk about why I don’t like particular kinds of movies. I’m here to ask you whether you’ve understood ”The Joker’s” plight? Only with a similar experience can someone relate to such sad states. Only with experience can someone understand the need to wish to rain so that no one will notice when you cry.

Understanding ‘The Joker’

The essence of the joker’s story is not just that he’s broke and couldn’t handle his emotions. Even though that is just what it is on the surface level, I would like to dive deep and pick one of the insights and present the same line of thoughts to you.

Role of collective mindset to ‘fit in’

As I said, the problem the joker faced was not just the fact that he’s broke. The problem was that the people around him valued only that which he didn’t have. The collective mindset of the society has become such, and it is now considered normal that people value money over everything even though they’ll say family, love, health, or whatever, but truly they haven’t realized that yet. ‘The Joker’ was a wealthy man, in terms of his creativity, moral heart, even in his kindness & innocence. As the story unravels, when his true wealth is not recognized, combined with ignorance, he stops fighting the ‘good fight’. He stops being a moral, law-abiding good citizen by shooting a bullet at the interviewer on a live TV show.

Role of collective mindset towards growth

And that connects to how people see ‘growth’ as. When a person ‘A’ is trying to grow beyond what society can imagine, they inhibit that person, they even try to ‘mend him’ with their so-called good intended advice! In other words, they’re trying to ‘fit in’, this person into the box that they understand in this world as. The person ‘A’ is trying to be extraordinary but people want him to ‘fit in’. And ‘fit in’ is nothing but mediocrity, average and ordinary.

For extraordinary people. They may not have friends, and they may not have a regular degree, regular job, or regular high-paid salaries. And it may seem as though they won’t fit in. It’s far from the truth. It’s just that, their playfield is at a totally different level. They belong with people not just of regional people and their beliefs, they belong to humanity and humanity’s growth at large.

They don’t ‘fit in’ because they’re contributors to humanity, it may be in terms of creativity, innovation, whatever. They are the needle movers of humanity’s growth! And most of the people are not contributors. They’ve forgotten the need to serve humanity. They’ve forgotten to be extraordinary! And yet they try to advise the extraordinary of being ‘normal’ and be average.

So, what does all this imply?

Do not try to fit in. You are unique. That’s told innumerable times and it sounds cliche now. But remember, all you’ve got to do is seek the truth, believe in your self and serve humanity!

Summon all the courage there is to defend your true self when society tries to pull you down. Trust your ‘self’ and keep going!

Thank you,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

A Compass For Life!

In blog 2: Read your obituaries I talked about remembering our mortality every day to put our whole life into a clearer perspective.

However, that blog was just a reminder and advice in a general or broad sense. It was more about pondering what you would do now, knowing that you’ll die today.

In this blog, I want to show you how to use that reminder in your life specifically to test/check the direction you’re headed in life, just like a sailor’s compass that helps him navigate through the seas and oceans.

If I die now! ( From here on, don’t just read, ask like you truly mean it)

Ask yourself this ” If I die now, i.e, this instant, this immediate second, would I die living a fulfilled life?”, “If I die now, what would be my story, how does it look like, do you like it?”, “Did you live life to your fullest?”, “Were your dreams fulfilled? or at least, did you die working on it?”

If you answered yes to all those questions, you may stop reading, you’re living a fulfilled life. But I think most people aren’t ready to die yet. Why’s that? If you lived a fulfilled life, you would be able to accept death with grace whenever it dawns upon you.

If you introspect deeply you’ll know that you’re not ready to die because you’re not living the life of fulfillment, or you haven’t started living the life of fulfillment, or probably even far from it, you might have forgotten to live the life of fulfillment itself!

And speaking of the life of fulfillment, please check out my book – The Flower of Fulfillment, which is a great guide to start with, in my opinion, it’s the best first self-help book that anyone must read! And in it, I’ve clearly laid out what is a life of fulfillment, and hence how you can live a life of fulfillment. The life of fulfillment, in short, is basically a conscious and balanced life.

Once you’ve realized “This isn’t the life I want to live”, figuring out how you want to live becomes easier. Moreover, now that you’ve realized how you don’t want to live, you’ve made “How I want to Live” into a conscious choice instead of it being compulsive or unconscious surviving. That’s a major shift towards living a life of fulfillment. 

This major shift is basically a spike in your self-awareness heightened! And that sudden surge of awareness can be highly overwhelming, no doubt. You might even feel worthless and feel like you don’t want to live at all, that’s because you’ve just compared your ideal way of life to the (past) way you’ve lived until now. Let go of the past. Forget however you’ve lived till now, forgive yourself for being so far from the truth, far from a conscious and balanced life.

Write how you want to construct your life so that you’re working on a future but at any point in time you’re living a life of fulfillment. Writing is not compulsory for everyone, of course, it’s the best way to clarify thoughts and especially something so important as your life!

Again, my book will help you a tonne in this process, because the elements of fulfillment are already mentioned there, all you’ve got to do is match your lifestyle with it.

Then Act! Live your life! Live the life of fulfillment. I hope you realize what all changes this simple yet major shift in perspective will bring into your life. You’ll realize there’s no place for procrastination after this shift, no postponing living the life of fulfillment. No excuses whatsoever.

[ I still felt like spitting this out! After this, you should have realized all these as myths – I’ll live a happy life after I graduate, after taking a job, after I’m married, or after I have my own house, or after I have x amount of money, or after I’ve become that, or after I have so and so. They all are just excuses that are postponing your fulfilled life! ]

I believe this blog has brought high value into your life, especially if you’ve deeply reflected on it.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Burn Your Certificates!

Let me start off, by using the famous Spiderman movie quote – “With great power comes great responsibility”. You can translate that to – “With every power, comes its own responsibility”.

We may not receive superpowers like Spiderman but we receive certificates that provide us with the power of social status. You may be valued highly for the certificate you’ve been awarded.

But the certificate or any title that has been awarded is not just for the sake of how much people value you, in other words, it’s not just for the sake of social status!

The certificate or the title has been awarded to you for your work, to provoke and promote your work for the future. Not just for what you’ve already done.

If you’re seeing it the other way around, then, BURN YOUR CERTIFICATES!

Let me dive in a little more. There are 2 aspects to this. And that is, before and after you’ve got your certificate.

Before:
Before you’ve got your certificate, i.e when you’re in pursuit of a certificate/title, you’ve got to ask yourself these questions. Is this pursuit withholding me from serving? Am I delaying the responsibilities, as an after the fact of acquiring the certificate?

If yes, you’re not doing the best at what you do, and you don’t deserve what you’re pursuing in the first place. Because remember this, nothing changes after you’ve got your certificate except your social status.

The pursuit of receiving a mere certificate or a title shouldn’t withhold or make you procrastinate your service to humanity. Your contribution must start as soon as you intrinsically realize your potential and feel the urge to create/change/serve!

Let me give you an example. Suppose you’re pursuing an arts degree certificate. It might be a master’s or a Ph.D., you must not wait until you’ve got a ‘Dr.’ behind your name, to start making art.

However, I’m not saying or promoting you to do anything before you’re qualified. I’m saying, you’re qualified when you intrinsically know so, not when a piece of paper is awarded to you.

And there are of course jobs that require specific certificates to ensure public safety, like doctors, pilots, etc. So I’m not saying that if you’re a medical student, go and inject something into a patient before you’ve got your certificate. I’m trying to say is when you know you’re ready to serve, just do it. Serve with what you’ve got! You may not treat patients, however, a medical student could start a podcast with his/her friend talking about how the human body works through it serving not only the general audience but also helping many of their fellow aspiring medical students.

After:
The second half of the story is what you do after you’ve been awarded the certificate. Let me start this off quickly with a simple example, If you’re a Ph.D. in mathematics and you’re not contributing anything to the fields of mathematics, you might as well burn the Ph.D. certificate!

This applies to every stream of professions. You have an MA in music and not gifting people your music, just burn that certificate!

If a piece of paper is stagnating you, then it was not worth acquiring, isn’t it? If a piece of paper or a title before your name makes you feel like you can retire and rest now, that means you’ve reversed your priority, isn’t it? It means you value social status more than the ability, the power to serve, isn’t it? What kind of life is that? The whole point of life is to explore & figure out our powers, and use them to serve others, isn’t it?

Spiderman would be bored to hell and would not even like to receive the power of spiders at all if it wasn’t to serve humanity. It would be completely pointless. We wouldn’t even be depicting him as a hero then. He’s depicted as a hero not because of his powers, but because he uses what he’s got to serve people!

It’s a similar case for all of us too. We do not become fulfilled because we have extraordinary powers, we become ‘great’ because we use our powers to serve humanity!

Thank You,
Yours Loving,
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

The Best Birthday Gift to Yourself!

In this blog, I want to share something very practical and incredibly powerful technique with you.

One month before my birthday, I usually go on overdrive mode at online shopping on Amazon! All those products are mindfully chosen and hence they bring value to my life. However, the sense of reward fades away very soon, sometimes, even before my birthday arrives. [Result of Hedonic Adaptation].

Last year (2021), one month prior to my birthday, I started wondering, what could be the best birthday gift I could gift myself? Something priceless! Then it flashed to me that, one thing nobody can buy is time and one of the most powerfully rewarding phenomena is the compound effect. So I decided to gift myself something that is the result of a compound effect.

Before I continue, let me just brief you about what is the compound effect. Of course, who doesn’t know that? The compound effect, in simple words, is the accumulation of something, usually in small quantity, that consistently adds up to a large volume of the same. This is majorly heard in the finance world, we all know that is how Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, etc made massive amounts of money enough to never work again, using the sample principle, THE COMPOUND EFFECT.

In fact, there’s even a book written titled the same – THE COMPOUND EFFECT by Darren Hardy. It’s a very simple read, but still, a good book and a great reminder of what those seemingly insignificant things done over time give massive results! Ok, enough briefing about the compound effect, because I assume everyone knows that simple principle and moreover, you can google it! Well, back to my story!

2021, on my birthday, I launched my website and through it my blog. I’ve been writing one blog every week since then. This is my 53rd blog. That means I’ve been writing every week for a year now! [Read all my blogs here]

And these 53 blogs are my birthday present for the year 2022. And believe me, it is priceless! The best birthday gift I’ve been given so far! Of course, next year’s gift will change that, hopefully.

Ok, diverting your attention from my story to your action now.

This is a very beautiful and incredibly powerful way to gift yourself on your next birthday. And it’s very simple. Choose a domain in which you want to excel, or have an asset of work under it, and then choose an action, a not-so-difficult task that you can repeat every day, week, or month [your choice]. And then, start that habit on your birthday and stick to it! By the next year, you’ll have the best birthday gift you’ve ever received!

So, ask yourselves, what is that priceless present that you’re going to gift yourselves for your next birthday?

Thank You,
Yours Loving,
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (April)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reflection to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few.
  5. Apps I tried this month
  6. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s April”s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 49: What is Collaboration & When it not!
  2. Blog 50: Are you a cog in the machine?
  3. Blog 51: Not thinking is a crime too!
  4. Blog 52: Monthly Wrap! (April)

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 4 books:

  1. The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho was a good read, but not as great as his famous book The Alchemist. Probably due to two to 2 reasons, one being, The Pilgrimage is a real story whereas The Alchemist is a fictional one. The second reason is, that The Pilgrimage is the author’s first book. It’s not like a must-read book. The exercises mentioned in it are helpful, but again, most of those exercises are not new/unknown.
  2. Quiet by Susan Cain is really a great book! At first, I thought how could she possibly fill in that book about introverts and extroverts so much as to fill almost 300 pages. But then, I could notice how incredible she has presented the book to us. I really liked her style of writing. Casual, yet not boring. And what the author is trying to do is just connect the dots of various case studies, researches, and situations particular people have dealt with. However, she puts that in a unique way. This book is insightful as well as entertaining.
  3. The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success by Deepak Chopra is a very short book. “One hour of wisdom” as mentioned by the publisher on the cover page itself. Actually, that was a surprise to me, I thought that book was lengthy, at least, not short. However, it is a great book! Provides you with simple, basic insights everyone must be aware of. And probably you know many of them or all of them, but it’s still a great book to read. It can even be read as a reminder every once in a while, when you’re feeling you’re lost, it fills faith and hope in you. And for me, I saw congruency with the principles I’ve written in my book.
  4. The Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday is a good book. This is the first book of his trilogy. I’ve read the other two – Ego is The Enemy and Stillness is the Key (My favorite). The book is divided into 3 sections, Perspective, Action, and Will. How using those three you can turn your obstacles upside down. The very good thing about Ryan Holiday books is that they are easy to read. Not just simple words, but mainly, the chapters are very short. Before you get bored of that topic, there comes the next chapter. But I feel that’s a limiting feature of the book. It feels like reading short blogs on related topics. It does not feel encapsulating work that’s connecting various dots. The author probably has chosen the task of connecting the dots to the readers.

What I curated:

Movies:

  1. Jalsa
  2. Tom & Jerry
  3. Good Luck Sakhi
  4. Moonshot
  5. The Aeronauts
  6. Old Monk
  7. Self/Less
  8. Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara
  9. COMA
  10. Radhe Shyam
  11. King Richard

Series I follow:

  1. Young Sheldon
  2. The Flash

Trailers:

  1. Light Year | Trailer 2
  2. Avatar 2

Ted Talks:

  1. Elon Musk: A Future worth getting excited about
  2. Elon Musk talks about Twitter, Tesla, and how his brain works
  3. How to get your brain to focus | Chris Bailey
  4. Want to learn better? Start mind mapping | Hazel Wagner
  5. Master your mindset | Shade Zahrai

Following along the journey:

  1. Pete’s Pirate Life
  2. Jesse Driftwood – Building a shipping container studio
  3. Becki and Chris | The Home Reno Series
  4. Wintergatan | The Machine Week Summaries
  5. String | Agent of destruction series

Reflections to ponder:

  1. Balancing the spectrum of yoga is very essential!
  2. When thinking seems and becomes unproductive, the most productive thing to do is to involve in any activity that will force you to stop thinking or that takes control of what you’re thinking.
  3. The ability to make changes or adapt to them decreases as you age. However, if you can still make changes in your life and within yourself even when you are old, you stop aging!
  4. Containing the power of knowledge is not an easy task. It’s very hard and risky.
  5. We are like the directors of the “so obvious” movie, estimating how the universe will pan out our lives. Reality is far from it. Reality is not at all obvious! Shouldn’t be either!

Apps I tried this month:

  1. Roam Research launched their android app! However, it’s not that practical to use Roam as a mobile app. And it’s in its early stages, needs a lot of improvements.
  2. Being: Just wanted to try out and see how’s work going on in the fields related to helping mental health. The app has a good number of courses. However, chatting with a real person would be delayed or even a probability. And I think that is more important than any courses. Because a depressed person will seek to resolve his conflicts through real-life talk with a real person instead of a course or chat with a chatbot.
  3. Minimalist Phone: It is a launcher that simplifies your home screen with just a blank screen and makes your app’s menu boring so that you’re not distracted. 

I’ve uninstalled all of these apps. I may use them in the future.

My Book Update:

  • I think I’ve got the first glimpse of the story outline for my second book.
  • Character building, specifics, and details are yet to be worked on.
  • And the core of the book is expanding and moreover, intensifying in value.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Not thinking is a crime too!

There is this notion, almost a trend that not thinking is the best way to live life, the way to live a peaceful and fulfilled life. And even if you don’t believe in that notion, continue to read till the end and ensure you are reaping the full benefits of your brain.

I agree that mindfulness practices or meditative practices that promote not thinking can be stress-free, peaceful, and even fulfilling. But it is definitely not the way one should lead their entire lives.

Can someone live that kind of life? is irrelevant here. Because one can or not, As much as overthinking is a foolish crime you commit against yourself, not thinking is also the same if not, even more of a foolish crime!

When I say “think”, it includes other related verbs like visualize, imagine, dream, conceive, reflect, plan, etc. All that your mind and brain are capable of doing. Your brain is an incredible gift! The brain is a superpower!

Not using it? Isn’t that an act of sabotaging one’s potential? Isn’t that a crime?

Being thoughtless should not be one’s goal, being mindful of every thought that crosses over the screens of your mind should be the goal.

And whether you knew about this new trend of “not thinking”, I’ll ask you this, on a day-to-day basis, how long do you think you spend time thinking? How much of quality deep thinking?

The point is not to come up with a number of hours.
Here are few
1. Observe. In other words, get mindful of your thoughts. Whatever that’s moving across the canvas of your mind.
2. Write. Once you start observing your thoughts, you’ll realize great truths after sessions of deep thinking. Collect those truths you’ve realized, or in other words, the reflections you’ve received. And not only does writing help you collect those reflections/insights, but also it promotes more deep thinking. It also helps you connect the dots, you can go back to the old notes later when you realize something related to the same topic.
3. Dedicate time. This is not a necessary/compulsory action if you’re just beginning to observe your thoughts. As you start observing your thoughts, that process will be “on” 24/7, so this is optional. However, when you are in situations where you need to solve complex problems, it’s best if you can dedicate a portion of your day to just thinking. And if it helps, you can even talk aloud to yourself. Of course, do this in a private space, so that nobody assumes you are mentally ill.

A word of caution: Everybody knows this quote from Spiderman, “With Great Power comes great responsibility!”. That is absolutely true and applies here too. Deep thinking is a superpower. To balance your thinking, you must absolutely have some sort of meditative practice that by will or that forces you to stop thinking because if you’re not balanced, it may lead to overthinking and then even fatally damage your mental health. Thinking is important but at the cost of your mental health. Your health is your responsibility! Balance your thinking with the same amount and quality of not thinking.

Here are a few insights related to the same:
• When thinking seems and becomes unproductive, the most productive thing to do is involved in any activity that will force you to stop thinking or that takes control of what you’re thinking.
• Allowing yourself to think about what to do now, or what do I do now may lead to unnecessary overthinking. So, plan! Plan your week and month in advance.

Of course, there are other responsibilities like, not losing those insights you’ve realized, creating and sharing a work of knowledge utilizing those insights, etc. But mental health is the one responsibility that’s a top priority!

Again,
As much as overthinking is a foolish crime you commit against yourself, not thinking is also the same if not, even more of a foolish crime!

With this blog, all I’m trying to do is push you to think more, think more deeply, and get more conscious of the process and of your thoughts.

Thank you,
Yours Loving,
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Blog 50: Are you a cog in the machine?

The other day, I took a nap in the afternoon. I don’t know whether I was asleep and dreaming or it was just my mind making up stuff since it was left to relax, but I conceived this. A comical, hypothetical scenario: I’m in my college, listening to the lecturer with all the students. Of course, everything was going over my head, I was bored and partially feeling sleepy, thanks to the brrrr-ing of the creaky fan. 

But then the math teacher starts to talk about something interesting, which alerts me, I straighten up. She starts talking about life, of horribly hard it is to live a good life. And she highlights repeatedly that, especially without a degree, you’ll not amount to anything, you can’t make your parents proud, you can’t live a life with your heads up, etc, etc.

Then, she says to the class, “Do not take Sanath as an example!” “OK? attend college classes regularly, take great marks, get a good job, earn and make your parents proud”

Then I stand up and say: “Mam, you have to be more specific”

Then I continue, You have to say specifically why they shouldn’t take me as an example! And without letting her speak further, I address the class:

 “If you don’t want to be a person who wrote more than 40 blogs this year, finished writing a book, makes music, and moreover teaches music to a dozen of students, then don’t take me as an example. And unlike you, mam, I won’t talk about/preach anything that I don’t practice!”

“If you don’t want to be an artist, don’t take me as an example. If you don’t want to lead, don’t take me as an example. If you want to be just a cog in the machine, don’t take me as an example. If you want to be just a number in this system, don’t take me as an example!”

Then I woke up springing out of bed, anxious about losing that vision. I captured the vision shortly on my phone’s notes app.

Anyway, that’s a hypothetical scenario, I hope you’re not judgmental towards that dream. I hope you won’t make me an egotistical narcissist based on an uncontrollable dream I had. And, I don’t know, probably, all those braggings were probably part of my ego luring into that dream. But don’t worry, I’ll not let that eat me.

Sharing this dream put me in an uncomfortable spot, but I thought that would be a great way to start this blog, and I believe it is the best preface I could have written for the concept of this week’s blog.

Though the scenario is hypothetical, we still have a few insights to squeeze out of it. Mainly,

  1. The scenario is screaming the flaws of the conventional system.
  2. It is screaming that the choice to not be just a number in the system, not be a cog in the machine, exists. And that choice exists within every individual. Creativity is the choice!

We all know about the flaws of the broken system. We go to college, try to memorize all that does not interest us, and most of which will be useless to your life, most of what is taught there is not what the job interviewer asks, and moreover, it doesn’t help you when you get a real job, so they’ll train you again.

Basically, the system is so screwed that, students are going to college seeking money instead of seeking knowledge, i.e, if I do this course with so and so percentage, I’ll get a good job of so and so package. Poor students, they’re not able to think beyond that. Why do you need money? Money gives you freedom. It provides you the freedom to do the things that make you happy. But will that job assure you that? Will that job assure you of your happiness?

And it’s not the student’s fault, it’s the system’s fault. The system is designed in such an ill manner. Employers should provide jobs based on employees’ work. Hence, these so-called degrees should be short and a place where you are taught how to make yourself worthy, and how to make/create something worthy. Colleges must just give knowledge. What students do of it is purely left to them.

Of course, this won’t work for all either. Any system is not suitable for everyone. But at least there will be meaning in the system’s structure.

Working a job only for money is a crime! And going through an educational course just to get a job is an even cruel crime to commit!! A crime against yourself and society as a whole!

You are becoming just a cog in the machine. Over a long time, your creativity, your true self dies. You’ll be just another number!

We all know all of this. Many talk about these too. But talking Ill of the system isn’t enough. You must act! Only a few people, not even 1% choose to act. Because it takes courage to do so.

Those few people, Seth Godin calls him/her “Linchpin”. I would call him a creative person. Seth Godin describes and explains very deeply about the screwed system and about choosing to opt-out of it in his book Linchpin. And of course, the name of this blog is stolen from his book Linchpin.

A creative person does not keep blaming the system, staying idle, and doing nothing. He realizes the flaws of the system and soon he’ll think of something he can build on his own so that he can soon be not part of that screwed system!

I say this to myself:

I cannot make myself fail-proof, but I can make myself success worthy!

What I’m trying to say is: The choice lies within you! I’m not saying you quit college or your job. If that’s what it takes for you to be your best version and that it’s a feasible option, go ahead, and do that.

Mainly, stay true to yourself! Do what makes you happy. Lead a meaningful and fulfilled life! Do not let that child artist in you die! Do not take advice from people who are not practicing what they preach! Have the courage to be you! Speaking of a fulfilled life, start by reading my book – The Flower Of Fulfillment.

Thank you

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

What is Collaboration & When it is not!

In my Blog 17: Collaboration- an artist’s superpower, I talked mainly about the benefits of collaboration and how it’s an essential tool to serve more and better art, and that collaboration is not about art, it’s about the art!

In this blog, I’ll try to define it as clearly as possible – What is collaboration. And also very importantly, what and when it is not a collaboration and also how to collaborate or in other words what are the few things you must keep in mind when you want to collaborate with other artists.

Of course the ‘what is’ and the ‘what not’ itself will make you approach collaboration in the right way!

Let’s begin with ‘what is’.

What is a collaboration?

Collaboration is an act of creating/making art together with fellow artists whose intentions align (i.e, to make a unique and the most heart-moving art piece), or if the intentions aren’t matched, it’s an act where there are almost equal takeaways for each artist that belonged to that collaboration. And the takeaway might be in the form of learning, exposure to a vast audience, or money.

In simple words, Collaboration is a win-win strategy that artists use to make more and better art.

When I say ‘better’ art, I mean it is more unique.

When it is not a collaboration?

I already talked in my previous blog about how collaboration can be used to make more and better art. In this blog, however, I want to focus on the ‘win-win’. See, that’s a very essential part of a collaboration. If that’s not the way any collaboration is working, then it’s not a collaboration. It is not a collaboration if it is a win-lose or a lose-win strategy. 

A win-lose or lose-win strategy is simply an act of manipulation by one of the participants.

Questlove in his book the Creative Quest says  – ” Collaboration work best this way when there’s a mutual desire to see what the other side adds. You know that what you’re making on your own has value, but the sum is more than the parts, and every part knows it”

Think about it, reflect!

So whenever you’re getting into a collaboration, ensure it’s a win-win scenario.

When you are the inviter for collaboration, have the intention to ensure the satisfaction of all the participants. Your invite to the collaboration should help the invited participants as much as it helped you!

When you are an invitee to a collaboration, beware of hack-minded people who may pull an act of manipulation and push you into a lose-win scenario and you gain nothing (subjectively) out of it! Try to negotiate politely for your choice of benefit – more creative freedom in the project, or financial compensation for your time!

I say this because, I’ve experienced collaboration in these angles, win-win scenarios, and lose-win scenarios. You get people who ask you to make a violin cover over their vocal tracks for nothing. I mean, there’s no creative freedom and control there, because the main track is already done and no financial compensation in the name of ‘collaboration’ nor do they upload it to a YouTube channel with thousands of subscribers or so to speak of so-called ‘exposure’. It’s just manipulation, taking advantage of the artist.

And if someone is asking for an instrumental cover on their tracks, it clearly means they only require the skill of playing that particular instrument from you. But that’s not who an artist is. An artist is not just a skilled laborer. I spoke about it in detail in my Blog 19: Are you truly an artist?.

An artist is one who is skilled, creates something original or let’s say very unique that it seems original, and then shares it with people, it is his way of serving people, An artist’s way!

If you need an artist, collaborate! If you need skilled laborers, hire! It’s as simple as that!

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap!

Yes, that’s right! I changed the monthly book recommendations (which are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month) to “Monthly Wrap” because as always, I have more to give, hence I keep expanding the means through which I can do that.

So, what does a Monthly Wrap include?

  1. Book recommendations 
  2. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  3. Reflection to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few.
  4. My writing journey/ my book updates 

I think I may add more to this list as I move on.

With that said, here’s this month’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read only 1 book:

  1. Creative Quest by Questlove is a very good book. Especially if you are someone that wants to start exploring the creative side of yourself and what to know what creativity is about, how it works, how to stay creative, how to collaborate, etc. The author gives you an honest opinion and is also very true to reality.

What I curated:

  1. The Kashmir Files (Review by Strings Vinod)
  2. Ted Talks: 
    1. How to succeed as an artist in spite of your own creativity | Tom Sachs 
    2. How to be an Unprofessional Artist | Zander Cannon 
  3. Studio Tours:
    1. Van Neistat’s wildly functional Studio
    2. MINIMALIST HOME STUDIO Setup 2022 | Mitch Gallagher (studio tour)
    3. Art Studio Tour 
  4. Following along the journey:
    1. WintergatanHow To Make Better Decisions Using A Decision Matrix
    2. Jess KarpChallenge Yourself to Grow as an Artist! Art Studio Vlog

Reflections to ponder:

  1. If you are a knowledge worker, you’ll eventually understand that the Advaita is the ultimate philosophy and the ultimate truth. Because through organizing and categorizing knowledge extensively, you’ll realize that essentially everything is connected, and nothing is distinct!
  2. Don’t just consume, curate!
  3. Working a job only for money is a crime! And going through an educational course just to get a job is an even cruel crime to commit!! A crime against yourself and society as a whole!

Apps I tried this month:

  1. Pranaria – A good app to make you do a decent amount of pranayama every day. I used it for a few weeks, the downside is, it has only a few programs and that too is based on Buddhist techniques, pranayama according to Indian yogic systems is far vast and advanced!
  2. Twitch – Exploring and thinking on possibilities to use it as a platform to stream live music.
  3. Discord – Exploring and thinking on possibilities to use it as a community-building platform for musicians, especially, I don’t see a community of musicians that has Indian classical musicians in it. A global, open server for all discussions related to music, how cool that would be! And why just music, expand that to all art forms, all kinds of artists connected to one discord server, that would be epic, isn’t it?
  4. Prana breath – UI is kind of boring and not intriguing but otherwise, it is a great app, especially the knowledge base of its own from which we can download all kinds of pranayama/breathing patterns. Ideal only for pranayama.
  5. Eka – Too much locked content, have to pay for the premium to access most of the programs.
  6. 7pranayama – Very simple app. Low-quality UI, but serves the purpose. It has instructions and benefits, other whereabouts of loads of asanas and pranayamas.
  7. Breathe -The first breathwork app I tried. It has a very good UI. But lacks many features and programs that are required for advanced practitioners.
  8. Insight Timer- My favorite meditation timer so far. I love the sound of those bells! However, I’ve uninstalled all of these apps now. 
  9. Medito – Best for anyone who’s thinking to start meditating. It has all the know-how. 

My Book Update:

  • Nothing much except the fact that the core is accumulating gradually and at random times.
  • Storyline yet to be received. Or who knows I may not use a story in this book at all, I’m still unsure about that.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

You need not be the best!

I’m not a Carnatic music virtuoso, I’m not the best teacher that this world has ever seen, I’m not the best music producer, I’m not a successful YouTuber, I’m not the best writer or a popular blogger, I’m not a best-selling author either.

But I’m way more fulfilled than any one of those people I’d be because now I’m able to be all of it. I’m a Carnatic musician, violinist specifically, I teach, produce music, make videos for YouTube, I write blogs every week, I’ve written my first book – The Flower of Fulfillment, and I continue to write for my next book!

Isn’t that the best thing!? To do everything you love to do at your level best?

And I’m not bragging here, I used my case as an example. Conveying how fulfilled I am is not the intent and purpose of this blog. This blog is not about me, in contrast, it’s about you.

There’s an artist in you too. You’re a musician, a blogger, an author, a dancer, a cinematographer. Explore the artist that you are. And I’ve already talked about who is an artist, in two parts- Blog 19: Are you truly an artist? And Blog 46: Artist vs Hack, please do check them out too.

But wait, I’m not suggesting you do everything superficially, and only make mediocre work. No. I stand on the shore opposite to that.

All I’m saying is this, you need not be the best in the industry to explore the best parts of yourself. Go on, explore the best musician you can be, explore the best writer you are, so on.

The problem is, everyone wants the certainty of the success of the venture they haven’t started yet! Just because you are not A R Rahman, does not mean you should not try composing music, just because you’re not Elon Musk, does not mean you should not think big, just because you are not Casey Neistat, does not mean you shouldn’t make videos on YouTube, just because… ok, you get the point, right?

The reason I’m pointing out this problem/issue is that I’ve seen and heard people reasoning their inaction to their lack of natural abilities and hence they can’t be “that”. And it’s definitely not a reason, it’s an excuse. It is such a silly excuse to not work, one of the silliest!

Just because you can’t be someone else, doesn’t fade the truth – the magic you are! You are unique! Go explore that uniqueness! CREATE and SHARE! Go be YOU!

THANK YOU,
Yours Loving,
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

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