Notes To Self

Carving Out Time

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It’s amazing how the simplest truths are sometimes the hardest to grasp sometimes.

The passage of time is both democratic and universal. It’s applies to everyone and stops for no one. And yet somehow we find that there are people who are able to accomplish way more than others with the same amount of time allotted to them.

For sure each one of us have stumbled upon moments of great productivity where time seemingly slows down to the whims of our liking, bending it to our will as we relish the experience of being “in the zone.” For a songwriter, such moments are blissful reckonings. And oh so fleeting.

Then, unexpectedly, the momentum abates, and before you know it, a long drought devoid of creative thought nor inspiration ensues. Life’s menial demands start to get in the way, monopolizing your every waking moment urging you to put out one fire after another.

You go from being the driver of your destiny to being a passenger on someone else’s journey.

So how do you stop this spiral towards being trapped in your own Matrix reality (movie reference intended)?

You carve out the time to focus on what you want to accomplish. 

Like carving out the time to sit down and stare at a blank page to write this blog.

Like carving out 30 minutes a day to invest in your health by walking in the sunshine or under the moonlight.

Like carving out time to read at least one chapter of a book before bedtime in lieu of checking your Facebook or Twitter feed.

Like carving out time to simply empty your mind.

Sometimes all we need is to get one foot in the door of uncharted possibilities to get a glimpse of what the universe intends to show us. And it begins with taking some kind action. Sometimes that action may simply be a conscious effort to carve out time for the things that matter the most to us.

One of the people I’m privileged to know through the music industry is best-selling author and multi-Grammy® and Latin Grammy® award winner and US Navy Veteran Kabir Sehgal. And he was featured in the book Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins (which I have to carve out some time to finish by the way.)

kabir_profile  kabir_book

Kabir has maintained a successful career in investment banking, yet his passion as an artist himself has manifested in ways that have garnered him multifarious deserving accolades and triumphs few have been able to pull off. He has always wanted to write, and despite the immense demands from his investment banking world, he managed to carve out the necessary time to learn the art of writing while working on Wall Street, which have led to having 12 books on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller list.

There are many “urgent” things that will constantly battle for your focus and attention. If something is important enough to you, decide to make time to focus on it. We all work within a finite framework of productive hours in a lifetime. Let’s make it count.

All About Music

There Is No Shelf Life When It Comes To Your Dreams

On a whim, I decided to fill in a casting application today, and one of the sections asked for a “personal bio” (not a “professional bio”) where you get to talk about yourself, your goals, yours regrets etc. After some pondering, this is what came out.

If there’s one thing I’d hope my life would be a testament to, it is this – that there is no shelf life when it comes to your dreams.

To be sure, there are various levels of “success”, and it’ll be presumptuous of me to think that what I’ve been able to achieve thus far in the music industry might serve as an inspiration to anyone.

But I grew up in the Philippines listening to the likes of James Ingram, Michael Jackson, Kenny Loggins, and watching telecasts of the Grammy® awards, never imagining that one day, I’d become a NARAS member myself, and be a  part of “Music’s Biggest Night” as a music creator, much less get recognition as a producer on 2 Grammy®-winning jazz albums (by Ted Nash in 2016, and by Arturo O’Farrill and Chucho Valdes in 2017.)

DSYMusic-DennisSy-Grammy-certificate  DSYMusic-DennisSy-Grammy-certificate2

All while hustling day to day on a 9-5 job as an IT professional for a major bank on Wall St., and giving in to the call of the arts at night and during the weekends in the pursuit of music as a songwriter and as a singer and performer.

I wish I could say that everything that has happened on this journey was as a result of a conscious design, or careful strategic planning. On the contrary, most of what I thought of as set goals didn’t really materialize in the form of what was originally intended. I realized that dreams have a way of manifesting themselves in ways that you’ve never envisioned, but in alignment to what you have shared with the universe.

And what I have set out to share was my artthoughts and aspirations and day to day yearnings and views as interpreted through words and music. 

It’s easy to call it quits if dreams are based on myopic visions of what success should look like. But when dreams are based on one’s passion, and when the underlying reason for its pursuit is a desire to share something to the world with the intent of trying to make a difference in a positive way, then there is truly no shelf life to what you can conceive in your mind and in your heart.