In Kung Fu Panda 1, the yet-to-be-mighty Poe is thrust into the training dojo of Master Shifu. Shifu, ever the master, asks Poe about his Kung Fu level.
Poe, being a big fan but with no skills, suggests that he be put on a training level of zero.
“But we don’t have a level zero!?” says Shifu.
Poe is put to the test and he comes out the other side, beaten, bruised and all but defeated.
“We now,” says Shifu, “have a level zero”.
Like Poe, I have found level zero.
I see where I want to go. That’s wayyyy up there.
But I take comfort in knowing: those who are wayyyy up there, were once down here. At Level Zero.
This is where I need your help the most. This post is more of an “advice seeking” type of post. I want your opinion and thoughts. But I don’t want a survey, MCQ type pie-chart type of advice. I want your thoughts. With adjectives and everything.
You see I have this plate. And I like to keep it full. Big plate. Mostly full. Just how I like it.
Let me give you a run down of what’s on the plate. This way, you can see anything you like. That’s how sharing works, right?
You can tell me if you like something, you can suggest how you’d improve it etc.
Like always, most of the stuff is for free. Some, I plan to charge for. I share this here so you can tell me if I am on the right track. Your feedback is always welcome (those who’ve given me feedback I think already know that – thanks folks, you know who you are). OK, so now, on with it…
The LifeETC Meetup
An annual event dedicated to independent thinking and intentional living. In other words, a gathering of people who want to be creatively self employed to live a life of adventure!
Those who have signed up already know this: the meetup was first scheduled to happen mid of Feb. But now we have postponed it for later. We want to do this in the best possible way and postponing it made a lot of sense.
The registrations are open again because now we will be moving into a bigger venue, God willing. Click here to know more and/or register.
I have been invited to speak twice in the past few months, once for TEDx and once for Plan9 (a tech incubator here in Lahore).
Both talks were based on living a more wholesome life, a life of adventure – a life one actually looks forward to living. Both experiences reminded me of college days, and I like that.
More importantly, many from the audience later told me how they were inspired. And that’s what I am trying to do anyways, so taking this “speaking thing” made sense.
What do you think?
If you own or have access to a group, company or organisation AND you think I can bring some value, I am all up for it. I am designing a “Speaking” section just for that. And depending on who you are and if you can afford it, I’d charge for it (I think that’s fair, no?). If you’re interested that I speak at your event, contact me.
I can not begin to explain what a ride it has been. Training for my first ever triathlon is one thing, but saving money for it and planning the trip is just one big, steep, seemingly unsurmountable learning curve!
My triathlon adventure has everything it seems: training in a place where there is no triathlon, running around for days to sort out lost ID cards and expiring passports, doing financial gymnastics to save money (read: begging, syphoning and eating air!). You name it.
But it seems that I may be able to pull this off just yet! God willing. I am hoping to fly to Abu Dhabi end of Feb for the 2 March Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Your prayers needed!
I have lost weight obviously and have become fitter (!!), but here’s the thing: when you aim this freakin high, other goals are achieved almost as a by-product. Fitness is now not a direct concern, finishing the race is! And when I focus on that singular focus, a lot of other things NEED to happen for that goal to be achieved. Focus always is a massive force!
I will possibly write a detailed post – won’t you love that – where I will show what I’ve been doing. But that post will probably be published at Triathlon Training Web. Let’s see.
If you are interested in running your first triathlon, I may be able to offer some help (note, I have YET to run and finish my first triathlon!).
Also, we are organising a small, invite-only triathlon here in Lahore. This again is unchartered territory for me and my friends who have agreed to do this. Level zero! Join this Lahore Triathlon group if you are interested in that.
I plan to run three triathlon races in this season all over the world. The first will be Abu Dhabi. God willing. Backed with a great community support (2100+ verifieid email subscribers) plus Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ acquaintances and friends. Couple that with an awesome circle of friends, I think this is doable.
I hope to inspire. Hope to introduce the sport of Triathlon in my country. And I need your prayers. Also, I need sponsors.
You see, my lifestyle is shifting. Running triathlons may make me an athlete, but this is because I am an adventurer. And becoming an adventurer is simple enough: you start by saying that you are an adventurer. That’s how the your thinking changes, and eventually your whole outlook on life. And so far, so good. Alhumdulillah.
This is part of the compelling future that we talked about a few weeks back. My initial attempt was to be independent, to think and act creatively and to be self-employed. This gave me a lot of free time. But I fell into a few traps (remember the BIG mistakes we talked about recently? I made all of ‘em).
It took me some time to figure stuff out and move ahead. By God’s Grace. It’s interesting that the shift happened when instead of asking “what I want”, I paid more attention to the question, “who do I want to become“.
I have met some great people offline and online in the last month or so and that has made a lot of difference. From the adventures of A J Leon to stories of entrepreneurial adventures from Babar, from Mohy’s bike rides and creativity to Aamir’s pursuit of awesomeness — from talking “on the phone” with Chris Brogan to hanging out with new friends after events… I have collected a set of unique experiences and friends, and I like that.
I have been blessed with people who are smarter than me and work harder than me. I am trying to team up with them in many ways so together we can produce bigger results, God willing.
I am compiling a report on how to live a life of adventure too. Like I said, I am producing a lot of content these days: God willing, you will be seeing it more often now (your feedback on that required – see “posting frequency” below).
Dairy Farming Update
Dairy farming has been one of the bigger adventures of 2011! Almost two years later, it is still going strong by God’s Grace. I have now put up a small forum for discussing dairy farming (especially in Pakistan). You can now post all your questions and discussion there! Nice, no?
For example, I am selling two of animals so if you are interested, check this post out.
Also note that I just talked about selling cows on a blog about living a life of adventure. Does that make sense or what!!??
The Dairy Farming Guide (my notes on setting up a successful dairy farm) is getting a small face lift. A chapter on Human Resource and another on Security can make it a more complete strategic guide! I get a lot of requests for an Urdu version, so I am working on that. Also, an audio version is being recorded.
LifeETC & Posting Frequency
I owe a lot to you. To this platform. To this blog and the community. Alhumdulillah.
A friend recently called this blog the “ZenHabits of Pakistan”. If you know ZenHabit (a blog by Leo Babauta), you’d know that it is one hell of a complement.
Apart from the two speaking gigs, I was also invited by the Chief Minister’s office at the opening ceremoney of the Lahore Metro Bus system. So yeah, this blog is helping me go places.
But treating your blog as a business is one thing, producing content that actually helps is the real challenge. To produce remarkable content, you need to produce a lot of content! I for one have been doing that.
The content (including watercolour paintings, videos, pictures, audio and text) lies around and some I post on Facebook. The reason has a lot to do with fear and my concern that the content is just not good enough, but I won’t know till I don’t “put my neck on the line” and show it.
Bottom line: I am producing a lot of content yet you don’t see that often here on the blog. We can do two things:
- Post more often here on the blog – so you get the content delivered to your inbox.
- Keep posting on Facebook and keep this blog more “article based”. But for that to work, you need to head over to Facebook and add me up (Like the page and/or add me as friend).
What do you suggest?
So this is where we’re at. Let me know what YOU think (either through email or in the comments section below).
The above projects are the ones that are under process as we speak. More are about to launch or are already “out there”. Yes, I tend to believe that we have bigger plates than we think we do.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot
Why pick battles that you KNOW you can win? The only way to know your limits is to test them. To eventually fall.
Level zero is a funny place: for example, trekkers trek for days, through difficulties, lonely nights out in the wild, through mountains and crevasses only to reach the base camp.
Their journey to the base camp itself is treacherous But they know, once they reach level zero, there is a whole mountain in front of them, waiting to be climbed.
Thanks to some self-organisation that I’ve only recently learnt, I am confident that God willing, this large mountain that I see before me, this is nothing. I can climb this and find bigger mountains to climb.
I look forward to your suggestions, prayers and support. Thank you.
You have an exciting future only if you see it. Do you see it? If you can not see it, close your eyes and imagine it. That is the mountain and you, my friend, are the adventurer. Bon freakin Voyage!
P.S. You can leave a comment below telling me how we can do this, or you can email me directly. Thanks for doing this. Peace.