I support the arts, I love the arts – I am artsy! What can I say, while I was working in the business world, I was always craving something else, “what was missing?” I would ask myself? As it turned out, it was my artistic side that was not being fueled.
Working with artistic types is so different. So much passion for what they do, in fact I have so much passion for what I do (or am trying to do) now.
I have written before about personal growth and pushing oneself in order to grow. This has been my mantra and so far I feel that I have been doing this.
After completing my first acting course (Acting Level 1) last summer I could really feel how much I had grown. During Acting Level 2 this winter, I noticed that I was now often the first to volunteer for an exercise – this was the complete opposite of my first course where I was afraid to make a fool of myself. The end goal of this level was to perform in scene in front of friends and family. Mine was a scene from “The Prisoner of Second Avenue”, the scene where a husband and wife find out that their apt has been robbed.
I spent several years in Investment Banking, the work was interesting, money was good but ultimately left after 8 years and never looked back. Why did I leave? I honestly did not like the person I was turning into.
I was raised to believe that anything is possible, the sky is the limit. My parents always believed that I could achieve whatever I wanted provided I set my mind to it.
This type of encouragement was great as a kid – parents having so much faith in their child. Although sometimes they could not understand why I did not get straight “As” in school (I was a late bloomer!). I found that with this upbringing I set the bar high as I believed it was achievable with hard work and a bit of luck.
Recently I was asked by a senior recruiter “How does martial arts help me with business?”. The interesting thing is that this has come up many times before with friends and even my last boss.
My last boss has asked me how I manage to cope with all the stress and multitude of personalities and arguments that I have to deal with. We had a lot of “A type” personalities and many meetings got very heated with arguments and shouting!
My response was very simple – my martial arts training. For these instances my training helped me put things in perspective – deadlines, people screaming – it’s not the end of the world, nobody is dying. I told him, if somebody was coming at me with a knife then I would worry, but words are just words.
My whole life growing up I was very different to people around me (one of the few visible minorities in London) and then quite different to the people I met at university. I did not spend a lot time thinking about what people thought of me but I was still young and not yet confident in who I was.
It was only in my mid twenties after graduation did I really come into my own. I was comfortable and confident in who I was and the type of person I had become. It was with that realization that I decided that I would no longer care what people thought of me. I felt a huge sense of freedom after that!