Self-Audit 2015. Not for the faint hearted.

02As we approach the end of the year, I am carrying out my annual self-audit. I love it because it allows me to be absolutely honest with myself. I break down all the main areas in my life such as financial, health, career, family, relationships and social. I analyse the things that went well and find ways to become better for the following year. This is the third year in a row I am carrying this out. I have noticed that when I have undergone self-audits, the year goes positively.

Self-audits take a little bit of time but it is worth it. The great thing is that, you are doing it for yourself. It is free of judgement. It has become a mini addiction for me because when I look back at previous audits, it makes me happy to see the accomplishments I have made. However, I do not like to rest on that. I want to push beyond my personal boundaries and limitations.

How?

There is no specific rule on how to carry out a self-audit. It is a very personal process so be honest when doing it. The style of mine has changed over the years. For 2015, I put a section at the beginning called ‘Highlights and Achievements’. Whilst being honest with ourselves, we should also celebrate our successes.

I always include a section on goals. I think it is very important to not only write down goals but to quantify them as well. Even if you do not meet that deadline, it is okay. If anything, it gives you an opportunity to reflect on why you did not reach it. This was a massive mistake I used to make in the past. I would write down goals and not put a date on when I expected to reach them. I became lazy and allowed circumstances around me to dictate my path.

In previous blogs, I have placed great emphasis on finding your purpose. It may not come to you straight away but being around positive and successful individuals, you will unravel the path. You will be unstoppable once you come across it.

Now that my goals are in place for 2016, I have put strategies in place to make them happen. The strategies can keep changing depending on the circumstances surrounding it. For example, I was not expecting to enter the legal profession again in 2015. However, it turned out to be a massive blessing, as it gave me a new perspective on how I can be of better service to the world through my legal education. I have now built goals around this premise and I am looking forward to achieving them in 2016. I do not use the sentence ‘hope to achieve’, because it sounds non-committal and that is not me. I am ready for 2016 and the abundance of opportunities it is going to bring.

Knowing your circle of influence can fast track your chances of achieving your goals. Make a conscious list of who is in it and why. What special skill/talent does this individual possess that you want them in your circle? It may change throughout the year. It may reduce or increase depending on your goals. Have a variety of them, not just the ones in your field.

Tip:

Be flexible. If there is a quicker way to achieve a goal, go for it. It means you are more efficient than those who are stuck in their ways.

I wish you all a beautiful 2016 filled with even more opportunities so you can grow. Keep celebrating your individuality.

 

 

 

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Excited for the creative new year!

Swithland Wood recording

Birdsong Project. Photo from Swithland Woods. Credit B Newsinger

2014 was a magical year having got many projects off the ground, working with some fabulous artists/individuals and being able to learn and develop myself. I feel that the momentum is with me going into 2015.

The variety of projects I was involved in last year was astonishing when I look back. YoTabla really took off with the photo-shoot, t-shirts, workshops, performances by students, easter retreat and socials.

Artistically, I was involved in Lucy Stevens ‘Birdsong’ project which opened up my thinking towards improvisation and connecting with nature. Also, spending time and learning from my tabla hero Ustad Zakir Hussain in San Francisco. Performing and doing a workshop in California there was phenomenal and very special.

The big one was the Melodies on the Brink project having secured Arts Council Funding and producing a show from scratch. It was a new experience managing and producing the show. It was one of the most challenging aspects I have faced in my career to date. I got a lot out of it and learned many lessons. We had a sell out show which was a testament to everyone involved.

With regard to professional development, I attended many courses relating to marketing, goal setting, intellectual property, music education and so on. These courses definitely played a huge role in my creative career, although I was not aware of it at the time I was sitting in those workshops! Setting up CEMENT with my good friends from the creative sector Bob Christer and John Kirby was a massive achievement as we really wanted to bring Leicester’s creative community together and make stuff happen(our motto)!

The mentoring qualification was fantastic and I got a lot out of it. I am very thankful to Pedestrian Charity, Leicester for providing this training. I feel that I am in a much better position now to guide young creatives, having done some mentoring last year and seeing results of the individuals I worked with. It is something I definitely want to do more of in 2015.

I have already set my goals for the year. I cannot stress enough the importance of self reflection and being honest with yourself. I love reading personal development books and have a thirst for constantly improving. I noticed when I applied even a minuscule of the many principals learnt in these books, the impact was HUGE!   For example, the above milestones reached was only possible because I had the DESIRE and VISION to be a collaborative artist, manage my own projects and positively impact the individuals I come across. This is just one aspect of manifestation. The rest is all about strategy, surrounding yourself with successful individuals and having the flexibility to constantly tweak your approach so that you achieve a positive result. I will talk more about this in future posts.

One of the projects I am currently working on this year is a unique collaboration of YoTabla! with ADAA (Aarti’s Dance and Arts Academy). AADA was recently set up by my good friend and exceptional dancer Aarti Lodhia. Both of our sets of students are going to collaborate for a performance in November. We both strongly believe in supporting young people who have a passion for Indian classical music and dance. This is the first time we are doing something like this, so we will definitely keep you updated on our progress throughout the year.

Have a blessed 2015 and I look forward to sharing more tips with you over the next 12 months.

God Bless

Rishii

Speaking Hands-Our first gig and receiving Arts Council Funding.

It was such a joy for our ensemble ‘Speaking Hands’ to perform together for the very first time at the Birmingham Mela on Saturday 5 July. It was important for us as a group to see how we connected with each other. The humorous moments we have shared off stage carried on into our performance and we had a great time.

Since my last post on ‘Speaking Hands’ in March, we have now secured some funding from the Arts Council to produce a special music and dance production commemorating World War 1 called ‘Melodies on the Brink’. This performance will take place on Saturday 15 November at Embrace Arts, Leicester. Our music will be intertwined with kathak and break dance! We are over the moon, to have received this support and we can’t wait for the mammoth rehearsals to kick off! We are already in the creative phase but most of the communication has taken place over facebook, skype and what’s app!

Responsibility:
Now this dream has come true, the level of responsibility has increased. I am finding myself wearing a few hats. One for the creative side and the other for the overall management of the project, such as liaising with venues, artists, choreographers, producers etc. I am grateful to be in this position because; I am bringing together all the skills and experiences I acquired from my education and performing backgrounds. The proof of this will be in the final performance on 15 November.

As simple as it sounds, for any type of project to be successful, you must work with people who are not just talented, but have a positive and flexible attitude. I am really thankful that that the musicians and dancers that are working on the ‘Melodies on the Brink’ project have all of these qualities in an abundance.

I must give a special mention and heartfelt thanks to the Artistic Director of Phizzical Productions Samir Bhamra, Embrace Arts and the Arts Council who have truly supported the vision of this project. We as musicians and dancers feel empowered to create work that will excite and provoke thought into our audiences.
Do check out the link to find out more http://www.phizzical.com/melodies-on-the-brink/
God Bless