[BONUS] Humble the Poet | Music Month


And. Today. We're continuing with our special music in may Thursday episodes, super excited. My guest is Toronto raised former elementary school, teacher turned rapper spoken word artist. Poet, international bestselling author humble, the poet, though, his former students used to just know him as Mr. Singh. He's performed concerts and festivals around the world, including little places like lollapalooza and now pretty much splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles. So in today's conversation, which I probably describe as fiercely honest, wide ranging. We take a deep dive into not only his journey from teaching music and rapping video spoken word, but also how his experience as the child of immigrants being raised in the sick tradition. And in his words, kind of not seeing anyone else in the music world who looked like him how that all really shaped his lens on possibility on his stories and his. Voice and his values. And we dive into a series of moments and really honest, awakenings often painful reckonings that woke him up to how he wanted to live his life and devote himself to his craft and his vocation in addition to his music, humble also has a great new book out that distills one hundred one short and sweet insights for better living called unlearn that you definitely want to check out. And as with all of our music, episodes Hummel shares, a bit of a musical, offering at the end this time in the form of a spoken word piece, which you don't wanna miss too short, you sticking around for the whole conversation. So excited to share this with you on Jonathan fields, and this is good life project. So you wanna grow your business. Now, what won't male chimps got you covered with their all in one marketing platform. 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Your earliest recollection when is stored to reveal itself, I was in the third grade, and I wrote a book called revenge of the teacher, and there was a fictional book about my third grade teacher picking each and every one of the students off in a fit of revenge and actually killing them. And having a very creative way to kill each them. And it was heavily influenced by FREDDY Krueger than everybody's the movies. Get everybody's dreams uniquely killed everybody those kind of inspired by that. It didn't raise any flags. Didn't have to see any special doctors therapists because of it. Nobody back then in the eighties. Nobody is really worried about it. And I read it and the kids loved it, because they were all included in the book, you know, every student in my class was a character in my story. Right. And I think it was the first time I shared something. And you know, first-rate week did request that. I read it in obviously just knowing that, you know, an idea that I had was being celebrated. And I'm sure it touched upon people's just hearing their name being read out loud, and it being surreal. You're eight years old, from that perspective, I think that was the first time I started having unique ideas and DEA creativity before creativity was even something I knew about writings many stories as possible concocting things. But at the same time, we really focusing a lot on math. You know, it was really good with numbers always thought I'd be doing something in that world. And, you know, creativity, I didn't see anybody that looked like me. So that really at that point, it wasn't disheartening just just didn't assume you know, you see tall people playing basketball. You see, you know, you see people into Disney channel what they look like they don't look like your talk like you're watchful house. You know, see families that look like you're so you don't assume that this is what you do. And you know, probably middle school start. Listen to more music, you know. Want to make my own music and coming up with my own songs, and different things and everything was there and everything just existed in my head. And you know, when even when I first started releasing music, and I was. Past the age of twenty five. At this point, I did it quietly on YouTube than show, my face, you know, made lyric videos, and it wasn't until people started recognizing my voice, and mainly have heard that voice before. Oh, that's that guy. I met him was at that party. And then coming up to me being like a guy doing the stuff they put my name, some of the work, I talk about important things that were happening in the South Asian community in Toronto specifically in Vancouver and just the areas that I knew things that were on my chest. And with the idea that, you know, at this point, I was working as a schoolteacher, you know, at this point, I understood that if a kid doesn't get it is because we're not explaining it to them, properly and understanding that whenever child and understand a concept that we're teaching them. We have to reevaluate our method of teaching it, not think about what's wrong with the child, because there's so many different learning styles. And I realized that when people are expressing the frustration with the youth and issues. We were having, and I decided to put that in art and try to connect with them on that level. It ended up, connecting taking the life of its own, and even then I just took it as fun than started going to spoken-word events. You know, I've told many people get into the impress the woman, and it was a fun thing to do after work. So I think, you know, finding all of these creating story, I remember being in university and just kind of, you know, writing a fictional novel in my head and saying, you know, one day, I'll get to it. I'll make this happen. And I started to realize that, you know, this, this wasn't a choice of mine. Everything it was such a natural inkling everything that I did in the opposite direction in one way or another. Somebody threw a monkey wrench in it just to try to get me back on this path. So, you know for me. There is really a big question of obsession versus passion. If you're like this is putting words together bringing ideas to life, having a spark in my brain and then seeing it manifest into something tangible like the excitement that, that brings me has been a common thread in. My entire life. And now I'm in a position to do it full time. And I'm so blessed. Yeah. So I mean really touchdown very early usually expressive the creative side use the phrase into people like me doing this type of stuff out there sitting across from you and knowing your background. I think I know what you're talking about. But for those listeners who are not from with who you are what your background is not staring looking at you right now. What do you mean by that? So I have a very handsome beard and have a very big turban, and I'm Jobe, which is north India, part of north India, the state Bunge, Ming five means rivers, open job, people from the five rivers and a big chunk of job now existing in Buxton. So it's a, you know, it's, it's a loose, it's a loose reference to call this Indian, but my parents are from the India side, and they immigrated to Canada in the early nineteen seventies and my father became a cabdriver, even though you had a masters degree. And my mother has some college, but she ended up working in out of different factories. So with my background, not seeing any type of representation, any type of media unless you, you know, saw comedy movie that was making fun of Brown guy for being a cab driver or the Simpsons, having who the quick mar or anybody else in a convenience store, gas station. That's the only time I saw representation, and as a kid, my dad was a cab driver. So it made sense. You know, I wasn't offended. I just, just these were my context like people don't look like me. And I mean even to this day, you know, I'm, I'm probably still one of the most prominent guys with a beard and turban that people will see in mass media. Yeah. I mean I'm curious when you're we now your parents came here. I was born and raised in Toronto guy when day came here, did they kinda come and say, okay, I want to carry all the traditions with me, or do they come and sorta like my decision. Let's see if we can assimilate or something in the middle 'cause I'm only. Fascinated by that. I'm always fascinated by that to feel like those conversations happen, but they don't ever actually happen with the immigrants, and I've written about immigrants spurious, and in my experience with it, and then I had, you know, when somebody brings it up to my father, you know, for him, I feel like it was a lot more. Pragmatic it was like, all right. We're going to come here and we're gonna make money and we're gonna earn and we're going to build a better life, and I don't think he in any way, shape or form thought about the cultural impact. I don't think it even occurred to him that you're going to different country. I think whatever was pragmatic at the time he did. So you like to learn English. All right. Let's learn English. I don't think having a social life was a priority of his even. Now, you know, they're both retired and live, very, very simple lives. So I think from that perspective, you know, his social life was going to be his brothers and his sisters. And you know anybody else from the village or anybody else from up in job or India that he. Came across in while he was in Toronto like his oldest friends are just people that also came out in the seventies, and, you know, and they'll live together and, you know, fifteen people in an apartment until they earn enough money to get their own places and slowly build their own lives. So a lot of my dad's oldest friends from back then, or just whoever was there within the community. So I don't think they felt they probably didn't feel the pressure as much whereas his brothers, his younger brothers. He brought them and they came as teenagers. They I see both did cut their hair in the similarly, and I feel like that was because they were school. So maybe the pressure my father came, I think, in his early twenties. Right. So he was kinda pass that moment. Yeah, I think I think he had finished university already back home. So he had come immediately joined the workforce, and probably the jobs. He was getting working in factory was probably working in a lot of jobs that were just full of immigrants to begin with probably not feeling in need to kind of fit in a blending when I grew up, actually didn't have my hair grown. My mom used to cut my hair. I was a little bowl cut kid or mushroom cut and my father were turban. I didn't. And that always confused me like you know why does he like that? And I look like this and I think maybe they, they made an effort to try to get me to blend in but at the same time I also feel like their relationship with spirituality with sick philosophy in general wasn't very strong. I think for them it was just cultural heritage. This is how we look you know, and people in job. Cut their hair all the time as well. Just kind of cultural preference. And if you get more into the spiritual side than you a little bit more serious, and it wasn't until my, you know, I was probably six seven years old. My mother was working the Kelloggs factory and she we had moved is around the corner from the house that we had purchased. And this is my parents, I you know, legit proper house where we all had our own bedrooms. And I think a year and a half into having the job, she got serious shoulder injury. And I think that really made her have. Downward spiral. Because she felt like she uprooted the entire family to this neighborhood. Just so we can work in this factory which she can no longer work at. And I think she found solace at a at one of the temples, and I think she got her education and sick heritage and spirituality here in Canada versus back home. I think back home. It was a little bit more passive a little bit more like here the basic rules here. The big holidays. Here's what you gotta do. And I think out here when she had the free time and she was looking for something now now that she wasn't earning. And I don't know how that impacted her relationship with my dad back, then I think she found a lot of solace in the philosophy and in the beliefs. And then she brought that into the house because I know she got my father to quit drinking. You know, she got she turned the whole family vegetarian. And then I think just a little mom's boy, you know, she want you to grow your hair just do it. And then it wasn't as challenging as a little kid, you know, dealing with some of it, but then I started to notice that, hey, used to fit in. Now always standing out. You know, looking at me funny, 'cause making fun of me noticing that. And this happened envy the kids that I knew since those five always had their hair, and though these people used to them. They're not used to me. They remember me time different, but I mean everybody has their own challenges. It wasn't gonna go away. This is just my eight year old annual brain trying to process all of those. Yeah. I mean, and it's interesting too, because at that age that agent early teens. It's like your friends or everything and fitting in being is everything. And you're gone through this in a weird way it's almost like there's like you're caught in the middle between your mom adopting this tradition, saying, this is important to me, it's important to us as a family, and we're all going to embrace them. And then, you know, like you not really being a part of that up until that moment in your life, and also having friends outside that you ought to be accepted by and be like, I'm like want to operated on different levels, like it wasn't just, you know, this was sick heritage. In and spirituality, but there's also been job culture, and, and how people dress spoke acted, you know, party, you know, type of people they hung with and so that story of having one foot in two different worlds and, you know, either feeling like you're being torn apart or finding your identity and becoming a bridge. You know that's the story of every child of an immigrant, you know, them coming into a country that celebrates the individual, you know, versus many other countries that, you know, really focus on the unit. You know what, what's more important, your last name, or your first name, you know coming to North America really became about the individual and you know, figure out who you are? And what do you do for fun? Whereas with back. There's like you live in village. You're part of unit, and you play a role and my parents never even knew the word why existed when it came to what their parents said to them, you know. Just transmission. Like this is the way it is you my grandparents had jumped just jumped. They didn't even ask, how high they just jumped and for us they really do this and be like, why we would always question. Because we, we were North American kids, we grew up here. We were watching Saturday morning cartoons. We were part of this world now, I don't think there was ever eight erecting knowledge of like, oh, there's a culture shock here. Once my mother became a homemaker after she couldn't work anymore, but just further lated her from what the real world was going through. My father had a better idea that he was a cab driver. He got to the point where he doesn't even have an accent when he speaks English, you know, he sounds like me, and it's because he's out every day driving, a cab speaking to people being social where my mom, you know, when she speaks English, it sounds as if it was the first day in the country, even though she's been in Canada longer than she was in India at this point. So it it's very interesting idea. But I think every single child of an immigrant right now. No matter where they're from finding a way to record. Sil- it on their own for me. I'm just a big proponent of a, let's stop feeling Soifer selves, if our parents don't understand us. Let's instead spend more time trying to understand them. You know, they wanted us all to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers because they came here with very specific goal to improve their quality of life, their circumstances. Create more opportunities for the family. That's why they came here. Nobody told them you could be an author or rapper or you know, a poet or design clothes, or in do become an an influence or nobody ever told him any of those things before. And I think from that perspective, it's very slow kind of back and forth dance between, you know, the generation that I'm a part of their generation. I mean, interesting also because I was I caught the video that you did back of you and your mom and he car we like playing. And asking her what she thinks about it and the look on her face priceless. It's like there's what the words that came out of her mouth. And then there's just like the look on her face this kind of listening and really trying to be patient and understand, like, okay, this is the choice that my son has made had feel about it. And, and what, what should I say? What should I not say? And it was really sweet sort of nearly short exchange, actually. Religion and I know just from being teacher in remembering what I what it was to be a student, you know, cognitively you know, I got good genes, you know, going to school within difficult. I was able to process information they will get things the first time and, you know, the learning style and that's genetic lottery in some senses. And I, I was never able to see that my parents, because there's always a little bit of a language barrier. So my my, my mother spoke English to me, it was broken. And it was found like she's not she doesn't know what she's saying is not making as much sense. But slowly realize no, this is who I got whatever I have to contribute to this planet. I got from these two and this language barrier doesn't take away with house more. They are how well they can actually follow along things. So I noticed that recently. They're trying their best to wrap their head around somebody in the creative. We don't have any entrepreneurial in my family. We don't let alone artists. And if anybody says, you know what did you get the? Art side, and in your so I have no idea. I don't know. Nobody in my mom or dad sides is an artist in any way, and I'm sure they have an abundance of creativity within them. So it's always very interesting to see that when I play music from a mom, or do different things because I learned how to rap from all the hymns she made me memorize all the hymns in and been Jobe all the Sakib, they all rhyme all written in poetry. So I would just, you know, and she bribed me to, to memorize Stanford should be like this. You know, this has for every stands, you remember a give you a dollar and the long ones would be about, like thirty five stanzas. And when you're like seven years, old, thirty five bucks. A lot and ended the harder ones that were in, like Farsi in different languages, because some of the goods who wrote, and we're just these amazing poets and some of these were like super small stanzas, and like two hundred long and she like if you memorize get two hundred bucks, so I would sit there just memorizing him's not knowing what they're saying, I'm parroting them. I don't even know what I'm saying. Yeah, but I'd memorize the hymns, and that really for years. This was like force-fed to me for a good ten years. But that gave me rhythm that gave me cadence. They gave me the ability like this is how I I'm starting to see the pieces come together. This always been there. So inching also that what you pull that are that experience like, without necessarily, relating to the specific translation of language, 'cause if, especially if you didn't really understand what you're saying, but just knowing that there is a it's doing something to you. It's doing something for you. And that there, there is this, there's intonation and the rhythm and the cadence and that data loan has an effect. It's pretty cool. Do still remember those. I mean those, those thing about one yesterday as well, and then now learning the meanings values that is social wages, what you look to shop, Novi July. Dr poke poke notable. Par says. But luckily, Technogym gives the whole year of could it tip? Hokum joylin are non Iglesia and all and. My mom's stickler for pronunciation. Because her real goals was like let me get him to do this in front of other people. It'd be very impressive. I can't write and probably probably the little there of he has to pronounce it properly to love him. You know, like all these believes that she had. But, you know, just, you know, in that stands insecure, we talk about this one, and I, and I think the important part of understanding poetry, also means a lot of lines at filled in 'cause written and poetry is not written bluntly in your face. So in that context, my mom always said it was about God and for me as realized it was about one this that we're all one. We are the creation. We are the creator. So just ocean over just what you look, you can think about it forever. And nothing's gonna come from it, and he will Lovie July. Dodd some people stay silent their entire lives like certain monks, and they still can't achieve it capability pod. Some people starve themselves and they fast, they can't do it either. And the whole list is about all the things people are trying to do to reach the divine and what it was. It was a social commentary on rituals. You know, people think that you've got the Bayden these holy sites and, and you'll find the divinity some people think he's gotta sit quietly. Some people think you have to starve yourself. Some people think you have to serve the poor and he goes, you know, but if they're snappier none of this matters, and that was, you know, the, the punch line or, or the thief is of the idea and realizing that, hey, like, you know, the British came, you know about a hundred and fifty years ago, and they had probable at this point, even two hundred years ago, they had a massive impact on culture in India. And I think they, they really packaged it up sick philosophy to become more dogmatic religion, you know, so we're my mommy's references when she refers to what she considers God's open outta open. Up. So she literally saying the men up there right in philosophy. The idea of God is everywhere, like code in the matrix. So that reference to her pointing up that came from the British, that's that's Christianity making this way in, you know. And she doesn't realize that, you know, 'cause that's a mixture of the cultures coming in, and I'm not saying it's forced to simulation. It's, you know of a whole new culture spending one hundred years in your country, you know, building churches and have an influence going to have an influence win most of the people when it comes to, you know, religion spirituality, we're mainly part time. So it's just about attending the holidays. It's just about maybe wearing a symbol on a necklace, as you know, the basic mainstream idea of, and they started to bleed through, you know, you come out here, people talk about their karma. No, they've taken an Indian taking a word from India and given a new kind of idea. And they'll say Spanish words kind of mixes. And so I see where my mom got references from ours, fortunate just in my travels I've met a lot of our. Collectors historians that really kind of helped me put things in perspective. Yeah. I mean, especially I think is, is such an interesting tradition, also because it seems like you know, when the first hand it's pre new in the content traditions was about five six hundred years old. I grew was born, fourteen sixty nine eight and then it was like goes through series of girls. And then but then at some point, it was sort of, like, okay, so the lineage of this tradition being like having one one human person being the leader of all this goes away, and it's all about the teachings, you know, and then that goes out into the world and becomes the thing that become translate, which is really different than almost every other tradition the analogy that I was taught as a kid was, it was never about the candles. It was always about the flame. So you're I grew was KENDALL. Yeah. And then he lit a second, do they just continue to go and actually, the compilation, grunt side. Goo means, dark, roomies light, you know, so we don't worship goods, the teachers teachers and I mean as a. Child. I was raised to believe that these were magical men were magical powers hails behind their head. But now looking at it more. These were leaders and students themselves and the first grew he pulled a lot of writing from other people that had come and gone way before him. And he, he brought them into the fold and the fifth grew at that point, put all these competitions together put the writings from the first five altogether and call the grunt side, cyber is assigned sign of respect grant means compilation accomplish of goods and his writings from Muslim scholars. Does writing some hymns Vollers? Yeah. Jane other other beliefs. And when there was a uniform idea uniform idea of seeking the truth. You know, being students of the truth being self aware, and then I think, as a movement grew started to get politically involved. So the fifth Gutu ended up being murdered by the king of the time and is different. Very rare, eating Stowe. As to why. But I think the consensus is the movement was or getting it was gaining steam and sukey were also were Marshall, you know where we fight retrain? We don't we carry weapons. We, you know, we have a culture of job I'd be prepared. We speak up against what we feel is wrong. So the first good went to jail for speaking against force. You know, forced conversions, you know, it was a mobile army running a ruling over a Hindu-majority. They were trying to convert all the Hindus to Islam. He's Bogart against that Gus into jail for it. You know. And I'm sure the kingdom put him in jail than realize that this is how you amplify message. And so, by the fifth, goo I feel that he's he within the he ended up being executed. I think for refusing to marry into the king's family. I think that was their first initial goal. And then when did up happening was the six started built an army, so his and it was. There's a reason tach. Yeah. So that you defend defend. And then I think that's kind of where we got a that was the first beginnings of our look, as well. I don't think a lot of people right now. Superficially, think to be sick yet, you know, don't cut your hair having beard have a turban where certain articles, I think it was much more of a pragmatic thing back, then I think it was okay. We're starting to army everybody who follows me. You're in the army each of you're going to have to figure out how to fight, we're going to train you guys. And now, this is what we're all going to look like this is our uniform and then it gets a little bit game with thrones with the politics when it comes to the six, and when it comes to the seventy eight GU but the ninth grew he, he was the son of the sixth. So there are some stories as to why in why the seventy eight existed. And I think the existed a lot more. They don't have any writings out there in the world. And a lot of the belief is was on oral tradition up until that point basic no, the first. To the fifty all roads stuff. But then after the seventy as well. And that's the bait as a kid, I was just taught to memorize her names. Not know anything as an adult it was like, oh, really what it was. They were trying to get the six goose son. They're trying to find him and kill him to successive. So the seventh and eighth who don't have much of a historical impact, they were propped up almost, you know, and that will probably get a lot of trouble for saying that, but from historical spectacles, super interesting because the ninth good his name was good day. Beholder deg demeans Wheeler of the sword. He had been battle-tested. I think from the age of eleven so I think there was a big a big push to find him and take him out early before before he becomes an atoll e inherits this army. And also this was really good at politics. He he opened a Goshi eight the freeing of over fifty princes and they're in the region. So he had a lot of political power as well. And by the time the ninth gonna became an adult and. Took over being Gutu. He was executed. They found him arrested in Mexico, and then his son, the tenth and final. He inherited the army he narrated everything at the age of nine and I'm sure he had handlers and people around him, but he grew up to be a really great fighter and he, he made he got a lot of payback. He you know, he he found those kings. His all all four of us were killed two were killed in battle to executed two young sons a six year old and a eight year old. And then he he grew the army grew the movement started creating sorta taking land started building palaces and everything else. He's the one where he kind of made everything official, and he kind of gave us a ceremony to kind of what he referred to as the Kalsa in, in the Kalsa. Again. Now is a lot of spiritual connotation to it as viewed as, you know, this is how you get baptized into sa- key from what I've understood learn now as causes a Abigail. Any word meaning people who don't pay taxes, people were free so he's at the call. So people are free. We are liberated from spiritual, shackles of these dog Matic religions that are trying to control everybody, but also the political shackles the oppressive ruling kings, you know, we will fight instead of bending, the knee in a sense and an after him I feel like we had a very good stronghold than we had a good reputation in north north Indians. In general, we're bigger than most of the rest of India in terms of I'm almost, I'm almost six feet tall, and I'm the youngest I'm the smallest in my family all my little bay because of like six two six three giants and from the tenth goo he's a he took his, his father's writing, the ninth added them into grunts said this is this is all that matters. Now these teachings and go out make copies spread it. And so now the grunts of is, is considered the spiritual guide for people. Insecure, and as much more of a philosophy than even the spiritual idea at this point. Yeah. I mean, even like you know what, what started this whole thing, which is the, the him the chant. How'd you describe it that you shared him the him, which is really a okay? Like they're always things. You can do that these practices prescribed things, but fundamentally, you know, like, what really matters is what's in your heart who you are. And how you actually, hey tweet yourself and hatred. Other people, exactly. There's a lot of operations. A lot of these hymns in his conversations in their observations as to what's happening. And, you know, sometimes there, there's one, I don't, I don't know, the Jobe of almost mocking is of, like, hey, so you believe that the earth is spinning between the horns of bulls. You know, this is a religious belief from some sect out Nydia five hundred years ago. And he's like, where's the bull standing is standing on land that land on a planet that is also being spun on the horns, you know, and. He tells talks about, you know, people who you people put pictures of DVD's, and they moved candles, and they do all that stuff. And he's like look in the sky, the entire sky is Pooja. The sun is the flame circling creation, and it's an old to the beauty of it like they really they did a lot of that. They challenged back then women used to have to jump in the fire husband died. So it was your husband is, you've got to commit suicide at his funeral. They spoke out against that. They spoke out against gender inequality. They spoke out against class classism classism, as massive out there in India, you know, so caste system. Exactly. Yes, if you want to, you know, the rule was if you want to meet the glue, you had to eat food, I yet to, to come and come to his place in eat, and everyone had eat on the floor. So if a beggar came because it was a free meal, they got to eat in the king came. He had to sit on the floor alongside and that was a big thing. And again, I. I wish they had a stronger impact, you know, six represent two percent, India, you know, I don't you know, the issue that they were challenging still exist. But I'm very fortunate that my baseline, you know, are a lot of progressive ideas of, you know, everybody is equal. Nobody's more special. Anybody else women are superior in many ways to men in their ability to give birth and give life or not don't treat them inferior, which something very prevalent on that side of the world, and is cool now being able to see the popularity of just eastern philosophy. Whatever is secure into his own, but his them come over to the side, you know, tease people able to eat tomb right now when I was a kid yummy, fun of me for having to extend my clothes now. Everybody putting in places even belie the latest health days, the latest health thing was doing yoga when he's, you know, saying, no mustard or whatever, and it's just like it's interesting because I grew up, you know being taught how to meditate I grew up being taught to focus on the now. You know. Todd that my ego, my anger. My attachment my lust, and my greed were the things that were always going to keep me from being at peace. You know, it's like, call myself humble humble came from, meaning that the ego is the size of the elephant, and liberation the size of a mustard seed, as very refreshing to see that once ideas get expressed out here in depending on the message or what have you is really connecting with people. And I think we wanted different set of I mean, we're asking different questions different set of answers, you wanna guide our lives by something. That's I think, more practical, interesting. There's clearly a strong Hindu influence in sick is also a lot of the language. I mean like my Aleutian Jeevan not like liberated being rather than transformation. It's all about liberation which I think is a fascinating that would have been his audience. Yeah. Glue road. They're speaking to Muslim induce, right? It's like it's gotta relate in some way, shape, or you gotta tie into the conversation. That's thirty in their head. And then. Bring them to this shared perspective them, what they know tell them what they know then tell them what they need to hear. Not sure if any of, you know, this, but actually used Houston on a fitness club and was a personal trainer in very past life. Chew story, and the single biggest goal, that people would come to me with in that industry wide was weight loss. I learned a ton about the process and also about human behavior central to that was it had to be easy, and convenient and had to accommodate your unique lifestyle and demands, there needs to be kind of -bility can't just be a diet, and it's got to be about broader lifestyle and mindset change. The thing is not every person has access to a trainer or nutritionist, which is where Neum can make a really big difference based in psychology. Neum is an app that teaches you why you do the things you do and gives you the tools to break habits and replace them with better ones news, not a diet. It's a healthy and easy to stick to way of life, and it gives you everything you need in just about ten minutes day with new, you can even chat with a goal specialist, and the Neum community, too. Get and give help to people going through the same things. I've actually been working with the app to help get into better condition and the tracking and the focus on learning and motivation has been really inspiring to me. You don't have to change it all in one day, small steps, make big progress. So sign up for your trial today at Neum and m dot com slash good. Life. What do you have to lose? Visit Neum dot com slash good life to start your child today. That's Neum dot com slash good life. The last weight loss program, you'll need or just click the link in the show nuts. Question for you. Have you ever eaten super unhealthy because you were hungry out of time, maybe kinda just eating the same exact veggies on repeat, because it was supposedly healthy and easy night after night, totally get that we all wanna feel good about what we're eating? But sometimes it's kinda hard to prepare healthy meals that also tastes. Good, which is where Sikora comes in. 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Or just click the link in the show notes. So when you're you, it's that point your life where like, okay, I'm learning this stuff as part of my family, because your mom decides it's about -able. Valuable, you know, so you start to doubt that the whole family search dotted, and especially in. 'cause now you're, you're learning the rhythm and the cadence and the intonation actual of, of chanting and of the hymns. And then in Semel team, you're starting to understand a philosophy of life. That's touched. You know, like to this mission and the philosophy much after as it was just like we are here. The ten gurus names when they were born like very useless information. But I mean when you're a kid, you need to know the basic. Yeah. So then you end up going to college you end up teaching elementary school. Right. What was the decision to do that? At that point, you know, I'm in high school, and I'm having no idea what I should do. Right. Not what I wanted was just what should. Yeah. 'cause you got to create a thread. That's been got the creative has always been there. And it's manifesting itself when opportunities for creativity or they're right? But as nothing along, there was a guy in my high school that wanted to be a comedian. Like that's I wouldn't even entertain idea. I didn't even feel bad. Just an entertainment just wasn't realistic. So what ended up happening was I was just trying to figure out what do people do to get employed? I think I found some newspaper article that was like, oh architects, this much, you know, I t majors make this much. And then I think someone like getting computer sciences, and the okay, so I applied for computer sciences, and the mass side and your brain, which king kinda easy. Definitely click. Well, some good. Yeah. Had my grades were great in the mathematics. This should be good. I applied to four universities. I think I got into maybe too. You know. Maybe I wasn't as Marta that thought it was, but one of the university, which local was like yoke university, which is like, the, the fun university of Toronto's, the academic one York's fun when I went to York, and I got him for IT, I didn't know what I t was at the time and formation technology knowing what it was. But it sounded close enough to computer sciences. Let's do it. So I did my first degree in information technology. But the one thing that I'm so fortunate, I did was it was, it was a four year degree or three year degree. And every year you're given the freedom to take an elective. So, you know, take all these coursework and take one fun course. But I ended up doing was I took all those fun courses in my first year, so I took no computer courses nothing to do with my degree in the first years, I took mass media and the socialization of children. I took the bible, and modern context took a few more media classes. And if you more philosophy classes, I took. Nothing related. And I mean, this is the first time I got exposed to just ideas that I've never heard before, whether it was the idea that every four and this is before social media. Every photograph, you take is manufactured moment, you know, even with the, the film camera because people pose, and that's not always happening at that time you stopped you looked you smiled you manufactured something. And I had never heard that idea, the idea that The Lion King was racist. You know, you had light skin guys dark-skinned bad guys. And you know, nobody has accents, except for the monkey and all the all the characters voiced by black actors or were all hyenas, and they all lived in the ghetto of pride rock and be like, whoa. I never thought of any of this stuff, and I really opened up a side of my brain that, that made me think a lot more critically, and I think that was a game changer for me. So probably by the third year university when I was finished and the next that was supposed to be finished undergrad, and go get an MBA, because then MBA's get you in. Shifts and you'll get employed through something something else. And it was my sister said, you know, I'd grown up going to all these Sakib based youth camps. So I started going to them when I was eight and he's like sometimes go for a month, and you'd go have fun swimming pool. Go skiing in the winter play basketball, and then they teach you the core principles of sickie and some were great. Some were unhealthy colts and everything in between somewhere just babysitting services. But I spent my entire life going through them, and then they're probably past fifteen sixteen as stopped being an attendee and became a ball in tier so I- crude a solid five years of working with kids and my sister. They why don't you become a teacher. You're already very good with kids and never thought of it. And I had a friend who knew someone who was a fulltime teacher. And I sat down with him. And he's like pros, the best job in the world, either worker kids know today's at the same. You know, we have plenty of time off you wanna work on something on the side. Yeah. Plenty of. Time to do it the whole summer to do stuff. So I wasn't going in thinking that over the passionate educator, I just kind of went in being like all the sounds like something cool. They do for the next move at least the next move. It sounds more citing than an MBA. You know, sounds like something that, you know, girls might be like, that's so cute your teacher. You know, it also sounds like a decent amount of the real motivation like, yeah, John, explain somebody. I'm a computer programmer doesn't sound fun as we're kids, a change their lives and fire them shit. You know whatever it may be. And yeah, it was my mindset at this point was all just what, what is the path of least resistance to what changes in there? I mean, because you get to point where you're doing this for Helen, you did. She offer five years. Five years. Was it a slow evolution that, like, reconnected you with this, like the Saudi that was writing spoken word and music? Or what did something actually happen? I think what it was a combination. Of in formulate this answer while I say you helped me make a connection right now. I think it was in this Daljit being back in the classroom, and it reawoken the kid him because, now that was when I would read to the kids, I read them, the books that were read to me, you know, one of the books was the sideways stories from wayside school. Lewis soccer in my teacher read that to me when I was in third grade the book is still just as funny. I just did a reading of it a month ago in Toronto to a bunch of kids and they loved it. It's just a universally funny book that kids love. And I think that kinda reawoke my creativity. And also the fact that this is the first time I didn't have homework like you know, once work was done. What do you do you know and what I did was it took a second job tutoring? Kids in math. They still had that very strong math. I to me and I did know academically I wasn't challenging myself by being teacher teacher's college wasn't, the most teachers college awarded a lot of effort at the pelota effort, a lot of work to get stuff done. Finish. The projects were. Where people do presentations, but there wasn't a lot of like racking your brain trying to solve quesions and it was not academe weekly challenging, and all the friends that I had studied with in, in highschool at this point, they're all becoming doctors and lawyers in an engineer's and, and chasing and really doing it doing things that I knew I was capable of. But I just didn't want to and that kind of toll on me and I thought to myself, like I'm not really living my potential here and manifesting itself because my reputation was he's a nice guy, but he's pretty lazy. You know, don't don't expect him to go above and beyond in the classroom. He does. He treats the kids will kids love him. He gets the work done, but you're not staying late. He's not, he's not going to join any extracurricular activities, that you don't force them to join you know, he'll help anybody who hasn't the help, but he's not going out of his way and then one day I went to a concert and spoken word. Poet, just before. Warm. Income KOMO and you still active super talented and he's just that allies, you know, like a fine wine. I love better with time. And I just thought like the simplicity and beauty and everything he said, it's stuck me. And this is probably fifteen years ago, he never that I still remember line. And it was like I can do this. I can do exactly. I've done this. I've written poems for my friends for their girlfriends. I've got challenging university to read a poem on spot. Somebody wants and like I can do this, even my worst work is more impressive than, than I think it is to other people, you know, this actually, is my think and knowing that other things weren't might thing, but I didn't think I was special. I thought this one element of me especial, and I started writing a bunch of stuff and then one day, went to an open mic. It was like a little a little contest in the coffee shop like ten people, and I won. And then I started spoken word and my spoken word at this point is not like. When you think slam poetry, like you know, like my feelings, I have feelings feelings, all my Billy, I'm going, you know, that type of style. I literally just wrapping without music. I was just because I grew up on hip hop. So I'll just literally wrapping, there's no music. But I bought a lot of aggression to hip hop has Gretchen. So my spoken word pieces were just me wrapping fifty bars. Just keep writing, and eventually, memorize them then joined the Tronto spoken word collective. They had like a monthly event. So I started going there competing there, and then I would wouldn't make it past the first round and I realized it was because I was talking about, like everything I talked about that point was social issues talking about Israel and Palestine. I was talking about, you know, toxic waste in Somalia talking about, you know, activism activists issues that were happening in Tronto talking about Mumia Abu-Jamal, you know, that side got woken up to me. I got I was awoken. That in high school learning about me Jamal, somebody handing me, the autobiography of Malcolm, X and all of this connecting with the, the side of my sickie, which was, you know, civil disobedience, you know, my parents, you know, impinge ob-, you see the police, you clutch person cross the street, you know, 'cause they're most likely going to rob you. So we were really raising an you'd hear the NWEA wrapping the police. Oh shit. Other people feel the same way and then just connecting with this. And I remember when I doing all of this people said it had a identity crisis. You know, this guy thinks he's black. He's wrapping like my were rhyming and killing five hundred years ago. This is, you know, rob reminds me of what I grew up on, you know, and all of its just all these little pieces started to slowly come there. So I think as a teacher my creative juices, kind of awakened, but I was also giving more space. Yeah. Because now that time as. Time an ad money. So I could actually afford to like drive downtown pay the five dollar ticket to to get there. This one things that high school me, could even university me could ever do, and I eventually stopped going to the performances. And that's when I started actually, like I found, you know, I would tell people you can rap I can do this. And in some of the hey, my boys got a studio. Let's go. And then you go to the studio in the studio was a mattress microphone, you know, and. At the same time. So I think the first time ever recorded was like a birthday gift for girl. I was dating. You know, and it was probably like robbing like this for quite those room for guys. And everybody was, like smoking weed and just waiting for me to finish. And I was just like super nervous, but it was the start and you know, I got some validation from them. So I kept doing it found somebody else with another mattress and another basement kept working on that, and then kind of found my community and at the same time this is all fun. You know, I'm working this is my this is what I'm doing after work. This is my pottery class. This is my everything. The work is the reward and not trying to put it out because thinking to myself, like all of you put this out. We're gonna make fun of you. You put, you know, some of the stuff they say is aggressive, you know, guys in our in our culture, are very alpha so that you're just inviting yourself to get challenged, you know, at that next part you go to there's a lot of different things that can happen. Just do it for fun, and keep it quiet. But then when I started putting stuff out people started recognizing voices, I said earlier and it became where I had humble the poet and I was Mr. Singh. I had two separate lives and my students started finding new like missing. I saw that video of you on, on the internet, and you were swearing, you know, and a missing we saw doing interview on TV you know, because I the local Indian shows, you know, I was fast. I was just as exotic to them as, as I am people out here and the name side, growing, and I started getting small gigs, you know, like, hey, come out to Fresno, California. We'll pay for your ticket in me calling in sick to go to Fresno, California. So there was a very organic thing, and I still and every artist I met at this point, I was not impressed with their life, you know, like, oh, this sucks, you guys early nickel, and diming everywhere. Like, how do you pay your rent and all we take odd jobs? Here there, I gotta wait tables. I'm like, well, I'm a teacher. I got salary. I'm going to enjoy this. And I'm gonna just and I'll take some. Money out of my salary paid for myself to make some fun, music and have cool. And if somebody ever offers me more money than I make the teacher. Then pursue this full time that was probably like that point in the movie where OSHA therefore shadowing. So I spent a summer in San Francisco with with another rapper and I'm getting paid as a teacher over the summer. So I'm doing. All right. But I'm staying is the one bedroom. We rented out of a house sleeping on the floor and just watching him work in watching him collect fifty dollars a day, from wrapping on the street corner, watching clicks, more money from rapid in the subway watching him. Do you know other small gigs Washington show up to concerts, and offer his services and really, hey guys, just give me fifty bucks? Do a half an hour set and just be like this guy's like he's on it. This is cool. And he made me fall in love with the lifestyle and income that September. This is twenty ten went back to work, and I was going through some other transitions as well. This was, you know, I had as a teacher had invested money in two thousand eight km wiped it all out, like with many people stories ahead. A relationship that just ended that the month of September and had a falling out with a really good friends, so that been going to so much transition, and I got a got to do something, I don't know what to do. And in a producers working with manic Mutua deal. Get you deal with a hundred twenty grand. You'll be good. And it was like, like, wow, like that will not only that's more than I make the teacher way more as also will help me like kill this debt that I'm in, you know, because right now I'm just making the minimum payments from my salary. This is awesome. So I jumped into the job and jump straight into only to find out that it wasn't real smoke and mirrors. So you leave behind the steady job, you live in the twin town. I'm all in on the music thing in no small part on a promise that turns out not to be real promise, but the promise. What that really did was that, that really touched upon my consistent pattern of cutting corners and wanting to ease way out. I wanted to quickest way to get out of debt. I one of the quickest way to get out of this teaching job that no longer felt fun. Probably because most of my rest of my world was kind of going to transition. So I always cut corners. I you know, I could've been I could've spent ten years and become a doctor could've spent three years became a lawyer. And I actually was had just written my l sat that year and said know what I'm leaving. Teaching got to be a lawyer. I got to challenge myself more academically, but also I gotta make more money because this debt isn't going away. So the same time like on the one side of your brain as like this is this is this is what I wanna do. I've seen the lifestyle. It's really cool on their something tag me. But then the other side of the brain as but on a practical level I still got I still need to walk that safe path. I need to go get my advanced degree. I need surly Bill that out. I got their wrapping rob each other. And I think when he because he's always, because he was working with them for a while. And just look man, just us. Good stuff. Great people need to hear this stuff. And that was a lot of people told me, but they weren't cracking the code as to how do I monetize? How do I make money from this? This is before you're getting at since money this before you have sponsorships and that's got the deal here. Here's some paperwork. Emailed me a PDF and instead a hundred twenty grand. I was like this is cool. And it was like a record label out of Japan that always been telling me that he sends beats too. So this is perfect. They got the money you'll. Yeah, they got a massive market out there. Maybe we'll get a tour off. This will be good. We'll be fulltime musicians. We'll get to live the life, you know, pretty much be Connie west. And I was living with my parents at this time. So that's, that's why I was able to kind of, you know, save money at this point. And I had a rental property that I owned I made an investment years before any of this. And what ended up happening was I? Kick my tendon no to move into that condominium be does it. I gotta live the artist. Life can't, you know, can't be around be around my square. Parents. I got I gotta do this, and then it took a year to realize that the deal wasn't coming his excuses. Weren't real when he realized he ran out of stories to tell me he disappeared. And then at this point, I had just taken my debt and just almost double. Dick's living off credit cards and lines of credit because I had no sources of income. Yeah. But I mean he made a really interesting decision that also, which is at like your Jeep in at that moment. Right. Even master really substantial debt. So on the one hand like the call to go back into your house, hat, and go back to some managing professors probably stronger than ever. But you made the decision to double down, essentially on the creative side of things. But I do believe that I in my heart thought that one twenty was coming twenty wiped it all away. Right. Right. So it wasn't simply like. I'm chasing this with my heart. The first probably seven months when I thought to check was in the mail. It was it was heaven, dang. Oh, I was literally feeding myself inspiration daily. You know, my daily routine was consuming are going for long walks. You know, just living the dream life, this will all get paid for no problem. And at the same time, still making my mortgage payments. Now on this condominium that I don't have attendant keeping up. And by the time twenty eleven came was coming to antics, also getting humble was getting traction just trying to build a name on that sad. Yeah. The name was building, it wasn't building fast that thought it was it wasn't full-time pay mortgage tight money. I was maybe making. Five hundred two thousand dollars a month. Maybe you know, from gigs here, there certain deals philmont use music, wanna license that I didn't have a lawyer didn't have a manager and have anything at this point. And then I had a lot of denial. I really wanted this money to come through. I really thought this was my, my ex mechanized really just thought like the cavalry is coming this checks gonna come in. Everything's gonna be great a wipe out my debt. I think my dad was like forty grand and I'll have a lot of money to play with, and just be the weirdo artist JC inspiration and we'll be good. So where do you go from there? I mean so when I when I finally have that moment, where was like there is no money that never was any money like this, the year later. Now, you're eighty thousand dollars, you know, it was a dark time that was that was just medicating myself and just lying in bed and just being into nihil just being pissed off at everybody and being. Hating myself being so stupid because I always felt I was smart, and it was like how could somebody is so smart. Be so stupid at the same time. How did you why did you do this? Why did you believe in what part of his stories, even made sense? And in addition to everybody else now saying, I told you, so, you know, including my family. So for longtime, I hid it from everybody. So it's just to be embarrassed. That's probably a good, solid two months. I lost a bunch of weight. Didn't I couldn't afford to lose? You know, I went probably went down twenty pounds lighter than you see me now. And I'm a slim person I stopped eating I thought talking to people, I owed people money, I didn't just, oh, the bank's money friends that cared about demo money and avoid everybody for two weeks. So there's certain matter like it sounds like ceremony. Shame that setting around the shame guilt, things -iety regret had the whole salad bowl had it all it was. It was it was all dressed. It was a full party. Yeah, what's natural out of this. So for the longest time, I told people of lying in bed in a herd J Cole song. And it's called dollar dream part three lyric said, so you know what are you gonna do? You know, you're going to you're gonna grow bidder and grow cold, which was us, or you're gonna flip dollar and turn it into your dream, be a scholar and Fien watch watch upon become king. And I know I'm not quoting properly, and I told people that did get me out of bed when I heard those lyrics is probably nine in the morning, I got out of bed, and I did have an energy that I didn't have before and the energy was take responsibility own this figure it out. Now, no one else is how helping you know what's coming to save the day, figure it out. Now. What I do realize I do feel that two weeks in bed. Probably was important as well. Probably should have taken all the drugs took. But the two weeks in the bed was probably good enough for me to, to heal from heartbreaks that I was going to that. Hadn't dealt with, you know, months, pry the year pyro most and also this friend who had trust and being betrayed. I'd never thought, you know, the heterosexual male and ever thought another guy could break my heart but I realized was now looking back, I don't have any brothers. I don't have any biological brothers two sisters. So I really turn this guy into my brother. I really loved him as a brother and to find out that it was all just one big scam really broke my heart and really put me in this place where I didn't trust myself anymore to make decisions. And I feel like those two weeks times what does the healing more than anything else? You had agreed it. I mean you have to. To serve, like, can't say sitting on the tradition, or whatever the coolant is, it's like yada, yada, mourn it has to happen. And I didn't realize. Originally. I would tell people it was hearing those lyrics. And now I feel like the combination of healing for two weeks and then hearing those and I was the momentum. You're ready. Let's go. You know, you're not fully healed. But even when you're not fully healed, you gotta start walking on it. And that's one thing changed. That's when I stopped becoming that guy cut corners. That's when I stopped becoming that guy who voided any type of conflict, any type of discomfort. That was the moment that things changed. And I've plastered, a bunch of messages on my wall printed them all out on pink paper and it said like sink or swim. You wanna vacation, go get a real job? You know, we're going to be humble. The poet until we die no days off. You getting xactly what you put in pragmatic cold, you know, the type type stuff that soccer dad would be yelling that his kid, it's just what I needed. I, I didn't need a hug at in you, compassion. I didn't need pity. I needed a kick in the ass. So the first thing I did that called everybody owed money to. And I said, listen, I o you money. I don't have money. I don't know how I'm going to get the money but I'm not going to avoid you, and you will not see me spending money anywhere else. People have owed me money and I know what feels like I'm not going to allow this to become that let me figure it out. You know. And at this point, people have been, you know, people who, who, who matter to me. But I wasn't listening to look the only way you're gonna start the process of digging yourself out of this hold units sell sell the place right now. I spent the first three months scrambling to continue paying the mortgage, but the truth was I couldn't keep this place up anymore. And I wouldn't have any in putting attending back in wasn't going to give me any income. It was just going to keep it at zero. I may decisions messed up where I can no longer afford the luxury of having disinvestment property. So that was my first adult. Decision which was like you sell it. You're gonna have to take the loss. You know you supposed to keep this between now you have to get rid of it after only a couple of years this was your rainy day fund. This is your rainy day. So I sold that the money I got from that is what went to the personal debts immediately. And I remember one person I paid back this I'm really sorry that you had to sell your home and to pay me back, you know, to now, people will know you know because he us been, there's a lot of pride mean. I don't care if people know that was my I don't care if people know him struggling don't care, if people know him in debt, I think, that's the reason so many people stay in debt is to keep up a certain image. I'm like I don't care. I'll let everybody know that I'm struggling, you know, I don't care. I don't wanna own anybody money. I don't want to have that on my chest anymore. So I paid those and I told them and I'll get to a point where I could buy two of those in all get there. And. It was hard, you know, because that I lived on I had a beautiful condo on a subway station like my condo connected to the station. So I didn't have a car when every time I had to go downtown to seize condo, and to face it, and it killed me and it killed me for a long it only killed me until they had the money to buy two, you know, superficially, I had to have that much money until I could face that building again, and not see it as giant monument to my failure, and, you know, it took me four years to get out of that. It didn't happen overnight. So I was selling selling my place than it was selling all my recording equipment and selling all that fun stuff that I thought I needed sold. It all on Craigslist, moving back home with my mom and dad, the irony of it becoming that starving artists that I was voting. You had like years before you're like I don't want to live that life. Now, I'm thirty over thirty and I'm living at home with my parents with no. No, no idea how to earn any money. But now at least I can eat now the distresses of survival of disappeared. And now I can focus on this and at the same time knowing like you MRs up so bad. Don't sleep in, you know you mess up so bad. Don't let them see you having fun. You don't deserve to have one I thought making music for a long time, because and I'm still shaking that, that mindset 'cause music for me was so fun. That was a reward for me to make music. And I got to the point where you don't deserve it. Like you fuck this up so bad, you don't deserve anything nice. You don't deserve to talk to women in very harsh myself, but I at that point, I needed I messed up pretty big own it. I wasn't bamboozled by a genius manipulator, it was it was, it was a young guy who just sold me dreams easily, and I fell for it, and I paid a hefty price which was the tuition my school of life. Yeah. And results, I mean is tuition in, in your school of making a more powerful and more committed transition into vocation. Yes. I mean, the guy in now only happened because that happened, you know, so important is, we'll take one of the things you right? Like in, in your buck. You know, like no straight lines. There are no straight lines, right. Like there are you gotta meander bounce around. And it's the, the idea of your their shortcuts. They get you there fast. It's like doesn't work that way. Life. Definitely does not work that way. And it required me to, to ask myself. Why did you think life work this way? Like why where did this because it was? Culture also kind of promises that it should popular. Drown. Yeah. And it was had to here. I think the founder of Twitter that I that maybe somebody said it before him. It takes ten years to be overnight success. These were things that had ever heard when I was still teaching and making music, you know, to me, this is like this stuff's easy. You know, at this point, I hadn't encountered any real challenge, like you'll plow university. I get into university. I applied to teacher's college. Oh, it's a little bit more competitive. I still got in, you know, nothing was consequential until I had that moment world. Holy crap. Like you don't have any money. You're in Matt, you're more debt than you were a year ago. And you're struggling then. And now you have zero options to earn. There's like there's nothing this currently I wasn't even selling music items back, then I was just putting them down for free. Download so the union know how to make money and then at every single artist I met how. How do we make money? Where's the money like how do you guys make money? I don't get this and learning the economics of creativity. And it was, you know, again, there wasn't there wasn't that one big check that way built the debt I baby steps chipped away at it slowly and slowly I started writing for my own personal therapy. And this, that's where unlearn the book came from the book came from me, being so sick of hearing motivational quotes tumbler quotes and all this other stuff. That's just promising you to make life feel better. But there's no pragmatism to there was no practicality to it. None of it was going to help me get out of debt. Telling me to don't worry God has a plan. God doesn't close the door without opening a window like all this stuff to just cheesy and corny. How's this going to help me, pay my mortgage houses going to help me, pay back, my friends, and I started writing in those conversations, I had is, you know, I when I started writing them I started sharing them with my followers on. Book and they were the ones that said, you should write a book because they started connecting with the two because I realized we're all in the same boat. You know, even to this day I can leave conversations of philosophy and start talking about how to get out of debt financial literacy, and people really so many people are suffering with that by themselves. You know, and me saying, like kids, the real thing, you're going to, you know dream about what, what real adult dream about having zero balance on that credit card. They don't dream about the things that, you know that you think you're gonna like this is what matters and don't sign up for that credit card when you're in university, even though this fifty stalls around your frosh week and financial literacy was a big one realizing that, wow, like my parents were really good with money very frugal with money. That didn't mean I was because, you know, I, I was the youngest, I had the privileges I wasn't there when we had fifteen living in the one bedroom. I wasn't there by the time I was born my parents had figured out how to get a house. So relax really, it's really just been the last with four or five years that everything has kind of substantially turned around, and it's you putting your head down and saying, okay, not only gonna do the work to pay back everyone to pay back, but I didn't do the work that creates that grass roots. Every day trying it out ground swell that every musician has talked about having to put their head down and do, and tour and do things for free and go to all these different places and show up in rooms where they're six people. Remember there for like whatever's being free and doing that for years. And then slowly learning highly build and build and build as AMI so fascinating to me that, like this whole time, there's a part of you that there's always a part of you that knows like amac, I'm really smart. I could very easily at any given moment. Even as we sit here to any given moment you could very easily turn back to that side of you to the mass, the IT side, you know, and step into a career in that hot, where you have great paycheck, stable job and do all this stuff. And yet something, you know, a switch was flipping in your said that is not an option, you know, like there's the, there's the creative side to me. And the only thing he like worse than letting it out is keeping it in. The one thousand I had a lot of suffering. Like the only thing that's more severing is, is still out of joy to like not doing this would be even worse. I mean we, we all grew up in zoo. And then every so often, we get exposed to the jungle, and I think, you know, the bubbles that I had I had a very comfortable cage, I had a very and that was plugged in to the economy of plugged into the system and art wasn't something I created it was only on consumed. You know what I watched after work, or it was what I played on the radio. When I get when I got stuck in traffic and the moment, I saw what freedom could look like which is the jungle it excited me because I was like, oh, this, there's there's much less constraint here. But what I hadn't thought about yet, but there's also nobody there to feed you. There's also nobody there to protect you. You're gonna have to figure this out by yourself and any animal. You encounter may not be a friendly animal. Well now they might be looking rip your head up. And I got my head ripped off a few times. And I got my book the few times. And that's when I slow and no different than somebody moving out to New York from small town. You know, they they get they get their buck the few times, the skin gets a little bit thicker and then they graduate to become a New Yorker. And I think it was the same thing with me. It was just mean life in general. It was just, you know, and now my relationship with freedom and my relationship with all of this has dramatically changed. I realized that the romantic idea like, oh, leave a nine to five so I can, you know, do whatever I want. Well, you leaving nine to five to work twenty four seven. Yeah, that's the trade off. I mean you're at a point in your career. Now where you've had a nice level of success, where you're well known where you have a certain amount of freedom financial and creative to you've built back, you know, to, to stand out there and create the word that you wanna create and do what you wanna do. And continue you're still early on. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Lot of years left. Do this. Do you recognize you do feel like there was a moment where you're kind of like I've turned the page? Do you feel like you're there now? Or do you feel like that moment exists? I was waiting for that moment. I was waiting for that moment to y'all. You're no longer struggling, and you can be that artists that you thought you were in twenty eleven. There was a lot of trauma. I went through I found light at the end of the tunnel, 'cause I Doug, I clawed, I fought and, you know, you don't exit a war zone. You know, unscathed, physically or mentally. So there was a lot of becoming self aware of who I was the what ended up happening was, you know, as in everybody can can relate to this as you climb to the next level in any capacity was intellectually financially. You get access to new circles, where you're chievements adrift. You know make a million dollars. You're gonna meet a bunch of people ten million dollars continue walking to New York where the hierarchies you know, you can't even think of high. Hierarchy in the more you climb one ladder make it to the top. Then you realize you're at the bottom of another letter, I think, for me when I started going out to LA a lot, and meeting people who are making enormous sums of money super successful being creative living, the dream, either Hollywood elites seeing how that they weren't happy and it wasn't that their job was making them happy, it was that life is full of challenges. No matter who you are, it doesn't matter what your circumstances, are you can win the Powerball. You're gonna have a challenge the next day. This is what life. This is the contract of life. You know, you you solve problems. You create another one, and that really got to me in the beginning of motion, because I was still struggling financially, and I was kind of resentful like how, how are you making hundred grand a month? And you're crying right now over girl, I can't even afford to cry over girl. I can't afford to waste the calories even speaking to I can't take a girl out to dinner for her to not call me back. You know, I can barely pay my phone Bill right now. And you're crying over like these petty. Things is not even real. But what that also eventually was made me realize that, hey, you'll be in the same position when you're in their tax bracket, you're gonna you're still going to have problems, this money is not going to make you feel better about yourself, does money's not gonna make it easier to trust people with the money's gonna come new challenges. You're never going to be able to kick your feet up and be like. I made it was going to happen is life will never get easier. You've just have to continue getting stronger. And now you just have to decide, are you going to keep climbing gonna keep playing video game the way you're playing which is earned more, you know, get out, you? We had to get two zero that was important. And then once we got two zero we realized, hey, we know how to go from negative eighty thousand zero than we know how to go from zero to the moon, and then I started focusing on that. And then that started spilling into my creativity and being like, oh, am I making music for the sake of making music making what's going to work? What might get the views what might be on brand or on trend? And I found myself getting lost in that. And a lot has to do with the people that was around. They weren't necessarily bad influences, but we all identify the gaps in our lives in relation to the people around. You know somebody has lower body fat than us. And we think we gotta fix that. Somebody has better hustle situation. And we think about that. Somebody has. Money than we think about that. And it was only recently, probably in the last maybe two two years, where I said to myself, you have to chase the fun. You have to chase the fun and it was probably through meeting. Some, some people who said, look you know, in the beginning. Hey will I you know, will I learn something will, I earn or or will they get exposure? Those are my three three things you know, it has to be two to three to say. Yes. Ten Jabre thity. And then I met somebody else's, like, what about the fun? Number one should be fun. If you're not gonna have fun, you know, unless they ridiculous paycheck, you know, it should probably be a no. Because if you start making a lot of money doing stuff that you don't like that's a whole different type of prison. And that's why a lot of these people aren't happy because they, you know, sometimes, especially with, like people in the community. A lot of these guys started in early twenties, having fun being silly on YouTube, and they built a huge following now. They're pushing. Thirty in just the person they were that got there, not that person anymore. But their audience isn't responding to their of Lucien debate. They want you to stay in a container. Yeah, that be that silly person that, you know, the dance monkey be that same person. And that's what I realize is. They don't do what works if you do what works you'll forever chase it. You'll always be chasing. You know this pave your own path a community and suck them in deeper and deeper as you go deeper and deeper. So, you know, like even with this book, does book is very simple to read this book is, you know, it's the language very simple, because this is the introduction to this journey. I mean, we should probably talk about the book little bit new in an interesting way, we've actually been talking about the book the whole time, because what writing the book is what helped me get here. Right. Saved my life and fundamentally it's, it's a compilation of one hundred and one short ideas that were awakening moments of reckoning or. A Ha's Trump's so many of which you share just to your own story, completely, you know, and it's called it's called online, which I kind of cool title kinda like okay so we've all learned to be a certain way in the world. And this is how you get there. And part of the process is you. There's a certain amount of, of learning about like a different way. But also before you do that there's certain amount of on learning completely. Yeah. And that's what I realize as I went and other sort, making progress. It was like, I'm not picking up as much I'm letting goal up more, you know. And I had to let go of my expectations, you know, I expected people to be nice to me as long as I was nice to them. You know, expected the world to be fair, I expect to look at the world in terms of fairness, you know, and then you learn and business that there's no such thing as a fair deal is just whatever you go, she ate and whatever made sense that day, whatever people agreed upon and you're like, oh, there's not even a benchmark for the I had to learn that I have more power over my expectations and my attitude. Than I do over anything else and my effort, these are the things that have power over. I don't have power over what's going to happen. How ideal that is what have power over as I learned his lesson that get excited to write them down? And, you know, they became the book and the book you know, turned into something that I was able to use and sell that my shows, you know, it'd be doing a hip hop show, and then sell the book after. But most of my show would be me talking, you know, I'd form one song. And then just get lost in, you know, Conair calls it a stream consciousness and Nadia's. Never mind it in mind, and slowly, the audience went from young kids, love and hip hop to, to mainly young girls holding the book and wanting to reach from it and wanting me to sign the book after so that incorporated that all into my shows, and I was booking my own shows, you know, I would I would pick a city at crowd funded and crowd funded the book as well. Right. 'cause he originally was five years ago. Now. All right. When fourteen right, so you crowd fund that you put it out there. It becomes a part of your workout in the world, a revenue source for you to your. Urging learning again, and that three books day as my average was three books day, and like religiously, it would sell three books day, whether I promoted or not, that's and now it's it's out as like a big mainstream buck with big mainstream publisher. So. As we sit here today, and they said, still feels like you're in this place of emergence, like you're, you're way, further into it than you were four or five years ago. But still, there's so much more coming than there is behind you, at least in terms of like this, this, this work. Yeah. And unfortunately, that I that I that I work with people who have come up further, and I can really see the pitfalls ahead of time. And that's really allowing me to set my own personal coda values in priorities to avoid some of that. So I mean you know, the book was independent and then three years later it got picked up by a bookstore by indigo. They put it on their shelves. They published for our non Canadian listeners, by the way. That's like a giant bookstore in Canada though the biggest bookstore pretty much the only bookstore chain in Canada. They bought all the other ones up and they. They reached out to me and said, hey, we would love to license this out in publish it under our imprint. And the moment they did it became a bestseller in Canada. And then that's what got me the attention the states. So this book is that had such an organic, like it didn't have an overnight success. They went three years, independent, then it became a nationwide phenomenon in my home country. And then it went international after that. Yeah. Which is kinda fitting the journey ban on one thousand percent. It's you don't skip steps, you know, there's no elevator escalator, even stairs to the top, you're literally have to crawl the beside of, of the mountain, and as you start climbing, you start to realize, if you look at everybody who's above you, you'll never find any gratitude and appreciation. If you look at everybody below you, you're just going to be living in fear that you don't wanna be them. So just have fun. The reward is the climbing. The reward is the view the reward our unique experiences. So that's where I'm at where they know if I add a couple more zeros to. My net worth is not it will not fulfill some promise that, I can make myself that I'll be content or feel certain ways. So now everything's a lot more pragmatic. It's like, okay, how much do I need to pay my parents bills? And you know they're getting old. I want to save up get them. You know, an Thomas car because I don't want them the traffic accident because they refuse to stop driving. You know what do I need to do for them? How do I take care of the people? I care about and selfishly. How do I ensure I have enough money that I can jump on a flight anytime anywhere and not cringe when I put my credit card number, and like, whoa, what do I have to do? And I've given myself a number, and that number does not promise me ever lasting happiness, that promises that number does not give me eternal wealth. It doesn't give me a terminal satisfaction is just right. That this is a number where all your things that you want will be taken care of, and I'll be mindful when you start hanging out with all these other rich people that they might skew your number. Because you start seeing the things that they have, and now you want that stuff yourself really know what your priorities are in. So I think I'm fortunate because I'm looking critically at those who came before me and have a chief things, and I'm learning the lessons from them and that required. A lot of on learning required. A lot of letting go of what I thought it meant to have success, what I thought it meant to be creative. Like you know, there's one thing to be creative. Which we all are we all are artists. We all are storytellers. But if you wanna mix that with commerce. If there's a whole different world, and you have to understand you may actually be killing something you love. Yeah. 'cause if you know, if you enjoy painting bowls of fruit, it won't be as enjoyable when you start involving money and deadlines and people's expectations and opinions. And if that fruit has to pay mortgage. Yeah, fill your mortgage, and I realized I have I have a friend right now with a very successful entertainer. And they decided that they needed to do a new art that would never be for profit, and this parties. They made it all about parties now. And nobody knows that they thought these parties, they just throw them. They organize them. They cut all the, the decorations up put all the decorations themselves, and they can hire people to do it, but they don't because they're doing it because the work is the reward. That's important were of that feels like good place for us to start come full circle also. So if Al for the term to livid left here, what comes up? Good. Life is to, to live on your own terms and to be able to. Understand that you are free to do as you please. But you are not free from the consequences of choices and live, a good life is to be able to own that idea where I say, I'm going to do as I, please. But I won't be devastated. If the consequences don't work out in my in my way, his caused -ality isn't is rarely surprising. You know if you. You know, go party, eat dinner out every single night in New York, you should not be surprised when your credit card Bill comes back and you like that phone number. You know, so for me to live, a good life is to understand that and understand the importance of the world around you in the world in you and what their relationship is. And if you can do that you can live in amazing life because this world is just fantastic. And I think the last part that I believe is essential to living good life. It's understand it. You will live better life. If you yourself as a tool, and as a resource to the rest of life, you know, we don't have a life. We are life were part of this puzzle were part where dropping this ocean? And if we focus on. Being a resource for others being resource for this creation. Not simply thing, a these animals are here for me to eat these trees are here for me to cut these people are here are here to help progress. My career everybody's here for me. You'll be a lot less isolated and we need connection with other people in the deeper connection when you focus on service instead of the ways that we're building connection right now. Whether it's social media, whether it's self pity, whether it's tribalism, you know, instead, focus on being of service other people focus on being useful to other people and other things. And I think that will provide a life of a lot less resistance. Nobody really gets an away when we wanna help and that will help us increase the way we feel and it will also gift us. Many, many, many unique stimulating experiences. So. Can I ask you to share something a little either? Something spoken word or something that comes to mind, a wrote a poem in honor of my dad called life of an immigrant. And it's one that I do love to share feel a lot of people connect with it on different levels. So they told them the grass was greener with a endless flooded possibilities, Katrina watch him, John in debt land confiscated by the local governments. So he flies high jet plane playing close. Just expose them to the harsh winters, the life, but his wife won't know about the sweat soaked, in the banknote. Sweat home spoi- getting grown. He starts grown his stomachs rumbling hungry for better life now. He's stumbling over four and phonetics those verb tenses, they laughing at his accent is not an accident though. His master's economics is an honored most economic forefather to hop his ass in a cab, never bother getting out that car or is dreams memorized, the row and collect the fair. It is fair when they say you don't belong here, which along beard in the tower around your head here, what was said, so can the hate can you relate? Life of an immigrant. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening. And thanks also to our fantastic sponsors who helped make this show possible. You can check them out in the links. We have included intra-day show notes, and while you're at it if you've ever asked yourself, what should I do with my life? We have created a really cool online assessment that will help you discover the source code for the work that you're here to do. You can find it at sparky type dot com. That's S. P. A. R. K E. T Y, P dot com or just click the link in the show notes. And of course if you haven't already done so be sure to click on the subscribe button in your listening. So you never miss episode and then share share the love, if there's something that you've heard in this episode that you will love to turn into a conversation share it with people and have that conversation because when ideas become conversations that lead to action. That's when real change takes hold. Cenex time.

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