Saturday, 27 November 2010

A little time for reflection

It was my birthday yesterday, I did have plans for a big birthday bash although that is totally against my nature, but comedy commitments meant that I needed to be in the studio writing and overlooking my projects. Instead I had a nice meal with the close friends I grew up with, and we ate at an Italian restaurant run almost exclusively by Indians... multi-cultural enterprise or what?

Again, I'm not big on celebrating, I'm more of a walk of into the sunset kind of guy, so I took this opportunity to reflect on how my year had progressed since my last birthday. This time last year, I finished a small tour of gigs that ended in Edinburgh, after which I drove all the way back to London in one shot. I had more or less just gone full-time as a comic and the adventures of driving up and down the country for both my livelihood and experience was in full effect. I was now an entry level "professional comedian" and I also had my very own car that I had purchased with my very own hard earned cash. There were still gigs I couldn't get because some promoters did not want to touch me at all, but I had made progress, I was now gigging with real professionals, sharing the bill with them and having to raise my own game in order to win the acceptance and respect of my newly found peer group of hardcore circuit professionals.

Look at me! I used to get told off for talking too much, nowadays I'm still talking too much!
A year on and I've somehow managed to get onto TV, be nominated for Best Newcomer in Edinburgh, book a massive UK tour, and be offered exciting new opportunities in the comedy world, some of which I shouldn't talk about yet until the right time to reveal it all. I did not expect this to happen like this, I never imagined that so much would happen so quickly. I'm a massive fan and advocate of the personal development scene, a few years ago I started to listen to Anthony Robbins, and it was one of the best investments of my time and money I have ever made. And this is what I want this blog entry to be about; personal development, going for your dreams.

"Unleash The Power Within"
I'll save most of the details for when I get to write a proper autobiography, but for now I want to highlight the importance of having a dream and that with unrelenting passion and hard work, that anything is possible. My first dream was to become a video games designer, and it didn't entirely work out as per my imagination had envisioned only because I did not have a strategy. I spent many years in the games industry, struggling to make it, although having a good time working on video games and making awesome friends. Suddenly, I found myself depressed (for many reasons) and broke, I was in trouble and there was no sign of anything changing unless I took complete control and changed it myself. I started listening to personal development material and ensuring all areas of my life has positive influences being pumped into them, from the music I was listening to, the food I ate, the books I read, and the people I associated with. These were the first step ingredients to giving me a good foundation to build my dreams upon. Whilst I totally went in head deep into this, often alienating myself from others who thought that this schmaltzy positive thinking malarky was a waste of time, it was sometimes difficult to believe in the worth of the most important part of it all, which was taking action.

I had a dream, a clear and vivid image of what I wanted from life, and so I wrote this down and started devising a strategy on how to achieve it all. Then I got out into the world and took loads of action, sometimes small steps, sometimes big jumps, and often enough I hit a wall and fell to the ground. But I got back up and re-strategised and took new action, yet again failing some more, before even a glimmer of a result would appear. And so in this, I found out a secret to life; failure is the most amazing teacher. As I continued to study the success of others in other areas of life, I realised that there was a consistent theme in their story, that they also had failed multiple times, even to the brink of total bankruptcy and even death, yet they refused to give up and then persevered into enormous victory.

It's easy to just do as we are told by others, to just go to school, get a job, earn some money, buy some stuff and generally just follow the path that is laid out for us by "the system" and by the expectations of others. However, if we take the time to step out of our own heads and observe our lives on this planet without the manufactured paradigms that are pumped into us by "the system", perhaps then we can see other meanings to our existence and the infinite opportunities that are readily available to us. My life has changed immensely these last few years, and right now all my dreams are coming true thick and fast, it's now payday. And this is why I want to share this with as many people as possible, because if I can do it, then anyone else can.

Compared to Americans, we have an apathetic and cynical attitude that is reflected in our TV shows here. Note that we don't have a Jack Bauer. Having ambition is almost scorned upon, and thus a lot of people find that their secret desires must be kept under wraps and even extinguished if they are to avoid the mockery, cynicism, and negativity from others around them. But it is exactly this, our ambition, our dreams, our passion that must be unleashed if we are to experience the true joys that life has to offer. None of it comes easy. and often enough, the negativity and even stupidity of people jeopardises the exciting possibilities that mankind has access to.

To put it into a nutshell; go for your dreams. Yes, in the pursuit of your dreams, you will fail, it will hurt, you will want to give up, but you must persevere and continue, because you totally can achieve anything you want. If you fear the failure, the humiliation, the pain, just do it anyway, because the pain of failure is never going to be as bad as the pain of wondering what could have been just because you never tried.


  1. I'm flicking through wikipedia (killing time) and up comes a wiki page on Imran Yusuf! And now I've had a look at your website and blog and apparently you went and became all famous since the last time I saw you! Nice work Imran!! You've come a long way from the crazy horse open mic nights at richmond and too much time playing computer games!! Very impressed!!!

  2. Thanks hun! All that hard work has paid off!

  3. Salam...just discovered u today when i turned the tv on and see u performing and damn u was funny!not to forget i checked out couple of vids on youtube after that......keep it up and hope to see more from u (Y).....