Nur Ahmad Muhaimin, 31, also known as Mean, is a local rapper who has been in the music scene for 10 years. What started as a hobby turned into a full-time career, and one of the ways he tries to give back to the community is by giving young aspiring musicians a platform to perform when he gets the chance to curate shows.  

Once the pandemic subsides, he hopes to curate more shows and give more up-and-coming musicians a platform to showcase their talents. He shares some lessons he has learnt throughout his journey.

Adjust your perspective

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture will give you a better look at your priorities. Many times, I get caught up and focus on things that, at the end of the day, do not matter. This lesson has been essential in helping me not to take things too seriously and to focus on the bigger picture.

Respect your boundaries

Learning your limits and knowing when you need to take a break is key for your mental health. I’ve struggled with understanding where my limits are and have reached breaking point multiple times. Sometimes, you just need to say no and give yourself a break. Taking a break will help you immensely as it refreshes your perspectives and rejuvenates you.

Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you

Finding inspiration can be very tricky. My music has always been about my life experiences. I always take into account what I and those around me are going through to serve as a source of inspiration. Nowadays, I’ve been working more on music production and have found inspiration in the little sounds that make up my everyday life, which I then try to incorporate into my music.

Manage your relationships

Surround yourself with people who inspire you to strive to become the best version of yourself. Over time, you’ll learn that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. It’s also important to  have peers and family that uplift you. Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from negative social circles.

Knowledge is power

Always keep learning about your craft. There will always be something new for you to learn. As the saying goes, knowledge is truly power. Having a wide array of tools in your arsenal will be very useful when you are presented with new challenges. Every day, I use the skills that I’ve learnt to deal with different situations. On top of that, I learn something new every day too by experiencing these new situations.

Build your network

Knowing the right people can lead to massive opportunities. Put yourself out there to meet and connect with new people from different social circles. Get yourself out of your comfort zone. You might just find yourself going places you never thought you’d be going.

Refresh your environment

Switching up your work environment affects your mind. I found that upgrading my work-from-home studio setup increased my productivity. I feel more motivated to keep working out of the sheer satisfaction of being in my workspace. It doesn’t need to be a massive change. It could be something as simple as putting a potted plant on your desk or re-arranging your desk layout. You will notice that the change in environment is refreshing.

Practise gratitude

Saying “thank you” is an underrated gesture. Make it a habit to show others that you’re grateful. Learning to be grateful for what you are blessed with is also often overlooked. Others may not have been blessed with the same opportunities we have. The lesson here is that we should always make the most with what we have and give back whenever we can.

The secret to happiness is self-confidence

Being comfortable in your own skin and believing in yourself go a long way. Once you’ve shed the idea that you have to be anything else other than yourself, you’ll find peace and learn that you don’t have to please anyone else in order to find happiness.

Dream big, or don’t dream at all

Having aspirations and then setting goals to achieve them can be a great way for you to measure personal forms of success. These goals don’t have to be what other people view as success. It can be “little” things such as daily tasks you have to complete. Little steps do go a long way.

This article was published on Oct 6, 2021

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