I had already done a first draft of Londoner Prad Patel‘s Twitter Spotlight when something really cool happened: I got sick in London.
OK, that’s not the cool part (at all). The cool part is that Prad did a very sweet thing and sent me a care package at my London hotel.
Prad’s profile was already one of my favorites since I started featuring people I enjoy following on Twitter in that his answers were thorough and interesting and really made me think.
Twitter friends are real and don’t you doubt it.
OneChicklette: Your favorite qualities in a love interest
@pradip: A sense of adventure – I’m great at causing trouble or doing things which are risky, or which most people would blink twice at. Being around someone who doesn’t have that fear and is happy to hold my hand as I take a plunge is definitely what ticks my boxes.
OneChicklette: Your chief characteristic (one word)
@pradip: Driven. Actually, Ambitious. Or perhaps Adventurous. Actually, you know what? Let’s go with Indecisive.
OneChicklette: What you appreciate most in your friends
@pradip: Texting back within 5 minutes.
OneChicklette: Your idea of happiness
But more seriously, I went through a phase where I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I definitely wasn’t happy with the direction of my life. I made a firm decision that I’d start setting myself goals, and making a series of changes to myself to become happier with who I was.
- Living Healthier – At the time, I used to walk past a KFC every day on the way back from a 15 hour day at the office. The combination of being too tired to cook and late night opening times made me gain weight and become in a worse physical condition very quickly. By cooking my own meals and taking up running, I felt better about myself and more confident, and much more happier.
- Stop Comparing Myself to Others – at a certain age, you start to notice that celebrities and sport stars are younger than you, but more successful and richer. I could go into a lot of detail here about the day where I stopped comparing myself to other people, but the short version is that only you are responsible for yourself, and beating yourself up about what others are doing is pointless.
- Volunteer – Volunteering is about helping other people and giving your time to improve their life. But it’s also about you giving back to a world in which you take a lot from. Volunteering brings about a sense of completeness where you return back to the world some of the opportunities and the life it has given you.
- Do something – They say everyone needs a hobby, and I found this was key to my happiness. Taking up something which I could see the fruits of my labour at the end of it. It’s impossible to underestimate the power of being able to say “Yep, I made that”.
- Stop looking back at the past… and ahead into the future – I was somewhat consumed with decisions I had made in the past, and whether I’d done the right thing, and it was affecting my ability to make decisions in the present. Likewise, I was also too concentrated on my goals and desires for the future that I was dismissive of what I wanted to do in the present if I didn’t see how it furthered my quest. My concentrating more on the present, learning from the past with an eye on the future, I’ve learnt to appreciate what I’m doing now and enjoy being in the moment.
- Be around people who make you happy – By forcing myself to be around people in social situations, I learnt the value of what they bring into my life. As a horrific workaholic, it was very easy for me to get consumed into my work life, and forget the joy of relaxing with people – both friends, and complete strangers.
OneChicklette: Your idea of misery
@pradip: When the WiFi doesn’t work.
But really, I’ve seen deprivation and some of the most horrific conditions a human could endure. And I’ve spoken to people who’ve lost everything, or have succumbed to addiction, debt or personal grievance. Especially in large cities, they’re oftentimes also people who are only too aware of the narcissistic “I am the World” lives we’ve conditioned ourselves to consume within, and to ignore the noise of such misery.
I hate to end this question on such a downer, but… misery.
OneChicklette: Your favorite fictional character
@pradip: Sonic the Hedgehog. I’m not even sure why. As a kid, I used to play the Sonic games on my Sega MegaDrive, and being the age where saving your games wasn’t a possibility yet, I’d be like a guard dog making sure nobody turned the console off (and losing hours of progress). I think Sonic just represents the hours of putting effort into something, and occasionally having to start all over again if the power had cut out.
OneChicklette: Your favorite thing to eat, and also to drink
@pradip: I looked through one of these lists which lists 100 weird/unusual dishes, and I’d ticked off about 60% of the random items on there (Chocolate-covered Scorpion? Check.) However, nothing beats a good Roast Chicken with all the trimmings, and lots of gravy.
To drink? A mellow glass of Johnnie Walker Blue, in a comfy armchair. Cliche, but I do like the classics.
OneChicklette: Five tangible things you can’t live without
- My phone – it’s how I keep in contact with the world. Working in media, being in the know and being the first to know is crucial to my line of work. And then, knowing as much as I can, and how best to present that information is just as critical. My phone is my first call for such knowledge to let me be good at my job.
- My camera – Photography is very much a hobby of mine, and not something I’d want to pursue professionally, but it lets me detach myself from the everyday chaos of life and observe the world in the third person. I think it’s healthy to just be a bystander sometimes.
- A good set of knives – That probably sounds a little creepier than intended. I love cooking and trying out different dishes in the kitchen, but having suffered most my life with substandard knives, I’ve learnt the value of having a good set of quality blades, and what that does to your standard of cooking.
- A Computer – I’ve been deliberately ambiguous, as I own a PC, a Mac, and a Linux box. I’ll work on any computer, and use them for play, but I definitely can’t see myself being able to live without a computer of some kind.
- Chicken Wings – I don’t even want to contemplate a world without chicken wings. Just…no.
OneChicklette: What’s the number one item on your bucket list? (question via @SaraLang)
@pradip: How about 30 of them? I recently put together a “30 by 30” list, which is 30 things I want to have accomplished by the time I’m 30!
- Run 30 races and have 30 medals to show for it (including at least 1 marathon).
- Attempt to break the Guinness world record for the Tube Challenge.
- Try White Water rafting.
- Make my own chessboard and carve the chess pieces out of wood.
- Fly in a hot air balloon.
- Go camping under the stars.
- Get lean and to my peak physical condition.
- Finally get my head around 3D modelling in Maya.
- Sell a photograph I’ve taken to a total stranger.
- Learn how to make 10 different cocktails… and then invent my own!
- Try scuba diving.
- Be a role model to someone.
- Teach something I excel in to a class.
- Make a beautiful timelapse video.
- Pass my driving test.
- Watch all the movies in the imdb Top 100 list.
- Do the Three Peaks Challenge.
- Climb a mountain in a foreign country and unfurl the Union flag at the top.
- Learn how to look after a plant to bloom without it dying.
- Watch the Northern Lights.
- Have a photograph published in a magazine.
- Be able to cook 30 different dishes from 30 different cultures.
- Take a completely spontaneous, unplanned trip.
- Do a 30 day challenge (undecided on what this will be)
- Fly a kite.
- Stay in a luxury hotel suite.
- Fly a plane.
- Complete a hedge maze.
- Learn a style of dance.
- Make somebody’s dream come true.
@OneChicklette: Who do you know via social media that you’re dying to meet in real life? (this question came via @Tammy)
@pradip: That’s a really good question, and not one I have a good answer to. I’ve got lots of people who regularly respond to me on different social networks, and who I reply back to and have conversations with. But I’m pretty poor at turning them into real world friendships – I think I make the blanket assumption that nobody would be interested in hanging out with me as they’re all too busy with their own lives, so I only meet up with those who reach out to me.
@OneChicklette: I’d have been thrilled to meet you had I not been sick.
@OneChicklette: How many days do you think you would you go without speaking a single word, if you were being paid $100,000 a day for every consecutive day you didn’t speak? (this amazing question came via @BrianSpaeth)
@pradip: I’d easily go the weekend without speaking to anyone (if I pre-arranged it). And $200,000 would do me nicely for a weekend’s work, so I’d be happy to stop there!
OneChicklette: via @AndiLavs What was the last kind thing you did?
@pradip: I carried someone’s heavy suitcase up a long haul of stairs on the Tube. In London, that’s the sort of thing which is a small thing to do, but will leave someone with a nice lasting memory of the people of the city.
@OneChicklette: You answered this question before you send me a lovely care package!
OneChicklette: A question I should ask the next participant
@pradip: Which year has been the best for you, and why?
OneChicklette: Random shout out