Friday, July 31, 2009
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word “environment,”
But spirit scorns it, and is free.
It masters time, it conquers space,
It cows that boastful trickster, Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance
Uncrown, and take a servant's place.
The human will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless soul,
Can hew a way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.
Be not impatient in delay,
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands,
The gods are ready to obey.
Beautiful isn't it? What is your Will to be?
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Beautiful isn't it? A prayer which I want to adopt everyday in my life. Here's the opposite.
Stress Prayer: Grant me the stubbornness to struggle against things I cannot change; the inertia to avoid work on my own behaviors and attitudes which I can change; and the foolishness to ignore the differences between external events beyond my control and my own controllable reactions. But most of all, grant me a contempt for my own human imperfection and the limits of human control. - Neil Fiore from The Now Habit
Lol right on.... A prayer which I had been incorporating in my life for a long time. From my experience till now, it had brought me nothing but resentments to others and from others, assumptions of what was supposed to be done, expectations of the impossibilities, low self-esteem as I felt powerless to change everything and most of all, lots of unnecessary stress.
Many enlightened teachers have often taught, the root of unhappiness is due to how we want everything to go accordingly to what we expect and wanted. Little did we realized that many of them are actually beyond our control. For example, we can't control how the weather will be (I am guilty of being angry at the weather at times). We can't control how people will react to us and how they think of us. Unless you know how to do mind control.... As such, it is actually quite foolish to think that we can actually control the Everything in our life.
In reality, the only thing we can control is our reaction to events. Our thoughts of other people. Our own actions towards issues. In the nutshell, the only thing that we can actually change is ourselves. There is a proverb which says 'If you want to change the world, you have to start changing yourself first.' You will see that things aren't actually as bad as it seems once you realize that you actually have the power to change your reactions to it. Yesterday night when I was sleeping, the Niki's mum called home. As usual, I was irritated by ringing phone and started cursing and hogging the pillow over my head in my futile attempt to block the noise. It was at that time I remembered that I couldn't change the phone from ringing but I could choose to be less affected by it. It was an amazing experience when I realized that I have the power to choose my reaction. All my frustration and anger vanished immediately and I felt at peace. Instead, I felt grateful for the phone to ring for such short time. It could have been longer. ^_^
Are you accepting yourself as human? Being humans means that we will not be perfect in everything. Expecting perfection in yourself only means that you are unable to embrace you as human. A wonderful being. Live as the serenity prayer says and accept others imperfections. They are only humans like us. Change what we can and embrace what we can't. Accept ourselves as humans with imperfections. It is a great way to live a fulfilling and stress free life. Like my Secondary School Teacher Mr Chng who loves to say,'If it can be changed, why worry. If it cannot be changed, why worry?'
Till next time, do enjoy life. ^_^
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Many reasons arised. For one, I have no more internet connection at home and intended to leave it that way.
Kinda fun to live without it. Having more time to do my other stuffs.
Also I had other things on my mind to do now ^_^
Most likely I will only be updating once per week when I am at Niki's place.
So take care folks!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The magic of hard work or may be lots of edition....
Either way still hard work
I am constantly amazed by how the things I have in life, come to me in ways that I often took it for granted as it looked effortless.
I had often neglected the amount of hard work and efforts which were put in by great people who made it possible.
The food I am eating now is brought to me by the efforts of people who grow them, people who collect them, people who transport them, people who packed them and many others who involved in one way or the other.
Not forgetting the ones who invented the planes, the trains, the rails, the ships and the ones who built them.
This is similar with the water which I drink in my cup, the clothes on my body, the flat I lived in, the paper I am using and every possession I have in my life.
Thank you for everything that is in my life as it has gone through the hard work of many men, dead and alive, to bring these to me.
Thank you to everything that I have taken from the world and I must do my best to give it back in return.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Did you face similar inner dialogues before? Well… As you can see, you are not alone.
Such self reprimanding can be very bad for self-esteem. It came to a time that I would just avoid big and important projects totally to prevent myself from procrastinating again which obviously lead to no where. It seriously depleted my confidence in getting things done. It lowered my performance and how people perceive me too. Luckily and finally, I got fed up with the consequences and began my search on how to overcome procrastination. Luckily, there are great deals of information out there in both library and the Internet. Here is an interesting finding which I get out from the research.
Procrastinators are usually perfectionist. They prefer to finish everything at one go and in total perfection. However, this mindset also makes the task seems more difficult and daunting than it originally is. Therefore, many times they will just sit on the task, waiting for a good time until it becomes too late. With fire burning on their asses, it almost guaranteed a not so perfect outcome and then they will start hating themselves for it. As a result, it becomes natural for procrastinator to avoid big tasks as they afraid that they will fail again (to them, not perfect is equal to fail also). This is the way of thinking that is usually done subconsciously without them realizing their thinking process.
This study is a wake up call for me. Most of the time, I would want to finish everything at one go. Finish once and for all is the motto which I held for a long time in my life. It is undeniable that there are occasions which this mentality helped me in freeing up some of my time but usually, it left me drained due to the prolonged hours trying to get the task done at one go. I did it so frequently that eventually, I dreaded doing them anymore. Thinking about the after effect turned me off totally. I rather spent my time doing other ‘fun’ things or just relaxing. This is where the viscous cycle will occur. Procrastinate, regret, blame, motivate to do earlier, remember the tiredness and procrastinate again.
On the other hand, Do-ers are people who will get into actions regardless of how much can they complete. They will disseminate the task into small segments and keep doing them till completion. It is actually a better stress free method. Do-ers jump into tasks immediately starting with small steps. They adopt the essence of ‘The Great Wall of China was built, one brick at a time’.
Let's put the differences into a scenario. For instance, John will like to clear up his room which is in a total mess. He has a strong desire to clear it up as it is getting pretty unsightly. Therefore, he is all fired to get the room cleared ASAP.
Procrastinator’s thinking process
‘I am ready to clean up the room. Hmm.... It will require a lot of time and effort since there are so many things to clear. I shall do it when I have more hours on hand.’ The perfect timing never arrives as there always seemed to have other more important things to. By the time John is ready to do it; he often finds it too late and schedules the cleaning to another day. The same thought keeps recurring in his head, as the task is just to daunting and time consuming. John is always able to find reasons to do other more 'important' stuffs first.
Do-er’s thinking process
There will be a significant difference in the thinking process. John will start dividing the whole room into segments to clean. For example, he will decide to do the drawer first for this week. He will not touch on anything else if he does not feel like it. Once he achieves his goal, he can choose to stop and not feel guilty for not finishing everything. He even starts seeing himself to be competent and finds that the work is not so hard after all. This will motivate him to do it again as he can see the difference in the room even if it is just a small area. In the progress, he becomes more and more motivated as he sees the room becomes neater and neater and realizes that the goal is attainable Few weeks later, we will find the do-er's room cleared and the procrastinator's room untouched (it may get more messy as he thinks he can afford to mess it up since he is going to clear sooner or later). We will find the do-er’s face grinning and feeling so proud of himself while the procrastinator grouching, claiming that he does not seem to be able to find time to do anything. He will then start blaming everyone and everything that seemingly appeared as a cause for his procrastination.
Personally now, I am applying more of a do-er mindset and it is amazing seeing how much things can be done within a short time. It is relatively easy because it is totally our personal choice to be a procrastinator or a do-er. No one is born a procrastinator or a do-er. We just have to be conscious about the different type of mindsets and apply the one which you preferred. It is a matter of getting something done even if it is just a small percentage. There is no need to have a perfect outcome. Ironically, by trying not to be so perfect will usually give you a nearly perfect result in the end. As you get more time to work on the project, you have less stress; allow more creativity and more time to revise your work.
Till next time
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Frankly speaking, I had similar mindset in the past. It looked pretty logical at that time. Why change when everyone else isn't doing anything? Why make the effort if it is going to get worst anyway? Statistically wise, it just ain't smart and depressing. Many times, we were told that there was nothing we could do about what's happening. The world can only be changed by a selected few movers such as Einstein, Ghandi, Bill Gates, Buddha, Jesus... So we should wait for them to appear while we just live on with our life. Those days, I just feel powerless to do anything about it. So why bother?
Today, it is interesting to see myself questioning that if I do not do it then who will? Why can't it begins with me? Great Walls of China is built by a brick at a time. It definitely feels more empowering in focusing on what I can do rather than what I cannot do. I cannot make others change their actions but I know I can make my hands pick up the rubbish or change my preference of food.. These days if people ask me why bother? I say I just do my best. If I can pick up one rubbish, one it shall be. If I can pick ten up, ten it shall be. Just do what I can do. There is no need to judge or be judged by anyone.
That day while I was at Punggol Beach, it was filled with litters. While I was loathing over the inconsiderate litterers, I came to realize that this was something I could not control. However, I could control how I feel about it and how I can deal with the issue. In the end, the simple walk at seaside became a huge manual work. Picking up plastic bags, Styrofoam boxes, plastic bottles, rubbers, batteries and all kind of rubbish. No doubt I could not pick up all of them, but it felt really good doing what I could.
It will also amaze you when you set yourself into action, people may get influenced by you. My personal experience shown that my parents were having more vegetables, friends were impressed and more open to vegetarian food and love ones become supportive in my actions. We can be of influence.
In the future, if you ever have doubt again whether it is all worth it, do think again. You may not see it immediately but time will eventually show you the contributions you have done to humans, our environment and most importantly Earth. Do it for yourself. Do it for the children. It has to start with someone. Why not you?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Went for the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at Science Center today. The organizer has really done a wonderful job. I was standing in awe of the presence of Leonardo's magnificent creations which lead me to contemplate on the capability of human's mind. It is fascinating that our brain has the ability to display such creativity. Walking around, looking at the arts and inventions which transcends time, filled my heart with gratitude for being given the chance to witness their beauty. He was truly a Genius.
Here are some of the lessons which I had learn from the Genius.
One can start from nothing to become a genius. Obstacles will form the greatest strength of a person. Leonardo was born an illegitimate. Being born as a bastard, he was not given any formal education at all. However, it was because of this deficiency, he studied English instead of Greek and French which were popular at that time. This was which started his interest to question conformities. It was also believe that it was the main reason why he wrote in opposite direction as he was not corrected by any educators.
Trust your judgement rather than following traditions or what others said. If Leonardo had followed the traditions of using egg yolk (a tradition for painting at that time) and not risked using oil paint, his angel in Baptism of Christ would not have surpassed his teacher nor left such a legacy.
You can still create great value to people no matter how messed up you may be. Like everyone else, Leonardo had his own fair share of contradicting values. He hated killing but created plans for war machines of mass destruction. He was also human. You need not be perfect to be genius.
Great work take time to complete. His greatest arts all took time to create. If he had rushed, I am sure that it would not have been such beauty. Details are all that matters.
There is no such things as learning too much things. Jack of all trades is a myth. I believe that Leonardo's involvement in several fields was what constituted hugely to his intelligence and creativity. He was able to see connections and stuffs where others weren't able to see.
Just being creative is not good enough. Delivery is just as important. I realized that even though he was great in creating value, his delivery really sucked. He served a lord whom did not appreciate his talents nor did he know how to bring his creations to serve the masses. As a result, he lived most of his life fairly broke and his creations were only treasured few hundred years later (most creations were lost in between). One has to know how to deliver the values he/she create to the masses. Or else, it will be useless.
Only actions can bring result. If he had procrastinated to do any of his work, we will not see any of them today. As he commented in his notebook “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do”.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Brings laughter to your close one and yourself. Always great to have more laugther.
Always a place ready for you in monastery if you ever need a place to sleep.
Promote intimacy as many will love to touch your head (Niki can't get her hands off it)
Reduce shyness for people with cancer and hair loss as you show them that there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Save money on cutting hair regularly
Reduce time preparing hair (no hair to begin with)
Your head becomes infinitely grateful to you as you save it from all the detergents which you wash your hair with.
Save the electricity needed to blow dry your hair
Non-stop interviews on why you shaved your head
Increase self esteem as you did it for a cause
People think that you are courageous even if you have not done anything which you thought was courageous before
You become a good scratch reliever with your head for your close ones
You gain a weapon to ward off enemies by intimating them with your pointy shaved head.
Becomes too cute to handle
Invite opportunity to pass your smile around from occasional stares. Makes the world a better place
You gain new experience and sensation from your head that you never had
You feels good for looking so good
You acquire a Zen look
You lose weight from the loss of hair
Get free food in Thailand? (Not sure about this... haven't tried)
You gain immediate membership to the League of Bald-headed people which its members include Steve Ballmer, Michael Jordan, Randy Gange, Jean Luc Picard (Star Trek), Bruce Willis, Olympic swimmer Michael Klim and many other similar ones who have styles
You obtains a new identity - Bald Man!
You look smarter since your forehead looks wider
You gain new perspective on baldness (never try never know)
You gain empathy and respect for bald people
You gain exclusive privilege to spend the awareness around
You are granted exemption from bad hair day
So are you excited to become a baldy now? It will be fun.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I remembered just a few days ago Niki told me that supermarkets in USA actually give discount if you bring your own bags. At that time I commented that Singapore should adopt the same thing. I believe it could have promoted bag using. And now, we have it!
Bring you own bags! Not only you do something for Earth and you get discount for it! Getting $0.10 for not using a few pieces of plastic bags is definitely good deal for me.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Went to shave my hair yesterday to support the Children Cancer Foundation 'Hair for Hope' event. Even though the event is supposed to be held today at Velocity, i went to cut my hair at my neighbourhood in attempt to avoid the crowd.
Why do I shave my hair? Mainly for the aims of the event:
1. Create awareness of childhood cancer in Singapore
2..Show to children with cancer and their families that they are not alone in their fight against cancer.
3. Boost the self-esteem of children undergoing chemotherapy by sending the message that that there is nothing wrong in losing their hair or being bald.
4. Raise funds to help children with cancer and their families
5. Build a community of support for children with cancer and their families.Frankly speaking, there were a lot of fears when I first decided to have my head shaved. "How will other people look at me? Will I get stares? What if I look ugly? Is the event even meaningful? Will there be long queue? Is it worth the wait? Since it is free there, why should I spend money cutting at other places...
Finally, after some thoughts and support by my lovely girlfriend, I went to the barber to have my hair shaved. I also decided that since it is a symbolic gesture I did not have to confine myself to shave at Velocity.
When I first told the barber that I wanted to have my head shaved, he was shocked. That look on his face was priceless. He must have thought that I was crazy. After my explanation, it turned out that his son had recently just recovered from thyroid cancer too. What a coincidence! He shared with us on his view in life that no matter what happened, we should live our life to the fullest. We should be thankful for every single living moment we have now. Such a great way to live. Don't you agree?
In the midst of my shaving, I had to admit that when the hair from my right head was gone, I felt certain tingles of sadness. It was like something that I had held deeply to have disappeared. Something that I had used to identify myself with for a long time. It was interesting to realize that how often that we had identified ourselves with our hair. How often did we determine a person's character by his/her hair. Neat hair style equal to decent. Short equal to sporty. Funky hair equal to rebellious character. No hair equal to baldness, cancer or weirdo. I still remember the days where I spent hours in the front of the mirror trying to get the perfect hair style just to give the right impression.
When I was out of the barber shop, I actually felt lighter. It was as if I had left that identity behind. It was like I am peeling though the layers of my identifications and slowly getting to my core self. I know I know... It may just due to the reduce of weight on my head .
There was a good boost to my self-esteem too, knowing that I had done it for a cause. I guess it also helped that I think I looked real good in bald! ^o^ During my walk home, I realized that there are no stares from strangers which reminded me of a phrase I read before, 'When we know how little people think of us, we will think less of what people think about us.'
Great to be a baldy.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Imperfection is Perfection itself.
Without it, we will not wonder what perfection is.
A world with everything being perfect,
You will see that it eventually turn defect.
Imperfection is Perfection itself.
As a perfect world will be a world of complacency.
It is a world which lacks the joy of the Aha moments.
It is a world which lacks the breath taking moments.
In a perfect world which lacked imperfections.
One will not know what to do everyday as there is nothing to work on.
One will move through life aimlessly wondering about their uniqueness.
In a perfect world which lacked imperfections,
There will be no joy of giving since everyone has everything.
There will be no joy of learning since nothing needs to be learn.
There will be no joy of improving since nothing needs to be improve
There will be no joy of teaching since nothing is left to be taught.
Imperfection is perfection itself.
It is through its presence that we realize we are just as perfect as anyone else.
We can choose to improve or just stay the same which are both perfectly good.
It is through them which we see what we wish to work on.
It is through them that we learn acceptance and forgiveness.
It is through them that we learn how to love unconditionally.
As it is these imperfect things about your love ones which you will miss when they are gone.
As it is in them that we appreciate the perfect moments.
As it is then you will find that every moment is perfect.
As you will come to know, there is no such thing as perfect.
Things are just perfect the way it is.
Love yourself and others for the imperfectness as they are already perfect.
'With the absence of what is not, what is, is not' – Neale Donald Walsch.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Let's stand back and look at these. Have they ever really make you felt fulfilled in the long run?
Did you feel ever for once felt something is missing/wrong when you are attaching yourself to these stuffs? Have you ever heard some ornery voices telling you that this is not what you want even though you had acquired them? Did you ever felt a sense of emptiness which needs to be filled up frequently by another form of acquisition or addiction? If you do hear them before or now, please don't dismiss them as imaginary or unnecessary. Those are the voices from our heart. They are always doing their best to let you hear what you desire deep within. Many chose to ignore it by convincing themselves that they need that thing to be self worthy. Or by convincing themselves since everyone else is going for similar stuffs, then it must be right.
Today, our media is able to convince many of us that only people who are slim, rich, powerful, highly intelligent and outstanding sportsmen are desirable and worthy. There are so many shows which indicate that not being married at a certain age meant that the person is worthless (especially for woman). In many others, fat people are stigmatized as lazy, brainless and thick-skinned. Tall, rich, slimy and good-looking stars are celebrated everyday glamorously indicating that we will only become worthy if we mimic them. Then we have our parents who were convinced by theirs parents teaching us the same messages. No wonder we think that we need those things.
It is the value association system which most of us have been brought up in. It is a model which offers us a false calculation of our self-worth in terms of the value we have acquired. However, when you look deeper, it is all about acquiring and seeking things outside ourselves. A mentality derived from consumerism and capitalism.
Looking at my life, I have attached my state of self-worth to many of them. In my days of attachment with money, I did several professions which can get me fast money. I was involved in network marketing, working in sales (advertising and recruitment) and computer networking shift jobs (higher pay due to shifts). In the end, I had not worked in any of them for more than a year. At first, I blamed myself to be a quitter, unable to stay on to a company and unable to stand up to challenge. However, something was telling me there were more to it. It took me sometime to finally realize that money itself does not motivate me at all. It was most vivid at the times when I was able to bring more money but I did not experienced much joy. In fact, it did not gave me satisfaction in achieving it. I felt that something was missing in the services that I was providing.
At other times, I was attached to my level of education. While I was still a diploma holder, most of my friends were degree holders. I was very low in self-worth academically and I even avoided contacting my best friends for years. During the period, I was constantly reminded by people around me that it is important to have a education as it determines how far you can climb in the corporate ladder. As you can see, I even had my self-worth determined by how the corporate world values me. I would worth $1600 for being a diploma and $2300 as a degree holder. I had defined myself according to the monetary value which they had decided on me without even knowing who I am within. Eventually, I went forward to get a diploma and even a degree which I may never use in my life. At that time however, I did not see it as a method to raise my self-worth. I conceived it as a plausible reason that to get on in life, I needed a degree. I would never acknowledge that I am low in my self-worth.
There was even a time when I had a criteria that my partner had to be slim and pretty so that people can be envious of me. Only to find out that superficial beauty will eventually erode while internal beauty shines more brightly as one ages.
Having low self-worth is detrimental for one's life as many times you just don't think you deserve good things. Many times, I am stuck in my tracks thinking that I will not be able to do anything great. Keep safe, Andrewson. Keep safe...
I am glad that I feel differently nowadays. There are still many attachment that I am learning to let go and many things to improve. But it does not matter if I am a degree holder, an O'level holder or a drop-out any more. It does not matter on how much money I am earning (though it is wonderful to have plenty) as it does not ascertain my self-worth and who am I as a person.
What makes the change? It is from the realization that no matter who I am in terms of education, intelligence, attractiveness, power and resources. There is always something I can contribute to humanity, to animals, to environment and to the world. All it takes is the willingness, the actions and the purpose. I am just who I am. We are all spiritual beings having a physical experience. I realized that self-worth is never about acquiring. It is about giving. How much love am I giving to myself and what are we contributing.
What we are giving that we think can help? To what extend is the contribution going to be timeless. How long will it benefit the others? Will it benefit our future generations? Knowing that I can do all these in my own ways raises my self-worth tremendously. My sense of worth no longer depends on physical acquisition which will disintegrate and perish in time. It no longer depends on things which I will not bring with me when I die. It depends on the values which I can contribute to the world that will impact and stays on even in tiny factors when I am no longer around. Self-worth also depends on our courage to live our dreams. The courage to take the actions when everyone else doesn't.
How much are you contributing to the world or are you just making the shareholders of the company that you are working in fat rich? How much are you doing for the environment or are you doing things which encourage organizations to pollute and destroy Earth further? Are you living a life which inspire people or a life which discourages people to go for what they want? Are you planting seeds of love around the world or you just leaving weeds in the mind of our children? Choose consciously as every choice we make has a butterfly effect. No matter how small, it will impact the whole world.
Do something for the world. Do something for Earth. Do something to improve the life of sentinel beings around you. Do it in your own ways. You do not have to make it big. A thousand steps starts with just one tiny step. Experience the wonder of giving and you will find joy in increasing your self-worth. Enjoy it and you will feel your self-worth soaring. The more you show love, the better the world becomes. We all need some love here and there.
So till next time and have fun .
'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' - Winston Churchill