Last week I was invited to share some thoughts on how to develop self-respect. When I just received the notice, The first thing came into my mind was ‘what is the reason for not having self-respect?’ I think it is because we do not see our self-worth. Why do we not see our self-worth? This is because we see people a lot. What is wrong in seeing people? When we see people, we start comparing ourselves to them.
We start thinking ‘They are better than me. They are more fortunate. They are more successful. They are more experienced. They know better than me.’ What do we then feel when we have these thoughts? We start feeling insecure. If we sustain these thoughts by keeping these on and on and on in our head, we develop inferiority. Very often we don’t realize that we are nurturing these thoughts until we notice ourself feeling very low and small. This inferiority blinds you from seeing your self-worth.
Or you may start creating thoughts like ‘I am better. I am more fortunate. I am more successful.’ You develop superiority. For most people it doesn’t happen more frequently than the inferior one.
Comparing yourself to other people will always lead you to inferiority or superiority. You experience yourself emotionally in an oscillation between high and low. You are not comfortable to be in this oscillation. It doesn’t serve you inner stability.
Some call it ego. Ego is always false. It is just an illusion.To feel inferior or superior is an illusion. It is never permanent. Know this ego in you. Try to notice yourself when you start developing this. Be there for the sake of your inner stability. Because it is so destructive to your spirit (your self). It is very manipulative. It will never allow you to be able to see your self-worth. Your enemy for attaining your self-worth is not out there. It is right here, inside your head. Very subtle. Become the true warrior and conquer this enemy.
Someone used to say this to me. Company colors the soul. You are colored by the company you keep – your spouse, your family members, your friends, your colleagues etc. Those whom you work with or spend time with. You may get colored or you may color them. It depends o how strong your color (influence) in the companionship.
Now look at people around you. What do you talk when you are with them most of the time? There are three things – stuff or event, ideas or other people.
Some people like talking about stuff, a branded bag they just purchased, the latest gadget, the band new car, some are talking about the game they are playing. Average people talk about stuff or event. And some are talking about other people. They are called small people. What other people are doing or not doing, have or not have are completely their own business. These type of people mind other people’s business. This is the type of people you should avoid to be around.
It is said great people talk about ideas. They use their creative mind. Happiness lies in this. Contentment starts here. Not in stuff nor in a game. Happiness created through buying a brand new suff is just temporary. How long do you experience the happiness after you bought your new car?
If you want to become great, surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas. Not people. Not stuff nor event. Select the company you want to keep.
Listening is often said to be the missing part of a communication. For many people the ability to listen is not developed as much as the ability to speak. Many listen with the intent to reply not to understand as Steven Covey said. People are more interested to speak than to listen.
Why do we not listen actively? We listen only to the words that are being said. We don’t learn to listen behind the words that are being said. In Chinese language to listen is written in 3 symbols – ear, eye and heart. If any Chinese speaking reader here, please correct me if I am wrong. An active listening uses ear, eyes and also heart. An active listening is giving an undivided attention to the person who is speaking. You are completely present, physically and also mentally. Only then you can listen to the message that is not being said, what is behind the words.
In a survey words contribute 7%, intonation 38% and body language 55%. More messages are not expressed through words, or they can not be expressed through words. Words are not enough to express the feelings. Feeling can be so deep, while words are limited.
One needs to use the eyes to obseve the body language of the speaker, and the heart to catch the feeling. Ears are not enough. Many use the ears more than the heart and eyes. They are more ready to listen to the words which contributes only 7% to listening. This is why misunderstanding or miscommunication often happen.
To listen through your heart you need silence. It is the mind that needs to be silent, then the heart will follow. Many find it very difficult to make their minds silent. It takes time to practise. The minds have been constantly so busy. Start listening to your own mind, know exactly what you are thinking, just observe what is happening inside your head. be a detached observer, not a judgemental observer. You will notice the mind starts becoming silent. And when your mind is silent, calm and peaceful. Your heart opens for others. You are ready to listen.
One of the skills or competencies that is needed in the work place or in a relationship is communication skill. Many people think communication skill is the ability to speak. In fact communication skill requires two abilities, speaking and also listening. That is why many have learned how to speak well. They attend speaking courses. But I never heard any listening courses. There are many talk shows but no listen shows. Many create podcasts or YouTube channels for them to communicate through speaking. Surely they need someone to listen and watch.
The ability to listen is often the missing one in communication. How often misunderstanding takes place due to this? This misunderstanding is due to lack of the ability to listen. The message is not properly understood. Communication is always in two ways. If someone is speaking and there is no one around, then no one is listening. It is not called a communication. No message reaches anyone (the listener).
Interestingly we have two ears, two eyes and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Let’s start listening. I believe that all those good speakers were once good listeners. All good communicators were once good listeners.
Have you experienced yourself losing someone due to death? It might be your spouse, family member, relative or friend. How did you feel it? How did you deal with it?
My elder brother passed away only a few days ago. I got this sad news from his son who lived with him. I knew that he was the one who experienced loss the most for this.
When someone dies, actually it is the soul leaving his body. The soul still exists somewhere, not in that body but somewhere. Because the soul is eternal. It will never get destroyed. A soul is a very tiny point of light. A point of energy. Energy can not be destroyed. The body is the vehicle of the soul, it will go back to nature, where it belongs. You miss the soul (the spirit), not the body. It was the spirit that you call it as the ‘living’. And the body is in fact the ’non-living‘. If the spirit always exists and never gets destroyed, do you really lose him? No. He is just not around, but he still remains. Not here, but somewhere. You still can send your good wishes to him and it will surely reach the soul.
We are taught to have faith in life, in the self and in God. And in this particular situation of death, it is more about having faith in life. Everything that happens in life including death of someone’s is not a coincidence. It is what is meant to happen. Everything happens accurately. There is never a mistake. It happens at the right time, at the right moment. Are you ready to accept what is predestined to happen in life?
When I was telling this to my nephew, I felt like I was reminding myself. It somehow empowered him and me as well.
This pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our life. If you are working in an office, you might notice some changes made to adapt to the situation. Everbody has adopted a new norm.
In my office, we are not allowed to have our breakfast or lunch in the pantry. This is to practice a physical distancing. The pantry is designed like a cafe, so we used to enjoy being there. It had become a place for socializing among colleagues. Some also enjoyed having a meeting there, more casual. We also have to bring our own utensils. Some colleagues start bringing their lunch boxes from home. It is considered to be safer than having it from the nearest restaurant or food court nowadays. And I also noticed some consider having lunch in their cars. is a choice while the pantry is closed.
In fact I have been doing both since long before the pandemic – bring my lunch and have it in my car. The reason is that I am a vegetarian, it is not easy to find vegetarian menu from the nearest food court. Secondly I don’t like carrying my lunch box up while carrying a shoulder bag and my laptop. It is more simple to leave my much box in the car and have it there at lunch time.
The other thing that has changed in my office is the after office activity. We used to practice playing table tennis after office hour. We used to enjoy it so much. We have an inspiration room and in one end of the room, we have our table tennis. We also had league for this as well. It was really fun. It was so good for releasing stress. And it has been closed since the pandemic began. We miss this a lot.
If you need to take a thousand steps to achieve your goal, you first have to start with your first step. For taking this one step, you need motivation. You definitely needs power to start something. How to get yourself motivated and have power to start. Someone might inspire you through what he has done. You might have known or even met many inspiring figures and you were so inspired and motivated. But why you don’t see yourself as successful as those who inspired you?
If you want to reach your goal, then motivation is not enough. Motivation is what gets you started. It is what makes you take your first step toward your goal. You still need to take another 999 steps. It is not easy. It takes time. It might also take your sweat and tears. It takes so much patience. What you need to do is to keep taking steps and not giving up.
You might need to take a completely different way or probably you need to develop a new habit and stop your old habit of doing. You may get yourself motivated by others, but when you have to develop a new habit, you have to do it alone. In this, that many fail. There is no shortcut to success.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
This is a true story of my colleague on how he dealt with covid. It was Christmas Eve, last year. He had made a plan for a family gathering on that night. A few days before he got himself tested for covid and the result was only received on Dec 24th. He decided to have everyone in the house to do the rapid test with the quickest result. Four people of his family members got tested. They had to cancel the plan for the family gathering and change into a plan for a self quarantine. If the four members of the family would be positive covid, then they would stay in the house for their self quarantine. But if the rest of the family members were negative covid, then he would decide to leave the house and find a place for his self quarantine.
The results of the test were only received late in the evening via email. They were all negative covid. So he decided to leave the house that night. He packed his stuff in a luggage and drove himself to find a hotel for the quarantine. He was having no symptom of covid at that time. Only after mid night he checked in into a hotel. He managed everything by himself during the quarantine. After a few days in the hotel, he experienced himself to have some covid symptoms. He started to consider to go to hospital. And he ended up being hospitalized as a covid patient for about two weeks. He did it all alone. He had to go through his critical period in the hospital all alone. No family member could visit him. No colleague nor friend could visit him. This is covid. It is different. A solo battle! It takes so much strength to become the winner in this battle physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I really appreciate how he managed himself. I think it was so heroic. He won the battle.
Many people agree that meditation is a good practice. It is good for your mental health, emotional health and spiritual health. It is very good to make it into your daily practice. Just like you make time for a physical exercise believing that it is good for keeping your physical health. You invest your time and even money for what makes your body remain healthy. You might also consume healthy food for this purpose. You make yourself committed in this two. But why to make meditation as a daily practice is not easy for some people. Many people fail to make it into their daily routine whereas mental health, emotional heart and spiritual health are no less important. I know some do not know how to meditate. Some do not know how to enjoy it. They don’t find it fun. Not something creative. Some find it interesting in the beginning, but they then find it boring on the way. They stop practicing. They become frustrated. Many do not share this.
Last week I was sharing on creative meditation. It was an online session. Meditation is very much using the mind, intellect and heart. This is an inward journey. A silent journey. You take this journey alone. It sounds very lonely and not fun. You need to be creative if you want to enjoy this journey (practice).
Here are some tips for a creative meditation
1. Do it in the morning. Morning hour is the best time to do it. The atmosphere is usually peaceful. Less distractions. If you are interested to start practising this, I can suggest you to wake up earlier than people around you. Make meditation your first activity in the morning. Refresh yourself first by washing your face and brushing your teeth. Don’t look at your smart phone before you finish this practice. It will distract your mind very quickly and very easily. Save yourself from this distraction.
2. Prepare some topics (thoughts) for your meditation. Meditation is a practice for the mind. It is not to make your mind empty from any thought. It is not possible to have your mind empty. The nature of mind is to think, to create thoughts. So what you need to do is to prepare some topics or thoughts you are going to think and experience during your meditation session. What kind of thoughts? Positive thoughts of the self. Like ‘I am courageous.’ ‘I am the captain of my soul’. ‘I am great’. Having this prepared thoughts will help your mind to focus. When you find your mind get distracted, you pull it back to any of the prepared thought.
3. Time Management. Whether you set 30 minutes or more for your meditation practice, you need to make sure that you take the maximum benefit from that amount of time you invest. For this I can suggest you to use the interval timer application. It will ‘beeb’ at the time you set as your interval to tell you to move your focus on the next thought.
4. Write what you like from your meditation session. Write only what you like, some clarities or som nice feelings. If you experience some distraction and you don’t experience something so nice, write what you expected. This will complete your experience.
I make this time to revisit my heart, the spirit inside. It has been sitting there for such a long time. I have been very busy listening the noise of my ego in my head. I have been neglecting myself. I have started believing what my ego said to me and it has completely made my heart weak and broken.
I make this time to sit with my true self, and listen. I open my heart. I feel very confortable.
It speaks very gently to me: “You are very special. You are loveable. You are here to share your love. Open your heart and express your love. Let the energy flow from the inside out”
It is so empowering and encouraging.
I can feel the energy of love fills my heart. I feel myself empowered.
Now I invite the Greatest Healer to fill my heart with His healing energy. I keep my heart open for His pure loving energy. His love is unconditional. His love is permanent and so uplifting. He has a very loving heart to everybody. I can trust Him. I have nothing to hide from Him. I let Him help me in this healing process. I keep His company with me.
The feeling becomes stronger and stronger. This genuine love puts all the pieces of my heart together. It heals the wounds and the scars. My heart become whole again.