Journey

A big project

I remembered how I had the idea of 100-day project. I was with some friends after doing a work together. Each one of us had our duty in that work. I was not quite happy with how I completed my duty. Some even critisized me and it led me feel a bit down. I was feeling so uncomfortable.

One of my friends said to me ‘You need a healing.’ I know he was not really seriously saying it to me but I took it seriously. Yes, I need a healing, I said to myself.

Any emotional discomfort sometimes has led me to process it and finish it.  Very often I could finish it through journaling. I ussually take only a few days to finish it and many times I also could finish very quickly. Journaling really helps in processing my feelings.

For this healing, I planned to make it in a project. It was a big one. A few days would not be enough to complete, so I made it in a 100 day project.

How did I work on this project?
I worked on it through reflection, meditation and also through journaling.

I told them (my friends) about this plan. Another friend asked me: ‘Why do you not make it in 21 days instead of 100 days?’

It is said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit or a change. She refered to this idea. I said to her ‘21 days won’t be enough. 100 days is more remarkable than 21 days’.

I religiously worked on this project on healing my heart for 100 days and it was completed a few weeks ago. I was feeling so happy.

The habit of working one thing for 100 days has imprinted in the my ‘internal system’. When this project was completed, I did not take time to make another 100 day project. Now I have 3 different projects for 3 different areas of life going on, spirituality, health and finance.

When I shared it to a friend about this 100-day project, he said ‘This is a big project.’ Not sure if he was saying this to me seriously or just to please me.

Reflection

Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom. It sounds really cool. The definition of financial freedom is to have a lifestyle that you desire without having to work or rely on anyone else for money. It is so cool, isn’t it?

Your money works hard for you that all your expenses is covered by your passive income. You don’t need to worry about money. You may spend your whole day, whole week doing something you love. You are carefree.

How much money do you need for your financial freedom?

I remembered when I was in my early 30s, I often discussed with a friend on idea of early retirement. My friend kept saying it to me “Are we going to work like this till the rest of our lives? I think we need to have a courage to resign and do what we love.” The idea also sounded really cool.

By the way we did not work for the same company. She was working for a bank at that time. I am not sure what she was doing exactly. She was only in her late 20s. So she is younger than me. To follow the passion is cool. It definitely needs some preparation and calculation.

I didn’t know about financial freedom at that time. You need to make some preparation for your financial freedom. It takes some works, also some disciplines.

Looking back to that time and today with the financial crisis in front us, if I took the decision to retire early, it was going to be the decision I would regret. Taking a really big risk in life without thinking it really deeply.

How much money do you need to have your financial freedom? Eveybody would have a different amount. Freedom is more a feeling, something non-physical. When you have to put a number to something feeling-based, then it will be quite different from one person to another. And there is nothing wrong with any number someone puts. It very much depends on the readiness of the heart in each one.

What sounds cool is not always cool.

Reflection

Don’t get caught up.

It is serious! If you have a problem in your life and it is really a very big problem, I tell you “Dont get caught up in that particular problem!”

And it means you should not only think that one problem day and night, for several days or weeks. No! It is not worth it.

If you are in a relationship with someone, I tell you the same “Don’t get caught up in that one relationship!”

Many people get caught up in their committed relationships.

You might be inspired by one particular person. You might like him or her so much. And it is OK to get inspired, it is good. You then decide to do something in your life, probably to make some changes. That inspiration might become a little push for you. And many times you might need it. But then realize, that’s enough. You have to carry on with your own life. You can not become dependent all the time to whoever give you inspiration or support. Don’t become his or her devotee. I observed this devotion feeling in a comitted relationship¬† and I found it ended up unhealthy for one party or even for both.

Company colors the soul. It is the right expression for this. You probably don’t want to get coloured by one company, you might want to have your own colour. For this, make sure that you are not caught up in one relationship.

If you find yourself caught up in one problem, get something to distract your attention. Get your mind distrancted. Read a book or go for a walk for example. It helps your mind refreshed. It doesn’t mean that you don’t try to solve it, not at all. Sometimes because the problem is so complicated, you can see its root cause really clearly and you can’t see any clear solution. You need to pause yourself for some times.

Your life is not only about one problem or one person you have a relationship with. Make your life as colorful as you want it to be. Make friends with as many people as possible. When you are making friends with them, become one who brings a positive influence. Become one who colors your companies.

Reflection

Living with inspirations

When you need an inspiration, what do you ussually do? Or where do you go?

Do you need an inspiration in your day to day life or not?

Where do you go for an inspuration?

In my case,  I have several targets to achieve that definitely need some fresh inspirations. Firstly I have to give a public talk or workshop to serve community once a month. It is always a free topic. No one gives me a particular topic. This is a monthly target. Secondly  I have to write a weekly post for this blog. Thirdly I have to write at least four journals every morning. These are my personal targets.

The third one is very easy. This is about my daily reflection. It is based on my experience, observation, what I read or what I listen in a class. To achieve this target, I just need to make time in the morning and a solitude. That’s it! Ideas seem to freely flow. I do not experience any pressure doing this because basically I am just expressing what is in my head.

The first and second ones are not always easy. Sometimes I feel stuck. I need some inspirations. Sometimes I need a different atmosphere also.

Today I decided to go out for an inspiration. Today is a weekend. I carried my laptop and books in a tote bag (a shopping bag). When I was just getting ready, my neighbour who was happenly in his garage asked me “Where are you going?” Our houses are just across to each other.  “Just looking for an inspiration.” I replied, leaving him with a smile. He knows me and understands what I meant with that answer.

I went to the nearest Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks ussually does not fail for this purpose. When I got there, I saw some people were busy with their laptops. This coffee shop is located in separated building, sharing space with a marketing gallery for property. It is suitable for a working space during weekend. I spent three hours there. I found it was a quite productive weekend!

Happy weekend everyone!

Reflection

Being faithful

If you love someone or something, you might become faithful to whom or what you love. To be faithful to someone means not to have somebody else in your heart. You are not thinking of someone else. You may share your life (time) with her or him. Then it is called to be faithful.

What about if you love something? You will use it, take care of it as frequently as possible, because you love it. You won’t keep it safe at home and not use it. To love something is to appreciate its best function and it is to utilize it as it is meant to be. It can be your bag, shoes, coat, watch, tumbler, pen or any other stuff that you use it everyday.

When you really love something, it is amazing that you won’t develop any feeling of boredom in using that stuff everyday.

I know one kid who loved his t-shirt with picture of a train on the front side of the t-shirt. He would only want to wear that t-shirt. Anyway that train was called Thomas in Thomas and Friends. It was a character on the cartoon movie he watched on TV. It sounds very funny. I was not sure what was in his mind about this character, which was a train, not an animal or a human being. Well kids have unlimited imagination sometimes.

I am not sure what was in his mind having this Thomas everyday.

I have my favourite Starbucks tumbler for my drink. I also use it everyday. It is designed for a hot and also cold drink. So, for me having just one tumbler is enough. I would always carry this tumbler to the office. I would feel something is missing when I forget to bring it. The reason is because I love it.

A colleague loves collecting tumblers. She has more than a dozen of tumblers in her collection. They are all Starbucks tumblers. Merchandise of starbucks. Every season they have new merchandise for sale. And my colleague would always buy one when she likes its design.

She loves those tumblers. She doesn’t use same tumbler all the time. Her love is for all the collections. Her love is devided. Although she has many, but she will only use one at one time. For her, to love is to keep it.

Jokingly I said to her “I think I am more faithful to one.”

Another colleague bought a special tumbler of BTS when they launched it as a merchandise. Probably a limited edition. She bought it and  kept it and never used it.

I just don’t understand why adults do not learn to love like a kid.

Reflection

Three aspects of time

The three aspects of time – past, present and future.

This concept only applies in this physical world. It is only experienced when we are in our physical bodies. To say this, it means that we are not this bodies. We are the one who use this body, who entered this body. We are like a guest yo this body. There is a time when we come and a time when we go.

The 3 aspects of time merge into ‘now’.

We came to this physical world from the home of souls. We are souls. We are from the world beyond, it is called the soul world. In the soul world there is no three aspects of time. The three merge into one. There is no past, present nor future.

Your consciouness is not trapped in any of this aspect of time. It happens only when you are soul conscious. If you remain body conscious, you will remain trapped by one thing or another that is limited. You keep being pulled. Your attention is pulled. Your mind is pulled. Your awareness is pulled. Pulled and trapped.

Is it possible to becone free from this? Yes, it is possible. Develop soul consciouaness.

Do you like being pulled or being free?

Journal of the day

A thousand years

Being a vegetarian for many years I have been asked by different people about the reason behind it many many times. My answers have been varied depending on who was asking and the situation. From a serious answer to a not serious one.

Not long ago I was in a tour group with new people for almost 10 days. Very often we sat on same table during our breakfast, lunch or dinner. And we talked. During this eating time ussually someone would ask me what I was eating on this diet. Usually different person because we sat randomly. And I gave a different answer too.

I remembered when someone asked me the same question, I replied “I want to live a thousand years.” It was a apontaneous answer, of course Everybody who was there laughing at me. To become a vegetarian means to take a lot of vegetable and fruits for daily intake. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be healthy food, containing high vibre, fresh, easy to be digested etc etc. If you are healthy then you are more likely having a long life span. Well, that is the simple logic.

Vegetable salad with olive dressing is my favourite menu during this trip.

He then said that if I live that long, I would be lonely because probably all my friends would have died.

But then someone said “Don’t worry, I will travel with you. I will become your travel buddy.”

Have you ever thought of having a long life span? What are you going to do with your life if you are given a long life span? Will you be feeling lonely?

If you have something to contribute to humanity or to people around you, you will experience your life so valuable. Your heart will be full and you won’t feel lonely. To feel lonely is to feel lacking of something in the heart. It is feel a bit empty in your heart. A lonely heart is an empty heart. It is by giving that your heart will become full.

Think of what you can contribute to people around you instead of what you can take from them. Be where you experience yourself having enough for yourself and for giving it to others, not be where you need to take.

Journey

Money Management

For some people discussing about money makes them feel uncomfortable. But these days I think people are more concerned about money management and many start to be open discussing it.

Financial problem may cause other problems in life, like relationship problem and problems in family. All the resources we have should be managed well. Including money.

Almost everyone have money, either from our income or from any family member who support us financially. We have some money to be managed.

Money in, money spent, money saved and invested.

In my opinion money management is very much on how we spend the money. It says ‘use everything you have in a worthwhile way.’ It means don’t spend it unnecessarily. Do not waste it. Be mindful in spending.

The question is then, how to become a mindful spender? What should we do with our money in our day-to-day ? What should we do before spending, when spending and after spending? What inspired actions should we take?

Before spending – make budgets. At least there are 4 categories based on financial purpose. Essential (for living), Optional (for shopping), Leisure (for playing) and for Saving.

We also need to be aware of the daily, weekly, monthly and also yearly expenses when we are budgeting.

When spending – spend according to the budget made. Make a proper record of every spending.

After spending – analyze your spending! Only if you record your spending, you can make an analysis. If you make a proper record, at the end you will know whether you are over budget or under budget. It gives you a good feeling about yourself, because you are being clear with yourself.

Only when it is recorded then an analysis can be made.

Each one of us is playing a role as a finance manager. We are responsible for every single spending we make. We are responsible for each penny we spend.

If you can do it, you will have a sense of being a responsible individual. It gives you sense of trust in yourself.

Journey

Don’t wait till perfect

When you are building a habit, a good habit of course, you need to be ready to accept imperfection.

I have been starting a new habit of recording my expenses since 3 years ago. And I have made it into a habit now. I can do it consistently without feeling burdened.

I have made an analysis and used it as a consideration when I make a financial decision. I become my own financial controller. I am fully aware of each and every expense. I become more mindful in shopping. I give more value into what I spent. And it works!

When I shared it to a friend, he asked in which category I put the toll fee and parking fee. I realized that I had not put these expenses into my list. The reason is, I always made the payment through electronic money, so I do not take the receipt after making the payment. So I have missed these expenses. Little amount though, but frequent.

Less emotion is involved in e-payment

I don’t need to feel bad or not perfect about this missing. I accept any room for my improvement. I accept my imperfection.

When things get easier bacause of technology, in this case using an e-payment or a payment card then emotion is less involved. Then it also means less self-controlled.

Reflection

Number doesn’t lie

How much do you really care of your spending? Or how well do you manage your money?

One of the aspects in money management is how to manage your spending. Are you a good spender?

After a meeting with a long time friend who had been so long not seeing each other for the last couple of years, I had a thought to make a proper analysis on my spending. I have recorded almost all my spendings for the last few years. I never thought that I could have become so discipline in keeping this for this long. I made the record manually. Every single receipt of any payment was recorded on a book. I have made a quick analysis on monthly basis. I knew whether the total expense was increasing or not, how much I spent on month-to-month basis. I didn’t make any proper analysis. No wonder that my expense was increasing for the last few months.

I decided to put all the records into a worksheet in my laptop. I am using Microsoft Excel for this. It makes everything so easier. In any data analysis, the more datas and the more detailed and accurate, the better. It will then speak something. It tells you everything accurately and honestly. Number doesn’t lie.

An accurate graph will speak the truth.

It says…

One. My year-to-date expense on Starbucks in 2022 increased more than 300% than it was in 2021.

Two. I have spent on Starbucks almost as much as on gasoline.

Three. A cup of hot chocolate is much more expensive than a litre of gasoline.

With this simple analysis, I know what I need to do or change in my spending. Gasoline is more essential than hot chocolate drink. Moreover the price of gasoline has just increased. I have to become more mindful on spending on what is less essential.

It also tells me the accurate number on groceries, house maintenance, meals, communication, insurance, fashion, leisure etc.

You will become more confident when you have to make any financial decision. You will also become more committed to what you are going to do with your money when you have this data-based analysis with you.

When I shared my charts and tables of this analysis to a colleague who is working in Finance Division, she said that she was amazed that I could make it so consistent. She tried to make same record of her spending, but then she did not like the feeling like being suffocated every time she was going to make one. Then she did not continue doing it. Actually I heard this from some other colleagues too.

I think the hardest part is to make something into a routine, then into a habit. To start something is easy. To continue doing it is always not easy. It really takes a commitment.