During the weekend, last week I joined a 3-day training. It was a long training. I thanked to my best friend who invited me to join this training.
Almost the whole training was about mindset, how to change the mindset and how deal with false beliefs. I think everyone of us has false belief of some areas of our lives. This false belief is also very often limiting us. It doesn’t liberate us. It sometimes even stops us from pursuing our dream.
We were given a handouts for our exercises. There are 72 common false beliefs in one of the exercises and we have to score ourselves on each one.
This training really taught me how to deal with my false beliefs. Easy to be said than done. It doesn’t mean that after the 3 day training all my false beliefs will fly away out of the window. No. It will never happen like that. It always takes some efforts and some times.
Do you find it easy to change your mindset? Have you ever been successful in this?
So what I have to do next is to really internalize it into me so the 3-day effort is not just forgotten easily and does not give me any impact. There has to be an impact on me, I said to myself. If possible a permanent one. And for this internalization, I have made a 100-day project. I go through and work on the 72 false beliefs. One false belief each day. I reflect and ask myself ‘Do you have this belief? What do you understand about this belief? How much has this belief influenced you? How to put it right? etc.’ I then put it in writing, in my journal book. I am still continuing my project now.
I look forward seeing a completely ‘different me’ in 100 days.
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.
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.
Very recently I was invited to give a sharing session by a company for their managers. It has become a regular event in the company as development program for their employees. I talked to the general manager of the company and asked about the topic they wanted me to share. In corporates, the most popular topic is related to soft competencies like leadership, communication, decision making, coaching etc. I am aware that many people out there are probably better than me in delivering those topics. I reluctantly offered the general manager if I could share on dealing emotions through journaling. I think it is not a popular topic in corporate, at least here. Somebody said to me that writing is not popular in most Asian countries. Surprisingly he was interested to this topic.
I was very excited preparing the presentation. I focused on the audiences, what they might need relating to deal with emotions in their day-to-day life in office. No one is free from negative emotions. Ussully the trigger is the people they work with, either their co-workers, subordinates, bosses or even customers and clients.
I remember what has brought me to journaling was also from a situation in office. In fact I have to thank to my co-worker who had taken a credit from me in a meeting and it triggered my emotion. I realized I was feeling very uncomfortable and low. I also remember I said to myself “I need to do something”. Surely not paying back to her, but dealing the feeling inside. and I didn’t know what to do at that time. Similar situation might be reoccurring in office and I don’t like the feeling. The situation in the meeting and the feeling have led me to a book on how to deal with negative emotion. This book said that the reason of each and every negative emotion is an expectation. This was just the book I needed to read. Probably God has arranged it for me and given me a way.
I said to myself “Okay, from now on I need to know each and every expectation I created that had triggered my emotion”. And not only knowing it, but also writing it. Since then I have been processing my emotions and expectation in writing.
If you are working in a corporate where you have to deal with colleagues, where different heads involve, you might feel the challenge in communication has become greater and greater these days, especially during the pandemic. Emails and messages are more frequently used than a conventional meeting or even communication on the phone. Very often misunderstanding is inevitable. Small problem seems to become very big. A simple problem may become complicated. Everyone is working in their “limited space”. Friction among colleagues may occur very quickly and easily. Noone is comfortable in such a situation. I think we need to keep our heads cold a lot these days. Hold yourself back and do not react. So we can still think very clearly and not easily get provoked.
When a colleague was calling me, discussing a business process that had not been completed for several weeks and people had started making assumption and judgement, I was quickly aware that a misunderstanding had been taking place among us. I thought I should make it clear for everybody so they stopped making their assumption and judgement which had made the situation worse. In this situation, I knew the problem very clearly, I knew what made the process not completed.
I listened to her talking on the phone. I was surprised how a simple problem had become so complicated. I kept my head cold and said to her “I understand your situation, I appreciate your effort to solve this problem. Please now stop talking to everybody about this for not making it more complicated.”
I made it clear that day. I left a note to her with a smile ‘May everyone stay peaceful’.
A friend was telling me about her 12 years old daughter. She has been showing some rebellious acts recently. And it has made her so worried. I met this teenaged girl a few years ago when she was only seven. She was just so adorable to me. She had a very kind and gentle heart, a super loving girl. I think my friend is a wonderful mom for her kids. She teaches good values to them since very young age. She gives them so much love as well as teaches them discipline. It was very obvious to me in her kids. I find in many children this pure and innocent personality. There is so much spontaneity.
This personality is expressed genuinely till they become teenagers. Then everything changes. The consciousness starts processing self-identity. Children don’t need to process this, this is why children are more spontaneous. The ego starts to develop. Teenagers become more aware of themselves, of who they are, of what people may think about them. And they start comparing themselves to people a lot. This comparation often leads to the feelings of insecurities or arrogance in them. Insecurities and arrogance are the products of ego. Teenagers starts processing the identity of themselves, they start seeking in the adults around them. They are also seeking in their peers. Then they are processing it internally. They need the adults around them to understand and accept them. They need some approval and encouragement to make the internal process easier. So they feel supported and loved. This is what they need.
My friend wanted me to talk to her daughter. I tried to understand her phase and situation. I didn’t want to preach her of course. I knew it was not what she needed. I reminded her how I saw her when she was much younger as a super loving and kind girl. I reminded her of how much I loved her.
This world nowadays might be very hard on young people especially for those who are still going through this internal process of seeking.
Is it possible to live without judgement? We are now living in a society where everybody is free to make any judgement on anyone and anything. You are free to have your opinion on someone or something and you are given enough room to express your opinion (judgement). You are free to leave your comment in their chat boxes. You have that freedom.
A friend showed me a video of someone doing a pole dance. I am not exposed to this dance so I never had any curiosity to know it, but I remembered one of my colleague learned it very long time ago. She liked it. It looks very difficult, more like acrobatic for me. I know how difficult it is to do it. So when my friend was showing me the video, I was amazed to the woman on the video, she was doing it really well, like a pro. She asked me my opinion about the video, about the woman. I said ‘it is good. She is doing it so well.’ Then she asked me if I didn’t see anything wrong. I said ‘No.’ I didn’t know the woman. I didn’t see anything wrong with her. A pole dancer wears a bikini costume. For some societies it is not considered to be polite to show it in public places. Well, social media is now considered as a public place because the public can see it. Finally she said ‘You are too positive.’ Probably she meant ‘too naive’.
My friend knows the woman on the video. She is a consultant on Human Resources. She didn’t expect her putting the video on social media. This image may create judgment to some people, especially those who use her expertise in Human Resources. Everybody can have professional life also personal life. Both may be in line and may not be in line. We are free to choose anything we enjoy, just be aware that people may create their judgement on you and what you are doing. It is always like that. And at the end, it is your choice to let yourself be influenced by their judgement or not. I agree to this, always live the life you want, not based on people’s judgment.
A marriage counselor said that many married women at a certain age experience so much insecurities due to body shaming. They don’t want themselves not to look good. Many have tried so hard for keeping themselves to look good and in a good shape. None of them wants to look older and not beautiful. It has created strong insecurities. To be insecured is to create fear and the biggest fear is that her husband does not love her anymore or even leaves her at the worst. I never thought this as a serious problem, until a friend who is a marriage counselor shared this fact to me.
I think the first reason for this to happen is a commitment in relationship. A marriage is a committed relationship. To be committed means to be devoted. There is always a desire to make the one you devote or love to be happy. Each one has this responsibility for the happiness of the other side. A committed relationship also creates emotional dependency, then emotional attachment. There is no liberation, where there is a dependency.
Those women think that by keeping their bodies in shape or look good they will be attractive to their spouses. This draws their attention to become so much body conscious. The more you let yourself to be drawn by body consciousness, the more you become insecured. This is the price you have to pay. Because body consciousness is false consciousness. Body is made of the 5 elements of nature. Anything is made of the 5 elements will definitely change……. from new to old, from young to old. Accept this and be ready for this. Develop soul counciousness more. Because it is the soul that will never change. A soul doesn’t get older. A soul has the unlimited beauty. Uncover your own beauty within you, instead of desiring to fight against nature’s law. Accept the change of your body. And stay secured by being a beautiful soul.
My mission after having recovered from Covid-19 was to inspire many people to be fearless in dealing with Covid-19 in particular and in facing their life in general. Through several events onlines I have done this. It is accomplished somehow. Through ‘30 Minutes Celebration, free from covid’ I shared basically to my friends and colleagues only, still not many people. So I still need to continue this mission, to reach more people. And of course through sharing in this blog too.
When I shared this to a friend, he said ‘the next mission will be not to get reinfected’. I think he is right. absolutely right. Because we will never be completely free from Covid-19. I have got recovered at the moment, but it doesn’t guarantee that I will be free from the virus forever. This virus will stay with us, around us and close to us forever. There will be a new strain and another new strain and another one. They will keep coming, because that is also the way they survive on this planet. They also have right for their survival. There will be no other choice for us, except to be ready, to keep protecting ourselves and staying safe.
When people get covid-19, they tend to be worried or panicked. In my case, I tried my best to stay calm. I understand the more I get worried, the worse my situation will become. And I will not be able to make a clear decision of what I need to do. So I choose to stay calm.
The question is then ‘How?’ I stopped reading and following the news of what was happening in the world, around me or the world out there. I didn’t want to know the news about covid-19 either. I thought if something happened in the world out there and I needed to know or it was related to me, then I would know it soon. But if I didn’t know it, it might not be related to me.
I stopped using almost all the social medias. Yes I still used my WhatsApps during that period, but only to communicate with some people whom I needed especially in dealing with Covid-19, or who needed me for a support or encouragement especially knowing some of my friends were also positive covid-19. We were then supporting one another. I don’t watch TV, since I don’t have one now.
In this way I could manage my mind to have very less thoughts. I only allowed positive and encouraging thoughts for myself and for others. And the thoughts were so powerful. The less thoughts you have, the more powerful they become.
Yesterday a friend who lives in Japan was telling me about the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. He said ‘Tokyo Olympics will be starting soon. Do you watch it?’ I smiled. I felt like I was reminded to the world sport event that is right now happening in Tokyo. So many people must have been waiting for this event.
I was asked if I have a daily practice to develop my self-respect. Self-respect definitely needs to be developed. It is self-developed. It is not given by somebody. It also needs to be nurtured. It is not an over-night work and when it is done, you can leave it. No! You need to nurture it. If not, it will die. Like a country, you need to have a security system to make sure that enemy will not attact the country any time. If the security system is not strong, your old enemy may come back to sabotage your self-respect. Who is your enemy? the ego. Always the same enemy. Probably the only enemy for self-respect. Ego is the false identity of the self, either your superior nor inferior one. When the ego rules, he hijacts your throne. You are not sitting on a stable seat of self-respect. The ego becomes the king and you become the subject.
My daily practice to develop and nurture my self-respect is meditation and journaling. It has become my morning practice for the last few years. I never missed these two in the morning to start my day. This is my ‘me time’. I hardly have any distraction in the morning time. No one needs me. No one wants to talk with me. No one calls me. This is the best time to invest my time and energy for myself.
Meditation is to know the self better. To know the self is to know what is going on inside me. What kind of movie that keeps playing in my head? I have to pay attention to this movie because it has a direct impact on me personally. So I need to know the quality of the movie. If you think you need to edit the movie, do it. You are the movie maker of your daily life.
Journaling is like creating the script of the movie. you are writing the story of your own movie. You are your own movie director. By putting it in writing, you make the story more real to you. Each day we are preparing our own script for our own movie.
This practice has helped me to remain seated on my throne. This is the stable seat for the self, where no one and no situation can bring you down.