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.
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.
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’.
Use the SMART formula. This is th same formula you can use for a goal setting. Anyway a resolution is also a goal. You set the goal and then achieve it. SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bond.
You need to include your subconscious mind in manifesting what you want. And only when you make it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bond your subconscious mind will understand what you want. It is your subconscious mind (conscience) that will guide you to achieve that goal. It knows the way to achieve it. So by setting your goal or your resolution in a very clear way, are actually communicate what you want to your conscience in a better way.
When I conducted a workshop on this topic, some audiences shared more ‘qualitative’ resolution like ‘I want to become a kind person’ ‘I don’t want to take sorrow from anybody’. To this qualitative goals, you can’t use the same formula but you definitely still need to make it clear to your self (your subconscious mind). Don’t just leave it there like that, you need to define the goal more detailed. How? Ask yourself, what do you mean by being a kind person? Why do you want to become one? How would you know that you are becoming a kinder person day by day? And the most important question is ‘What would you do everyday to make you this?’ This is a question for an action plan. A regular action that you are committed to take everyday. A resolution without an action would remain a wish or a dream. It won’t become a reality. A commitment is really essential for a successful resolution.
What do you mean by not taking sorrow from anybody? Why do you think you need to do this? How would you check yourself everyday that you are not taking sorrow from anyone? What are you going to do if you take sorrow with no intention? How would you deal with it? What would you say to yourself? How would you do for a self-check?
The clearer your resolution, the easier your subconscious mind will help you to manifest it. This is really the key!
I remember I made a resolution of becoming a more minimalist. And that meant to me to be less acquiring stuff. I made it very specific for clothings. Maximum 5 new clothes for one year. It is measurable. I was not a shopaholics but I thought I needed to do this. I did the same thing with shoes and bags. No new bag and no new shoes during that one year. I shared this resolution to a friend only a few months after January. And I confessed to her that I had bought more than ten clothes. And she said ‘You have failed already.’ I didn’t want to take her comment on me being a failure personally. I knew it would weaken me mentally. I said to my self instead ‘I will keep doing with this resolution. I don’t want to quit.’ I wanted to know myself how far I could go with my resolution by the end of the year. I could measure my failure at end of the year.
If you fail in making your resolution, don’t stop and start thinking that you are a failure, and feeling bad about yourself. No, you are a learner. You keep learning from the failure and you become better. Don’t listen to anybody.
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.
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.
How to develop self-respect? If looking at other people doesn’t develop one’s self-respect then the answer to this question is to stop looking at other people. Start looking at the self. The next question is ‘is it not selfish to look at the self?’
You experience a constant oscillation between high and low, superior and inferior, arrogance and depression through comparing yourself to other people. And it is definitely not comfortable. If you want to free yourself from this oscillation, if you want to invest your time and energy for something that frees you from experiencing this insecurities, then is it selfish?
To look at the self means to be reflective. To really ask the self what has gone wrong, what really needs to be done. It is like a heart-to-heart dialogue. You need to be very honest in this. The self is naked. Nothing to hide, including the insecurities. For some people it makes them uncomfortable, some avoid doing this.
When you can see your self-worth, when you develop your self respect, the automatic consequence is that you will start seeing it in others. You will start treating other people with respect too. What you keep doing to yourself will be reflected on how you treat other people. In other words, what you show externally is a reflection of what you do to yourself internally. So to start looking at one’s self is not selfish, because at the end it will be projected on others too. Kindness will not remain kept inside. A kind heart is a loving heart. Love is energy generated in the heart, it flows.
If someone is rude or unfriendly or even violent to other people, then understand that he surely does the same to himself. He is just reflecting what is inside. He is expressing his inner reality. You can not expect something different from this person. Have mercy on him instead.
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.
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.
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.