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.
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.
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.
What do you expect from a relationship? There is an expectation in almost all relationships we have. We might not be aware of it until our heart gets hurt.
What do we do then? We stay away from those who have hurt our hearts. This is the easiest way, not necessarily the right way nor effective way. We stay away physically, though mentally we might still think about it. We still carry this hurt in our mind. Sometimes we also speak about it to people. Everytime we are giving our attention (energy) to it, the hurt becomes stronger. We sustain the hurt through this way.
The weak one will do that. But the courageous one will work on the inside. They will realize the expection they have from the relationship that they thought has given that hurt, and start working on it. It needs courage. To deal with the self always needs more courage. Many people are not ready to see themselves being fragile and weak inside. But if you choose this way, you will become so strong inside. Your heart is strong and protected. And you will stop blaming anyone or situation to be the reason for your hurt. Because it is always the expectation!
How much do you pay attention to what people think about you? For what you are wearing, for what you are eating or not eating, for what you have or what you don’t have, for what you are doing and also for what you are not doing?
How much do you free yourself from people’s opinion about you? Is people’s opinion about you bothering you? You can not stop what people think about you. It is not in your control. Why should you be bothered? You are responsible for what you are putting into your mind. You are not responsible for what they are creating in their mind about you. Don’t get bothered by what they are creating. Just be genuine to yourself.
It is very liberating when you can free yourself from people’s opinion about you. You will experience your inner peace very easily. Sometimes ignorance is a bliss.
If you want to experience happiness, do not listen to gossip. What is gossip? Gossip is about two things, it is talking about others and about their weakness. When you are gossiping you are talking of what someone is doing wrong or what someone is doing not well. Someone’s mistake or someone’s failure. When you are talking about someone’s achievement, it is not called gossiping.
You listen to gossip, what do you do then? You keep it in your awareness, you repeat it in your mind, then you talk about it with others. You are spreading it. Others then also do the same. It then spreads in the entire atmosphere.
It just doesn’t stop in listening. It spreads widely. A thought creates vibration in the atmosphere. The more it is talked, the stronger the vibration in the atmosphere. Vibration is energy. The energy from gossiping is negative. So when you spread a gossip, you make the energy of the atmosphere become negative.
So do not listen to gossip. When you listen to it, first you imbibe it into yourself. You are the first one who imbibe the negative energy. You consume that energy, you nurture that energy, because it is negative energy, you become weak. By spreading it, you spoil the atmosphere even more.
It is said “pay attention to what you remember”. I have been hearing this many times. So I thought there might be some truth in it.
To remember is to plug your thinking into something. When it is plugged, you will then start being influenced by it. A feeling will be created based on what you remember. This feeling creates your internal state, your internal reality. When you are influenced, you are not the ruler in your internal kingdom.
If you are feeling unhappy, ask yourself “What have I been remembering?” You will then quickly know why you feel unhappy. It is not that someone has made you unhappy. No. You have let yourself get influenced.
So really pay attention to what you remember, to what you are plugging your thinking into.
Life is about remembering and forgetting. Sometimes we just make a little mistake. The little mistake is that we remember what we should forget and we forget what we should remember. Pay attention to this and start creating your life by creating your internal reality.