It was Friday evening last week. We were heading to a weekend. I always love weekend. I decided to hang out after office hour. Just a spontaneous decision. I went to the nearest a hang-out place. The building is not modern and really big one but so cozy. It has coffee shops, restaurants, bakery, juice counter, stationary shop and also pharmacy on ground floor and first floor. It has a cinema and a gym on the third floor. It also has an outdoor park with little ponds and a fountain. It is my favorite place for a my short break from office.
It has become a good meeting place for many people especially during lunch time and after office hours. And the good thing is that it is only a walking distance from my office.
I thought I needed a self-reward, I decided to enjoyed my favorite drink at the nearest Starbucks Coffee, alone. I was sitting in one of the corners, in a long wooden table, facing a big glass window in front of me. I can see people were passing by through the window. Trust me, I really enjoyed it.
I realized that it was the everyday scene before the pandemic. I had missed this scene for a long time. There was so much joy inside me. I wishpered to myself ‘The vibe is back’.
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.
Human being is sometimes called a reaction machine. To react easily. To be reactive is to act without thinking. When we are angry, we tend to react. Anger is an emotion. It is not permanent, it is temporary. It takes a very short time to release anger. When an anger is not controlled, very often it leaves us a regret. The anger doesn’t stay long, but the regret may stay longer.
How to be free from anger and not becoming a reaction mechine? Work on the root cause of the anger. Work on the pain that causes your anger. Many times it is an emotional pain, not a physical pain. Work on the emotional level. If the reason of your anger is a feeling of being unworthy, work on it, start realizing your self-worth and become worthy. If the reason of your anger is a feeling of hurt, deal with that hurt and start the healing.
Know your pain, realize it is there. Don’t deny it! Accept that pain and start dealing with that pain. Empower yourself and make yourself strong enough. Anger is not a strength, it is a weakness. If you can stay calm and not react easily, then you are strong inside. It is the real strength.
Anger is not a basic emotion. Anger is often a reaction to a pain. It can be a physical pain, like tiredness, hunger, thirst or other pain of the body or mental pain like sadness, insecurities, feeling hurt, feeling unworthy etc. Any of these pain may trigger an anger.
I always avoid scheduling a meeting close to lunch time. I remember when I was mentoring some mentees for a management training program, and they were scheduling for their final project presentation, I always suggested either early in the morning or after lunch time. It was a presentation in front of managers as the panelists. When people are hungry, they tend to become a slightly short-tempered, make wrong judgement or make inaccurate decision.
Anger is an emotion, so it should be managed. Anger that is not managed may become so distructive. E-motion is an energy in motion, it should be expressed not suppressed. To express an anger is to release it and to finish it. It doesn’t mean that if you are angry with someone and you will need to shout at her or him or speak with a high-toned voice. No! It is a destructive way. Someone said when you do that, it will hurt that person and he or she will remember or probably carry that hurt for another six months. It is not to finish the anger then.
What is the way to release this emotion that is not desctructive? It is advised to move away from the situation for a little while. If you stay there, you will tend to react unnecessarily like shouting, blaming, complaining or criticizing. You might not be able to control your words. Ussually you will end it up with regret. It creates another emotion. When you physically move away, your mental focus is switched. It allows yourself to take a mental break. It will become effective to avoid you from reacting. Any emotion is temporary, so you need to deal with it so well in that short period of time. You will surely calm down soon. Just make sure not to react when the temper is rising.
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.
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.
We have come to the end of January and we are going to leave it very soon. I feel new year was just yesterday. Time flies so fast. Do you think so?
I am going to write about a resolution. A new year resolution. New year has passed, but I think it is still valid to talk about it. If I don’t have made one on the 1st January, I would not feel bad about it. I free myself to make it anytime during the year. I also free myself to make some revision on what I have made. Anyway it is all for me and what I am going to do with me and my life.
Do you have any fear in life? What is your biggest fear? If someone asks me this question, I can give my honest answer very quickly. My biggest fear is to become broke. I am afraid of having no money and I can’t afford buying anything I need. I think being broke really sucks. Sometimes I feel embarrased when I am sharing this to people. But I think to feel embarrased also means to have another fear. So I decided to just share it.
One of my last year resolutions was to live like I was broke. Let me live like I am broke before I really become broke. I remembered one of the Buddhist teachings that relates to this. It says ‘Die before you die. When you die, you don’t die’. It is very enlightening, isn’t it? So I set myself to become like I was broke in spending. I tried my best to be less spending. I know some people are having no spending challenge. I think this is a cool idea. No spending week or no spending month or even no spending year.
When I just made this resolution I shared it to a friend, she looked shocked hearing this from me. I still remember her expression on her face, but it was not the first time for me to make her shocked.
I learned one thing from having this resolution last year, I became more aware of the value of money. I became more mindful in spending.
Who wants to live abundantly? Everybody wants to have an abundant life. To have an abundant life means to experience that I have nothing lacking in my life. To experience gratitude more often. I think it has to do with mindset. It is about how you create it in your mind and then feel it in your heart – having an abundant mindset and a big heart.
A few months ago I joined a 21 Days challenge of abundance with friends and I thought to rerun this challenge for myself. I call it as Abundance Project. Since I do it personally, I don’t have to follow the original guidance of this challenge. I do not make it into 21 days either. It is more than 30 days now. I still do not know when to finish it. I free myself for this. This project is more about a morning reflection on this topic everyday and put it in writing. I go into the depth of the different aspects of this topic. Write different thoughts of abundance. It helps me to see abundance in life within me, around me, in nature and in time of the past, the present and the future. If you can see abundance, your heart will become content. You develop gratitude. Where there is contentment, all the other inner powers will come.
My friend is a teacher in a school. She teaches the secondary level students. She said that her school will start to have a face-to-face class in January. But it will work only for secondary level students. They would have both, a face to face and online class at the same time. If the parents do not want to send their kids to the face-to-face, then they can still join the online one. It would be a challenge for the teacher to teach this way. She said that it would not be applied for little kids. Little kids can not practise social distancing.
I remembered a couple years ago when neighbors’ kids were still small, I loved having them playing in my house. I think kids are very genuine in their hearts, they are pure and innocent. Sometimes they made a mess in my house. I miss the scene now because some of those kids have grown up. They don’t play anymore. They prefer socializing with their teenaged friends. I had my neighbors‘s kids in my house yesterday. I noticed that they have changed their toys they play with. They are using gadget now. This kid in yellow is teaching how to use an apps to the other kid.
How can ask them to practise social distancing while they are playing? How can we tell them not to sit close to each other? I then remembered what my friend said, it is very difficult for kids to practise social distancing. At least I reminded them to put their masks on.