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’.
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.
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.
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 perfectionist tends to see what is not right in everything. A perfectionist usually has a standard for what is called to be `perfect`. He or she tends to stick to this standard rigidly. Someone said to me that a perfecionist finds it to be difficult to be happy or to be content and probably to be grateful. These three are interconnected – being happy, content and grateful.
One of my colleague is a perfectionist. The good thing is that she is aware of being one. She is also aware that it has made her uncomfortable in many situations. One day, she gave me a ride back home from office. During that ride, she was complaining a lot about her car. Her car was just repaired, full body repainted. Her car is white. Her eyes are just too sharp to see what is not going right with the painting. She showed me a small area behind the handle of its door that she complained. She was not satisfied with the repair. So she complained. Her standard is very high for this, her expectation too. She has a very small margin for things not to get right. She takes time to accept thing as it is, she takes time to make herself peaceful. This is the reason why a perfectionist finds it difficult to be happy.
I think we need to learn from God. God is perfect but He is not a perfectionist. This is why God is called the Ocean of Happiness. God has a very high standard for what is called as ‘perfect’, yet He is also flexible. He is not rigidly attached to that standard. He has the rooms for human beings to make mistake, He has enough room to forgive. He never complains.
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.
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.
Someone used to say this to me. Company colors the soul. You are colored by the company you keep – your spouse, your family members, your friends, your colleagues etc. Those whom you work with or spend time with. You may get colored or you may color them. It depends o how strong your color (influence) in the companionship.
Now look at people around you. What do you talk when you are with them most of the time? There are three things – stuff or event, ideas or other people.
Some people like talking about stuff, a branded bag they just purchased, the latest gadget, the band new car, some are talking about the game they are playing. Average people talk about stuff or event. And some are talking about other people. They are called small people. What other people are doing or not doing, have or not have are completely their own business. These type of people mind other people’s business. This is the type of people you should avoid to be around.
It is said great people talk about ideas. They use their creative mind. Happiness lies in this. Contentment starts here. Not in stuff nor in a game. Happiness created through buying a brand new suff is just temporary. How long do you experience the happiness after you bought your new car?
If you want to become great, surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas. Not people. Not stuff nor event. Select the company you want to keep.
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.