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.
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.
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!
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.
If someone asks you what you want to have for your heart, what would be your answer?
The other day I was sharing with a friend that I wanted to have an open and big heart. A heart that can love everybody. A heart that can accommodate everybody. A heart that will exclude or reject nobody. Everybody is included. Each one can experience a sense of belonging. This is the heart that can bring everybody close to each other where each one feels secured and safe. A heart that is whole.
Do you think it is possible?
Each one’s heart might have been broken into pieces these days. It is not whole any more. It might also have a lot of wounds and also scares. Somebody might be holding a little piece of his heart and the other is holding another little piece. Those two little pieces can not accomodate each other. You can not share your heart if it is broken into pieces. It is too small to share. A broken heart is a small and very limited heart. There is disunity when each one’s heart is broken.
I said to him that I have made this thought into a ‘must have’ menu in my meditation everyday. I visualize people of the whole world as one big family. We belong to One. I invite them to sit in my open and big heart.
I remember I was meeting with a friend. We were sitting in a coffee shop. It happened before the pandemic. Both of us are interested in journaling. We were sharing about how we were doing our journaling. When I was talking suddenly she stopped me and said to me “Tini, I think you have a very good energy.” I realize that whenever I am talking about journaling, I always speak with a great interest. Because I am so passionate about it. When there is passion, there is love, happiness and enthusiasm. This generates energy. People can feel this energy.
Each one of us vibrates energy to the atmosphere every moment, whether we are speaking or not. Each one of us contributes to the atmosphere. Thought is energy. Our mind never stops generating thoughts. Our being (consciousness) is constantly generating this energy to the atmosphere. This vibration creates frequency. The higher the consciousness, the higher the frequency that is created. What thoughts have high frequency? Thought of peace, happiness, love etc. What thoughts have low vibration? Thought of regret, guilt, anger, blame, fear, shame etc.
What thoughts and vibrations are created around the world collectively for the past one year? probably of worries, of uncertainties, of fear. The world now needs high vibration. Vibe so high!
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.