I’m not being brave and bold with the decision I made every single time

Some confession here:

I always defined myself as someone who’s really open-minded and bold. With recent changes in my life from a decision I made, encountering extremely high level of stress within (think mostly due to my own thoughts and worries), a read today of this article has finally make me not able to avoid the current situation any further, and admit to myself that I am not any much bold-er than people of the same age, around the same region and coming from the same background.

It’s undeniable that I’m scared, I’m feared, of the so-called hasty decision I made by people around me. Quitting my job without securing one beforehand, to go to join an overseas programme.

Even though throwing in everything and just stay unemployed is not my plan (I still plan to look for a job there when the programme starts and continue with a part-time / remote basis thereafter); even though I might still be not extreme case with not much financial obligations (no mortgage, no loan concerns, bought some financial plans even if those are not much), that’s still a lot of responsibility thoughts hit me. I am a graduate and entered the working world for about 2 years now, do I still have the privilege to make such a decision ? Will these changes affect my professional career path in the future? With current woes of economic downturn worldwide, what if a recession hit and left me hanging in the air unemployed ?

You see, these are really something not common, something that will probably haunt anybody with a decision dilemma, juggling between advice, the should-dos, educated risk etc. etc. Not talking about some nitty-gritty stuff that slips through my planning but will be affected (e.g. some status that has just been approved after been through many changes previously and waited for long, have just finalised and now due to the time frame I have to proceed with my next venture, I might have to give up that, AGAIN!)

I must admit that I can plan better, I can definitely have more considerations before I make any big decision like this. I am well aware of the big impact this had on my career, my relationship with employers, families. The disappointment by them with high expectation that’s channeled upon me. These feeling will definitely not helping much in terms of carrying out the ‘live boldly’ ‘brace yourself’ mindset that I had. There are too much to consider, too much to care about, too many aspects of my life that will be affected, and too many parties involved.

I have lost myself drowning in the thoughts somewhere, days or nights, worrying about what might happen next, what this decision will turn out. I have sleepless nights, impacted my emotional well-being further (with current state in which is already not at the very healthy level accumulated through my current job :))

I visit and revisited the quotes about not being fear, again and again, that usually works for me as a reminder, but not this time. I find it hard still to control my thoughts and channel them to the right direction. The read about this article and few more, this as well, however, do slowly helps me regain my mental consciousness and make me realise that I need to change the current state at which I am at now.

The thing is, these articles probably won’t sweep off my worries in 5-mins, neither would they help to make things more control, or help me to manage the overwhelming upcoming plans and current situations that I have to face. But they do give me strengths to go further, to take things at a time, to remind me that I would really need to leave behind those things that I can’t control, and save my energy and time to be brave and attend everything that’s within my control. Nobody can help me other than myself, and this time round, I really have to be brave, not just by mouth, but brace my mind to face the future no matter what the outcome is, taking a step at a time.

After all, I’m still extremely fortunate to have a loving family that back me, that’s supportive even though I always make decisions as opposed to what they have hoped for (not surprising that they would definitely want the safe and conventional side). Still there are friends that have given mental support, encouragement, and concerns.

Talking about being gratitude is common and easy, but this time round, in times like this that makes even slightest touch matters more, truly grateful for the unconditional love given.

As always,

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Love,

YF

Vulnerability

Couldn’t help thinking about this one book while I was revisiting another book recently. Two books, of different categories, by a different author, in different writing styles, targeting at different reader groups.

Well, maybe serving the same purpose – or rather different as well…

“Tuesday with Morrie” that is. Re-read this book for multiple times, all of which never fail to awe me. But this time round, I couldn’t help reminding myself of the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.

Remembered how I came across the idea of vulnerability via a stimulating TED talk by Brene Brown, one of the few inspiring moment that introduce a fresh perspective of how I perceive myself with daring value.

On the other hand, Morrie – the daring, great man who didn’t feel ashamed by the most natural process of human he had to go through during his last stages of life, who take the weakness shown by his body as something as natural as birth. Admitting the vulnerability of himself even with his high reputation as a professor. He wasn’t feeling sorry for himself of the illness he had to go through especially in front of his peers, students, even in front of the nationals through TV shows.

What strikes me thinking is that we human take the process of birth and growth not being equal with getting ill and dying, even though these are part of the natural processes throughout our life. The mindset of the society is showing glorious part of life and hiding negative emotions and feeling – something that we’re taught to feel ashamed of.

and not only being optimistic, Morrie is able to be open about negative emotions that visited him occasionally:

  • He didn’t hide the weakness – willing to admit the helplessness he felt from time to time.
  • He didn’t hide the feeling of worrisome, fear that he had – after all, no one is a saint ? why hide the feeling to mask the fear and show only the superior side of ownself? These are the trends accelerated by the social medias nowadays.
  • It’s normal for all these emotional weaknesses that we have as a human , that’s a process of experiencing life.
  • Without negative experience, without the weakness , without admitting the undesirable side of us , who can truly experience life the way we should have?

The flow of positivity is everywhere nowadays, especially with the transformation of digital journalism, posts, and blogs about the right emotion management that we should have. So we have a ‘good’ and bad’ definition for our emotions, feelings and thoughts – defined by these write-ups that teach us the right emotions that we should have; and we’re feeling ashamed whenever we acknowledge that those negative emotions arise within us.

I’m not saying that we should ignore all the negative emotions and embrace them with celebration. The point is – should we accept these more openly and naturally, acknowledging that no one will be perfect and full of positive aspects throughout his/her life, we’ll be more honest with ourselves and take everything we encounter in life with different perspectives.

The Time Keeper – What Mitch Albom triggered my thoughts about the existence of time

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out. – Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Some books keep you asleep, and some books keep you from falling asleep, and this is how Mitch Albom’s book The Time Keeper best demonstrating that.

I bought the book back then without much idea about the content, just purely because it stays in the top list of the book store and I like his book Tuesday with Morrie. Out of sudden I was digging this out of the pile of my “book container”, thinking that it might worth trying a fiction book apart from the usual business / self-help non-fictions that I usually read – just to have a short emotional getaway from the recent unmotivated energy state (After-all everybody needs some rest be it physically traveling / emotional brain dump right?)

And I have to admit that Mitch Albom’s book once again, impressed and surprised me, not only with the quality and well-thought words, but also with the inspirational seed that he never seem to fail to plant in his readers. From reading and communicating through his words, there triggered many thoughts and just to list a few.

We talk about taking things / people for granted, but seldom do we think about taking the existence of what men has defined for granted, in this case – time.

This is one of the interesting and impactful points I came across and personally one of my favourites. Have I never read about this, I will not have thought about this at all. What does it mean if men did not start to measure time? What will the world be like if there’s no idea about time at all for all our encounters in this world? Men might still discover knowledge and invented everything that we have today, but the our mindset and the society might be structured differently. Our takes and values defined at every single matter in this world would have be entirely different.

Having knowing of the existence of ‘time’ may seem so fundamental and integrated in our life, but the existence of it might be a lot more influential than we could have imagine.

Will it makes any difference if we’re given endless time to the game of our life?

Most of us feel that we do not have enough time and that’s where the blame is for anything that we’re not able to achieve (yet), as if with more time given we will be better at anything that we are doing or what we want to do.

Interconnectedness in the digital world are feeding us (almost real-time) with what is happening in the life of others, but giving less attention to what is around us, or rather, within us. Somehow we have the deep desire and think that we shouldn’t be any different than what they can achieve, with our intelligence, capability or hard work. After all men is easily influenced  by the surroundings to their thoughts, mindset and behaviours (that’s why with the saying “You’re the average of X number of people you spend most time with”). So it’s really not that surprising with the obsession with success in the society today, as we are being presented with so much success stories of so many others all over the world.

With us thinking about how to be successful all the time, there seem so much to achieve with too little time, and at the same time, we seem to achieve more but living less. It is like populating our life with small projects with extremely tight timelines to complete or our life report card will be marked a big fat “F”.

The constant shouts / noises in our mind everyday telling us with something like

“How successful people utilise their breakfast time

“How you should manage your time

“Take action now, live your dream and you shall have no regrets”

“X things you need to do to be more productive

…….

We seem to be deafened by the ‘should’s, developing one plan after next (or even concurrently), trying to be more efficient and maximise our footprints in this world, when we actually being least mindful at every move. We end up hungry for more rather than feeling satisfied. The more we are able to complete, the more we think that we have the ability to control our life and own our existence. The more we do, the more we calculate how much more we are able to achieve. And, as a result, the more we’re being paralysed by the fear of time running out. Will that actually be anything more desirable?

“As mankind grew obsessed with its hours, the sorrow of lost time became a permanent hole in the human heart. People fretted over missed chances, over inefficient days; they worried constantly about how long they would live, because counting life’s moments had led, inevitably, to counting them down. Soon, in every nation and in every language, time became the most precious commodity.”

 

“Sometimes, when you are not getting the love you want, giving makes you think you will.”

Whether it is work, relationship or any other ventures that we are having, we do understand that uncertainties will always exist to a certain extent and we can’t be sure of the results that we get. We can’t be 100% confident that all the effort we make in a relationship will ensure that to work well, nor can we promise to ourselves that we will get the promotion we want if we work hard enough. We might have a delusion that the more effort we invested, we will somehow have a better control of the outcome.

Many may be aware of that things isn’t happening as what we expected most of the time in our life, but it is more than shutting the noises of worry and fear in our mind to be brave for actioning. Learning to deal with failures and unexpected / undesirable outcomes might be easier to say than done, but that’s really what we have to learn by changing our mindset, mastering our own mind to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We know more, but how much do we understand them?

We know much more from the easy reach of information in this world, but we understand way lesser. The most dangerous part is, we sometimes know just enough to be able to do something destructive without understanding it enough. That’s how another great book best discuss about this (How to read a book – by Mortimer J. Adler)

Father time, when being asked by the God why did he try to measure time, answered “to know”, and he thought he know about time when he managed to measure them with a stone, stick and shadow. But eventually after trying to understand the two distinct life in the modern world, he’s more baffled than ever. And that’s when he realised that knowing something and understanding it were not the same thing. The reason being he’s not able to understand the meaning of time to the two modern world individuals as what does time mean to him.

With different context, perspective and background we come from, the understanding of one concept might be very different to each other. Globalisation and technology makes people more connected. Knowledge and information are easier to be shared and disseminated. We have more articles but shorter time to read. We do more glancing and less chewing of the information. We have greater urge to express ourselves without more thinking and listening.

We own more of everything else but time.

On a side note, one of my favourite deliveries of this book is that the author simplifies men in two general groups – with two individuals whom the Father time was assigned to rescue them – one that asks for more time; and the other one that wish for time given to her to pass faster. All of us might be able to portray ourselves in the two life stories of Sarah Lemon and Victor Delamonte to a certain extent (?). We don’t necessarily ask for more time all the time, but I believe most of us have experienced the moments where we wish for either one of those.

I’m really glad I made the decision to flip the first page of this book on that day. There exist many other great sharing points in the book, and I can’t possibly state all here. Some may have been encountered for me but might be giving other readers new perspective, it depends. The book has served a great reminder at the wrong emphasis many has made in yearning what we have lost rather than cherishing what we are having – the seemingly obvious yet hardest to master for most of us.

How many of us lived, but how many of us are actually feeling alive?

 

p.s. And for people who’d like to step away from overwhelming information / taking a break with reading, I strongly recommend to give this book a go and let Mitch Albom brings you through the wanders of time 🙂

 

I observe, I listen and now, I express.

First post in 2016 and I know I have to do it (despite the long procrastination and all the until-I’m-ready mentality that has been haunting me all along).

So here I am, drafting and definitely going to press the “Publish” button hereafter, knowing that I’ll never be ready enough to start writing the perfect first blog post that fulfils all the criteria in “Writing 101” or “The proper essay structure” or free from grammar mistakes (screw all the how-to!).

Why?

You probably would ask (or maybe not of your concern, but please bear with me). It’s just a simple reason: from the planning-type to action-type. Being justified and convinced by some of the popular beliefs / advices floating around these days – “spring into action resolves procrastination” and “what matters is the present moment”, together these two beliefs are what driving me in doing what I’m doing now at this moment.

And so now… What’s next?

What I’m going to include in this post will be the following 3:

  1. The purpose of this blog – What I perceive this blog to deliver and cover the thing I want to record.
  2. What my current 3-5 values and beliefs are – “Current” because I’m an advocate of the theory of impermanence.
  3. The changes that I’m looking forward to, that I want to see in my life.

and so,

As boring as it could sound… Why I consider starting a blog entry

There are millions of things I want to write or inform the world through my words about everything that’s related to me (After all we human are in some way narcissist and self-centered), but I want to simplify and have a focus before I’m able to develop the structure of my blog into some shape that I like.

So as a starting point:

This blog is to record my journey as a life explorer.

There’s a goal I’d die for to stay put and hold on to that in my life – to stay open-minded, which also mean holding back with judgments because everything is impermanent! By fixing myself with unnecessary principles / self-perception I’ll lose more than I could ever imagine.

Please note that I don’t mean I’ll be someone who has no principle, but rather all the unnecessary rules / principles that we all set to limit ourselves from so many possibilities. Values and ethical beliefs are still priority in my life, especially some moral values that I will never tolerate for anything else in my life. These will be the main reference point in determining anything that I will pursue in my life. There’re some things that no means no.

With all that in mind, this blog will be the platform for me to record everything during the journey in exploring any idea or experience in all aspects in my life.

and next, 3-5 values and beliefs

  • This has been mentioned above – Open-mind advocating the theory of impermanence.

I’ll discover my own principle and direction, ditching those “suppose-to-achieve” ideation widespread by “don’t-know-who”.  This guy has a good point – don’t trust anyone under 500.

Due to increasing convenience of expressing one’s viewpoint and reaching traffic, The internet has transformed the our behavior of pursuing the truth and knowledge to be based on popularity rather than the extent of truth itself. In other words, the more people agreeing with your idea, the more likely it’ll be the “truth” to most audience. I believe most of us are being guilty of spreading / agreeing with some notion merely because the author writes something that agree with our own beliefs (this sentence sounds like an infinite loop by the way). How many actually practice critical thinking and putting in extra effort to analyse the content to seek the truth in our reading process?

  • Minimalism – not just possession but mentality and focus in life as well. I’m greedy always trying to achieve more but ended up not being great at anything. Goals, health and thoughts are all applicable in minimalism (or maybe this is just an excuse for my over-simplified brain that seem to not favour complications, I don’t know to be honest).
  • Serve with authenticity, be vulnerable and truthful to self – whatever venture that I will be pursuing I want to be able to make positive impact and serve others, with my best. No matter what I will be pursuing, I want to be honest and truthful to myself,  clear about the purpose of me doing it.

and these are what I can think of now. Till then, bye!