Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
If you want to move forward, well...take a step. Everything else will fall in place.
I remember telling a friend years ago after hearing an inspiring message, "Let's get ready for an adventure!"
Certainly spiritual, but also definitely in this world and in this time.
Getting to our God-outlined destination, not by our own route but surely by our steps, guided and sometimes redirected.
I suppose the adventure comes from being willing to simply get out, experiencing things you never thought you would--some bruising, some elating--and discovering more of yourself, God and this world along the way.
Letting it die. The past? The darkness that grips you? Mistakes, missteps, misbehaviours?
If it don't die, then you can't live. Live out loud, that is.
What's in your heart, go out and accomplish it. Even if you aren't sure what it is, go out anyway.
The sun will shine through. Yes it ultimately will. Stormy times, dark times, testing times... Whatever. It will end.
So keep stepping forward. You're one step closer already!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Need breathing space?
Beneath the bustle, we have priorities that beckon to be met. While we truly want them to be met, sometimes we just don't.
Routines and obligations keep us from doing so, but that isn't how it should be.
Make room in your daily schedule, so you can breathe easier. So that not only do you fit in the things that matter, but really do focus on them and well, allow them time to likewise breathe into your life.
Does family matter to you? Friends? Personal happiness? Does money/career/things really mean more to you than these?
It will feel uncomfortable to make adjustments. So might it be worthwhile?
I think it will.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
The truth is every one of us wants to love and be loved.
We are moved by scenes of couples getting together, getting married, families enjoying time together.. In real life or in drama.
How do we know he or she is the one? How do we know our future with our loved ones will last and will work out for the best? How do we know relationships and friendships will last?
By faith, that's the answer.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Reading Susan Cain's Quiet is plenty enlightening and assuring. If you simply understand and are at peace with how your introverted self thinks, behaves and instinctively responds, then you're more likely to find balance in this hyper-connected social time we live in.
Why does an introvert usually shun social gatherings, novel situations and even just getting out of the house? One, he is highly reactive and sensitive to his environment. Feeling things more deeply, he can be overly stimulated and more exhausted. Another thing is that he prefers meaningful relationships and thinking more deeply about things. Perhaps he hasn't learnt to interact and speak up with multiple parties at once, and doesn't like being labelled anti-social. At the very least, he prefers friendly and cooperative group settings.
Can an apparently extroverted person actually be introverted within? Yes, as he has learnt to project such a persona, whether motivated by work obligations or a cause he passionately pursues. He is usually highly observant and empathic, even towards a group audience. This is however demanding and energy-sapping for him, that's why he's got to find "restorative niches" to recharge himself.
He could even make a great leader. Because he is astute, listens well, takes carefully calculated risks, is persistent, and probably appreciates how other introverts operate and will afford them the space they need to thrive. Many fine examples stand out in human history, belied by whatever front we remember of them: the fiery, oratorical sort; the unassuming, behind-the-scenes worker; or the powerful, letter-writing influencer.
Coming to a place of self-awareness and self-acceptance is definitely key to finding personal happiness in what he does for a living, how he manages his time and energy everyday, how he complements and makes compromises with his life partner, how he deals with conflicts and stressful situations etc. Otherwise when confronted and overwhelmed by fear, guilt or anxiety that is triggered by others voicing their criticism or venting their anger, he shuts down his natural empathy and becomes avoidant.
Well, the world needs both introverts and extroverts, Cain reiterates in her book. And they both need each other. The extrovert very well seeks meaningful lifelong relationship which he finds possible with an introvert. The introvert finds conversation with the extrovert easy and interesting. Effective, well-considered decisions are made with the inputs of both achievement-oriented and properly analyzed views.
Learning all this makes me feel more at peace and hopeful of applying myself well in life. It's timely because I'm realising that my priorities include paying attention to the nearest and dearest around me--and not money, career success or material possessions. All the better if I can relate better to my family and close friends, be they introverts or extroverts.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Some pointers I gleaned so far from Tony Schwartz's Be Excellent At Anything: The Four Keys To Transforming The Way We Work And Live:
1) Our attention span typically lasts 90min max. Anything more and performance suffers. Yet most of us in desk-bound jobs easily find ourselves sitting down for hours at a stretch. Schwartz's suggestion: Take frequent renewal breaks, be it active (running, read a book) or passive (napping, lunching).
2) Sleep is important. With sufficient rest, your mind and body are better able to perform optimally.
3) Exercise is key, including cardio which keeps your mind alert and your heart beating strong and healthily and strengthening which maintains muscle mass requisite for daily activities (especially crucial for aging bodies).
4) Our brains programme us in fight-or-flight emotional responses when our sense of self-security is threatened. Triggers include being scolded or being neglected. Whichever response is instinctive to you depends on your personality. To better deal with such situations, try to take control of yourself (breathe & stay calm) and respond in a way that is atypical of you.
Question now is how do I apply these pointers practically and consistently in my daily life? Conscious self-discipline is certainly the key.