FOMO

“Run your own race, and most importantly, own it”.- sundaewrites

I have struggled with the fear of missing out (FOMO) few times in the past. My schedule was filled with commitments I thought I have to make and responsibilities I felt I needed to take, else nobody will. In all those cases I believed I could do everything and on my own. I barely had enough rest, rarely gave myself space or just little moments to breathe life in. I was always breathing out- giving and doing ‘till I felt so drained, so used up and figured I needed to get away from all of it.

Believe me, it was so difficult with FOMO dancing before my eyes like wildfire. I faced a lot of questions in all shapes and sizes:
-who’s gonna do this when I’m not around,
-what if no other opportunity comes
-what if I miss the fun
-what if this business succeeds and I failed to be a part of it
-what if I abandon this project and it fails
-what if my teammates can’t handle this on their own

At that point, I knew I needed to let go and trust. Let go of the worries, fears, the scarcity mentality, and believe that I need some time to rest and give God room to do His wonders.

This introspection did bring some old fundamental questions:

What is my WHY? What path do I intend to take? Is it leading me to where I want to go?

Am I traveling light, or do I have heavy loads on my back filled with stuff I don’t really need?

Am I answering a call or just drifting through my days, or worse, climbing someone else’s ladder?

 

When you unplug from the world and all its cares and just enjoy a sunny afternoon outside with the sweet warmth of northern breeze touching your skin, it’s refreshing. As what a good friend said, “When you spend time with nature, you get to slow down everything by losing yourself in the moment”.  And I do believe it. Pulling yourself away from the noise and distractions moves you closer to your heart, your thoughts, and yes your very soul.

Like a garden, our inner core needs nurturing too. If we want to give meaningful gifts to the world, we need to feed our entire being. We have to give ourselves time to grow deeper roots, so we can bear more fruit, and good ones at that.

My friend, I don’t know what you’re filling your days with. But I hope whatever you do today is really meaningful because you’re exchanging a day of your life for it. If right now you’re in a place where you feel like you’re swamped with a lot of urgent and important tasks, I invite you to pause for a moment. Empty your table. Take seven deep breaths. Inhaling through your nose and breathing through your mouth. Then slowly, pick the things that you really need at the moment, put them back on the table, leave the rest on the floor. In your life, try adopting this mental exercise too. Take just what you need and carry on. Be fluid.

Abundance-think of it, believe it. Once you do, you’d never be haunted by the fear of missing out. You’ll begin to see the world with more than enough for everyone. Yes, you can pursue anything you want but make sure it counts. Let it define the beauty of your unique existence. Run your own race, and more importantly, own it. Don’t let the world run it for you nor let it decide for you.

Your life is your responsibility, and whatever good thing you have today, there’s more where that came from.

 

 

How To Handle Negativity At Work

“Your inner peace, like everything that’s personal to you, is your responsibility. Don’t let anyone or anything outside of you disturb that peace. It’s too precious to be annoyed”.- sundaewrites

 

 

So you show up for work, happy and excited. You open up your email and see three glaring entries.

-from your boss, disappointed with results, urgently demands improvement
-from a colleague, urgent demand for an explanation why something was not —-done or not done right
-from a customer, angry, dissatisfied with your service, urgently demands action

 

Do this email entries change your mood? Oftentimes, yes. Will it affect your good intentions? Well, It shouldn’t.

 

Though we did not assign weight or intensity in the three cases above, we can agree that most of the time, they come with a lot of anger, blame, and loads of negative energy.

 

If you’ve seen that facebook video about people carrying emotional garbage and dumping that to everyone they come in contact with, the cases above are classic examples of it.

 

In this fast-paced world, where most of us are expected to work like machines and process floods of information all at once, the pressure that people get is too much, the stress, intolerable. And oftentimes, pressure and stress get the better of us. We forget the reality that we’re actually dealing with human beings.

 

In such an environment, the fight or flight mode is activated in people’s mind. That’s what causes bosses to shout at subordinates, employees to find someone to blame, clients to harass service providers or the other way around. We obviously want to lift the weight from our shoulders and demand other people to carry it for us. Bluntly, yes, we dump our garbage on to other people.

Photo Credit: Tim Goedhart
Photo Credit: Tim Goedhart

If you are at the receiving end of this relationship, what do you do? Personally, my used-to-be default tendency was to retaliate: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But now, I know better.

 

One of my mentors taught me to change the rules of the game. Not any more to react, but instead, to influence. To change the atmosphere of whatever room I go into.

 

Call it taking the higher ground, changing your normal stance, attitude and intention will do a lot of benefits not just for others but more so for you.

-to give rather than to take
-to help rather than to restrain
-to serve rather than to hurt
-to understand rather than to strike back

 

Recently, I was faced with a blaming game at work, and instead of defending myself or highlighting the other person’s negligence, I thought to myself, “This is not one of the battles I want to spend my energy on”.

 

So what did I do? I changed my stance. I thought about where this person is coming from, what is he going through and what made him say the things he said.

 

I believe that inherently, people are good. So understanding where this person’s anger and blaming are coming from, allowed me to see through him and the situation. Then I asked myself. “How can I help this person”? “How can I best serve him”?

 

So I end up pacifying the guy and we were able to work out a solution to the situation.

 

If only I could replicate this approach every single time, then I’d be someone who becomes a part of the solution instead of a contributor to a problem.

 

Sure, losing your cool is the easy way out. But that comes with a price. While patience and endurance, you get a far more fulfilling reward.

photo credit: Denise Altindas

Your inner peace, like everything that’s personal to you, is your responsibility. Don’t let anyone or anything outside of you disturb that peace. It’s too precious to be annoyed.

 

Question:
Have you encountered someone who’s dumped their garbage on you? How did you react? What did you learn from that experience? What insights did it give you regarding people you work with?

The Power of The Mind

“Our brain is a gift. But like any other gift, it has to carefully choose its master”. – sundaewrites

 

 

 

Mind Power.
Brain Power.

Have you stumbled upon these words? Searching it on google would give you numerous results. Try it. You’ll see.

When you get hundreds of search results on a subject, it conveys two basic things.

The subject is important.
The findings are valuable.

The topic of Brain Power has been determined to be very relevant these days, and the discoveries of how it influences a person’s success have proven to be a very useful knowledge.

A friend and I were on the road one night. We talked about the struggles we face every now and then and realized that most of these battles begin inside our head. If we’re not careful and we don’t fight back, the battle could easily be lost, way before it happens in the physical space. Joy gets stolen. Future grows dim.

What we feed our brains can give birth to a platoon of little soldiers who will serve either the good or the bad. Negative thoughts can breed envy, self-pity, worry, blame, hate, vengeance, and fear, to name a few, while positive thoughts can create a garden of dreams, hope, beauty, joy, forgiveness, serenity, and contentment to mention some.

photo credit: Cristina Gottardi
photo credit: Cristina Gottardi

How we look at things, act or speak is determined by the set of thoughts that plays the loudest in our head. If you want some thoughts to be more audible than the rest, you have to lower the volume of the unwanted ones or at best invalidate their entry pass. That way, you maintain harmony inside your head, and you get the results you really want.

Our brain is a gift. But like any other gift, it has to carefully choose its master. If you are to use it to serve the greater good, then, like owning a garden, sow good seeds. Water and nurture your brain by allowing it to grow, to develop, to imagine and to dream. Eliminate the weeds by imposing discipline. Don’t allow it to wander irresponsibly into useless, destructive territories.

Our brain is very vulnerable so we have to guard and protect it to ensure it treads the path leading to meaningful success where our life gains fulfillment and joy, growth and contribution, contentment and peace.

The conversation I had with my friend that night led me to realize that I could have done things differently in the past had I practiced the art of mastering my mind. A lot of bad choices could have been avoided, progress could have been more easy, seamless and fast. But I am not one to live with regrets. It’s water down the bridge and I can still take hold of my future by exercising my power now.

So today, I resolve to discipline my thoughts, to carefully choose what I feed my brain. I resolve to magnify what’s good, pure and meaningful and ignore all other thoughts that don’t fit in. I will “mindfully” do this in the course of three weeks to eventually turn it into a habit. If you’re in, journey with me in the next 21 days and let’s find out together how our lives can change by mastering our mind.

photo credit: Josh Applegate
photo credit: Josh Applegate

 

 

Question:
Was there an experience in your life that made you realize the power of your brain? How are you nurturing this power? How do you intend to use it?

It All Burned Down To The Ground

“Now that you’re starting from scratch, you can think of  a lot of possibilities- what you can do, what you can be- something better, bolder, something more attuned to who you really are.”

That’s how the long conversation began with my brother.  Thomas Edison had a life-changing experience once and he was so grateful for it.

When he saw his factory burning down, Edison was all the more excited that he called his son and wife to witness the fire destroying all of his hard work. They felt pity for him but he felt relief.

Puzzled, the son asked him why he feels that way and his response knocked them down. “Don’t you see it?! Now I can start again! All the mistakes are gone. I can start with a clean slate!”

The attitude! Right? As Lenny Kravitz said, “ It ain’t over till it’s over”.  When life hits you hard, you hit back too, but, harder!  That’s the beauty of starting from scratch.  Think of it as life handing you a clean plate and on it, you can put all the delicious stuff your mouth can crave for- sumptuous, exquisite and delightful meal, literally everything your hands can grab, everything you ask for, everything you can imagine!  Fantastic isn’t it?!

Years ago, I was lucky to go to college in a city far away from my home.  Soon as I entered the gates, my heart actually exclaimed “This is great! I can start anew. I can start fresh. I can reinvent myself and create a new me!” That’s a lot to take in for a young mind, but girl, that was freedom!!

Stick to what’s familiar, and you’ll get so used to it that you forget to grow.  What happens then? You’ll miss the chance of discovering and rediscovering yourself.  You’ll miss your possibilities, your highest potential, and the best version of you.

So why do people stay stuck? Fear. For one, we don’t want to be judged by peers for being different than everybody else, for changing and shaking things up not a bit, but big time.  We also don’t want to labor hard or harder in any case. We want a pain-free, struggle-free existence.  Well I say, you’re welcome to do anything you want to do. It’s entirely up to you.

When life kicks your butt it’s actually good. As when lightning strikes, your body jolts up and you’re finally more alert, more alive. We’re all sleeping beauties you know, we need someone or something to wake us up, to give us clearer vision and wonder-woman-courage- to feel invincible again!

Uproot yourself and fly- far away so you cover more grounds, the world is a much bigger place than you imagine.

It all boils down to perspective- how you see things and how you see through them,  and your attitude. You don’t ask  “Why?”, “Why Me” anymore. Instead, you ask, “What now?”

A.H. Wilson said it right about Edison’s experience that fateful day, “Well, the next thing to do, is to dive right in and rebuild”!

How To Turn Your Life Around

Have you ever started a day with disappointments?  You’ve perfectly planned out everything, moving every possible obstacle out of the way just so you can guarantee a smooth-sailing journey towards accomplishing your goal, then it happened. You arrived one hour late, you got the wrong schedule, and just when you’re trying to save yourself from having a bad day, you drive 16 miles to a rescue venue and then, boom! You can’t find a parking spot. So you turn your car around and drive home for another 20 miles.

You feel like a total failure, a pathetic loser. You sink deep into frustration, then to anger, and then finally to hopelessness. At this point, all the negative thoughts parade in your brain like a bunch of cheering squad, clapping, jumping and shouting “hurray” knowing they have conquered your day.

I know, it’s exhausting. But hey, enough already.  We can’t wallow in these feelings for the rest of the day, worse for the rest of the year.  So granted things started off wrong, let’s just make good of whatever is left.

Blow off some steam.  Get some fresh air. Instead of heading back to your place with a grumpy face,  why not stop over somewhere just to take your mind off from what just happened.  See something different, hear something different, that way you direct your focus to something nice, beautiful, relaxing or even peaceful.  I know nature is the best remedy, and so is simply saying hello (and mean it) to people you pass by.

Someone wise told me if you can’t drive negative thoughts away from camping in your brain and make bonfires, replace them. How? Simply plant new thoughts. And that’s exactly what you can do when you look around. You will see something good. When you quite all the noise, you will hear something good.

Sometimes, our brains can be devious. They can trick us in many different ways, but if it’s already attacking the better part of you, fight back. That’s what will power is for. You resolve to find what’s good, what’s working and slowly you beckon gratefulness back.

Get some perspective. As what Tuesdays with Morrie once taught me, “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long”.  Even successful investors know when to cut losses, so we should too. Well, each case is unique, so you’ll get that wisdom from a lifelong experience. But I believe, that if you seek for answers deep down, you will know when it’s the right time to let go.

For a petty experience like the one I had today, I just thought of writing about it.  It didn’t seem petty at first because I felt a thousand needles poking into my brain and my heart. Oh how I love my heart, so I’m guarding it with a thousand more soldiers so the enemy can’t invade.

Talking about it now gives me clarity.  Maybe you can try it too. It’s true what they say that when you take a problem or an issue out and put it on a table, you can see it for what it is. Isolate it and you’ll know it’s completely unattached to you.  Break the connection. You were never the problem. You just made up your mind that you were.

Selecta had it right when it flashed that message on the tv screen not so long ago.  Love yourself. Do that, and you’ll be happier.

 

When You’re In The Rough

Have you ever felt less-equipped, unfit, incompetent on a job and told yourself you’re not gonna last another six months?  I did, and that was two weeks ago as of this writing.

You see I got this new job, a better one by the way in terms of stability, culture, people to work with and of course, challenges.

I welcome challenges like a person who welcomes the sunshine into her own home.  It pushes me to stretch and it perks my senses up.  I work hard the whole day that after dark, I’d feel so spent and yet so fulfilled.  By then I’d go and say, “I did my best and now I can rest”.

Isn’t that what we look forward to every day? A sense of purpose and meaning? That confidence to tell yourself, “I matter, and I know why I’m here”?

Yet days can become very exhausting at times, it will drive you to believe that you’re not enough. And when your job is on the line, you ready yourself for the worse but you keep doing what needs to be done.

On several occasions you realize there’s a lot left unfinished and yet you can only do so much.  At other times too you have to learn to let go of how you used to do things and try something new.

My old boss would always say, there’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat, and when it comes to solving problems, there are a lot of different approaches you can take.  So you learn as you go and you learn from other people too.

Now at this point in time here I am, feeling defeated some days but winning on most.  Victory doesn’t mean performing miracles at work but it means, continually fighting the good fight, win inner battles and beat the monsters within, self-defeating thoughts, pride, unwillingness to bend, to move, preference for what’s comfortable, easy and unchallenging.  After all, It doesn’t really matter what awaits in the end, so long as you know that at every moment, you did the best you could.

So, why did you leave your old job? People would ask me.  Well, why wouldn’t I.  There’s a lot to experience in the world, and I won’t be able to get a taste of as much as everything if I choose to settle. When days are predictable, what would I be excited about?  When everything becomes routinary and ordinary, we ease off, and then we stop growing. Would you want that kind of life?

Push forward and onward you go.  You will get all the help that you need at the right time. Ask and you shall receive, sow and you will reap. Believe in victorious endings.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in the world. Some may tell you that whatever you do or give is just a drop in the ocean, it’s small and will not even matter.  You know what? Do it or give it anyway. Every ocean is made up of millions of drops, and yours can be one of it.

Every challenge that lands on you hands has been given to you for the simple reason that you’re the only one, who has the nerve, the guts, the courage and the heart to take it on.

Now go ahead, rise and win it.

 

When You're In The Rough

Have you ever felt less-equipped, unfit, incompetent on a job and told yourself you’re not gonna last another six months?  I did, and that was two weeks ago as of this writing.

You see I got this new job, a better one by the way in terms of stability, culture, people to work with and of course, challenges.

I welcome challenges like a person who welcomes the sunshine into her own home.  It pushes me to stretch and it perks my senses up.  I work hard the whole day that after dark, I’d feel so spent and yet so fulfilled.  By then I’d go and say, “I did my best and now I can rest”.

Isn’t that what we look forward to every day? A sense of purpose and meaning? That confidence to tell yourself, “I matter, and I know why I’m here”?

Yet days can become very exhausting at times, it will drive you to believe that you’re not enough. And when your job is on the line, you ready yourself for the worse but you keep doing what needs to be done.

On several occasions you realize there’s a lot left unfinished and yet you can only do so much.  At other times too you have to learn to let go of how you used to do things and try something new.

My old boss would always say, there’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat, and when it comes to solving problems, there are a lot of different approaches you can take.  So you learn as you go and you learn from other people too.

Now at this point in time here I am, feeling defeated some days but winning on most.  Victory doesn’t mean performing miracles at work but it means, continually fighting the good fight, win inner battles and beat the monsters within, self-defeating thoughts, pride, unwillingness to bend, to move, preference for what’s comfortable, easy and unchallenging.  After all, It doesn’t really matter what awaits in the end, so long as you know that at every moment, you did the best you could.

So, why did you leave your old job? People would ask me.  Well, why wouldn’t I.  There’s a lot to experience in the world, and I won’t be able to get a taste of as much as everything if I choose to settle. When days are predictable, what would I be excited about?  When everything becomes routinary and ordinary, we ease off, and then we stop growing. Would you want that kind of life?

Push forward and onward you go.  You will get all the help that you need at the right time. Ask and you shall receive, sow and you will reap. Believe in victorious endings.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in the world. Some may tell you that whatever you do or give is just a drop in the ocean, it’s small and will not even matter.  You know what? Do it or give it anyway. Every ocean is made up of millions of drops, and yours can be one of it.

Every challenge that lands on you hands has been given to you for the simple reason that you’re the only one, who has the nerve, the guts, the courage and the heart to take it on.

Now go ahead, rise and win it.

 

Your Story

To brave vulnerability in front of many is one of the most difficult things one can ever do but at the same time the most rewarding too.  Last night was an amazing time spent with friends, old and new.  Talking about one topic opened a lot of stories I never thought have been written in the pages of one’s book. Indeed there’s a lot to every person, a lot that we don’t see, don’t know, and maybe, we may never understand.  But that’s one of a couple of gifts I think that we can give to the world- our own make.

Each of us has our own story beginning differently. Some would have had it good, some already bad, and some would be a perfect mix of sugar and spice. However it started, regardless of age, surely it’s embedded in either your earliest memory, or it’s one of a few which carried a lot of weight and created the biggest impact on you. Either way, it kicked off the very first chapter of your book and carried you through this very time.

All of those things: the joys, the trauma, the pain, gain, loss, victory, defeat- it all made who you are now. However that makes you feel, I would say you’re victorious. Why? Because you’re still here- –  alive and breathing. No failure has beaten you up and left you for dead. No triumph has stopped you from dreaming and wanting to accomplish something more! So love yourself now, in case you still don’t. You’ve come so far, and the pages you’ve filled out up to this time is already a gift. A gift that you can share to the world. Someone somewhere will be blessed by it. Your story may inspire, encourage, or awaken another soul at one perfect time. You’ll be surprised of what it can accomplish.

Now that you know what you’re made of, what you can become is your second gift to the world.

Knowing where you are is one thing, knowing where you want to be is another.

This chapter and the ones that follow are still unwritten. You have to decide how it continues. Imagine what you would want to read about yourself when you reach 80 or 100.  Coz then time will have taught you what you already knew- that everything from here and now will just be a memory. What would define it’s worth is up to you- – it’s up to the choices you make.

You’ve already learned how to play the cards you’re dealt with, but you can do more than that, and you can do things differently this time.  You may want to stop doing and start being. Stop reacting and start pro-acting. Whatever it is, don’t stop here. As the song goes, “It ain’t over, till it’s over”.

Dream some more and make it happen, so that when you’re old and gray, you will have an ocean of beautiful memories to accompany you. You’ll have bags of wonderful stories to share with your grandkids. You’ll have plenty of highs and lows to tell the rest of the world.  Then they will all know that behind those wrinkled hands and the feeble frame is a person of strong heart and a tough will, who refused to give up, who gave more and gave all!

Maneuvering The Sails

Can you be 40 and still feel lost? A friend once asked me. I said yes. You can be 80 or 90 and have it all, but still, feel lost at times.

Nobody has come across a life manual or rulebook until one stumbles upon the Bible.  The Book contains all the wisdom one can ever need to not only survive life but to live it to the full.

Yet having known the truth against the lies, and being able to distinguish good from the bad doesn’t guarantee one’s victory. It’s one’s action that does.

I’ve met people who have struggled since childhood – – born to a poor family or a broken home, a victim of abuse, disease or disability, or a product of consecutive failures.  Surprisingly, though, every one of them didn’t turn out the same- some settled, but some persisted and changed the course of their lives.  The lesson:  We are not a product of our circumstances.  Rather, we are a product of our own choices.

Then you reach that stage when life is smooth sailing: you’ve covered all bases, you feel prepared and secured, everything is working well just like you wanted it to, and after some time you forget.  A simple truth slipped your memory: that the hundred moments you’re living in is a just a season, and some day soon it will be over too. Life shakes you up like that.

Just when you get too comfortable, a disruption happens and knocks you off with a big blow.  A sudden loss, an accident, sickness, a job loss, a change in your circumstances.  If we’ve kept these possibilities in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised, but if not, that’s when the challenge starts.

Is challenge good? Yes!  Why? Because it’s the pruning process that makes us better and makes us grow.  If we don’t grow, we die. We’re not so different from the plants and the trees.

The lesson: Take heart and take the challenge. Allow it to make you, not break you.

Feeling lost haunts everybody at one point in time.  For one reason, we tend to overthink. We lose touch with what matters and realize that we’ve been chasing the wrong things all along.  Knowing this now compels us to step back, reassess everything, recognize where we are and determine where we want to go. If necessary, eliminate the distractions. Simplify.  Focus. Thereafter you’ll be ready to set the sails again and follow through your designed course.

Feeling lost can happen when you’re starting over too.  Like, when life takes something or someone away from you and you need to rebuild your world from broken pieces. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.  You just need the strength of will to let go and move on.  It’s not over until it’s over.  So don’t waste your time holding on to what already belongs to the past, rather embrace the now and expect a better future. 

Don’t be scared of what lies ahead.  Remember the courage and boldness you once had when you were a kid. Use it to propel you into a brighter future- one that’s colored like a rainbow with glittering sunshine, glowing butterflies, chirping birds, blue streams, blooming flowers and breathtaking trees. Keep your hopes up. Life can be as beautiful as you would want it to be. You have the power to shape it.

 

The Journey

Every person has the power to write his own story. Every person has the power to realize his own dreams. And even if these dreams don’t make it to one’s reality, in the end, what matters is that the person, who could be me or you, took the chance and we did what we knew we had to do. It’s not really about what we get, but more of what we become after that.  The journey is more important than the destination, and it’s more exciting too! Let me tell you why.

I’ve traveled several times with friends.  We went to places we thought we could only dream of. We explored cities, cultures, but what made it more exciting was the fact that we actually did it on our own. Equipped with a book, a map, research notes and a strong desire for adventure, we tread unfamiliar waters, finding every spot listed in our itinerary.  And yes we succeeded, of course with a little help from the locals.  Ticking off everything we had in our checklist felt really satisfying! When I look back, I realize I have actually gained more than just reaching destinations. I’ve learned and realized the value of:

1)  Trust

Trust in me to be able to carefully plan out a trip, and carry it out.

Trust in my friends, their opinion, their suggestions. Trust that they’ll be there for me when I need them the most.

Trust in people we met along the way, those who offered help, directions, shared our cabin or room. Most of them even shared their own stories, and journeys, and well, some indulged us with chocolates and cherries. Most days we got lucky 🙂

2)  Planning

Planning is essential and to me, it’s the most exciting part. You have to make up your mind about where you want to go, what you want to experience or accomplish, figure out how to get there, where to stay the night, etc.  Everything had to be worked out given a specified timetable.

3)  Flexibility

You have to learn to exercise this muscle especially when life throws you surprises.  You have to make use of the time you have and the opportunity you’ve been given, to deliberately choose not to waste every single moment. Things may not always work out according to plan, but that’s just life telling you to pause, to relish the beauty around you, to talk to a stranger, to enjoy the rain.  It’s good to welcome possibilities believing that everything that comes your way may actually be better for you. Delays and detours are not that bad you know.

4)  Gifts

You learn how to value the things being alive brings. Time, opportunity, experience, and people, to name a few.

You see, a lot of things would have already happened even before you reach the end of the journey.  All of it honed you, accomplished something within you, and made you a better you. What’s between start to finish, is the greatest reward you’re gonna get.  So write your own story, your own ending, but as you do, live the time in between, and live it to the full!