Do you Get Tired Offering Solutions To People?

I sure do. 

A friend comes to you complaining about something, venting his frustrations out,  feeling hopeless and desperate. You step in, give him some perspective and suggest something  that might work. He nods and finally gets it, saying, “You’re right. I should do that. Thanks, pal!”.

Weeks passed, you check in to see how he’s doing. Same old, same old, and surprisingly you hear new complaints too, coupled with excuses why he never acted on the things you talked about.

I get frustrated of course. It’s like handing a bottle of milk to a thirsty toddler. He only needs to put it in his mouth and drink it up for the thirst to go away. What happens instead is he keeps on staring at the bottle of milk and continue crying.  

When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready the teacher will Disappear.

Lao Tzu

Reflecting on my behavior, I’ve seen how this is apparent to me too, personally. 

How oftentimes do we realize that the solution to our predicament is obvious but we don’t take action? I can think of a couple of reasons why.

The pain is not painful enough that we are not yet over desperate to fix it.

Admittedly, like our pets, we like to lick our wounds. We don’t budge, nor move until it hurts too much or we’re kicked out of the door.  No wonder why we stay on a job we hate until we get fired. We stay in toxic relationships until the abuse sends us to a hospital or worse, we end up wandering the streets of who-knows-where.  Complaining is easy. Work is hard. This leads to the second point.

We prefer the current pain over the pain of working to fix it.

This preference though is buried deep in our subconscious. We forget that “something’s gotta give” every time. There are trade-offs in life. Choosing one means we cannot choose the other. In this case, it’s either you want this pain or that pain.

The other day, somebody came to me complaining about someone but fears confronting this person. So I said, “Look, you only have two options here. Either you tell this guy what your issues are and risk him feeling hurt, or you keep it civil between you two but keep your frustrations to yourself.” 

We always have options. We can always work out solutions. We can always find answers. The question is, “What do we do with the answers we get? Do we stand by and just stare at these solutions? What choice do we make?

We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.

Mark Twain

There’s never a perfect time to do anything. The world won’t give you that. How many doors have closed in on you just because you waited for the perfect wind to carry you through, or the perfect soundtrack to play in the background as you walk along?  The door is never going to stay open for long. So I’m not sure what you’re still waiting for.

What I tell you, I’m telling myself too. We are a work in progress and I believe it’s good that we remind each other when we need to.  So take this as a reminder. 

And yes, lesson learned:

Don’t offer solutions to people’s problems. The real fix is always within themselves. You just have to help them uncover it.

What Outside of Your Comfort Zone Looks Like

To amplify your growth, you need to operate outside of your comfort zone.

I know. Preaching about this is easy, but doing it is a different story. There’s going to be a lot of “push and pull” occasions with yourself, albeit the “pull” part is more encouraging.

In late 2018, I lost my job.  Eight months later, I joined a new company. At first, I chickened out because the role was outside my comfort zone.  Instead of finding excuses, I took the job. Looking back, I can tell there’s a lot that I’ve learned in a year compared to previous work experiences.

Was it easy? Picture yourself heading home after school every single day. That’s what I feel until now.  It’s challenging and rewarding. Here is a preview of what happened so far.

Discoveries

  1. I’ve learned something new about myself. I never thought I could dance until my teammates and I had to perform an act from the movie “The Greatest Showman”  with costumes and all.
  2. I never knew baking with teammates via zoom could be fun. Now I could make delicious crostata and lemon cake, plus potentially make money out of it. If not, baking would save me a few bucks too. I can’t imagine myself hanging out in a coffee shop with a slice of pie or cake ever again.
  3. I realized I could get along with different nationalities and discovered we have  a lot of things in common if only I open up, strike a conversation, trust, listen and take time to get to know someone.
  4. I’ve learned it’s rewarding to accomplish something outside of your expertise, especially if you do it from a genuine desire to contribute, help or, pitch in. There’s nothing wrong about doing something for the first time and therefore asking many questions, even when you’re older. 
  5. In a work that continuously encourages you to grow, there’s never a dull moment. There’s no room for boredom. You could honestly say, “I learned something new today” at the end of the day and drive home feeling accomplished.

“Great things don’t come from comfort zones.” 

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

I believe, if we explore more, our growth in day or week would be exponential.  The challenge is, we don’t.  We like hanging on to old ways and beliefs, even beliefs about ourselves, and come up with excuses.  Think about what staying in your comfort zone has cost you.  For me:

The Would-Have-Been Costs

I would have never learned English and be good at it. It’s not my first language.

I would never have launched this blog. Somebody told me my grammar sucks and people don’t care about my opinions.

I wouldn’t have traveled to different countries. Somebody told me it’s expensive and it’s dangerous.

I would never have found a spiritual community. Somebody told me I’m a hopeless case, and it will be difficult for me to change.

I would have never joined and won singing competitions. Somebody told me I couldn’t carry a tune.

I would never have built something for myself. Somebody told me I will always be poor.

Conclusion

I am not sharing things to brag but to remind you that in the past,  you have accomplished things too, not because you were less afraid but because you decided to go ahead and face your fear head-on. You made it this far because you kept on. That’s the truth, even if you say you did it because you had no choice.  The fact that you have accomplished it proves that you’re capable. Now imagine what more you could have achieved had you given yourself a little more faith.  It’s about thriving, not surviving.

Why don’t we dream again like when we were kids? Try new things and be curious enough to learn?  

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore”- Andre Gide.

Once again, light up the fire in your heart. Make no room for fear. Instead, save enough for “what could be’s”.

This Is Why You Never Get To Fulfill Your Dream

My friend’s biggest regret is not being able to pursue her passion.  “Life got in the way”, she said.  I could feel her deep sense of frustration while we were talking. It was a bit disappointing too. Why? There she was, in her 40s, still young, but already giving up on her dreams. In her mind, there is no room for it anymore.

I think that’s the main problem.  We give up on our dreams even before we could even begin to make them happen.  We come up with a dozen excuses, like not having the time, not being ready, not having the opportunity.  All these limiting beliefs come into the surface and  90% of the time these are self-created.  The obvious question is this:

Who would believe you then if you don’t believe in yourself?

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ― C. JoyBell C.

At the root of giving up too soon is FEAR.

Fear of Failure

Who wants to be called a loser, right? Nobody wants to be laughed at, ignored, or rejected. Hence, to avoid the pain and shame, we never try. When we don’t try we feel like a failure- frustrated and angry.  Then we pick ourselves up and attempt again only to get cold feet at the first thought of failure. As you can see, the cycle continues.

Fear of The Unknown

For most of us, we like to figure out EVERYTHING before we begin. We like things to be predictable and certain, so we think long, and research a lot like we have an eternity to do it. We spend so much time planning that we never launch. Oftentimes we get caught up in what we call Analysis Paralysis.

Analysis paralysis (or paralysis by analysis) describes an individual or group process when overanalyzing or overthinking a situation can cause forward motion or decision-making to become “paralyzed”, meaning that no solution or course of action is decided upon.   [Wikipedia]

Fear immobilizes us and kills our dreams. Imagine the power we give it.

There are different ways to cope with FEAR but I believe we could start with two.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

Life is too short.  Learn to laugh at yourself, and try again. Ask stupid questions if you must and use outcomes as your feedback, to do better, to know better.  Grow. That’s the more important thing.

Give yourself a deadline when making decisions.

Forget about perfection. Clarify your goal. Break down complex matters into smaller actionable steps. That way you don’t feel overwhelmed. Baby steps. Just like the old days.

I believe it’s always a question of how desperate you are to get something. It’s like gasping for air when you’re suffocating. If you want  it bad enough, you know you have to do something and do it.

sundaewrites

The Day I Decided To Let Go

Letting go is obviously one of the hardest things that we can do, but at times, stepping into that new kind of freedom is very much worth it.

sundaewrites

The year came like anything normal and in so many ways I have underestimated it. Certainly, you’ll never really know where life would take you. 

During the first few months, inspiration struck. It triggered me to make small decisions and subtle changes affecting very important aspects of my life.

Letting Go of Stuff

    It started with a few clothes, some old, some new, that I’ve never really worn for months. Like most, I’ve held on to those pieces of clothing because I’ve paid for them and I already own them. 

I realized later on that possessing or not possessing them didn’t really affect the quality of my life. Nor has it affected the level of my happiness in the long term. Maybe that’s why you and I call this and similar things as stuff because literally, they’re just that. Most things we can live without and some we can only need enough of. 

On the other hand though, our stuff can be a piece of gold to someone who really needs them. With that, I gave away clothes to friends, neighbors, relatives and some more things to charity.

I was able to sell some of the stuff too and more will be sold in the comings months. I remember meeting this buyer and our conversation went like this.

Buyer:  So how long have you had this?

Me: 6 months

Buyer: how many times did you use it?

Me: thrice

Buyer: It’s in superb condition and you’re selling it for half the price. Why did you buy it in the first place?

Me: Well, I thought I needed it and would do me good. Later on, I realized, it’s bulky and cumbersome. I can actually get rid of it and make do of what I already have.

Buyer: Well, this is a gem for me. Sorry, you had to sell it.

Me: Oh no, I’m glad I did! (“and I met you”! – bonus point that I felt he didn’t need to know – insert “grin”).


Letting Go of biases

    I think you would agree that we all have our biases when it comes to culture, people of a different race or sometimes people from our own race. I for one am guilty about this. In the past, my generalizations about people have hindered the possibility of me knowing them at a deeper level and understand how they see things. 

I’ve come to realize that it was a mistake and a loss on my part. I mean, some of them could have been my close friends. They could have contributed to my growth. Most could have been helpful mentors, teachers, coaches or perhaps role models. I remember a colleague of mine said to me one time. “It’s not you. We’re just not used to saying please and thank you as often as you do. We don’t even say please or thank you to people from our own country”.  Another shared, “We look like we’re fighting because we seem to be shouting at each other, but we’re not. This is just a normal conversation”.

When I decided to finally open myself to other cultures and other communities, I felt like my heart expanded and my understanding broadened. I began to see these people the way I see myself and my friends- just human beings with imperfections like we all have, and trying their very best in life as we all do.  

Letting Go of Who I thought I was

We are who we are. This belief also limited my success as a person. 

I always thought that I’m an introvert and therefore, don’t have the ability to connect with people and actually be energized in the process. I always thought, I could never write, just because I barely passed my first essay in college. My English teacher would always ask me to explain what I’m trying to say. That time I have a knack for tying two words together, not because they mean anything but because they just sounded good. Well, it’s hard when English is not your first language. These are just two of several beliefs which crafted my idea of Me. This same idea pushed me to stay in my comfort zone because venturing out, I assumed,  would lead me to failure.  

After years, a breakthrough came.  I decided I will no longer fear failure. So I started a journey of self-discovery and that meant trying new things and doing things that actually scared me or made me nervous and uneasy. I tell you, when I look at myself now, I like what I’m seeing. Frankly, I still make mistakes but I’m growing and continuously learning.

The good thing about letting go of who I thought I was is that every day I am embracing the opportunity to reinvent myself and expand my horizons. It opens a whole new door of possibilities of what I can still be, and the results usually astound me. What you can or cannot do, is indeed entirely up to you. Henry Ford puts it this way “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

My friend, is there something in your life that you need to let go and why, or, why not?

Lagom

So today, I decided to clean up. Owning a few things since going solo, I wanted to retain even less.  That means, just enough of everything.

A friend of mine traveled to Sweden months ago and fell in love with the term “lagom” which means “just the right amount”.  She was saying the Swedish don’t brag about the things they own nor overindulge in something like food, cars or houses.  They like to live as regular, ordinary people,  and give preference to giving back, contributing, and helping.  They don’t care about status or how much they earn. All of that and yet Sweden is one of the richest countries in the world.

Thinking about it makes me fall in love with Sweden too! “What I wouldn’t give to be there”- Me, daydreaming.  But Sweden or not Sweden, we can actually embrace “lagom” as a lifestyle, isn’t it? In some parts of the world, they call it, minimalism, simplicity, or essentialism (there might be other terms that you know, drop a comment here).

I grew up in a culture pretty much influenced by the Spaniards. With our concept of “fiestas” and “piazza” (in my hometown, we call it plaza), our culture has taken it further to mean:

– huge houses, 

– large “haciendas”, 

– more food on the table (than what’s necessary), 

– (boisterous) laughter, 

– plenty of stories, and 

– overflowing drinks.

While fiestas and plazas are essentially part of the Spanish culture, I believe these concepts stemmed from their inherent quality of being warm, affectionate and family-oriented. Our culture, however, took it to a different level- more like Spanish-with-a-twist.

I’m not against people who own huge properties or love to have fun with beers, food and loud music. I’m just a bit disheartened to see:

– folks with large but empty houses

– yuppies with an expensive lifestyle, and mounting debts

– people who hoard

– people having too much of something (too much alcohol, food, shoes, Netflix, etc)

– people who overwork (yes, included)

– people who overcommit (yes, this too)

– people who are having too much rest (you’ve got to get on your feet too, you know, like literally).

Overindulgence is a bad thing.  You’ve got to save something for tomorrow or share some to someone in need.  We’re not here just for ourselves.  I hope we realize that and become more mindful of the rest of the world and its needs.

Wherever we are or what our status be in society, each of us has the capacity to give.  It may not always be in the form of material things. It could be our time, our skills, wisdom, strength, or we could just lend a hand, or lend an ear.  

If there’s one thing that this weekend clean up reminded me, it’s this:

I can live with just enough, and that’s not depriving myself of anything good in the world. That actually means, giving myself space, room to breathe, more room for what’s important, and to me, that translates to not only freedom but power!  It’s kind of saying, “I can have that, but I won’t”.  

– sundaewrites

Now imagine repeating that when you’re faced with a decision:

“I can buy that luxury car, but I won’t”.

“I can book myself in a 5-star hotel, but I won’t”.

“I can consume the entire chocolate ice cream cake, but I won’t”.

“I can party all night, but I won’t”.

“I can work till daybreak, but I won’t”.

Does it make sense?  Well, I’ll leave you with this word to think about.

“Lagom”.


Pancakes It Is For Me

Pancakes.  I love to wake up each morning to the smell of it. The sensation it gives equates to a fresh beginning. A promise of a new day, stuffed with a basket of hope and a few more dreams. 

We all have to have something to look forward to every day, else, our lives would be dull and meaningless.  You have to know that you’re made for more. Do you know why?  

 

 

Your heart skips at the sight of sunflowers and roses, or the smell of meadows and green fields. You smile at the sound of children’s laughter more so of a baby’s chuckle. Your face glows, and your body less tense at a loved one’s touch, or a friend’s hug-  the warmth of it, the comfort, the sincerity of  “I’m with you”- even in the absence of words.

We are a feeling creature, and what moves us, MOVES us. Think about it.

  • You feel inspired, you write more stories.
  • You feel bold, you dream more, you dream big.
  • You feel loved, you yield.
  • You feel strong, you give a hand.
  • You feel happy, your steps turn into leaps.

 

But how about in your not-so-great days?  You feel bored, lazy, incapable, unsure, tired, or on the brink of giving up?  Is there something that can do the trick? Surprisingly, yes!

Emotion follows motion.  You act until you feel like it. This is still you, but this time, you’re throwing the ball instead of swinging the bat. Wondering how?

Say it’s the first day of the week, and you’ve got to get to work.  If you’re stuck with an uninspiring job, the drive to your workplace, all the way to the steps leading to your desk, feels like doomsday.

Picture this. You’re treading down a narrow path leading to a tiny cubicle, with a mini desk, filled with hills and mountains of paperwork. Your steps feel heavy right? You’re feeling down already, but you have to work. So try this. Don’t walk on your way to your desk. Skip. More like bounce.  Like you’re dancing. It’s hard to do that and not smile right? Your muscles need to harmonize. So smile.  Notice this time, It’s hard to bounce and smile and not feel happy. So then take the liberty to poke your heart.  Your mind will then start to talk.    

Mind to Heart.  You know life is too short. Let’s give it our best shot. Even just for today. Tomorrow will have its own time,  I mean, It’s for another day. But right now, it’s you, me, and this awesome body taking on this day. Let’s do this! Ahhh and I’m so looking forward to that cup of barley tonight, and a fresh stack of pancakes in the morning, with blueberries on top? (and so it goes).

 

 

Emotion follows motion. Try it. Your days are too precious to leave it gloomy and sad. Make it happy. Throw in glitters of hope.You owe it to your self. 

Come on. Smile already. 🙂

 

 

What You Need To Know About Happiness

It cannot be found. The world doesn’t owe it to you. It can’t be guaranteed by anyone or anything, not even by a therapist, an enlightened guru, or by any amount of wealth, fame and power.

Chasing happiness makes it elusive, just like sleep when you desperately want it.  So where does happiness lie? How does one get to possess it?

Let me tell you a story about a wealthy family. 

One day there was this boy who’s celebrating his 8th birthday. As a present, his parents took him down the countryside for the weekend. They stayed in a spacious cabin by the lake, not very far from a small farm. This was the very first time that the family ever spent time away from the city.  

 

The next day, the father took his kid fishing, and both decided to stay until mid-afternoon to feast on their catch.  After having their fill, they decided to take a longer route going back and happened to pass by the small farm. 

The pair saw the family living there spending some fun afternoon just outside their barn.  Three kids are running around, playing with chickens and goats, climbing and jumping down haystacks. Two men sipping their cup of hot tea while a teenage boy plays a folk song in his rugged jeans with his old guitar entertaining the older men. Coming out from an old wooden house, a young woman and an elderly lady are carrying a plate of freshly baked cookies and a pile of bread, bidding the kids to come and grab some. 

As the father and son moved in closer, the oldest man from the farm noticed them, and without hesitation waved and invited the two to stop by. The rich man hesitated, said thank you and carried on.  

As the pair inch further away, the boy can’t help but look back and glance at the family again and again. Finally, they reached the cabin. The night was already deep and the farm was out of sight.

At the dinner table, the boy recounted his day and out of the blue, he quipped.

Boy: “Dad, I realize they are richer than us”.

Dad: “Who, son”?

Boy: “The family at the farm”.

Dad: “What do you mean? They don’t have much. But we, own a lot of companies, live in a huge house, lots of cars, you can have all the sweets you want, and you’re always safe as I have servants looking after you, drop you to school and pick you up.  There’s freedom in our wealth, son, you can do anything”!

Son: “Well dad, they have a million lights above them, they have the stars. And the sky is huge, they get to enjoy it every time. They are always together, they look very happy and they celebrate every moment. They don’t just pass the time, they live it, savor it, just like those freshly baked cookies. It smelled so delicious and to them, every moment is treated like that. And it seems they didn’t feel scared.  They don’t have big men watching over them or guarding them. I think they have Someone bigger and stronger than the guards we have. I don’t know. But I just feel they’re richer than us, they’re freer, happier, and I think they’ve got something really special”.

The father was astonished about what he heard and was lost for words. 

My friend, happiness cannot be circumstantial because it’s within us- a sleeping giant that just needs to be awakened. You don’t need any magic tricks, fancy cars, shiny shoes or mansions. You don’t need to be a superstar nor would you need a hermit to reveal an ancient secret to you. Happiness is already in you. You just need to bring it out. Your spark, your gift, your beauty, your goodness, it lies at the very core of your being. 

The challenge? Piece by piece, layer by layer, strip yourself off with your masks, pretensions, pride, hate, with worldly desires and dependencies. Your soul and your heart, in it’s barest state, reveals the true you, and because of so much goodness that lies within that core, there lies not just happiness, but pure joy too.

You are your own joy. Celebrate your being, and move the world beautifully in ways that only you can.

 

Leaving Behind Colorful Dust

“What’s the point of all this? Maybe, there’s no grand plan, after all, no essential meaning or worthwhile reason that can really affect the world.”

I planted myself in one corner of the room, a tiny space, with a small plastic chair and an unused, sturdy, air cooler supporting my back.

This has always been my favorite spot. Sitting on a blue chair, my thoughts would take me someplace far away, where I can listen to them like a couple of old friends dropping by to say hello. Often times though, they’d stay a while for a cup of coffee or two.

This is what happens when you get time in your hands. You can revel in the moments that you’re alone, pondering about life, thinking about your very existence.  

Sometimes I think people get themselves busy for one reason-to escape these little moments, and come face to face with themselves, confronting deep questions, unconsciously buried in their minds. 

They don’t dare to wake up the sleeping giant.

But I love these little moments. 

I love having conversations with myself. Kind of weird, but these interactions actually reveal a lot about my deepest fears and desires.  The experience keeps me grounded.  It helps me get the worldly stuff beneath my feet, as a reminder of their fleeting existence.  

In this time when everything is mechanical and automated, we rarely get the chance to look at the bigger picture, or confront our doubts and deepen our understanding of profound truths. Most days we run on autopilot and drift.

After some time, you wake up and your kids are all grown up, your parents are much older, your gray hairs are starting to show, not to mention, a few more wrinkles adorning your face.  Yes, time slips away, and who knows when it runs out.

 

Is this all there is to it? 

I think about Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillsong United, JK Rowling, Mother Theresa, and their path seems to be very clear and very significant, affecting many.  

Where does that leave you and me- the ordinary boy or girl in this small part of the world? Will our voices be ever heard? Will our actions breed fire that can ignite the soul of a sleepy world? What difference can we make? Does our breath find it’s way someplace where it actually gives life? I wonder.

Maybe there’s no spectacular scheme, no fireworks, no rainfall of stars bound to fall down our path. But this I know. We are meant to be here. 

Out of a thousand possibilities in the whole biology and mystery surrounding birth and procreation, we are the ones who made it through. The ones who have seen the light.  

Maybe our WHYs may never get answered. Maybe we can never find it. But what if we create it by forging meaning into our circumstances, or the experiences we’ve been given?  What if the WHY lies in the little things we do every day, the things we were called to accomplish on simple occasions, the things that are normal, and ordinary? What if these little things are leading us to that one big thing, or maybe that big thing is actually the sum of these little things? 

We are no Michelangelo, Anne Frank or St. Paul, but we’re given the same opportunity to walk this earth just like they did.  Will our trail leave behind colorful dust so people can see the way too? I hope so. It doesn’t matter if we could light the path for one person or two. What matters is, we do.  

The light is always more beautiful when it shines through the darkness.- Unknown.

Question: 

Are you casting your light so others may see the path? What are the little things you’ve done to bless the people around you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How Do You Define Success?

My friends and I are having a conversation one day about job satisfaction and fulfillment, and the years we’ve spent in the corporate world.  Most of us have reached some degree of contentment in how our career paths turned out and some are still halfway towards reaching the top. By top I mean, the pinnacle of success. The latter, being a relative word.

 People come from different backgrounds, culture, and upbringing. This fact plus the uniqueness of every person and the particular experiences each has gone through defines ones’ own personal view of what success really looks like and feels like.

Though I cannot accurately interpret these definitions from the viewpoint of others, let me share with you how success is pictured from my own view. 

I started out life as an achiever mostly in academics. This winner mindset propelled me to give my best in everything that I do, be it at work, music or in any display of talent.  While the experience proved an age-old wisdom that, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”, it rewarded me with a glimpse of joy. The problem was, that, to me, it was never enough. Pure, lasting joy, then became the cornerstone of my success definition.

Perhaps the excitement of being on top was just fleeting.  The self-gratification was temporary. The applause lasted for a moment and the spotlight dimmed after some time.  Perhaps age did catch up or life became more real as I’ve come face to face with my own mortality.

The transition took place moment by moment, piece by piece.  Soon enough I found myself longing for something deeper, more profound,  something seemingly elusive but more solid and real. 

Then it finally made sense. Instead of chasing heavenly painted rainbows I was drawn to create my own.  

 

Connecting the dots in my past helped me understand why there was sort of a lack.  Something was missing despite the number of shining moments I have reveled in.  There, I found a great hole carved out by the plain absence of meaning.

Everything I did then was for me. I took home the glory, for me.  I was proving myself to the world, to other people, to people I didn’t even know. My sole focus at that time was to convince people of my own worth.

I realized later on,  how exhausting this can be and so I abandoned that path.  I trod on new waters and became fully aware of who I am and what I can do, create and contribute. 

I started to believe that knowing my worth is enough. That forging meaning in what I’ve been tasked to accomplish in this world makes more sense.  That giving is oftentimes more rewarding than taking.  That fulfillment in it’s truest sense is an overwhelming feeling that’s not short-lived. Rather, it’s something that rewards your heart with boundless joy and serenity no words can even express.

In a sense, I became content in knowing that at the end of each day, I gave my all and I have put my heart and mind into the things that I do. That means then that I’ve got to make sure that whatever I do is worthy of my time because I’m exchanging every second of my life for it.  

 

Come nightfall, I should be in a state where I can pat myself on the back and say, “You did a good job, today”, and my Creator simply nodding a proud yes.  That my friend is, success, simplified, in my own terms.

Questions:

How about you? How do you see success from where you stand? Share your thoughts here.

 

When Moments Are Meant For Only You

I was scrolling through posts on my social media account and noticed that as years past, I’ve uploaded fewer and fewer photos of myself.  That actually got me thinking, “What changed in the last few years?”

A lot of major things took place. Loss of a loved one, job change, learning new skills, less but unique adventures, going out of my comfort zone. Yet I was looking for one or two subtle things that might have made the greatest impact. Lo and behold, I figured it out.

Somewhere along the way, I made up my mind to stop capturing moments. Instead, allow my self to be captured by it.

In the past, I was eager to take a snapshot of every interesting thing I see. Eager to show it to the world, and sometimes eager to show it off to the world.  Regardless of the intention, every time I post something, it made me feel proud. While I agree that all good things are worth sharing, sometimes, a rare moment invites only you:

to be in it,

to be enchanted by it, 

be intimate with it, 

to savor its goodness, 

or be lost in its spell.

 

Maybe sooner or later you will encounter these moments and will be faced with a challenge. Who knows one day while gazing through a beautiful moonlit sky and sensing an impulse to take a photo, your camera just suddenly won’t work, or maybe your phone can’t be found. Rather than feel frustrated, allow yourself to take it all in—  

the scenery, 

the feel of the soft wind blowing on to your skin, 

the sound of a peaceful night gently whispering to your ear, 

the smell and sight of fresh leaves clutching to branches of a tree.  

Just be in it. Be one with it.

You will be surprised that not all beautiful experiences need to be grand.  Oftentimes, beauty rests in the simple,  and sometimes in the ordinary. You just have to be in it to unravel its charm, to recognize its wonder.

Moments earlier, I could have just shown you a photo of that moonlit sky and the beautiful surrounding. But I chose to describe it to you. Even then my words fell short. That’s just because the highest good cannot be perfectly expressed or defined, though you know it’s there, and it is real. You can’t just fit it inside a capsule or recreate an image of it.  You can’t place something so infinite, absolute and boundless into a limited, confined medium. It will be like draining a vast ocean of its water and putting that water into a little hole.

Next time, allow yourself to be captured by a special moment.  Take everything in and bring it with you.  When the right opportunity comes, share that experience with someone. Describe it to him or her:

-with an overwhelming delight, 

-with glitter in your eyes, 

-with excitement in your hands and 

-thrill in your body. 

When you do, you get to relive that moment as you tell the story. You get to be inside that sublime experience one more time.

 

Question:

Were you able to experience these rare moments yourself? Do you revisit these occasions and does the feeling about it never grow old? Comment here. Share your story.