This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
It is subject to comments, criticisms and corrections, and all will be dealt with constructively and do leave your comments I would love to hear from you.
There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
Welcome to my world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things We're Wasting Our Time On Emotionally

So there, am back with an inspiration to write something that I realized I had wasted many of my time on. Slowly I am starting to find that there really is so much more out there than just moping around and regardless of where I am right now, it doesn't stop me from being the best person I can be, as hard as I try to be. Maybe it is my nature, or maybe I am just too emotional at times. On accounting on the things I need to stop wasting my time on and just go on with what makes me happy, I have made a list about it. Before I go to that, here's the question, how much time are we wasting today on people, things or events that affect us emotionally? Drains and stressed us out?
Would you believe, it is easier to spend time on the emotionally draining than to work on emotionally-enriching activities? Want to know why? Because we were told over and over again to avoid "negative" feelings, thoughts and experiences. We are taught that negative is "bad." When in reality, avoiding the negative, is what's bad for us.

So here's the list we can't afford to waste our time on, life is short!

Watching the news for whatever we "need to know" about the world.
Watching other people’s drama play out on drama or reality TV  instead of dealing with our own drama, or allowing ourselves to admit that yes, even us have personal problems
Paying money to be “entertained” when you’re really just bored, desensitized, numb, apathetic, or too lazy to do something that’s not only enertaining, but also relevant and enriching.
Laughing off your problems instead of actually facing them.
Using sarcasm to hide how you feel
Judging your social life in terms of quantity of friends (and/or lovers) rather than quality, or intimacy
Hanging around people who don’t appreciate or respect you because you think it’s even worse to be alone
Interacting with "plastic" people instead of getting closer to real individuals you can truly connect with
Expecting other people to care about how you’re feeling without good reason
Expecting other people not to care about how you’re feeling without good reason
Trusting people too easily because you’re too afraid of getting hurt
Not trusting people enough because you’re too afraid of getting hurt
Believing anything anyone tells you without using your own discernment
Believing that spirituality is somehow more evolved than religion when it’s just a new kind of religion
Believing that anything good, spiritual, or otherwise worth sharing should be free  just because you personally don’t want to pay for it
Equating money with wealth when what you really want is time
Seeking happiness for hedonistic reasons
Seeking happiness for “spiritual” reasons
Equating happiness with the absence of ego without even understanding “what” ego “is”
Trying to kill, repress, control or put to sleep your ego which is fruitless, because you can’t get rid of your subconscious
Trying to kill your emotions when you can’t do so without harming yourself
Trying to change or control your emotions  as control is only ever an illusion
Trying to prevent yourself from experiencing any negative emotions instead of figuring out why you experience them in the first place
Trying to get rid of negative thoughts instead of focusing on how best to respond to them
Trying to stay positive at the expense of being realistic
Attempting to manage your anger instead of working with it
Refraining from taking something personally for fear of getting angry
Lying to yourself about how angered you are at someone and then being passive aggressive toward them by “being late” to an engagement or “forgetting” something important
Trying to “cool off” your anger instead of mindfully letting it
Becoming bitter and resentful  instead of getting angry
Not expressing your anger at all not even when you're all by yourself
Allowing others to use you instead of setting boundaries
Talking negatively about yourself in public or in private
Not speaking up for yourself  for fear of not appearing “nice”
Harboring self-critical beliefs without evaluating the usefulness of those beliefs
Measuring your worth by someone else’s standards instead of accepting yourself unconditionally
Striving for “perfection”  without defining “perfection”
Waiting for that “perfect” partner to sweep you off your feet  instead of spending that time and energy loving your partner for life: yourself
Waiting for permission to pursue your passions and actualize your dreams instead of giving yourself permission
Blaming yourself whenever others you know are in pain instead of maintaining healthy boundaries
Thinking that someone else holds the keys to your happiness
Viewing others’ thoughts and emotions as being more signifcant than yours or viewing your thoughts and emotions as being more important than others’
Viewing adversity as “bad” instead of an opportunity for growth
Telling someone they’re bad (for hurting you)  instead of telling them how they hurt you
Wondering if you should or shouldn’t be feeling a certain way instead of figuring out precisely why you feel a certain way
Secretly feeling jealous or envious of others instead of experiencing your jealously or envy, and then getting on with your life
Avoiding fear instead of embracing it
Avoiding how you feel  because you think that you always have to act on all of your emotions
Choosing blame instead of response ability
Blaming your actions on your gender, age, ethnicity, etc. without acknowledging your ability to make choices
Trying to forgive someone for hurting you instead of dealing with the problem so that you can protect yourself from getting hurt again
Ignoring a problem in hopes that it will go away
Ignoring a broken heart instead of tending to it
Withholding your love for fear of getting hurt (the only way to love is to risk getting hurt)
Believing that love is all you need the mere feeling is never “enough”
Regreting over the past instead of learning from it
Worrying about the future instead of preparing for it
Procrastinating instead of facing what you’re really feeling
Ignoring the “other side” of a story for fear of what you’ll learn
Trying win an argument
Emotionally investing in people who does like you and avoid you  left and right
Telling other people what they “should” think without knowing if they’re interested in what you think
Letting anyone else tell you how you should think
Trying to prove to others that you’re not “wrong” when what you need to do is convince yourself
Trying to prove to others that you’re not “wrong” when what you need to do is protect yourself
Telling yourself that you’re too old, young, this, or that for your opinion to matter or believing anyone else who says so
Unnecessarily defending yourself to people who don’t matter
Trying to gain acceptance and approval

Kind of long isn't it, but I am sure we are guilty to most of it, I am. Only when we’re convinced we’re wasting our time on any of the above we'll continue wasting it. Many times, we have to waste enough time to know that it’s a waste. Only then, we can stop wasting time because we know the results of doing so. Do we really have to learn them the hard way? I did.

Friday, December 2, 2011

World AIDS Day

Soon the day will be over and hopefully everyone said prayer or two for all those who are suffering from AIDS and HIV including the families who lost their loved ones to this devastating disease. Here's mine:

Lord, you never give us any burden we cannot bear.
You teach us in many ways how to get closer to You.
To believe in Your love and power.
Give us strength to face this enemy that is taking lives.
Give us the knowledge to find the cure.
Give us the will to carry on.
Give comfort to the weary heart who lost their loved ones.
Give compassion to those who are sick.
And let our faith not falter to each loss and failure.
We know all these are part of Your grand plan.
We humbly ask for your mercy and grace.
Hear our prayers, and praise and glory forever be Yours.

So What and Who Cares?

Before anyone raises an eyebrow, bear in mind that this is not something to be taken the way it is. I will simply try to talk about something mundane, that by saying "so what and who cares?" can be something entirely new. Stay with me.

I have adopted a new thinking, as my experiences have thought me, this may sound insensitive but really it is not, it's the "so what, who cares," attitude about issues that get me all annoyed, irritated even angered at times. It's also an attitude that some of my close friends adopted with great finesse. They didn't learned it from me, but often, when we’re talking about the trials in our lives, I would heard them saying “Who cares?” And of course they're right.

How many times we often get ourselves affected by something, only to realize in it's completely a waste of effort? We focus on and become distracted by issues in our lives, worry and let our imagination create all kinds of horrible scenarios. The worry just builds and goes on and on. It made us unproductive, eats away our energies and totaly unhelpful to us in having a balanced and complete version of ourselves.
These kind of thinking may take us over if left unchecked, and most of the time end up becoming a habit instead of a choice. I need a something to break the cycle, to wake me out of my wits of my imbalanced feelings.

And this works for me, the simple phrase: “So what? Who cares?”. I even try to say it to myself with some shoulder action. Spoken once, this phrase automatically stops the flow of my thinking and makes me smile.
Said repeatedly, and the truth of the message starts to sink in.

Didn’t have the job I wanted? So what? Seriously, does that truly matter to the overall reality of my existence?
Not where I wanted to be at this age? Haven’t achieved as much as I planned to? Who cares? Nobody, only me. I am also the only one who can do anything about it.
In the grand divine plan of things, I am but a tiny dot on an even more insignificant planet. Who’s noticing what I am and am not doing? No one. Just me. Who cares if I am the person I think I should be? No one. Just me. How significant are the trials in my life? Are they anything more than a tiny glip on the fabric of the universe?
I am trying to let go of all my insignificant concerns and turn my attention towards amazing possibilities and profound moments that is due my very existence. I become so busy complaining and getting affected
over and by small things that I haven’t realized there’s a whole wondrous world right behind me.

Really, no one but you cares about what’s happening in your life. This being the case, why would you bother to worry about the small and the insignificant? Sure, some attention might need to be paid to sorting out the "normalcy" of your life. But any extra energy spent on these areas is a waste. Let's try a little tough love on ourselves. When we find ourselves worrying over something or getting angered up about an issue, ask ourselves “So what, who cares?”
Then admit that we owe ourselves so much more than this pointless waste of energy. We deserve to be delighted, inspired, peaceful and energized.

Who cares? I care. I care that you make the effort to spend your energy in a way that is meaningful, in a way that counts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

If You Only Have Six Months To Live

I don't want to sound morbid, nor anything in particular, it's just that I was reading Paulo Coehlo's Veronica Wants To Die and I just had this thought. You see, the story is about a young woman who committed suicide by swallowing a handful of sleeping pills thinking that her life is so normal with no excitement and sense and ending it is the best thing to do. Only to wake up after in a mental institution, and finding out that the result of her act was a heart malfunction that she only has a few days to live. Ironic, however, this made her rethink about her life and realized that there are more reasons to live, (read the book and find out what happens, it's not what you think!)

Anyway, so there, I had this thought, what if we only have six months to live our lives? What do we do with the time we have?

Who would wespend our time with? Are we spending our time with them now? Are there ways we can plan to spend more time with them? Can we more fully experience and treasure the time we spend with them now?

What would we want to do more of? Would we travel? Is there somewhere we’ve always dreamed of going but for some reason have never put the plan into action? Would we spend more time outdoors, or expressing our creativity, or listening to music? Would we wake up earlier? Would we eat differently? Are there things we would want to learn more about? Are there activities and hobbies we would want to try?

What would we let go of and do less of? Would we still want to go to our workplace (maybe not all day everyday) or would we quit immediately and never look back? Would we watch the same amount of TV or are there more meaningful things we’d want to do with our time? Would gossip and drama still interest us in our everyday conversations? Would we spend as much time playing computer games and surfing the net? Would we still enjoy the company of the people we spend most time with now?

If we wouldn’t continue to do what we’re doing now if we found out we only had six months left to live, then why are we doing it now?

Sure we might need to work in order to plan for a hopefully long and healthy future, but do we have to do the work we are currently doing if we don’t find it rewarding?

If we don’t start to make changes now, then when will we? If we acknowledge that the quality of our lives doesn’t reflect our vision of what it could be, then when do we suppose we will achieve an improved quality of life?

Don’t wait for a tragedy to be forced into rethinking our lives.

Today, do less of one of those things that isn’t included in the overall vision of your life, and do more of one of those things that is included. I know I will.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do You Know If You're Ego Driven?

Our ego is one of the most self-destructive mechanisms of a person's character and his or her abilities. As a matter of fact if we look at some people who have achieved success only to lose it all in the end, is almost always because of the ego. I lost many things and relationships in my life because of my ego, who got the better of me at times, and I don't know how to start again wher I have left off before. So I just let it all pass until regrets settle in and then it's too late.
Browsing the net I came upon a site that  shared some insights about our egos. Posted by  Srinivas Rao. Srinivas who is a volunteer for the Quality of Life Project. I am sharing them this time with you, my readers and siting my own experiences with this monster.

According to Srinivas, there are 6 signs that we are ego driven ,

1.Concern with Approval of others.
When I work, or whatever I do, I am constantly on the lookout for a positive approval or appreciation from others. So I do my thing the best I could, hoping to get a good opinion from other people. In a world where people are overly concerned with looking good in front of others it is easier to get carried away basking in the knowledge that people speak highly of you. But this ego-trip is an unattractive way to be appreciated, I have learned that if I come from a place of authenticity and just plain hard work, I will be much more well liked. That I should be free of the good opinion of other people,  (although easier said than done done!), "but comes with a sense of freedom and liberation that allows you to truly shine." - Srinivas

2.Fear of asking for help.
I never wanted to bother anyone, as much as I can restrain myself. I know that there are things that we can never really do by ourselves, but I try. This results to stress, worry, and self-loathing at times for me.  It has become my habit and now recognized as another ego-trip! Like whenever I move  to another place, I try to do it all alone, I am too shy to ask for any assistance from my friends, even though I find it so difficult to do by my own. I was afraid to be turned down or  let down (based on experiences). Although I made it, but it would have been better and quicker if I had asked for help. Yes, it was my ego telling me that "prove to them you don't need their help!"

3.Comparing and Competing
When driven by my ego, I would often compare myself to others and compete for the no. 1 spot. As Srinivas said, "Comparing yourself to others is the ego in one of its most vicious forms."  But it is a competition that I never won. Someone would alwas be better than me, and it made me feel dissatisfied.

4.The constant need for more
This is something I have made myself learn the hard way. I used to buy things that I really have no use of after the first excitement. I already shipped boxes of shoes, clothes and knick knacks back home which are just gathering dusts and taking so much space in my already small room. My ego entices me with thoughts of being "in" because I have this or that, but even then there will come a point when I may have everything, and getting more just for the sake of having it is too much, so this ego trip I already stopped, it's hard, but I have to stop before it turns into greed.

5.Lack of presence
I worry about my future, and always burdened by my past. I would often forget to live in the present, no matter how I gorge myself with wisdow from Eckhart Tolle about living moment to moment at the present.
But how do we really live in the present? How do we know if we are really present? Simply by letting go of all worries from the things we already did and for the things that still may or may not happen.
6.The need to always be right
Well, this is an ego-trip that is not my trip! Am glad to be free at least one of the six signs. I never really raise issues or feel the need to be always right. In fact I admit mistakes I make whenever I can. Although there are times when I sulk in it for a while before really admitting the wrong. So in turn, the ego trip is in the part where I would try to let it slide. Hoping that it will vanish into nothingness or pretend nothing ever occured. I am not the aggressive type nor a really persistent person, maybe that's why I never got far but am fine. I never have much complaints. Really.
Srinivas said. "These kinds of people will often get far in life because of their persistence and aggressiveness. But, these are also the people that will fail when they are on the brink of MASSIVE success."
I  am content with my small successes which I can handle and these in return gives me simple inner joys
"When you can learn to let go of the ego, the level of success and fulfillment you will achieve will be dramatic. Only with your ego in check will you have the ability to reach your full potential." - Srinivas

Monday, November 28, 2011

Do Whatever Moves You

There are times when it comes to making choices that affect how my life can be meaningful to me, I become indecisive. Somehow I know and I accept that my life, just like everyone else, is like a choose-your-own-adventure story book, I fear at most times that my choices will somehow be the wrong one, eventhough I really don't believe that there is such a thing as a right or wrong choice, maybe just some difference in how I see it.

Problem is, when an opportunity knocks that looks like more of self indulgence than life moving. If something might appear like just for fun or to perk an interest then I fear that I chose wrongly or that it won't satisfy a deeper purpose or a great meaning.

I know. It’s a bit crazy. I mean, so what, who cares? Right?
Unfortunately I have to care.

But then I kind of realized today the no one can really tell me what is and what is not meaningful or what does or does not have a deeper purpose. Sometimes I think people try to tell us just that, feeling higher on their own moral grounds, worse insists on their religious beliefs.
Seriously, if anyone would tell me that he or she want to sell fishballs on a corner of a busy street for the rest of his or her life, can I really say that it is a waste of one's life? I can’t can I? Our choices are ours alone and we need to follow what moves us.

All of this came to me while watching one of Ricky Martin's videos. There I was, listening to his amazing voice, mesmerised by his power and his movement. And I was hit by a lighting, so to speak.
 Ricky Martin is not singing about something really important. His chosen art is not profound nor it is changing the world. It has its effect for the people of the world, especially the gay community. In and of itself it doesn't have a deeper meaning or higher purpose, yet, this is how Ricky has chosen to spend his years because it moves him.
And I think this is the point of what I am blabbing about, he clearly loves what he does and does it amazingly. His energy and self expression move me because it moves him.

Does it really matter if his influence never changes anything? No.

Is it enough that his energy inspires the energy in others? Yes.

We must follow whatever moves us. It will be like a ripple on water in our human conciousness, sparking energy and inspiration in others.
You don't have to be great or philosophical. By simply being you, living with energy and joy. Maybe there will be times when it may be like self-indulgence for you or for those around you, who knows what greater impact this will have?

And in the end, you can’t do much more than be basically, essentially, you. Why would you even want to?

Friday, November 25, 2011

"What Is Real?"

I just finished watching the movie Beginners starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, a story between a father and his son, and their relationship when the father came out of the closet, at 75 years old to his son and got afflicted with lung cancer. It is a slow paced movie but very endearing, and the undelying theme about sadness, pain, acceptance, tolerance and of course love, it's effects and consequences and eventually how to survive the feeling. One part that struck me was when Ewan relates an excerpt from a children's book called the Velveteen Rabbit by Margaret Williams about a stuffed toy rabbit wanting to be played with and loved by a boy which had a very deep meaning, I kept rewinding and playing the narration until I got up and searched the internet about it. I found the excerpt and here it goes:

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The story goes on that the Velveteen Rabbit does become real because he is so loved by the boy. To cut it short, the story reminds us that when we are truly ourselves and truly loved we become genuine and real.

If I asked you, I am sure you would say that you unconditionally love those close to you, your partners, your friends your family. And I am sure in general we do unconditionally love those close to us. However, the test comes from day to day, in the annoying habits and the frustrating ways of being human. Most often, in the day to day monotony of our relationships we are taking account of who has done more, who calls more, who initiates more, who has sacrificed more. We get stuck in the ego of self protection. We don't love with a reckless abandon. We don't look at our partner or friends with appreciation and joy for the daily contributions they make into our lives. I know how difficult it is to really let go and LOVE someone for their REALNESS yet that is what we all long for, someone to take us in and look at our ugliness and love it anyway.

So today, my challenge to you, as you interact with those close to you, love them for who they are, for their failures and their successes for their hits and misses. Love them like the little boy loved the Velveteen Rabbit.

Blog Search Engine Sites

I recently enlisted my blog in a search engine site in order to provide me more traffic or more people to check out my sites, I am told to post this code AADBKKNH7TJR to verify my claim that I own andthe administrator of this site.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How Do I Love Saudi...Let Me Count The Ways

Since sooner or later I'd be saying adieu to this country that's been my home for the last, well, almost five years, especially with the current underlying issues of Saudization from which we might be sent home whether we like it or not, I would like to share the reasons I've gotten to love my stay here, even for a while. I will always remember the good and the bad, the experiences and the people I met. I will not deny the fact that when I go home, there's this part of me that will always miss Saudi Arabia.

1. Foods like the Kabsa, Dates, Shawarma at Mama Noura...Lebanese, Indian, Egyptian foods, sweets, Ful, Tamis, Samboosas, bhaklavas, and the Khuboos which was always served oversizingly overflowing.
2. Shisha or the "bubbly-bubbly" which I learned how to inhale and got a lot of coughing in the process!
3. The extreme weather from super hot summer to bone-deep winter.
4. The unholy working hours during Ramadan.
5. Learning Arabic, "Shokran," Sabr-khair," "Ki-fak. "Marhaba," "taal" and "Iqkrabeta" (not sure about the spelling but sounds like, which their favorite expression and don't ask me what it meant!)
6. Being reprimanded now and then by the police and mutawas for wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, having long hair, too graphic designed shirts, looking at women, forbidden to shoot pictures and asked for your iqama (resident permit card) as if you've done something illegal.
7. How cheap to buy things here in their currency that is, from clothing to food, to electronics to furniture.
8. My trips to Harajj to buy second anything, name it, you'll find it there.
9. The sights, like the Faisaliah Tower, Kingdom Tower, my trips to Dammam, Corniche, Fanateer, Khobar, Abha, Khamis, Jeddah. Red Sand, Hidden Valley, "Ashra-ashra"
10. The malls that weakens one's knees from walking the vast space and feasting on designer and labeled clothes and what have you.
11. The constant call to prayer 5 times a day, from early morning to sundown.
12. The "kabayans" I met here.
13. The fancy cars I see at Thalia St., from Lamborghini to Rolls Royce, the latest BMWs, Mercedes, the Toyota FJs, sports cars, SUVs, all in season models, being paraded and broke in by TEENAGERS to their delight!
14. Jarir Bookstore ESPECIALLY the one in Olaya St.
15. The Boofias for my daily breakfast of "Shukshuka Samoli" and "Chai-haleeb"
16. The trips to Batha.
17. IKEA.
18. My Arab friend's at work that were so nice to me.
19. The Indian tailor that repairs and fixed my shirts, pants and sleeves to fit me perfectly.
20. Shemaissy, where I live all these years.
21. The electricity bills that sends me into a rage whenever it is more that SR 50.00 a month!
22. The fruit and vegetable Saudi vendors across the street where I live.
23. Smothering myself with moisturizers and body lotions everyday due to the dry weather.
24. Eating spicy foods which I never thought I'd get to like, as in!
25. Okay, okay, the men, period.

I think there are more, but generally these are what will I miss most. So there.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life Beyond Me

There is something about 12 miss calls, an inbox and 8 messages that somewhat tells us that we are important. We are bombarded with a very inviting idea: "Someone needs me!" The sudden ring, buzz or pop up notes telling of an incoming message is a bit flattering, even if it demads our attention - "Check your inbox now! Someone is looking for you!"
Truly technology progressed and deepens our sense of importance by compeling us to establish and personalize this world. I am only a click away from "my documents," "my favorites," "my music," and "my pictures."
I came across this article called A Slice of Infinity, which parallels what I am trying to explain, there's this feeling of importance called "MeWorld." The article tells how the world of technology shaped our lives, filling it with individual "flattered selves" each living in its own insulated, personalized world. We become narcissic that was the result and constantly being shoved by media in all areas of our lives from Facebook to television and magazines that ever always taking account our personal lives.
Subtle it may seem to be, but the sad thing is that I realize we slowly lose sight of both our life and self. Despite all the necessity and excitement being with my computer to check what's going on, this is not "my world." Though I am flattered by the attention of MeWorld. I am not the center of the world and everything is not all about me.
I see people who cannot help themselves to be the center of attention, flatteries encourage them to pursue living a a senseless life. They create and do all these real and reel experience and accumulate unnecessary things just to be "in" and "be one."
There is so much more than that, we need to expand our lives outside the confinements of our computer screen and experience life as it comes. Technology can just be a "tool" to reach further but not necessary the life we need to live. Outside the confines of our computer screen is a world that has so much more to offer than "clicks and scrolls," experiencing life as we see, hear, smell and touch it will heighten our sense of oneness and participation in the ever evolving world around us.
We can see that the world revolves, but not for us, but for itself and we are just a part of it. Enclosing ourselves and creating the mini world and create a make believe self will deprive us of the "real" importance of a role that we play in the reality of life.
I used to stay home the whole two day weekend, but nowadays, I make sure I go out go around the block, my immediate vicinity, the city, feel the sun, see the sights, hear the sound and often I take them home with me, through the pictures I capture in my camera.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My World Through My Eyes - A Photo Blog

Hi guys, I created a new blog and called it My World Through My Eyes, and it's about my passion, photography. I'll posting there some shots I made both raw and edited (depends on my mood and inspiration) and hopefully you'll find it as interesting.

(Click on the Photo)

Do check it out, now and then and I would really appreciate your critiques and comments.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - A Post Hajj Holiday Result

It's been a week now since the Hajj holidays had ended and what did I do? Like all plans, when you laid it all out on your table, making sure each detail was thought meticulously...will almost always never happen. I never went anywhere, well except a few trips around the neighborhood for some photo opps, but mostly within the confines of my own room.
I did clean and rearranged my room, washed and ironed most my clothes and threw away some clutter and unnecessary things!
I did find some time to finish some books that had been collecting dusts on my bookshelf. I did watched movies and television series. Sleep, sleep and sleep. Had some "fun," well a few, sorry, can't help it! I found time for myself, as in just for myself.
Talking about time for myself, I had some inner searching and and thought a lot about my life for the past few years. Yes, here I go again, reviewing what I did and did not do. The mistakes I did and whether I learned from them or worst, repeat the same mistakes!
I had some hits and misses, there where highlights and low times. But I came to a question which I never know the answer to - what do to do when I don't know what do?
I don't know what to do next. I know that there are people out there  who don’t know what to do with their lives and those who constantly wonder when they're going to figure out the answer. We are all in the same boat, and whether we sink together or swim for our dear life is up to us. I don't know how many times have I asked myself that same question, I lost count. Sometimes I asked myself, "maybe I'd be a writer," and will try my best to write, but soon, because I get easily distracted, I lost interest and leave it.
There isn’t a day that goes by during the holidays without me wondering privately or aloud, what I should do with my life. I thought about it multiple times a day. It’s become worse looking back in years for a few reasons. One is due to the fact that I’ve realised that I cannot do what I am doing now forever as it simply isn’t stimulating enough for me to do all day for decades. The other reason is as I see around me and see the people I know and used to know (Facebook)  moving into the next phase of their lives and I feel the desire to move into the next phase of my life too. Deciding what form that meaningful interaction will take is more of a challenge than I’d bargained for.
In the end, I had understoond that it is a process of discovery, about ourselves and what we want. It’s not as simple as taking a career test. It is a process of trial and error. It is a journey. We’ve been taught that we should have this figured out for the most part by the time we leave school, which is crazy. It is natural to feel frustrated and despairing. But when we start to feel hopeless, there is always that voice inside us that we need to listen to and follow, over and over, for this voice will be our guide, we have to trust ourselves and what are we capable of, detach from our mind and emotions of trying to think hard and reaching the height of our frustrations, instead feel our uniqueness for the fact we have arrived to this question we are someone special. The majority of people don’t ask themselves this question, they’re quite happy to work along within what everyone else is doing, and if they’re not happy, they will find ways to justify what they’re doing. Let us inspire ourselves, there are a lot of books to read, blogs, movies even songs to alleviate our frustrations and hopelessness and lastly we need to act on it. When we don’t know what to do for sure, try something that might be on the right path. Think of maybe changing into a different career and that there's a need to retrain. This may seem like a waste of time, but the important thing is that it started some momentum which may begin to feel like action is possible. From this learn a little more about what's needed to do, and find another lead about what to do next, and see how begins the move forward and how begins a feeling of excitement about the journey again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Complaints of Discontent

Discontent, are we familiar with this word? When was the last time we settled with something just to "upgrade" it with something else? Times are harder and money just passed by our hands, but the troubles of discontent breaks us in many ways we could ever know, given that we notice and believe me, we never noticed.
I came across an article written by another blogger named Mirella from Perth, Australia  and it struck me how discontentment really took charge of our lives. So having read it, I thought about my life and how I relate with it.
It was not too long ago, maybe many years ago when the advent of modern technology was just a dream and to communicate means to share the same space with another person and talk about an endless array of things. But men are wise and intelligent (also shall I say, generally lazy?) so someone invented the telephone and soon no one needs to leave home to talk to anybody, you just lift up a handset and dial the number away. Then again, men became more intelligent (and also more lazy!) that mobile phones where invented, moderated and made handy that anywhere you are in the world, you can talk to anybody you wished. Where am I heading with this? I used the mobile phone as an immediate sample of how discontent we are. You bet? What's your mobile now? Wasn't it you were just happy with a 3310 Nokia before? Now it's either you're owning and IPhone4 or trying your best to come up with an obscene amount of money to have one. Did I hit home?
I am not washing my hands in any of these for I am guilty as charged. It is hard not to be at par with what is society is coming to, we don't life to be made fun of or taunted and humiliated so we do our best to belong, despite drowning in debt and living way beyond our means. Discontentment is an argument like religion, it's a no win situation, depends on another's point of view and state of being, each has it's owns pros and cons.
Of course one main reason that consumerism was rampant and effective because there was a lot of choice in what we could consume. Advertising and social technologies existed. Do we still remember before that when we bought something it was generally made to last, rather than to be upgraded within a few months?

Whatever the reasons, it seems clear that what consists the good life not so long ago is now considered, at best, the OK life. Unless people are constantly upgrading what they already have, there is always a discontent in our lives. Maybe you feel it, I know that I do.
I like to consider myself a pretty self-aware person. I try to study my motivations and feelings and analyse what’s really going on. Personally I know that when I feel the urge to upgrade and to start looking for something better and newer, it’s to avoid reality.

So why do people feel the need for new things, better things? Is it a real need or a perceived need? I think we can agree it’s most likely we "think" we need it. Once people have spent time and money on buying something they enjoy for a brief period before they begin to feel discontent. It’s a discontent with life and a lack of meaning and fulfilment. Yet, because it’s such a shallow and uncomfortable feeling, without any means to be understood, it gets manifested as an external need. Turning our discontent into a dissatisfaction with what we have means that we now have a real problem to solve. And, solving it often takes time to accomplish and so we put the discontent at bay for a certain amount of time. But they’ll be back the soonest something new were introduced in the market.
Instead of looking for more ways to establish a meaningful life and thinking about our impact on the world as a whole, we take the far easier path of busying ourselves with accumulating more.

I want a new phone, a new car, more shoes and pretty clothes like most people do. And yet I’m also very aware that when I feel a strong need for any of these, there’s something else going on within me. When I start to feel that I need a new something and I start imagining what my life will be like when I have it, I recognise that I’m thirsty for meaning. The feelings are strong and yet the thought of trying to deal something as meaning brings great stress and a sense of urgency to create change. While I don’t know what to do just yet to stop being discontent entirely, the awareness is enough to stop me going too far into wanting and needing more.

The Human Experience

I just finished watching this docu-movie The Human Experience by a bunch of New York City guys and I had a hell of an experience. Sounds exaggerated but in all honesty, it blew me away. It was based on actual "human experience" by these guys that won a lot of awards, citations and recommendations from different groups from political, educational and religious groups from around the world.
What made this movie authentic is that the guys immerse themselves into a world we so much take into a stride, turn our back on and for granted.
We look at our lives as something we have to live in order to be successful in all aspects, career, finances, wealth that we often overlook the most important thing, how to experience to be human. Love, compassion, brotherhood, understanding and peace.
I was in a roller coaster ride of emotions watching the film and it made me look into my life as to what am I here for and what am I supposed to be doing with it. We sometimes assume that is it enough that we have a great job, a house, a car, a nice family and good savings. These are what life is all about, these made us happy. But have you seen life in another perspective? In another man's shoes?
The four young men did and it changed their lives. The movie was divided into four "experiences" and each touched their lives in ways only hearts would know. They became a homeless beggar on the streets of New York, they saw the plight of abandoned and abused children in Lima, Peru, talk and be with people living and dying of AIDS and Leprosy in Africa, and in each segment they share what they have learned and how it touched their lives. The last segment hit home and made me cry, as one of the young men has not seen his abusive alcoholic father for 10 years, and it made him angry, and a set up was made for him to meet his father and confront him. But his experiences mellowed him and softened his heart and the moment he saw his father, he just hugged him and told him how much he loved and misses him and that he already forgave him. It was so heartfelt that my tears kept rolling down my cheeks. Then he told his father about his "human experience" and that the most important thing, whether we experience the good and the bad, life is still good and it is worth living.
Truly a remarkable film, made me think about the things I take for granted and that life is more meaningful when we look at it in another way. Our family is the most important thing, the love we get from them is enough to make us complete and that no matter how we get battered and bruised by life, we can always heal, and recuperate with our family. That to some people, their joy is not found on the things they have but on the things they experience with life. A piece of bread for a homeless person is joy, to play with a boy with no hands and only one leg and see him laugh and learn to master his existing appendage is joy, to see the smiles and the tears of happiness from the people who are sick with no hope of surviving simply because you visit them and you cared is joy. To forgive is joy. I think that's what life is all about, to experience it, to see through the joy and the pain and still keep your heart, to reach out, to feel, to live it out, and to love, that's all that matters, for in the end, no material thing in this world can ever replace our human experience.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

12 Laws of Karma - The Law Of Growth

It simple says that wherever we go, there we are. Known as the Law of Growth, change should always begin with ourselves. If we try to escape life in order to flee from any situation, it will be pointless because the problem is ourselves. Wherever I  go, I will still be "there" with all my issues and problems.
Our human nature often suggests we have the power to change everything and everyone around us, this law says that we have to start with ourselves instead. Because it is the beginning of true growth toward clarity, enlightenment and eventually fulfillment. It will be easy to change circumstances outside ourselves in the hope of finding peace and joy, in reality that true peace and joy come when we change ourselves, inside and out, that will affect everything around us.

A 9-Day Hajj Holiday Activities and Reflections

At last, it is the start of a 9-day no-work day! It is my hope that it would be filled with exciting activities and productivity, creativity and inner-searching.
I have some plans going in and out of Riyadh with people here, will practice photography and dare to collect as many pictures as possible and have it critiqued and selected for my plan of holding my own mini photo exhibit when I go home for a vacation next year.
Be creative and try to redo my room and finish some projects I already put on hold for quite sometime. Organize clutter in my room and in my mind!
Finish some books, hang out do movie marathons,  and the rest would be for sleeping and resting.

But I will try to find time to reflect about my life here in Saudi Arabia, up to this point I still don't know if I am a success or a failure here. I must admit four years is less time to evaluate, but I know myself, when I start to ask questions about my existence in a particular place and time, it is time to think, to weight things, the pros and cons.

To start with my reflections I will admit is that I failed tremendously in establishing friendships here. I think there is something wrong with me. Maybe I try to get too close and eventually got too comfortable and didn't think about the words I say and things I do offends. Maybe because I always see the bad first before the good, and no matter how I bring up the good, the bad always turns me off. Maybe sometimes I talk too much and too little. I really don't know, but I am left with almost nobody here. It is lonely.

I hope these holidays will bring some good in me, irregardless. Will let you know in these coming days.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Feeling Like A Nobody

It’s easy to get discouraged and feel like a nobody. Maybe doing something drastic or praise-worthy, change of group or circle of friends is the answer. I look forward to the day when my  name is called and people finally see and hear me.

However, being known doesn’t change the problem of being a nobody. It just changes the location. Now instead of being an unknown in my old group, I am unknown in a bigger crowd.

The fact is, even famous people get lost in the crowd. It’s a tough reality, especially when I feel like alienatedor worst maybe not needed anymore. Over the past weeks, I’ve had my share of concerns that I am just another person in the crowd, a passing friend, even thinking everything I do to another person even in the "goodest" of intentions are almost always misconstrude.

Now that I start to feel like a nobody, I think I need to give myself a mini-pep talk, which includes these four points in one form or another:

1. Lower my expectations.

I am a little naive, and I am too trusting at times that I got run over. Honestly I don't mind cause I put people on a pedestal, especially those I get to care about and loved. Problem is, the moment they slip up, I tend to lose heart and I find it hard to held them in high regards again. So I tend to keep distant which is mistaken that I didn't care, but what I am trying to do is just keeping distance in order to see them in another perspective and make clear to me why I put them in such a high importance in my life. Sometimes I see why, and sometimes I don't. But I was already given the cold shoulder treatment by the time I find out.

2. I speak my mind too often

I am not sure whether it is right or wrong to speak one's mind outloud, and say the right words at the wrong time, or the wrong words at the right time. I forget that people can be sensitive at times and I get to be insensitive, and people can be insenstive and I am just plain stupid.
3. Misunderstood

Frankly speaking, I would rather not talk nor act on something or anything, 'cause  I am always misunderstood. But even if I chose not to move or say anything, still it is understood that I, yes, didn't care at all.

4. I care too much and get too close for comfort

I learned the hard way that getting too close to anyone is not a good thing, there should always be a space in between or what do we get? You guess it right, when two bodies are too close , as my physics teacher told me, it creates friction. Oh well, so much for being a close friend, I got too comfortable thinking that everything I do or say will just be taken on a stride. I was dead wrong.

So being a nobody because of these points really sucks, but nevertheless opens my mind and eyes to the degree of relationship I have with the people I came to know. So what now? I am not sure at all, really, I am too far to the people in which I am not a nobody and I have to live with this feeling for now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Morals 2011 Saudi Arabia

It's been a while since I last read the daily paper and today I asked our reception guard if he has an extra English paper, smilingly he gave me one. I am not expecting much to read, so and so news about Gadhafi's family and fortune, the ongoing war in Syria, price hikes and so on and so forth. But my face brighten up when I caught sight of something quite unusual. no, not unusual, it can even be unexpected and yes, surprising. I never thought I'd see one or even hear such an event ever occuring in this part of the world.

In the paper today was this article about a beauty pageant held in Al Qatif in the Eastern Province, although not the traditional parade of beauties in bikinis and gowns, this one is quite different.
At first thought, I cannot imagine how the contest went through, or maybe they removed their abayas and tarhas and only wear them again for the photoshoots? Or were they judge for the most beautiful eyes? I find it quite amusing seeing the women in sashes, crowns and boquets in their black covers, until I read the whole article.
When Miss Universe and or Miss World rely much on the physical aspect of the contest, this one is all about "inner beauty," pun intended. This young women were judged base on their achievements in school, home, social events, community service as well as religious duties. The contest is open to all young women and this year as the news stated there were 385 participants. These young women once applied were closely monitored for a few months. "They must enroll in educational and training programs and apply what they learn in their courses, including morals, Islamic education, psychology, human rghts affairs and child development," - Amal Al-Sibal, Saudi Gazette 24 Oct 2011
After taking such activities these women were assessed and interviewed and the young woman who is most capable of servicing her community is chosen as Miss Morals.
Surely a twist to what we know of beauty pageants. Or course this event is for women only and held in women only venue. One thing to add is that this has been going on for 4 years already.
The goal of Miss Moral pageant is "to bring out the best in the young people in the Kingdom and to produce ethically guided social leaders."
It is also suggested by the organizers that a pageant of the same kind would be held for the young men of the country, thus Mr. Morals, and that I have to see!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unbecoming Of An Adult

Was talking via Facebook Video with my sister and her daughter yesterday which was great for I miss them very much. I was moping these past few days due to some issues that they "forgot" to tell me about. I was a little hurt by it and being the eldest I felt I was left out (add to that the recent incident at work, and what do I got?...never mind.) But all melted away when I watched my niece happily playing with her toys and the new tricks like clappijng her hands and doing some dance movements. Hearing her child-talk and simply looking at her mom, in such a way that she adores her. Wish I was with them with my camera. Anyway, here's the real issue,

Who do we think of when we hear the words: pouting, moping, and the silent treatment?
When I think of these words I usually think of  kids, babies, or even a teenager who hasn’t got their way. These are pretty typical responses for people who haven’t got the emotional maturity of adults.

But wait, we’re how old?

Yes, tantrums, pouting and emotional blackmail are not just for babies anymore. If we have ever been receiving an adult tantrum or pout fest then you know what I’m talking about. If it’s our child, parent, sibling, friends, co-workers who often behaves in these ways there are some things we can do to cope and not get sucked into their drama.

Let's stop taking it personally. Easier said than done, I should know. But remember as I learned that we can’t control how others act, react or deal with issues. We can only control how we react or respond to what they are doing or how they are treating us. So what I did was distance myself from what’s going on, get some air and then respond in a manner that allows me to stay true to myself. People only do what they can get away with. We should not allow someone to treat us poorly or disrespect us or they will continue to do it.  
I had this done whenever I am a little bit full of other people's drama, I simply walk away. If we are being treated poorly or disrespected don’t be afraid to walk away. It may be really difficult especially if we don’t want to rock the boat but by walking away we are sending a very clear message that we will not tolerate their behavior. It may be awkward at first but given enough time they’ll get the picture.

I read that we don’t have to be part of the problem.  If we comply with their “demands” or bend over to get them to stop pouting we are giving in to their behavior. It’s easy to say but much harder to do. No one likes to be ignored by someone they love and most of us would do anything to get them to talk to us again. But by doing that “anything” we are telling the other person that it’s okay to manipulate me to get what you want. If we’ve been putting up with someone’s adult tantrums for a while then it’s pretty obvious that we love them dearly. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t tolerate it from a co-worker or casual acquaintance. In any event we need to stand up for ourselves if we are to put an end to this behavior.

I had my adult tantrums and nobody cared with how I felt, in my "aloneness" I realized I was just being childish. It was no big deal to start with. I was the adult with a tantrum and it didn't made me feel good or even made me feel I am a better person.
A note to those of you having adult tantrums, be they at your home or in your workplace, the tantrums are really unbecoming. Really.

Love In Between Tradition and Beliefs

Weekend, like every weekend before, I just stayed home and watched movies, something to pass time, if I am not reading or mastering my camera. One thing about me is that I love movies that is not conventional, something special that not a lot of people would like to talk about  or would shy away to see, or am I being too indifferent? Anyway, it has been part of my daily internet surfing to find good GLTB movies, not the exquisitely sensual types, ok, yeah, sometimes, but those dramas, comedies, romance and suspence movies that basically about the lives and loves of the GLTB community.
Without me knowing it, I finished watching two movies that really tackled very sensitive topics but were dealt with lightly and semi-lightly. It's about love overcoming trandition and religion. One is gay and the other is lesbian.
My very first lesbian movie, and I never thought I'd love it this much, I Can't Think Straight stars two gorgeous women who's portrayal of closeted lesbians just caught me off guard, not to mention being a Catholic-Arab and a Muslim-Hindi (and how about that for starters!) made the movie interesting and poignant. Both families were traditional, and both were expected to follow their parent's choices for them, even when it comes to love. Family loyalty and respect were jeopardized when they fell in love. Good thing the setting was in the modern age, so people tend to be a little bit open, well after a lot of denials and dramas. Enough said. One thing though, I will never looked at lesbians the same way again.
The other is called A Touch Of Pink, where a gay Muslim-Pakistani who's mother visits gets to find out that her son is living with a man whom she thought first were a housemate. But eventually the truth was revealed and broken hearted not to see his only child get married and have grandchildren leaves. But mothers are mothers, they cannot abandoned their child however their child turn out to be. So a reconciliation and acceptance lead to a happy ending. Enough said again.
I will not divulge much of the movie, cause it is better if you people of the blog watch it, it will be worth the three hours in front of the TV, I promise. The sexual content were a minority, and were dealt with artistically and as a part of the story and not graphic.
I really believe in love,  love that transcends through the hardest of adversities. After all, we are here because of love, so why some people put a label on it? Why we sometimes define love? Love is beyond everything we understand it to be, and if we cannot understand the very core from which love evolves, we will never get pass the point of prejudice, hate, limiting beliefs, indifference and intolerance. Does it matter when two men or two women fall in love? Are there really rules in love?  Is it written somewhere that love should only be between a man and a woman? There are so many debatable questions about love, and to add to the pointless argument, the subject of tradition and religious beliefs, combine that with narrow-mindedness and closed hearts and minds and what have we got? A totally messed up world.
We are made to love and feel love, share love and be loved. It makes us human, it makes us divine. It's our one way ticket to eternity, and we have but a short time to learn about love.
But human as we are, we  love to scare and limit ourselves by setting rules, religion and all those beliefs that imprisoned our souls and hardened  our hearts and not to mention closed our minds.

These two stories had in them powerful messages about love, being true to oneself, to be brave to stand and fight for one's freedom to choose whom to love. No matter and whatever people might say, nobody and nothing can ever tell us who we are and how we should be. We may be outcasted, disowned, hated and be judged, but as long as we stay true to who we are, nothing else matters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Drown In It

"Go all the way or go home."
"Give it everything you've got."
"Go for it."
"It's all or nothing."
These are all the same and meant only one thing, to get involve fully in what we are doing. BUT not so far that we drown in it.
When are are working on something, talking with a friend, even running a mile, whatever it is that we are doing at the moment, give it all we've got. Participate fully.
I know we had this so called "ningas kugon" attitude, we start something we don't finish, or because our heart or mind are not into it, we do things lightly and foolishly. And it should not be so. Sometimes we are too involve that we loose ourselves, this we should be aware of.
Give it our full attention. Remember the most important person is the person we are with at the moment. However, do not let ourselves get carried away that we forget about the limits and boundaries we need to set otherwise we will be overstepping the line and become someone too controlling and self-worthy. Our full undivided attention, to make things and situations better and giving ourselves and not our egos, a pat on a shoulder that we did the right thing.

Feel – the wind, the sun, the rain, the heat, the cold, the empathy, the compassion.

Sense – the emotion, the fear, the anger, the adrenaline, the wonderment, the joy.
Hear – the cars, the chatter, the thunder, the voice of our companion, the laughter, the sobs of our friend

Then when we’re done … let it go. Move on. Forget about it.
Good or bad, big or small … don’t drown in it, we often were in a sinking boat and we keep climbing into it, wouldn't it better to let go and just swim ashore?

Friday, October 14, 2011

3 Important Questions To Consider

I came across this review of a short story by Leo Tolstoy called The Three Questions, and got intrigued, so I searched for it and eventually read it.
The short story has 3 questions stated and I’m willing to bet that you’ll get 1 answer right and 2 wrong. The questions are:

1. When is the most important time?

2. Who is the most important person?

3. What is the most important thing you can do?

When is the most important time?

If you answered “now”, then you are right. It’s not the past; it’s not the future, but right here right now.
Why now? The past is just a memory. There’s nothing we can do to change what has already happened. It’s done, it’s over, it’s gone and there is no getting it back.
The future is still just an idea. It’s our thought of what’s going to happen and sometimes our prediction is right and sometimes it isn’t. The problem with the future that we can become attached to it and when things don’t work out as planned we feel lost as “this wasn’t the way it's supposed to happen.”
That leaves us with now. This very hour, minute, second is all we really have. It’s the most important time and it’s where we can achieve anything.

I’m guessing this is the question you got right.

Who is the most important person?

Most people will answer that the most important person is me, my spouse, or my kids. I think I need to disagree with you. Let me tell you why.
The most important person is the person you are with. Whenever you are alone with someone, that certain person is the most important person, regardless of who the person is and why are you together. And when you are sitting alone by yourself, you guessed it, YOU are the most important person.

Got it wrong? How about this one.
What is the most important thing you can do?

The most important thing you can do is to care. Care about anyone, we are all human and connected to one another by divine design. To care simply means to set aside our pride and bury our egos. It sets the stage for good intentions and blessings.

The most important time is now, the most important person is the person you are with, and the most important thing you can do is to care.

Life gives no assurances and we have no idea of how the future will come. The people we are with now may be saving our life in 10 minutes time, they may be the last people we will ever see. How do we want to act in the last moments of our life? Alternatively, maybe they are the next to go, how do we want to act with them in the last moments of their life? It may sound morbid but we are all here for a very short time and we may not know when or how but eventually we will all go.

We cannot change what came to pass, the future is still uncertain, but this very minute is ours to enjoy. How are we spending it? Are you watching TV when you should be apologizing or saying “I love you” to someone? Should you be making steps to getting out of debt or taking time for yourself?

What should you be doing with this gift of time? This very hour, minute, second.

Things Are Hard Sometimes

I have learned that there are two main things that stops us from staring anything new, fear of the unknown and because we think it is going to be hard.

Most of the time we look at a new venture with great excitement, at first. Give it at least 10 minutes and we have all but find a thousand and one reasons to give it up simply because it is going to be "hard."

Of course it will be. Everything we try for the first time is going to be hard. Maybe even too hard. But it does not mean we should give it up.

If we were asked, how do you eat an elephant? Not that we really do, but methaporically, and the answer should be, one bite at a time. This methapor is one of the best way to explain the thought of taking huge tasks. Sometimes we look at a new responsibility, job, task or a new endeavor as we would look at the elephant. Big, huge, intimidating, unconquerable.
It’s only when we breakdown the tasks before us that it actually starts to look do-able even easy. Everything is hard when we don’t have experience, guidance or information.

If I look back at anything that’s ever been hard initially (like going here in Saudi and going through all those experiences) I'd quickly discover that the difficulty I have had was just a thought now. Did I give up? Well maybe on some of them, but I guarantee not on all of them.

If we’ve learned to write, walk, talk, rode a bicycle, if we’ve ever written a test, or organized a space that seemed impossible we've overcome “hard” and have succeeded.

Things start off hard and then get easier. And I think life is just like that. We need to learn to be patient and look at things on a different perpective if from the first it looks a bit impossible.
Things get easier the more we learn about them, the more talk about them and the more we do them.

Next time something stops us from doing something because it’s going to be “hard”, stop, relax, think back, break it down and carry on. Nothing is ever too hard if we want it bad enough, right?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I Tend To Feel Crappy - In Response To "Will Just Keep To Myself"

I am being alienated even those whom I thought were my close friends. My world is getting smaller. I feel lonely.

I don’t want to minimize any of these things. It’s important to get it out of me and they are indeed real issues. But going through it day, after day, after day can leave me wondering what’s the point?
Now if I let myself get caught up in the drama it creates, there’s no wonder I could foresee gloom. I may take this on board, internalize it and it can really start to affect me. I start to feel really crappy.

While I think it’s important to be aware of events and what’s going on around me. I think I also need to limit what I take in.

Am I the type who really lets the issue get to me, who worries and is consumed by things that are really outside of my control? I think there is hope still, I don't have to feel crappy! With a few simple choices I can turn myself around.
In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the very first habit he writes about is being proactive. According to Covey’s definition people can be classified into two generic groups: reactive people and proactive people.
Reactive people tend to focus on things that are outside of their control, things like world hunger, the weather or terrorism.
Proactive people, on the other hand, tend to focus their attention on things over which they have some degree of influence, such as their job, their hobbies, and exercise.
The difference is worrying and getting down about things we can’t personally change vs. “minding our own business” (for the lack of a better phrase) and focusing on things we have a direct influence over.

So what can I do?

I am the reactive type of person and is tired of feeling crappy, I will try focusing my attention instead on things I can actually do something about. Practice my photography and be good at it. Try to write more, blogging, extend my circle of acquaintances and hopefully make new friends.
Instead of worrying about it and fretting over an issue I should just brush it off and simply move on.
Moping about things over which I have no control does nothing except make me feel bad, dis-empowered and perhaps hopeless. I should take a good look at where I spend my energy and time thinking. Is it making me happy or sucking the life right out of me?

I don’t have to feel crappy because of all the bad that seems to be going on around me lately. Focus on the right things and I can still make a difference and feel great about it.