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I once worked for a C-level executive who liked to establish loyalty by bad-mouthing others. I think the intention was to convey “you and I have a special relationship” when mentioning other employees’ short-coming. But what I heard was, “I’ll throw anyone under the bus. The minute you’re out of favor, I’ll do the same to you.” NO THANKS!

I enjoy meeting new people and forming new friendship.  Most of the time, we meet up in cafes where the casual setting makes it easier to get to know one another.  Recently, I met up with a new friend at a tea lounge.  We ordered some tea and a small fruit platter to share.

While chatting and enjoying our conversation, I picked up a piece of cantaloupe.  Unfortunately, the cantaloupe escaped my grasp and landed on the table.  Without as much as a second thought, I picked it up and ate it (5 seconds rule, anybody?)  Boy, was that a mistake!  Not only was it not the most sanitary thing to do, my behavior probably thoroughly disgusted my friend.

The problem is, I developed the bad habit of eating off the table from the time I dine at home, alone, on my clean dining table!  While the behavior is relatively harmless in private (other than perhaps eating germier food than if they hadn’t fallen on the table), the repeated behavior conditioned my brain into an automatic response when I am out in the public with friends.  The result?  A poor impression is permanently burned into the minds of those I meet.  This can be especially bad when it takes place during the first meet-up!  Talk about a down-right terrible first impression!

What is the lesson here?  Private behavior can rear its ugly head in public, and if one is not careful, it can ruin a good thing!  It’s always best to behave well when nobody is looking as it is when everybody is looking!

I was chatting with my sister this morning about a pesky relative of ours.  This relative is a control freak and likes to involve herself in other people’s business.  Most of the time, her effort is futile because they are not only not welcomed, they are an impediment to other’s lives.

As some of you know, I decided to switch career after I realized my originally chosen path was not the right one for me.  I was not happy; in fact, I was downright miserable a lot of times.  However, the path I originally chose is quite glamorous from the outside.  As such, this relative of ours likes to talk up the career as one of the best around!  Not only that, in her mind, getting out of the career must mean only one thing — that one just couldn’t “hack” it!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

For most of my childhood, teenage, and young adult life, I was on cruise control.  Many things came easy for me, and as such, I never gave much thought to how exactly I wanted to live my life or found out what was the purpose of my life.  That is, until I ran into some not-so-pleasant experience and was forced to evaluate what it is that I really want!

For a period of time, dark cloud loomed over me as I dug deep into my soul to find myself and my voice.  When I finally emerged from those dark days, I realized I was in the wrong field (among other things).  The revelation itself was one thing; the decision to do something about it was quite a different beast.  It took me quite a bit more time to build up the courage to stop what I was doing and start pursuing what I really wanted to do.

Why was it so hard?  It was hard because I had to start from scratch, and starting from scratch meant I was behind the career “schedule”.  I also faced ridicules from people such as my pesky relative who implied that I left my field because I could not “hack” it.  Ultimately, none of that mattered or should even compute into the equation of my life, but they bothered me nonetheless — I am human, after all!  Luckily, I had strong enough of a conviction in my decision (and lots of supportive friends and family) to persist and eventually triumph over the obstacles and the naysayers.

I think in life, all worthwhile endeavors take courage and persistance to win.  They say nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and it’s very true.  Easy may be the preference for the short term, but it’s definitely not the long term solution.  If you want to do something you love, find the courage in you to do it!  And when the going gets tough, surround yourself with supportive friends and/or family! Having gone through the experience myself, I assure you the rewards is worth a million times the work it takes to get there!

Every Friday is Wisdom Friday.  It’s just a way for me to share with my readers the little gems of life that I’ve learned either during the week or living life in general.

Many of us know that when it comes to the physical condition of our body, we either use it (continue to exercise everyday) or lose it (no longer as strong or can endure as much).  But I find the concept of “use it or lose it” equally applicable to many aspects of our lives.

For example, I noticed that my memory is not as robust as it used to be.  I have become more forgetful than before, and I am not particularly happy about it.  When I dug a little bit deeper to understand why this is happening to me, I notice that I don’t exercise my memory brainpower as much as I used to (thanks in part to technology — why remember anything when you can just look it up or set up reminder alerts?)  Use it or lose it!

Another aspect that I find this concept equally applicable is in my practice to be mindful.  When I first decided to do this, I paid very close attention to the way I live and interact with others.  I made very conscious decisions to be observant, and I keep my attitude in check and my mind very open.  Lately, however, I have not put as much energy into my mindfulness practice.  As a result, I notice I have regressed quite a bit.  Again, use it or lose it!

What do you think?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section!

Every Friday is Wisdom Friday.  It’s just a way for me to share with my readers the little gems of life that I’ve learned either during the week or living life in general.

I am not sure if this true for everybody, but I find that it is infinitely easier to change myself if I first adjust my attitude to fit the new me.  For example, I’ve been trying to practice patience for most of this year.  Patience comes in many forms, but for me a lot of it is about having compassion towards others who have done me wrong.  I realize a lot of the mishaps that lead to my angry state are unintentional, yet many times they anger me just the same.

For most of this year, I tried hard to control my anger without much success.  The problem with that approach is I was treating the symptoms and not the cause.  It wasn’t until I actively tried to adjust my attitude that I began to make progress.  In my case, instead of artificially telling myself the incidents should not bother me, I told myself there was no reason to be angry because the consequences of what happened were unintentional.  The more I actively changed my attitude towards the environment that triggered my anger in the first place, the more I was able to divorce myself from anger.  The result?  I am proud to say that I have not been angry in over a month as of this writing!