Contact Lenses

In 2010, I was asked by a good friend of mine to perform singing in a band on stage for the Cultural Night our school had organized. I remember not being nervous about singing on stage in front of hundreds of people, for there was a stronger fear distracting my mind at the time, you guessed it, wearing contact lenses. I know, I know, some of you are like, What Now?!, but some of you are probably feeling emphatic, that you’d understand the little transparent lens is a phobia no less. When I was first introduced by the optometrist of the contact lenses, I was feeling nothing about it. It was only after he took half an hour to help put on one side of the lens in my eye that I started worrying in my little head about how tough this thing was. The second lens took more time than the first because my eyes were feeling more uncomfortable. After that, he took them out with ease and started teaching me how to put them on. I received my very first lens-wearing lesson and it was a tragic failure. I kept checking the clock and it took him approximately 45 minutes before giving up. He told me this, three years ago there was this client of his who simply couldn’t wear lenses on his own, which he believes (I think he still does) that I am the similar case. He’d advised me to go to him before the event so that he could help put on those lenses on me. I went home and believed in this message for seven years. I’ve gone through events which I needed to put on makeup and dress up, either begging my sister, my mom or asking a friend just to help me with putting on contacts. It was a constant reminder of my failure. Until two days ago, again, before a huge event in which I needed to put on contact lenses, I finally successfully defeated the false belief, conquered my fear, and achieved one of my personal triumphs in life. All thanks to a video I’ve found on Youtube.

The success brought me so much joy, I was nearly bursting into tears. It has just proved once again that I can do anything if I were to set my heart and mind to it.

Apart from my optimistic belief of anything is possible, I must say, that a stronger motivation behind me finding ways to overcome my mountain was the imminent future Author Michio Kaku wrote about lenses,

“…in the future, the Internet will be everywhere – in wall screens, furniture, on billboards, even in our glasses and contact lenses. When we blink, we will go online.”

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Busyness Kills Kindness

Ever since I wrote the post about Litter, I’ve understood why at times, people would allow a piece of trash on the floor to stay right where they were. There are simply more urgent matters to be taken care of rather than bending down and picking up trash, and worse, when there was no trash bin in the vicinity. At the spectrum of kindness, we have one of the far ends of simply helping to pick up litter and then there’s going all out to help others without hopes of getting something in return.

Knowing my own calendar which is packed with personal growth development activities, work, family, social gatherings, house chores and whatnot, I can’t help but admit I feel more than a little overwhelmed. On the other hand, I always like to remind myself of what Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory said, we have to take in nourishment, expel waste and breathe in enough oxygen to keep our cells from dying. Everything else is purely optional. Preach. But I still find myself unable to apply it. I mean, every time when I have to make a small choice of whether to do it or not to do it, it seems like someone else has already made that choice for me with the words like obligated or compulsory or voices in my head saying you’re so selfish if you’re not doing this

I hate the version of me when I’m busy. It’s quite dangerous to be around people when I’m truly busy and I have to remind myself not to talk, unless I can talk succinctly, because my mind is focused on the thing I’m desperately trying to finish and talking would just take away my focus and renders me pissed, or worse, couldn’t take away my focus which results in me talking stupid things.

After adjusting myself in my new work environment, I’ve observed some of my colleagues who are busy as well yet able to keep themselves composed almost all the time and still get the job done. I admire them so much and wish I could too, someday, find my peace. It reminds me of the song “don’t worry, be happy” by Bobby McFerrin that goes like this, “in life, we have some trouble, but when you worry, you make it double.”

Being busy makes me less aware of other people’s struggles and battles. I simply stopped caring, stop being concerned, and put priority for that matter to be done. It’s a vicious cycle. The thing is, we’re probably not busy at the same time. That’s why it makes organizing a simple gathering, a party or a vacation with everybody okay with the time is extremely tough. You’re lucky if you don’t agree with me.

I don’t know if we should learn to be less busy or kinder. What I think is that when someone isn’t free to help you, don’t take it personally, he or she is probably more upset about it than you are. Get help from another more available people or sources. Perhaps you’ll feel better if you consider the enemy as time,  not your friend or someone whom you put your trust into. You might be his or her priority at a certain time, but something or someone else can be more important than you. Learn to live with it and try to understand because kindness takes time, and time, my dear, is bloody precious.

Driving Vs. Living

Managing life is much like driving an automobile. We drivers don’t pretty much appreciate the comments given by the passengers. Some of the passengers react too quickly, they shriek, they curse, and offer unsolicited advice however polite they may be. But the driver with a license is directly behind the steering wheel and therefore needs to be given some sort of respect and faith; as in, we don’t like to be taught by others on how to live our life, which way to go, how to make a turn. Sometimes even when others are just kindly hinting us about a shortcut, it’s like we’d rather discover it on our own, make our own exploration.

Passengers in the car resemble our family, loved ones or friends who share almost the same view but not exactly the same as the driver. The driver has a blind spot as everybody who drives knows. Passengers, usually the one sitting next to us, tend to watch closely to their left with their purest intention of wanting to help or to make sure the driver is aware of that blind spot. In life, however, we have more than one blind spots, we have such limited view. Hence, it’s nice to have someone close to remind us to to be cautious and humble so that we don’t live on autopilot and that we have to watch our back.

Sometimes we find it helpful when tiredness consumes us while we’re driving, we might decide to follow the advice given by our dear passenger whose life sort of depends on us. It’s much like how we’d seek help from others when we are bogged down by stress in life. Or maybe we can take a break, park our car at the shoulder while kindly turning the hazard signal on which kinda symbolizes how we just take a day off and hide under our quilt, change our status on Whatsapp to Leave Me Alone or Do Not Disturb, and just ignore the incessant notifications.

Most drivers like to multitask, I am guilty as well. We tend to turn on our radio, eat, chat, and play with our phone. We think we’re good enough, we passed our driving test for Pete’s sake, we can do it without thinking. It’s like surviving, we don’t think about it, we merely do. While surviving, we like to juggle so many things at once, we can’t really unitask, we tend to think it isn’t efficient enough because we are short of time. Yet, we’ve been bombarded by articles and youtube videos, telling us about how multitasking is a myth. We need to focus, either when we’re driving or when we’re living. Only those, who have no idea what kind of quality they want to achieve and who is confused by a variety of options, multitask. The clear-headed ones, don’t.

Last but not least, planning helps. Even though things don’t always follow the plans we make, it’s always better to have a plan in your head, and even better when you have it on your iPad (please indulge me, just want to make it rhyme). Anyway, I believe if we were to plan our life the way we’d plan for our road trip, it would definitely bring a change to our life. Like going on a road trip, we need to know our purpose, our destination we want to reach, and the amount of time we’d spend on it. Just as we can’t simply turn on the engine and drive without a reason, so can’t we wake up and live without one.

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Live in the Moment

Breathe. Look around. Speculate what’s going on around you. Observe the surrounding. Listen. Breathe. Feel your feet on the ground. Stay in the moment. All these sound good but not so practical for a long term. The scenery can get dull after a while, without a sound comprehension towards what to do with the information we have collected with our five senses, things can be pretty boring. We’ve been driving on the same road, seeing the same building, being in the same room, talking to the same person, we’ve done it all before, there’s nothing new to excite us. Living in the moment is a good reminder for all of us but it is not something we can constantly practice because the past is intriguing and the future is mysteriously fascinating.

History is learned to avoid past mistakes but why bother if now is the only moment that matters?

Future is contemplated to prevent unwanted situations but why bother if now defines later?

What I would suggest here is that instead of reminding yourself to live in the moment, discover why you would want to treasure your present and do your best to make your now count.

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The Game of Priority

Ever since I started having a full-time job, I realized this game of priority is getting a lot trickier. Your priority might be the other person’s last concern. But it’s important to know where your stand is and take control of your priority, because if you won’t, then someone else will decide it for you. So, today I’m going to blog about the things I know about Priority:

  1. There will always be more tasks (you can’t do them all)
  2. It isn’t time management, it’s emotional management (be okay with how you spend your time, who you spend your time with and what you spend your time on)
  3. Urgent/Important Matrix (if you can’t decide, use this matrix to help)
  4. Know thyself (know what you want to accomplish, how to accomplish and by when to accomplish)
  5. Set boundaries (ask: Is this really necessary?)
  6. Control what you can (don’t let others dictate your path)
  7. Delegation (let someone else with the resources to help)
  8. It’s okay to pause and resume or fail and start over

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