Talk Shows on Mute

Yourself

 

Week 48 encroaches as of this writing.

“Natutulog ka pa ba?”, I remember my grad school classmate asking me. He was perplexed with all the bustle my life seems to have had lately. Perhaps this was borne out of scenes with me being shipped off to different places for work, still being enrolled in school this semester, and still carving out time for yoga practice – these on top of making sure to be a good daughter, sibling, tita and friend in the best capacity I know how.

Needless to say the past few months has been an emotional, physical and mental roller coaster ride. Also, it goes without saying that I am immensely grateful for all the peaks and troughs that life has brought. It comes with the territory though, that being susceptible to the surrounding noise of the bustle is highly likely.

Tonight, my boss shared this article to the team. It’s the perfect encapsulation of well-guided YOLO-ing, in my opinion. The article brushes on big dreams, taking big steps, letting go, and the like. This is some good stuff to absorb in a time where one is in a thoroughfare of gunning to change the world as well as gradually accepting that one cannot be all things to all people.

Speaking of letting go, I was in the process of cleaning out data from my old phone, so I can give the gadget to my brother. There was so much information stored there, but I realized, I wasn’t able to read up on all the e-books I loaded, play all the games I downloaded, interact with all the folks on my contact list, or learn all the modules in my language app. The list goes on. This then got me thinking (and feeling) that as much as we all want to be superheroes, learn and do so many awesome things and change the world (and I do believe we can), the virtue of focus is fundamentally important to translate these big dreams into doable steps. It is okay to let go of noise to make space and bring in focus.

Each person, or super-person, has always had a niche that he/she zoned in on – Iron Man focused on optimizing his geeky mechanical inventions, Spider Man on his hopping and webbing and such, Flash Man on being fast – all for the goal of being the most effective conduit in making the world better. A lot of (non-fictional) people I consider successful always focused on something, more than intending to address the full spectrum of an identified gap. Yes, focus.

And so with fostering focus comes shutting out the noise.

“You’re so much more endearing with the sound turned off”, so goes a lyric from Talk Shows on Mute, a song from my favorite band, Incubus. This may very well be my soundtrack of the moment as I attempt to follow through on achieving these big and bold dreams. To hone focus comes with shutting out the noise, and being attuned to consciously simplifying life.

With simplifying life comes the appreciation of the virtue of silence. A good friend shared this article recently written by one of my favorite profs. This quote stuck to me:

Unfortunately, today’s obsession with speed tends to compromise the virtue of silence.

In this post-modern, information age, there are so many ideas and concepts that can easily bombard us and sway us. I’ve been subject to this noise on many occasions, But over time, I’ve come to realize that listening to the self can be powerful – that it has a voice and that it has something significant to say.

Two weeks ago, the team had a strategy planning session. There was an activity where each person in the team was tasked to map out her/his 20-year life plan and share that to the entire group. It proved to be an enlightening and frightening encounter for me. I always knew at the back of my head that I had big dreams, but putting it on paper, more so announcing it to others, makes me feel more accountable to those dreams. After that exercise, I shared to my good colleague and friend that I actually felt scared, considering the what-ifs of life in the course of gunning for those goals. He then shared, “If your dreams aren’t scary, are they even worth pursuing?”

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”, so goes another reminder springing up on my news feed. And so, in the course of contemplating on dreams to change the world with its weight on one’s shoulders, perhaps much of it has to do with honing focus, respecting the process of change, and learning to be comfortable in the struggle upward.

And perhaps part of that journey means to be tolerant of failure. Perhaps in the pursuit of excellence comes the recognition that the world does not need our perfection, but rather our compassion, our courage to fail forward. However, excellence bundled with compassion does not necessarily entail having to be consistently gentle. Compassion devoid of strength, passion and rigor may very well lead to what is called, “Idiot compassion” (another term I learned, thanks to my news feed). It is in the course of mixing in these ingredients that one does indeed achieve: COMmitment + PASSION= compassion. This all begins with zoning in on the self.

So, for the snippets that remind me and you to zone in and introspect, to listen to ourselves, to focus, to dream, to achieve and achieve with excellence, commitment and passion, much gratefulness!

Cheers to the seven billion unique paths to bliss and awesomeness!

 

30 Scientific Reasons Your 20s Are For Doing What You Want

Because “Everyone needs that one truly nutty story to tell their grandkids”.

Thought Catalog

1. You’re not a teenager anymore. According to a recent study, teenagers’ brains are actually wired to be more self-conscious and hyper-concerned with what others think of them. Who needs that kind of stress? Celebrate NOT being a teenager anymore by decidedly not caring about other peoples’ opinions.

2. Science says we’re alright. Take comfort from this excerpt from Dr. Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health in The Wall Street Journal: “The fact that the brain stays unfinished during early adulthood ‘is the best thing that ever happened to humans’ because it allows us to adapt to changing environments […]. We can figure out what kind of world we live in and what we need to be really good at.” Translation: it’s scientifically okay to not have everything figured out.

3. You are not yet old enough to get hangovers that slam into you like…

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Of Margaritas and Visionaries

(Oops, so this post is kinda two weeks late. Pardon me. Moving on!)

I just came from dinner (yay, margaritas!) with my friends and had the great opportunity to sit down with arguably one of the greatest visionaries I’ve known so far on an unconventionally casual note. So, in the interest of sharing what I got from that talk (and for my own selfish motive to remember this night, in retrospect), here are a couple of keypoints I got from such an amazing person.

(Note: Some parts may have been quoted verbatim, some paraphrased. Blame the margaritas!)

  1. Find your interest. Dont put all your eggs in one basket.
  2. There is more to life than work. That is why you get into your interests, you have relationships..
    Fun fact: most people’s motives to get into new interests is to meet new people. Networking. Sure 😉
  3. When you’re young, you can always reinvent yourself. Go out, have fun. Money is there to be spent.
  4. Credentials will get you far but common interests with people you meet can get you further.
  5. Differentiate yourself from others. That is the challenge.
  6. Understand the paradigms of the situation you are in and align your plans and actions with current and expected circumstances.
  7. Weigh the ideal against the actual. Base your decisions and actions on these circumstances.

Sigh. It’s so refreshing to hear these things validated by someone who practices what he preaches. If all conversations were this inspiring, I totally wouldn’t mind taking minutes! Cheers to more visionaries and amazing mentors of this world. Universe, more great inspirational people, please! Ü

Swings.

Just finished watching the most recent episode of Cougar Town and now I am left with red, moist eyes. Dang it, the show’s supposed to be a sitcom! With a splash of a cheesy father-daughter dialogue put into the fray, there is no other way for me to react but shed buckets of saline fluid and find my mouth involuntarily quiver.

Now this gets me thinking of a bloggerific idea. Being undeniably emotional, this blog post shall contain a rundown of the other things that makes yours truly spew out shiznit-loads of emotion, aside from aforementioned example seen in the previous paragraph. Ici ils sont:

  1. Hunger. One time, we were preparing for someone’s birthday surprise and ended up having a late lunch. I was surprised when my friend asked if I was angry. So I said, “no, I’m just hungry. What gave you that idea?”.  Apparently my face looked stern. I’ve received many other reactions of this nature to date. So there you have it. I think a lot of people can relate. Feeling famished is like having one of the bolts in your system loosened and you end up too flabby to function. So what is my mom’s mantra when she sees my eyebrows meet in the middle? Let the girl eat.
  2. Movies or plays containing heavy societal themes. Blood Diamond. The Patriot. V for Vendetta. Passion of the Christ. I’m sure there are more. Primary instinct? Either shed tons of tears or not talk to any other homo sapien, yes, family and friends included, for the rest of the day. Train of thought? Let’s talk  tomorrow, I still need to let the social injustices that pervade our world today, as showcased in this movie, sink in and burn. Come up with insightful points about that movie, and maybe we can talk about the thing after a while. Say how hot the actor was from that type of movie and don’t expect an answer.
  3. Speeches from influential people. Winnie Monsod. Tony Meloto. Dick Gordon. Confucius. Oprah. Et cetera. Of course, I’m referring to speeches of the kind that shake you to your very core. And no, I’m not referring to shows when Oprah shares to the world her 10 favorite things. Ha! After hearing their words live or on TV or reading their thoughts encapsulated in an article or adage, I usually end up getting watery eyes (and occasionally shedding a tear or two – again!). If the message conveyed is chunkier, other symptoms include not buying anything for a week (to stave off from being a contributor to this increasingly consumerist world) or getting annoyed at other people’s small talk without them knowing it (mindset: so this is all you guys can talk about amidst the grave issues that face today’s society? really?!) or going to church (Lord, help me become a pioneer in solving this imminent problem).
  4. Interviews. Okay, so to end this post on a lighter note, I share this confession to the whole world. I cringe at the thought of being in an interview. I love, love, love talk shows and seeing Jay Leno or Oprah or Larry King interview people, but when it comes to me being interviewed, I freak out. I have trust issues, I guess?  (mindset: you ask too many questions about me and I don’t even know who you are, aside from your name). I’ve cried on several occasions, and a narrative on the events that have transpired on each interview I’ve been to NEVER fails to leave my friends and family cracking up and saying: What IS wrong with you?! So there. Fortunately, the last few interviews I’ve had did not involve tears anymore, only a jittery voice on occasion! Ha.

So there you have it: a low-down on the things that bring out the SangPhlegMelCholic in me.