Why you will fail to have a great career

First reason is that, no matter how many times people tell you, if you want a great career, you have to pursue your greatest passion, you have to pursue the greatest fascination in your life. You hear it again and again and then you decide not to do it. It doesn’t matter how many times you download Steven J’s commencement address, you still decide not to do it.

I’m not quite sure why you don’t do it. Maybe you are too lazy to do it, it’s too hard, you are afraid that if you find your passion and dont’ find it, you’ll feel like an idiot. Then you make excuses on why you don’t find your passion.”

Well… I have to admit that I listened to S. J’s commencement address and I’m still here in my current company.

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The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
―    Robert Frost

A reminder

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”

“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”

“You only lose what you cling to.”

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

“Happiness follows sorrow, sorrow follows happiness, but when one no longer discriminates happiness and sorrow, a good deal and a bad deed, one is able to realize freedom.”

~ Buddha~

Aloneness and Loneliness

“Developing an attitude of not clinging requires, at first, that we spend a certain amount of time alone. Many of us cling to the experience of being with others out of fear of being lonely. But aloneness is not loneliness. Rather, it is the singleness that creates space for us to think, reflect, meditate and free the mind from noise and attachment. As our greed, hatred and delusion dimish through our solitary practice of mindfulness and meditation, we strengthen our ability to be with others without clinging. When the mind is at peace, we can be in the company with many people, without attachment and the suffering it brings.” – Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Today, I enjoyed something I never thought I would…. shopping and eating alone in town. Never did I imagine that I would be so at ease with it. I took the time to enjoy “the sole orchestra” at Shaw, sitting there while i listen to him play to the theme song of Titantic. He’s great, btw. Met a broker while walking around and he expressed his surprise when he realised i came to town alone.

I’m starting to be comfortable in my own skin. I like this. Yes, I could get used to it.

 

The sole orchestra

Ajahn Brahm: The Magic of Wisdom

Attended a talk by Ajahn Brahm titled “The Magic of Wisdom”.

It was an interesting talk, addressing day to day problems faced by all.

Here are some extracts that I would like to share:

On the difference between intelligence and wisdom:

Intelligence satisfies you mentally while wisdom allows you to see things as it is and let go.

On how to make a decision:

Thinking about a issue will only serve to confuse you. Instead, use your heart to make the decision. Flip the coin. Heads to go for it, tails to dump it. If you flip and you are unsatisfied with the answer- there you go, the answer is in front of you.

On the secret to a happy marriage:

Attitude- By realising that each party has an equal part to play for the success of the relationship. The couple should address the problem as a unit instead of engaging in the blame game and pointing fingers at one another. Both parties have to give and receive equally otherwise it will eventually lead to resentment when one party begins to take the other for granted.

On how couples should settle disagreements:

It is natural to have disagreements but do not hold it for too long. The beauty would be when the couple kiss and make up. It is important to move on and let go of the issue for the couple to mature together.

On saying mean things in the heat of the moment:

Angry words says much more about you as a person than the person you are criticising.

On life and satisfaction:

The key question is “How much more do you want?” When you keep wanting more, you’ll tend to forget what you have as you will be busy chasing for what you don’t have. Be satisfied, enjoy your time with your wife, family and friends. They are golden.

On what you should do when you faced with discontentment at work:

Stop complaining and start laughing.

On difficult situations:

If you cant change the situation or people, change the way you perceive this issue.

On pain and suffering:

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, as it is in your mind.

On facing a terminal illness:

Don’t blame yourself for being sick.

Finally…… be at peace with yourself.

Impermanence

Most of us think the impermanence of all things is an unpleasant fact we’d rather ignore. We look at the world around us, and most of it seems solid and fixed. We tend to stay in places we find comfortable and safe, and we don’t want them to change. We also think we are permanent, the same person continuing from birth to death, and maybe beyond that.

In other words, we may know, intellectually, that things are impermanent, but we don’t perceive things that way. And that’s a problem.

Impermanence and Attachment

Attachment” is a word one hears a lot in Buddhism. Attachment in this context doesn’t mean what you may think it means.

The act of attaching requires two things — an attacher, and an object of attachment. “Attachment,” then, is a natural by-product of ignorance. Because we see ourselves as a permanent thing separate from everything else, we grasp and cling to “other” things. Attachment in this sense might be defined as any mental habit that perpetuates the illusion of a permanent, separate self.

The most damaging attachment is ego attachment. Whatever we think we need to “be ourselves,” whether a job title, a lifestyle, or a belief system, is an attachment. We cling to these things are are devastated when we lose them.

On top of that, we go through life wearing emotional armor to protect our egos, and that emotional armor closes us off from each other. So, in this sense, attachment comes from the illusion of a permanent, separate self, and non-attachment comes from the realization that nothing is separate.

Impermanence and Change

The seemingly fixed and solid world you see around you actually is in a state of flux. Our senses may not be able to detect moment-t0-moment change, but everything is always changing. When we fully appreciate this, we can fully appreciate our experiences without clinging to them. We can also learn to let go of old fears, disappointments, regrets. Nothing is real but this moment.

Because nothing is permanent, everything is possible. Liberation is possible. Enlightenment is possible.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote,

“We have to nourish our insight into impermanence every day. If we do, we will live more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. Living deeply, we will touch the foundation of reality, nirvana, the world of no-birth and no-death. Touching impermanence deeply, we touch the world beyond permanence and impermanence. We touch the ground of being and see that which we have called being and nonbeing are just notions. Nothing is ever lost. Nothing is ever gained. [The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Parallax Press 1998), p. 124]

Proposed solution to love vs attachment

And I chanced upon part of the answer to my question that I posted earlier:

“Clinging to bodily form has 2 aspects. Most obviously, we cling to other people in our lives. Clinging is not the same as loving. It is not the same as caring for someone’s welfare and wanting that person to be happy. It is, rather, a jealous or obsessive possessiveness that seeks to own another person. We can all think of examples of husbands and wives who try to possess each other, or of friends who are so bossy and controlling that they strangle the friendship. Practicising generosity in human relationships mean trusting another person and allowing him or her to enjoy space and freedom and dignity.

Developing an attitude of not clinging requires, at first, that we spend a certain amount of time alone. Many of us cling to the experience of being with others out of fear of being lonely. But aloneness is not loneliness. Rather, it is the singleness that creates space for us to think, reflect, meditate, and free the mind from noise and attachment. As our greed, hatred, and delusion dimish throuh our solitary practice of mindfulness and meditation, we strength our ability to be with others without clinging. When the mind is at peace, we can be in company with many people without attachment and the suffering it brings.” – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana in “Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness”

A sign. I guess I’m meant to continue on my journey for answers.

Feedback

When someone asks for your comments on a work that’s been published, they really only want to hear the praises. So, just say it’s good and keep the rest to yourself.

– Qing

Incident: Someone asked earnestly for my comments on an article that he published. I took a great deal of effort to try to understand so that I can dish out some constructive feedback. When I did, the person was very defensive and countered every suggestion I proposed. Bottom line, unless it is someone you know very well or your loved ones, just say “hell yea, it’s freaking good!” =D hurhur.

From this, we should also learn to be open to suggestions if we ask for them.

Her Life Lessons

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time some time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.