29th January is the 2nd day of Chinese New Year in the year of Rooster. How did it came about? Spent the next few minutes and watch the video.
We are born to suffer. The suffering of disappointment. The suffering of hunger. The suffering of not getting what we want. The suffering of getting old. The suffering of falling sick.
Being a struggling career man and a father. The responsibilities and ambition can be overwhelming. There are days where I just find it difficult to breath when there are many fires that I have to put out. I feel trapped knowing that the next day, everything will start all over again.
One of the many things that I learned from Tim Ferris is the star gazing therapy introduced by BJ Miller.
“When you are struggling with just about anything, look up. Just ponder the night sky for a minute and realize that we’re all on the same planet at the same time. As far as we can tell, we’re the only planet with life like ours on it anywhere nearby. Then you start looking at the stars, and you realize that the light hitting your eye is ancient, [some of the] stars that you’re seeing, they no longer exist by the time that the light gets to you.
“Just mulling the bare-naked facts of the cosmos is enough to thrill me, awe me, freak me out, and kind of put all my neurotic anxieties in their proper place. A lot of people — when you’re standing at the edge of your horizon, at death’s door, you can be much more in tune with the cosmos.”
For myself star gazing therapy, I use the NASA’s live stream of the International Space Station (ISS).
The video shows live feed from the ISS as well as its current position. The video is a mixture of both live feed and pre-recorded footage. When the ISS goes into the night, the video will shut off. When it comes back to daylight, the video is back on again.
When I am working on the computer. I keep the video running in the background. When I needed a break or feeling frustrated. I would spend some moment watching the video in full screen.
The footage is amazing. It reminded me how small and insignificant of my existence in the cosmic sense. There are billions of people on earth, each goes through suffering. There are sufferings that are far more severe than I can imagine.
Sometimes, I just get lost in the footage.
Being insignificant in the cosmic sense does not mean we do not do anything. Instead, we should not sweat the small stuff. Maybe life is meant to suffer. Rather, we must choose the right thing that is worth suffering for.
I am not a smart person. Someone once told me I am so stupid that it takes me two hours to watch Sixty Minutes. That time, I do not know what is Sixty Minutes nor I can speak English well.
I have to work harder than most people. All I need is just to improve 1% a day. Every day for the rest of my existence. It compounds. Dave Brailsford took the British team to British cycling’s first winning of Tour de France. He improved every aspect of the team by 1%. He calls its “aggregation of marginal gains.”
I do not have a team of assistants or a huge budget. I can still improve many aspects of my life with a little bit of creativity.
Listen to daily Podcast. I have listed my favourite Podcast here. I listen to Podcast when I am driving or working out. Normally, I crank up the playback speed to 1.5 times. The preferred playback speed varies from shows to shows. Experiment and you will find the right playback speed. It impossible to retain all 100% of the PodCast content. My aim is just to retain 1% to 2%. I use Podcast & Radio Addict to listen to Podcast.
Visit Video Streaming Sites. No money to attend training? No problem. There are plenty of good video streaming sites that offers free knowledge. I am a big fan of CreativeLive. They have daily free-on-air courses. I have learned how to take pictures, improved my writing through their free courses. Register yourself and check out their daily free-on-air courses.
Meditate. There is many scientifically proven benefits o meditation. I personally find it calming and having better focus throughout the work day. There are many tools out on the Internet to help you to meditate. The first one that comes to my mind is Headspace. For myself, I listen to Tara Brach‘s guided Meditation. I download her guide onto my phone. Everyday before I start my work, I would listen to the guide and meditate inside the car for about 20 minutes.
Do. Listening and watching videos are never enough. The important thing is to do. Only through taking action, the knowledge will stay and become experience. Take massive action. Write that book that you have always wanted to write. Cook that dish that you been dreaming of. There is no failure, only lessons learned.
Journal It. I wake up 5:30 morning to journal my thoughts. I write about what I am grateful for. I write about what I have learned and my thoughts. By putting your thoughts down, you will know what you need and what to do.
Surround Yourself With Good People. Good people motivates you. They challenge you, they support you and they expect you to improve. If you are not with good people, you are better off being alone. There is no shame for being alone. You can be alone, but you can never be lonely. Let your inner self motivates you, support you and challenge you.
What I am sharing is nothing new. What is important is to add any of the actions into your daily life. You would feel the immediate difference. If you are already bored with your life. Feeling trapped. There is no harm giving it a try. All you are looking for is just 1% of improvement a day.
Happy New Year to all.
A friend told me that she is walking away from the abusive relationship that she held on for years. She told me that she had enough. She turned her back and walk away from the relationship. She is a happier person now.
They key word is “enough”. You will only stop when you had enough. Enough of the pain. Enough of the abuse. You are still hanging on is because you have not had enough of the pain.
Yes. I am asking you to quit. Walk away from the job that you hate. Walk away from the relationship that wears you down. Walk away from the bleak future that is ahead of you.
Just listen to the pain. There are two types of pain.
- The pain that tests your willpower whether you want it bad enough.
- The pain that tells you to stop doing it.
Do not get confused between the pain. You can enjoy the former but walk away from the latter.
When you choose to give up and walk away, the pain becomes lesser. You know you have a choice.
Plan It. Merely thinking about it is not enough. Put down action items on what you need to do. Giving up the job that you hate? Plan it! It could be internal transfer within the company. Look for outside opportunities. Upgrade yourself by getting trained in the field of your dreams. When you start to think about your options. Your horizons suddenly open up.
Take Action. Take massive action. Go through your plan carefully and execute each task with no mercy. No time? Make time. People always find time to put petrol into their car regardless how busy they are. Use the same principle. If you procrastinate, you do not want it bad enough.
Rinse and Repeat. Life is a series of test. Where you end up may not mean where you want to be. The pain takes another form. When we were growing up, there are pains of growing up. When we are growing old, there are pains of growing old.
Pain is part of life. We learn through pain. Giving up is not about being a coward. It is acceptance and doing something about it.