Change Your Mindset Change Your World

When I first started my career, I used to hate Monday mornings. I was swept by the common belief that we all should hate Monday mornings as we all have to go back to work. The good old Monday Morning blues. It is so pervasive that the Comic character Garfield who does not need to work suffers from it.

Monday to me then was a reminder that I need to slog through another five days of nine to five. Pointless meeting and endless paperwork that does not bring much value. The typical reasons and excuses for hating Mondays.

Would it not be better if Monday is a start of a working week where I get to put food on the table and another opportunity provide for my family?

We all still have to start our Monday but Monday suddenly have more meaning. It is not TGIF (Thank God is Friday) but TGIM (Thank God is Monday).

It is a fact that we may not like all parts of our work. There will always be the politics and the stress when things are not going our way. Learn to accept what we cannot change. Learn to take control what we can control. Be the master of your emotions. Be the master of your perspective.

Stuck in a jam? Fine, I get to listen to my favourite radio station longer. Flight delayed? Good, I get to walk around the airport to keep up with my steps count. Got rejected for your dream job? Wonderful, I get to work harder and prepare for the next opportunity.

If you can change your perspective. You can change your world.

Your Grass is Always Greener

Field

Google the phrase “Tiny House“, you will get 14 million results. It is a social movement where people prefer to move into small houses.

Google the phrase “Hong Kong tiny apartment“, you get news sites reporting people of Hong Kong staying in tiny apartments. In fact, it is a social problem in Hong Kong.

I am over simplifying the two issue. Nevertheless, let’s understand why would one choose to move to a tiny place, while others see it as hell?

Is the grass always greener on the other side of the field? If you think you have the worst luck in the world, someone out there would gladly trade places with you.

An unemployed person would wish to hold the job that you currently hate. Your so called out of fashion dress could be someone’s formal night dress. The yucky food that your children complain, could be a family’s feast.

When you are feeling stressed or getting punched by life’s disappointments. When you feel that you have a string of rotten luck. Remember, someone out there wishes to have your problems and the smiles that come with it. Stand up, wipe the blood from your mouth, wipe the tears from your eyes and keep moving.

It is only through disappointments, we will not take life’s happiness for granted.

Feeling jealous of someone’s holiday’s picture on social media? Be happy for them. Say thanks for the sharing. Through appreciation, you too would feel the happiness that they felt.

Yes. Life is unfair. Someone are born rich. Someone are born smarter. Someone are born beautiful. We cannot choose where we come from. We can choose how to deal the circumstances that have been handed to us. Nothing in life stays permanent. Handle each happiness with care. Handle each setback with courage. Things change like seasons and it will change.

Cut back on social media. Instead of looking at other people’s field being greener. Work on your own field. Live your life with kindness and love. Seize every moment. When it is time to work, you work. When it is time to eat, you eat. When it is time to rest, you rest. Soon, you may not have a green field but a garden.

Your garden will not be greener but colourful.

There Is Always an Option

“I feel trapped in my life.”

“I feel trapped in the relationship.”

“I feel trapped in my job.”

These are all common complaints. I feel that all the time. There are many nights where I whisper to myself that I can do better. I can do so much more. I feel trapped. Like a caged animal who are supposed to run free and live life. If I could have party less. If I could have studied harder. If could have more careful with my money.

There is nothing wrong in feeling trapped. Feeling trapped is our mind telling us that something is not right.

There are only a few things in life that we cannot choose. We cannot choose when and where we are born and die. We cannot choose our family. Other aspects of life are made by choices.

Whenever we feel trapped. There are only two options. We can either choose to quit. Or we can choose to stay. If we choose to quit, keep your heads high and do not look back. If we choose to stay, do your best to make it work.

When do you know to quit? Ask yourself, have you done all you can to make it work? If the answer is yes, and it still not working out, you can quit without any regrets. Whether is a career or relationship, if you have quit, do not let remorse anchor you in the past.

Feeling trapped is fearing the options. Fearing the unknown. What happens if you quit? What happens if you held on? We all make mistakes. We all have to face the consequences of our choices. The sooner we can responsibility of our choices, the sooner we can move on.

Sometimes, your options may not be obvious. Sometimes, your options will only bear fruit after a long time. Nevertheless, keep your eyes on the price and take action every day to drag yourself closer to the goal.

Rapper Coolio who grew in Compton wrote daily for 17 years before getting his first hit – Fantastic Voyage. He grew up in a tough neighbourhood and broke free from its shackles to reach glory. He saw his options and took the hard one. Are you willing to stare into the unknown, however long it may be?

Whenever you feel trapped. It is okay. Take a minute and explore it. Is it really a trap? Or there are options that you can take? Life is tough. Life is cruel. Know what you can change. More importantly, know what you cannot change. Focus on what you can change and take those options.

All You Need Is To Say Hello

It is the school year reunion. The class bully was sitting alone holding his drinks. It has been more than 25 years since I last saw him. There were whispers about him being present at the reunion party. No one really took the effort to talk to him.

I do not recall of him bullying me at school. Maybe he did. I probably choose not to remember. I took up the courage and say “Hello”. He smiled and he said, he remembers me. We sat down and catch up with each other’s news.

More friends joined us and many of us reminded each other how this bully had terrorised everyone at school. The bully smiled and apologised to the circle. All is forgiven but not forgotten.

We had a good time. There is no mention of wealth. There is no mention competition. There is nothing to show. There is nothing to be ashamed. We actively listened and shared our experience.

It all started with a “Hello”.

To face your life’s bully, say “Hello”.

“Hello, credit card debt.”

“Hello, laziness.”

Say “Hello” and the horizon opens. There is nothing to lose.

Who Has Never Fallen Sick Before?

Someone once asked who has not fallen sick before? No one raises their hands. The person asked again, “Who has not being disappointed before?” No one raises their hands.

Life happens. There will always be suffering, disappointment and frustrations. It is something that we cannot avoid or run away. Every new year my family would visit the temple to pray for a smooth and prosperity year. Obviously, our prayers are never answered. Now, I pray for a year of frustrations, uncertainty and challenges. My prayers get answered all the time. Sometimes, it is so effective that I find it choking. Be careful with what you wish for.

By embracing the suffering of life, we can appreciate happiness. When happiness comes, we will savour the moment. When suffering comes, we will work through it.

Sometimes we ask life, why me? Life response, why not you?

We hear of ghost stories chasing people. The harder the victim runs, the harder the ghost gave chase. What happens if the victim turns around and face the ghost? What happens if we stand our ground and face our sufferings? The first few moments, it may be scary. It is only by facing it, we can overcome it. It is tiring to run. It is tiring to pretend the problem is not there.

Stop running now. Face our sufferings. Only then, we can appreciate life’s happiness.