My Rearview Mirror

Regrets.  I had my fair share of these and the last is not far from memory.

A friend of mine decided one day to stop talking to me. I believe she’s made up her mind for a good reason, though I never got to find out what it was. I waited for a conversation to take place to have some understanding, a sense of clarity, but my hopes ended in vain.

When somebody you talk to every day suddenly ignores you, it hurts. You get these questions in mind, questions I myself didn’t know how to handle at that particular time.

A confrontation could have helped, but I took a more cowardly approach, that was,  to ignore her too.  At one point I just gave up and turned my back on something I could have saved.

Weeks passed and my frustration slowly healed. I intended to pick up where I left off, but I figured it was too late. I knew then that my friend and I were definitely going to part ways.

My few attempts to win back what I’ve lost felt more like sowing a seed and never seeing it grow. It was a fruitless exercise.  I look at myself and sighed, “Guess, you’re trying too hard on this one.”

For the second time, I gave up. Maybe it’s water under the bridge. It’s over. It’s done and I just had to deal with it.

I came to terms with my limitations and confided to another friend.  I asked for a bit of advice on what to do.  She said, try acceptance, and try forgiveness.  All I can muster was, “Oh. Alright.” – my thoughts still quite disorderly.  Obviously, these aren’t medications you can buy from a local pharmacy. It.took.me.time.—to process, to understand, and to appreciate the beauty embedded in these two words:  acceptance and forgiveness.

Acceptance means to embrace something for what it is now.  Forgiveness is to let go of the hurt and surrender the guilt.

Oftentimes we want to go back to how things were.   That’s what I wished for my case.  I know I too have made a mistake, and it cannot be undone. But the more I thought about the actions I took, I realized I must have done both myself and my friend a favor.  We talk now but not as much as before. Since the interaction’s quite limited, we have done away with one thing:  the negative talk about our common “enemy”.

We were once united by a common dislike against one person. The negative talk has taken a toll on me and it affected my work and the quality of my thoughts. Now that we don’t have the luxury to justify each other’s complaint, we’re both forced to be quiet about our grudges.  It’s something that, for me, has turned into a blessing.  Less focus on the bad meant more focus on the good.

Mistakes can be repeated until the lesson has been learned.  I will strive to do better next time around. But for now, I need to forgive myself for the immaturity, the cowardice, the ego and the pride I had held dear. To my friend, I hope she finds it in her heart to forgive me too, as I have resolved for the same forgiveness in mine.

Today, I’m deserting the hurt, the guilt, the regrets and the lame efforts to revive something that has died. What was broken can no longer be fixed.  It can only be made new. So this is me giving a new beginning to my friend, releasing her from my clutch, so she could blossom into a wonderful and strong woman she’s always meant to be. Let bygones be bygones.

As I glance into my car’s rearview mirror, I noticed the things that looked so huge just moments ago have now become so small, ‘till slowly, it faded away.  As I drove further up the road new things came in sight.  Some pretty, some not.  But I thought to myself:  “Well, this is “Now”, and I will cherish every minute of it.”

Drifting

I don’t want to wander aimlessly through life, not knowing where I wanna go, not doing what I need to do. I don’t want to waste a lot of years trying to get by an ordinary existence.

This, is my ideal stance. Reality however was a bit different.

I enjoyed myself too much in the past. Most days were spent reacting to things instead of taking charge. This went on and on through my late twenties. I thought I would grow old just like that- a byproduct of luck. Then circumstances changed – –

loved ones lost,

career took place,

people moved on and chased their own big dreams,

while I got stuck in my own little world trying to hold it together.

I loved the idea of things being constant, unchanging and predictable. I resisted everything that atttempted to disturb my familiar state. I guess we all did at one point in time. We built our own walls and thought it will never crumble only to realize we’re actually disrupting our own growth.

When you stay too long in what’s comfortable, you start to feel just like that, comfortable-

too afraid to see the outside world,

too afraid to try anything new,

too afraid to start again,

to afraid to rebuild something from scratch.

Is this really all? Aren’t we made for something more?

Divine discontent is experienced by most of us. It’s that subtle sense of unrest that’s aching for something true and real to a person and his very existence. When it hits you, don’t ignore. Know what it wants to communicate and act on it. Ultimately, it will connect you to a divine purpose. And that purpose can only be served by no one else, but you!

Today, don’t be afraid to say yes!

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Don’t be afraid to open yourself to the countless possibilities around you.

Don’t be afraid to tread on unfamiliar waters.

Don’t be afraid to discover what you’re really made of!

Live life and fulfill your dreams with the intensity of a visionary,

the passion of an artist,

the joyfulness of a kid,

the gentleness of a child,

and the love of your Maker.

You have been set apart.

Fulfill your destiny.

Make yourself proud.

Make your creator proud!

Where I’m Heading

So last night, I wrote this email to one of the writers I admire.

=========

Hey _____,

I hate you.  

I keep stumbling upon your blogs for some reason. Each and every time, the “what if” about pursuing my passion gets re-ignited.  I’m too comfortable with the security I have in my life right now that I can come up with excuses to not take another shot at things that give my heart wings.

I love writing and speaking.

BUT…

I have a “9-5” job working as a  _____________. I don’t have the luxury of time to work on things that inspire me.

I run out of ideas on what to __________   or  _______   about.

I’m insecure and worry about what _________  would think or say about my opinions/thoughts.

I only have a fair command of the  _________.

I am fascinated about __________, _________, _________, ________ and helping/teaching others what I know but I don’t have a degree on any of these.

Yet, time and again, I dream about becoming “that ________”, “that ________”. This unfulfilled desire leaves a hole in my heart,

A dent in my life, in my own person, that makes me feel like I’m not living “me”.

I don’t believe pursuing these things will give me a sense of security that I sort of value too.

But you, you are living your dream, my dream. And you’re being true to you, and you’re happy, and you’re creating an impact on the lives of people you don’t even know.

I wish I could be you. I wish I have your wisdom. I wish I have your courage.

Frustrated as to where I am right now, I just ______________________.

I’m desperate. I think I am. Where and how do I go from here? I’m half way through and very much aware that life is slipping away.

Help.

=======

Apologies for the “redacted” parts. I think I’m not ready at all to be completely vulnerable.  But I think you get the sense of frustration I am in.  If you’re in this state too, isn’t it comforting to know that It’s not a lonely world for you? Somewhere out there or here, someone else is stuck at a corner, not sure if the right thing to do next is to just turn.

Frustration is good. It helps you see how badly you’re unhappy of what’s happening now, and probably of where things are heading.  Unhappy in a sense that, what you see, may not always be the truth that you’ve always known.  

Someone once told me that in life, sometimes it’s not about knowing the answers, It’s about what you do with what you’ve come to know.

So my friend, what is it that you’ve been wrestling with? Chances are, you already have the answers. You’re just scared of what it’s gonna take.

I am scared too, and yet, here I am.

The Day I Decided To Let Go

Letting go is obviously one of the hardest things that we can do, but at times, stepping into that new kind of freedom is very much worth it.

sundaewrites

The year came like anything normal and in so many ways I have underestimated it. Certainly, you’ll never really know where life would take you. 

During the first few months, inspiration struck. It triggered me to make small decisions and subtle changes affecting very important aspects of my life.

Letting Go of Stuff

    It started with a few clothes, some old, some new, that I’ve never really worn for months. Like most, I’ve held on to those pieces of clothing because I’ve paid for them and I already own them. 

I realized later on that possessing or not possessing them didn’t really affect the quality of my life. Nor has it affected the level of my happiness in the long term. Maybe that’s why you and I call this and similar things as stuff because literally, they’re just that. Most things we can live without and some we can only need enough of. 

On the other hand though, our stuff can be a piece of gold to someone who really needs them. With that, I gave away clothes to friends, neighbors, relatives and some more things to charity.

I was able to sell some of the stuff too and more will be sold in the comings months. I remember meeting this buyer and our conversation went like this.

Buyer:  So how long have you had this?

Me: 6 months

Buyer: how many times did you use it?

Me: thrice

Buyer: It’s in superb condition and you’re selling it for half the price. Why did you buy it in the first place?

Me: Well, I thought I needed it and would do me good. Later on, I realized, it’s bulky and cumbersome. I can actually get rid of it and make do of what I already have.

Buyer: Well, this is a gem for me. Sorry, you had to sell it.

Me: Oh no, I’m glad I did! (“and I met you”! – bonus point that I felt he didn’t need to know – insert “grin”).


Letting Go of biases

    I think you would agree that we all have our biases when it comes to culture, people of a different race or sometimes people from our own race. I for one am guilty about this. In the past, my generalizations about people have hindered the possibility of me knowing them at a deeper level and understand how they see things. 

I’ve come to realize that it was a mistake and a loss on my part. I mean, some of them could have been my close friends. They could have contributed to my growth. Most could have been helpful mentors, teachers, coaches or perhaps role models. I remember a colleague of mine said to me one time. “It’s not you. We’re just not used to saying please and thank you as often as you do. We don’t even say please or thank you to people from our own country”.  Another shared, “We look like we’re fighting because we seem to be shouting at each other, but we’re not. This is just a normal conversation”.

When I decided to finally open myself to other cultures and other communities, I felt like my heart expanded and my understanding broadened. I began to see these people the way I see myself and my friends- just human beings with imperfections like we all have, and trying their very best in life as we all do.  

Letting Go of Who I thought I was

We are who we are. This belief also limited my success as a person. 

I always thought that I’m an introvert and therefore, don’t have the ability to connect with people and actually be energized in the process. I always thought, I could never write, just because I barely passed my first essay in college. My English teacher would always ask me to explain what I’m trying to say. That time I have a knack for tying two words together, not because they mean anything but because they just sounded good. Well, it’s hard when English is not your first language. These are just two of several beliefs which crafted my idea of Me. This same idea pushed me to stay in my comfort zone because venturing out, I assumed,  would lead me to failure.  

After years, a breakthrough came.  I decided I will no longer fear failure. So I started a journey of self-discovery and that meant trying new things and doing things that actually scared me or made me nervous and uneasy. I tell you, when I look at myself now, I like what I’m seeing. Frankly, I still make mistakes but I’m growing and continuously learning.

The good thing about letting go of who I thought I was is that every day I am embracing the opportunity to reinvent myself and expand my horizons. It opens a whole new door of possibilities of what I can still be, and the results usually astound me. What you can or cannot do, is indeed entirely up to you. Henry Ford puts it this way “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

My friend, is there something in your life that you need to let go and why, or, why not?

Don’t Get Too Hooked Up On The Future

This week, I’ve spent an extra day at home with no special plans. I meant it to be a lazy day. It’s good to have a break every now and then, with no deadlines to beat.  The luxury of time, some may call it. A brief pause from everything.

I didn’t set any intention that day.  Around afternoon I listened to K-love (my favorite station) and all these christian songs started to fill my room.  For a brief moment, my thoughts wandered around what ifs.

I believe most of us get caught up with the uncertainty and mystery of the future. We get so engrossed in “what ifs“ rather than “what is”, in “what could be” rather than “what is now”. That is why the magic of the present gets lost so easily.  

The Journey or the Destination

A lot of influential people in the world, including lifestyle gurus, life coach, and motivational speakers advise us to focus on possibilities, the idea of what can be or who we can be. While it is good, I hope we don’t lose sight of the journey just because we are too fixated on the destination.

We all have these hopes and desires for our future, right? We dream about them, fantasize about them, but only a few of us put in the work.  We avoid discomfort, difficulties, struggles, and sometimes we even avoid change. So I think the big challenge here is for us to embrace these things instead of avoiding them. To love putting in the hours, the effort, the attitude, knowing  that, we are in the process of becoming- the person we want to be, the person that we can be.

Fear of the Future

While some are excited about the future, the rest of the world fears it. Fear of losing a job, a title, a house, an investment, a business, or losing someone close.  Such fear also takes us away from the present- –  what we have now or who we have, or what we can do. I think the challenge is for us to not be paralyzed by fear, and to let go of control:

  • controlling what is uncertain and 
  • controlling things that are not really up to us,

Rather, we can focus on the next best thing that can be done in our present circumstances.

Final Words

If you’re constantly chasing rainbows, you’ll miss the beauty of the rain. If you always set your eyes uncovering the mystery of tomorrow, you will miss the ones that are willingly unfolding before your very eyes, right here, right now.

My friend, don’t get to hooked up on the future. You’re here now. Make the most of it.

Lagom

So today, I decided to clean up. Owning a few things since going solo, I wanted to retain even less.  That means, just enough of everything.

A friend of mine traveled to Sweden months ago and fell in love with the term “lagom” which means “just the right amount”.  She was saying the Swedish don’t brag about the things they own nor overindulge in something like food, cars or houses.  They like to live as regular, ordinary people,  and give preference to giving back, contributing, and helping.  They don’t care about status or how much they earn. All of that and yet Sweden is one of the richest countries in the world.

Thinking about it makes me fall in love with Sweden too! “What I wouldn’t give to be there”- Me, daydreaming.  But Sweden or not Sweden, we can actually embrace “lagom” as a lifestyle, isn’t it? In some parts of the world, they call it, minimalism, simplicity, or essentialism (there might be other terms that you know, drop a comment here).

I grew up in a culture pretty much influenced by the Spaniards. With our concept of “fiestas” and “piazza” (in my hometown, we call it plaza), our culture has taken it further to mean:

– huge houses, 

– large “haciendas”, 

– more food on the table (than what’s necessary), 

– (boisterous) laughter, 

– plenty of stories, and 

– overflowing drinks.

While fiestas and plazas are essentially part of the Spanish culture, I believe these concepts stemmed from their inherent quality of being warm, affectionate and family-oriented. Our culture, however, took it to a different level- more like Spanish-with-a-twist.

I’m not against people who own huge properties or love to have fun with beers, food and loud music. I’m just a bit disheartened to see:

– folks with large but empty houses

– yuppies with an expensive lifestyle, and mounting debts

– people who hoard

– people having too much of something (too much alcohol, food, shoes, Netflix, etc)

– people who overwork (yes, included)

– people who overcommit (yes, this too)

– people who are having too much rest (you’ve got to get on your feet too, you know, like literally).

Overindulgence is a bad thing.  You’ve got to save something for tomorrow or share some to someone in need.  We’re not here just for ourselves.  I hope we realize that and become more mindful of the rest of the world and its needs.

Wherever we are or what our status be in society, each of us has the capacity to give.  It may not always be in the form of material things. It could be our time, our skills, wisdom, strength, or we could just lend a hand, or lend an ear.  

If there’s one thing that this weekend clean up reminded me, it’s this:

I can live with just enough, and that’s not depriving myself of anything good in the world. That actually means, giving myself space, room to breathe, more room for what’s important, and to me, that translates to not only freedom but power!  It’s kind of saying, “I can have that, but I won’t”.  

– sundaewrites

Now imagine repeating that when you’re faced with a decision:

“I can buy that luxury car, but I won’t”.

“I can book myself in a 5-star hotel, but I won’t”.

“I can consume the entire chocolate ice cream cake, but I won’t”.

“I can party all night, but I won’t”.

“I can work till daybreak, but I won’t”.

Does it make sense?  Well, I’ll leave you with this word to think about.

“Lagom”.


Few, Less And More

“I took a backseat and just allowed things to happen as they should, watched time pass by as it meant to.  This intended pause just equated to rest at first but then it gave me something more- a sense of clarity to what I really want and what I need to let go”.- sundaewrites

 

I was in high school when my dad first taught me how to drive. After some time my brother and I would always compete and insist on taking the wheel to drive around town.  Some years more, I needed to start driving in the city.  Coming from a small town where I’d have to deal with slower traffic, fewer cars, smaller roads, driving in the city with more travelers on the road, was really a big deal for me.  I implored dad to help me master at least one route- from home to work and back, to the extent that I’d feel more confident about it.  Without hesitation, my dad agreed but on one condition. He’ll stay in the back seat while I drive. This made me feel really nervous but I agreed anyway, knowing it’s something that I have to deal with and overcome.

 

So off we drove through a number of turns, mentally mapping out the road so I’d know my way back.  My dad agreed to just drop me off and trusted me much to reach home on my own at the end of the day, “unscathed”.

 

I was used to having my dad in the passenger seat, but with him seated at the back made me feel less secured and less confident. Once in a while I’d look in the rearview mirror and see his eyes focused on the road. For some reason, he’d instinctively know when I’d feel confused or quite unsure of how to make it through the busy streets. On those occasions, he would lean forward and with his head next to mine, would gently coach me.  Oblivious to the noise and chaos outside, my dad’s voice remained calm, certain and trustworthy. Leaning into his words took away the panic and fear. I was sure I could drive on and make it through.

 

Some weeks later I asked dad, “Why did you choose to sit at the back and not beside me”? He said, “So I could see what you see. That way, I could guide you better”.

 

At first, it didn’t make sense. But thinking about it now, my dad was right. There’s a wider gap between the driver and the passenger seat, compared to, where my dad was seated leaning forward.

 

This experience taught me a great deal about assessing my own life. From time to time I’d mentally take a step back and see my actual self, heading towards somewhere and figuring out if the road indeed leads to my true north. Sometimes this requires a thorough review of what I’ve accumulated in my life at every point, and then stripping myself away of almost all of it, barring the essentials.

 

I know it’s a long road, but if I’m to truly enjoy the journey, I have to travel light, I have to be more present, and take every precious moment in as if it’s the very last time.

 

So this is it for me.  

Fewer photos, more experience.

Fewer words, more meaning.

Fewer complaints, more thank you’s 

Less hate, more love.

Fewer distractions, more quietness

Less of everything, more of my true thing.

 

Question:

How about you my dear friend?  What trade-offs are you making? What have you said no to so you could say yes to something far more important and meaningful? Comment here. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Why You Should Say Yes To Pain

“A worthwhile purpose outweighs any kind of struggle.”- sundaewrites

 

Nobody is immune to pain.  Everybody has it or had it, at one point in their lives.  So if you are suffering right now, know that you are not alone.

 

Pain is cruel, yes, but pain can also be your friend.  Like any gift, it can come in any form or package. You need to unwrap and accept it and know what is it trying to teach you.

 

From pain:

  • comes strength you never thought you had
  • comes wisdom, you wished you always knew
  • comes courage you wished you clothed yourself with earlier in life
  • comes resilience, with life teaching you how to bend
  • comes pruning, stripping you of weak strongholds and false dependencies.
  • comes the fulfillment of your purpose and realization of things you value the most

 

 

 

Not all pain in the world is worthy to endure. Choose the ones that truly serve your purpose- make you better, make the lives of those around you better. Choose the kind of pain that when you look back years down the line, you could proudly say, “Yes, I did that, I suffered that because I truly loved”.  Choose the kind of pain that consumes all your strength, yet at the end of the day rewards you with so much peace and settles your heart.Whether or not you wake up to another day, your heart is free and content.

 

I have my share of pain. It may not be as much as the rest of the world is currently suffering for, but it is real to me, as much as your pain is real to you.  Don’t deny pain or just go about life like it isn’t there.  Even at the peak of one’s success, it can still be present. Even if you’re surrounded by loved ones, drowning in wealth or blessed with a good health, there’s always a piece of you that knows pain. That’s the price of being human, or should I say, the gift of being one.

 

How can it be a gift, you ask. In my own journey, pain has been and will always be a great teacher. It helps me grow, learn, and discern what’s worth suffering for and gives me the courage too to forge ahead. It reminds me that I’m fully alive and breathing, and that life is real because I can feel it, it’s happening and I, am in it.

 

Of all the things I have or have accomplished, I’m more proud of the ones that required me to sacrifice much.  Pain can be a character builder, you know, and a great teacher.  And character is something that nobody can take away from you.

 

Whatever pain you’re suffering right now, maybe it’s good to ask, “Is it worth it”?

 

When you show up for work, for a cause, an activity, or someone, ask yourself why you do. Is the reason, something you really care about?  Is it something that serves a greater good? Does it make you better as a human being? Does it equip you to bless the world more? Is it worthy of a day in your life? If yes, then go and embrace pain. A worthwhile purpose outweighs any kind of struggle, and embracing that is giving yourself the privilege to live a bigger life.

Closed Doors

“Life is all about the dance. The colors. The sunny afternoons and cold mornings. The starts and stops”.- sundaewrites

 

 

What are Closed Doors?

For some, it could mean an end of a chapter while for others, an end of a season.

End of a chapter means you’re finally done and you’re supposed to carry on to the next. So the story keeps on unfolding, and it’s altogether new to you. It is possible though that you could have brought along characters from the earlier chapters of your life or maybe lessons from your past.

End of a season means you could just be taking a break or a sabbatical. It’s the journey of hills and valleys. After a while, you come back to the same season, but this time, you know better and you‘ve grown stronger.

In life, we will come face to face with a lot of closed doors:

  • Graduating from College
  • Graduating from Singlehood
  • Graduating from parenting small kids
  • End of a career
  • End of a project
  • End of a relationship
  • Failure of a business
  • Failure of a lifelong dream
  • Failure of a marriage

 

Though some doors are meant to be closed forever, some are just waiting to be reopened for you to come back in and finish what you’ve started.  Every closed door presents an opportunity, to grow, to rest, to re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go. It gives us space to think, a chance to reboot, to renew, regenerate and refocus.

So how do we deal with closed doors?

We welcome it. We don’t resist it.

 

 

At some point, we need to stop fighting battles that we are not meant to fight.  We need to stop holding on to things we’re supposed to let go. We need to stop anything that doesn’t serve us or make us better.

What we’d rather do is begin to summon that courage to step into unfamiliar waters or cross that river. We need to feel the ground we’re standing on and focus on the road up ahead instead of looking back. We need to run through the rain instead of wishing it to stop. For life, is all about the dance. The colors. The sunny afternoons and cold mornings. The starts and stops.

Do we need to worry about closed doors?

 

Four years ago, I lost someone. There was no way for that loss to be reversed. So I questioned life, I questioned God. Demanded answers that in my heart, I already knew but refused to accept. So I kept banging on heavens doors for answers to my “Why”.

Then, I got tired. I lurked in darkness until I realized dwelling in that state is not serving me anymore. So my “Why” turned into, “What now”. As I opened my self to receive answers to this question, new things started to unfold.  Things I never thought of focusing my life on. Things that allowed me to re-ignite my desire to live and do it to the full.

Some of us live through two seasons during the year, some four.  Regardless of the number, you have to live through them to understand and appreciate one full year.  If you’re reading a book, at any point you’d know how many chapters there are to go before you reach the end. But if you’re the character in the story, you don’t know that.  So you do the best you could to make the best of what you have, relish it and still give something away.

 

In life, you don’t show up just to get, you show up to give. Trust me, being able to give, is a much better place to be in.

Everybody loves a happy life. But a life story with no struggles, setbacks, detours and closed doors, is not as exciting to hear compared to a life story that has.  Nobody can relate to a life with no pain, and nobody can be proud of a life lived devoid of meaning and purpose.

 

Are you still staring at a closed door? If it belongs to the past, leave it. There are still plenty of new doors waiting to be opened. In God’s universe, there’s an abundance of everything and it’s ours for the taking.

 

 

Question:

Are you looking at a closed door right now? What choice are you making? Comment here.

How To Handle Negativity At Work

“Your inner peace, like everything that’s personal to you, is your responsibility. Don’t let anyone or anything outside of you disturb that peace. It’s too precious to be annoyed”.- sundaewrites

 

 

So you show up for work, happy and excited. You open up your email and see three glaring entries.

-from your boss, disappointed with results, urgently demands improvement
-from a colleague, urgent demand for an explanation why something was not —-done or not done right
-from a customer, angry, dissatisfied with your service, urgently demands action

 

Do this email entries change your mood? Oftentimes, yes. Will it affect your good intentions? Well, It shouldn’t.

 

Though we did not assign weight or intensity in the three cases above, we can agree that most of the time, they come with a lot of anger, blame, and loads of negative energy.

 

If you’ve seen that facebook video about people carrying emotional garbage and dumping that to everyone they come in contact with, the cases above are classic examples of it.

 

In this fast-paced world, where most of us are expected to work like machines and process floods of information all at once, the pressure that people get is too much, the stress, intolerable. And oftentimes, pressure and stress get the better of us. We forget the reality that we’re actually dealing with human beings.

 

In such an environment, the fight or flight mode is activated in people’s mind. That’s what causes bosses to shout at subordinates, employees to find someone to blame, clients to harass service providers or the other way around. We obviously want to lift the weight from our shoulders and demand other people to carry it for us. Bluntly, yes, we dump our garbage on to other people.

Photo Credit: Tim Goedhart
Photo Credit: Tim Goedhart

If you are at the receiving end of this relationship, what do you do? Personally, my used-to-be default tendency was to retaliate: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But now, I know better.

 

One of my mentors taught me to change the rules of the game. Not any more to react, but instead, to influence. To change the atmosphere of whatever room I go into.

 

Call it taking the higher ground, changing your normal stance, attitude and intention will do a lot of benefits not just for others but more so for you.

-to give rather than to take
-to help rather than to restrain
-to serve rather than to hurt
-to understand rather than to strike back

 

Recently, I was faced with a blaming game at work, and instead of defending myself or highlighting the other person’s negligence, I thought to myself, “This is not one of the battles I want to spend my energy on”.

 

So what did I do? I changed my stance. I thought about where this person is coming from, what is he going through and what made him say the things he said.

 

I believe that inherently, people are good. So understanding where this person’s anger and blaming are coming from, allowed me to see through him and the situation. Then I asked myself. “How can I help this person”? “How can I best serve him”?

 

So I end up pacifying the guy and we were able to work out a solution to the situation.

 

If only I could replicate this approach every single time, then I’d be someone who becomes a part of the solution instead of a contributor to a problem.

 

Sure, losing your cool is the easy way out. But that comes with a price. While patience and endurance, you get a far more fulfilling reward.

photo credit: Denise Altindas

Your inner peace, like everything that’s personal to you, is your responsibility. Don’t let anyone or anything outside of you disturb that peace. It’s too precious to be annoyed.

 

Question:
Have you encountered someone who’s dumped their garbage on you? How did you react? What did you learn from that experience? What insights did it give you regarding people you work with?