The essence for our growth

I: Isn’t it fun getting better at the job?

C: it is

I: isn’t that the main strand of your career that you’re getting better at the job

C: well, it could only get better, it couldn’t get worse

Inspiration of the week is a chat by Cate (C) Blanchett and Sir Ian (I) McKellen in Actors on Actors show (link)

They were discussing about things they are not so good at (geez, they are so humble, o’rite). Cate replied Ian that she feels they just need to be asked by someone to do it (as a challenge for themselves)

In imaginary world, if I’m an actor, I think my bosses will be the director of the show. They are the one who set the movie direction. And I just need to do my best as certain role in the movie.

I’m guessing that directors also have their own unique style, perhaps like Quentin Tarantino or Michael Bay or Peter Jackson.

Clashes are unavoidable and uncontrollable, but our respond to it is controllable. As there was a conflict happened this week and I can’t help to keep thinking about it. I kept asking why to myself to the extent it hounded me.

However listening to Cate and Ian, I feel that after it’s all happened in the past, their present self can just laugh at it. They grew from their past self.

The image of 7 deadly sins comic starts to appear in my mind when I was hounded by the incident. That I was activating Pride and Wrath in me. And what I need to activate is Acceptance now. So, don’t feel angry or sad, just be better. One step at a time.

Thing happens for a reason. As always.

Ask and you’ll be given. Whether it’s something important for your growth or the answer to your problem.

What do you think?

Extra note:

Doesn’t time feel so fast passing by when you are in the last quarter of the year?

I flipped through my agenda and find that October inspiration page was blank. Although I had my October filled with activities.

November, on the other hand, has been giving me valuable lessons. It also the M-1 for the big event early Dec.

Inspiration of the week

Sometimes it’s good not to have too much time because it gives you too much time to think. When you have extra time, you have room for doubts and you will not listen to your instinct – Tom Hiddleston in conversation hosted by SAG-AFTRA Foundation (link)

I was listening to some of his appearance in past talk show because I was curious about his work outside MCU. And after few talks, I feel I’m sharing the same sentiment with Zachary Levi the host in the Nerd HQ 2013 when Tom talked about his enthusiasm about ancient Greece or Shakespeare, can make him feel uncultured.

But joke aside, I think he really gives his all when doing something, like to know the script of the play or movie he’s in as how he remembered Happy Birthday. He said it’s a matter of drilling and repetition.

He could be just putting up a show, but it seems to me, he’s genuine.

Sometimes lesson reached you through something you least expected

Do you remember why you started something?

Last week when I participated in a rally run with few office colleagues, and one of them was one of the youngest in the office. He said, he’s hoping he can be converted to a perm staff as he knows more people, he started to feel like home.

And I can feel his enthusiasm or spirit. (As if in Dragon Ball anime?)

It’s easy to start something, but to keep doing it consistently is hard.

That’s what I thought before, but recently I think it’s because I forgot the purpose of doing it what makes me stop doing something.

Or, it could be just self-imposed mini mission. When you completed it, I don’t find any additional mission or purpose to keep doing it.

For example, when I was learning guitar few years ago. I just want to learn something which I’ve been wanting to learn since I was kid. But I rarely practice or playing it these days.

I flipped my agenda the other day, I wrote “remember why you started” in May, during one of the big change in my life. It gave me some flash backs about the beginning of the journey.

One thing that blogging helps me to be better is

The phone buzzed, a reminder to blog showed up. Ah, it’s time for it again.

Sometimes I have the idea around mid week, and I started to write it, set it on schedule and when the reminder showed up, just ticked it, and I’m done.

There are also days when I don’t have the idea until the reminder is showing. Or, on top of that, I have other commitments which made me unable to set aside a time to write.

So, I asked myself, did the week just pass by with nothing interesting happened to me? Or without learning something from it.

That question reminds me of my sensei’s statement to us during classroom. As she likes to ask random question to us, like do you meet strange people while going to class, or do you find a money on the street, so on, my classmate and I tend to be quiet. Partially, we are thinking how to answer her, and the other half, is trying to recollect of those happened to us.

She’s jokingly saying, that we are not interested in the world outside ours (i.e. phone).

And I find it somewhat true.

Most of the times, I don’t pay attention to what happened around me during commuting, it’s all going on auto-pilot mode, leave the house, lock the door, walk to MRT, get the EZ link card, tap on the gate, go up to platform, wait for the train, hop in (or squeeze in) and so on.

Speaking about this auto-pilot mode reminded me of an old talk by Ajahn Brahm. That we are not living in the present and lack of awareness.

And the funny thing is, both of them suggested similar method. For example, instead of always turn right after a building, we turn right earlier or later (but make sure there is a path to go to our destination), we might see different things along the way. Or, when you brush your teeth, do you always start from the left side or from the right side, top half of the mouth first or the other area of the mouth first?

Back to the question I asked myself, yes, I have one or two events which I found it memorable. I’ll share here some other time. Thanks to that, I’m able to remember more important lesson, which is to be in the present moment.

How about you, can you remember all the events happened to you last week? Or maybe your lunches.

PS: this view might be the opposite of why Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs always wear the same color shirt and same jeans everyday. They prioritize making decision over choosing a style. Hence they go auto-pilot on wardrobe.

A note from last week

I saw that pin from Pinterest app.

And I’m amazed how coincidence it is because of what happened to me yesterday when I was in the middle of completing a race. Halfway mark I felt my legs were giving up.

The talk by Simon Grimstrup when my friends and I were in Vietnam emerged from my mind. He said, usually he had 3 options in his head, option A is to complete the race within xx time frame, option B is to complete it within yy time frame and the last option is just to complete the race.

I asked myself, it’s halfway there, what do you want to do? Flag a cab? Why am I rushing? To meet my friends at the finishing line? How about if I can’t meet them? That’s okay too isn’t it? I still can meet them some other day.. and, comparing to your friends, you have a cut off time (on top of the race cut off time). Because you still need to go to class after this. Do you have to go to class? You were skipping few lessons back then because of races too.. so..?

After having all of those convo, I decided to go with option C. Just complete it. I’ll think of the rest later after crossing the finishing line.

I listened to my legs, they barely could run for 500m, so, I walked almost the last 8km. But I jogged in between especially when I spotted cameraman.. for few seconds of glory, the legs agreed.

And darn right! The feeling crossing the finish line was incredibly awesome.

PS: I still went to my class, although was late for 20mins, then walked like penguin back home, tried to take a nap but the euphoria made my mind alert somehow. So, I decided to watch Pokémon while having light dinner. (Although I entitled for 2000 calories meal) Did some rolling as my friends suggested to ease the pain and call it a day.

PPS: I’ll do my best to enjoy the soreness before the next one (wottt) and back to civilian life

To worry or not to worry

When did the last time you feel worry before you are about to do something? It could be something very important, and if you screw it up, it would be a nightmare. Or, it could be something you’re going to do for the first time.

Well I still feel the butterfly in my stomach on D-1 of my race. Regardless the distance or the sports. But those tensions are more like a self-impose pressure. Without realizing, I put pressure on myself when I’m doing something. Be better than your previous self. And I hate to lose to myself (lol)

There are more things that I learned from the manga Haikyuu! that I read this week:

1. All you need at start is just a bit of curiosity.

When you begin doing something, you don’t need an “unshakable will” or “impressive motivation”. Little by little, what you’ve begun will naturally become important to you. – Kiyoko Shimizu

(When Hitoka Yachi was uncertain and not confident about being volleyball club manager)

It’s okay to not to have the better result after every event I joined. Keep the “how do I…” flame alive, find out more from friends, research or reading. Give it a try, remember the outcome and learn from it.

2. There will be next race

Isn’t it defeat more like a trial to overcome? Of whether you can stand up and walk again after falling to your knees. If you remain on your knees like that, then it would be a sign of weakness.

(Takeda Ittetsu to Kageyama Tobio and Hinata Shoyo after their defeat against Aoba Johsai during Interhigh)

As long as you properly recover, train more and better preparation next time. There are so much things you can control, but there are also other things you can’t. Train well, and translate those into the actual race. Without panic or worry.

PS: to myself, I know you usually like to grind more (put more effort) than the actual required (read: in RPG game = level) and there is always “I did not … enough” thought lingering. As long as you have done your best, isn’t it good enough?

Why do you need to train so hard?

I don’t like working up a sweat or out of breath, buuuuut.. I don’t dislike sharpening my skills and leveling up – Kozume Kenma, Nekoma High (Haikyuu!!)

Immediately I screamed (silently) Kenma you’re my inner character. Well except I’m not any teams’ brain like him to Nekoma.

He is depicted as quiet guy, absorbed in game, laid back personality and never gets excited. And he wasn’t into volley ball until his childhood friend and neighbor introduced him to the sport.

You should read the manga Haikyuu!! Or watch the anime. It wasn’t pulling me instantly at first, but being a volleyball player during my high school, I continued reading it and I become attached to it.

Kenma’s line reminds that I’m not particularly gifted when it comes to physical activities. As casual player, I can do it, but never beyond it. My running speed is average, my agility is average, and many more. If anyone can do it after few trials, I probably need to put double (or maybe triple) of the effort to be able to do it.

Sometimes I asked myself why I do still do it? Why I push myself that hard?

Well I guess, the feeling of leveling up makes me happy. And you know that the higher level you are, you need to grind more, aka put more time or effort, to level up.

So, why I’m running or swimming or cycling? I guess, I want to be better. As Garmin tag line would be #BeatYesterday

However, I need to be more honest to myself. If I really want to do it or liking something, I need to admit it too.

On meditation

I’ve been wanting to join a meditation journey after hearing one of my friend who often went for a week or two meditation retreat. Because he came back refreshed after the trip.

My friend mentioned that in one of his trip, he was having walking meditation and I thought, how could you meditate while walking?

But recently, I think that it is actually doable. Because during long running alone, I always have a good long talk with my mind and just trying to focus on one thing, completing the it.

And sometimes the route seems very supportive to help us having it (ha)

It happens not just during running, even I have it during long distance cycling too. But at least it’s safer to do it.

So.. maybe we will have a new branch, running meditation 😀

Some of my friends probably will scold me, can we do it in more relax way, like sitting or walking?