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

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.

Let’s challenge it (again)

One of my Japanese classmate passed her N1 recently. To me, it’s like the pinnacle of mastering the Japanese language because I’m still holding N3 since few years ago and haven’t done my N2 again since failed to pass it around 2 years ago.

I’m going to give it another go this year, but was distracted with other goals which also requires me to put sometime grinding experience, so hopefully next year I can take it. (No more excuses Kartika, okay?)

Sensei added, why don’t you still take it (N1) in 2 years time, so that you will be able to know how much you had grown. And to keep the motivation to learn going.

Why I didn’t think of that before?

So far, similar to my PMP, or certain license, they will ask you to do a refresher course to maintain the license or certification.

One of my running buddy has a mission to join running event for the same distance when she ran in that event for the first time. To find out what’s her timing like year by year.

For me, who only started to run regularly around four years ago, I started to find some favorite running events to join. But I didn’t think of making it as reevaluation about my running time.

How about you? Do you have any activities which you always do as rechallenge?

What I wish that I know when I was

J.K. Rowling said that in her Harvard commencement speech. She said that she was racking her head what should she share in a commencement speech. So she thought that what she wished to know when she was at the same age with the graduates.

Her words made me think, what are the think I want to tell my younger self? Or maybe what would my future self would tell the present me.

(I’m sure that Luffy wouldn’t want to hear it. Because it won’t be fun anymore.)

One thing I can think of now, if I can tell my younger self would be, write more. Whether it’s a scribble, a diary, or just a shoutout. Daily if possible.

My sensei usually will ask this question during lesson, anything interesting happened in the past few days? And as usual, most of us will just smile at her. She will make a comment that we are not paying attention to life, and as if, living it in auto-pilot mode which makes us easily forget what happened around us, during commute, at home, or at work. She said, write a diary, write about the weather, clothes we wear that day, food we eat and so son. The year after that, you can read what did you eat and eat the same food this year. (Interesting idea ne)

I like to write diary. I was writing my diary in English when I was in junior and high school time. As practice. These days, I’m writing it in Japanese with same purpose in mind. As practice. When I’m in my hometown and found my old diary, I had a good laugh by reading them.

Two years ago, I wrote a time capsule message to the 2020 myself. Honestly, I can’t recall at all what did I write that day. I’m looking forward to the day to open it. Then I’ll write another one to the 2025 myself.

Back to J.K. Rowling’s speech, there is one thing that I like the most. It’s about humility to know that life is difficult, complicated and can be out of control. Even an adult might still have the greatest question in life, what I want to do. So, take your time as life is not a race to complete a checklist.

As my sensei always advised us in the class, try to do things differently, and as you get different result, you will find life will give you more colour. Like greeting her “good morning” when our class is in the evening, or keeping a diamond in a watermelon.

Just have some fun~!

To be more confident, follow these

  1. Do few baby steps, and do it right. It will make you feel good and confident.
  2. Once you get it right, add the intensity or steps or do it for longer period.
  3. If it wasn't going well, stop and reflect.
  4. Then repeat the last one when you're succeed.

Those were my swimming coach advice to us this week.
She often asked us, how do we feel, did we do this or that, and so on. Because it's easier to correct it when we, the doer, aware about what and how we do it.
Continue reading “To be more confident, follow these”

Nothing to lose

My sensei said, when we are worried about something big like exam, don’t be. Just ダメもと (dame moto).

Dame moto is short form of ダメでもともと (dame de moto moto) which means nothing to lose. 

Even if you fail the exam, doesn’t mean our ability decrease. We just go back to square one or our original state. 

When we never challenge ourselves, how can we tell we are growing? 

Look at people around you

and you’ll make your world wider.

That’s what my sensei told us during class.

She added, so when you’re on train, don’t just look down and listen to music. Look around and listen to your surrounding.

Another student asked, how can we widen our world wider by doing that inside train? XD

Sometimes I’m surprised with what sensei told us in class.  She often said it jokingly, but I feel somehow it always reminds me about something which happens to me lately, or inspires me.