Mirror, Mirror, Who Am I?

What do you see when you look into the mirror?

What does the reflection tell you about the person you’re looking at?

Is that you or is that a shadow of the person who could’ve been you?

Who is that person looking back at you?

When I look into the mirror, I see a person of capabilities, a person with talents just waiting to be realised. I also see a person who had shortchanged himself, a person who took things for granted, a person who is just a shadow of what he could’ve been if he had worked harder.

And it disappoints me… every day.

 

 

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A painful lesson for myself: humility

I started this blog because I treasure memories and I wanted to record them down for my future self to read.

But for that to work effectively, I have to be 100% open and truthful too.

So, let me be just that.

There’s a lesson that I believe has been one of the hardest for me to digest and practice, which is the lesson of humility.

Death and prayer bring humility to the soul of a person. However, I have yet to truly grasp the essence of being humble. To know how to be humble is one thing but to truly practise the art of humility is another.

It is even more so when the urge to get recognition, validation from others will continue poking at you like an annoying little brother. I guess, it just shows how deep I have dived into this world of gratification and a habit I’m trying hard to break.

I guess it all started when I begin to realise that having people associating you with your work is a confidence booster. It truly is. But, slowly and surely, it will become something that consumes you as your work is now more focused on capturing the attention of others instead of honest and sincere work.

Once you get that validation ball rolling, your humility will slowly disappear. And that is something that I truly fear.

In National Service, I was always taught and told to be humble, to respect others and bring yourself low. This lesson was especially important for officers like me. In retrospect, however, I guess it was a lesson that I did not embody and I truly regretted that. Maybe my life in NS would have been vastly different otherwise.

In Islam too, we were taught be humble, to bring ourselves down to the level of others, to speak kindly and on the same frequency as the person we’re talking to.

There are still so much more that I can learn to embody the art of humility. A lesson that I’m painstakingly trying to master.

I guess, it all takes time. All I have to do is persevere on.

I will also try to be sincere in my craft. To put aside the thought of validation and do it sincerely, for the sake of my future self.

Self-Aware, the Journey

Being self-aware has been a skill that I am and still am constantly working on. It is a skill which I also believe everyone should put in their time and effort into mastering. To be self-aware is to understand the ins and outs of ourselves, to understand our emotions when it occurs and to know what triggered them in the first place. However, to me, to be self-aware goes beyond recognizing emotions, it also includes understanding and appreciating the way we feel because that it naturally who we are.

In every phase of life, I believe that there will always be some sort of limiting beliefs that we will be battling, be it, thinking that we are weak, believing that we are not good enough, seeing ourselves as inferior to the rest and so on. In my case, however, I am currently struggling with the limiting belief that “I am shortchanging my success because of my nature.”

There are several reasons which I believe caused me to feel this way. Firstly, I deeply admire successful entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, just to name a few. I compare my nature with their nature. I compare my level of maturity and thinking with their level of maturity and thinking at my age. I realized that they have a natural Type-A personality of just going forward and striving for the best which I realized, I sorely lacked. This puts me down and I secretly still am striving to reach that level of hustle. Secondly, I believe that hard work is the key ingredient to success. In the past, before I went on this journey of being self-aware, I went with the flow, not putting in the extra mile to work harder, strive further and scare myself with seemingly unreasonable goals. As I slowly come to realize that by being aware of my senses, by understanding that I am capable of so much more, I began to unknowingly put in the effort to work hard and so far, I guess it has been fruitful to a certain extent.

Sometimes, problems can give ourselves a real headache and sometimes, it becomes seemingly overwhelming. However, I realized that one can zoom out their problems and see the bigger picture. I believe that comparing oneself to others is never and will never be a good strategy to define your rank in society but sometimes, by zooming out and recognizing that our problems are so insignificant as compared to the rest of the world, will help us to overcome that problem. I believe that it is due to a certain mental barrier that we have erected in our minds that prevented us from seeing a solution. Once we allow ourselves to zoom out, will we finally able to shine some light on our measly problems.

Listen, Full Attention.

In this world that is increasingly full of distractions from messages to social media, it becomes harder and harder to listen and give people our fullest attention.

I too am guilty of using my phone as others are talking, preferring to reply unimportant texts than conversing with others who are centimetres away from myself.

It becomes a habit that I begin to realise and be completely aware of.

Thus, I am trying my best to give someone my full attention by putting my phone away when it is time to converse.

I guess it is a basic form of respect and also, one can truly learn a lot about the other person if one is willing to give their fullest attention.

For me, it is a habit in progress.

Be you, always?

Be you, always.

Never try to be someone else, even for a moment.

But, here begs the question of what does it mean to be yourself?

Aren’t we all just the product of our environment and nurture?

Aren’t we all just a bunch of thoughts, ideologies and a few scraps here and there mashed up together?

How can we not be someone else if the only thing we know how to act is from someone else?

Babies and toddlers have the same disgusted reaction to things that their parents are known to be disgusted at. It is a learned reaction.

Thus, how do we separate who we are and who we aren’t?

I don’t know. I guess, just go with what’s natural to you.

Oh well, ultimately, I’m just a person with a thought and a blog.

I don’t really know the answer to it.

Maybe you can help me out.

Time Alone?

I need a few days to myself.

I have to admit that the holidays was fun.

Met some friends, did some work, improved my craft, did more work…

However, I lacked something that I truly needed, my own time.

Almost every single day during the holidays was I interacting with someone, talking to someone, being in the company of someone. Sometimes, it becomes tiring, exhausting even.

I guess it is because I’m slightly introverted and I just need time to think, ponder and reflect.

There are about 3 days left before the start of the new semester and I’m going to take whatever time that is left, alone. I really need to think.

And I truly hope that I’m re-energised and more focused for the upcoming semester, a semester that I feel, wouldn’t be easy.

 

 

True Intentions

Be it good or bad, everyone has their intentions when they are doing or about to do something.

We just don’t know what they are.

Maybe, they might not even be conscious of what their true intentions are, themselves.

To be conscious of your intentions when doing something is truly important. One example is the intention to do charity. If your intention to do charity is to help others and make the life of others better, then, that is good. However, there are some whose intentions are to build their own image in the eyes of the public, to make themselves look philanthropic when in actual fact, they aren’t.

True intentions lie deep within oneself and only if one asks himself the question of their intentions can it be revealed.

Sometimes, intentions are hidden deep beneath piles of lies and deceits and thus, we are not conscious of what is driving our actions. Maybe, they are hidden under the lies we tell ourselves of what we want to be instead of who we truly are. We want so much to be how we envisioned ourselves to be that we would rather lie to ourselves than work hard to achieve it.

This is a problem that many face every single day, even me. However, it can be eradicated, only with an increase in self-awareness; understanding who we are and who we aren’t.