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.

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.

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.

 

“If only I was everything that I’m not.”

I’m sure most of us, especially teenagers and young adults, have had this thought once in our lives.

We yearn to be something that we are not, something that we think is ‘better’ than what we are now.

Maybe, we want to be fitter, prettier, kinder, braver… and the list goes on and on. So, we look up to people who have achieved that, people who we think is the epitome of whatever we aren’t. We aspire to be them.

We want to be them because we think that it will make our lives so much better, one way or another.

But unfortunately, we fail to realise that even though we do not have what they have, we have what they don’t have, in some way that is only unique to us.

I know. That sounds pretty lame but what I’m trying to say here is that the combined effects of your nurture and nature lead to who you are today. There’s no one else and will never be anybody else that will be you. You are you, end of story. Those combined effects of your nature and nurture also blessed you with skills, emotions, experiences that only you have. Maybe even things that only you can do.

For example, not everyone can sing but does that stop people from trying to sing or put non-singers down and give up on life? No. Non-singers might soon realise that maybe they’re blessed with different skills such as playing the drums, composing or even doing something else entirely. Things that maybe, those singers wished that they could do.

So, what I’m saying here is this, embrace your individuality, embrace you.

 

I have ideas…

But I need to find a way to materialise and realise them.

For now, I’m just a bag of ideas, possible things that COULD be done.

Currently, I think that is what I’m lacking of, a definite timeline for my ideas to be realised.

Sometimes, I can get so caught up in generating ideas that I forget about the practicality of them.

Talking is easy, doing the work isn’t.