Introvert living in a world of extroverts

I maybe quiet, but I may also have great ideas.

I maybe quiet, but I may also have great ideas.

We live in a very loud society. At least, it feels that way.

We either scream at the top of our lung or risk being unheard, unnoticed, unappreciated in today’s world. With the ever more stimulating media and everyone’s craving for attention, we all, in turn, need to continuously speak up, and FIGHT for attention.

More and more talking.
Less and less listening, paying attention.

No wonder people are feeling lonelier than ever.
No wonder we seem to understand so little of each other.

When do we have time for contemplation and introspection? Without which we leave little room for substance to grow, new idea to form, and creative vision to arise. Without such, the words that we keep spewing out lack what was mentioned, and they are just verbal diarrhea. That is, what we excrete out of our mouths are malformed, malnutritioned, perverted ideas that will lead us to a world that we… ultimately don’t want. All because we have to be constantly talking and constantly entertained… so it seems.

This is not to say introverts are better than extroverts. This is all about how unbalanced we have become.

We now deem extroversion as “normal.” Our world is not accepting of personalities that are of an introvert. We usually end up calling those people as boring, or inadequate, or even weird.

We are a society that suffocates those who are more introverted. We demand continuous communication even when it’s unnecessary. We ask for non-stopping display of excitement which is obnoxious to introverts.

I am an introvert. I enjoy being alone. I like having time to read at home. I love playing the piano. I find listening to music with headphones which is relaxing. I can sit somewhere and simply people watch.

I had been in management for almost a year now. It is surprising how criticism would arise mostly from a more mild demeanor that is natural for an introvert. If you don’t try to be visible, shouting words at every chance, you lack leadership and are not acting with a sense of urgency.

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I am analytical, I like to take in a lot of information, process, and then arrive at a conclusion. But the environment does not favor that. If I don’t immediately respond, it does not mean I do not care. Being able to be quiet and listen is also where understanding can happen, where appreciation comes from. With inadequate traits of introversion, we become mostly egomaniacs. And that’s how more than the average people would act these days (especially people in management).

That’s why I feel a sense of relief when I came across Susan Cain’s TED talk – The power of introverts:

Finally, the talk of the idea to take the time to stop, to enjoy solitude and to introspect.

Introversion is important. That is how we can understand each other. And understanding is the basis of compassion where we begin to truly care for each other.

I believe in action with grace and humility.

And someone like that can still be exciting, can still have style. Our world should not require people to call attention to ourselves in a sort of self-aggrandizing way exhibitionistic way.

From way back, my quiet and introverted style of being has always left me feeling “out of place” in this society, and it’s still does sometimes.

In conclusion, two obvious idea stand out from these discussion:

1) Our society still benefit from learning and adapting more traits of introversion, and as a result be more tolerant and able to work with introverts who may have some great ideas.

the_hulk

2) Meanwhile, introverts need to compensate, especialy if one wants to be influential, by being more studious and knowledgeable, thus more confident and assertive when the occassion arises that we need to speak up.

In other words, to all you introverts, don’t be afraid to go into hulk-mode if you feel strongly that you need to speak up or you know that you are right!

Originally posted 2013-06-03 04:12:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Before and After that BP Oil Spill Reveals

First of all, I don’t think we should still use the word “leak” for this BP… event. Nor the word “spill” would be appropriate nor sufficient, seeing that oil is GUSHING out at an incredible rate undersea. I thought about “oil stampede” but a friend suggested “oil rush” which sound quite a bit more catchy.

I had said before that when I read current events that I do not focus so much on the specifics of THE event where instead, my desire is to observe the underlying trend of the present time. Here I share the observed trends in the before and aftermath that are common in our culture and society now revealed in the BP “oil rush”.

Trend in the Before — Rushing to “the End”

Beyond all the investigation and quips and quibbles coming out of people’s mouth, the bottom line is so clear that these executives and businessmen have their eyes only on the money at the end. Thus, I shall say with almost 100% certaintay that — they had rushed the construction and drilling of at the oil rig, where processes and workers efforts are rushed and skipped to finish NOW to get the rig drilling.

A rushing mentality can only mean that things are never done right. If I am to build an oil rig like that with such potential disaster, I’d be damn sure to have 5, 10 safety locks and backups to prevent disasters, if not 50. These BP guys put ONE safety mechanism in, and it does not even work. That speaks a lot by itself. Yeah yeah?

And they rush for what? Profit of course. And indeed, they are not alone. This rushing mentality to get things done NOW (for the sake of profits) is pervasive even in all other fields, software, financial, manufacturing, etc. No, and indeed no, no one strives for quality, and so no one seems to do things right (without unintended consequence because intention is off from the very beginning!).

And Of course, we are on a quest to destroy the distance and continuance of time and space in order to instantly satisfy ourselves of all desires… but most the time, for sake of money :)

Trend in the After — Inability to Take Responsibility

Nope, I do not mean this in the sense that someone needs to come out and accept the consequence for this “oil rush”, though it would be nice.

I mean taking responsibility in that we humans all involved have yet collectively come together to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to stop further damage to natural habitats from day one. BP what with all their effort labeled with dumb names — top hat, hot tap, top kill, junk shot, etc. — and even dumber results, and also the government is taking their good time. Further, these people seem to spend more time shedding blame and pointing fingers and calculating economic damage than REALLY getting this whole thing fixed.

And so this is the age we have come to. An age where monetary growth trumps all. An age where humans bathe in the glamor and glory of technology. As if gold plated, but only to be slowly rotting from the inside out. I would like to coin the term the Golden Dark Age.

After all, there is one more trend, and that comes from the echo that claims we need to have more regulations for deep sea drilling, and all other things including regulations on the financial industry.

Such naivete for us to have such trust in laws and having more of them. I shall elaborate next time.

Originally posted 2010-06-14 22:39:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Use Your Imagination to Learn

Imagination is a mental capacity that’s enabled by our ability to think. No doubt, it’s a double-edged sword, but used correctly, it can greatly enhance our ability to learn.

Not that I have scientific proof, but it is something I picked up and found tremendously useful when I practice fencing, singing, basketball, piano… especially piano, there is such thing called “mental-play”. Supposedly Beethoven is a master of that, which is he can play perfectly blind!

It is pretty simple, just requires both mental strength and awareness to observe your own thoughts. Whatever you wan to do, be it a physical movement, a goal you want to accomplish, try to imagine yourself doing it.

Now, can you see yourself doing it?

If you can, keep repeating it and most likely, your chance of success will be enhanced. If you CANNOT, that is fine too and it is time to explore what is holding you back.

If it is a physical movement/exercise, you need to feel your own body. How are you breathing? How is your posture? Which part of your body, down to specific muscle, is tense? You need to be able to feel your body to make progress.

If it is a abstract goal, something you need to do, then it is time to examine what is holding you back. What are your values? What skills you need to learn? Why are you not confident? What kind of friends do you keep? How many things are you doing? Maybe you are watching too much TV?

According to Craig Harper, before he opened his gym, he has been running his gym in his mind for years. Before he trained his first client, he has trained thousands of clients in his mind before. I believe him.

I took what I learned from physical activities and applied it in my work settings when have important meetings or presentations, it is quite helpful. Think of imagination as a sub-version of you doing the actual things. Practice makes perfect, right?

Originally posted 2008-11-29 00:22:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Living in the Moment Revisit – Finding Peace

We modern people have more or less gotten used to one way of living.
Allow me to try to sum up in a few words.

If this moment is good, I am happy, enthusiastic, excited, etc… I want more and I will do whatever it takes to get more.
If that moment is bad, I am sad, bored, frustrated, angry, etc… and I don’t want it and will do everything to avoid it.
Basically, we only want to live with the “good stuff” and never with the “bad stuff”.

Not saying that it’s wrong. It is one way of living indeed. However, have you ever thought that we do not have to live like that?

Perhaps you can try living in the moment. You may think this is just a spiritual, philosophical idea. It maybe so, but really, living in the moment is just another way to live life. Personally, I believe that this is the way to fully experience life.

Perhaps we live the way we do now because it has been repeated a million times to us by everyone and everything, in all shapes or forms, that we are to seek happiness in life. I used to think so and even wrote that our ultimate goal is happiness. That’s 2 years ago. Now, I think otherwise.

This leads to my ultimate question for the day.
What if it is not about being happy?

Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to be happy. I want to be happy if I can. Surely, we have such preference. It is only natural as human. Being happy is nice and bringing happiness to others around is even nicer. But still, what if it is not about being happy?

I asked that because… well, it is impossible to always be happy. Especially, we can only be happy if there were sad times. And after all these time through learning and self-discovery, I realize, although we cannot always be happy, there is one thing we can always be. Peaceful. We can have peace — through good times and through bad times. We can always have peace.

And peace, is a result of the ability to live in the moment. It is an innate ability that we are all capable of, if we exercise our awareness.

We, everybody, can live in the moment through awareness. With awareness you accept each moment as. Everything here and now. Both good and bad. You exaggerate or deny neither of the opposites. You stop picking and choosing which moment you want and don’t want. You honestly see both good and bad, both happy and sad, and that they are two parts of a whole.

In happy moments, you wield yourself with peace and enjoy it fully, without dramatization nor attachment (trying to hold on to it forever). In sad moments, well, I will not say that you should enjoy it. I believe such is called masochism :) Just that, in the not so good moments, if you can still wield yourself with peace and make the best of it, perhaps greater good may come from the bad times.

Living in the moment.
Seeing things as is.
Fully experience everything.
The so called enlightenment… this is it.
Nothing special.
A lot of people say they want to “get there”, but it is not a destination either.
It’s a ceaseless process by itself.
You can get better at it like everything else, through practice.

How do you get better? You may wonder… I can provide a few suggestions. A large part of it has to deal with learning about yourself.

If living in the moment means experiencing things as is… it means for you to confront yourself. Yep, both the good sides and bad sides. Both the abstract and physical. Both the seen and un-seen. Accept them.

You may have bad thoughts in your mind, and that is okay. We are humans, bad thoughts can happen, but you can choose actions to take as to not to materialize it. Accept the bad thoughts. Accept the bad emotions. There are just as many good counterparts if not more. By being aware and accepting them, you learn about yourself.

Conversely, you can learn about yourself through your actions. Actions speak louder than words. If you allow yourself to be aware of your own actions, you learn about yourself. By seeing everything, you learn to honestly choose what you do not want for yourself next time.

You can also learn about yourself through other people. By that I mean, what you often see in other people is most likely what you see yourself as. You may deny it. But if you allow this observation, you may get past the denial easier!

Nobody else can do any of these for you. Only you can learn about yourself. Other people and things may serve as mirrors and guides, but that is it. Bruce Lee said (paraphrased), “All types of knowledge leads to self-knowledge. And ultimately, there is only self-help.” I believe he is on to something.

When you can finally see your true self and accept your whole self, you can finally see the reality as it is and do the best you can. You will have inner peace. You can also do your best. You can also honestly express your self because you are no longer all the different things you are supposed to be. When more and more people awake to themselves and the moment, we can stop declaring war on everything.

As of now, we are really fighting with everything that crosses our path. We even fight with ourselves because we even reject parts of what we are but what we are not supposed to be. We reject what we are not supposed to be because we are supposed to be something else.

We are supposed to prosper (continuously?). We are supposed to become rich (quickly?). We are supposed to be righteous. We are supposed to be religious. We are supposed to donate. We are supposed to be happy. We are supposed to be equal. We are supposed to have certain level of living standard. We are supposed to have this and that.

We are not supposed to be unhappy. We are not supposed to depressed. We are not supposed to think evil thoughts. We are not supposed to be fat. We are not supposed to be poor. We are not supposed to offend other people.

I am no genius, but currently, don’t we have much more of the “not supposed to be” that “supposed to be”? And no wonder most people are tired, burnt out and not healthy, all these “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”. So many to keep up with! We fight with ourselves internally because of these, and the fighting is manifesting itself in all the problems we face now.

Because of not living in the moment, we do not perceive everyone as human beings are of a whole, and let alone perceiving everything around us, and including ourselves, as a part of nature. We segregate by cultures, religions, families, names, groups, committees, advocates, trends, favorite celebrities, favorite sports, clothing, personalities…

I am not saying we are not to be any of the “supposed to be” or not be any of the “not supposed to be”. Neither am I saying we are supposed to be homogeneous.

It is great to have all the differences we have. That is the beauty of reality. But, those differences should not divide us. Yet, we allow them to divide ourselves, by us choosing what is “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”. We want this and not that. We live by what we want. We each have our own incentives. In other words… Me, me, MEEEE!

Perhaps one day we can stop declaring war on everything.
One day we stop dividing amongst ourselves.
One day we can let go of all the “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”.
One day each of us decides who we want to be through being aware, learning the self, and critically deciding actions to take.
One day we live in the moment and simply be, which is way simpler than keeping up with all those “supposed”. (Maybe then we won’t be so busy and tired)
One day everyone lives and treats other as human beings.
One day we live as a part of nature, instead of trying to be the owner. (I said trying because we will never become)
One day we can treat other creatures rightfully who are also part of this greater whole.
One day we can truly live, instead of trying so hard to live that we forget to live.
One day we can all live in the moment.

I hope that day will come.

Dare I say, this is the essense of all types of religions in the world, in their most original forms. Many of them preach love, kindness, compassion, courage. Well, true love, true kindness, true compassion, and true courage all spring forth from being in the moment, and by knowing your true self.

Dare I also say the following. Living in the moment and having inner peace may not make you the most successful and richest person in the world, but you will have something that worth way more and for now, very few have. You will have the moment, your true self, and peace.

The day the majority people can live in the moment, the day there will be a shift in the way we live as a society, but this has to start from the individual level. Each person doing his or her part.

Originally posted 2009-03-10 23:05:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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