3 Things Involved with Discipline in Order to Change

I talked about finding the “why”, finding the motivation as the first step to focus on in taking action to reach a goal. It provides the drive and passion for reaching that certain goal and completing those propositions. With that in mind, I will discuss three intertwined points in order to have an attack plan that draw the fine line between success and failure for you. If you can do the following, you have the basics of discipline down.

Learning Habit – Make something a part of yourself
Often time when you will think about learning or trying something. You consciously or sub-consciously also associate the fact that it is just something extra. The idea that it’s something exra leads you to think that it is not “as important” or dispensable even, which is very very bad. Take for example, you would like to become healthier and thus, need to exercise (and include a balance diet). When you consider it extra instead of a requirement, you will most likely just continue to go home and sit in front of TV. Instead of thinking it as something extra that needs to be done after work, you need to consider it as a required part of your life. Humans ARE animals and thus, daily activities should involve a certain amount of movement to sustain livelihood, just like breathing/sleeping is a part of us. It is not something extra that we can stop doing.

Another example can be that you want to improve your communication skill and for that, it involes becoming a better listener, which involves understanding people and not just hearing words. So instead of practicing and learning tips and tricks on listening to keywords and doing feedbacks, you need to make the principle of always trying to understand other people a part of you. By making the best effort to keep that as a habit, only then you become so natural at it and thus allow you to become good in communication.

Learning a habit takes time, it’s like learning a new sport where we have to drill certain movements into our muscles. Make it a requirement as a part of your being and have patience for yourself to learn it as a habit.

Being Persistent – Focus on the end and don’t give up
As previously discussed, learning a habit is by no means an easy task, nor is reaching a certain long-term goal any easier. They usually involve an extensive amount of time that will take steps after steps to get to it. The beginnning is especially a tough step, which is the reason we need the “why”. Heck, I’ve always doubted myself in learning piano in such an “old” age, but staying persistent and continue to practice is the only way I can get where I want, albeit the frustration and feeling like a failure sometimes. By focusing on the end, I will not give up. You will owe it to your persistence to reach most goals.

Fear Not – Let go, trust, and just be in the moment
This relates to the last point very much. As how I would doubt myself in my piano skill quest, I can feel fear creeps up on me that actually holds me back from practicing at times. It is very strange but that is what fear does to us. “Where is the end? I don’t see all the steps that take me to the goal.” With many possible failed steps in our path to reach a goal, staying persistent is one thing. One thing that will back up the persistence is to let go of the fear and just be in the moment of taking the step, trust that a new step will be revealed, which is somewhat analogous to having the end in mind and having persistence to kee you going. Trust in “the end” and don’t let fear steer you away from reaching it (but this is not saying we don’t take advice from otehrs).

The ideas I talked about is a little difficult to articulate, so you can somehow grasp them and make use of them.

Originally posted 2007-03-23 23:50:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Read Financial Materials with Skeptical Minds

I came across the MSN article today — Foreclosure ‘crisis’ is overblown — amidst all the doom-and-gloom financial news.

Excerpt with the main points to save you some reading time:

Though the national rate of foreclosure increased by a whopping 79% between December 2006 and December 2007, the rate was still only 1.033%. Because about 30% of all homes are owned mortgage-free, this means that for all the noise about a crisis, only seven-tenths of 1% of all homes were in foreclosure.

In the top 100 housing markets, the average foreclosure rate was somewhat higher — 1.38% — and it was up 78% over the previous year. But if you rank-ordered the list of the top 100 areas, only 34 had foreclosure rates above the group average. Fifty-one areas had rates of 1% or less.

Foreclosure rates actually fell in 14 of the 100 areas. More important, many of the areas with the highest increases in foreclosure rates were rising off rates that were tiny. The Bethesda, Md., area, to offer the most extreme case, saw foreclosures rise 1,288% — to a rate of 0.682%…

Does this mean we can stop worrying and planning and saving? No, it does not mean that we can overlook the entire real estate ordeal and what’s really happening. However, I think this demonstrate that we need to be skeptical and understand the bias of the authors of the materials we read, despite whatever useful information exist in them. Further more, we must understand the possibility of some financial writers/analysts who exaggerate and write with the agenda to destory/hike a stock for their affiliated short/long position.

This is definitely an emotional time as people’s livelihood may be on the line as the market rises and falls like roller coaster these days. Yet, it remains important to not get carried away by our own emotions and thoughts. Don’t just take other people’s words for granted. Go find out on your own. Keep reading. Keep learning.

Since I said what I did, shall I even trust the article? I’m stumped.

Originally posted 2008-04-01 23:49:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Life is a Process

In life, we move from one goal to the next. We are told that we need to set goals and to reach these goals is success. So in between goals, our focus is solely on the goals. It becomes all about reaching the end.

Let me ask you, “Are you always in a hurry to ‘get some where’ in life?”

I must say, I’m not so sure if it’s such a good idea anymore. I wonder how many moments we lost by living like that. But the fact that everyone is in a hurry in life, so fixated on the “end”, helps to explain why people are so distracted in everyday life. Their happiness is solely dependent on reaching goals. I’m not sure if I like this either. I am even amazed at how much people enjoy the dramas, both good and bad ones, in between also, but I digress.

People are 100% immersed in this little world of “goals”. They allow the emotions and thoughts that arouse from succeeding or failing at these goals dictate them. In other words, reaching goals and success and emotions and thoughts control them. This explains why people genuinely not give a crap about each other also. They are ready to step on another’s toes to cross the road.

My conclusion for now is that everything in life or more specifially, growth in any areas like physical strength, piano, singing, etc. (what I do) is like climbing a mountain. Just when you think you have gone so far, you realize how much farther you can go. No end in sight. It’s a relentless pursuit. What would happen if you base your happiness on these endless pursuits?

It is great to celebrate when a goal is reached. But it’s so enjoyable also realize in between, that you are travelling because you care to expand the effort, and you possess the perserverance, endurance of pain, acceptance of loneliness, and willingness to change. The moments in between goals are important. It is also extraordinarily enjoyable as I am training in many different areas, and by savoring the moments, I discovered so much about myself and the world, both physically and psychologically.

Essentially, the moment is all we have. To find happiness means you treat the moment sincerely. To have faith in the moment is to have peace. To have peace allows you to do things sincerely. To do things sincerely allows for quality.

It is foolish to take life in a completely goal-oriented way. Not that goal is bad. But reaching for goal as extremety is bad. Not only because you are wasting the moments of yourlife, but also because you will ignore the process. Like the economic crisis, we can say it happened because of greed. However, we can also say that it happened because people wnat this arbitrary end of “enormous wealth” and they want to bypass process to get there. It is the same reason why people take steroids to look big and not for medical purpose. We had a economy spiked on steroids and now we reap the side effects.

In a way, I guess I want to say that modern life is a constant struggle to get to these “ends”. But I am writing this to also remind myself to not get sucked into the incessant chasing, to not be in such a hurry. It is important to stop and rest. I like to stay in the moment. And like I said, it’s a struggle sometimes living in this modern world.

Finally, to not treat life as a one integral process is also the cause of the biggest downfall for many people. Why? Examples would be people who diet/exercise for some deadlines, only to turn into Ms./Mrs./Mr. Dunkin Donuts afterward. Or people who enslave themselves with yet another loan after they paid off the previous one.

To think that you “get there” and you can stop is the stupidest thing people can think in life. To stop is to become rigid and therefore allows no change and that means death. To be alive is to be fluid and ready to accept changes to go with the flow in life. Life is a process.

Originally posted 2008-11-02 23:08:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Splitting the bill at a meal with friends and “others”…

friends_dining_painting

So this has been on my mind for awhile. Recently I was at at dinner with my girlfriend, her friend aka Mary, and Mary’s date aka John. The “others” in the title applies to John, haha.

The food was enjoyable, conversation was flowing, and we were having a decent time. The bill came and we split it evenly by 4 while I paid for my girlfriend and myself. No awkward moment on the spot, but there is a minor hiccup…

My girlfriend and I thought and discussed about it later. Neither of us is into drinking a lot of alcohol so we each had one drink for the night. Well, the minor hiccup is that Mary and John each had 3 or 4 drinks for the night.

Our biggest gripe is that neither of them think of to offer to pay a little bit more for the bill. How inconsiderate! At least make the simple gesture, right?

I don't want anxiety for dinner bill...

I don’t want anxiety for dinner bill…

I have no rules and I generally don’t fuzz about a few extra dollars. In this case, the difference is quite a bit more because of the disproportion between the pairs. I let it pass on the spot because I know this is an occasional outing. At the same time, my GF and I now know to be mindful about going out with Mary and a date, lol. Perhaps say something about it before the bill comes next time? Perhaps…

The good thing for me is that the close group of friends I keep are always great about when splitting the bill, none of us care about paying a bit extra while at the same time, we all offer to pay more when clearly we’ve consumed more. Love my friends :)

If I end up dining with a group of new people, I set no expectation and am ready to pay the extra if necessary.

Back to the story… The other point from our discussion is that, this John guy is obviously not that great of a date after all because it obviously didn’t cross his mind that their extra drinking had really tip the bill. This suggests a lack of attention and sensitivity.

I think it’s generally very hard to have rules set-in-stone to deal with these social situation. What do you think? How do you deal with splitting the bill in general?

Originally posted 2013-03-21 00:19:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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