Selfless/Noble or Selfish?

Many have realised that Life is much more than amassing wealth or eating, drinking and having fun.

Take Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg as examples.
These individuals with their focus on philanthropy, have realised that Life is more about making an impact and contributing to society as a whole.

Most of us would not able to do so on the same scale as the mentioned billionaires. However as the saying goes, “Little ripples make big waves,” the combined effort of every individual is more than enough to make the world a better place.

We should therefore thrive to do good and put smiles across faces whenever we can in our everyday lives, not only when we are financially stable.

Does the following sound familiar?

“I have to pay for my mortgage!”
“I have to pay for my school loan!”
“I lost my wallet.”
“I have to save for my wedding!”
“It costs a lot to raise children!
“I am busy with work!”

The list is endless and goes on and on just like how the rat race never ends.
Money will definitely and always be never enough.
It is about the priorities you hold dear to in your life.
Wrong it is not, for people to spend their hard earned money on self-indulging and making themselves feel good. There is however a limit/threshold to this after which emptiness creeps in.

The higher level of gratifying satisfaction is what makes the difference between people who share the joy and the self-indulger.

It is however never safe to assume that everyone who seem to have noble ideals and aspirations are “angels.”
Some individuals might try to sell their ideals for your support but have hidden agendas in what they are promoting.

Some examples (Theory is similar with Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility)
1) Property/Insurance agents who initiates volunteery work to spread his good name and expand his contacts. (Business Contact is conveniently displayed)

2) During an interview, Older Hiring manager claims to want to groom the younger generation (Tries to get you hooked up onto his idealistic and fairy-like aspirations but actually he just needs someone urgently to accept the role that is hard to fill.

As discussed in older posts, the bottomline is to always consider both sides of the coin.
When things seem too good to be true, it is wise to consider the following points.

1) Why is this person so persistent or earnest in wanting me to be a part of his ideal?
2) Is it really how it is painted to be?
3) What do I or the inducer gain from this?

The world is never black or white. People can have their own agenda in pushing something to you but is up to you and your personal threshold or tolerance point which constitutes it in being unethical or not.

To each his own!

Often times, it is when lying takes place which determines that the line has been crossed. Never tolerate it when such Liars twist their words and over promise/ give empty promises on things.

-END-

 

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“Do today what others won’t so tomorrow you can do what others can’t” -Jerry Rice

My sentiments

Not a Porcelain Doll

So, here’s the truth, in all its splendor and glory, life is Fucking hard! Life does not always end each day with a unicorn pooping rainbows of sunshine and good thoughts to us. Those of us that get up and adult every single day do not always want to drag ourselves out of bed and go through the drudge of the hours until we can crawl back in bed and pull the covers over our head and close our eyes from all the obstacles that will just be there tomorrow.

So, I shall say it again – Life is FUCKING hard!

Yet here is the tool that I use for battle each and every day:

“Do today what others won’t so tomorrow you can do what others can’t” -Jerry Rice

It’s the beginning of a new year, a new world for you, a new you for the world and above…

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Not Caring about What Others Think

There has been a rise in this “populist” idea that we should live not caring about what others think of us, especially amongst Millennials born in the late 90s through early 2000s. Some of these people also share common views such as, ‘I live my own life and I can do whatever I like.’ These ideas are often derived from contemporary media, YouTube personalities or even popular artistes and their influences.

Athough widely used positively as a catchphrase to encourage the embracing of individuality, I reckon it to be like a double-edged sword.
Most understand the positive aspect, which is to mainly embrace oneself disgregarding how others judge them. Many however fail to critically consider the significance of these words which is the impetus of what I will write about today.

The other side of the coin

Many youths today rely on media and the internet for sources of inspiration and encouragement. After going through a sequence of life events without much guidance or direction, they absorb inputs from these seemingly “reliable” sources which reinforces what they had realised which might not be not very accurate or out of context.
But because those idealistic ideals are in sync with what they had realised,  perceptions are further solidified which in turn leads to people developing rigid mindsets.

Embracing individuality is helpful in boosting one’s self confidence but not caring about how others thinks is rather tricky and subjective based on differing situations.

Not caring about how others think mainly is about not allowing hateful or unhelpful remarks or behaviour get to us. Many people have however resorted to the ideology of this phrase to justify their actions without giving deeper thought into it.

This topic also reasonates with the argument of freedom of speech.
People think they are entitled to what they can say or do as they are the masters of their own lives. Because of this idealistic sentiment, youths feel empowered to do or say whatever they want just like in the case of Amos Yee. Yes, it is true that we can do or say as we please but what some fail to critically realise is that we do not live in a world of our own.

Everything that we do or say in life has consequences which renders us liable to the parties involved. We have the freedom to not do something that we dislike but as adults, we must be ready to face the consequences especially when those choices turn bad, rather than escaping or blaming others (eg: such as the lack of the freedom of speech)

Is it therefore wise to assert the freedom of speech after hurling insults, hurtful remarks or inaccurate judgement at another individual? You do have the right to say or think what you want. However, the person at the receiving end would also then have the right to bestow upon you the brute of the whip, which is to say you will be subjected to backlash.

You cannot justify your careless deeds in the name of freedom of speech or choice and then whine and fault others for doing the same to you because they are also justified to respond in the same manner.

We live in a civilised world being governed by the rules and regulations of the respective societies we belong to. No one is able to shrink responsibility of their misdeeds unless that person is a dictator with absolute control. Even tribal men in rural villages adhere to their own laws and systems.

Deeds translate into reputation

Every individual is a member of their own household, neighbourhood, school, workplace and country, so on and so forth. We must act in manners in accordance to the respective situations that we are in if we want to survive and cohabitate in it, whether we like it or not.

In choosing to oppose the establishment, one cannot do a flip-flop and complain about it later after they feel that they are being ‘persecuted’ by the aftermath of their own choices. The only right thing to do is to suck it up, swallow your pride, learn from your mistakes and never let it happen again, not whine and play victim or the blaming game.

Whatever you say or do makes up your reputation in the social circle that you belong to. Irregardless of it being accurate or not, people judge and treat you accordingly to the perceived reputation that you inadvertently created based on your deeds.

Not everyone in the world is kind enough to give you the benefit of doubt.
Rumours when heard repeatedly by numerous sources turn into perceived truth.
Hardly anyone will be kind enough to dig into your soul to find the truth about you.

It is an uphill task to repair a tarnished reputation just like mending a broken mirror.
No matter how well you repair the mirror, it will never be the same again and the remnants of its imperfection will always be naked to the eye even if its a slight blemish.

Which is then the wiser thing to do? Watching your deeds, being mindful of its consequences or acting as you please without giving hoots about what others think?
The former does not focus on how others view or treat you but on the consequences of those actions.

It is fine if people just think of you in a certain manner but it mostly doesn’t end there. Rumours spread like wildfire and people treat you according to the unpleasant perceived image which results in you having to more or less tolerate those behaviour.

Why subject yourself to the consequences of these baseless rumours?
Does doing this make you someone who is conscious about how others judge or see you as a person? I don’t think so, unless you are willing to be a martyr for the cause of not caring about how others think and the consequences that comes with it. Also, it is highly dependable on the situation.

Watching your deeds is something that you can control.
But if someone is finding fault with you based on uncontrollable factors such as race or appearance, the better choice to make will be to ignore them like how the original intent of not caring about how others think of you is being promoted.

Summary

The topic on caring about what others think about you is therefore extremely subjective and differs depending on situations. The problem is that most people generalise it throughout and think they are pursuing noble ideals from erroneous angles.

Nelson Mandela believed strongly in his ideals and persevered throughout, bearing the consequences of being jailed for decades based on his deeds.

Thinking that he is politically correct, Dr Chee Soon Juan bore the brunt of his words and actions resulting in losing his private propety, getting fired from his job lecturing at a university, having a tarnished reputation and being stricken with debts in exchange with not caring about what others think and saying whatever he wants.

If you think it is the wiser thing to do, have the guts to accept and live with the consequences of your choices and do whatever you like. Rather than thinking in just shades of black and white, do not neglect the grey areas and try to be introspective on all matters/decisions. It is all about the worthiness of things and whether you can live with the consequences of your deeds rather than just caring or not about how others think about you.

There is no one size fits all approach in life due to the complexities in human interaction.

Inspired by my friend D

Being Adept at Social Situations & Judging

Prelude

Living in a world where human interaction is inevitable, it is crucial for us to evaluate how we are managing our daily interactions, be it with strangers, neighbours or even people close to us. Our ability to manage these complex relationships is almost linear to the quality of our lives and is what makes a person of success and accomplishment.

Some loathe meeting new people or getting into new relationships thinking that it would only give them inconvenience. By staying in isolation within this self induced bubble, these individuals think that they would be able to preserve the status quo by blocking off any initiatives to get them out of their enclosed walls. Little do they know that this ‘wall’ is in fact the limiting factor which has been suppressing the quality of their lives.

A handful of these ‘bubble dwellers’ know but choose to be comfortable at their present state, numbing and consoling themselves with various distractions in life until they finally realise the need to burst this bubble. These bubble dwellers did not start out habitating within those cold walls. Perhaps they had been through certain experiences in life which exhausted their social lives and caused them to be wary of social advances or they might be suffering from mental disorders such as social anxiety which makes it extremely  difficult for them to open up to others.

Why are some people more adept at social situations?

To understand why some people are more adept at social situations, one should understand the barriers preventing people from being good at it. I would say that most problems or setbacks stemming from social situations, arise from being overly prejudging, cynical and presumptive of others advances.

People tend to develop their perceived image of an individual based on their past experiences, what they see or hear, be it from their own inferences of the individual or via hearsay.

During this passage of time, these images get solidified in their minds as they get more input about this certain individual which supports what they think of this perceived person. This is the general process of judging someone.

The problem with this is that most of those self made inferences (or judgments) might be based on loose biased sources which could even come out from the person who is being judged himself.

It is therefore important to understand accurately the context, content and what a speaker is trying to convey before laying out judgments, be it consciously or not rather than jumping the gun on what kind of person someone is likened to be.

How can this be achieved?

TO-DO

1) Communication

Without communication, there is no way you can find out about another individual except by prejudging based on his behaviour or manner of speech.

This is not reliable as people act differently according to the situation they are in or the people they are talking to. Most people put on false fronts to appear amicable especially when meeting someone for the first time. Having known an individual for an extended period of time does not equate to knowing what kind of person he or she truly is.

When communicating, it is important to note one’s body language as they can be giveaways to what someone thinks of another person. Eg; Eye-rolling or heaving sighs.

It is via open and honest communication with prolonged exposure to a person’s speech which will help us move a step closer in deciphering what composes this individual.

2) Active Listening

By listening attentively when someone is speaking, you are able to capture gists of messages conveyed and even sift out the attitude a person has towards you if you listen close enough. In order to prevent misunderstandings, paraphrase what someone has said  to ensure accurate interpretation of what was conveyed. This enforces to the speaker that you are interested in what he is saying and has correctly interepted his message. Avoid interrupting the speaker or changing the topic abruptly as it would show that you are not interested in hearing what he has to say.

The speaker will like the fact that you showed genuine interest in his words and it will also help clarify any doubts you have in what was expressed to you.

NOT TO-DO

1) DO NOT listen to a certain sentence or phrase, judge the situation and take it personal

I have came across too many individuals whose attitudes change drastically  by listening and then judging someone based on a simple phrase or a sentence. People who take offense easily like this have more to lose than gain.

They judge something prematurely and get bruised by those words when in fact, the speaker had no intention of conveying such a message in the first place.
Judging in this way is detrimental to a relationship especially the ones which are budding.

Always take middle ground and understand the context and content of the message.
Not everyone is out there to get personal with you. You can blame the speaker to be an instigator who triggered you but there is no one who can know what exactly what kind of words to say or not in front of you except for yourself. If you get bruised easily like this, how can you withstand the harsh winds and ruthless seas of the world?

2) Be in control of your emotional state.

Unknown to the individual, by judging a situation erroneously, the scene is set on replay mode in the individual’s mind which further reinforces the interpreted inaccuracies.
Always be aware of your thought process and validate if what you have interpreted is fair, not only to yourself but to the other parties involved.

A scenario of what happened to me when I was in Korea for a trip

Parties involved, Korean (Person A), Swiss (Persons Y and Z) and myself

Person A was excited to meet up as she never had the opportunity to mingle with people from Switzerland. I decided to ask her out to cheer her up as she broke up with her boyfriend a few days ago.

We decided to go on a picnic in the evening at Han River as Person Y & Z had never been there before. On the way there, we passed by Noryangjin Fish Market, a place known for their fresh seafood. Y, Z and myself have been craving for raw fish as we haven’t had any since we arrived in Korea. I casually asked Person A if she wants raw fish since I was reminded of it upon looking at the station and we alighted at that subway station.

We had a great time at the fish market and at the river. Fast forward to the day Person Y & Z had to leave. The four of us decided to have a farewell lunch together since Person A was only available at lunch time since it was a weekday.

Due to  having a language barrier, Person A got confused over the appointment timing which resulted in me missing out on the lunch outing. I explained to Person A about the confusion and she was upset, thinking that I was nitpicking on her.

She then exclaimed that I asked her out the other day because I needed her help for navigation and negotiate prices at the market which was totally untrue because I only had the simplest thought of wanting to hang out and cheer her on!

I had only decided to go to the Fish Market when I was reminded of it when we were on the subway but she thought I called her out to use her!  It is scary how the human mind can think if we let it run wild and loose. I was totally dumbfounded that she had such thoughts.  I explained to her my side of the story and fortunately enough, we were able to reconcile our misunderstandings.

If you have noticed by now, the key in being adept at social situations is to have open communication and not prejudge any individual or situation carelessly. Some individuals know that they should not be thinking in a certain way but they can’t help to do so fuelled by their emotions.

Start to take control of your emotions progressively and conscientiously. Soon enough you will be able to do so in no time.

Comment if you have anymore to add!

 

Master of your own Destiny

Life is like a journey whereby people travel on a path perceived to bring them happiness  and/or success. To some, this path is likened to be a rat race with neverending obstacles in reaching a desirable destination.

Others who are not so fortunate, struggle and are clueless about the path to embark on.
As a result, many of such individuals just go with the flow, unaware of what and how to take on what life has in store for them.

Many seek mentorship/ guidance on the path they should take, with the faith that they could rely on this particular mentor to lead and guide the way with their proven track record or experiences in life.

The definition of being a mentor differs across individuals, it can be basically summed up to the few below.

1) Wolf in sheep’s clothing “Mentor”

On the surface, this “mentor” or wolf  is seen to be keen in coaching and bringing you up in terms of your career or life in general. He appears to be sincere and offers to mentor you, seemingly out of good will.

The wolf is quick to offer his mentorship too eagerly but the truth is, he always had offered to do so for zillions before you. These wolves can usually be found soliciting sheep in the form of managers soliciting new hires who are clueless about how harsh corporate reality is.

They can exploit the sheeps by giving them lower remuneration packages compared to the benchmark with a wider jobscope, constantly justifying themselves with numerous reasons when asked upon.

As naive as it could be, the sheep bites the bait and does as instructed by the wolf with the belief that they can be successful in following the wolf’s footsteps.
It is not until later that they wisen up only then to realise about the wolf’s ulterior and selfish motives.

A good way to identify these wolves is to be alert and reflect upon their reasons and not just accept it with blind faith. If the smell of BS is pungent, how can you not sniff it out?

It is only when you block your nose and lie to yourself that it is a good scent that you will never know the truth. This applies to all situations in life, eg: cheating spouses.

This form of mentorship is as plentiful as seashells at the beach.
They look good and come in numerous shapes and sizes but do not provide real benefits, only as collectibles for viewing pleasure.

2) The Mentor with the Embodiment of Kindness

This mentor finds joy in helping and encouraging others expecting nothing much in return. The motivation to help others can be stemmed by his own experience of knowing how it feels to not have a mentor-like figure to guide him during his adolescence.

Others who have received mentorship also choose to mentor others as they themselves were fortunate to have someone they could lean on.

This form of mentor is often generous in sharing of knowledge and resources and is sincere from the bottom of his heart to help the mentee find his way.
You can literally feel generosity oozing out from his pores with no signs of bullshiting or pretense.

Sadly, such benefactors of benevolence do not come by easily. If you know one, show your appreciation and keep him close like how a paratrooper would safekeep his compass and map in Nazi Germany.

The mentor will not able to tell you which are the right paths to take but he will offer you valuable insights about the considerations to undertake upon choosing one.

 So.. What are you trying to say?

It is unwise to judge any individual prematurely to be either a wolf or the embodiment of kindness as we cannot paint life in merely black or white.

Using an analogy about colors, there are 6 basic colors which can be mixed to make a unique color, eg: Blue+Red = Violet. Having a blend of different “colors” is what makes an individual unique.

An individual can be helpful 45% of the time and 55% opportunistic but that does not make him selfish or kind. It is extremely subjective and is largely dependent on the time and circumstances surrounding the situation.

Rather than going through the hassle of finding out about a person and his motives, my answer is to be a Master of your own Destiny. 
Carve your own path and lead the way with faith in yourself!

Do not place too much hope on others other than yourself as you cannot control how another person think or behave. They too do not know about you and your desires as much as yourself.

That is not to say to not rely on others.

Rely on people who have cheered you on, stuck with you and withstood the passage of time having braced the winds and storms by your side.
Do not fall prey to others who only approach or get close to you after analysing your worth and how they can benefit from it.

Life is all about making decisions. We make decisions big or small throughout our daily lives. Sometimes we make good decisions and at other times, bad ones.
It is not the decisions that you make which defines what or who you are, it is how you respond and act upon them.

Be prepared and accept the fact that you WILL stumble along the way which is the norm in life. Fill yourself with humility when you suceed and when you fall inevitably at times, brush the dirt off your feet, shed some tears but be hopeful and only look forward.
No one can predict the future or tell you what is wrong or right.

Those that give unnecessary remarks or criticism and judge you according to whether you have followed their advice or not, are there to claim credit or undermine you to prove that they were right.

These individuals derive satisfaction by hearing from you that that they were right in the boosting of their inflated ego and self-esteem with the pretext of giving you guidance.

A person who truly wants the best for you will never undermine you no matter the outcome of any choices you have made; He will rejoice with you if there was a good outcome or encourage you if it went bad.

This person can give you advice and share his own experiences in aiding of your decision making process but not tell you to do this or that because he cannot be responsible for you. Surround yourself with such individuals and brace yourself for the future in good faith!

This is my definition of being the master of your own destiny.