How to Communicate – To Truly Connect

For work or personal relationship, we are presented with the questions:

What does it mean to communicate?
How can we do it well?
Or rather, how do you really listen to the other person?

So then quite frequently, we took classes and lesson. We studied some psychology and philosophy. We are taught tricks and techniques such as…
– say certain phrases
– ask certain questions
– use certain hand gestures
– mirror the other party’s movement and behaviors
– how to process the words coming out of the other person’s mouth

Well, those are all dandy and fine, but I find those can only be effective in so much depends on how well you know yourself (as I often say here) and ultimately, on the basis your realization that, we are all human beings.

The other person is a person, a human being. Just like yourself.

This basic realization is fundamental and consequential.

That is very important because we often let our own and the other person’s identities get in the way and thus lead to both parties being scared, intimidated, distant, defensive, offensive during conversation.

Bosses and employees.
Teachers and students.
Parents and children.
Husband and wife.

We must realize that we are not merely identities.

Part of being present in the moment is this realization. Not that we ignore people’s identities but to have a “non-grasping-ness” with the identities while knowing that are the same human beings as I am. We are fundamentally the same… human beings who are both rational and irrational, with both thinking minds and emotional hearts. We all have parents. We all thrive on a healthy Earth. We… well, you get the point.

A few other details on what not to do in order to allow true communication…

Not wondering about other things in your mind.
Not thinking or preparing what to say next.
And definitely, not lying and saying things to ONLY achieve a personal agenda.

On a last note, these ideas point out a few limitation of communication through the virtual world. In that, when we are not physically together, thus the Internet, our communication relies heavily on the identities we already know of the other people or identities that we claim and establish. In other words, through Internet and text exchanges, we can only see fragments of the other person… rather than truly connecting.

Yes, emails, text messages, and social networks are great convenient tools, but at the same time, I find us making the grave mistakes of over-using it to represent and communicate ourselves as if they can represent and communicate ourselves in totality. Perhaps this is why more people are feeling lonelier than ever? That more people feel isolated than ever? That there are more depressed people than ever?

Something for us to ponder…

This is not so far from us missing the point by mistaking our abstractions of reality as reality. But, this is a topic for another day.

Originally posted 2009-08-31 23:41:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Take Control of Your Life

Don’t we all have the feeling that a lot of things in life is out of our control, especially when we are younger? I say yes to that. Back in my “unaware” days, that’s what I thought. Here, I ask that you also ask yourself the same question and if your answer is yes, please accept my sincere request that you take a few minutes to read what I have to say.

Here is my bold statement – the idea that “most things in life are not in our control” is bull, wrong, and misleading. I will even say, “We often give up that control ourselves.” Sound silly? Here is my reasoning.

We give up control because we are scared. We are afraid of responsibility. Because, IF we do think that we are in complete control, it implies that whatever happen to ourselves, success or failure, is of our own doing. And who wants failure. In this society, we have come to think of failure as a bad thing. When we fail, we ourselves become failure and stuck a failure, which is not true. Consequently, if we are in control, our sense of security and identify can easily undergo scruitny. It is just easier for us to justify ourselves when we claim not to be in control and not responsible. If anything bad happens to us, it is not our fault and just blame other things and people, which is why we complain and frequently hear complaints. The obvious easy way out.

There are factors and human traits like sheer laziness that keeps us from making any change and leads to us giving up control over life. We could doing it “sub-consciously” and that is exactly why we must make a conscious effort to NOT give up that control and make things happen in life. In order to do that, we must first begin to adopt the mentality – we are 100% responsible for our own reality, who we are and what happen to us are the direct results of our own thoughts and actions.

Other things that will help to take control of our own lives:

I hope this is helpful!

Originally posted 2007-05-11 02:02:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Not Time, But Attention, Attention, Attention

Productivity is a hot topic these days.

Whenever productivity is discussed, time management is the focus of it.

Let’s throw it out the window for now. It is more effective to think about it as attention management.

It’s more effective because of one basic premise — that at any given moment, our attention can only be of one thing.

When we talk about multi-tasking to increase productivity, we are doing multiple things within a given period of time, but we are not multi-tasking in each moment. It is not possible.

In geek terms, we are in fact only doing program switching or multi-threading, which is fake parallel processing, instead true parallel processing. To parallel process, you need multiple CPUs… well, each person is like one CPU, and one person cannot be more than one person.

Our attention cannot go two place.

You can try, but it is not possible.

Attention is the key in everything we do. To do something well, is to have your attention with it. Hence the phrase, “be one with what you do”.

When you are talking with someone, is your attention on that person? And that your attention is not on what you think about him. Not on what others had said about him. Not on what you are going to have for dinner. To communicate and truly connect, your attention is to be on that person.

When you are doing a task, is your attention on the task? And that your attention is not on how tough it is, how long it will take you, how frustrated you are, or worrying about not doing well. To do the task well and as efficient as possible, your attention is to be on that task.

Be one with what you do.

Pay attention in the moment.

When we don’t pay attention to what we do, or rather pay attention to everything else, physical or mental, but what we do, we do not do well and we make a mess of things.

Consequently, instead of how to allocate time, it makes more sense for us to pay attention to allocate where our attention goes. We can also have a good idea of our priorities, which when said is what we truly care, by seeing where our attention goes.

On a personal note, whenever I became aware that I am paying attention to my worries, frustrations, and other thoughts and emotions with the task on hand, I realize I am off track. Then I acknowledge, accept, and take note of those thoughts and emotions, and move my attention back on to my task on hand — things that are of priorities to me.

I end today with a story that goes something like this…

A serious student visited a Zen master and said, “Master, I know you are busy, so please write on this scroll some maxims of the highest wisdom for me to study.” And the master wrote, “Attention.”

The student was puzzled, and said, “I don’t understand.”

And the master wrote “Attention. Attention.”

“But all you’re doing is writing ‘attention’. Isn’t there anything else?”

And the master wrote it three times running: “Attention. Attention. Attention.”

Exasperated, the student demanded, “What do you mean by ‘attention’, anyway?!”

“Attention means attention,” the master replied.

Where does your attention go?

Originally posted 2009-06-28 21:25:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Few More Afterthoughts and Revelations from Japan Trip

I don’t know how to organize them into coherent information so I am doing bullets:

– Be prepared to pay for lodging and transportation. It’s true for all foreign travel, but definitely more so in japan and especially if you want to run between the bit cities. Just the Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto costs 25,000~ yen, and that is after I happened across street vendor that sell at a 1000~ discount. I think that is close to a 2-way plane ticket half way across U.S.

– The other taxi fares, bus, and metro rides will eat you up pretty fast too. If you are also going to shop in Japan, oh boy, good luck with your wallet.

– Allocate extra time to figure out your transportation for bus, metro, and train ride. Unless you are a local or with a local peron who is from that particular city, I’d say you will be reading a lot and asking around a bit. Or you can pay the premium for taxi…

IMG_3534– Food is delicious and not that much more expensive. In fact, ramen is really cheap, yet still very very yummy. The only bad-tasting food I had was a plain yogurt on the side for one breakfast. On the right is eggplant with 2 kinds of miso on top.

– Total expense out of my own pocket is $700~ including the Shinkansen tickets, 3-night hotel, some food and parking in Kyoto. Not bad.

IMG_3554– If you like fruits, definitely eat their produce there. If you don’t like fruits, eat their produce anyway! It’s that good. The melon on the right is called Yubari Melon. It’s the best I’ve ever eaten, and it came from the town, Yubari (duh!), in Hokkaido.

– Japanese are polite and friendly people, especially if you can speak a little Japanese, then they open up more. However, Tokyo is observably less so probably because of big-city-people-syndrome.

– On average, more of them know how to dress suitably and fashionably.

– If you want to know what fat or obese means, do not go to Japan.

– Following that thought, I hypothesize that obesity and many other of our social problems in America have a lot to do with our wastefulness, versus Japanese non-wastefulness (partly because they must on less land and therefore resource, and I am not saying they don’t have their short-comings). Wastefulness has to do with the willingness to understand how to do things effectively, resulting in quality. Conversely, majority of Americans have no genuine desire for quality for their own bodies. I am talking about true intention here. Topic for another day?

– I was lucky and got spoiled on the trip by my friends and their family. They were very hospitable. That reinforces the idea of sharing with others emotionally, mentally, and materially in my mind. It is one of the best gift we can give, and it must come from the heart. And that, I will do.

– Once again, I know that it doesn’t matter where I am. I will be okay, and that I can get used to any place. Of course, I have preferences and things I am used to, but that’s besides the point.

– Finally, I need to take another trip to Japan to go to Okinawa!

Well, because I heart the food in Japan, here’re a few more pictures.

IMG_3523
Best miso ramen ever! And it’s only around 600 yen. Plus, it’s not like I haven’t tasted plenty in California.

IMG_3476
My favorite dish at Yaki-niku (grilled meat?) — some extremely tender raw beef at Yaki-niku. This place only serves cow related meat. Mmmm, organs.

IMG_3496
Even the waffle looks awesome, at a random small restaurant at Kyoto station.

IMG_3603
Now look at the cake! You know you want it :) Japanese are using their innovative energy in the right area, me think.

Originally posted 2009-07-22 00:15:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 87 88 89 Next

Subscribe using Email

Get notified of new posts by email.