Do You Have What It Takes?

Thanks to my roommate renting the Bluray, I got to watch the Dark Knight again tonight. There is no argument that it is a great movie. I love it. Let along the acting, I enjoy much of the dialogues between Batman and the Joker. Especially the Joker’s, much of his was quite philosophical.

There is actually a lot to be learned from being a hero, despite we often think that it would be fun to have their power.

Do you know what the toughest part of being a hero is? The toughest part of being a hero is his power. Quoting Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Power is a gift and a curse because with great power, he has a lot more options including many that are not available for normal humans. A hero has to make choices that normal people don’t have to and cannot make either because they lack the abilities or they possess not the same perception. Also, power puts someone at a higher place to have an opportunity to look at the world differently, so there is a choice for him to see or denies what he sees. Put together with the fact that his choices will influence exponentially more people versus one that you or me will make. Boy, so many things to consider and he just has to make the best choice he could. Things may or may not turn out okay, and there are times he must sacrifice something or somebody to do “good”. What a tough job being a hero. Certainly glad neither you nor I is a superhero.

But if we take a minute to think, we normal people aren’t so different.

To get something done, to accomplish a goal, to make a change, you first observe and then you must make the choices for it to happen, many of which maybe simple but not easy. They may not sound conventional to you. They may not feel right. They may make people who are your friends and family dislike you.

As you are growing, as you learn more and obtain more knowledge and wider perspective, which is the equivalent of “gaining power”, you will need make the choices that you couldn’t have made before the growth. As you have outgrown your environment and your peers, if you so desire to become better, you likely need to make more choices that maybe against “common sense”, against “standards”, against “traditions”, against “pervasive believes”. Sometimes, that will lead you out of the crowd and you end up being by yourself.

Imagine you want to buckle down financially, save up, clear some debt, or simply get rich. Perhaps it would be the case that you need to cut back on social outings, or not buy things that others have that you want, or drop a hobby or two, or sell somethings they thought are so important. How easily do you think people can make up their mind to do so? Who would want to do that?

Same applies to health. For example, if you have always been couch potatoes, or going out every night with your best buddies, do you think you can choose to do otherwise? Maybe head to the gym instead? Maybe cook at home? Maybe read up on fitness and nutrition (beyond the marketing crap)? Even though it means you will end up being by yourself?

Would a so-called normal person chooses to be chased after like a fugitive by the people he chooses to protect like Batman did? Would a so-called normal person chooses to bring chaos to break the social norms like the Joker did?

Do you have what it takes to kick old sets of habits? Do you have what it takes to perhaps be different than your family, friends, and peers? Do you have what it takes to make the tough choices, like Batman did? Do you have what it takes to choose “uncommon sense”, like the Joker did? Do you have what it takes to wield your own power? Do you have what it takes to be who you want to be, who you are inside?

I want to get this out of my system before bed, so now… time for bed, peace!

Originally posted 2008-12-12 01:40:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Most Basic Rule to Personal Finance

Spend less than what you make.

A very very simple way to explain this… If we compare two persons, one making $50,000 and spending $45,000 and the other making $100,000 and spending $105,000, who’s going to be better off and has more money?

Now to be able to do that, it means following one or many of the behaviors below:
– don’t spend more than your monthly salary
– tracking your finance (money in-flow an out-flow)
– have a monthly budget
– distinguish wants” and “needs”
– try not to “borrow” from credit cards
– pay off any “bad” debt at high interest rate

Originally posted 2007-02-26 23:24:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A Great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson has a wonderful and extremely relevant quote in regards to personal development IMHO:

What you are shouts so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you say.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Closely related to that…

“I cannot hear what you say for the thunder of what you are.”
old Zulu proverb

What I understand from these quotes…

if we want to change ourselves, we need to work from the inside out. However, this approach to change and improve takes time, in fact, it takes considerable time and effort. But this is also the only way to make changes to ourselves effectively and allow us to keep them permanently. This is something we must understand.

My observation in this age and era is that frequently, people look to improve themselves but what they seek are in fact only “quick fixes” that do not last. I see this from people in search for a better body where they rely medication and limiting of food intake but not together with exercise, to people relentlessly looking to boost their skill sets such as by trying to improve their communication skill where they seek superficial techniques but with no genuine desire to listen (and “listening” is a major part of communication, some research/references even claim it as 80-90%).

When we understand this, and with patience and perseverence, change and improvement to ourselves are no longer impossible goals.

Originally posted 2007-05-16 23:58:29. 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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