I wish I didn’t have any regrets, but then how could I stay on track with what I want to accomplish? When I hear someone mention the word “regret”, I used to cower and cringe. As I get older, any … Continue reading
I know the new year is about rejuvenation (a rebirth of past regrets) or goal setting in terms of self-improvement or self-aggrandizement. But, this year, I think I’m going to try something different.
I’m going to work backwards. I’m going to make a list of things I don’t want to do in search of inspiration for things I want to do. The theme for this year is “conquering fear.”
I’ll make a list of things that I’ve been afraid of doing that have been holding me back. I think Ramit Sethi calls these “invisible scripts.” After compiling this list, I will map out my year the best that I can.
The framework I will compile my list from will be: What are things that I fear that have been holding me back from achieving progress and/or success?
So, instead of making resolutions, I’m going to think about what hasn’t worked and make re-solutions for success and progress.
I’ll let you know what I come up with next time.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but life seems to happen before your eyes. Or am I becoming complacent? I’m not really sure this is a good thing as we get older. So many things to do in such a short time. The sunk costs invested in choosing what we do. I just know that I wake up too often these days not being satisfied with what I’m doing. I guess it’s the universe trying to kick me in the pants telling me to get off my ass!
Now, the challenge that lays ahead is deciding what I want out of this so-called life. It’s time to get to the drawing board, to analyze, and to not squander opportunities. It boils down to two things which I’ve distilled so far: it’s a combination of what and who you know.
I’m going to get off my soap box now and do some zazen. If that fails, I’ll get out the pen and paper, and make a list.
Today’s thought concerns something we preach that is near and dear to who we are as a person: principles (or core values). “Don’t be a sell-out,” you’re conscious screams. I know that this is sometimes tough to do, but principles should be at the heart of our core values. They should determine what and if we take action or do nothing. If anything, they are (should be) the litmus test for any ethical dilemma we face. What do you do when you violate one of your principles? Think about it.
Maybe you ignore it by justifying why it was OK to violate it just this once. What if you started forming a pattern, you lose your innate GPS (Global Positioning System)? You feel bewildered. You gradually are losing your sense of self. You’re principles are starting to become meaningless. Think back to the past when you really felt truly at ease.
A good example when you really felt centered. All systems are a go. Everything is aligned in perfect order. You’re in sync with the world, the universe, and everyone around you. Positive energy is just flowing and oozing out of you. There’s so much harmony in your life. You never want this feeling to end.
Getting to this place, however, took a lot of guts and patience to sticking to your core values. On the other hand, sometimes you feel lost, a bit out of sorts, and depressed. You really don’t know why you feel this way. Maybe, you forgot or violated one of your principles. When I do this, negativity feeds at me for a few days, literally sucking the energy out of me—I feel as sluggish as a car that hasn’t had an oil change in two years.
There’s probably a reason that negativity is having a lingering effect. Your subconscious is sending a cautionary message telling you NOT to violate your principles again. How can I stop feeling this way?
Listen to your subconscious. Nobody likes negativity lingering for more than a day. A more practical step would be taking some time alone to think about how important your core values are to you. Think of how / what principle you violated. Do some soul searching to decide why you violated it. Use your violation as a learning lesson. I know you don’t like negativity lurking for days, but you can use those feelings as a reminder of what happens when you violate your principles.
Finally, revisit and remember that your principles have shaped who you are. Think of them as the foundation for keeping you centered on your true self (so you won’t wander too far away).
Additionally, the images of the nuclear reactors exploding was surreal because it hit so close to home. It was not a scene from 24. It was real. In the past year, I have learned a lot about life. I know who is there for me in terms of undying support. I appreciate the fragility of life. I understand that we have to make the most of our time because our lives are limited. The only regrets in life are failing to do the things that are within your grasp.
Life is a learning process if you choose to view it as such. I now understand that knowing your limits is an invaluable step in assessing and capitalizing on what is in your grasp. Otherwise, I may live a life of reckless abandonment. The illusive time immemorial question about “What is life?” is insolvable and should be. Because if we knew the answer to that question, the fun would go out of the journey.
At the end of the day, this year of reflection has given me the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of simplicity. No matter how much one can adorn the landscape of our imaginary, nature’s simple gifts of hues and beauty gets lost and caught up in the lives we are live.
I spent a peaceful day yesterday in Shinjuku Park (新宿公園）admiring the natural beauty that is canvassed by skyscrapers. As I sat at home last night watching TV at 9:05 PM, a strong jolt shook reminding me of living in Japan, and so is life chalked full of uncertainties.
Welcome to the Year of the Water Dragon (according to myth, water will determine a person’s fortune) in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The legendary dragon and only legendary animal in the calendar. Dragons symbolize power and come from heaven. Dragons can be:
Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
I’ve gotten used to the influence of the Chinese zodiac on the New Year in Japan. You can see many zodiac symbols at the beginning of the year, especially if you send and receive New Year’s cards. This year’s 年賀状(nengajō) New Year’s Day postcards usually have a dragon of some sort on the front. There is an exception to this etiquette:
It is customary not to send these postcards when one has had a death in the family during the year. In this case, a family member sends a simple postcard called 喪中葉書 (mochyuu hagaki もちゅうはがき, eng: mourning postcards) to inform friends and relatives they should not send New Year’s cards, out of respect for the deceased.
This year I decide to abandon all New Year’s traditions both Japanese and American to opt instead of going my own way. Why make resolutions I know I won’t keep? Why do what doesn’t make me happy? A Happy New Year should start out happy. This is what I told myself. I’ll try to live my life without compromising unless it’s necessary. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but “to compromise” means “to give up something that you want in order to reach an agreement.” The question I ask myself: Does compromise mean win-win or win-lose? For me, if it’s not a win-win situation, I won’t compromise. Instead, I’ll look for a different alternative.
When it comes to business, I will uphold “honesty, integrity, and service before self.” These are some of the values I’ve incorporated from the Air Force’s core values, which I think are good values to live by. Moreover, I should never forget who I am and where I come from. If I don’t value myself and my principles, it’s impossible to create value for myself and others. I should also use my experience and training to cope with and deal with problems and disasters as they arise.
Japan is a country plagued with seismic activity and typhoons, so disaster preparedness is paramount for survival. It’s never too early to plan for a natural disaster. Many excellent Websites have primers on disaster preparedness. For example, Are you prepared?, FEMA has a PDF you can download, and if your kids are at school or you’re at work, you need to know what to do.
Coincidentally, an earthquake hit Tokyo yesterday. It was only a 4.0, but my place shook pretty good. Maybe the New Year’s quake was a reminder that I must be prepared for things that I can’t control in my life. I know we can’t be ready for everything that is thrown at us, but in many cases we should still know what to do, to avoid panic, and to keep a cool head.