Intentional accidents

There's no accidents.

I don't believe in accidents. I think there's always something we can learn from in everything.

One way to do that is to ask ourselves questions.
What I am learning here?
How am I reacting to the incident?
Why am I reacting that way?
How would I like myself to react if similar things occur again?

These questions will help us intentionally learn from the expected AND the unexpected, understand more about ourselves and guide us to live more fulfilling lives.

Not just Bad Luck

“Experience teaches nothing, but evaluated experience teaches everything”

~ John C. Maxwell

Once in a while, bad things happen to us. We might suffer. We might feel upset. But most of us would say it's just bad luck.

But when bad things happen over and over again, then it is no longer bad luck but is the result of bad thinking processes.

As Einstein has once said, 'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.'

In order to develop better thinking, we need to rely on reflection. Reflection is not a sexy word and it certainly isn't an easy task. It is often at the bottom of our priority list as it takes time, energy, and the courage to admit that we did wrong. To admit that our judgements are after all flawed at times.

But it is a necessary process to take in order to avoid suffering again, to change and to grow.

 

 

Just Sing

Have you ever wonder when two people are having exactly the same experience, one might enjoy it so much more whilst the other completely hate it. What sort of mindset separates them? How come different people would have completely different feedback regarding the same thing.

Back in school, I joined something called the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

To obtain the Gold award, one has to complete the following sections:

I know that's a long list of activities to complete in one year. On top of that, I was probably out of my mind at the time and did not anticipate walking 80-96 kilometers over the course of a four day / three night expedition in the wilderness.

On the first day, I literally thought I was not going to survive the journey. After navigating, hiking and treading 20 kilometres of mountains and hills, with over 16 pounds worth of supply and tents, we finally arrived our first campsite, which was actually in the middle of nowhere. We didn't think much but just built our tents on somewhere that looked flat. We then cooked our own food and the water took forever to boil. Finally, you got to cramp in a small tent with three other people. As I laid down my sore, sweaty body (no shower of course), hoping for a nice rest, it turned out the piece of grass had three dried, harden cow poo on it. My back felt like it was punched after a full night's sleep.

So you get the idea. Our lives were basically just hiking, cooking and sleeping. We lived to survive. Dragging our bodies along just to get to the end.

That's one way of looking at the journey. That was the way I looked at it at the time.

But recently I have learnt something.

Singing.

Singing changes our hearts and minds. It can somehow make everything seemingly better. It allows us to enjoy the journey in a different light. An art in which to make the process a valuable experience instead of simply aiming to reach the goal or the destination.

Our lives are a bit like the Duke of Edinburgh Journey. We didn't anticipate it to be full of challenges and obstacles. We cannot make the trail shorter, or make the weather better; those are external factors. But whatever it is that you are faced with, just sing. In no time, we will arrive our destination.

Cove

cove
[kohv]
noun
1 a small indentation or recess in the shoreline of a sea, lake, or river.
2 a sheltered nook.
(From dictionary.com)

Cove, a safe shelter to rest.
We all need it; physically, mentally and emotionally. Take time to take care of yourself.

Also Mother Nature always has a way to bring us peace. 🙂

Cliff view of Lulworth Cove, Dorset, Summer 2017


Beach view of Lulworth Cove, Dorset, Summer 2017


Salted Caramel Clotted Ice Cream, Lulworth, Dorset, Summer 2017

Thank you for recommending this place. Even though it was so rural I had to wait over 1.5 hours for the bus. It was worth it. If you visit, do try the salted caramel clotted ice cream. I went for back for seconds.

Enjoy!

Let it go

Thoughts arouse from a conversation with my sista

We all have bits of ourselves that we hope to change. It could be a bad habit, an unsatisfied relationship, an unfulfilling job.
If we work hard enough, some of them could be changed for the better.

But some are not possible to change. The past, no matter how hard we try, cannot be changed. I have yet to meet someone who can do that.

It is hard to let go of things we can't change and move on. But sometimes, we just need to let it go.

I'm still learning.

Efficiency is costly

How are you today? asked Lucas with a big smile on his face. I wasn’t having a particularly great day but his smile was like a radiating sun that warmed and softened my heart. He instantly made my day better so I couldn’t resist but to smile back and say Yes I am! Thank you! 

Lucas is a shop assistant at a chain store in the UK that I have just encountered as I was checking out. Not only as our conversation went on for awhile that I started noticing something different with the way he tilted his shoulder; it was abnormally low, bent towards the desk as he folded the clothes up carefully and neatly. I soon realised that he didn’t have his left forearm. He slowly placed the nicely folded clothes into a shopping bag, piece by piece, as he couldn’t put the whole pile in one go. It touched me. He touched me.

He made my shopping experience. He was compassionate. He cared. His attitude towards life was admirable.

But I am not just talking about being optimistic despite difficult circumstances or preaching about engagement in corporate social responsibilities. Though they are important issues to consider, I’m also talking about culture. A culture where strangers would genuinely ask about your day. Many would say thank you to drivers as they get off the bus. If you accidentally bump into people, they would compete to apologise. This would not happen in a city like Hong Kong.

I used to do those things like second nature.   But the hustle and bustle, the constant strife for efficiency in a city like Hong along has influenced me that I have almost forgotten how awesome it was connecting with people you shouldered pass. I have almost forgotten to make an effort to show gratitude towards others. I have almost forgotten the power of random acts of kindness.

As technology advances, many jobs that are used to be done by humans are now being replaced. Just look at the self check-out services implemented in many supermarkets. Efficiency meant that we sacrificed the time and chances to connect. To have a glimpse of someone else’s life for a brief moment. To remember what it feels like to share ideas momentarily with someone you had absolutely no prior relationship with but found insights and common ground with them. 

Efficiency is costly. The internet had connected us like never before. However, technology has also costed us chances to connect. Physical connection that gives us a sense of belonging or even our sense of identity that we all need as human beings.

One-buttock Player

Life isn’t just about hitting the right keys.

If you ask young people if they play any instruments (especially in Hong Kong), many of them would say–yes, but not anymore. In fact, you might find many eight graders or diplomers (Is that even a word?). But why don’t they play anymore? Too busy?

Our society finds short-cuts to success and quick-fixes to problems. To many parents, playing an instrument was just another card to get their kids into their desired schools.

The great American conductor Ben Zander coined the term one-buttock player. He explains that the term is used to describe the transformation of a kid from simply hitting the keys at the right time; to loving music.

What if playing a piece is actually telling a story; a way to connect with and move the deepest emotions of your audience. What if everything we do isn’t just about hitting the right keys. What if we start treating life like an adventure rather than a game to win.

What would happen to the world if we all start becoming one-buttock players.

 

Link to Ben Zander’s inspirational TED talk: