Long Road To Recovery

We often think that traumas can only be caused by physical harm. I recently learned that we can all get psychological trauma as well. I believe that includes career trauma. It has been more than a year since a bad career decision left me in mentally scarred. I am only starting to recover from the entire situation because the acceptance stage was the most challenging for me.

Writing used to be my escape and it seemed that I was constantly inspired to pen down my thoughts. Honestly, with restricted movements and travels, it is hard to find inspiration during this pandemic. I am sure eventhough most of us do not realize it, it is something we all face universally.

I believe we suffer most thinking that we are alone in facing isolation and limited social interaction. I have to constantly remind myself that we are all in the same predicament.

It can also be very difficult to count our blessings due to the different amount of freedom we used to have. Those who are used to regular travels will find it hard to be grateful being grounded. While those who are used to being grounded may find it hard not having whatever they used to have in their own little ways.

The world is such a crazy place right now. I used to be very happy to be living through this time but not anymore with what is going on right now.

Since my last post much has happened. We lost some awesome actors and celebrities. Personally, I lost a co-worker to what is believed to be suicide.

How can we ever find the silver lining or see the light at the end of the tunnel?

On top of the pandemic, we are still bombarded with all the negativities from all the medias.

Personally, I tend to distract myself with all sorts. During my worse days, I turn to my pets for solace. Looking at the fish tank provides some calm and sanity. While the goofy cockatiels offer some sense of humor.

Took up some stupid bad habits that I am not proud to mention as well but don’t go fuel your wild imaginations as they are not as bad as you think.

Sitting here, listening to some country music, having a glass of iced long black, and simply writing this post is already helping me feel a little better. I wish I can recover fully to start writing something more inspiring and less morbid.

For now, it is nursing and recovery for me. Just trying to take one day at a time to just survive. Hopefully one day, I will get onto thrive again.

The world needs some serious healing right now. I am sure some may disagree cause they are all optimistic about everything.

If you are reading this, thank you. I hope you are staying safe and healthy wherever you are.

In His Time

In His Time

I am not sure about you but I often ask and have been asked where is God in all of this. It is even more frustrated when people used to tell me “In His Time”. Do you get those too?

Some of us even question the existence of God or even this higher power – universe, the force, and whatever name you give to this great invisible being.

Everyone experiences God differently. Some more intuned than others but if you are paying attention and being mindful, you will realize that He is ever present. There are those subtle moments that you will find this connection.

As such, it is impossible to impose one’s faith and beliefs on others because this relationship between you and the Almighty is just that profound and personal.

Here is my most recent experience that I would like to share.

Some of you on facebook may have noticed that for the past 8 years, I have been living a so called “high flying life”. Though I have been constantly reminding myself to be grounded knowing that everything that is good will come to and end, there were times that I lost myself in certain situations because I was doing well and the ego got the best of me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed all the travels and accolades. I have achieved a lot and I didn’t want it to end.

And then life got a little comfortable and complacent.

Out of nowhere, the world that I have built around my career crumbled like how I would have not hoped for but know can be possible.

I thought it was time for a change. I wanted to get back onto the cockpit of my life and regain control.

Around this time last year, I left the new job I thought was a good fit and my life was back in shambles. I have hoped for an Easter that marks a great victory.

Easter 2019 came and gone, no job in sight.

“He had put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly” ~ Luke 1:52

I do not believe in a God that punishes because it contradicts Himself of being a loving God if He did.

He is a God who moulds and keeps strengthening us through seeking answers to questions and solutions to problems.

Then, people rallied around me and after a few months, I was back in my previous company with a new role. It was a struggle for me because it is a deskbound job. For the last 8 years my mind has conditioned my ego to believe that it is prestigious to be traveling around the world and anything less is me shortchanging myself.

I quickly learned the ropes and delivered since day one like I have always did in my previous roles. While still feeling very depressed fighting against my ego, I was able to pull myself through.

It has been 8 months since I last returned and still growing into my new role but Covid-19 has given me a new perspective in life spiritually.

There were frustrating days that I constantly ask myself why have I lost “everything” that I worked for in the past 8 years.

But now looking back, I truly understand that in situations where I have no control, God was in full control. In all of this, I realize why I am deskbound and no longer fly around for my job.

It is like God smiling at me saying, “Hey buddy, now you know why I blessed you with this job?”

He did not only kept me from harm’s way, He eliminated the risk of me traveling around the region and getting not only myself sick but also keeping those around me safe.

And I don’t mean that it is 100% that I will never get Covid-19 but as far as my faith and beliefs tell me, He has kept me safe thus far. Anything beyond that would be my own doing.

So, does it take a huge event to shake us up and make us realize what we have taken for granted in the past?

We live in a time of great distractions and disruptions.

If we ever pause just for a little while and be a little more mindful, all of us have this connection to the divine.

If I come across as babbling and sounding all “hallelujah” to you, I can totally relate and understand.

There will come a time when you too will feel this connection to the divine and have that “aha!” moment.

In His Time….

The SPEAR Leadership Method

We are currently living in a very challenging time. Most countries have declared an emergency to flatten the curve of Covid-19 and most people are staying home. We cannot really say that business is as usual. This is unprecedented and uncharted territory. I reflected how things should be for organizations. How should leaders navigate through this difficult landscape?

My mind brought me back to better times when I was working for an amazing leader.



I handed this Luke Skywalker action figure to Bossman during one of his visits and said, “I thought it will be cool that you have your own action figure”. That’s just because he likes using Star Wars analogies to describe some organizational situations. Needless to say, he likes seeing himself as Luke Skywalker. As for me, I used to be R2D2 and as of late, BB-8.

Over at dinner we spoke about leadership. I shared my experiences being under difficult managers. He spoke about insecurities and the corporate world has forgotten how fallible we are to a point that we have become very unforgiving.

He asked me, “Do you ever remember when certain things that you built did not work and I shouted or breathed (profanities) down your throat?”

I replied, “Never”.

He continued, “Instead, the approach I used was very respectful. I would say – this or that didn’t quite work and I must have missed something. Can you have a look at it and fix it please?”

I nodded.

“In that tone and approach, you felt compelled to make it work. I always believed that no one wakes up in the morning wanting to do a bad job”, he said.

And out of no where, he said, “Think of SPEAR”.

Selection, Purpose, Enablement, Authority, Recognition.

Selection:
Picking the right people for the job and trusting them (fully) to get the job done.

Purpose:
Whenever needed give directions – what is the end game. Clear and achievable deliverables.

Enablement:
Give those you lead the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to excel in their job.

Authority:
Empower those you lead. Give them the authority to make decisions that they think and feel will get them to the goals.

Recognition:
Always giving credit where credit is due. Reward them for a job well done.

Bossman always believe in respecting everyone as unique individuals and when we all first started working for him, he took time to learn how best to interact with each of us and made it very clear how he like us working with him. That was the first thing he established with the team.

The world is filled with many incompetent “leaders and managers” who does not know better. Perhaps it was how they were “brought up” while climbing the corporate ladder. Their managers were cruel to them and they too become cruel managers. For some, it could be climbing the corporate ladder too fast without acquiring the skills needed to lead or manage.

It is always nice to have bossman visit every once in a while and pick his brain.

Two hours dinner and I learned about SPEAR…

Staying Afloat

There has been many ups and downs the past 6 months. All the changes and stress brought about great anxiety and depression. I was really glad that I was able to seek help in time and now, things has been under control.

It has always been breaking out of the thought process for me. I believe this is the same for most suffering from mental health issues. We tend to spiral into this oblivion and get stuck in a loop.

Sometimes it is the distractions and keeping oneself busy that we are able to break out of that vicious thought process. The idle mind is the devil’s playground they’d say.

Many things can offer a new perspective. Doing something different is a good start. Albert Einstein did define insanity as doing the same thing expecting different results.

The recovery process takes time like everything else in the world.

As the year end approaches, there has been many movies being released. One of those are Frozen 2. Many of us dread the sequels to movies because very often they are not as good as their predecessors. Like many, I received a mixed review of Frozen 2 but went ahead to watch it with the family anyway.

[Spoiler Alert]

“The Next Right Thing”

The gist of the movie is the inspiration Anna provides for the down trodden and those faced with challenges in life. I felt that the creator of the movie has really put a lot of thought to bring about consolation and offer solution to a common problem faced by humanity today.

Most of us especially those battling mental health issues can relate to what Anna has to say/sing about overcoming predicaments.

“You are lost, hope is gone, but you must go on and do the next right thing” is the statement that sums up the entire movie for me.

Often times, we are not able to envision where life is heading to. We cannot change the past and the future is yet unknown. All we can do is take a day at time by doing the next right thing.

I hope you’ll find the light at the end of the tunnel if you are currently facing challenges in life.

We all need to heal somehow…

Soul Searching

I do not quite know where to begin. Perhaps I am an ingrate but one thing for sure, I am an impatient person. I get bored really fast. Like right now, though I have a few regrets leaving my previous job, I should count my blessings to be back in the organization.

This is the first time that I am trying to convince myself on a daily basis to what I believe is second best. “Beggars cannot be choosers” they’d say. Am I underestimating myself or I should just bite the bullet while waiting for better opportunities.

Perhaps I am allowing my past to ruin my future. Perhaps this is a phase for me to learn not to be envious of others. I really do not know.

I find myself trying to console and reassuring myself that this is life moving forward while another voice is mocking me for my poor (past) decisions.

I really wish I could live life without regrets right now but it is easier said than done.

I don’t find myself happy anymore. I have to constantly subdue that part of me that is screaming because of this lack of passion.

I keep telling myself that patience will get me through this less than desirable (perceived) situation.

A heart that is once free is really hard to tame.

I miss those long haul flights that I can be quiet alone. I miss all those on-the-go times when I can be fluid and excel at the same time.

The hardest part is asking myself what’s stopping me from achieving what I truly want in life.

After what I have been through, there is fear.

Maybe when I get better at what I am suppose to do, life will once again be better. And with the knowledge and skills acquired, there will be more doors that will be unlocked.

What is life without opportunities?

Perhaps it is time to just ride through the wave for now.

A retreat and to recollect…

Everything Needs Time

Finding it difficult trying to put into context my thoughts regarding the different timelines of lives in general.

Browsing through the bookstore and looking at the many “self help” books especially those that promises a certain financial freedom makes me a little frustrated.

I am kinda sick and tired of people who talks or writes at their level knowing very well that their achievements are quite unattainable for a great majority of people. Don’t get me wrong as I am not against successful people. I am just angry at how they discounted and failed to emphasize that TIME was a major factor to their success!

By ignoring the time factor, these “successful” people fueled instant gratification and sent out a false impression that one do not need to work hard and invest valuable time to nurture/sharpen their skills. What we usually see is only the fruit of the labor and not laborious work behind it.

If a self-help writer pens down all the struggles through the time taken to achieve success, the book will bore its readers to death. Naturally people do not want to read of the struggles because we all want to feel good from the first page to the last.

On the other hand, seeing a younger couple getting married helped me put things into perspective. That everyone needs to put in the time to journey through life. Being married earlier or later does not mean we are either ahead or behind others.

There is a time for everything and anything.

Perhaps when you read or hear of someone talking at their incomprehensible level, be consoled that the understanding will come at the right time. Not your fault, because that person has forgotten that he or she was once you at where you currently are…

Gratefulness

When you lose everything in life, anything is better than nothing. Beggars cannot be choosers they’d say. I am indeed at the rebuild stage once again. It is good to start anew and perhaps to learn new things.

The hardest part is giving up all the business travels that I am used to. A price I have to pay for making the wrong decision.

But I still have life and as long as I have life, I can strive to make it better. It will be bad only if there is no inspiration and aspiration. In the next few years, life will show me what I am truly built for.

I want to be able to travel and see new things again. That needs opportunity and chances.

As it is, the world is changing.

While my heart yearns for adventures again, I guess the best thing to do now is be grateful for all that I have and decide to be happy.

Just like love is a decision, so it is with happiness.

I hope you are happy today…

Afterlife

Where we go after death is perhaps the biggest mystery and question that we will never be able to answer with conviction and certainty.

This week has been exceptionally tough having to juggle between the challenges that comes with parenthood and an aunt losing her battle to cancer. And as the title of this post suggests, I am going to write about the latter.

My aunt has been constantly fighting cancer for the last 9 years and her current prognosis does not look good. It is really the end of her life here on earth. I cannot help but to think about the spiritual side of her situation.

I am convinced that heaven and hell are nothing but state of mind. If a person dies without much regret, he or she will probably crossover to something blissful while if a person dies with a lot of ill feelings like anger and regret, he or she will probably go to a “harsher” place. But I must first point out that knowledge plays a pivotal role in the deciding factor which image our state of mind will be the moment one breath his or her last.

In other words, if a person has always been shown beautiful images that are reinforced with what is heavenly throughout his or her life, most likely that will be the destination after death.

At the same time, I thought about the above quote that has been shared on social medias. It is true because we always emphasize on the degree of death as though there is a scale to be rated against. It is as though someone is conducting a survey with the question “Please rate your death experience (1 least enjoyable to 10 very enjoyable). But if we think about it deeper, it is a question we are in fact asking ourselves – the living experiencing the death of people around us. For us, a person who struggles before his or her last breath died a suffering death (rated 1 on the scale) as compared to a person who died in his or her sleep (rated 10 on the scale).

And coming back to the one dying, I realized the importance of a reasonable and practical religion. If I am in the position of advising someone about choosing a religion, I would recommend them to research and take into consideration how the religion in question handles the topic of death and afterlife. Some religion provide the dying with the last rites. This can be very comforting and help the dying to have a better state of mind towards the end of the journey here on earth.

As I prepared myself to visit my aunt this week, I was thinking about how I can provide her with comfort in hopes that her crossover to after life would be filled with a better outlook. So I started researching about her religion and how it gives hope to its followers.

Not mentioning the name, I was shocked to know that their blueprint is built on the beliefs that there is a cap and limit as to the number of souls allowed in Heaven – 144,000 to be exact! My first question was, “SAYS WHO?!”.

In all honesty, if someone told me that heaven has limited space, I am going next door where they tell me that everyone is welcome in heaven.

Just imagine dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit. Naturally, the rabbit sees the motivation to run. Telling someone that heaven has limited space is akin to dangling an invisible or non-existent carrot in front of the rabbit. It is a hopeless situation because knowing that one is not counted or mattered at his or her deathbed is an excruciating painful experience. A feeling of rejection, dejection, and unloved.

Besides, with such a low number being set, it has long been filled up don’t you think?

I take pity on people who have subscribed to such doctrine but take my hats off to those who came up with such an ingenious idea that has brainwashed thousands of unfortunate people to keep such organizations alive till this day.

It is a great disservice for a religion to shortchange its followers in the currency of hope. The most fundamental and reason for the existence of faith is to comfort and console the soul. If a religion does nothing in line of being one’s soul food, it has no reason to exist.

I cannot help but to feel sad how differently people represented the divine. Humans has successfully created so many versions of Jesus that like at the end of His journey at Calvary, He was disfigured beyond recognition.

The good Samaritan only have one thing in him when he helped the victim of the brigands. That is LOVE.

The God that I believe in has insurmountable, immeasurable, and infinite LOVE that cannot be contained or be limited.

The best way to comfort both the living and the dying is through LOVE.

Tell the dying of the beautiful place that they are going to. That their run in the race here on earth is done. That God is waiting on the other side.

A beautiful place filled with LOVE awaits.

What is there to lose just to LOVE a little more?

What have we to lose when someone we love is dying?

At the very end, there will be NOTHING.

There Is No Tomorrow

angel

How often have you come across the question, “how would you like your eulogy to be?” whenever people make reference as to how you should live your life now in the present? I have a lot of time to think about this not for myself but for people who have made a huge impact in my life. It is definitely hard to think about it and of course, I do not wish anyone ill. But if given the opportunity to deliver an eulogy, the following will probably be what I have to say about a very dear friend of mine.

There Is No Tomorrow

It was the afternoon of 24th August 2012 when I had a phone interview with F***k for a job back in the company I left 6 months before. We had a good chat and the words that I will remember for the rest of my life were “there is no tomorrow”. That is an indication of the sense of urgency of all the tasks I will be assigned henceforth. I just did all that I was asked to do and constantly reminding myself of those four words to stay focus. I had the best 7 years working under F***k and it was the most successful time throughout my career up to that point. We went through a lot together with the team. We rise above all the challenges and celebrated many accolades.

Today, those same four words – “there is no tomorrow” give me a very different meaning altogether. Like many of us and very often, F***k was a very misunderstood person. He was more than those “numbers” entrusted to him to be achieved in the corporate world. “Praise publicly and criticize privately”,  was his leadership mantra. F***k was a person of passion, empathy, compassion, and not often admitted, a person filled with love.

In fact and in F***k’s term, he showed me that there is no tomorrow to love more, there is no tomorrow to respect more, and there is no tomorrow to be more passionate in everything that I do.

And if you around you today, it is very obvious that there is nothing the world needs more than love. We ought to tell ourselves, there is no tomorrow when it comes to loving others.

Though it is not my intent to see every one here shed tears, the fact is that we both mourn and celebrate his great life. The great life that he has lived to touch each of us in the most special way. For me, F***k is not only my boss, mentor, but a friend who has taught me many life’s lessons. In the most fundamental way, he has taught me how to be a good person.

I thank God for allowing our paths to cross and hope that this eulogy does justice in describing the amazing person F***k was not only to me but for all us gathered here.

If you find yourself needing to release those tears, I can only tell you not to hold back.

Because, the funeral is today and there is no tomorrow.

Rest In Peace my dear friend. We will all miss you dearly.