Archives for the month of: June, 2013

When we meet someone who is emotionally unavailable, we must understand that we are dealing with a deliberate defence system which cannot be removed without the person’s consent.  If we think that we can win them over, we might have another thing coming.  There are many reasons for the person not to be int he same emotional readiness as we are and we cannot persuade them to open up just by sheer charm, will, or love.

When we meet such a person we must be wary and accept the unpleasant reality that there is likely not much that we can do about the situation but let them be.  We can attempt to be friends with them in the hope that they miraculously realize that we are really meant for them and consequently script a whole fantasy life as a result of this delusion or we can choose to acknowledge that there is more than the eyes can see in terms of their emotional depth and situation and attempt to move on with our lives.

When we reach a certain age, we ought to have realized that life is complex enough with taking upon ourselves the gargantuan task of making someone love us.  They may not be in the frame of mind to pursue a relationship with us or perhaps there is just a significance difference in life stage.  It might also be that they have other things preoccupying them which causes our efforts and attempts to melt into the background.  Or it might be as simple as they just do not fancy us the same way that we do them.  It might simply be a matter of timing. Whatever it is, when someone states clearly that they are not ready for a relationship, we must take them seriously.

It does not benefit us to think that we are some heroine in a movie who will magically causes their Prince Charming to notice us and change their minds because life does not work that way.  People erect deliberate emotional defences for a reason.  We must respect that.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

I’m not sure when I’ll ever be able to not care about what other people think but despite being affected by other’s opinions, I still proceed with pursuing my dreams. It is unfortunate when people whose opinions I care about are not pleased with me and there have been times when gaining their respect or approval was utmost on my mind and their criticism paralyzed me but I soon realized that their words were no better or significant than background noise, especially when it was merely destructive to my well-being and improvement.

We all wish for our kin’s approval and in an ideal world, it might happen, but we are all not that lucky. Without the appropriate encouragement and support, are we all to just fall behind on our own progress and let the lack of ideal circumstances get the better of us.

We must proceed on our path whether or not the people around us make way for it or cheer us on and let the naysayers’ babble simply be considered irrelevant background noise as we seek to progress and achieve our dream.

(c) Niconica 2013

Along the same lines as the famous Zen koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is our introductory line to today’s topic, “What is the sound of a heart breaking?”

Heartbreak is an intangible yet possibly deadly malady which besieges even the best of us and yet it cannot be concretely beheld or quantified as other illnesses are via blood tests or X-rays.

Yet despite this, we act and react to heartbreak in very real, painful, and sometimes even destructive ways without stopping to be aware that the intangible quality of heartbreak makes it illusory in many ways.

Being hurt or heartbroken is involuntary, no one seeks it out, and when it happens, we may all agree that it is an unpleasant experience but we must attempt to take it seriously only to the extent that we acknowledge to ourselves the pain and the feelings which are concurrent with it, while at the same time taking care not to take it too seriously to the extent that it takes on a life of its own and consumes us.

We must realize that we are feeling great pain because we have involuntarily or instinctively ascribed a value to the person whom we have given the capacity to break our hearts and this value may or may not be accurate.

Beyond the humiliation and hurt of being rejected, we must admit that we may have overestimated the virtues of the person whom we perceive is causing us pain. Beyond a certain period of time for grieving and melancholy, we must ask ourselves why we allow this certain individual or any individual for that matter to hold such power over us.

The extent of the heartbreak is only has real as the value we place on the person whom we desire and this value is illusory–it may be based on perceptions rather than the truth.

Even if it were based on some factual qualities of the person, the value of the person is unrealistic to the extent that we have somehow placed the individual in such as high estimation that we allow them to affect our well being.

The extent of the damage might be real and time would be require to heal, yet the regard we have placed on the person may not be apt, accurate, or deserved. We must keep this in mind when we navigate the perilous terrain of heartbreak–that the extent of it is illusory based on the value we have ascribed upon the person who has caused it–whether or not they deserved to be considered in such lofty regard.

(c) Niconica 2013

We are assaulted by opinions left, right, and center–more so than we have been a few decades ago when there were no such things as ‘status updates’ and ‘tweets’.  Connectivity has its advantages to a certain point.  Being able to voice one’s thoughts and opinions is not license to judge, criticise, or bash other people.  We must not take the privilege of being able to share our opinions beyond common human decency.

As humans, we individually enjoy the fact that we are free and able to make choices to a certain extent, however, there are many occasions when we don’t seem to bestow the same courtesy to others when we pass judgement about their choices and/or their decisions.  Having the constant option to be able to speak our minds does not mean that we need to have opinions about everything–and even if we do, it does not mean that we must assault others with our thoughts–unless explicitly asked.

Is it too much to ask for our default setting to be neutral especially when the decisions or choices of others do not affect us in any direct manner?  Simply observing their lives and being aware of their actions does not confer upon us any right to assume that we have a say in the matter or that our opinions are warranted.  When it comes to personal choices of others, might I suggest that we maintain our default setting of neutrality, especially when their choices have no bearing upon our lives except perhaps for the fact that we have become aware of it or have observed it.

Ideally, we must learn to rejoice in others’ happiness and successes but if this is too much to ask, then we might as well neither rejoice or be negative about their predicament.  When the path of kindness and compassion is too much for us to tread on, we might as well choose the path of non-violence or neutrality.  Gossiping, mocking, and criticising should not be acceptable options.

(c) Niconica 2013

The increasingly fast-paced world of social media has conditioned us to be self-absorbed and self-centric. We are prompted to share our thoughts and feelings via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites as we feel more connected with others as we read their thoughts, feeds, and status updates.  A sense of virtual community emerges somehow, yet at the same time, there is a sense of remoteness which surfaces as we engage with others–friends, acquaintances, or even strangers–via technology.

It is within the crossroads of this ambivalent environment that we might lose sight of the fact that not everything is about us.  Even if we have been influenced by the pervasive preoccupation with sharing our lives, our thoughts, our photos, our feelings, and our random outbursts with people and commenting and like-ing their photos or statuses, it does not mean that every reaction we perceive from others whether virtually or in person reflects reality.  It is all too easy to take everything at face value without considering that other people have a lot going on in their lives too and their status messages or comments, and even actions, do not have anything to do with us.

The is a need to pull ourselves back from the fast-paced world of interaction and remind ourselves not to be so reactive to everything that we see and hear.  It is all too easy to forget the art of being objective and detaching from events as we perceive them because it may be that our perception is erroneous and had we learned to take a step back from acting or reacting upon our perceptions, we might avoid interpersonal mistakes, and/or inconveniences.

(c) Niconica 2013

One day we shall all have a better theoretical and experiential grasp of temporal mechanics, but until then, in our limited frame of reference that is, time is linear and it only moves one way–forward, from past towards the future.

Though even the youngest of our species understand this, we haven’t really accepted it because we have a penchant for pining after our past glories. Everything always seems less harsh, and therefore better than ot actually was, through the lenses of memory because the passage of time has a numbing effect upon us.

Even if time is a natural anesthesia for our past pains, we must bear in mind that anesthetics are artificial and dulls our perception of pain and we should try to keep a healthy perspective about what has been–whether it is our past victories or failures, we must not be tempted to escape into the past or be haunted by it.

Past events have their place in our memories and it is to mark events which have occurred and contributed to our present and even if we know that we cannot change the past, we have to be kept on being reminded that there is no turning back with most things. We seem to conveniently forget this fact to our emotional and psychological detriment.

It is of no avail to relive the glory days of the past because the person we once were does not exist anymore, nor does it benefit us to torment and flagellate ourselves about past mistakes and misdeeds because they cannot be undone. This is not to say that past experiences are irrelevant and may be overlooked entirely, but merely to state that the past has its own place in our frame of reference.

The minute that we forget that our memories serve to guide us with becoming a better person whether it maybe improving upon our compassionate contribution upon humanity or to remind us which weaknesses we must work upon or which strengths we must continue to build upon as well as which mistakes we must seek to rectify and avoid making again, and which misdeeds require the asking of forgiveness from others as well as ourselves so that we may be able to move forward in a less damaged manner, we end up in a less optimum state of mind and selling ourselves–our humanity and our potential to learn and grow–short.

It’s true, there is no turning back, yet it doesn’t mean we cannot look back once in a while just to make sure we have a frame of reference and that we are on the right track as we move forward to fulfill our vast potential.

(c) Niconica 2013

We have been taught to dissect, analyze, and compute everything to bits since we were young that we may have tended to become more petty and calculating whether or not we realize it. It then behooves us not to lose sight of the big picture when it comes to life: whether in business or in personal stuff, we must always remember that our perspective is not the empirical truth and we may benefit from stepping back and learning to view and appreciate the elements involved in a grander and more cohesive manner.

We may be tempted to maximize our present gains at the expense of establishing trust and goodwill and this would cause our short-lived present victories to be at the expense of our future long term gains. We must remember that what may appear to be advantageous to us may not be for the greater good and we must balance our sense of entitlement with a sense of fairness if we are to have a chance in gaining and keeping the respect of people around us.

Marketing and business strategies are all well and good as long as they remain grounded in the fact that people do not enjoy being deceived and are likely to avoid experiencing being lied to more than once. We must consider that intelligence when not balanced with compassion and kindness becomes a liability instead of an asset despite evidence to the contrary which may appear briefly during the initial stages.

Eventually, we must learn that mutual trust and respect is the only way forward in all our relationships, be it in a personal, romantic, or business setting and this can only be established when we choose to keep our sight on the bigger picture so that we may not stand in our own way and compromise our own future well-being and success.

(c) Niconica 2013

Sometimes, finding a partner to share the rest of one’s life with may not be as self-determined as we thought it would be–it may be the luck of the draw, finding the person whose needs or wants match with our timing in a real world romantic version of musical chairs.  Does that person whom we end up with at the time with the music stops become more appealing and acceptable simply because we are ready?  Is it less Hollywood romance movie and more a matter of biology, practicality, and timing?

We would like to think that we would know whom we end up with but time uncovers the truth and we then discover whether we have found ourselves in ideal or favorable predicaments? Does it matter though by the time the decision becomes irreversible or at the very least, difficult to reverse.  It is hard to say going into a marriage or a permanent romantic partnership with someone and judging by the present set of circumstances what the longstanding effects would be and it becomes almost a matter of chance whom we end up with.

Whether or not we wish to acknowledge it, everything in life is ephemeral and unpredictable.  No matter how devious or calculating we may attempt to be, we would never really be able to outsmart life or our own karma.  We have little or no control over many facets of our life and it’s a sobering realization as we watch our peers, family, and friends get married that whom we end up marrying is the luck of the draw–of course, it goes without saying that we must do the best with what comes.

(c) Niconica 2013

The trouble with messing with fate is that it leaves a lot of loose ends, unanswered questions, and unintended consequences. It is sometimes not a matter of ability to alter fate as much as it is whether fate should be altered.

We have read enough literature as well as seen enough movies to comprehend that sometimes it’s well enough to let sleeping dogs lie and not attempt to mess with what is supposed to occur because the active and effective prevention of an unwanted consequence may lead to a more unacceptable predicament.

Only hindsight can provide us with an inkling as to whether the choices we have made are ultimately to our benefit. And this is the only time it may dawn on us that we should have left well enough alone.

(c) Niconica 2013

Let’s try to move away from the stereotypical image of the shrewd and cunning businessman who would not blink at selling this wife and kids for the right price or who would lie, cheat, and steal just to get ahead.  For fellow Star Trek fans, this stereotype would call to mind the Ferengis who have as their revered codex the Rules of Acquisition as a reflection of their ultra-capitalist society.  We are at the age of intense capitalism, yet we must not forget that we are humans before we are capitalists.

As members of the human race, we must not neglect to espouse the qualities which humanity should be proud of and these would be generosity, faith, honesty, resilience, resourcefulness, kindness, compassion and goodness.  These qualities which we would appreciate in a friend, a family member, and/or a spouse, should also be the same qualities which we hold dear in the realm of business.  There seems to be a double standard in business at times where when someone is “too earnest” or “too honest” it becomes a criticism.  It reflects that the values which are seen as pertinent or relevant to the business world are not the same qualities which we might want to find someone whom we would idolize as the epitome of human goodness such as Mother Theresa.

This dichotomy in commendable traits creates a schism in our psychological development as we reach the age of maturity where one must earn a living whether through providing services or products.  While growing up, we are taught through parables and fairy tales about the importance of being good and honest, and yet when we enter the real world, we find that the qualities admired in a business person is aggressiveness and ruthlessness and we find that we might have been mislead and therefore all the cautionary fairy tales warning us of cunning and deceitful character ill-prepare us for entering a capitalist society where opportunism and shrewdness are admired, valued, or at least, become seemingly favourable traits to getting ahead.

There is a disconnect between the values and ethics which are espoused by our religious institutions and spiritual education with the worldly concerns and requirements of thriving and surviving in a complex society.  We then become schizophrenic in trying to both be a good person to our friends and family on a personal level and yet be calculating and cold on the business or career aspect and only very few people, if any, can sustain these unrealistic and incompatible expectations.

We must be aware that it is unfair to preach goodness, kindness, and compassion to our young ones while at the same time expecting them to thrive in a cynical and savvy world without considerable confusion, trauma, and upset.  There needs to be a paradigm shift in what is considered valuable in our society.  It need not be said that the qualities of goodness, kindness, and compassion are immensely preferable in every facet of life–even in business–though they should be balanced by awareness and applied with discretion and caution.  There must be a way of thriving business and society without losing our soul in the process.

(c) Niconica 2013