Monday, March 25, 2013

The Windmills of My Mind....

I really cannot comprehend why there are people who are willing to do the same thing over and over again for years... decades even.

In my place of work, I have retiring staff who have worked here since they left school over three decades ago. It is the security I suppose, of an employer who will pay you diligently at the end of every month, and an assured bonus before Eidul Fitri and the end of the year, regardless of whether you actually did any work during the year.

I think I have mentioned in one of my previous posts that this place is a utopia of employment. A dream job.
But, if the nicest dream becomes tiresome when it is just a repetition, and you know how the story ends and then begin again.

It is a lovely Monday today. The morning was misty, the traffic was flowing smoothly, had breakfast and somebody paid for it. But, a Monday nonetheless. And as soon as I got into my company car, I see my future and suddenly, my spirit becomes unwilling, my flesh becomes weak. Even before I shift the gear into "D" for "P", I see the route I will be taking, the same route I have taken five days a week, for the last 6 years. Then, I see myself park the car, walk out to the nearby cafe for breakfast, and walk back to the office building, up the elevator, walk some more to my office, turn the swivel chair to accommodate my butt, switch on the computer, put in the password, wait for the Windows tune, login to my Outlook to check my mail.

The pile of cheques for me to sign, the flurry of people coming in and out of my office with documents for me to sign, the ringing of the telephone.... then the indecision of the place to have lunch. Then, it begins again, a fresh pile of cheques and documents, ringing telephone and the repeated glances at the wall clock... 3 more hours..... argghhhh!!!

Eventually, it came, the time to leave. But, there are more cheques to sign and the boss would have asked me for something, which I will have to write a paper on. By time I am done or have given up, it is already dark outside. And, I walk among the empty desks, down the elevator to the basement, start my car, and join the evening congestion.

Already, I am counting the days before the next weekend, only to be further discouraged by the thought of another inevitable Monday. Thus, and the loop begins again, caught in a cycle from which I find no escape.

This merry-go-round isn't going to stop for me.... time to jump....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not a Midlife Crisis.

The thing I hate most about dealing with people is that they look but do not see, they hear but do not listen.

And, I am one who hates repetition, yet when dealing with humans, you need to say things a few times, and perhaps in different ways before they can understand. I get stressed up... and thus, as much as I can I avoid confrontations.

But, like the old saying, when you point one finger in the other direction, three are actually pointed right back at you... and if you point with your thumb, then four fingers are accusing you of the same things you are saying about someone else.

I have been listening to Anthony Robbins, and at almost every pause he makes as he talks, I would be saying to myself... "I knew that.... I knew that...". Robbins said we must write out a blueprint for our lives. In our part of the world we call the drawings that represent the building we are about to build a "plan". But, for Americans, these are called blueprints. So, when Tony Robbins said to write out your blueprint of life, he was asking for a paragraph or two on how you think your life should be. Well, Mr. Robbins I did that.... ten years ago, and nothing in that piece of paper has come true.

Thus, Mr. Robbins says, my blueprint is the reason for my unhappiness, or dissatisfaction, or frustrations or pain in life. Because, I keep comparing this blueprint to my real life and then, as he puts it "should myself". I will look and the blueprint and say, I should be that, I should have done that, I should be at that level... etc.

On that same piece of paper that I kept for a decade I also wrote; "Faith and Focus".

Maybe, Anthony found this piece of paper and made millions from it, because that is what he is preaching. That is what he is telling me, in his gruff phlegmy voice, for me to change and make all the things in that blueprint of mine to become a reality, is to have faith in myself and focus on my goals.

And, he's spot on... Ever since I wrote that, I lost faith in myself and forgot about my goals, putting blames on things that happened around me, and my business partner; making excuses about having to raise my children and not wanting to burden my wife.

I was also blaming myself, to placate myself, to say I am responsible for my actions, saying that I am not a salesman, this is not natural to me... I can't take rejections.... etc.,etc,.etc.

Again, all these are repeated to me by Mr. Robbins. He said, when things do not go according to the blueprint you will blame three things: an event, a person and yourself.

And, I keep saying... I knew that, I knew that...

Of course, I am not saying my life is miserable. There are things in my life that I am very happy with and Mr. Robbins say these are the things in my life that match my blueprint. Of course, I did not write these things down. My blueprint only lists out the gaps in my life not the things I have acquired or gained or achieved.

But, to continue to have some dissatisfaction with certain aspects of your life is natural. Anthony Robbins lists out 6 things that we need in life and thus the reasons that we will always be wishing for something more:

1) the desire for certainty in life
2) the desire for variety in life
3) the desire to be significant
4) the desire for connection/relationship/love
5) the desire to continue to grow and improve ourselves
6) the desire to contribute

That made a lot of sense. Special attention to numbers 5 and 6, which should be a continuous process for as long as we live.

So, to my friends out there (a special shout to my emba15a alumni) who think that they are going through midlife crisis.... Don't worry about it, you are just thriving to live out your blueprint.

Keep at it!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Time to Look Inside (again)

I have just heard part one of Anthony Robbins' Ultimate Edge (free trial version) and I must admit I am inspired. Maybe it's his voice and the passionate way he delivers his talk, but I am motivated to make changes in my life, now.  I am determined to follow the foot steps of people who overcame life's best (worst) shots to be recognized as the masters i their field of interest.

Tony Robbins told about J.K. Rowling's miserable life, having been badly treated by the people around her, living in her car and on welfare, rejected by publishers before becoming a billionaire. Robbins also mentioned how Stephen Hawking was devastated to be diagnosed with ALS, yet went on to write numerous books and is today considered the greatest Physicist since Einstein.

However, it was while listening to these stories that I realized .... I am embarrassed to be seen buying or reading self-help or motivational books. I do have in my collection Steven Covey's "7 habits", T. Harv Eker's "The Millionaire Mind Set", Zig Ziglar's  "See You at The Top", and Robert T. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and "Cashflow Quadrant", all bought discreetly, when there aren't anybody at the cashier or lately, I buy them online.

And I know why....  In my mind, I see people who read these motivational books are people with issues. I mean why else are you reading or listening to Anthony Robbins. I don't have issues... please... I am happily married, I have good children, I am NOT poor, I am not rich either but... I am happy... I have a great life!! I do!

But, the question remains.... Why am I listening to this gruff voice and finding myself actually, soothed by it. Maybe it's listening to the terrible things that other people went through in their lives, make my problems trivial.

And, I guess, perhaps it is time to look inside and be honest with myself. It is time (again) to ask .... What do you want in/from this life?

(Downloaded part 2, so I can hear it in the car on my way home....)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There are days when you just can't get started. Today is one of them... and the older I get, these non-starting days are occurring more frequently. I know this day will be an almost zero-productivity day for me, when I woke up this morning and the first thing that crossed my mind is "I'm going to get-off early today..."

True enough, I spent today with minimal sense of achievement and instead of starting on a new project assigned to me by my boss, I wrote this blog.

I do not have anything particular to write about. The news and social media is filled with updates and comments about the assault on Tanduo. Prior to this, the political parties supporters are flinging mud at each other in the build up to the coming general elections which nobody knows when.

I hope nobody will comment to say things like, "count your blessings" or "be thankful". Please don't... today, I want to wallow in this quicksand of depression. Today, I want to whine about ever worsening morning traffic congestion, the same breakfast choices, the repetition of daily work, the slow sweep of the clock's hands, the incessant ringing of telephones.... Today, I want to immerse myself in the meaninglessness of my existence. Today I want to view life, the world and its occupants with contempt.

Today, the customers are wrong, I do not want to hear another point of view, all excuses are lame, it's my way or no way....

How I wish I can be this way everyday....