Categories
Books Thoughts

Practicing mindful openness

Prologue

As I grow older and learn more about the world around me; I noticed that a contradictory process has been happening at the same time. As I figure out more of what’s right and what’s wrong, what are things supposed to be, the more I become closed off to other possibilities. I wish to grow with an open mind; how can I do that?

Let me start from the beginning of my thought process.

Inception

I’ve recently started to read more books as a response to: "hmm, I haven’t been utilizing my Kindle much, it’s such a waste to leave it sitting there". Hence I started my journey of crossing out books that has been sitting on my Todo list for the longest time (e.g. The War of Art).

That was followed by "Atomic Habits" (re-reading it before my reflection) and "Your Money or Your Life" (WIP). I was introduced ideas of how to continuously achieve more; and consumerism: about how we have all fallen into the idea of more is always better. These are conflicting ideologies in my opinion but yet I fully agree with both of them. The acceptance towards this dichotomy of ideologies is giving me a lot of internal conflict because it’s messing up with my value system.

Awareness

When I thought deeper into it, I realized that it is only possible for me to accept both of them at once because this is something new to me. I haven’t formed my own belief of what is right or wrong for me yet. This led me to think about: "how many times have I rejected an idea/solution just because I already have my own pre-conceived notion of what is right?". The answer is probably a lot more than I’m willing to admit, which scares me more than I’m willing to show.

Action

Thankfully, awareness and consciousness is usually always the first step to breaking out of being oblivious to my own biasness. My current proposed solution for such short-sightedness is…

  • keep reading a variety of books
  • keep communicating with people who have different ideas and perspectives on life
  • don’t live in an echo chamber/bubble
  • don’t be quick to judge opposing ideas
  • accept that moderate internal conflict is good for growth
  • accept that almost everything is a spectrum instead of binary

Closing thoughts

It’s not often that I feel this level of revelation, and it does make me feel like I’ve been living my life "wrong". But hey, better late than never right? I still have another 2/3rds of my life to make the changes and reap the benefits.

Also I just thought it would be funny to have a section called "Closing thoughts" when this post is about openness.

Categories
Books Productivity Thoughts

The War of Art reflection

In the recent months, I realised that I’ve been feeling more stress than I’ve typically felt. Perhaps it’s the increase responsibilities at work, perhaps it’s the plateau in my weight loss regiment, perhaps it’s me not taking good enough care of my body.

Perhaps it could be a thousand other things, but the question was, “What am I doing about it?”. It dawned on me that I know the solution to each one of the stress-givers, but I have not worked on them consciously and meticulously. Following the theme for 2021, it became clear to me that my goal is to make progress on my health.

Reading books has been on my todo list for the longest time but I’ve rarely found the time/effort to execute my will. Cue the sign from universe. I happened to watch a productivity video that promoted this book titled: The War of Art. The video summarised the book in a way that clicked in my head, so I decided to procure it on my nearly-defunct kindle; I could only turn the Kindle on after charging it for 30mins.

Of all the topics that was covered in the book, there are two concepts that stood out and caused a seismic shift in my perspective on procrastination.

Disclaimer: this is my personal reflection of the book based off my memory so this is my own understanding of what the book is about.

Resistance

The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

i.e. our current life style/choices vs the life that we want to achieve but didn’t.

What is resistance? It’s the evil force that stops you from living the life unlived. We experience it all the time, we are just not consciously aware of it.

If you’ve ever bought a gym package and barely used it, when you want to save the environment, when you want to be a dancer, when you want to help the weak; but you didn’t. That’s resistance.