Monday Musings: Be Kind to Yourself

I was talking to one of my clients and she told me about how her generation is into “the grind” and “you have to make it happen for yourself.” She described how her work was nowhere near as successful as the work of her peers.

This reminds me of what Tomo Fujita, John Mayer’s guitar teacher at the Berklee College of Music, always says:

  • Be kind to yourself!
  • Don’t compare!
  • Don’t expect too fast!
  • Don’t worry!

This doesn’t only apply to learning a musical instrument, it applies to most things in life. So what if you’re not making as much money as the next guy? If you compare, someone will always be better and someone will always be worse. What’s important is you’re doing your best. Have a good week ahead!

Monday Musings: Why So Serious?

We’re bound to face problems each day. Murphy’s law is a law for a reason. Something’s just bound to go wrong, and guess what? It’s totally ok.

When something bad happens, we tend to react to it negatively. If you think about it, the negative reaction is something that comes from us. The exact same turn of events can be the opposite for another person who is also experiencing it. Let’s say you go to a concert and you didn’t like the artists who performed. You think to yourself “this was a waste of time, they weren’t very good.” Someone else in the crowd who may have just heard of the artists for the first time may have had the time of their life. Those are two vastly different takes on the same experience.

The stoics like to call this amor fati – the Latin phrase for love of fate. Rather than putting a negative spin on what happens today, embrace it. The milk has already spilled, so just accept it (they even say you should enjoy it), and pour yourself another glass.

That’s one way to stay sane and peaceful in an otherwise hectic world.

Have a great week ahead!

Monday Musings: How to Make Important Decisions

Harness your ability to travel in time.

In Daniel Pink’s The Power of Regret, he talks about a superpower only humans have – time travel. Our minds are able to go into the past, change certain decisions, then imagine what our present and future will be if we made that change. We don’t even need to hop into a DeLorean.

A very important decision needs to be made next Monday for people living in the Philippines. The next leader of the country will be decided by a vote. Each person’s vote bearing no more weight than the next.

Travel back to the past and see what kind of leaders you voted for. Did they do well? Would you have voted for someone else? Look at the choices you have now. Who do you think will be able to perform the duties of president and Commander-in-Chief? What about the other national and local posts?

If we’re lucky enough to survive another 6 years, what kind of country will we have if your bets win? Do not miss the opportunity to make a lasting effect on the future of the Philippines. The worst thing you can do in this situation is sit on your ass and watch the world go about its business when you can make a difference.

Simple Decision-making Tree

  1. What do I value in a public official?
  2. Will I regret voting for this person?
  3. Will I regret not voting for someone else?

The most painful regrets are the ones that got away. Don’t let this be one of those regrets.

Monday Musings: What is “Common Sense”?

“Why are you even asking? That’s just common sense!

Have you ever heard someone say that to you? When we think about it, what is common sense, anyway?

When we say “it’s common sense,” it just means “it’s simple logic.”

Me: Sir, I'm about to send the report in to our CFO. Could you please take a look at the presentation?

Boss: What's wrong with it?

Me: I just want to be sure that the format and presentation is easily understandable for our CFO.

Boss: Why do you need me for that? It's just common sense.

The problem with the phrase common sense is that it isn’t common at all! Humans are emotional beings and our logic comes after emotion. Even the stoics understand that their thoughts are influenced by their emotions. The only difference is they are able to process those emotions and act a certain way.

Do you have common sense? Do you see things logically? It’s just common sense!

Monday Musings: TMI

Too Much Information.

When you scroll through social media or any media for that matter, do you feel bombarded by too much information? Technology has allowed us to know everything that happens everywhere in the world at all times.

There was a time when we only learned of global affairs from foreign television channels or the next day’s newspaper. Nowadays, our cellphones can push a notification and tell us what a complete stranger had for breakfast.

As nice as it is to be in the know, we also have to protect ourselves from information that is unnecessary and toxic. We don’t need to know everything that happens. It is not a sin to be uninformed about the smallest details.

It may be against the current trend of being woke and informed, but I think we all can use some toxic information cleansing from time to time.