Category Archives: Loving Fear

What a Weird, and Wonderful Week!

Forest fires raging in Indonesia,   Weird and Wonderful Weekend

Smog, haze sweeping over Singapore.

The clear, clean blue sky that Singapore is famous for, is replaced by dirty, hazy and grey smog.

Everywhere you go, everyone is wearing surgical masks or respirators.

This is the setting that has been shrouding Singapore for the past 1 week.

The mood of Singaporeans has also become as grey as the weather.

Singaporeans are complaining about the quality of the air, or blaming the Indonesia for the situation.

Yet its under such a unclear and blurry setting that I found myself feeling awesome and wonderful!

“Shaun, are you crazy, you are actually enjoying this!”

No I don’t enjoy the smog, nor do I love to see people suffer.

Its just that I have learnt a lot of lessons and I will like to share them on “Live! With Fear”.

The first lesson is to be “present”.

Have you ever been at work physically, but your heart is somewhere else?

That used to happen to me, and it was quite a pain. Time crawled by painfully. Every single piece of work felt like a chore. There were only 2 things that I looked forward to: Lunch break, and knocking off time. Everyday at work was a torture.

Fast forward to present times: Things changed.

Nope, my job hasn’t changed. But what changed was my approach: I started having a daily “Just Do it” task.This task is one which is important but which I don’t do either because its difficult to do, because I find it “troublesome” or simply because I don’t like it.

I used to see such tasks as a chore but now I see it as a challenge.

For example, last week I had to update my company’s finance manual. To do so required me to first re-learn a software which I had only used once previously. On top of that I had to write and send out a circular which captures the essence of the update to the users.

Once I started on my “Just Do It” task, time flew by. At the end of 6 hours, I finally finished the update.

I was totally present, totally engaged, and the sense of satisfaction is immense. I had stretched my comfort zone (i.e. re-learning the software), and completed a difficult task.

What I learnt is that setting a “Just Do it” task to do everyday, increases my focus and presence, and it brings me much satisfaction when I finish the task.

The second lesson that I want to share is “Positivity begets positivity, negativity begets negativity.”

As I mentioned earlier, the mood surrounding Singapore is as gloomy as the smog casting over the Singapore sky.

Even with the smog around I was feeling great as I was present, but when I checked in on Facebook, I saw the rantings made by my friends on the haze. I started feeling cranky.

Have you found yourselves feeling negative because of the negative things people say?

I understand that its frustrating given the situation But I caught myself, I told myself if I focus only on the haze and the smog, I will see nothing but the smog and the haze. I stopped looking at the negative postings and instead started reading the positive messages that are shared on Facebook. It helped! I felt positive again.

I was tested at home too. One day my father suddenly lashed out at me, I was angered, I walked over intending to give him a piece of my mind. But bearing in the mind that negativity begets negativity, and that if I were to tell him off, that will only escalate into Word War X. (Not a typo error, as the war is expected to be that of words, and “X” represents the ….er hem…. descriptive words). Instead I gave him a hug, telling him that its going to be alright. He calmed down visibly. Yes, positivity begets positivity.

This is what I I learnt from this experience: if I focus on happy things, I will be happy, if I focus on the unhappy things, I will be unhappy.

The third set of lessons I learnt was that of not take things personally, and to celebrate myself and others. Yesterday, I was out with a group of friends. One of my friends (I shall call him John) commented that my club contest speech was not as good as another of my friend who was there (I shall call him Peter).

How would you feel if such a comment was given in a company of friends?

My heart was crushed. Even though I was the contestant who advanced to the next level of the contest, that statement threatened to take the victory away from me. At that moment I acknowledged the pain but I asked myself: “Do you want to stay crushed and allow your victory to be taken, or do you want to be happy?” I told myself: “I want to be happy and keep my victory.”

This is what I got from this experience: “I will be much happier if I stop taking things personally.” John’s opinion is his truth, not mine. My truth is as important if not more important. Even if the whole world don’t appreciate my speech, I appreciate my own speech. Encouragement and appreciation comes from within, not from outside. Furthermore, my speech was appreciated by the judges otherwise I would not have gotten first runner up. I celebrated myself silently at that point.

We moved on to another topic, we talked about how to deliver a good speech, Peter shared his speech template. I didn’t think much at that point in time. However while I was in reflecting on the events of the previous day, I thought that the template was awesome, and that the creator, Peter was even more awesome. I sent Peter a text this morning, thanking him for the tip. I had an “Aha” moment after I sent the text: When I celebrate an individual and his/her gifts, the gifts and the strength which I am celebrating becomes a part of me. Just as how I have internalized the template which Peter has shared.

Hence the lesson I learnt from this encounter was not to take things personally and to celebrate myself and others.

As I look out of the window, its clear! I hope it stays clear but regardless as to whether it stays the same, I am happy and grateful for the lessons I have gained this weird, and wonderful week. They are:

1) Be Present

2) Positivity begets positivity, negativity begets negativity

3) Don’t take things personally, and to celebrate myself and others.

Have a fantastic week ahead!

Shaun

Your fellow human being:)

Loving Fear

What do you do when fear comes knocking? Loving fear

Some of you might be thinking: “Hey Shaun, didn’t we talk about this earlier? Are you running out of things to write about?

We did talk about it: We question fear, we address its concerns and we leverage on it.

When I started this blog, I saw fear as a “third party”, as something that is not part of me, as something that just happens to come knocking on my door, and since its there I might as well make use of it.

I took a 2 weeks hiatus from writing the blog, while its not excuse, its because I took part in a speech contest 2 weekends ago, and the weekend before I took part in a seminar, “Living in Passion!”  While I had a break through during the speech contest, it was the seminar that changed my mindset towards fear altogether.

Will you like to know what I have learnt about fear?

Before that let me share with you another story, recently my girlfriend texted me: “I am so touched by this video, and you know I am rarely moved. Go watch it. Its on my Facebook wall.”

I did as I was told (who wouldn’t right?). It was a video from the Chinese Talent Show, or “Zhong Guo Taren Xiu”, the play back started out with this introductory video with this girl saying: “The heavens have blessed me with this special hand to play beautiful music.”  The scene then shifted to the auditorium at the TV studio, where she took her place at the piano and started playing. As the girl started playing the piano, I heard her gratitude, her happiness, and all that is expressed in her music, beautiful music from the heart of her soul. The camera shifted slowly to the piano keys, where I got to see the “special hand” in action, it was her fingerless right hand, and it was fluttering like a butterfly among the piano keys.

At that point, I got it, she was grateful for the hand that was given to her and its ability to play music!!!

At the post performance Q&A, one of the judges asked her:”What are your motivations for learning to play music?” The girl replied:”At first, I was moved by the sound that piano makes, so I make myself work hard at it, after a while I learned that the heavens are kind to me, as they blessed me with this special hand that helped me find music and most importantly play music.”

Amazing, isn’t it. Many people will see handicap as a…..handicap, an obstacle that impedes their lives. But this girl she sees it as a blessing, as a means to express her gifts to her as a musician.

My friends, what if everything happened for a reason?

Both the good things and the “bad”.

What if the “bad things” are there to help us express our gifts to world?

Back to what I learnt during the seminar “Living in Passion”, in one of the sharing session by one of the participants, she shared her frustrations she has with her mum, the trainer said: “Acknowledge the frustrations you have over your mum, we are both god and the devil at the same time. Love the devil as much as the God within you.”

At that moment, it all came together:

1) Fear is not just a separate entity from of us, fear is part of us, born within us from the experiences of our lives.

2) When we reject fear, we reject these experiences that happened to us, when we do that we reject a part of us.

3) When we reject a part of us, we don’t love ourselves totally.

Personally I think Fear is good, its to be loved, afterall it serves as a test of my conviction, and if I am paralyzed by fear, its not fears fault, it simply shows that my conviction is not strong enough.

Through this experience, I believe  that there is a lesson and reason to everything that happens to us, and if we reject the things that happened to us, we won’t learn the lesson and we won’t see the reason.

If we miss the lessons and not seeing the reasons why things happened to us, we might just miss the clues that might just help us see what are our gifts to this world. It took a long time for me to acknowledge the fear of abandonment by friends, and when I did that and accepted the experience, I started to see that I actually do have lots of friends and by closing myself out previously, I am pushing them away from my life. I learnt that I was the selfish one, letting my abandonment by Alvin push people away, people who cared.

My friends, what do you do when fear comes knocking? Acknowledge it, (don’t let it come in though go out and meet it), talk to it, and listen to the story which fear has to tell, learn the lesson from the story, and at the end of the sharing, say: “I hear you fear of…….(e.g. abandonment) , thank you for sharing, thanks for the lesson, and I love you, and since you are me, I love me too.”

This is the FB Link to the video.

Shaun

Your fellow human being:)