March 10, 2024
Source – Unplash.com

The world is changing rapidly in every aspect, and I believe you see it, feel it, and even touch it. From economics, politics to inflation, prices are rising while currency is depreciating. From the vast world to the small society, from community circles to our closest relationships, everything is changing. I don’t know how change is affecting you, but for me, everything seems to have turned 180 degrees. And with all the changes happening, I think I am very lucky, extremely fortunate because I have had constructive connections, valuable and sustainable relationships. And I know that I have made efforts to build these things over the years, not just relying on luck, if I were a nobody. Recently, I have truly learned profound lessons about the immense power of self-awareness, especially when facing situations that require important decisions. Again, all of these lessons are not new; they are like final exams, to elevate, to enhance understanding and self-awareness more clearly than ever.

I will tell you three stories and also three reflections that I have packaged for my next journey.

1 – Understanding Thyself

Recently, I had a new connection, that lasted only about 5 months. It went from the excitement of getting to know each other ->to curiosity and effort to connect -> to hesitation, suspicion, loss of trust, and fall apart at the end. (just for your curious, it’s not about love)

I won’t go into detail about this relationship, but what it brought to me was extremely impressive both literally and figuratively. I used to be an easygoing person, easily influenced by emotions, so I often let others manipulate me. And I’ve made countless efforts to overcome this, so I understand how important setting boundaries is. Not sure which book from Master Haemin that I once read, I was extremely impressed by the part where he wrote, “All relationships in life that we encounter are like a fireplace, we will get burned if we are too close and will get cold when we are too far away.” And with all the experiences I’ve had before, I always try to keep everything at the most appropriate level possible.

Returning to that relationship, the lesson I learned during these 5 months was inner power to maintain my boundaries. It is established based on deep self-awareness, knowing my limits, knowing when to firmly say no, and believing in my own worth. In fact, at the time of telling you this story, I have overcame moments of falling into the trap of emotions, boundaries being violated, and confidence being submerged. I still remembered the day I had to take a leave from work, covered myself in a blanket, crying because I felt so confused that everything I did was not accepted, felt like I had no value, my confidence and self-love at that time were reduced to zero – What a depression! I let myself down.

When I looked back, I realized the lesson that friend taught me was significant: that the person issues are not mine, the person pain is not related to me, and I am not obliged to fulfill any emptiness.

When I started to feel overwhelmed, I realized that it was time to end this relationship. And I knew I had regained my strength, regained my confidence and self-love that these were just temporarily on vacation for a few days. After that, even though I was not directly affected anymore, its aftermath made me take more than 2 weeks to recover my energy. And it’s completely gone, thanks.

The biggest lesson in this story is reinforcing the self-belief system and core values. From that event, I do not allow anyone to take away my light (Here I also realized that I allowed it to happen).

Therefore, understanding Thyself is extremely important (you already know that). Understand Thyself enough to know how to love yourself. And only when you love yourself enough and in the right way, you can love others. Both you and I, we are whole & complete, we are not obliged to fill the void for anyone. It’s also a word of Master Haemin that I don’t exactly remember the original phrase , something like: We are the full moons, shining for each other; sometimes there will be clouds covering, but the wind will blow the clouds away and the moon will always shine bright.

(P/s: Haemin’s book: Love the Imperfect things & The Things you can only see when you slow down)

2 – Understanding Others

My current job is an assistant to the CEO, and to be honest, I rarely talk about my work on social media because I always set a boundary between my professional and personal life. I’ve been working for over 13 years, and every job I’ve had has brought me maturity, and growth at different levels of professionalism.

My actions are often driven by the fear of not being good enough (my numerology says the same). Until I took on this position, I found my fear reaching its maximum level (oh yeah, it’s true), however, it came along with curiosity and excitement every time I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I believe that no matter what position you hold, we all have social interactions, whether close, distant, casual, or partnership. In each role, the level and frequency of these interactions will vary. And in case you didn’t know, I’m an introvert, I love cats, and I enjoy being alone.

My job requires skillful communication, extreme precision in delivery tasks, and always stay professional in interacting with all partners. Because whether I want it or not, every action, every word that comes from me can easily be perceived by others as representing the CEO. (now you know why it’s fearmax, but I tried to stay frealess ;))

Nearly 2 years in this role, I’ve witnessed significant personal growth. My communication has become more professional, and my work ethic speaks for itself. Fortunately for me, despite the high-intensity work environment, the high level of standards demands, and working alongside with all the “warriors” for the shared objestives., in overall, it’s a healthy environment, authentic and passionate.

In my younger, I used to argue a lot, if not argue back, I would withdraw from communication, I didn’t like being at a disadvantage to others, and I often expressed myself in various ways. I liked to make others listen to me speak but rarely genuinely listened to them. Every time someone surpassed me, the fear of being left behind activated me to rush forward. Yes, I used to talk more than now, but it was just very immature, everything was exposed, which led to the being easily emotionally manipulated story in section #1. This change didn’t happen overnight but was a long process after many years of working experiences.

I used to have a wrong understanding about the the concepts of leadership and communication, but now as I receive more training and thrive deeper into these two aspects, I’m learning a lot.

I’ve learned that to lead others, I must first lead myself, and to understand others, I must learn to listen. Listen to understand, not to respond; listen to feedback, not to react. And these two lessons are talked a lot on the internet and in thousands (maybe millions) of books, but you will only understand and really get them through frequency practice until they become your habits.

To listen, you need to practice shut up because we have a habit of interrupting others and love to show our knowledge by giving them advice which they don’t need.

To understand, you need to open your heart when you listening because if you don’t, inner voice raises, sometimes it’s judgment, bprejudice and bias already in your mind, so even if you’re silent, you still won’t understand them. Listen from the heart, not just with ears, then you not just understand what they say but also for what they don’t. Not to mention, when someone is talking to you, are you looking at them or are you doing something else while pretending nodding? (This is a not communication), I won’t talk if you’re not presence with me, and I also want you to do the same to remind me. Respect is a key! But also the presence, you can only listen fully when you are presence.

To give feedback (or respond), you need to understand the context of it, sometimes you need to ask questions to help clarify what they want to say.

  • Many people don’t speak fluently, their thoughts are scattered, confused, blurry.
  • Or people haven’t finished their words, they already in tears.
  • And there are also those who want to say one thing but they express another one and expect the listener to understand them correctly.
  • etc

REMEMBER, CONTEXT OVER CONTENT

See, just listening alone requires a lot of steps to reach the level of understanding others. Although it may be uncomfortable and awkward at first, the more you do it, the more you will see the quality of your relationships greatly improve. Try it!

3 – Understanding the Game You Are Playing

Our life is a game and you choose to battle it or to play with it. This lesson came to me when I had a chance to meet Coach David Buck – one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met and his methodologies profoundly influenced my perspective. The same lesson, lately reminded me by Dr. Trinh Thang, another influencing person in my life

Coach Dave Buck is an MBA, Master Certified Coach, and the CEO of CoachVille. Two of his most famous methodologies are Inner Freedom & Play Life. While finances were challenging and prevented me from signing up for the Play life course but I embarked on a journey of self-discovery by translating > 600 pages of his book, and somehow my perspective naturally shifted – I chose no longer battle against anything that happened to me, but to play with it and accept everything that happened for me.

Every game, including life, has its ground rules.

Understanding and respecting these rules allows us to navigate the game with a spirit of playfulness and respect. Whether we choose to confront internal battles or navigate external influences, recognizing our strengths, weaknesses, and societal pressures enables us to set boundaries aligned with our values and aspirations.

I.E.D – Intention, Expection, Demand can be a force but can be a trap if if we lack clarity within ourselves. It’s easy to fall into the trap of conforming to societal expectations or playing roles that aren’t authentic to ourselves. However, true fulfillment lies in staying true to our essence.

Speaking of it, I strongly recommend you to read The Voice of Knowledge and The 4th Agreement – by Done Miguel Ruiz.

Well, I think that’s enough for today.


Now, if you’d like to share any stories or reflections, I’m all ears!

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