“You must remain focused on your journey to greatness”
– Les Brown –
Back to a regular summary this week, aka: what have I learned throughout the last seven days?
- It’s easy to “zone out” when you start daydreaming.
Sometimes I seem to be stuck in the middle of a conversation I don’t actually wish to participate in. Or even listen to. For a long time I’ve been trying to “zone out” deliberately, focusing my thoughts on anything but what’s being said (imagine this happens a lot when I’m having dinner with my parents and they are – yet again – discussing something trivial). The best way to zone out is not to actively seek to do so, but to set your thoughts a loose. I used to daydream a lot when I was in high school and college, but my skill sort of faltered in later years. Mostly because people thought it was annoying whenever I got lost in thought again , but now I am embracing my renewed love of daydreaming and fantasizing!
- I love myself.
After about two mandatory meditation sessions this thought suddenly popped into my head. I suppose working so hard towards liking myself and self-appreciation is actually (finally?) bearing fruits! What also helps is knowing I am, of course, totally kick-ass. Which is a sarcastic remark on my behalf, but I reckon it’s partially true anyway. Why? Because if you don’t think you rock, who else will?
- High expectations are no guarantee for success.
I wrote this down before I posted this, but nothing is less true, is there? You can expect to win gold at the Olympics all you want, maybe because you worked hard for it, you were the best in your field or you even became World Champion, but the truth is you never really know until you’ve tried and seen the results. And simply expecting a grand outcome doesn’t mean it’s reality already.
You can set the bar high for yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with knowing your potential. But there is something wrong with expecting gold merely because you feel like you’ve deserved it, for whatever reason.
Look at Yuri van Gelder, a Dutch gymnast who had placed himself for the Olympic rings finals. He had a good chance of bringing home a medal, but in the journey towards the finale he slipped up big time and got sent home as punishment. No Games, no finals, no medal, even though his expectations (and those of everyone around him) were through the roof.
Expectations alone won’t get you there. But together with a focused mind and lots of hard work, at least they have a good chance of becoming reality.
- I learned what an “ippon” is.
I was watching the Olympic Games with my parents and judo was on. We saw multiple matches and in three on a row victory was gained through an “ippon.”
I asked my parents what an ippon is, but they didn’t know so Google and YouTube had to bring me the answer. I saw a video in which a man explained there are four ways to reach ippon, but he only explained three: 1) you smash your opponent down on the floor so that both their shoulders hit the mat, 2) you work your opponent down onto the floor either on their side or on their back and hold them down for thirty seconds, and 3) your opponent “taps off” because they can’t get out of the painful position you are holding them in. In all cases, ippon means instant win in judo.
I proceeded by trying to get an ippon out on my mother, but she wasn’t very pleased :(
- Breathing is like the come and go of waves.
I am so into this whole meditation thing! What helped me is the app I downloaded: it gives you a motivational Buddha quote and a cute little ping after your time’s up. Also, after every so many sessions you gain a level (and with it more meditation time), which is always a great boost for me to keep doing something.
So anyway, here I was, becoming all tranquil and serene, and I was focusing on my breath when I realised it’s much like the sound waves make when they roll onto the beach and back: breathing in deeply is when the waves retreat to the sea/ocean, and breathing out is when they hit the shores. When you breath in, you tap into the ocean of positive energy, and with every breath out you let go of negativity. The thought about the sea made meditating more calming an experience for me, and now I am hooked on my daily sessions!
Okay I missed Friday and Thursday, but I’ve had a very busy week. I am sure my app understood that (although it did send out a reminder pop-up…).
- One can never be too prepared.
I wrote a post about my father’s GPS once and how it beat all my other preparations for a road trip. But I had another trip planned to visit another friend who lives in another place I’ve never been to. So again, I borrowed my father’s navigation system and looked up my route online. My printer refused to spew out the final page of the step-by-step route (WHY!?), and I asked myself if I really needed it since I’d be travelling with two GPS systems anyway (I also have a navigation app on my phone).
In the end I print-screened and imaged the final steps of my trip, just in case, which my printer happily handed over. I don’t think I was every so relieved to be this stubborn, because during my trip Mr. Navigation totally lost it! He kept telling me to turn around, take a left or a right (I was on the freeway – I got so annoyed I decided to travel by road signs and just ignore the hysterical cries for attention coming from my GPS for like, forever).
Then when I entered the town my friend lived in, my navigation seemed to have come to. Only he refused to acknowledge the existence of a massive roundabout, leaving me clueless as to where to drive to. After several fruitless attempts (GPS kept sending me back to the roundabout he didn’t believe was there), I gave up and pulled over. I checked my phone’s GPS, but I couldn’t even select the correct place or address I was heading for, so my last resort was to check my print-out. That gave me the final details I needed to get to my destination perfectly.
I repeat: never in my life have I been so grateful for being stubborn and too thorough.
- I am happy I am healthy and I am not looking into the mirror, fussing over a wrinkle more or less.
This week’s paper-wisdom knows what the most important thing is in anyone’s life: health. If you don’t have it, it’s all you want. You’re nowhere if you don’t have your good health, no matter how rich or how successful you are. So embrace it, love it, and stop caring so much about getting older. That’s practically the only thing in life that happens automatically, to everyone, and with or without your consent.
I feel this was a very wise week, don’t you? Too bad I’m going to hit you with what’s possibly the worst Earworm Of The Week ever!
There’s a story behind this: across my street is a field where a group of volunteers organises activities for children. Every Monday and Thursday, from ten am to twelve pm, all kids who are interested can come join in on several sports activities that are hosted on the field. Which sounds very lovely and all, but sadly they only have one CD with the worst collection of songs, and they play it over and over. It’s driving me mad!
The bad, worse, worst, song we hear several times each Monday and Thursday (until the Summer Holiday is over), is this week’s Earworm. It’s about a helicopter, that much you will understand, and the Universe knows all I want is for it to fly away, out of my head, and leave me alone.
Have a good week everyone!