Impermanence of Things

Buddhism has a lot of good suggestions for us to conduct our life. Now, I would not call myself a Buddhist, but just that I learned and found many of their concepts practical.

Impermanence is one of the pillar concept in Buddhism.

Why do we worry? Because we expect things to be as we think they should be. And often, we expect things to be the same as they are now, that they will last forever (namely, the good things). Intuitively, we know that cannot be if we stop denying it. When we deny impermanence, we make thousands of plans and let worry take over our life.

The next moment can never be the same as this moment. Things are always changing, whether they are visible to the eyes (or scientific means) or not. Not just the outer world, even our cells are constantly dying and being remade every second.

Yet, we seem to think that we are changing only when things change according to our measures and parameters. It’s as if we consider time flows because the clocks we make is ticking. Rather than the other way around.

Change is inevitable. Therefore, the notion of “we need to change” is off the point. Rather, the question we should ask is, “How do we want to change?”, both on a personal level and on a wider, cultural, societal level.

Another good question to ask now is, “Are we trying to change the outter world just so that we don’t have to change?” I am suggesting that, could some of what we are doing now be a demonstration of resistance to change masqueraded as desire to change?

“Change the world around us for us, but we are not going to change.”

Food for thought.

Here’s the practicality of understanding a bit about impermanence… Just as the good things will come and go, like water brushing by a rock in a stream, so do the bad things come and go. With this realization, we can fully enjoy the moment with good things and not hold on, and we can learn from the moment with bad things and let go. As such, we can take things lightly and enjoy and be in the moments of life.

Ultimately on an individual level, the inevitable impermanence is death. Thus, it really sucks that death has become such a taboo topic in modern days. It is a good thing to contemplate about death. “How do I want to die?” Meaning, and the key is, “What inner state do I want to have when I am leaving this world?” When one is about to die, that’s probably the last and only thing that matters. So…

How do we change to achieve such the inner state we want to be in before death?

Whatever the answer you find, it is a good idea that whatever the answer is, is what dictates your action.

For me, it is peace. Can I find peace underlying everything that I do?

What do you think about impermanence?
What is your answer?

Originally posted 2009-08-17 00:28:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You Don’t Want to be Warren Buffet

I saw an interview on CNBC yesterday featuring Warren Buffet. It is the first time I see him live even though I have read quite a bit about him. He gave me the impression of being as wise as his words and also a no-BS kind of guy. Just compare him to other financial analysts or talk hosts, it is not hard to see why. His answers cut right to the chase and don’t beat around the bush with jargons that leave people confused.

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren is also a noted philanthropist. Nonetheless, there are criticism out there about him being hypocritical in terms of making business decisions in the cost of being philanthropic. They maybe true, and a capitalist he may be. Whether the criticism is true or not, he appears a man who knows his priorities, and at 75-year-old, he has one heck of a clear mind. That’s my humble opinion, and I have respect for him in these regards.

Being one of the richest man on earth, no doubt someone wants to be him. Perhaps you think so yourself. I feel like I want to be him too! However, this leads me to think that when someone says that he wants to be somebody, he doesn’t really want to be that person per se. He means that he wants only a particular aspect of that person’s life. So when someone says that he wants to be Warren Buffet, he probably means that he wants to be rich like Warren Buffet. All the other stuff that comes with his life? Probably not so much, because let’s take the extra step and think…

Do I want to go through some grind your teeth kind of hard work involved in his success?
Can I deal with the many uncomfortable occasions that Warren put himself in but did so knowingly anyways? (I don’t know what the occasion are but I am sure there are plenty.)
Am I ready to make the changes neccessary and keep learning to get to where Warren is today?
Do I even want to make business-critical decisions that affect billions of dollars on daily basis like Warren?
Will I enjoy managing business like Warren?

I will leave it up to you to ponder those questions. We need to see beyond the glamour of a succesful person and see the effort and hard work involved in the success.

The fact is, we can always learn from other successful people, and we should. It is also a wonderful thing to have a role model or idol to imitate and to get motivated about. Those are very positive things. But you don’t just want to be someone else. You want to be the best of yourself, and you should be the best of yourself. Do your best to improve yourself everyday and perhaps you will even surpass your role model or idol, in your own unique kind of ways.

Originally posted 2008-04-07 22:38:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

HSBC whooping 6% saving…and the catch?

HEADS UP!
So the online saving rate war is back! HSBC is now offering 6% APY until April 30th 2007 but…there’s always a catch.

This deal only works on so-called “new” money which is basically any money you deposit between Jan 29-April 30. So in the end, I’d say you will only make a few extra bucks (in the sub-100k category) if you already have a 5% saving account somewhere. Especially since it’s only a 3 months deal from now. And then also due to the slow transaction time that will cause a loss of interest return on the days between money is moved and then there’s taxation. And if you have 100k+? You probably should be think about putting some of that money into funds/stocks portfolio anyways (or buy a house, do something w/ them plz) and won’t have 100k+ in saving :P

So I would say it’s not worth it, for the little gain and the hassle. Again, HSBC has very slow transaction from personal experience. It’s just another strategy to draw some new money/customers.

Originally posted 2007-01-28 03:50:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Life is a Process

In life, we move from one goal to the next. We are told that we need to set goals and to reach these goals is success. So in between goals, our focus is solely on the goals. It becomes all about reaching the end.

Let me ask you, “Are you always in a hurry to ‘get some where’ in life?”

I must say, I’m not so sure if it’s such a good idea anymore. I wonder how many moments we lost by living like that. But the fact that everyone is in a hurry in life, so fixated on the “end”, helps to explain why people are so distracted in everyday life. Their happiness is solely dependent on reaching goals. I’m not sure if I like this either. I am even amazed at how much people enjoy the dramas, both good and bad ones, in between also, but I digress.

People are 100% immersed in this little world of “goals”. They allow the emotions and thoughts that arouse from succeeding or failing at these goals dictate them. In other words, reaching goals and success and emotions and thoughts control them. This explains why people genuinely not give a crap about each other also. They are ready to step on another’s toes to cross the road.

My conclusion for now is that everything in life or more specifially, growth in any areas like physical strength, piano, singing, etc. (what I do) is like climbing a mountain. Just when you think you have gone so far, you realize how much farther you can go. No end in sight. It’s a relentless pursuit. What would happen if you base your happiness on these endless pursuits?

It is great to celebrate when a goal is reached. But it’s so enjoyable also realize in between, that you are travelling because you care to expand the effort, and you possess the perserverance, endurance of pain, acceptance of loneliness, and willingness to change. The moments in between goals are important. It is also extraordinarily enjoyable as I am training in many different areas, and by savoring the moments, I discovered so much about myself and the world, both physically and psychologically.

Essentially, the moment is all we have. To find happiness means you treat the moment sincerely. To have faith in the moment is to have peace. To have peace allows you to do things sincerely. To do things sincerely allows for quality.

It is foolish to take life in a completely goal-oriented way. Not that goal is bad. But reaching for goal as extremety is bad. Not only because you are wasting the moments of yourlife, but also because you will ignore the process. Like the economic crisis, we can say it happened because of greed. However, we can also say that it happened because people wnat this arbitrary end of “enormous wealth” and they want to bypass process to get there. It is the same reason why people take steroids to look big and not for medical purpose. We had a economy spiked on steroids and now we reap the side effects.

In a way, I guess I want to say that modern life is a constant struggle to get to these “ends”. But I am writing this to also remind myself to not get sucked into the incessant chasing, to not be in such a hurry. It is important to stop and rest. I like to stay in the moment. And like I said, it’s a struggle sometimes living in this modern world.

Finally, to not treat life as a one integral process is also the cause of the biggest downfall for many people. Why? Examples would be people who diet/exercise for some deadlines, only to turn into Ms./Mrs./Mr. Dunkin Donuts afterward. Or people who enslave themselves with yet another loan after they paid off the previous one.

To think that you “get there” and you can stop is the stupidest thing people can think in life. To stop is to become rigid and therefore allows no change and that means death. To be alive is to be fluid and ready to accept changes to go with the flow in life. Life is a process.

Originally posted 2008-11-02 23:08:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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