Introvert living in a world of extroverts

I maybe quiet, but I may also have great ideas.

I maybe quiet, but I may also have great ideas.

We live in a very loud society. At least, it feels that way.

We either scream at the top of our lung or risk being unheard, unnoticed, unappreciated in today’s world. With the ever more stimulating media and everyone’s craving for attention, we all, in turn, need to continuously speak up, and FIGHT for attention.

More and more talking.
Less and less listening, paying attention.

No wonder people are feeling lonelier than ever.
No wonder we seem to understand so little of each other.

When do we have time for contemplation and introspection? Without which we leave little room for substance to grow, new idea to form, and creative vision to arise. Without such, the words that we keep spewing out lack what was mentioned, and they are just verbal diarrhea. That is, what we excrete out of our mouths are malformed, malnutritioned, perverted ideas that will lead us to a world that we… ultimately don’t want. All because we have to be constantly talking and constantly entertained… so it seems.

This is not to say introverts are better than extroverts. This is all about how unbalanced we have become.

We now deem extroversion as “normal.” Our world is not accepting of personalities that are of an introvert. We usually end up calling those people as boring, or inadequate, or even weird.

We are a society that suffocates those who are more introverted. We demand continuous communication even when it’s unnecessary. We ask for non-stopping display of excitement which is obnoxious to introverts.

I am an introvert. I enjoy being alone. I like having time to read at home. I love playing the piano. I find listening to music with headphones which is relaxing. I can sit somewhere and simply people watch.

I had been in management for almost a year now. It is surprising how criticism would arise mostly from a more mild demeanor that is natural for an introvert. If you don’t try to be visible, shouting words at every chance, you lack leadership and are not acting with a sense of urgency.

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I am analytical, I like to take in a lot of information, process, and then arrive at a conclusion. But the environment does not favor that. If I don’t immediately respond, it does not mean I do not care. Being able to be quiet and listen is also where understanding can happen, where appreciation comes from. With inadequate traits of introversion, we become mostly egomaniacs. And that’s how more than the average people would act these days (especially people in management).

That’s why I feel a sense of relief when I came across Susan Cain’s TED talk – The power of introverts:

Finally, the talk of the idea to take the time to stop, to enjoy solitude and to introspect.

Introversion is important. That is how we can understand each other. And understanding is the basis of compassion where we begin to truly care for each other.

I believe in action with grace and humility.

And someone like that can still be exciting, can still have style. Our world should not require people to call attention to ourselves in a sort of self-aggrandizing way exhibitionistic way.

From way back, my quiet and introverted style of being has always left me feeling “out of place” in this society, and it’s still does sometimes.

In conclusion, two obvious idea stand out from these discussion:

1) Our society still benefit from learning and adapting more traits of introversion, and as a result be more tolerant and able to work with introverts who may have some great ideas.

the_hulk

2) Meanwhile, introverts need to compensate, especialy if one wants to be influential, by being more studious and knowledgeable, thus more confident and assertive when the occassion arises that we need to speak up.

In other words, to all you introverts, don’t be afraid to go into hulk-mode if you feel strongly that you need to speak up or you know that you are right!

Originally posted 2013-06-03 04:12:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stop Thinking and Start Doing

There’s something that I frequently hear people say:

I want to…
Wouldn’t it be nice if I can…
I think I’d like to try…

You get the idea. Just fill in the blank, for examples – get healthy, start running, learn an instrument, do a certain sports, make more money… You get the idea.

There’s always the saying, “We are what we think.” Are we what we think? Maybe people take that too seriously, or rather, too literally. I’m not sure but I’d like to think, “We are what we think AND do.” Thoughts are only thoughts without action. Nothing. Null. Oblivion. There can be plenty of thoughts, but without action, we cannot reap the fruits of our thoughts.

Everything starts with a thought, an idea. But that is JUST the beginning.

It frustrates me sometimes when I keep hearing someone repeat this kind of thoughts. If you are thinking so much about it, wanting so much to do it, then stop yelping and just go out and do it already.

If you just sit on your butt all day and think, you will remind the same! Even if you think HARD enough. That should be pretty obvious…

So let me ask you, “How often do you put those thoughts into actions?”

Obviously those are the things you want to do. Those are the things that enable you to become more of the character that you want to be. Thus you’ll feel better and happier for doing so. So why not give it a try?

Want to get healthy? Start running at your pace and gradually intensify the routine.
Want to learn an instrument? Go sign up for classes at local community college (ecnomomical), then later find private instructors.
Want to be make more money? Find a part-time, start selling things on ebay, etc.

Just some ideas.

Most importantly, find the desire within yourself and just go for it.

Originally posted 2007-08-05 01:40:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Understanding Bottom Line to Solve Problems or Daily Issues

I like simplicity. As part of my continuous effort to simplify life for you and myself, I’d like to propose to you how understanding bottom line in any give situation can help us simplify it and find a quicker solution.

Sometimes, you may get stuck in a situation because you get too caught up in the details. These details may even overwhelm you and lead you to inaction. Or, these details may have little relevance in solving the problem. In such scenario, it is often helpful to revisit the bottom line instead of trying to solve the details and not the main problem. You have lost sight of the big picture, and hence, whatever you do, it has a large chance of being something that won’t solve the problem and likely something you will regret later.

What is bottom line? Bottom line means the single most essential point in a problem, as far as this post’s concern. By asking yourself what the bottom line is and once again defining it, you can re-focus on the main problem and the actions to solve it will be revealed. Let me quickly walk you through some examples.

Example 1 – You are in bad financial shape or you simply want to get rich
Bottom line: You need to spend less and make more.
There are many ways to do spend less and make more. Those would be details.

Example 2 – You want to get healthy or lose fat
Bottom line: You need to exercise and have a balance diet.
Get up from your behind now and do some real exercise. Get sore!
Oh, and stop engulfing them junk food.

Example 3 – You want to gain muscle
Bottom line: You need to adjust to a higher calories + protein diet and go pump irons.

Example 3 – You and your partner are arguing
Bottom line: You both love the other person, and therefore wish good things and happiness to happen to them.
Why are you still screaming, fighting, clawing, and divorcing each other?

Example 4 – Coworkers arguing in a meeting
Bottom line: You want to provide a product/service wanted by customers to profit the company in order to get paid.
Everyone one of us workers are just trying to bring bread home on to the table. There is no reason to fight and hurt each other…

Example 5 – Girlfriend came to talk…
Bottom line: Does she like me enough?
(At least, I believe this is the bottom line.) If the answer is no, there is no point to beg on your knees because she won’t stay anyway. If the answer is yes, there is no need to beg on your knees because she probably will stay before you get to your knees. Aha! There is no reason to bruise your precious knees.

I’m not saying to ignore details, and I’m not saying they don’t matter. Just that, next time you get confused and lost in a situation, try asking yourself what the bottom line is. If you cannot do or accept the bottom line, then maybe you are not ready to solve the problem, or there is a bigger problem.

I hope this will simplify your life.

Originally posted 2008-02-13 23:31:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Size Does Not Matter

One thing I notice in Japan was smallness. No, I am not insulting their people. No, I am not insulting their men, either. Actually, many girls there are very cute… uh, yeah, getting off track.

I should say — large space does not matter.

Take a look at this picture.
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It is a picture of my hotel room in Kyoto. There is barely space between the bed and table for my butt. It reminds me much about the living space from my past years in Hong Kong.

But, I am not complaining.

The common sense we have is — “Oh, we got so many things, we need more space”

In a way, our desire for space is directly related to our desire for things. Conversely, when we get more space in the house, we often want to fill that space with more things. Oh, what a dilemma.

Perhaps, we can consider the following chain of thought — “Oh, we got so many things, perhaps we need to make space by getting rid of things, that we don’t need, or use.”

Personally, I loooooove having space, and also cleanliness. They are very soothing.

Let’s face it, most of our stuffs end up sitting around collecting dusts. Instead, why don’t we carefully consider what we reeeeeeeeeally need, and if we are getting something, make sure it is something we will use frequently?

Oh, I am such a genius. Just kidding.

Another thing that is small is the portion of a meal. Each dish and even hamburgers from McDonald’s are smaller, which sucks for me because I am constantly hungry from my intense gym’ing. But for most Americans, who sit most days in office and sit some more in front of TV at home, can be a great idea.

That leads me to my final thoughts.

Perhaps we can use more limits. Yes, you heard me, limits, instead of more freedom.

Perhaps too much freedom had lead us to lots of indulgence, and indulgence is a result of not being clear about what is truly important. More limits in our environments force us to value what we have and cherish the resources that are available.

In other words, physical limits can be a great catalyst for internal growth.

Using the living space as an example, if you have so few square feets, there are only so many things you can have. And what you have will be what you need or truly find important.

Or if parking size is like this, you think twice before getting an SUV!
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Ok, the car example is not very good. The living situation is too different. But about driving in Japan, most people from America probably can’t drive in Japan, uh, due to poor driving skills. I personally DON’T want to drive there.

Anyways, I want to say this…

Evolving the idea on limit. Next time when we are frustrated and want to complain, or feel like we are suffering immensely, or seem to have insatiable desires for other things, consider that, there will forever be somebody somewhere else who are a lot worse off than we are.

IMG_3257Maybe things could be better, but they can be a lot worse. Look at this picture featuring the tight quarters in Tokyo Metro’s human sardines.

I guess that is why seeing the world, experiencing different things, how people live differently, are so important. So we realize how things can be worse.

On this note, I attribute my non-narrow perspective and sometimes unique and bizarre mentality to my fortunate experience (well, also unfortunate because it sucked big times sometimes) of having moved and lived in drastically different places at an age (12) that I could make my own perception already. However, I give myself credits for choosing to look at both sides of things rather than seeing only the green on the other side.

Last thing, totally unrelated, is a picture near the famous cross section in Shibuya, Tokyo by Center Gai (センター街). Pretty, eh? (It was shot in Lost in Translation too — one of my favorite movies)
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Originally posted 2009-07-17 01:06:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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