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.

IntrovertImage02_2

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

Mortgage Bailout and Rate Freeze, Government Comes to the Rescue?

Based on current news, the federal policy will help a selective group of subprime homeowners by freezing the rate for a period of 5 years applicable to those who are still on time with their payment but could not afford a rate reset. In a sense, the selectiveness of this plan is good news because the less government intervention the better, and it means limited government involvement with a free market that badly needs to correct on its own. Nonetheless, the concept of a government supported bailout is still scary, no matter in what scale. Notice I said concept.

Let’s walk through some implications that I had learned.

Promoting Irresponsible Spending, Investing Behavior

Let’s be honest. People who are truly responsible are not those who cannot afford their mortgage. People who are responsible would learn and understand what they are getting themselves into and buy a place they can afford down the road. These people who took an ARM made a bet, whether they think of it this way. Any betting involves risk, just like investing in stocks, starting a business, or gambling in casino. Now that they lost the bet, are they supposed to be able to kick, scream, whine, and complain to get away with it? People who lost in casino don’t get saved. People who bankrupted on their own business don’t get saved. Why this case? Sorry to sound cold-blooded but tough love is sometimes best to teach a lesson. Without consequences, it is difficult for people to learn responsibility, like how we teach kids. If they provide a bail out in this scenario, they may as well bail out people who lost money on stocks, lost money in business. Heck, they should even bail out those who are defaulting on their car loans. After all, we need to “protect the American dream”, and last I heard, that includes owning a McMansion and luxurious vehicles. And what lesson? Who needs to learn anyways?

Repurcusion for Future Home Buyers

Banks are not the owner of the money they lend out. They receive those money from lenders who are looking to receive return base on interest rate. If the government freeze the rate, that takes away the potential return that they invested their money for. They will be intimidated by what else they government can possibly do in the future and therefore, will become much more conservative about investing in the bank loans. To secure a certain income level and to entice lenders for their money, banks will start charging higher rate for all mortgage loans. For this, let me laugh at those who will take out mortgage in the near future. You just got screwed. Oh wait, I’m one of those people… crap!

Punishment for Taxpayers

This is speculation, but the government may end up paying some lenders, not the banks, who actually own the loans to compensate for their loss. Additionally, the government or the banks will need an agency to identify qualified homeowners and process their applications. Someone has gotta foot the bill. This means taxpayers are paying, including many of us who are too responsible to take out an ARM to buy a giganto house. Banks will try to come up with ways to pay for the cost of this plan. They will do things such as increase various financial charges, invent new types of financial charges, lower saving account’s rate… So why save? All you dummies should be taking out ARM you cannot afford. Wait, I don’t have an ARM either… Argh!!!

Prolonging the Housing Bubble

We can all agree on how bloated the housing prices have gotten, especially in major cities. A correction is needed and is a healthy process for the cycle. Responsible people who have been saving diligently to afford a home will benefit from the correction that will lead to more reasonable pricing. Looks like they will have to wait longer now.

Renters will also suffer

Based on the last point, less people will be able to afford their own place due to the lack of, or a delayed correction. Consequently, they will have to rent. The demand for rentals together with sustained high housing price will lead to high and increasing rental prices, which also means less saving to contribute to a down payment. Ouch, a double whammy. I’d like to point out renters in the bay area is definitely feeling the pain of the ever-raising rent. On a side note, I guess when the government says “they will protect the American Dream”, they apparently mean they will protect the American Dream just for those who already own a house, and not those who rent. Renters don’t deserve to dream. I guess I’m stuck in reality then.

Delaying the Inevitable

Last but not least, people who need to be bailed out cannot afford a rate reset on their ARM payment now, how likely are they able to do that 5 years down the road? Their possibility for this is not high, unless the interest rate drops to something like 1% again, which very very unlikely. These people stand a good chance to lose their home to foreclosures 5 years from now still. Will the government bail them out again? I guess we will have to see.

Unpredictable Outcome and Behavior

We don’t know the specifics on who and how ones qualify for a rate freeze. Once we find out, some may take drastic measures in order to qualify. The possibility for abuse simply exists.

I’m not saying that all of these things WILL happen. They are all possible ripples that may result from the government dropping this stone in the pond. However, in the grand scheme of things, this plan which supposedly “protect people from losing their homes” will hurt everyone in more ways than one and at the same time, will “save” just a small group of homeowners only within a 5 years period. You can decide if this is worth it. I personally see more political agenda for this action than the government genuinly want to do something for the people. Now they can claim they have done something. I feel the situation is dire because our economy, and therefore our life, is dictated by a bunch of halfwits who seem to be irresponsible, lacking foresight, and high on we… I mean, greed.

Thank you for reading my commentary.

Originally posted 2007-12-08 23:06:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stop Being Yourself

Let me ask, if you have heard people say…

That’s just me.
It’s just how I am.
I’m just being myself.
Let me be myself.
Just accept me for who I am.

Sounds familiar, eh?

Well, I’m gonna tell you.
We need to stop being ourselves.

So stop being yourself
When “being yourself” means “I’m always right and everyone else is wrong”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t want to listen to you”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t give a crap about other people feel”.
When “being yourself” means “I don’t need to learn something new”.
When “being yourself” means “I just simply don’t want to change”.

I already feel like I want to strangle this person.
Just kidding, I’m very tolerant.

Maybe you believe you are striving for what you desire most, searching for the love of your life, or just trying to be happy or happier.
Or maybe you are just too darn complacent and comfortable.
Or maybe you are just too fearful of changes.

There is time when you need to wake up from “being yourself”.
Stop hiding behind this excuse.

When you feel you just reamin unhappy, unhealthy, unwealthy, unfulfilled, unloved, un-whatever…
When you are brimmed with negativity and are spreading your own negativity into the world of people around you…
And you are doing these continuously…
Maybe it’s time to stop being freakin’ yourself.

We need to be able to acknowledge our problems and accept the responsibility.
When you are “being yourself” but are hurting yourself in process, you are responsible.
When you are “being yourself” but are hurting others simultaneously, you are responsible.

It’s time for a change.
Either stop “being yourself” and change.
Or be ready for the consequence, eventually.

If you get to that point, at least don’t use the same darn phrase as excuse.
If you do use it, I may just have to land my fist on your face.
And smash it against a break wall.
Despite being a zealous pacifist.
Please don’t make me go there.

Enough joking.

Let me ask you:
Should your significant other accept you when you are being your inconsiderate self?
Should your children suffer physical or mental damage just because you are being your temperamental self?
Should your friends accept you when your are being your selfish self, where your actions are causing damage to them?
Should your boss and colleagues tolerate you when you are just being your “unconstrained” self?

And despite you are just “being yourself”…
Do you still insist “being yourself” and remain intractable?
Is the “yourself” what you really want to be?
Do you really know the qualities and attributes of the “yourself” that you want?
Why should you confine yourself for “being yourself”?

I leave you to think and answer these questions.

Originally posted 2007-08-29 02:02:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Thoughts on Saving Money in Your 20s

Fast approaching the end of my 20s, I am in a good position to reflect a bit on savings in our 20s.

Is saving money too much for you handle?

Is saving money too much for you handle?

Saving is often discussed together with investing. While they may seem inseparable, we should distinguish between them. Saving is a learned behavior, a habit, and a discipline.

The habit of saving needs to be built up and then it becomes the foundation for future investing.

Having money saved in your 20s, and moreover, programming the habit of saving in yourself is the foundation of your financial future to come.

That said, to start saving, first you need to be clear about two things…

  1. How much you are making — This one should be easy for most people in their 20s because it comes from paychecks, calculating from the after-tax income rather than pre-tax.
  2. How much you are spending — For this one, we can first jot down the fixed part of the monthly expenses. For the variable expenses, spend a few months to learn the range and from there you can learn what their averages are.

Learning about these two things are required! If you really have strong intention about saving, you should be able to overcome both the resistance to sit down and track them and also the unwillingness to learn more about your personal finance… so that you are giving yourself the opportunity to self-denial.

Knowing how much you earn and spend leaves no room to question whether you are saving or not. In other words, doing so will help you to live within your means.

I know this seems very basic but basic things may be the hardest.

If you can keep tracking and maintaining your expense below income consistently staring in your 20s, there is no doubt that you will be in good shape.

You must have a saving account, or else...

You must have a saving account, or else…

Having a saving account separate from checking account and seeing the amount grow could be exciting… at least for me, because it’s similar to what one does playing video game.

That said, I think everyone is different and we all have different preferences and therefore, we will all maneuver in the gap between the money earned and the money spent differently for which I will break it down into three saving approaches.

Note, there is no “right” approach. Rather, it is more about understanding yourself and picking an approach that works for you.

Extreme saving

This is the most unlikely scenarios for people in their 20s because of the amount of discipline and sacrifice usually required to do it — like saving 70% or more of income. Not only is the discipline hard, I find it essential for the person to have identified clearly what they want out of life — like KNOWING you want financial freedom as early as possible — to subject himself through the process because otherwise, it may feel fruitless later on.

If you want to do this… ask yourself, for what purpose? Binging on anything could be unhealthy.

Slow and Steady wins the race

I find what I do fall more into this categories. the idea is to consistently save a good amount like 20-50%, on average. There will be months where it’s not possible but this is a balanced approach where you plan for the future while still able to enjoy things you like in the present.

Save minimally

If you’re in your 20s, perhaps your income is just not far above your expense or you are more into the experiential now, it is okay. Still, take the opportunity to learn how to consistently save by putting away 5-10% monthly into saving. Practice makes perfect.

As a last mention that really does not belong as a “saving approach,” there people who live paycheck-to-paycheck or even go into debt by overspending.

Without talking too much into debt here, it is safe to say that it is best for anyone in their 20s to stay away from consumer/credit card debt if they can help it. Not only will you not be saving, it takes away your future potential savings by having you to pay interest over time. Definitely try to minimize debt in your 20s.

Forget Kin, listen to me.

Forget Kin, listen to me.

At any rate, I leave you with what Bruce Lee’s father had said to him…

If you make $10 this year, always think to yourself that next year you may only make five dollars — so be prepared.”

And that… is why saving is a good habit to have.

What do you think someone in their 20s should know about saving?

Originally posted 2013-01-28 00:32:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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