Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pinyin - On Starts and Ends

Pronunciation: qǐqì

Meaning: the beginning and the end
In 32 years, I have been to a lot of "new to old", "start and end" and even the "game-over-go-back-to-start" episodes. From which I had either "AHA's" or disappointing, "NYAIKS!".  But if I have to review and rethink if I will be willing to go through it all over again, no doubt and without batting an eyelash - I WILL!

It sometime fears me to redo things or even to come up with something new.  God however has made perfectly sure that this weakness will be taken cared of. HE seemed to have designed my tour making sure I cross with the people who will make me more courageous.  

My Folks who tell me there is nothing wrong in failing, just as long as you get back up.
A husband who constantly reminded me that I could reach 1% greater than 100%. 
A coach who push me to my limits for as long as my lungs could breathe. 
A boss who is a mix of heart and mind.
And a few others who kept me walking despite my soaring ego. 

I used to be a scaredy cat and an ultimate worrier, often this defines my boundaries.  But then I noticed this mentality drives me nowhere.  I began to try small risks, without others knowing how awfully scared I still was. :) Then after so and so small risks then I have come to realize, "Wala palang hindi kayang gawin, basta ginusto mo".  So true.

In preparation for something that awaits me/us in the coming months, I'd like to share snippets of thoughts I have on starting something new.

My 10 learnings whenever I start anew:

1.  Always write your goals.   No matter how short or long term your goals are, it is important that you make it a habit to write them. And make sure you write them in paper where you can keep it handy and available anytime you need to revisit them. I used to ask, why it has to be written when I can simply recall them in my mind and still achieve them! In an old article on "How to reach your dreams" I read that this promotes the "Law of Attraction". The more you see them, the more you are drawn to them. I believe this is somehow true, but apart from this law of attraction, the act of writing your goals down, psychologically contracts you to motivate yourself in achieving them. It becomes a written contract you create for yourself. I suggest keeping a journal so you may track your progress. Me, I do. :)

2. Do it with a purpose. Think closely why you would want to try and accomplish this new thing. Is it about improving your health? Is it about keeping family ties? Fulfillment of a career goal? or a lifelong dream which you have been procrastinating for a time? Or simply wanting to stop a bad habit? This purpose will keep you going. I hope you're not doing something "Just because!" or because "Everybody's doing it anyway!". Also a fine tip i received before is that make sure your purpose is positive. Otherwise, the mighty force of the good-and-the bad will go against you. :)

3.  Start in a zero-based mindset.  Wead out any biases you have in mind. Allow yourself to try something new with less few worries, otherwise you'll stop yourself from a probable success.  Do this as if no one else has done it before and soon you'll find a formula that suits you best.

4.  Have an open mind + heart. Be flexible. Welcome feedbacks as well as constructive criticisms.  You can solicit it yourself or encourage peers and family to tell you to bits.  Anyway, you know in your heart if it's true or not, trash what think are not exactly true but don't let yourself be affected.  Shrug it off and continue.

5.  Keep the END in vision.  Commit to it. Nothing beats any quest than a strong COMMITMENT.  Check each day as "DONE" and see how close you are from reaching your goal.   Study your actions and look closely if it indeed helped you reach your goal.  Did it budge you a step closer to your goal? If not, cross out and make sure not to do it again.  And if by any chance you have failed or backslided, don't look back!  Set your eyes forward, sabi nga ng isang commercial. "TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY!"
6.  Take it easy (on yourself).  Mistakes won't kill. Quit being a perfectionist and be kind to yourself in committing few errors, you'll know better as you go along.  Mistakes anyway is what shows us what needs improving. Without it, how would we know what else we have to work on?  ("Saan? Saan ako nagkamali?" - an old OPM song. I suddenly remembered a former boss who used to candidly sing this to make her team laugh)

7.   Ask questions. From a close friend, family member, have a mentor if need be.   It's the most convenient and easy way of learning.  ASK.  It spares you from committing mistakes and learn from others.  Assess yourself and be true on things you have no mastery about. In my case, this has been my biggest google-ish weapon.  And am making sure to approach the Subject Matter Experts.   My Career? I have 3.  Our Marriage? A mentor couple and 5 couple buddies.  My Family? My Pop & Mom, the list goes on. 

8.   Pray.  Connect to a higher being.   Lift your activities to your Lord, whisper your every move and offer the step to Him. No matter how trivial it may be.  They say that we are nothing without Him, and it is through Him that everything else is possible.   Driving your way to your most coveted job interview? Strike a prayer for a safe travel as you make your way to the office of your dreams so you may be able to present your skills to the management without any trouble or delay.   And if you bag the job, don't forget to throw a mighty thanks to the One above. :)

9.   Celebrate Small Wins.  In a journal, list your achievements. A check in your "To-Do" list will give you the boost.  Be happy and enjoy what you have done so far, even if it's still far away from the real goal. This will keep you going.  It need not be an extravagant celebration, a simple Mocha Frap from Starbucks may do or a bar of Royce chocolates! yum yum!

10.  Be open for Plan B.  Don't force if it's not really working out.  After series of pitfalls or dead ends, re-assess and see if your plan is really feasible.   Moving on to another plan doesn't necessarily mean you failed. It may not just be the right time yet, or there are resources needed to be prepared.   Keep your plan in the parking lot and check on it once in a while, at some point in time you may be better equipped to finish finally.  Maybe your plan is sooo big at one point and you need to work on some sub-tasks first.  That sub-tasks may be your Plan B all along.  Want to land a writing job in a magazine company? Competition may be very stiff and some talents are more superb.  You may want to try writing a blog first, this way you not only get to practice your skills, but going on-line means getting your work published and wired for free! No portfolio and sample writings required and who knows, the Ed-in-Chief might just be hopping blogs and catch your blog by chance! (wishful thinking) :)

They say that life is full of chances but you get to pass a lifetime only once. Unless you are a cat.  So it may be wise to grab all the chance we can get!  Jump on the bus and consistently try to enjoy a NEW ride. Just be careful with the bumps and don't let it stop you. 

That's how I am living mine right now. teeheee!

In every ending, there would always be a new beginning. :)

Oh life, bring it on! I'm ready for you. Roar!

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