Been away for 3 months, starting from Bryan's Bali wedding to my family trip in the US to a business trip to Vietnam. Hadn't been the easiest 3 months, but I have grown tremendously.
A few areas of growth for me:
- Broken phone: I bought a spanking new iPhone late last year, top of line, maxed out the specs. I was under the spell that buying top-of-line equipment will at least eliminate some of the daily frustrations I faced with slow software or kooky hardware. I was also mesmerised by the sleek build of the iPhone. Turns out the spell was broken last week when I dropped by phone while jogging. The camera lens cracked. Best thing that happened to me since I owned the phone, for it pointed to an illusion of perfection. Truth is, the phone was already cracked from the start, it just takes time to show. Now I can let it go and use it as a tool instead.
- No more other side: I have initiated a change in my role to align more with my curiosities. At the same time, I have also recognised that there is no perfection "out there, on the other side". Even after this role change, there will still be plenty of heartbreaks, disappointments, and grind. I have always operated with this implicit assumption that there is something that I want on the other side, be it bringing the company to IPO, financial freedom, building a certain kind of company. There isn't. All the emotions I hope to feel are available to me now, but also impermanent and conditional. And what does my heart truly want? Not just some fleeting dopamine hit or narrative-driven meaning - it want deep, sustainable, impertuable contentment. And that's something the world just can't provide. So I've learnt to stop demanding that from the world, and anchor my motivation on contributions with a clear eye on reality.
- Connection over perfection: This one was big for me. Started listening to a podcast called The Art of Accomplishment. Connection is being in touch with what is within you and others, right now, with minimal fabrications with a loving awareness. Perfection is a "should", a narrative of what should be that is usually externally derived, or a conception that is divorced from the subtle reality of now. Every time I strived for perfection, I was always disappointed by how it doesn't exist, and how empty I feel after a while. Turns out what I truly wanted was connection.
- Let the emotions flow: From the same podcast, I have learnt to love all my emotions as they come up, even ones I had implicitly assumed to be taboo for a meditator, like anxiety, fear and anger. In my interpersonal interactions, I have also learnt to balance empathy and listening, with expressing my truth. I let my emotions flow more freely now, and feel them deeply, which actually helps me be more balanced and loving when dealing with other people. On the same note of reducing constriction, I am starting to love necessary conflicts. Honestly still a learning point for me, but I have come to love the frame that in groups of humans working together, we inevitably have different viewpoints, and if we truly care about what we do, we will have conflicts, so might as well love them while loving the other party.