Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Counter (Corporate) Culture Creed

The workplace (not all, but most) can be an energy-sucking vortex of negativity. It seems that someone's always complaining about something - the system, the hours, the pay, the boss, the work, the slow internet connection, the high-priced canteen food. Oh,  the things one must endure to make a living.

Why do we stab the boss behind her back and then smile at her at the corridor? Why do we allow unpleasant vibes to fester in a place where we spend a majority of our waking hours?Why do we come to work dragging our feet and uninspired - as if it were a curse and not a blessing? I believe that people are inherently good, but the workplace somehow manages to bring out the worst in us

One might say, we can't help it if our jobs/boss/computers/canteen food are crappy. Don't we have a right to voice out our grievances?

I say, you CAN help it. No job is going to perfect - there's always going to be something to complain about. But mature individuals will deal with it proactively - because whining never got anyone anywhere. If you must exercise your right to voice out grievances, then do so to someone who can do something about it.

Work is a source of dignity, a sense of accomplishment and pride. When was the last time we thought about our jobs this way? It's not what you do to earn your keep that defines you, it's how you do it.

I am a corporate minion. Have been for five years now. But I'd like to think I am an enlightened corporate minion. (I believe there are others out there too.) I believe that we can be in this world, but not OF this world. In this light, I have made a personal resolution to go against the groupthink grain, to counter the culture that breeds emotional (and physical) toxins. I resolve to be an instrument of goodness in the workplace and (to paraphrase the great Mahatma Gandhi), be the change I want to see in this (corporate) world.

I therefore resolve that

Where there is gossip and griping, let me be silent
Where there is mediocrity, let me strive for excellence and the extra mile
Where there are insults, let me give praises
Where there is discontent, let me find something to be thankful for
Where there is an uncharted work assignment, let me be flexible
Instead of pride, I will have humility
Instead of deceit, integrity
Instead of burnout, balance
Instead of skepticism, faith
Instead of fear, courage

All my words, actions and thoughts in my workplace will be governed by love.

So help me God.

On Kindness and Tolerance

Be kind to your enemies, for hurtful ways come from hurting hearts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Passion Plate Recommends : zenhabits.net

I stumbled across a goldmine of a blog today : http://zenhabits.net/

Leo Babauta, the creator of this blog, is an advocate of minimalism, veganism, living life with simplicity, joy, passion, creativity and balance. This is a treasure trove of nuggets of wisdom and inspiration. Now those are a dime and a dozen on the worldwide web today - but trust me, this one comes to you like a breath of fresh mountain air. Below is a sample of one of his inspired entries.

Do One Thing Well

Post written by Leo Babauta.
I’m often asked how you can start doing work you love — how you can make a living doing something you’re passionate about.

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but the answer for me has been fairly simple:

Do one thing really well.

People want a more comprehensive answer than that, but in my experience, if you learn to do this, the rest will follow.

I write about simplicity. That’s all I do. Over the last 4 1/2 years of writing Zen Habits I’ve found success by focusing on that alone, and stripping away everything else that gets in the way. I’ve removed comments, I don’t do much social media (except for fun), I don’t do much email, I don’t sell ads, I don’t do consulting. I write about simplicity.

By doing this one thing over and over, I’ve gotten much better at it. Good enough, anyway, for people to want to read my work, and as the audience for my work has grown, so have the opportunities to make a living in a non-spammy way. The ways I monetize (print books, ebooks, online courses) are less important than how I’ve grown the audience.

Do one thing well.

It’s really that simple. Narrow down what you do, and do it repeatedly. Learn, grow, improve, read, watch, do it some more. When you’re really good at that one thing, people will want to pay you for it, or to learn how you do it.

It takes a lot of focus and practice to get good at doing one thing, but I’ve found that if you truly love it, it’s not really work. It’s play. And I never complain about playing at something I love.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On Dreams and Surrendering

The pursuit of dreams is an exercise in being proactive but mostly, patience.
Desire, belief and action are needed to make dreams come true. There is however, an
unseen Wisdom and Grace that moves to make them come into fruition - in time.
Or sometimes unfolds something greater before your eyes.

by Bo Sanchez

Do you want to fulfill your dreams?
You need to surrender your dreams to God.
Many people have taught you to seek your dreams.
But very few have taught you to surrender your dreams.
Don’t get me wrong. Seeking your dreams is important. I always tell people, “You need to know your dream, define your dream, and pursue your dream. You need to have a firm grip on your dream—to eat, talk, walk, and sleep with your dream. I believe that if you don’t seek your dream with fierce commitment, your dreams won’t come true.”
But there’s a second phase to fulfilling your dreams.
At a certain point, after seeking your dream, you need to surrender your dream to God. 
Or else you won’t have peace.
In the Bible, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar (Genesis 22). From personal experience, I’ve noticed that God asks us to offer what is most dear to us. 
God calls you to surrender your dream on the altar.
Let me say it in another way. There are two extremes that you need to avoid. 
First is when we have no dreams. There are people I know who wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.  Because they have no dreams. And a person who has no dreams has already started dying.
That’s why every Sunday at the Feast (our weekly spiritual gathering), I teach people how to dream. I teach people to write 7 dreams on their Novena to God’s Love (it’s a little booklet we give to all first timers)and pray for them everyday.
The second extreme is when their dream consumes their life, it actually destroys them, or destroys their family, or destroys their health, or destroys their relationship with God.
These are people who say, “Unless I get a husband, I won’t be happy.” 
Or “Unless I get healed, I won’t be happy.” 
Or “Unless I get a baby, I won’t be happy.” 
Or “Unless I get a house, I won’t be happy.”
Or “Unless I get a US Visa, I won’t be happy.”
How do you know if you need to surrender your dream to God? When your dream becomes more important than your life. When your dream steals away your peace. When your dream steals away your God.
What does surrendering your dream mean?
I’m not asking you to give up your dream. I’m asking you to give up your attachment to a specific version of your dream. 
And that also means surrendering your attachment to a specific timetable of your dream.
Surrender means trusting that God has the best version in mind for you. That God’s best blessing will come in the best time and in the best way.
When you surrender your dream, you’re saying, “Even if I don’t get this dream, I’ll still be happy. Because my trust is in you, Lord.”
I believe something magical happens when you put your dream on the altar. When you surrender, you hear God speak to your heart and say, “Child, will you still want your dream if I tell you that I have something better for you?”
I want you to say this prayer to God right now: “Lord, I’m trusting you. I’ll still seek my dream with joyful passion, but I will surrender my attachment to the details of my dream. I will open myself to your wonderful surprises.”
 God Will Allow Temporary Disappointments

       My mother wanted me to be a priest.
       When I was a little boy, she told me, “I’m praying that you become a priest.  I’m not forcing you. But I’ll be the happiest woman in the world if you become a priest.”
       Talk about subtle emotional manipulation (Haha).
       When I was 16 years old, I took up philosophy for my college course, so that just in case God really called me to priesthood, I’ll be ready. (A.B. Philosophy is required for priesthood.)
After college, I also took all the required subjects for a Masters degree in Theology, again, just in case God really wanted me to be a priest. All the Bishop had to do was send me to a seminary for a year or two—and viola—I was ready for ordination.
But God never called me to be a priest.
When Mom learned that I had a girlfriend, it broke her heart. Aside from the fact that no woman was good enough for her son (Except for Mother Mary), her dream for me to become “Fr. Bo” was slipping through her fingers.
I’m sure there were many days when she imagined me to be a priest. I’m sure she imagined me wearing the clerical garb, celebrating Mass and consecrating the host. And one day, that beautiful picture was blown to bits.
But I also know that through many tears, Mom surrendered her dream for me to God. Like Abraham, she placed me at the altar.
And God gave her another version of that dream. 
I didn’t become a priest. But I became a preacher, an author, an entrepreneur, and a leader.
Today, when my mother thinks of me, she’s still the happiest woman in the world!
I love being a lay preacher. I love sharing about how I raise my kids and how I love my wife—stuff that priests will never be able to share. And without the long robe, I feel a lot more irreligious people can identify with me.
Friend, God has a way of fulfilling the dreams in your heart in the best way possible. He will allow you to be temporarily disappointed, but never permanently disappointed.
You don’t have to understand it all. Just surrender your dream to God. Just let it go. Just let God. Enjoy your life today, even if that dream seems to be so far away.
In due time, you’ll see the best blessing coming your way.
       Original article taken from  : http://bosanchez.ph/have-you-surrendered-your-dreams-to-god/

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Passion Statement of the Day - A Word from The Beatles

And in the end the love you take
is equal to the love you make.

- The End, The Beatles

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Corporate Minion's Dilemma

You know how many hours I spend at work? Ten. That's not counting the one hour on the road going to the office and the two hours going back. In total, I spend 13 hours away from my creative pursuits. That still leaves me with 11 hours of my day. But then, 7 hours of that is spent sleeping. So really, I only have four hours of the day to do the things that aren't dictated by my paycheck.

Sadly,the day job can sap the energy (and the time) to do things we truly like. So what do we do with those precious 4 hours of "me" time? I truly hope it's not spent sitting in front of the television or the computer - unless blogging is your form of recreation.

How many days has it been since you last tinkered your bike / read that book / wrote a poem /  painted a picture / baked  a pie / taken a photo /(activity which brings you joy)?

I'm making a resolution to do the things I like after work - as if I was getting paid to do them. I resolve to do them with the same urgency and enthusiasm I put into accomplishing my deliverables at work. I have to think of it this way because otherwise, I will succumb to inertia - and the days, weeks, months and years will pass me by without me spending time to nourish my soul.

This is one of the most important reasons why our bodies should be in optimum condition - so that we have enough stamina and energy at the end of the workday to pursue, create and reconnect with the people and things that matter. A sickly constitution robs you of time and energy. So eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, get your heart pumping,  drink lots of water and quit smoking already. (And enough griping about your boss - that's not good for your health, either.)

To my fellow nine-to-fivers, please don't let your day jobs get in the way of joy. Life's too short not to be spent in pursuit of dreams.