We live in an age where it is so easy to get in touch with anyone, even those who we haven't seen or heard from in years. Mobile Cellular phones, Social Networks, Blackberry, any many other electronic gadgets of our generation that evolves so fast, you tend to upgrade every few months. You are constantly updated on the lives of your friends through, "shout outs", "twitter updates", and you feel as if you are actually sharing the moment with them.
It makes you wonder how we did things 10, 15 or 20 years ago. Was Communication simpler during those times or has technology really made you connect to other people? But I will not focus on the technology or means in which we convey these messages. I would like to share with you how the elements of actual Communication affects our lives.
In most occasions, Communication is our way of expressing our feelings or sharing our thoughts and insights, we use this as our way to "get the message across" or to ensure that both parties have an understanding of the situation. It is so much easier to get things in perspective as long as there is that open line to share the details and in some conversations it ignites debates, or you tend to make adjustments or compromise to a particular situation. You are able to review the Pros and Cons, and make a worthy decision that would be beneficial to both, if necessary.
So what happens if the communication lines are cut? Has there even been a situation wherein you tried all means of communication but failed to make any contact?
Let's take a simple example that I am sure all of you might have experienced already. The Lover's Quarrel.
Elderly wisdom always speaks of things such as, "you never go to bed without being able to say good night to your partner after having a fight. You should always make sure that at the end of the day, things have been sorted out." Communication has to be a two-way street, its as simple as that. She listens to what you have to say and you have to listen to what she has in her mind as well. (That is right ladies, you have to tell us men what is on your mind. Don't get me wrong on this and I am not stereotyping, but a lot women tend to keep things to themselves, and us guys tend to become psychics or mind readers trying to guess what we did wrong) Both must have that open line in consideration of the other's attempt to make amends. Again, it puts things into a clearer perspective and helps both understand what happened, what went wrong, and to set things right.
But what if the other party wishes not to open that line? Does not want to make any amends? They chose to simply put an end to things and leave it as it is. And as most sayings go...you are left in the dark, you feel like you are drowning, stabbed in the heart, left for dead. Initial reaction...OMG WTF!!! (Oh My God, What The F%*!) Did that just happen?? Secondary reaction...Don't be a coward and face me!!
Post Mortem...you are tormented for as long as you can imagine, thinking what, how and why it happened. Coward? That would be a thought if faced with this situation, people not opening their Communication lines to us. But have we ever thought that the other party is doing a huge sacrifice by cutting us out, because it's for the best? Can you imagine what they are going through as well by trying to gather their strength and holding back? I guess some lines are best left closed.
In one of my posts I mentioned that no matter how hard you bang on their doors even if you try bulldozing it, no matter how subtle or brash your approach may be, if the one on the other side does not freely open their doors to you, you can't do anything about it. We just have to accept it even if we don't understand why it happened that way. So for those of you who have barred doors, kudos for having the strength to do so. For those of you who keep banging on those doors, you're either one of the following, persevering and wise, or stubborn and stupid.
"For me, Communication has to be transparent, truthful, open to feedback and without prejudice. We always know but often understand that some lines are lost, meant to be broken or closed. Maybe we just have to give it time for us to be able to reestablish those lines. It may be soon or it may be never, just keep yours open and probably the answer will come."
"Follow your Heart..." "Don't let your Heart consume you..." "My Mind tells me I should give up, but my Heart won't let me..." "It's all in the Mind..." "Use your head, not your Heart..."
When making decisions, what do you follow, your Heart or your Mind?
When you put your Mind into it...does your Heart agree:
Thinking positively. Mindsetting. Even when you are handed a situation where the outcome would have you choose the lesser evil, you think things over. The Mind tells you what is logically best for you. Whether its based on historical data in your brain, statistically proven, realistically possible on the account of gathered facts or information. Your Mind calculates the probabilities of success or failure based on these and tells you that you are in your right Mind in making this decision.
But how do you feel about it? We often ask ourselves, deep down inside, does my Heart truly want this?
When you follow your Heart...does your Mind agree:
Passionate. Lionhearted. Even when an athlete has suffered an injury, he would will his Heart to continue playing because its a matter of who wants to win more, even with the thought that it might aggravate his condition. The Heart governs your emotions, you make decisions based on how you feel about things. Usually it is either confidence or love that drives you to make those decisions. Often times, regardless of the consequences, you still feel it is the right thing to do.
But have you really thought things through? Is my Mind telling me this is wrong?
The Balance: "You have to decide with both Heart and Mind."
General rule is that you make decisions based on what you know and feel that it is best for you. 50/50. That's the balance of things. Easy it may sound, but it's excruciatingly difficult to do. You know that feeling, when you're on the edge of losing your mind already because you can't decide, either the Heart is not willing or the Mind is not telling. Many may have lost their minds or got their hearts broken because they made the wrong decision, either because they followed their Hearts, or because their Minds thought it was right. (Can you just imagine the torment if you made the mistake of doing both at the same time..Ouch.)
So, can you tip the scales to favor the other? 70/30? 60/40? Which is more important? Regardless of the percentage, you are bound to make decisions with these combinations. Even if it's 99/1, and your Mind is telling you that 99% you won't be successful in your decision, your Heart will live by that one percent, you will still get that itch whether to take that 99% risk because deep down in your Heart you know there's a one percent chance, and that's all your Heart needs. Now if your Mind tells you that 99% this is the best thing to do, and that one percent, your Heart feels it's not right, will you be able to suppress that feeling?
On several occasions I was faced with making tough decisions that made a huge difference in my Life. Decisions that are often well-thought of, and sometimes I have to admit, recklessly executed. I made both mistakes of following my Heart and letting my Mind think it was the best course of action. But through these mistakes, one can learn the elements that protects the Heart and preserves the Mind which makes us move on despite these regretful decisions in Life.
"So what is my opinion, which is more important? Hmm, let me think what I feel is right, or shall I say, let me feel what I think is right."
Suffered 2 heart-breaking loses this past weekend, we lost by default last Saturday because some of our players came a minute late because of the traffic SM Megamall creates whenever they have this weekend sale. (Team MEC grow a pair will you. If you came to play then bring it, what's one minute late. You are a disgrace to the game.) Then Sunday we lost because I missed the game tying freethrow.
So with loses like these, The Garage is the answer;
(I can hear somebody yelling at me already - Damn it JP, you drunkard! no wonder you can't shoot freethrows!)
I finally got the chance to play basketball again after 2 weeks of recuperating from a rib/chest wall trauma injury I suffered from my last game. And it wasn't that easy just resting because I had difficulty lying down, getting up from the bed or even turning from one side to another, and when it's cold, it aches like hell.
It's a good thing that I have this regular Saturday morning pick up games with my cousins, which helps me get back in shape. What's great about these games is that it's not that competitive and we have a lot of laughs. Here you can do alot of taunting with the knowledge that it's just all about fun and no one gets pissed about it. It's totally stress free compared to the games I play during tournaments or other pick up games.
Though later in the afternoon, would be a test of strength for me. I haven't slept yet from my graveyard shift last night and I have a game at 4:00PM. Good luck to me.
When one goes through a rough time, more often than not we seek help from others. It is not a shame to run to someone in times of need or comfort, we are only human. One can only bear the burden so much and a friend who is willing to help can lighten the load.
I have been working in Human Resources for the past 7 and a half years, focusing on employee relations, case management, training and performance management. A substantial portion of my work is dealing with employees' problems, grievances and concerns. It may sound routinary...(who am I kidding, it is routinary) so I tried to add a personal touch to my interactions. Employees are not robots. They have feelings and emotions. I have worked hard in building that reputation that I am someone who can be trusted, who you can open up to, and most importantly, someone who can be there for you when you would need advice. Of course I do draw the line somewhere and never forget that I still represent the Company, so I make sure that there is still that essence of professionalism.
(It is sometimes funny when I think about my job. Everyday I try to solve problems of other people, but at the end of some days, I am completely stumped and can't figure out MY own problems.)
When you are not in a working environment, it is quite different There are no apprehensions or inhibitions, you can say what you want, express freely what you are feeling deep inside. But do you share things to just anyone? I don't think so. (Unless you chug down a bottle of Cuervo with a chaser of Margaritas, your secrets will be headlines the next day) There is only one reason I can think of. Trust.
All of us have different circles of friends, which can sum up to the thousands. A testimonial to this would probably be the number of your Facebook or Friendster friends list. But who among them do you truly trust? All of them? 500? 250? 50? You would be surprised that when you really do the math, it may not even be more than the fingers you hold up in both your hands. This trusted circle would know your deepest, darkest, most intimate secret you may have and they would be there for you no matter what. The first group that would come to mind would be your buddies, so called best friends or "barkadas". I am sure way back in high school or college, you shared some crazy things with them. You would always be out on gimmicks and get wasted, they would back you up in a fight, loan you money, and would lend their shoulder for you to cry on. (Admit it guys, most especially during high school, this happened to us too. Cut the macho crap)
But through the years I learned that there is another circle beyond this. Those individuals who have no vested interest, no bias, and has totally nothing to gain in helping you out. They are not your "barkadas", you rarely go out with them or talk to them, but in some way, they can be your most trusted friends. No, they are not your enemies. You may be thinking about the famous line of Don Corleone of The Godfather - "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Keeping enemies closer would be treading on dangerous waters, you have to be very careful.
Think of it this way, have you notice that whenever you would have girl or guy problems, who does your "Barkadas" take sides with? Like I said earlier, they will stick with you no matter what, through thick and thin they will back you up.
But this other "circle", they pretty much don't care because they stand neutral. Their advice could be an eye opener for you. They rely on the facts you give them, and make their analysis based on those facts. They are not blinded by the fact that they are your best friend or life long friend, because they have no vested interest in you. They tend to look at both sides of the story, so they are unbiased. Even if you share with them your deepest secret, they have nothing to gain in sharing this information to their circle of friends because they don't know you, so there is no point in sharing, so the secret, remains a secret. (But of course, Trust would still play a part here. You have to learn to keep your mouth shut to people who you don't fully trust)
In my journey through Life so far, I have been blessed to have so many good friends. No matter how long I haven't seen them or spoke to them or if I hardly spend time with them , they are just a phone call away and they ask nothing in return. For my other "circle" of friends. I don't know how to thank them for keeping me level-headed and sane.
And lastly, for me, there is no other best friend I could trust more and be happy to be with...
Don't think of me as an alcoholic. I drink occasionally only on weekends, and I don't drink beer. (The last time I did was probably 2nd year high school). Call me crazy, but it somewhat relaxes me after a hard week's work.
And here is the guest list last October 10th Sunday Night Cap at the Garage;
Have you ever felt so much regret in doing something that didn't turn out well? You gave it so much thought, had many options at your disposal, but the path you chose led to nowhere. Then it hits you...IF Only.
We then tend to reason out on the regrettable decisions we made. If Only there was more time, If Only I listened to you, If Only I didn't become too arrogant or confident, If Only, If Only and If Only. We put so much burden on our backs because of these, the weight becomes so heavy that you forget that you wasted your time dwelling on the If Onlys when you could have done something about it.
But can you really do something?
In my opinion, you cannot. The If Onlys are not like the What Ifs and What Might Have Beens, wherein the What Ifs have not happened yet and you can do something about it, the What Might Have Beens were chances or opportunities that you did not risk on and you can still make up for it in the future, but the If Onlys, pretty much history has been written in your books already, like carvings on stone.
So can we rewrite history for ourselves? Can we just grab an eraser and rub out those regretful decisions we made? Life has its complexities. We learn from our mistakes and failures, and often have to face the fact that maybe, just maybe, things were indeed not meant to be. Then you can't change it anymore.
As my usual example, Sports, if you wish to change your sport from basketball to badminton, you simply have to put time and effort in it to succeed. But some failures and mistakes you make in "Life" may not be perfected or achieved by doing the same effort and devoting the same amount of time. Let's take Love as another example; you made a wrong decision and now she doesn't want to talk to you or see you anymore, the door has been shut. You see, no matter how hard you bang on that door, even if you try to bulldoze it, it ain't going to open unless she freely opens it on the other side.
You only live once. If you make a mistake, that's part of Life. Don't dwell on the What Ifs, the What Might Have Beens and the If Onlys. Take a chance on the things you know in our mind and heart is right. Deal with it.
"I'm ready this time.. I know that I'm, no longer undecided.. Don't want to be.. a fool wondering, what might have been." - Lou Pardini
The ever classic Lou Pardini's "What Might Have Been". I will have to quote his wonderful song on this topic.
For me, the What Might Have Beens is simply the outcome of the What Ifs that you did not push through with. Here you are brainstorming on what to do, thinking of the scenarios and possibilities of a particular course of action that you want to take. But do you take it? Are you ready to face the consequences or rewards of your actions?
Hesitations. Apprehensions. Simply undecided? you don't want to take the risk so you back down. This is where the What Might Have Beens come in. Later in your life you realize that you should have made that move, made that decision because now you feel in your heart and mind that it was the best thing to do. Too bad you didn't go for it because, it could have been something, it must have been something, What Might Have Been something, really really good or special.
So does it end there? Is there anything you can do to go back and change things? (Try building a Time Machine, that might work) Unfortunately you can't. For one obvious reason, there is no way you can actually travel back in time. So get over that idea. I have.
So can you pave a new path along that line? If you can't change the past, why not move forward and make things happen for the future instead? Would you agree? If you come across that similar situation that you missed out on, now you have a better understanding of things. If you consider all the good elements, now is your chance to "Man Up" and grab that opportunity and make things happen.
Because now your ready...now your no longer undecided...and now you are not a fool wondering What Might Have Been.
I am pretty sure you have asked yourself this question at least at one point in your life. Usually the What Ifs first tend to pop up when you are about to decide on something and are uncertain of the outcome or it is something that has always crossed your mind but you didn't risk making it happen. Planning a vacation - What if we try going to someplace else other than the usual, would it be fun? Trying to be sweet - What if I hold her hand now, would she mind? Trying to be smooth - What if she doesn't give me her number, what am I going to say next? Building your career - What if I took a risk and joined a smaller company but has a lot of growth, would I be successful?
It is a lingering question that haunts you if you never decide to actually do things. Probably you have that fear of; rejection, disappointment, confrontation, getting your heart broken, shattered hopes, the fear of losing someone dear to you, or the fear of failure.
To quote the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan - "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career, lost almost 300 games, 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed. Most of us make decisions based on numbers. How many times did it work before? How many times has it failed? If the success rate is higher, then we have the courage to face the What Ifs and just go for it. But for some of us, we tend to be more careful. If it has failed once, we don't want to make the same mistake, or if it has never been tried, we don't want to risk it.
The What Ifs can never guarantee a favorable outcome. It can go either way. It may be for the best or be at it's worst. So how do we deal with the What Ifs, if we don't know what's going to happen next? Would you still risk it or play it safe?
One thing is for sure, the What Ifs will always be there if you don't make your move and face whatever outcome it brings.
I was once told by someone dear to me, "you know, Life is all about timing."
You often hear those lines that, it is not the right time, timing has to be perfect, or the famous song of El Debarge - Time Will Reveal. But is waiting for the perfect conditions the right thing to do? When things go right, you say the timing was right. When things go wrong or didn't happen, you say it was not the right time or it was not meant to be.
In sports, yes, timing is crucial. when to take that perfect shot, the perfect swing, the perfect time to pull a spin move on your opponent. But executing those are what you call skills, talents and expertise. Athletes practice this art and make it part of their daily routine. it's the law of averages. To perfect your free throws, you have to practice shooting a hundred for example. With hard work and determination, the more your going to make those free throws, and then your average increases. it's the law, its scientifically proven if you agree.
But what about other things in Life? Let's choose first high school as our generation example and Love as a kicker to it. We had a lot of good memories during high school and we all know that we did crazy things for the sake of Love. So, when you look back at things, you recall the times when you first asked out your crush on a date, your first time to hold her hand, your first kiss maybe, the first time you fell in love. So what made you think and do those things at the right time? When was the right time? Did you just feel it? Was it premeditated? Spur of the moment, it just happened? it's not like sports that you get to practice doing these things everyday right, so the law of averages don't apply. so how do you execute that perfect timing? what are the conditions and the Elements that you consider?
Given that, do you now wait for the perfect conditions before you hold her hand, or do you free yourself and just take that risk and show your affection and gently hold her hand? Because if you wait it out, keep waiting for that perfect moment, before you know it, that moment has passed and you blew your chance. Again, it is not like sports that you can do a trial and error thing, or keep shooting with guns blazing, what do you think of your date, a practice dummy?
For the women, you often hear them say, I am waiting for Mr. Right, the perfect guy. Even if someone good is right in front of you, you're still in that waiting stage. Sorry to burst your bubble ladies, no one is that perfect. God is perfect, Man is not. We each have our flaws. And if you keep waiting, you may lose the one and only guy who would treat you the way you should be treated, like a princess. So now you ask yourselves, when do you know and make that decision that he is that guy? Is it the right time to have him? What factors would you now consider? Love? are you in love? It now gets deeper because you then ask yourself, what is True Love.
Let's now take a different example, Career.
You are working in a company that has been very good to you for the past years, then an opportunity comes along, another company offers less but you know management is good and they make the pitch that your are joining them at the right time. So what do you do? Is it indeed the right time? Would you risk a pay cut knowing that in due time, you will be reaping the rewards? Again, not like in sports, you know that you practiced right timing. But in this scenario, what would your reference be?
Do you now see the difference? So is Life really about timing? Do you wait it out and wait for that perfect moment or is Life to short for you that you can't wait for things to happen so you take that risk and let them happen.
So what Elements do we consider when making these decision is Life. I will not disagree that Life can be all about timing. But if you believe in your heart and what your mind tells you is right. If you really want it, do not wait for that moment to pass...anticipate it and once it is there you grab that opportunity. Life is like a blur, you miss out on a lot of things, and if you're afraid to take any risks and keep waiting for things to happen that only time will reveal, good things might just pass you by.