Tuesday, August 6, 2019

On Mindfully Looking Past Small Mistakes

Once upon a morning, I was happily breezing along and contentedly riding my scooter when all of a sudden — disaster struck!

My phone somersaulted out of its makeshift phone holder.

In that split-second, I said a prayer to the mighty phone gods before quickly picking up the phone with bated breath…
cracked shiny new phone
My heart sank to the floor. And right on que, my regretful mind quickly lodged on to its usual “If-onlys”…
the if only downward irrationalization spiral

...See how this epic saga of small scale tribulation unfolds over at Medium: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff — Seeing things as Glass Half Unbroken

Monday, July 22, 2019

Unwinding with Tyle Painting!

Ever since I can remember, I've always been really into crafts. Unfortunately, it's quite the messy ordeal afterwards and I definitely didn't look forward to the clean-up! This is why I mostly ditched traditional creative tools like pastel and paints for digital alternatives like the Ipad or Huion Kamvas. Tools like Procreate and Adobe Illustrator definitely give me a wide array of  creative leeway to work with and without all that added mess!

Every now and again though, I do miss the feel of having that actual tool in my hand while creating something that feels more tangible—literally. Sometimes, it's just nice to go back to your creative roots. 

Fortunately for me, there was this Tyle Painting Workshop happening at Avondale Library during the Whau Arts Festival here in New Zealand. What's more, it had all the tools laid out and prepared for us, and all we were expected to do was paint and maybe have fun while we're at it!

I quite enjoyed the fact that there was absolutely no pressure to create anything even slightly resembling a masterpiece! And sometimes, all you really want to do is dip your paint brush into some paint and just paint some tyles away. Even when you don't really know how ridiculous your tyle will turn out!

Looking around the room, most of the participants were very young kids accompanied by their mothers. It takes me back to a time when I myself would paint in such a carefree way. I did remember being very confident about my artistic abilities back them. I would always proudly show off my work to anyone who would look at it.

As I have gotten older though, I think that is where insecurities started coming in. I began to see all these people who can do art so much better than I can. This not only killed my confidence but made me decide that maybe I was not as creative as I originally thought I was, and that maybe art was just not for me.

The thing I missed about seeing all these people doing excellent artwork was that to get to that point, they had to work twice as hard. Seeing only the results makes you forget just how important practice and dedication is in order to make something worthwhile.

In the end, I think the most important thing to consider is that if you actually enjoy creating. It's cliched advice but it's true. It doesn't really matter what anyone else think, and you should definitely not make that the reason to stop being creative. 

Moving forward, I will do my best to 'not think what others might think' of my work, and continue sharing them. I've always been kind of scared of negative feedback all my life, but I have realized how this is just counter-productive to my overall growth in the long run. If you always just look for people who will praise you, then you will never know about the faults you need to correct.

So you know what, let me just go ahead and show you my nuclear masterpiece! It was definitely not the best looking tyle made that day, but you know what, at least I can say it was mine.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Why be Mindfully Lazy

"I will always choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Bill Gates

Okay, I must point out that there is no substantive support for the claim that Bill Gates actually said this quote, but it does illustrate the point of this blog rather well, so work with me on this.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been the type to just straightforwardly do a task. I would always try to find some sort of shortcut in my quest to avoid doing more work than I literally actually have to.

I remember back in high school that instead of researching about a topic, I would simply ask my dad the question and write down exactly what he thought about it. Fortunately for me, my dad is a major bookworm, and he was always more than happy to impart what wisdom he has accumulated throughout his lifetime to his lazy daughter.

Of course, the flip side to this happy symbiotic relationship was that I never really got to internalize the topics assigned to me, nor formed any of my own viewpoints about them but you know, that hardly mattered considering I was getting through papers with minimal effort.

To this day, for better or for worse, I still think like this-- always trying to find little ways to not think too much or make my life just that bit easier.

Case in point, just last week I bought an electric scooter. A friend then commented: "You'll never walk again, that's so lazy", to which I wisely replied: "It's not about being lazy, it's about being efficient." 

Why walk 20 minutes when you can scoot in 10? I mean, if you're paid by the hour, then that 20 minutes is already 1/3 of that pay. With that calculation, having a scooter is now a rather quick Return on Investment and not having to walk ever again is simply an added bonus!

Annoyingly so, I mindlessly think about this 'hourly pay' equation in my head for almost everything now that sometimes it's just plain ridiculous. From the time it takes to chop carrots (perhaps one may consider the more expensive, yet less time consuming baby carrot option), to purposefully batch processing errands where I need to (*gasp*) step outside the house.

These "lazy-efficiency habits" are like second nature now that it has already become an integral part of my lifestyle. It's funny how, when I stop to think about it, I do legitimately find joy in thinking up these processes that probably shaves mere minutes in the overall scheme of things.

But you know what, there's only so much time in a day! And if I'm constantly thinking like this, that just means I will have more time for the actual time wasting stuff that I do legitimately want to waste my time on!

And so, that's a little introduction on me being 'Mindfully Lazy'. Welcome to my World!  
... And cross your fingers that I don't procrastinate ;)