I started a meditating routine every day, I will wake up at 6.10am and do 20 mins on the 6 phases of meditation by Vishen. After the meditation practice, I will be wide awake and ready for the day, prepping my daughter for her school. A week in, I am calmer, and not too easily triggered by my daughter's request and whine. I suppose the gratitude phase helped a lot as I review the day before how I had not flared up, and how she is better able to understand my perspective. As Vishen said, you paved the way for more desirable outcomes as you give thanks to them. Being more aware definitely helped, it helped us focus on what we like to see 80% of the time and not dwell on the 20% when things are not what we wanted. And that is all that mattered right? Spending energy on the 20% is just wasting our energy but celebrating the 80% good time is worthwhile.
So meditation had been working well for me, I cannot say it was a great perfect practice every day since I may drift off from the questions I was supposed to ponder on or I lingered longer on certain phases. These are all part of the learning to quiet down the monkey brain. I just felt a bit uneasy about picturing your future in 3 years' time. I did not feel it but as I did the practice every day, I find that I was unable to clearly see what I want to pursue. I mostly picture myself teaching or talking to others however it just stopped there, and thus I think about what am I missing.
I found this video on "How to Create a Vision for your Life". It is a short and very clear video on how having a vision shaped our life and our shaped life, in turn, made the vision possible. Having a vision gave us a framework to evaluate and set goals to work towards rather than feeling aimlessly passing through life.
Ask these questions to help you form your vision:
1) What life do you want to have lived at age 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80?
I had been through 30 plus years with the moving towards 40, I suppose that is the halfway mark where people suffered a mid-life crisis. I have learnt enough soft skills to work with people. And these few years I am hoping to level up my technical knowledge.
40: Successful switch to a tech career to earn at least 6k per month, and be able to spend my time with my girls and parents. I had been self-limiting on how much programming knowledge I can know. I am scared of the more difficult questions however all developers who are in the jobs are just the same. What they have is a better familiarity with the framework to problem solve.
50, 60: Able to earn 10k per month with passive income ideas (investment? or online content for sale? just a thought), and explore the world.
70, 80: Helped to take care of my grandkids and enjoy imparting words of wisdom to teenagers, making friends with lost ones if I have the means. Read immersive storybooks just for the fun of it.
Reflection as I ponder on the stages, I feel that those things I want to do at later stages such as mentoring can be done earlier. The main feeling is to not feel the need that I need to work very hard to get money to sustain life. And basically able to spend my time doing things that will uplift me.
2) What kinds of people do you want to be surrounded by?
Happy, curious people
3) What do you believe you're capable of in life? What are the greatest things you could accomplish given the right circumstances, resources and motivation?
I believe I am capable of learning anything that I want. I had done so picking up crochet, baking skills from the internet and all. I was never an expert in my own eyes, however, I am definitely not at the amateur level.
My greatest thing is forming deep connections with people that I love doing things that I enjoy.
4) What do you wish you could change about the world? What could you contribute to the world that would make you feel proud and content?
I wish that people will worry less about what others think about them.
I hope to be able to spread the love that we are more than social norms and that the world needs all kinds of people. There is no grading in life, just each playing their own game, everyone is levelling up at their own pace to find contentment in life.
5) When you die, what would you want people to say and remember about you?
When I die, I hope people will say that they are glad to know me, through their interactions and time with me, I managed to alleviate their stress and give them a new perspective on life.
How to Create your Life's Vision?
1) Identify what matters
What is the real meaning of life? How should you live your life? (Even if the answer is not perfect, it is ok. You can review it any time.)
To have a life is to live it, be present at the moment, do things that I want to try and not wait. To reciprocate love whenever you can to your loved ones because you can. I had to push back and procrastinated on things (like creating photobooks ><) to do so now I am intentionally thinking, if it has been pushed back so often then perhaps I do not want or need to complete it after all. There are also things that I felt a strong urge to complete (continuing this blog posts, learning coding) and I find motivation to continue with these practices.
2) Make a list of the categories of things that matter
His categories: Health, ability, relationships, time, wealth (creating the value necessary to support goals), experiences, accomplishment, contentment. In each of the categories, write down what you do want/need from each. Think about things you want to accomplish or experience and work backwards to understand how the other categories should support your life's vision.
I decided to just use his categories.
1) Health (keep my BMI in the healthy range, exercise regularly, check my energy level throughout the day)
2) Relationships (to not feel judged or affected by responses given by my loved ones, shape my daughters to be calm, level-headed and also brave to pursue what they like)
3) Experiences (to fill my time with great experiences for myself or with my loved ones)
4) Wealth (to have enough wealth that I will not feel guilty about not being able to contribute to the family and even to the external agencies)
Craft a statement that describes your ideal life
It should consist of an overall description of your ideal life, combined with a list of areas that matter most, and high-level goals for each area. The next step is to implement and level up towards your vision and build a system around it.
Here is my first take:
"To have the best of health to enjoy a strong, deep love with myself and people that I love"
My system to have a strong body:
Intermittent fasting when I feel I can last through to lunch with just black coffee, else a light breakfast.
30mins exercise for at least 5 days a week. Complete all the rings on my apple watch for at least 6 days a week.
Eat home cook meals for at least 5 days a week.
My system to have strong relationships:
Ask about the day of my loved ones. I want my daughter to develop this habit too as this is a sure way to understand others better and show their care and concern.
Keep in contact with people whom I care about, spend lunch or have a small chat on the phone with them to catch up. Make time for them and not worry about what kind of meeting it will become. I suppose the general rule is, if it is a pleasurable experience then let's meet very frequently, else less frequently. ^^
Be present when you are with people. No distractions from gadgets.
My system to have a deep relationship with myself:
15mins meditation practice every morning
Write a blog post every week or biweekly to document my learnings (anything goes)
As I am at a road fork to pivoting my career, I feel I need another vision to help, and give me the energy to continue finding a job. And since it is a dream, I always remember from LITO podcast, how you can always dream big.
"I want to pivot and totally enjoy the process to become a software developer."
There! I had said it out into the world. I had done a course last year on data analytics, however after the course ended, what had stuck with me is the interest to still continue learning a coding language. Thus I checked out youtube and saw two videos talking about self-taught software developers.
I will keep all the systems I have for a healthy body and mind but add on the following system.
My system to find a job as a software developer:
To complete CS50 course by Harvard University. Aiming to complete 1 session per week. There are 12 lessons so that should take me 3 months at least.
To build up my github with worthy projects.
The last part is to review and update your action plan for accomplishing those goals regularly. The main priority is to make your system a habit, something that you do no matter what, something you don't have to think about or remind yourself about.
I am not sure where these will lead me and I hope I had been listening to the universe.