“Well, Lord, I have been entertained. This has been one hell of a week… and I feel as if I need to finally end this here, before I go any further.”
High Stakes (About Last Week) – December 13, 2022 (366-371/365)
That last gargantuan 6000-word post was more… well, more of a recap or a recalling of actual events, than it was a tool for reflection. Indulge me for what may be the last time I go through these days, but I just wanted to make sure I had something… portable and tangible to recover from last week.
Other than the most relevant gems, of course – that being (1) The Body of Christ is a movement, and not an institution, and (2) what sets us apart and brings us to infinite and eternal standards is no less than the Holy Spirit. And see, right there – right there is something I’ve probably wanted to get out of my chest for the longest time, but didn’t really have the thoughts or the capacity to do so. It’s the Holy Spirit that has elevated us to infinite and eternal standards, which aren’t necessarily excellent by our definitions. Therefore it is from THESE standards that we operate, as individuals and as a collective entity.
I only bring that out because I’m sick and tired of somebody else’s definition of ‘excellence’ being the norm. No, we should all be able to come together and share our own thoughts, and work out excellence collectively – and the only way this is anywhere near workable and possible is by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So. We’ve barely made it out of the gates, and we have something, a more refined gem, if you will – We are part of the Body of Christ, not an institution, but a movement. We’re not just any sort of movement, but one superior in that we are moved, and we move together, primarily by the Holy Spirit.
I think I’ll leave it at that for now. Obviously I’m still going to let that marinate.
I thought I’d talk about lessons learned from each day but I think I’ll just let things flow.
I’ve witnessed how my humble, 20-year old Toyota Revo was able to handle the expressway. Each and every part of the car was tested to its limits as I stayed on fifth gear, and with my foot pressing down constantly on the gas pedal, to keep me going at speeds that are twice or even thrice the average speed I reach here in Baguio. Not only was each part pushed individually, but each part of the engine and the entire car worked together, and I got to my destination; 133 kilometers covered within the span of almost three hours. And to my surprise this same car was able to handle going down steep slopes and climbing inclines that were not only steeper than what I was used to here in Baguio, but also taller; Each and every part of the car was tested in another way, but also to its limits as I stayed on first gear, to climb longer distances, negotiating sharp curves on these inclines, and with my entire team riding with me.
In a matter of a week, I’ve learned – Take care of your tools, and they will take care of you. My car is a tool, and it took care of me. On a side note, I’m reminded – money is a tool. Take care of it, and it will take care of you as well.
Being in a conference, I’ve been exposed to all sorts of people, and all sorts of languages and cultures. As I’ve mentioned, I live in Baguio, which is in between the more urbanized lowlands and the more culture-rich highlands. In this conference I’ve not only spoken to but enjoyed fellowship with leaders who hail from the cultures of both extremes. Just by listening to their struggles which were seemingly easy to me, only to be caught by surprise by their victories which I only wished for in my set of circumstances – I’ve been humbly reminded of how much more dynamic this world and this reality is.
After the said conference I met up with someone I met online, someone who’s turned out to be in the A or S-tier for me. On top of being another reminder of how dynamic the world is beyond my perceived four corners, our interactions and our conversations have also rendered me humble, because of a more important lesson – that even in my (young) age, I really do have much more to see, much more to learn, much more to appreciate, and much more to enjoy. In all of this, I shouldn’t be so anxious to put up a wall or my defenses.
In a matter of a week, I’ve learned – Be vast as the ocean, and flow as the river.
I said I drove the expressway, and I joined a conference… The weekend before I took these first steps, I was feeling sleepless, and I was nursing a headache which did not seem to go away. And I have mentioned that the headache just got worse as I drove through that expressway, on that first time after a very long time. Even my first night in the hotel wasn’t very pleasant, as I kept waking up – perhaps because my head still hurt, and/or I wasn’t used to sleeping in another bed after so long.
I thought the next day was going to be horrible, so I pocketed a whole bunch of painkiller pills to tide me over. To my surprise, I breezed through the day, and even enjoyed the conference without taking a single one. And then when I met up with my new friend, I was having bouts of anxiety which sort of stymied our interaction… but I thank God because she was patient with me as I would recover.
I mention all of this because I believe now that it was fear and anxiety that hindered my moving at full capacity, in both instances. It’s just now that I notice just how much stress can affect me on a physical level. Of course, it’s not to say that I ought to jump into each and every unknown situation recklessly… but I shouldn’t keep all these thoughts inside either.
…but in a matter of a week, I’ve learned – Overthinking is not the same as preparing. You hold on to too much, and you sink in the ocean, and you block the river.
That… seems to be enough retrospection for now. At least, for what happened last week.
But see here, there’s something more interesting in mind. I didn’t notice just how much YouTube was hindering me in making significant progression on a daily basis. And sure, I don’t think it’s as much YouTube’s fault – in fact, it’s only because of YouTube that I see another deep-seated area of improvement on my part.
I mentioned this in the last post: “The way I see it, I’m going to be clarifying on my definition of systems as I go along. But the first thing that came into mind was daily routines – or, sure, daily systems, if you want to call them that. And I feel for the sake of learning and correction, I think I should share the system that’s actually in place versus the system I want.”
Well, here’s the system that I want – and I’ll be referencing what’s in place:
I’ve been waking up right before 7am lately, but I usually just stir and stay in bed, snoozing. I fight the urge to check on the cellphone while I’m still in bed, but too many instances I find myself passing the time by checking any notifications that I assume came in through the night and looking up 10-15 minute YouTube videos.
I should keep in mind that my day starts the night before – at least, by way of simply making sure that my phone is out of my reach in bed when I do wake up. If I at the very least get out of bed to check my phone, then I’ve already done something more than drooling over it, first thing in the morning. In fact, I may want to even place my phone on the shelf just outside my room, if only to get me to get up and do other things, first thing in the morning. If I could spend the first 30 minutes of my day without any screens (PC or Phone), then I win the rest of the day. This means, sure, I could snooze through a little past 7am, but I need to get out of bed way before my 8am non-negotiables, if only to pray and/or stretch in the room.
And as soon as I’m out of the room, sure, I could check the phone, take my two glasses of water and hit the bathroom, all before I do what I need to do on the PC, before 8am.
It’s sort of a toss-up after 8am. I usually take a look at Social Media and I find myself wanting to look on YouTube for videos to play on the background. After 8am I actually have the opportunity to get into working out, but lately I’ve also been wanting to get some sun; so that’s what I do for, oh, 10-15 minutes, as advised by, well, YouTube. Again.
A little past 8am, I should just go ahead and work out. Stretch, warm up, and hit it. Recently I’ve being reminded through videos of how resistance and endurance training are very beneficial, especially at my age, so I’ll be calling my time on the heavy bag a warm-up before I do some burpees and/or hit the free weights. I always say how I should be taking a cold bath, but I wouldn’t mind taking a hot bath this early in the day.
Anyway, at this point I either work on creating content for Social Media… but most of the time it’s me ‘creating content’… I put quotes there because I find myself being too engrossed in the YouTube video that’s playing, and it’s on the main screen so I either minimize it and let it play in the background if I can as I work on another window, or I whip out the phone and get distracted there. I’ve noticed that while YouTube is playing in the PC, I also catch myself going through YouTube app on the phone – as if the experience there was different. What’s even more painful is that I know what I should be doing – scheduling posts for Instagram, writing on topics that are in my head, getting started on or continuing on projects that would take more time that said posts, etc; but part of me, what I’m assuming is a faulty and outdated mindset, thinks that I should have some sort of YouTube video playing in the background, in the name of ‘multitasking’ (???).
I COULD just not do YouTube cold turkey. But if I absolutely must, then I shouldn’t take too much time choosing a video. That already seems to be working with my working with photos – I have The Report Of The Week a.k.a. Reviewbrah playing in the background as I edit and upload. And, of course, I turn everything else off when I write. I mean, even right now as I type all this, nothing is playing.
This whole ‘need’ for me to have something playing? This obviously needs to stop.
…f food is ready, I have a meal. And lately I’ve been pushing for having just one meal a day. All that talk about me losing 30 pounds since 2018? Well apparently last I checked I gained 20 back. Boo. Recently I’ve been having a meal while playing Everybody Loves Raymond. I really should just eat. I should be present in my meal. I think it’s true that you eat more if you’re watching TV or on the PC while you do.
If I do eat, I’ll eat at the dining table. I’ll leave my phone at the office. I’ll respect myself and my food, and the one who prepared it, and the One who provided it, by being present in my eating. Chew every bite properly, and appreciate tastes and textures accordingly.
And after that? Well, I take my supplements… and sad to say, I bum around for the rest of the day. It’s mostly me passing the time playing YouTube, being on the phone, or playing something on Steam, and I continue to create content in between. I know, it should at least be the other way around. And even here – I know what I could be doing. There’s a whole bunch of books to read, and a lot of unfinished courses to take.
Being present in eating already helps in setting the mood for the rest of the day. If I watch a series episode, then I’m more likely to watch another one, and then another one. I mean, Everybody Loves Raymond has 9 seasons. I should be shocked that I burned through the entire series in, oh, 2-3 weeks.
No, if I’m present in eating I assume I’ll be present for what needs to be faced and handled on the computer. Or, if my Mom needs to be somewhere, then I’ll still be present, but this time on the trusty laptop. As mentioned, there’s a lot of content to consume, and a lot of unfinished courses to take.
One thing though, is that if the weather is nice outside, and the sun shines so brightly on the house in front of us, so bright that it reflects into my office… I’m more inclined to take a drive out to shoot the sunset. After the sun sets I stay in the office and settle down, again, with YouTube playing in the background… and I’ve also been watching YouTube in bed, before I sleep.
In the evening, I suppose I could be more lax with what I do. Sure, get on YouTube, or, like what I’m doing now, type again. But I should be mindful as to how to handle the end of the day. I would very much like to spend the last hour or half hour before bedtime away from any screens. This means prayer, reading, and/or meditation (and I really should be meditating).
Naval Ravikant mentions that we should have 3 hobbies – one that makes us money, one that keeps us fit, and one that keeps us creating. Or he may have said learning. I think, with these adjustments, I’d hit all three, and they would compound.
Now I know that I need to be typing about what I may have to share if called on to speak during Christmas events, and I still have to iron out what I have to say for the 25th, as well as on New Years’ Day.
But I think all this had to go first. Respect the past and review the present to redeem the future.
Until the next post, God bless you.
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