Random Thoughts #04: Humility

I changed.  And it isn’t for the better.

I have always prided myself of being self-aware; my thinking, my actions, my behaviours, and of recent years, my strengths just as much as my weaknesses. I am always observing people around me; to be inspired by positive characters or to learn from negative ones. However, lately, the more I look at others, the less I look within. And I have unconsciously lost myself along the way.

There was one incident in particular that made me realised how arrogant I have become. And this is me, learning humility all over again. Because it is never too late. We are after all, a work in progress.

***

Recently, there was a health talk by an external speaker at my company. I have my own perception or beliefs on health and nutrition, so naturally I am quite skeptical with the old-school method she shared. Then, she presented a statement that I was sure it was absurdly wrong.

She said: “The first 30-minutes you exercise, you lose muscles.” No, I thought to myself, you don’t lose muscles, you convert fat to muscles (don’t cite me on this). Apart from that, as I am very conscious about the body alignment during workout, I naturally spot the wrong squat position in her slides. But I stayed silent, quietly judging the credibility of the speaker.

After the talk ended and the speaker left, my colleagues started discussing about the squats position and about that statement. I chimed in, ranting like typical Malaysians. Wanting some affirmation that I was right about the incorrectness of the statement, I told Coach about it, adding two roll-eye emojis at the end. And his response caught me by surprise: “Why did she think that?”

I stopped dead in my tracks. Coach, who have more knowledge in the fitness industry than I am, was genuinely curious instead of immediately shooting down an idea that didn’t quite tally with his views. But have I ever considered asking the speaker why she thought that? No. I naturally assumed she was wrong.

When have I become so haughty?

***

I am starting to enjoy this habit of writing about things that happen between each posts instead of summarising it at the end of the year. It builds discipline, practice my writing, and best of all, I get to remember more random things than usual.

However, there’s only limited time in a day, so we have to prioritise what we want to do each day. Where you’re succeeding in one area of your life, you are probably failing (miserably) at the other. I have not had time to continue my targeted biweekly “Random Thoughts” posts because… guess what? I finally completed the article I agreed to write.. two months ago. I was struggling to find the voice I want it to be written in, until my friend asked, “Why are you writing this?” It made me think hard and once I found my reason, words start flowing. I took a cliché topic and make it my own.

I had a conversation with my colleague the other day. In our line of work in a consultant company, there are usually a few phases of the project we execute. If we are lucky, we get the project from start to end. But those chances are slim. We were having troubles with the design of the previous company on the earlier phase. I stated my opinion: “There has to be a reason why Company X does that in the first place. There has to be standards to follow etc.” I stand by my belief that there is a reason people do things; every actions stem from a reason. To which my colleague replied: “Not everyone is as sincere as you.” Too often, we project our expectations and our values on others. And I didn’t know how to respond to that statement.

A couple of years ago, I confided in a friend that I was afraid of doing nice things for others, because of how awkward I would be as they express their gratitude. As I embrace the feeling of being appreciated, I start sending out more positivity to the world. And I have been receiving lovely comments like “Only you would do something like this”. It shows that you don’t need some grand gesture to make a person’s day but rather simple random acts of kindness.

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Some of my university friends and I travelled to Pattaya for YQ’s bachelorette getaway trip. It was a quiet place with not much tourist attraction, but we had a lot of fun during the nights in, getting breakfasts from the nearby 7-11 and exploring the night street. We experienced sitting at the back of an open truck. We walked along the beach and enjoyed the sunset.

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In terms of fitness, I tried indoor rock climbing for the first time. The only question my mother asked, as I showed her the video of me scaling the wall, was: “aren’t you afraid of heights?” I was, and I still am. But I learn to breathe through the fear and most importantly, it helps to trust the belayer that prevents you from falling flat on the floor. I have also continued (and shortly after that, stopped) my pole dance and aerial silk classes. I maintained my weekly muay thai and yoga class simply because I enjoy them more.

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The highlight within these few weeks, of all that has happened, was still going back home and seeing my grandmother. She smiled as she teased me about what a rascal I am, referring to my Instagram photos (Yes, my 83-year-old grandmother is tech-savvy). I then climbed the pillar at her home just to make her laugh, though it was a lot harder than the last time I did it two decades years ago.

Till next time.

4 thoughts on “Random Thoughts #04: Humility

  1. helenjd July 19, 2018 / 5:25 AM

    I love your post the judging mind. Being curious is such a wonderful way to see the world – with open eyes and a questioning mind. Well done for ‘catching’ your judging mind. It’s sometimes hard to do!

    • Jill August 7, 2018 / 9:59 AM

      Thank you! Sometimes, we have to find the balance between judging ourselves too harshly and being too oblivious with our actions.

  2. daniaqamar July 20, 2018 / 2:34 AM

    This was wonderful! I loved how you are altering your perceptions of the world and recognizing that questioning is an important part of life.

    • Jill August 7, 2018 / 10:04 AM

      That’s true! The world is constantly changing; there are so much interesting things going on! We have to constantly do some self reflection to make sure we are the person we want to be. 😉

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