Why Spending Some Time Being Alone is a Good Thing

“What? Why being alone? It’s no good being alone like that”. That is what my friend said when he was told that our other friend preferred having some time alone to hanging out with us. That kind of response did not surprise me at all. Often times, people tend to see this “lonely time” as a really painful and unbearable time.

I read this one amazing book titled “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I discovered a lot of things about the personalities of people who are introverts and extroverts. Our society tend to see introverts are the kind of people who are shy, socially awkward or even antisocial. And extroverts are the fun ones; they laugh a lot, like to be the centre of people’s attention, dominant in conversation or simply the life of the party. Before I read this book, that’s what I believed too.

But after I got deeper into this book, I learned that those common views on what introverts and extroverts are, are wrong. Well, not entirely wrong in the sense of, yes, some introverts may be shy. But not everyone who can relate to be an introvert are shy. So, what is it then?

What differentiate introverts and extroverts is the way they recharge themselves. You don’t get what it means? Ok, so you have a cell phone. There will be time or times in a day when you’ll have to let you phone being charged and you may not be able to use it. People are just the same. We need some time to get recharged.

Introverts recharge themselves by being alone. Introverts enjoy that. I, for one, am an introvert. Thanks to that book I mentioned earlier, I can say that I am not crazy cos sometimes I like to spend time being alone; reading books/articles, listening to some music or simply staying still enjoying my free time. Because I am built like that therefore I don’t see being “alone” as a problem. It’s something fun for me because I get to recharge my battery before I get back to my activities.

Extroverts are different. They recharge themselves by being on the crowd, meeting people. They are the people people. You may have friends who will always ask you to accompany them to go anywhere. Oh, wait, that’s me, you said. Extroverts like people in most of the circumstances. Unlike introverts who may get tired when they spend too much time around many people, extroverts don’t. They relish that! So now you see what I mean. As extroverts will feel tortured spending their recharging time at home reading or watching something, introverts will feel tortured when they are forced to spend all their time with people and not given any time to recharge themselves.

But just because I think I am introvert doesn’t mean that I am gonna spend my whole time glued to a book or go to some place secluded to be a hermit. No. I believe that no one is built to be fully introvert or fully extrovert. We’ll have moments that we are more of an introvert and moments where are more of an extrovert. A balance in handling that is needed.

Now, let’s go back to the question on the title. So why is being alone actually a good thing? This is not to say, it’s only a good thing for introverts because you know, they enjoy it as recharging time. No, not really. It’s good for everyone regardless of the personality.

Why spending some time being alone is a good thing? Because it’s the time to recalibrate with our inner self. It is the perfect time to recheck if we have the right priorities in life. It is the time to see if every thing that has been going on is in line with who we are, with the values that we have. It’s very noisy these days. Mobile phone is that source of noise, most of the time. We don’t have time to have an internal conversation with ourselves because there are way many notifications or timeline to check on Path, Line, Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM, Twitter, etc.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, that quote from Benjamin Franklin says it all. If we don’t stop and block the noise to start talking and listening to ourselves, we are walking ourselves into failure. Failure to what, you said. Failure to live our life to its full potential.

 

 

Why Worry?

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I think “worry” is a very common thing that happens in our lives.

I too worry, like a lot.

Recently, I spent way too much time worrying things I should not. It ate me up from within. No matter what I was doing, I’d worry about some things. No hearty laugh, just a hesitant smile here and there to complement the situation I was in. It’s hard to live every single day in that phase. I know you know this, too.

We’d worry about work or our career, we’d worry about our financial situation, we’d worry about the relationship we are in, we’d worry about our family members, we’d worry about our health, we’d worry about so many things. But you know what?

No matter what kind of worry that we have, all of them have 1 similarity. It’s about what the future holds for us. We are scared of that tunnel ahead of us. Be it professionally, financially or personally.

I thank God for His constant guidance and unceasing love for me. Despite all of the messiness in my head, He reminded me of something very essential and I want to share this with you, putting aside what your belief system is.

Be grateful for where you are now.

Remember that one time when you saw something in you and you decided to follow your heart to pursue something despite what your friends said. And then here you are today with the skills/knowledge/money you have way beyond your peers.

Remember that one time that you felt so lonely because you could not relate to anyone. You felt you were weird and out of place. And then here you are today, later in life, seeing all the dots being connected for good deeds.

Remember that one time few years back when you were out there looking for a job. What are the odds that you got the job even though you knew you were not even be able to compete with other highly qualified candidates. But, you got the job!

Remember that one time.

Remember where you were before you are here now, in front of a screen reading this.

We sometimes focus too much on what is to come. We spend way too much time on that instead of pondering the goodness and blessings we have had before.

Let’s say we start the day by thanking God for where we are today, I am sure we will worry less. Why? Because we’d push ourselves to remember the good deeds He had done for us and we’d know that He has taken good care of us for so long that we even made it here!

With all of that in our mind, why do you think He would stop caring for us?

We are in good hands. God is in control. 🙂

 

 

. . . is Present

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Any of you ever heard of Marina Abramović ?

Frankly speaking, her name never crossed me until recently I found out about the collaboration that happened between her and Gaga. I then headed to Wikipedia to look into her. I was intrigued to check on her art performance on YouTube. I watched some of her performances and found myself aghast. I was a total noob for this kind of art performance. Up to this point, I considered her actions as pointless and very odd (I watched the videos where she bumped herself into the wall, pressing herself to a big mirror, some people masturbating and a very disturbing animation video of woman inserting fish into her vagina). Then came another big collaboration of her with a rapper, Jay Z. That got my attention so this time I decided to put aside my initial thought on her and tried to understand what someone like Marina’s actually doing.

I watched this documentary about her performance in MOMA. I was very skeptical when I first tuned in to this documentary. Some cuts were pretty graphic and inconceivable. I did not get what her “performance” had to do with art. But then, I got to see a glimpse of her early years with her companion and a tiny part of her childhood. I saw a link and reasoning there.

But what really gets into me from this HBO’s documentary is her art performance in MOMA, called The Artist is Present. It is the exact title that’s used as a title for this documentary. Those of you who reside in US might have heard of it since it’s pretty controversial back then. People getting naked in museum being treated as art and Marina herself was the main attraction of the crowd. People were lining up nights before only to be able to sit in front her and stare into her eyes. At first, I did not get the whole point of this, at all. I thought it was pretty odd, sitting in an big plain room with many people watching. Then I got to see that many visitors sat down and felt the kind of affection from Marina’s eyes. She was present. She sat there and simply being present towards her visitor. She smiled, she cried, she looked deep into the person sitting in front of her.

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An interesting comment came from one of MOMA’s people (I think so, CMIIW). He said Marina always gave the impression that she’s in love with the person she’s interacting with. It’s her full presence that made it so.

No wonder many had the tenacity to wait long hours only to be able to sit in front of Marina. Even from a screen, I could feel how warm and fully present she was towards the visitors. She looked deep into each pair of eyes, felt every emotion, letting out smiles and even tears along with the visitors. And I agreed with a commentator mentioning how Marina made the person she’s interacting with, felt as if becoming Marina’s lover because of the full attention she’s giving out.

But it is sad to see that in the society, we as human beings are losing our grip on our life.

With these days’ technology, everyone is always seemed to be attached to some gadgets. Be it the increasingly omnipresent smartphone or tablets or computer or television or anything else. You can always find a group of friends or family hanging out and some seem real busy with their gadgets while ignoring the other bunch who are interacting.

And not only that, as a human being, we are accustomed to deal with everything in a brisk manner. We constantly forget to be there during the whole process. What we want is always the final result. This whole thing is slowly making ourselves become a robot.

With Marina’s art performance, I learned that we can get ourselves back to the right track. Back to the way it’s supposed to be. How? By being present whenever and wherever we are. It is to make us appreciate more and be more responsive to what is happening at the present time instead of just chasing the wind with no clear direction.

Be present and make a difference. Be present and spend more quality time with our loved ones.

That’s why I keep “. . . is Present” as a title of this post. Fill in your name in the blank space and utter it to yourself, “. . . is present”.

Ready to see yourself evolving to become a better you 🙂

Good Old Days

When technology like machines have taken industry by storm, some people keep their traditional method to guard the standard quality and heritage at the same time.

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