A mind checklist: Things to ponder before vacation.

It’s that time of year again..  When I completely switch off from work and get away from the familiar surroundings..  Simply relax, rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul..  Most importantly.. heal myself from the world of capitalism..   

// Live in the system of capitalism //

Our capitalist world has been driven by wage and labour system and endeavoured to extract the highest profit margins for private or corporate owners/stockholders.  Few people at the top get the most in society and many large corporations gain the biggest share of wealth.  The rest is inevitably expected to work hard and often exploited by people in positions of power.  In consequence, the working-class folks are seen to have time and financial inflexibility as well as end up pursuing the jobs that they don’t like.  Even if they have been told not to give up on their passion, they oftentimes find themselves treating it as something below the lowest priority or simply fulfilling other people’s passions. 

// Learn from the great wealthy few //

Well, don’t get me wrong…  I neither want to endorse the ideas of fairness and equality in our society nor expect everything/everyone to be equivalent (because it shouldn’t be).  Given that all sorts of discrimination and gender bias could make sense to be eradicated, successes and slackers should definitely be differentiated.  Or it wouldn’t be fair for the diligent and intellectual people who work day and night, whereas the couch potatoes are well-off without doing a fair share of the work. 

The 80/20 principle must be deeper than merely doing less and achieving more.  Hence, I’ve never blamed the wealthy few, who have fascinating ideas with remarkable values and still care so much about the impact on mankind and ecological sustainability.  Those outstanding leaders deserve to be supported and looked up to.  In fact, I truly admire and is intrigued by their stories about how they have made their ways to the top and don’t completely lose themselves in greed and capitalism.  Undoubtedly, they must have possessed lunatic work ethics and insanely obsessed with their ideas.  Their lifelong experiences make my heart filled with thankfulness and keep me inspired.  How many people would be willing to make a great difference and sacrifice for the greater good and for others?  The world would be a much better place if it’s full of people who have a genuine heart and a kind soul.  Perhaps they are able to suppress their madness of greed and seek/support the ideas of sustainable cures for our poor earth.

// Discover your obsession, then give it 100% devotion //

I’m the kind of person who gets bored easily and can’t be forced to do things solely for the sake of money.  Plus, I don’t find myself fitting into structures of a corporate life.  Capitalism’s propaganda, reward systems, or distractions can’t hypnotize me.  Unless, I find one that its core values resonate with my beliefs.  (Behold your thought.. my interests and yours may not be the same, perhaps not even at all.)  I’m stubborn this way; my gut feeling has strived to confirm this fact about me.  Well at least, I don’t try to hide my natural self. :)

What I have been doing to keep myself away from boredom is setting up goals in my life.  Starting from the ultimate goal, I visualize myself surrounding with all the things I want.  Then I think a little further about how to get there; this is when I narrow the main purpose down to smaller goals.  For me, it’s important to give each goal 100% attention since the start.  Seeing that I used to think: if I commit on things with at least half a heart or even up to 90% devotion, I’m all good!  So I thought I came down to the right path and was still on track to achieve my goals.  However, the rest (25%) or momentary approvals potentially distracted me from getting to what I ultimately wanted!

Later on, I found it’s much easier to go all-in with the plans and stay with them until the results emerge.  You must never compromise on your grit, yet allow resilience.  Otherwise, you will find yourself start over again and again..  There are no shortcuts to mastery or success (with dignity and grace).

// Set non-negotiable agreements //

We can only work so many hours until we find ourselves exhausting.  If we persist on working more hours or even minutes, our levels of productivity will perhaps remain steady for a short period of time before it enters into free fall.  The upshot of significant vulnerabilities is oftentimes too blurry to keep pushing forward.  Not only employees who seem to be abused by long hours and minimum wages, but also frantic bosses who mistreat themselves by believing that s/he can do everything without being assisted.  Thus, it’s quite expressive that we’d better allow ourselves to take a break and invite love/fun/enjoyment into life.  This way, we can both physically and psychologically recharge ourselves.

This could be applied to everyday life.  No matter positions we are at work, we all deserve quality time to wind down at the end of a long day.  I have been insisted on having two days off a week.  This is a non-negotiable agreement.  Or else, I find a way to make it happen. 

Let me tell you how this non-negotiable agreement exponentially eases my brain…  Within a week, I must have at least one free day to clear my mind off work/career and do something that is quite contrast to work.  I could be exploring nature, dining in a restaurant, reading a book in a cafe, or chilling at home with my feline friends, writing a blog, or watching eccentric films.  During those days, I’m very hard to reach from my workplace (or sometimes everybody), depending on how much time I need to revitalize myself. 

When I come back to work, I tend to arrive with a new depth and enthusiasm!  Throughout my hospitality career, I have witnessed coworkers/bosses who don’t habitually take days off from work.  Given their activeness and efficiency, their aura or levels of energy are covered with thin layers of weariness.  But.. Didn’t I just stress on having a full commitment on things I decide to do?  Sure.. Work is one of the most essential dimensions in our lives.  What I mean is that when we work, (in my imaginary world) we all deliver exceptional values and are responsible for our well-crafted outcomes.  Still, we must know when and how to stop, take a break, and enjoy lives.  When we are out of work, we can be quite extreme and gain memorable experiences.

// Survive in the post-capitalist world //

I wonder how the post-capitalist world will turn out…  Perhaps people will be careless about their economy and seek great quality of life by other means.  Innovations are great and invaluable; without them we can’t progress or maybe still fight for our basic needs. 

Speaking of happiness..  Do monetary factors have a direct impact on levels of our happiness? 

The Millennials (like me) or younger ones would say ‘no’.  Young people have brought up in the world that appears to be convenient and less struggling.  While their paychecks barely cover housing prices and cost of living, surprisingly, they still find ways to enjoy lives and don’t land a single dime on saving accounts, let alone investment plans.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a total control and flexibility in life?  Perhaps if you were to agree, you’d better get into good habits of saving, eliminate impulse buy (yet, still be able to live life to the fullest), set goals (each with a specific date and time, go through them everyday to make sure you’re on track), visualize yourself surrounding with things you want (this would push to think further about how to get there and focus on one thing at a time), be the person you have always wanted to be (and stop acting cool if something seems to go against your values), open to challenges and resilience, sacrifice (if needed), be mindful with the present (because it will define your future), and heal our society and environment from the damages that capitalism has caused as much as we possibly can.

// Schedule time for people who matter most to you //

Oh, let’s not forget about our close friends and loved ones.  We must reserve time for them, even in the midst of chaos.  Merely making time for them when you’re free is not a sustainable  approach to protect/improve/bring relationships to the next levels; something can ludicrously come up at the last minute, causing you to sacrifice the time that you could be spending with your favourite persons.  You must set the date and time in your planner in advance and treasure it as one of your priorities.  Great relationships can ease your mind and allow yourself to get loose from insane work life from time to time.  It’s also delightful to have a partner who understands and accepts who you are.  If you love someone, you need to give her/him some alone time.  We all need space and time to pursue our dreams.  So let’s look from the positive side..  Even if you don’t often see each other, it’s quite lovely to have him/her miss you every now and then.. :)

I’m now off for 10-day vacation somewhere in the world..  with my yoga mat and minimal travel bag..

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