work

Trying to understand where the universe comes from alvin May 8, 2017 - 9:20am

My method for trying to understand this fundamental essence – the presence of “something bigger” than me – was to examine intellectually all the reasons I could think of for the universe to exist and to try to envision what had “existed” before the universe came into being.

On the one hand, if there was nothing before creation, how could the “something” of the universe come from “nothing”? On the other hand, if there was something before the creation of the world, it must have always existed, without beginning. But how could “something” have no starting point, no first moment?

I was frustrated by these questions, and by not being able to envision the timelessness that went with “no beginning.” As a boy, I was continually preoccupied by such attempts to explain the world rationally. I was unable to recognize or accept the limitation of my logical mind, its inability to understand the nature of life beyond concepts of solid objects and linear time.

(I had these same thoughts back in high school, but these words are from the book, “Zen at Work.”)

You are free to choose your own vision

In daily life, each of us is a vehicle for something. Our choices of values determine the kinds of vehicles we are, the way we move in the world and relate to each other. All individuals (and organizations) are free to choose values that they feel are important, that express their vision.

(A quote from the book, Zen at Work.)

My oldest sister is five years older than I am, and when she was in high school she was involved in activities outside of school, like the foreign student exchange program. I was an extreme introvert and could never imagine myself doing those things, but she was very involved in making our community a better place, and I was proud of her.

Back then I didn’t know that I was free to choose my own vision ... the mental weight of being an extreme introvert kept me from seeing that. I may always struggle with being an introvert, but these days I understand that I can choose my own vision, and I do so consciously.

Don’t let your situation get you down

Joey Votto is a terrific hitter on a horrible baseball team, and in this article he says, “I think if I let the team’s performance dictate how I behave,” says Votto, “or how I perceive my performance, or whether or not there’s value, or whether or not anyone even cares, it’s a dangerous and slippery slope.”

That reminds me of my brother-in-law, who is a tremendous chef currently working in a bad situation, and how you can’t let your current situation get you down.

Stay focused and keep your head down alvin April 7, 2017 - 6:27pm

DeMarcus Ware is one of my favorite football players, by all accounts a real leader and team player. Here’s a nice quote from him in this article:

“I told myself, ‘Don’t get caught up. Stay focused and keep your head down and everything will be all right,’ ” he says. “That’s always been my motto: If you don’t get caught up in the hype, you can do something great.”

No dreams come without a bill

“No dreams come without a bill. The reality of making something happen is just a ton of hard work.”

~ Peter Gabriel

Burning candle behind your head

That moment where you’ve been working on something really hard at your desk, you solve it, then lean back, swivel your chair to the side, put your feet up on the desk in celebration, and then realize there’s a burning candle behind your head.

=:o

IQ is not EQ alvin December 23, 2016 - 12:01pm

One of the things you have to remember when working with human beings is that IQ is not the same as EQ, and they’re rarely equal. Some people have a horrible temper. One guy I know is smart, but he remains the biggest jerk I’ve ever met.

I remember hearing one time that when people are hurt in their childhood or teen years they stop developing emotionally at that point. So if they are somehow hurt when they are twelve years old, they can be thirty years old physically but only twelve emotionally. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but it seems like it in some cases I know. (And the hard thing is that these people don’t know that they have these problems.)

Do that thing that will charm you

“Do that thing that will charm you, that will make you say, ‘Yes, it’s the real me.’ Do that, and you’re alive.”

Accepting the “just this” of a situation

When I first started learning Zen I didn’t understand the quote shown in this image, and I truly was a carpet to walk on. Then I woke up and thought, “You need to run your business. You need to find the middle way between accepting ‘just this’ and what you need to do to be successful at work.”

It would have been helpful if I had seen this quote then, but I didn’t know of Zen Master Seung Sahn at that time. This quote comes from one his books, either Only Don’t Know, or Dropping Ashes on the Buddha.