Life according to Holstee


I came across this Holstee Manifesto and thought that life should be as simple as this. 

Finding One Self

Let me see, wow, the last dated post was in September 22nd of this year, and before that was July, of which I have not been writing much this second half of the year.  Feeling guilty over this, and the urge to write something down, I thought I would share a few words.

For the past two days, I have been attending a class “Influencing Skills” sponsored by the government.  I walked into the class without any expectation, and today, I walked out slightly enlightened about behaviors and most importantly, I learnt a little more about myself.  Like many soft skill classes these days, behavior profiling is part of the key curriculum.  When the instructor Tony started to go through the main 4 quadrant of personalities, namely Socializer, Relater, Controller and Thinker, I found that I have characteristics in all of them.  I could not identify with any particular group, mainly because in my mind, the characteristics of all the groups were playing.  Just last week, I was the “Controller”, I was leading an audit in our Contract Manufacturer and I was taking charge, giving orders, and short in patience.  I could also relate to “Thinker” where I have been doing Product Qualification Reliability engineer for the past year, where I have to pretty much work on my own and analyze and device qualification strategy and doing some research.  I was silo and kept pretty much to myself. 

Then, going back further, I could find myself as the “Relator” who have been emotionally engage in task and when I express and appeal to get things done, I usually approach from the emotional perspective, giving the task an emotional meaning and expressing how the person could relate to the task emotionally.  As I sat in the class, living through these traits of life, I came to myself when I had my first job, a little over 12 years back.  I was a socialize then.  I was a Failure Analysis Engineer, a job that requires me to work in the lab, but I knew everyone in the plat, from facilities, to planning, not to mention, production, product engineering and even finance.  I even knew the next plant people.  This network enable me to be effective in my work and subsequently got me what I wanted then.  I was also the socializer when I was in the University.  While my friends prefer to stick with each others, I had friends from almost the continent.  It daunted to me that me, myself and I have been a Socializer all this while.  Then this trait of personality starts to pop up across my adult life.  This explains many of the things that I do, and it explains in some way who I am. 

It was a revelation that woke me up to some level.  There is this level of joy and happiness for being able to know oneself.  Being able to realize how oneself behaves and most importantly, why.  For this, I am grateful that I was selected to join the course, I was grateful that the instructor put forward a compelling structure of the class and revealing content.  Knowing this now can help me to move on in this journey of self discovery.  Sometimes, one do not have to leave your home to find one self, and this is one instant. 

I thought Buddha is out of Samsara already?

Reading the news from Buddhist Channel, I was intrigue on the news that the Buddha boy who have been meditating in the jungle of Nepal for years was the re-incarnation of Siddhartha Gautama.  I was curious as all this while I learnt from Buddhist text that Buddha, is an enlighten being who have successfully come out of the wheel of suffering (birth and re-birth) through self purification of one’s mind.  Therefore, cannot be reborn again.  If this as a fundamental teaching in Buddhist text, how come there are still so many that believe the Buddha Boy is Siddhartha?  Enlighten me please.

Coffee Bitch

IMG_2357aa (Small)Every once in a while, you walk up a coffee shop and the person standing behind the counter look at you like she wants to eat you up, with no smile, no friendly voice, instead, shouting on top of her lungs “How can I help you today!”, almost picking a fight.  That’s the coffee bitch.   The coffee bitch is not one specific person, but a species of bitches who serves coffee.  I just wonder if they spit into the coffee or food to make their day.  In Malaysia, Coffee Bean, which I patron almost every weekend has the most of these bitches.  They are scattered all over Malaysia.  If not for their breakfast and royalty program, I would have ban this franchise long before.  Even when I help to clear the table when I was done, I was greeted with a ‘Oi!, Just Pass to Someone Can Already!’, like what the fuck, a thank you would be nice. 

On the other extreme, I have never encounter such coffee bitches at Starbucks.  I patron Starbucks in every city I visit and always, never fail, greeted with a smile, friendly voice and always made to feel like home.  I’ve read “How Starbucks Saved my Life” by Michael Gates Gill and finally understood why there’s a smile at the back of every Starbucks counter.  It’s their culture.  Now, why can’t coffee bean be more like them.  Then again, if coffee bean would embrace such cultures, then coffee bean wouldn’t be coffee bean today.  At the end of the day, these coffee bitches are human after all, and thanks to Coffee Bean, they have a job.  If there were no coffee bean in the world, and only Starbucks, these coffee bitches would have been discriminated, or worst being forced into doing someone that they are not.  So, the next time, I encounter these Coffee Bitches, I would just smile, and glad that these bitches are working in the coffee shop and not in my company which I have to deal with more often than visiting the coffee shop.  Maybe they will smile back and dont spit into my food.

The Ever Elusive Sufferings

The thing about suffering is that it changes all the time. And as a person, we often gets deluded about the sufferings. We often things that we change things, we change jobs, we change partners, we change home, our sufferings will go away. This is not true. What we change is just changing the type of sufferings. For example, in the current house, there are problem with neighbors being crazy, and we thought changing home, it would go away, well, partly true, they go away, but when we go to the new home, there are other new types of sufferings, and how would we deal with that then? It will never end. So, the key to eliminating the suffering is to deal with it directly. To accept that the world are full of funny things, and we can never escape from sufferings. To begin accepting the suffering is to first be thankful of the things you have now. Back to the house example just now, be thankful of the nice home you have. Be thankful that the home have sheltered you from heavy rain, and keep you warm and safe from thunder storms. When you start to cultivate these feelings, two things happen. First, the focus of the problems goes away, shifted to a positive focus. Second, because of the positive focus, you feel much happier. This is how we can eliminate our sufferings. Start with small things, and be thankful of them, and in time, we will be thankful of the life we have and the opportunity to do good and contribute positively to the society.