Zoe Meditations: Networking, Anger, & Enlightenment

Welcome to Zoe Meditations, where every week, I will summarize a few ideas that will help you live greater, love better and laugh more. 

This week, the Corona pandemic seemed to be getting from bad to worse here in Indonesia. A lot of people were sent home and were encouraged to do some ‘social distancing.’ However, some workers find it difficult to apply ‘social distancing’ in their work and as a result, they are forced to do their work in a unique way:

Anyway… Let’s get started.

The fastest way to build a network: In his book Give and Take, Adam Grant wrote that networking must be done with the right spirit. If we create a network with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed.

This was because the benefits of networking ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships with people who have a different background from you.

When you insist on quid pro quo, you direct your giving towards people who you think can help you. However, most of the time, you don’t benefit from such people. You are more likely to benefit from weak ties because they usually have different networks from you.

So start giving and expand your network. Try to reconnect with old friends. Ask thoughtful questions and listen. Do simple favors with no expectation of return.

Enlightenment: “All our life you have been going forward after something…” says Charlotte Beck in her book Everyday Zen. “Enlightenment is dropping all that.”

A life of happiness doesn’t consist of more doing, but more being. Enlightenment is the act of being with life as it’s really happening, accepting things as they are.

This can be done by trying to focus your mind on the present moment. When you caught your mind adrift, gently tug it back to the task at hand, and put all your mind into it.

Each moment of our life is teaching us something and when we don’t pay attention, we don’t learn.

Memento Mori:  I don’t know how many times I’ve written about this, but this idea of accepting death is very important to life, especially in this dangerous time. Death is an inevitable fate of every living organism. Accept it and see it as a deadline for your life.

Dealing with anger: Seneca once said, “How much better to heal than seek revenge from injury. Vengeance wastes a lot of time and exposes you to many more injuries than the first that sparked it. Anger always outlasts hurt. Best to take the opposite course.”

But I understand that talking about cooling your anger is totally different from actually cooling your anger. Here’s some useful tips:

– Take a deep breath, go for a walk when you feel anger rises.

– Restructure the way you see the incident. For example, instead of saying “this is terrible, I’d rather not have to deal with thism,” say “I can manage it and being angry doesn’t help.”

– Use contempt. Describe the situation as dispassionately as possible. Instead of saying “my wife just ate my steak” say “my wife just ate an overburnt red meat.”

– Try humor. Instead of taking a situation seriously, try to laugh it off. 

– Change your environment.

Life is a game: Everything in life will eventually go away. All your possession will eventually turn to dust, your fame will eventually be forgotten, and your ideas will soon be abandoned.

So don’t be so hard on yourself when you lose or fail something.

The key is about paying attention to how much you attach your identity to a particular thing or outcome. We all hate to admit it, but we have to realize that we have very little control over what is happening to this world and our own personal life. Who would have thought that 2020 would start with a COVID19 pandemic?

No one. 

So by all means, pin your dreams and hopes, but don’t attach your ‘self’ to it in such a way that you’ll suffer without them. 

Think of life as a game where everything we do is just a cosmic interplay between seemingly separate manifestation of consciousness. 

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I'm a happiness blogger who writes about philosophy for living strong, loving unconditionally and laughing more.

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