Friday, March 30, 2007

good definition of creativity

this was emailed to me on my Yahoo account.
one of those Thoughts for the Day.

this may sound cheesy,
but in the past, these email quotes either saved my ass from self-indulgent feelings of despair or pointed me to the right attitude in life, eventually leading to the right step to take next.

so here is a good definition of creativity:

Most people go along and never experience their creativity. They run on old programs or follow the "normal" way of doing things. Creativity is not just painting a picture, writing a poem or doing a modern dance. It is a way of life. Every activity can become a creative experience.

~Thomas D. Willhite~
The Book of Consciousness

by the way, on an interview, Alanis Morrisette pretty much echoed the same sentiment.

this is exactly the logic behind why i encourage people to become Creative.
i cannot explain it.
but somehow doing something Creative makes ordinary life a little magical.
because as we transcend the dull to create something beautiful, in turn, we transcend our dullness and vicariously become reminded of our beauty.

i often hear the excuse, I am not creative.
maybe not in the interior design sense.
nor from a fashion stylist's opinion.

but i am sure there is a hobby out there that you like doing.
that unlocks little actions of creativity while tinkering with that hobby.

my mom, for example, puts garnish on a plate of a mundane piece of fried fish.
on top of a white place, the brown ugly crispy fish is complemented by small strategically doses of orange via artfully cut carrots.

the eyes see the orange first.
even if you look at the brown-ness of the fish,
you will never see it alone.
and will always see it in your head as being combined with the orange carrots.
never the singular.
now a beautiful whole.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

the purpose of life

there is no purpose in life...
the one that was set by God, for you to uncover...
one that if not followed, will doom you.

God is not that harsh and masochistic.

the purpose of life is to find your Joy.
to follow your Bliss.

this will lead you to what you need to do in life.

if your Joy changes,
then a new Purpose in life has awakened.

in summary, the Purpose and Meaning of Life ultimately relies on you.

the above premise was discussed by Neale Donald Walshe, author of A Conversation with God. (also discussed in the film, The Secret)

for a person who has sought the Purpose and Meaning of Life for so long,
i can now rest and end my search.

a favorite quote

Be humble for you are made of earth.
Be noble for you are made of stars.

- a Serbian proverb

your fear will take you there

i once attended one of those self-help seminars while i was still in manila.

the basis of which was the premise:
what you think is what you create.

that, i got.

the reason i went there was primarily for Direction.
i did not know what my Calling / True Career was.

did i get a realization about what my Ultimate Occupation would be during the seminar?

and no.

because during a writing exercise, i had a vision of what that Calling in life would look like in concrete form.
miraculously, this is what i am doing now.

because the form it took continued to be general.
meaning, it did not specifically say which among the various permutations and options i must pursue first.

during the last day of the seminar,
the speaker shared a quote.
something to the effect of:

What you fear will point you to the direction of what you need to do next.

this was uncomfortable to me.
because if i followed its suggestion, it would take me so out and beyond my comfort zone.
the stakes were too high.

a year after that seminar,
i did face my fear.
except that when i finally made a decision to face it and do it,
i was surprisingly calm.
even brave.

this is what wise men spoke of.
it is called Decision.
when the soul is ready to make a decision,
it does it.
and it is final.
and it has power.

it has been 5 years since i left everything behind in Manila.

and i survived and thrived in New York.

i do not like Dr. Phil's nastiness as a self-help talk show host.
but he said one thing that changed my life for the better.
he said (to paraphrase):

Life is Managed, not Cured.

life will never be completely okay.
nor stable.

one success leads to another goal that must be accomplished.
human beings and their journey is about a progression of goals.

i've accomplished several important Life Goals in New York.

now, i come face to face with another one.
one that i've evaded in Manila.
that is now confronting me here in my new homeland.

i know this is my next step in life because pursuing it scares me too death.
and i ironically cannot stop thinking about it.

i know i must confront it once and for all.
because if not now, when?

my next business venture is so close to my heart.
every time i open my notebook to start writing my ideas, my heart literally palpitates.
my creativity is blocked and i know it is because i unconsciously do not want to confront it yet.

today, on a Sunday, i am determined to open my notebook again.
and here i am evading it once more.
by writing a post on this blog.

after this post,
i will take a shower.
and after that shower, i will finally open that notebook again.

today is the day.
let the journey towards a Dream begin once again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

wisdom from the weird

so i went to a bookstore to unwind.

a bookstore, like creativity, must be explored with an open mind.
as much as i am used to the aisles holding design-related materials,
i sometimes force myself to wander to other shelves that i normally would not due to lack of interest.

2 days ago, i went to International Travel and read about Dubai.
yesterday, i went to the New Age magazine section and chanced upon a Sedona magazine (March 2007 issue i think) with a cheesy tabloid-ish cover.

you know, those tabloid covers that say Predictions, Crop Circles and Spirit Guides.

my body reacted tensely.
knowing that this will be such a waste of time.

but, i held true to my New Year's resolution and reminded myself that a bookstore, like creativity, must be explored with an open mind.

so i opened the book.

there was an article written by a Spirit Guide through the channeling of a female medium... stuff about the magnetic poles, magnetic DNA, etc.

ok, nothing shocking.

i must admit, i have an affinity with metaphysical and supernatural ideas because of the intense imagination it offers... appetizer for a creative thinker.

i browsed through several articles, judging their worth on the merits of their titles.

one made me stop:
it was a question asked by a writer to a Spirit.

the writer asked,
How do I get more financial abundance in my life?
I always seem to have little money left after bills.

the Spirit said (to paraphrase),
You begin by revising the question.
And changing the word, Financial, into Joy.
so, the Question should be: How does one get more Joy in one's life.

according to the spirit,
Joy equates to the energy of money.
one must find that activity in life that he/she finds joy in.
something she truly and authentically enjoys doing.
once this activity is found, the activity can be used in service for others.
and once other beings partake of the service you offer, they will notice the joy and happiness that you put into your service.
not only will they notice your enthusiasm for it, they too will notice how good your service is.
for an activity done with joy increases the quality of the act.
and because you are doing such a good job with the activity/service you are performing, people are willing to both come back to you again and even pay you more.

whoever this Spirit is,
i completely agree.

in summary, just like the title of one book:
Do What You Love and the Money will Follow.

Monday, March 19, 2007



Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Sunday, March 18, 2007

American Beauty

my omens usually appear on a weekend.
maybe because my mind is more relaxed hence more open to free-wheeling thought and day dreams.

so on a lazy Sunday afternoon, i chanced upon the film, American Beauty.
i remember seeing it 5 years ago.
loved it then.
still love it now.

this time, what captured me wasn't the scene about the plastic bag dancing with the wind...
rather a song that played in the background of one of the scenes:
Don't Let it Bring you Down (as sung by Annie Lennox).

i am bad with lyrics.
i am not one of those people who listen intently on the words.
my natural approach is to feel the song in its entirety with maybe my Unconscious Mind grasping what the song is saying.

for such a sad song, i found it so optimistic and uplifting.
it was as if i've been sad for a long time but did not really know it.
then, suddenly hearing the song made everything better.
as if everything was forgiven.
with a scene in my head of a person wiping the dust off and picking himself up from the ground.

i am so obsessed with the song, enough for me to scour You Tube for any rendition.
found one sung by amateurs but not the one sung by Annie Lennox.

if i were to make a film, it will have the same feel and technique of American Beauty.
it was directed with heart and not with slick camera movements.
and this sums up who i am as a filmmaker and an artist.

today was such a good Sunday because not only was i reminded to honor my Unique Voice as a filmmaker, i also happened to read a magazine compiled by several artists in honor of a comrade/photographer allegedly killed by a drunk driver.

i believe it was the March or April 2007 issue of I-D magazine, a special called Safe + Sound.
in it were inspirational stories submitted by fashion designers, artists and other creative types.

one of them was simply a page posting the whole text of the Desiderata.
which i will post in a separate blog entry.

the Desiderata had the same effect on me as the song from American Beauty.
to not let things bring me down.
to be brave.

unfortunately it takes a death for us to celebrate our Voice.

what makes a good leader?

strangely, i was always nominated for leadership roles in high school.
falsely associating good grades with good leadership.

i was such a bad leader then.
poor logistics.
bad temper.
my only redemption was my creative talent.

in time, i got better.
both in logistics and management of people.
what changed was my newfound capacity to delegate tasks to more qualified people.

but is good leadership rooted only in good management?

apparently not.

the last page of Fast Company's April 2007 issue tackled an ex-CEO's take on leadership.
it was such a fascinating interview of Bill George, a professor at Harvard Business School.
former CEO of Medtronic Inc.
and author of True North.

to paraphrase, he said:
leaders who fail often fall prey to the pleasures and seductions that come with power.
their egos, greed, craving for public adulation and fear of the loss of power overtake their responsibility to build the institution they were hired to manage.
authentic leaders are those who serve others and are there to bring everyone together toward a common cause.

according to him:
it is very natural to get caught up inside our heads - to think more about how people are perceiving us than about what we need to do to realize our goals.

this last phrase is key.

for the struggle happens not only in the office but in Life as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the absence of small talk

i have a problem:
i seem to have lost my capacity for small talk

don't get me wrong, i can do it
but i no longer have the desire to do so
nor even try

when i meet someone for the first time
i am impatient and wish to discover the main essence of a person immediately
i surprise a lot of people with questions such as:
are you happy with your life?
what are you up to?
what are your goals?

i guess we are in a society that brainwashed us to focus on financial survival
instead of a meaningful life
by the way, who said a meaningful life inevitably meant poverty
it's been surveyed that most millionaires happened to be in professions/careers that they genuinely loved
they did not get into their endeavors with money as the main driving point

the best book i've read was a book whose title i only read:
Do What You Love and Money will Follow
no need to open the book and read it
the title was enough for me

so, why do i need to chat with you about the weather
and gossip about our peers who get themselves into dysfunctional romantic relationships
they are a complete waste of time

someone told me that small talk is a social lubricant
to keep human interaction and the process of meeting new acquaintances less shocking

this is just me.
call me socially-awkward.
but it is more important for me, during our brief time to meet, to make sure your essence is on the table.
that Who You Really Are is engaged, because i am sure it is not normally engaged by your daily life and your daily circle of peers.

life is short.
let's cut to the chase and make sure you are on the right path.
while it is not my place to find it for you.
you can begin the search by waking up to the fact that you do have a higher journey and a Bigger Picture.

tell me your dreams briefly.
then let's see if i can help you or know someone who can help you or at least point you to a reasonable next step to further your cause.

such a deep conversation takes 15 minutes.
small talk averages between 30-45 minutes.
who would have thought?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

a quick way to find yourself

Oprah Winfrey has increasingly introduced practical spirituality to her audience.

a trend i definitely welcome.

i remember 5 years ago, before i moved to New York, still living in Manila,
i chanced upon an Oprah episode.

an audience member asked her: (to paraphrase)
Oprah, you keep on telling us to go for our dreams.
But what if you do not know what your dreams are?

good question.
i am sure it is a question that plagues a majority of humanity right now.
after all, when surviving financially is enough of a burden, one cannot practically waste his or her time with abstract matters such as finding oneself.

Oprah said something to the effect of:
go to a bookstore.
whichever aisle or book/magazine category you find yourself drawn to,
chances are it is a reflection of your passion.
a key to unlocking where your dreams lie.

so, if you find yourself getting drawn to magazines about fishing,
maybe you need to be a fisherman, pursue hobbies about fishing, be a marine biologist or a fish entrepreneur that gives lessons about fishing.

so, after the Oprah episode, i started thinking about the aisles that consistently caught my attention.
these were:

interior design
creative window displays of retail stores
biographies of successful businessmen
biographies of successful creative types
product design
books about creativity in the business world
clever and creative advertising

i was a film major
and was working for a major TV station back then
take note that film was not one of the aisles listed above that drew me in

10 years from that Oprah moment,
i now call myself a Creative Entrepreneur,
creating businesses around my creative ideas

not finding a career out there in the world that fit me
i decided to simply invent one

i've struggled with this Film vs Design career for so long
and wasted so much time in my life procrastinating and weighing the pros and cons of each
instead of just being real with myself and follow what the bookstore aisles were gently telling me

you see, passion cannot be faked
you cannot force yourself to like something
you cannot manufacture enthusiasm
either you are joyful doing something or you are not
the day that you stop enjoying something, then it starts becoming a Job
instead of a Calling

by the way...
issues do not end when you start anew in a faraway country
people go to new lands for a fresh start
but rarely do they mark the end of questions that beg to be confronted and answered
to arrive at this path of Creative Entrepreneurship,
i had to go through the same questions in Manila here in New York

so i studied briefly at New York University, the aspirational NYU.
a certificate course training one to become a media executive in the film/tv industry
excelled at it
got an A as a final grade
was bored the whole time

studied briefly at the Fashion Institute of Technology, popularly called FIT.
loved every moment of it.
i was in line during the application process.
behind me was a girl wearing her funeral-inspired outfit.
and knew back then that i was home.

the things we are passionate about can change
or maybe the things we used to be passionate about (in my case, film) are parts of a bigger whole, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle called our Calling in Life, our Life Purpose, or the Real Job that we are meant to do on this earth.
or maybe, we are composed of different passions (which is an equally difficult dilemma) that, when properly mixed together and understood, point you to a new occupational genre.

this last premise was my dilemma.
i still possessed my passion for watching films, but realized later on, that i hated making them.
i loved fashion, but hated sewing.
i loved entrepreneurship books and for a time, confused me if i need to be a Wall Street stock broker.

what i did right was take my passions seriously by testing the waters of each
only then did i discover which specific aspects of each passion were relevant

and more importantly:
i realized that life is NOT an Either-Or question.

you can be many things
you can love many things
you do not need to choose if you genuinely like everything

i understand that Focus in life is hailed as the main ingredient to be successful
i would say Yes, but not always
for others, it is easy because they are genuinely passionate about only One thing
some are blessed with only one specific talent, and they are aware of it, and they pursue that path successfully

but what if a person is as complexly layered as i am
blessed with different aptitudes

i am good with science
i am good with math except geometry
i am good with the arts

so i was forced to become logical with my search for Myself,
(a search that i've always taken seriously by the way)
and realized i needed a different approach
applicable to those with authentically varied interests and talents

like any good researcher, i checked what was already written about the subject
browsing through both the Self-Help and New Age aisles

there were exercises that asked me to write down all my talents on one column
followed by a list of possible manifestations of those talents as careers (like the example i gave above re love for fishing as translatable to a fisherman, a fish entrepreneur, a biologist, etc.)
then, a final column listing the things you wish to spiritually advocate, the positive change you want to impart to society, etc. (such as to eradicate poverty, save the fish, etc.)

several self-help books later re finding one's purpose,
i finally arrived at Creative Entrepreneurship.

i now realize that my previous media background was not a complete waste
i am grateful for my film degree for opening the door to the Path of Creativity
i owe my sense of drama and beauty from emotionally-brilliant film scenes

ultimately, my film experience unearthed the Poet in me
and to be on the Path of Creativity, one must embrace the heart of a Poet
and admit that you have something substantial to say, that is both beautiful and transcending

Sunday, March 11, 2007

a broken heart challenges enlightenment

so i was struggling back and forth with a broken heart from 2 years ago.
i blamed myself for my ex leaving me behind for someone else...
for not being enough or doing enough and worse, for not being as good as the replacement

this is a long discussion
which i've discussed with myself at length
i've blamed myself for many things
too much perhaps
although some were valid

i was a different person back then
and i must admit, i was an emotional mess
i was not as lovable perhaps
or was difficult to love because i was preoccupied with unhappiness with my job, with poverty and being overwhelmed with the visa process

so my ex found someone else with none of these complications
my ex deserves someone better
all of us do

there was one situation that kept on replaying in my head
he was sick in his apartment
and i did not go to his rescue
i almost did
but was doing overtime at work

i kept on telling myself after the break up that if i did do that
perhaps i could have cemented the relationship deeper
maybe not
back then i believed in the former:
that maybe it could have increased the love and proof for love

it dawned on me that i was a different person back then
i was a mess
and ultimately not ready to love properly

it also dawned on me that if he really did love me
and if he really considered the relationship valuable
whatever shortcoming i did
would have been overlooked
because love and the big picture of the relationship will logically be more valuable

as painful as it is to admit
i did love him more than he did me
because, despite my being unlovable and a mess during that time,
he made a decision to leave
again, he has every right and motive to do so
but, bottom line, he left.
a testimony to the lack of interest to pursue things further.

i do that sometimes
project ideal pictures on situations
and always put people on a good light
these did not serve me on this situation though

suppressing my emotions about this caused me to still be not over it for 2 years
so now i will say it
i still miss him
the only thing that changed is that this time, i no longer blame myself solely for its downfall
and that changes everything

he was not the perfect man that i idealized him to be
or maybe it is not that he fell short or was flawed
or maybe it is
or it can also be as simple as he was not right for me

gradually my mind and heart are now able to remember pieces of that painful memory
and start admitting certain things
a wise man once said that the reasons there are victimizers out there is because there are people who agree to be victims

looking back,
i could have fought for my needs and expressed them clearly
i should have walked away as soon as it was no longer a Win-Win situation
being an emotional mess back then, i lost my personal power and my voice

i promise not to do that in my next relationship
even before reaching that, i am now determined to fix my life first and not be an emotional mess
only by fixing my life first will i have the luxury to share love to another person
not out of need and dependency
this time out of a sincere need and capability to share a part of myself and my success

recently, i allowed myself to confront 4 painful things about the break up that i suppressed for 2 years:
1) he broke up the day after Valentine's Day, which really was a spit on the face
2) he broke up via email
3) he lied by saying that the reason he was physically absent for a month was because he was traveling ... after confronting him about it, the truth was that he was already seeing someone else
4) the most painful thing is that before he allegedly left for this alleged overseas assignment, he claimed that he loved me and that he wanted to take this relationship to the next level by planning long term ... which of course is a lie because of number 3

it does help to take an objective look at the facts of the case, together with the spiritual dimensions and lessons from it

bottom line: he was an asshole
my spiritual core is telling me that this simply means he was just a flawed and human like me
but allow me to be angry and be real for once and simply brand him an asshole with no backbone to even break up properly

i wasn't the only emotional mess after all
but somehow this does not lessen the pain of a break up via email

i've since fixed the 3 problem areas that caused me to be an emotional mess in the first place
too late because the relationship already ended
if only he waited for me to get my shit together then things would have been different
but he did not

i deserve someone who loves me enough to give me second chances
someone who does not abandon another when the times get rough, not out of obligation but out of a deep affinity, concern and friendship

unfortunately, i fixed my life too late for my ex
but fortunately, i fixed my life enough to be a better and equal partner for the next one

he was not the right one for me
and that relationship was not ultimately good for me
and that i deserve better treatment
and that a relationship, like any, must be a Win-Win situation for both parties

so the question is:
why does it take so long for some of us to get this objectively?

Vanilla Sky

films are big omens to me.

read the first blog entry i posted (re: Concept of Omens) for an explanation of what omens are.

i am in the midst of refining the concept for a new business venture.
but got stuck with the theme.
when i am stuck, it is usually based on a fear that the venture itself won't work.
when the logical/rational Mind starts feeding me with fears.

so, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, i was channel surfing and happened on the film, Vanilla Sky.
i am perhaps one of the few who liked the film,
as this was heavily panned by critics.
fortunately, i no longer view films solely from a directorial perspective.
now, i assess them for their spiritual inspirational contribution to my consciousness.

and Vanilla Sky thankfully lifted my mental block.
i cannot think of any other film that captures the meaning of human existence and of the whole human journey.

i got so many reminders from it:
open your eyes.
wake up with a new consciousness about reality.
life is short, appreciate and make the most out of the Now/ the moment.
love, despite being fleeting, means everything.
face your fears.

inspired by the film, i venture into my favorite bookstore.
with no expectations.
armed with an open mind, open to any omen that life presents me with.

i found 2 books that inspired me.
one for the business venture i was struggling with.
and one inspirational for the theme of another future business.

omens are wonderful.
proving that magic is not exclusive to Harry Potter.
real life miraculously and serendipitously presents us with sign posts that either solve our problems or point us to the right direction.

just like a line from Vanilla Sky:
open your eyes.

where a God is needed

as empowered as i am,
as proactive as i am with goals,
as clear as i am with purpose and destiny,
there is one thing that is beyond my self-sufficiency...

it is divine protection.
one said that with great potential comes an equally great burden.

i am blessed with great imagination, creativity and great sensitivity to Life (metaphysical concepts, ideas, laws and relationships).
with this comes an oversensitivity to things that are Abstract.
as such, there are times that my mind consumes me too much and i get depressed.

i am becoming more honest with my friends now by letting them now that i get depressed sometimes.
they need to know.
because moments like that cause me to withdraw and deal with it.
more of a wave that needs to pass.

i withdraw for only 2 reasons:
1) if i am concentrated on a goal or a dream
2) or, if i feel depressed and my way of protecting others from its negative effects is to cocoon and deal with its complicated depths alone, until it passes

what is stopping me from taking the easy route of taking anti-depressants is the need to be courageous and not escape from the pains of reality and real life

i cannot take a pill for every moment i feel sad
because pain is an inherent part of life

so, i let the depression pass
and it usually does
it takes anywhere between 2 days to 5.

reading the book, Power of Now, was also helpful.
for those who have not read it, i encourage you to do so.

basically, it talks about our Mind, as the main source of all pain, fear and negativity.
the Mind is a great tool capable of great works of art, invention and solutions to global problems
but it is equally a dangerous weapon to oneself and to the world once misused or once it turns unhealthy

my final film project for Experimental Film class made several audience members cry.
i've been known by my classmates as an overly intense filmmaker.
whereas other members of my batch shocked people with Matrix-like camera movements or irreverent humorous characters, i am known as the one whose films are overly quiet.
one that somehow equally quiets the audience that watches it.
i, of course, have my share of critics.
but the few that approach me after a final exam screening of films, telling me how much they were touched by it, makes the whole process (and the criticisms) worth it.

i honesty do not consider myself unhealthy in a psychiatric way
perhaps i am taking on an evolutionary path that is bigger than me
the bigger the potential being reached, the bigger the internal cleansing necessary

it is hard to put into words how difficult it is when i get depressed
it is so negative and dark, so bleak and taunting,
making it so easy to self-destruct.

this is where God's grace enters.
so far, it has protected me from succumbing to it completely
depression drowns a person
i am happy that a God force managed to lift it at just the appropriate moment

the missing link

ideas, like meat, need to marinade.

my professor in Communication 2 told me.

i was struggling with the design theme of my new business venture.
in front of me was a list of maybe 20 possible concepts/themes.
half of them were conceptually and creatively fresh.

but none of them were The One.
it is hard to quantify or qualify it.
but you will know if the idea is the correct one, the idea strong enough to grab your enthusiasm, from which other numerous ideas can now flow from... developing the concept further.

i noticed that The Idea is closely tied to one's unique Creative Identity.
i sometimes try to be creatively fresh in an irreverent and playful way.
when i do that, the concept somehow feels fake, like it is trying to hard to be cool.

the Idea i finally chose somehow felt sad.
to be accurate, it began as something sad.
but was really about something flawed in transition to something better.
amidst decay comes beauty.
a constant metaphor or recurrent theme in almost all of my creative ideas and ventures.

i am a firm believer in my inherent capacity to transform.
and the inherent capacity of others to transfigure.
that inside all of us lies the potential to become something better and more beautiful inside and out.

the tricky part is to stay afloat long enough to reach transfiguration.
unfortunately, the call of the other end of the spectrum, the pessimistic one, is all too tempting.

a quote from somewhere said that we are more afraid of our own light than of our own darkness.
imagine being used to a dark room and then suddenly the door opens.
will the light not overwhelm and hurt your eyes?

walking towards the light is painful.
because it is too unknown, unfamiliar and intense.

i know i have a lot of potential.
but that too can be a burden.
because the thought of not living up to it can bring so much personal disappointment.

this internal battle between mediocrity and divinity tires me sometimes.
that i get stuck in limbo.

so when i get asked why a person should even bother reaching for the light when being mediocre has its benefits (such as a sense of comfort and stability), i am unable to answer.

frankly, i do not know why we should even strive to become something better and higher than what we already are.

what i do know is that some of us need to reach for it.
because once tasted, it is hard to forget.

i don't think you know me, seriously

perhaps we can all get along better if we carried a pocket document listing our Enneagram classification or our personality type

so we can easily understand one another's interior needs, motives, pet peeves and approaches

before we can be friends, you need to know i am an INFP.

below is the description:

Profile by David Keirsey

INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world and are seen as reticent and even shy. Although they demonstrate a cool reserve toward others, inside they are anything but distant. They have a capacity for caring which is not always found in other types. They care deeply-indeed, passionately-about a few special persons or a cause. One word that captures this type is idealistic. At times, this characteristic leaves them feeling isolated, especially since INFPs are found in only 1 percent of the general population. INFPs have a profound sense of honor derived from internal values. The INFP is the Prince or Princess of mythology, the King's Champion, Defender of the Faith, and guardian of the castle. Sir Galahad and Joan of Arc are male and female prototypes of an INFP. To understand INFPs their cause must be understood, for they are willing to make unusual sacrifices for someone or something believed in.

Re: Mates

The INFP questor probably has more problems in mating than any other type. Let us be mindful of the relative infrequency: about 1 1/4 percent, say two and a half million people in the USA. Their problem lies in their primary outlook on life. "Life," says the INFP, "is a very serious matter." Now when a person makes his life a kind of crusade or a series of crusades, then there's bound to be some taxing of the spouse. If the INFP takes the other tack, the "monastic" (and the same person can tack back and forth-now a crusader, now a monastic), the spouse will find himself again taxed, trying to draw the monastic out of his dark meditative cave.

The opposites of our crusading monastic seem well equipped for this alternating-phase taxation: ENTJ and ESTJ. Both are anchored in the real world with a vengeance. The ENTJ marshaling his or her forces toward distant objectives, the ESTJ administrating in a solid, dependable, and traditional way whatever is his or hers to administer. Both provide anchorage to a person who might otherwise get lost in meditation or in crusade. Selection of a mate of irrelevant form (e.g., an ISTP artisan or an ESTP promoter) would not be the wisest of tactics in so serious a business as life.

From another source:

INFPs-live their lives focusing on their values. They know what is important to them and protect this at all cost. Their values focus on the optimistic verses the pessimistic, although they are often conscience of the negative. To understand the INFP is to understand their cause. They can work tirelessly toward a cause that deems worthy. They will quietly let others know what is important to them, and rarely will they give up on their purpose. They will go along with the crowd, sometimes even letting decisions be made for them, until someone violates their value system. Then they will dig their heels into the ground and will speak up for their feelings, insisting their values be followed.

INFPs are withdrawn and are sometimes hard to get to know. Some may view them as shy. But those that take the time to get to know them will find them warm and gentle, with a surprising sense of humor. They care deeply for those they consider special friends. Putting forth-unusual sacrifices to help such individuals. They often have a subtle, tragic motif running through their lives -- inner pain and unease which others seldom detect.

INFPs are creative and are constantly seeking out new possibilities. They have a gift with language and usually will express this by means of writing. Their intuitive preference supplies the imagination and their feeling preference giving them the need to communicate. They are gifted at interpreting symbols - being drawn to metaphors and similes. Because of these gifts they often write in lyric fashion
INFPs work must be more than just a paycheck, it must be fun and must contribute to something that is important to their values. To be the most productive they need a sense of purpose behind their job. They often have to look at the large picture in order to see how specific programs fit in. They are adaptable to changes and to new ideas. They work well with others being conscience of others feelings and relating with most, though not always vocally. They like to work with others who are cooperative and who share their same set of values. They strive for harmony and dislike conflict.

INFPs treasure their privacy and may keep a lot to themselves. They need time and space for reflection. Others usually get along well with them, although they may not know them intimately. INFPs may not always be organized. They may tend to lose things or to forget appointments. Only when they see the importance of organization in a task will they strive to work at it in an organized way to get it done. They can be extremely patient with complicated issues, but may become impatient with routine and details.

INFPs strive for perfection, and this is especially the case when using their feeling preference. They may have trouble finishing a project, because they never find it is good enough. Even when the project must be finished, they may feel the need to go back and improve on it later.

Reluctantly INFPs may accept leadership roles. They lead with their values being their guide. They do not aggressively lead people, but rather work with people to develop their talents and to independently achieve their goals. They have a hard time criticizing others, but will try to motivate them by their appreciation and praise. When conflicts arise, they avoid directly approaching the situation, but would rather wait for the others to work out the situation themselves.

INFPs view leisure activity as very important. However they may have a difficulty separating it from work. If they have a special skill they use at work, they may use this skill in their leisure time to help friends, family or those in need. When they are interested in pursuing a new leisure activity, they may spend a great deal of time researching this activity. Many INFPs enjoy activities that are done alone such as reading, listening to music, or gardening. This gives them the opportunity for reflection and meditation. They may also enjoy social activities with those they feel close to. When they want to be social they can be outgoing, charming and quiet funny, making them a pleasure to have around.

INFPs present a calm and pleasant face to the world around them. Because they are reserved, they may be over looked. But to those that know them they have a view into their warmth and concern and their deep commitments to their values.


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when i tell you a dream, the Standard Operating Procedure is...

to start by honoring it.

if you are to be my friend, here are the rules:

1) if i finally open up and trust you and share a dream in life or an ambitious noble goal, you are forbidden to dissect it immediately and tell me it is not feasible
= if you do that, i will not forgive you.
= for you have committed the greatest act against me: telling me that i cannot do it or that my dream is up for failure

2) if you do have a criticism to share, under the pretentious guise of a constructive criticism, i do not want to hear it...
= because you have to prove to me first that you have accomplished all your highest goals in your own life or have fulfilled your Highest Potential
= unless you've reached this state, you have no right to tell me what i can or cannot do, or what is and is not possible
= it severely annoys me that people kill dreams under the guise of constructive criticism
= i call these people Shadow Dreamers... those too scared to pursue their own dreams and instead project their ego on others pursuing theirs... and by dissecting the feasibility of others' dreams
= they get to experience the act of Dreaming vicariously... indirectly through other people
= do me a favor, if i tell you a dream of mine and you decide to attack it... please do me and the world a favor and just kill yourself... this world urgently needs positive people and dreamers

3) but if you really have something to say, that you are convinced is essential to the feasibility and chance of success of my dream or life goal, please let me know how i can immediately make it better
= or how i can make it work
= or let me know if you know somebody that can concretely further its accomplishment

you see, a book on business creativity once said there are several types of people in a brainstorming session

the most important are:
a) idea generators
b) idea developers or refiners

idea generators - are good with concepts, big picture thinking, germs of ideas, beginnings of ideas, where projects can start

idea developers or refiners - they pick up where idea generators end, they refine their concepts, positively or negatively refine the concepts, check for feasibility, challenge its soundness, etc

i once worked for a brainstorming group for a television station and the newest batch of creatives had a majority of idea developers

we never churned out anything original anymore because once a brainstorming session started, and somebody proposes an idea just to start with, the majority comprised of idea developers would immediately attack it and refine it to death

in the end, the show concept looked so refined and logical that it no longer smelled fresh and original

when pitched to management, guess what, an embarrassing rejection.

and so, yes, you may be talented as an idea developer...
but really, your role comes much later
all great and successful projects have a Great Idea at their core

once this is discovered, only then can it be refined to something better

by the way,
none of the great ideas that improved humanity came from an idea developer.
they were always started by an illogical but inspired idea generator.

i am a very inspired and brilliant Idea Generator.
if you are an idea developer, please consult the rules above.

if you cannot follow them,
please stay away from my life and look for someone who needs mediocrity in their life.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

a different birthday

a very good friend of mine celebrated his birthday inside a convent.
the nuns surprised him with a good lunch that started with a song.
followed by a prayer that began with a quote from Pablo Picasso:

"It takes a long, long time for one to become young."

And the prayer goes:
Make us younger one each birthday.
Awaken within us the child who is often asleep with shame.
Open our eyes to wonder and awe;
delight our hearts with amazement and playfulness.

It was his most profound birthday ever.