[fmco soundbites] Merchants of Happiness

[6 June 2021] Day 6 of the fmco* in Malaysia.

Everyone is selling happiness. Everyday, we are overloaded on social media with well-intentioned messages. If we follow their advise, you’ll be a better at what you do or you’ll live better, and hence there’s a promise of achieving happiness at the end of the journey.

“Buy my product. Follow my plan. Invest.”

Too much positivity is toxic.

You can do it! See, I’ve done it! If I can do it, you can do it! Aim high.

What if I cannot? What if I cannot make it to my goal? Should I give up? This is not for me.

Recently, I read a comment on social media. The commenter says she feels so much better on a channel with dysfunctional folks than on the channel with lots of polished experts. She was more depressed after spending time on the latter. For her, the former was more authentic. (More on this in another musing.) Everyone could laugh at themselves.

The Journey is the Destination.

I believe some of us are too harsh on ourselves A few years ago, I came about this realisation. I now aim for progress in my journey, not perfection in my goal. Often, we confuse perfectionism with striving for excellence.

Here are some examples of what perfectionism sounds like:

  • If I don’t succeed/get rejected, I should quit. It’s not right for me.
  • I cannot tell anyone/show this to anyone until it’s perfect.
  • I have set this goal and I must keep to this, regardless!
  • If I believe I cannot achieve it, it’s better I don’t start.
  • If we cannot get everything right, it’s not worth doing it.

This sounds really stressful. Be kind to yourself.

Compare this to how progress sounds like:

  • Take a step at a time, and see where it takes me.
  • I made a mistake. It is not the end of the world. How can I improve tomorrow?
  • Let’s start small and see what we learn along the way.
  • Let’s adjust as we know more, as we are able to do more.
  • Let me enjoy this journey and celebrate small successes along the way.
  • I am doubting myself right now. It’s ok. It’s only natural but this does not mean I have failed.

I visualise progress as taking a drive along country roads – taking simple joys in the pace, in the scenery, and if we are lucky, friends we make along the way. And with each stop, we are a better version of ourselves than in the previous stop.

To me, happiness is not a destination. It’s the journey itself. Take joy in your successes, and also in your setbacks. Progress is what fills the gap between your abilities and your aspirations.

About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to contact her, follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Linkedin.

Read her other posts.

#progress #kaizen #bekindtoyourself #acceptance #openmindset #happiness #growthmindset
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp

(Feature Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay)

*fmco stands for Full Movement Control Order.

[fmco soundbites] Grateful

[5 June 2021] Day 5 of fmco* in Malaysia

Gratitude and giving back

I got my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine yesterday evening! I am so happy! I have done a small part to help achieve herd immunity and to protect my family and myself.

The process was very smooth. Everyone we met was friendly, patient, polite, accommodating, and mindful. We got done in 25 minutes plus 15-minutes in the observation area and another 10 minutes queuing at the photo booths. I started timing from the elevator at the car park.

At every stop, the people in charge were professional, carefully checking our IDs, the MySejahtera tracing app, our forms, and our health condition. The whole process worked like a well-oiled machine. I applaud the logistics and operations managers for this massive national vaccination programme. They have done a really good job.

At each point, I asked the staff if they were volunteers. Many are. Malaysia, we owe these volunteers big time. They don’t have to do this. They could have spent their days either tending to their business, studies or jobs, or spending time at home with their family during this lockdown. And yet, they stepped up to the plate to do this for us.

Malaysia, we need you.

We still need more volunteers – both healthcare and non-healthcare. Learn more about MyVAC (Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers) . The FAQ page is pretty comprehensive. The more volunteers we have, the more vaccination centres we can operate. Sign up as one if you wish to contribute.

(The WLIC2018 volunteers during the closing conference ceremony. Can you spot me?)

What about me? My most recent experience as a volunteer was for #WLIC2018 international conference that Malaysia hosted. It was a very rewarding experience. I am considering to sign up as a MyVac volunteer after my second dose. Wanna join me?

About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to contact her, follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Linkedin.

Read her other posts.

#gratitude #covid-19 #vaccine #volunteering
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp

*fmco stands for Full Movement Control Order.

[fmco soundbites] Are you getting impatient too?

Image of girl being very tired at the computer
[3 June 2021] Day 3 of fmco* in Malaysia

Zoom fatigue. Screen fatigue.

Many people have gone online for more than a year now since the pandemic start early last year. For many of us, we are doing almost everything staring at the screen — emails, texting, as well as reading for work and for pleasure.

I used to watch TV (remember that box?) or videos on the computer as a break. But recently, I found that I have very little patience to watch even a 2-minute video. I keep forwarding the video to see if there’s really anything that will interest me. Does this happen to you?

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[fmco soundbites] Conflict at home

Image of a women in boxing gloves punching a man, used as a metaphor for conflict and conflict management

I wrote this soundbite yesterday on my social media channel and thought I’ll post it here as well.

(1 June 2021) Day 1 of Malaysia’s #fmco aka MCO 3.0.

When we are locked in with the rest of the family, there will be stress because we may feel we are pulled in different directions all at the same time. We are bound to find ourselves in #disagreements (aka #conflict) more often than ‘normal’. (What is normal now, btw?)

Here are some #communication tips for you:

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