Think Great, Pose Great, Feel Great

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

There is no doubt of the fact that our verbals and non-verbals are influenced by what we think. We react according to what our brain processes.

Then there comes ideomotor effect – the influencing of an action by an idea – that we will unconsciously act based on the words, sentences or concepts that have glimpsed through our thoughts.

The other day, I went out to town with a friend of mine and the distance was like 30 minutes from our campus. We took too much time waiting for our food during dinner that we were actually really late for an event that we wanted to attend that night. So the driver – me – who had a thought – of being late and imagining a situation where we went in after almost an hour past the entry time – unconsciously hit 130 km/h mark on the speedometer. There was no pure intention of being that fast though we were in fact rushing. We had normal conversation to fill up the journey back, acted and behaved like we were still on time. And yet I sped.

Or simply notice how you start headbanging your head, stomping your feet on the floor while listening to some pop songs. Or how fast your walking pace is when you think of how hateful you are with those who walk slow. Or notice how the thought of the words FOOD and WASH will prime the word of S_ _P respectively. 

And do our non-verbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?

In one of the Ted talks that I watched, Amy Cuddy said that how we pose indicate what we feel. And it affect how we think.

Hunchingusually makes one feels less confident, powerless and afraid. Take some time observing how people pose when waiting for their turn to be interviewed for a job. You can notice how one’s facial expression is affected by his/her pose – the indication of how they are feeling.

That is why you can see Usain Bolt spreads his hands high up in the sky when he is the first to cross the finish line of the 100m sprint competition. He wants to feel great of his achievement. He wants to feel proud. And you can pretty easily notice the difference between a confident presenter with a nervous and shaky presenter. See how they move around and control their hand movements. They control their cognitive association through each of the movement made.

When you are feeling nervous or not confident, try to ‘force’ yourself to pose in the way that people – and you yourself – feel comfortable when approached. Try take a pencil and stuck it crosswise in your mouth to make yourself ‘smile’. Try to cross leg, open your chest wide open, put both of your palms in the back of your head and spread your hands wide. Make yourself feel great. You might feel a bit odd and kind of faking but truly speaking, faking is not always bad. It might lead you to actually really feel good.

Being Vulnerable

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

One of my good friends once said, people especially women are so vulnerable after they have just clashed that any guys who are at their disposal to console them during their sad days stand hypothetically higher chance of dating the girls.

I do not know if that is true enough. I firmly believe that is his personal observation. And if that makes any sense at all. I did not ask him back. I remembered I said he was right about it but I also remembered that I agreed without actually think more about it.

He was right about one thing for sure; being vulnerable. Everyone does when dealing with failure and sadness. Genders do not make any difference. You can be a tough guy with a stone cold heart but there is still that soft spot that will somehow make you feel so lost of your own feeling after being dumped, for an instance. There is suddenly a big dark hole in your heart. A hole that was once filled with unconditional love. The spot that has been your source of inspiration, courage and happiness.

At the times we are so in need of people who can comfort us, these people come in. We allow them to. They patch the hole little by little. We cannot afford to let the hole gets bigger. We are so prone.

We give them too much space to them that to some extent we feel like they can replace those who have gone leaving us drown in our sadness. We feel like they are our ultimate saviors that can lift us up again, seeing the other bright side. We somehow let emotion empowers us. We despise our brain’s capability of making wise decision.

Our heart is now like Walmart’s front door wide open on Black Friday. Anyone can dash in.

I see the question of “how vulnerable are we?” depends on how we control our emotion. To what degree do these events impact us emotionally? I never come across a case where people have emotional epilepsy. Emotions are triggered by events. Predictable events, non-predictable events. How much space do we give those people – the ones at our sides – to venture into our heart and exploit it? Questions that we need to constantly pose to ourselves.

Some believe that girls are not good decision makers simply because they tend to make decisions based on emotion rather than logical thinking. That somehow  sounds pretty correct yet debatable. We are not going to debate it here now though. I guess that is why my friend said so earlier.

My words?

Happiness is best to be unleashed. Spread the positive vibes around. But anger is best to be contained and disposed properly. Yoga, perhaps? Sadness is best cured with patience and rationality. Sadness can be expressed physically. You can cry out but you should not let emotion to empower you and say or do silly things that can show how weak you are at that point of time.

Waking Up From Sleep; Feeling Fresh or More Tired?

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

There are times when even after having enough sleep hour, you still feel like you are not ready for the day. You hit the snooze button to give your body what you call as ‘extra minutes’. But do these ‘extra minutes’ can really give your body the extra minutes it needs and kick the sleepiness away?

When we doze off, there are five distinct stages that the body cycles through over roughly ninety-minute periods. The first is so light that if you wake up from it, you might not realize that you have been sleeping. The second is a stage where you will know you have been sleeping when you wake up. This second stage is just before our body falls into a deep sleep and our brains are practically unconscious.

Stages three and four are considered deep sleep. Stage four is the deepest form of sleep and is a stage when you want nothing else but to go back to sleep so badly. The final stage is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in which most dreams occur and the brain is as active as it is when it is awake.

So what happens when our alarm clock rings out loud and interrupt with our sleep cycle?

When the alarm goes off in the morning, the sleep cycle is usually reaching its final 20% of the cycle in which will cause slight fatigue because your sleep cycle is yet to complete to feel fully recharged. But when you hit the snooze button and try to give your body few extra minutes of sleep, the body starts its whole sleep cycle again and it can probably go back into the deep sleep mode. When the alarm goes off again, the body is interrupted at Stage 3; deep sleep stage – and therefore causes us to be feel even more sleepy and tired.

The following video explains a little bit more of this:

So what is the lesson learned? DO NOT hit your snooze button when you are waking up in the morning. Frankly speaking, I did try this and guess what? Yes it does actually make some difference. Waking up at the first instance gives a little more energy as compared to when I give my body some extra time to make love with the bed.

Give it a try!

 

My Pick For 2012’s Albums

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

I’m neither good at describing how music sound nor how awesome an album is with words. But I tried my best to present you my list of 2012’s worthy albums. I have a lot in my mind. And I think I would give the underrated and debut albums a chance to be mentioned here. I will still list a few other albums from well-established artists because they deserve the mention.

1. Coexist – The xx

It came to an absolute shock when this album was not listed in NME’s top 10 albums of the year. Tracks from this album was also none to be seen in Spotify’s top 20 songs streamed.

Coexist is the second album to be produced by this trio. To no surprise, they still carry the same tempo as in their self-titled debut album 2 years ago, with a huge difference in music arrangement. The duo vocal interplay fits the music arrangement very well and it’s much obvious when you hook on to your headphone with a quite surrounding. They play with minimal instruments and listening to them in a crowded place will not get you to the album’s best delivery. My highest rated track for this album is Chained. It’s beyond awesome. I like how the beats come into the song.

2. Suicide Pact – JJAMZ

We tasted fame, we made our fortune
It was stripped away, now memories long past
Then you were tamed and I was tortured

An indie pop band that consists of 4 individuals from 4 different bands with an additional member. Suicide Pact is their debut album and was launched somewhere in July. Their songs are not only love-based but more to life-oriented. One or two tracks might sound pretty familiar to other indie pop songs but the lyrics are something worth to give attention on. Recommended track from this album would be Suicide Pact itself.

3. Gold Motel – Gold Motel

My list will not be complete without Gold Motel. Second album came out after a successful debut album, Summer House. A great album for an easy-going environment. Make sure you have it on your playlist when you are out to the beach. Your day would be better with this easy-listening album.

4. Vital – Anberlin

To be honest, Vital is the first album of Anberlin that I listen to. Anberlin is a well-established rock band since 2002. I listened to their 2007, 2008 and 2010’s abums right after I finished listening this album and I would say this album will not be a disappointment.

5. Make It Right – Abel

A rock band that has not received much spotlight through their debut album, Make It Right. An album that gets you on the fragility of life and love. From the opener of the album; I’ll Be Alright – till the last track; Comfort and Truth – each track sounds pretty related to each other.

6. Hello, My Name Is… – Bridgit Mendler

I guess no introduction needed for Bridgit Mendler. She has always impressed me with her outstanding vocal. She is absolutely amazing even on live performance. Get her best voice with a bright vocal on her acoustic videos in Youtube. And this debut album is a must-have.

7. Esc – Clara C

I guess she first made her appearance on Youtube before moving on to produce two albums. Another Asian who has successfully cemented her name in the US market. Catchy songs accompanied by acoustic guitar performed by herself.

8. Red – Dia Frampton

If you like Kimbra, Bridgit Mindler, Birdy or Duffy, then you must listen to this pop artist. Don’t Kick The Chair, Love Can Come From Anywhere and Stairway To The Stars are my three recommendation if you are up to a pre-listen on Dia Frampton. Why three? Because giving two is too mainstream.

9. Night Visions – Imagine Dragons

My most awaited album of the year. And it is absolutely worth the wait. I can at least have something to cure my disappointment with Muse’s The 2nd Law album. They have a bright future ahead. Album’s reviews on iTunes Music are outstanding with positive reception everywhere to prove how successful this album is.

10. Picture Show – Neon Trees

A successor of Habits album. Never listen to them? Head to Picture Show’s Everybody Talks or Habit’s Animal. Two songs that can describe them best in my opinion. A good album with a good value.

Still want a few other albums that worth your money? Hmm… Let’s see. Matchbox Twenty’s North is a must. Keane’s Strangeland is also a must because I rate this album to be their second best album after Hopes & Fears. Among other albums that worth my money go to Walk The Moon self-titled album and Gossamer from Passion Pit. Well, The Information Retrieved from rock band Pinback, Yuna self-titled album apart from Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and The Weeknd’s Trilogy also deserve a mention here.

Ouh bad bad me. Apologize me for giving you a heck of list. They at least deserve a recognition from an unknown little Asian, don’t you think so? So enjoy your listening and hopefully they can suit your music taste!

Disclaimer: I have no right over all album covers/official music videos used in this article.

What Makes You Right?

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

There are always things that we hope we have never done and there are always things that we hope we have done previously. While the former sounds more like we are expressing regret, the latter gives a little bit positive insight, in hoping to make things better than they are now.

Listen to the olders because they have more experiences than you have.

While this saying is true in some aspects, it’s also a bit inadvertent. Money doesn’t totally make you rich (because you can also be considered rich if you have vast knowledge but little money) and experiences themselves don’t make you totally right. What lessons had they learned through the experiences that they had gone through? What are the values do they take to make them right at the end?

You went through an experience of making a wrong decision, which has probably led to the worst moment of your life. From there, what did you do to turn things around instead of just saying “how I wish I have never done that!” ? Are you now rich by experience and at the end did nothing to turn a new leaf in your life? How does that make you right? If you think you are now richer by one experience, yes you are right but if you think you are right because you did right (by doing nothing to change towards betterment), then you are wrong. You have done nothing!

What if, you do regret your decision in the past and you consequently make your mind to let bygone be bygone and march forward to the new chapter of your life? You’re not only richer by experience but you are also now one step behind of proving that you are right. You are right because you make your mind to leave the bad behind, take the first step towards betterment and hope for a bright positive future that will leave a smile on your face.

And there you go. Say you made changes towards yourself, you have been positive-minded all the way from the bottom of the wheel to right at the top. Ahah! You can now be proud of yourself because now you are right! You are right in making the decision to make changes for a better life. You are right in taking steps to be where you are now. You are also right because you turn things that have made you regret in the past into a booster to move on and change things accordingly.

I wouldn’t deny that to move on takes a lot of efforts. Everything needs efforts. If you are keen to prove that there are a lot of things that you wish you have never done, then start working to prove that you have never wanted to. Or else, words are just words, and things will stay the way you have set them to be ‘unintentionally’.

Hate Your Job Or Live Your Dream?

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

I was at the office – reading an article on how much do people hate their jobs more than anything else; when something came across my mind; why do people still do jobs that they hate and abandon their dreams?

First thing to note is because they NEED more money. While some people say you can’t buy happiness with money, there are still nonetheless plenty of stuff can be bought to make you happy. Tech-savvies do get happy when they buy new gadgets to play with. Shopaholics do get happy when they go shopping and swiping their credit cards here and there and later repay the cost with their salaries.

An engineer isn’t necessarily happy with his job. The job might pay him well but there is something missing. An element of doing tasks with passion, willingness and desire. Some people go hunt high-paid jobs instead of pursuing their dreams simply because their dream-jobs don’t return them a favour; high pays.

Should we choose a high-pay job or living our great dream life with little money offered?

I’ve lived for slightly more than 20 years. And I’ve moved to not less than 4 states across the country. I’ve known many of my parents’ friends. I’ve witnessed some who lived their dream lives. Material-wised, they were decent. They had what they need and they owned one or two luxurious stuff, living with the beloved ones and had a lot of time to be spent together.

I’ve also witnessed some of the friends who lived luxurious lives because they were the executives. Less time spent with the kids and didn’t even have the opportunity to dine together on one same table. They lived in big houses, owned cars that took the spotlight on the roads but deep inside they were stressful. They spent too much time thinking work-related problems that they forgot they have other more important responsibilities back at home.

Living your dream life gives you an inner peace. That’s what you want all these while. You know you can never be regretful even when you are down with so many problems. Deep inside, you know you can tackle them because you are passion-driven. Why bother to get a job that has high pay when you can choose a desired job that pay you less, live the life that you have always wanted and at the same time gain side income through small online entrepreneurship, for an instance? Look things in a wider perspective to reach the same objective.

People can be committed to their work but deep inside they’re dead. That’s the point when you start to be less productive, not creative, inefficient, and always the first to punch out.

Ouh well, that’s quite a serious stuff to write about in my first post at Unity Bond. Hopefully that doesn’t leave you with a perception that I’m a serious guy who always talk serious in real life. Please don’t hesitate to keep in touch with me or give feedback of my posts at my Twitter. I won’t bite you, I promise!