I hope you’ve been doing well. Singapore is moving more and more towards whatever is deemed as the “new normal”. I’m grateful that Singapore has the COVID-19 situation relatively well controlled and that we are allowed to roam relatively freely around this tiny little island which many call home. Anyway, today I’d like to share why I decided to name my company “a kind place”.
As a psychologist, I believe that reflecting on life, self, environment, culture, people, and family, are all very important parts of self-growth. It’s something that I truly believe in. Moving back from US to Singapore was a bit of a reverse culture-shock for me. The first thing that shocked me was the lack of customer service when I stepped into Starhub. The person was rather unfriendly and I thought “wow, why is this guy so rude”. After 4 years of living here, I realised, “Oh, that’s the norm”. It made me sad but at the same time want to do something about it.
In 2019, I was reading the book of joy by his Holiness Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and it made me reflect. It made me reflect about life, myself, and the people around me. I thought about what the world needed, and I realised, it just needs kinder people. I wanted to create a community, I wanted people to be learn to be kinder to each other, and feel safer around each other. I think the world would be a nicer place and people would be happier and people will be more willing to lower their guards! Of course in order to do that, I would have to embody kindness not only towards others, but to myself too.
I wondered, where can I start? I did several things.
1. Free my mind – mindfulness meditation
- I was first introduced to mindfulness in 2014 and thought it was a whole load of nonsense. How can I ever sit still and even then, why would I want to not multitask? I was so efficient and proud of my skills.
- Now, I consciously try to do 1 task at a time, and engage in a daily meditation practice (10-20 mins)
- It helps me be more present with the people around me, and most importantly, myself and my emotions
2. Change the way I look at things when someone makes a request from me.
- It was difficult moving from US back to Singapore because I had to live with my parents again.
- Parents being parents, have rules, and mine like to spend time together which I was not used to being away from home for so many years. Initially it was draining because the thought I said to myself was “Everyone needs something from me. I’m so exhausted. I have to do all these otherwise they would be disappointed in me”
- One day as I was walking, it hit me, I can change that inner narrative. I now say “I want to spend time with my parents and I want to do nice things for people. I enjoy helping others (Which I truly do), and it’s a choice that I make”. This helped me a lot. I don’t feel as exhausted or burdened, and I feel happy doing the things that I deem as my choice.
3. Practice loving-kindness meditation
- Having good connections with people around is essential. However, we can get caught up when they do something hurtful to us
- Loving-kindness meditation gives you the power to forgive and to genuinely wish for the well-being of the person
- For me, it brought me peace and removed any adverse feelings I had when I saw someone who I once used to dislike
This is my journey towards becoming a kinder person to play my part and contribute positively to this world! Everyone’s journey is different, and I’m happy to support you on any part of your journey towards a happier, healthier, YOU 🙂