I don’t have any ideas to write something that fully come from my mind lately. I really want to write some kind of short story or fiction, instead of serious articles. I’ve been watching some movies, videos, read articles, but there was nothing. Today I grabbed an old book I bought a few years ago. Back then i was someone who tended to end up back at work again even it was my day off. The title is “Second Act”. It is basically “a guide” for people how to finding out what they really want to do in life, when their current one is lacking of something. There is a passage in front pages from Margaret Young telling something like: “….people used to live their life by working to get more things, more money, to be able to do what they want, so they can be happier. It actually works in reverse. They need to get to know theirselves first, then decide what to do to make a good life and get what they want…..”. If you ever read that book or read that passage somewhere else, you will know that it is not exactly what was printed in the book, i just re-type it based on my understanding about the message and also based on my limited vocabulary. After i read that, i closed the book and got up. (Btw, who is Margaret Young? Do you know? I’ll google her after this.)
Then I saw a notebook on top of my table and grabbed a pencil to write whatever flew on my mind. I read somewhere that writing, literally using pen or pencil on paper, is good when you feel stuck or when you need to figure out what is bugging you. It worked for me before (and apparently it works today). I bought the notebook several years ago, just because I like the simple design and the black colour of the cover, and the paper kind of oldies too. I never write on it until a few weeks ago, when I had the urge to learn Mandarin more. I wrote a few pages of Han Zi and Pin Yin. After two weeks or so, I stopped.
Why? Because I lost my motivation. It’s easy for me to lost my motivation these days. I told myself, “It’s 2019 for God’s sake, and I still can’t push myself to do something useful to make me a better person, to add some values for myself.” Does the ability to speak and write Mandarin will make me a better person? Absolutely! I can use it to travel to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or any other countries that use it as their first language. I don’t need to be afraid or worry about getting lost there because of the language problem. I realized that’s the only reason holding me back to go there. The thing is, I don’t have target. I am not living in Chinese environment, I don’t have an urgent need to be able to speak the language, and therefore I never set target and goal, how far I should be good at that. That’s the main issue why I was demotivated and lost at some point.
This is what happen, when i was being educated to follow people’s standard since i was a child. I studied hard, for a good grade. I had to be good at Math, Physic, Biology, etc., because they graded me. They gave me and my parent the annual report, they set the standard for me, to measure whether I was good enough or not. They set the goal and target for me, and surely it happened to you too. It continued when we grow up. We went to college/university, whatever, and still, we needed to get ‘A’ or at least ‘B’ for every subject. Because our parent spent a lot of money for our education, and the world needs a good GPA, we needed to fulfill their standard. After graduated, it didn’t stop. We worked as good as we can in front of our bosses. The better we did, the higher the chance for promotion or salary increment.
But when I become an adult and doesn’t work under anyone, I don’t need to follow rules and standards. There’s no one to grade how good I am at Mandarin, how fast or slow I learn it, how long I need to spend hours for it, no target at all. I didn’t realise that I’m so used to follow people standard, until it becomes my habits and character. Therefore, when I am in my free will, I am too caught up in the moment while I should be able to set my own target. That’s why I felt demotivated. A goal is important, because when there is no goal, there is no score to make.
As a normal human being, when we feel demotivated, we tend to search for something to fill the emptiness feeling. We search for motivational books, videos, attending seminars. Or sometimes we travel to some places, find a community, or worse, end up on drugs and drinks. If we were trained to finding out ourselves since we were kid, trained to get to know, to understand, and to love ourselves instead of chasing the standards, it should not be too hard to get back on our feet when we lost direction. We will have enough motivation to impress ourselves, and set a good goal and standard that make us happier and less stressful. And today, I second my belief that I don’t need to find some closures elsewhere. I just need to find my old notebook, grab my pencil, dancing on paper as my thoughts flowing around. You should try it though.
Have a good life, smart reader!
PS: I wrote this article in English, despite the fact that my grammar and vocabulary are bad. Why? Because this is the only way i can express myself in English, since i am a blogger, not a vlogger. Did i just type that i am a blogger? Gosh, i am so proud that finally i can say that to myself even there are only a few writings here. Anyway, originally, i wrote this on my notebook (literally) with a pencil, and when i wrote in a paper, it was meant only for me, so no one will judge my grammar. So, i hope you survived after reading this. Whatever.