Well that sucked . . .

Last post I wrote about how after applying to many positions in this Bangkok-based company, I was finally given the chance to take an aptitude test. I was feeling good about this as this was the chance for me to get back to Thailand. I thought about all the places I want to revisit, such where I used to work, the people I wanted to see and the places I have yet to go.

After work, I sat down in front of my computer, logged on to my email, and then took the test.

I bombed.

I thought the test would be a combination of an IQ and LSAT test. One of the links I was provided showed me an LSAT type of question. I’m no lawyer or former law student, but I find them doable. No, instead, these involved statistics. One question was like “In 1999 Zimbabwe had $30 million in GDP and the GDP of each head was $450. What was the total population of employed citizens if 60% of the population makes up the workforce?”

Yeah, I knew I was in way over my head.

I took the test and let the recruiter know that I completed it. She has yet to reply, but I can already figure out the response. I may not be able to track the value of the Euro in relation to the Lao Kip, but I can already figure that I would not be asked for the first round of interviews.

I already knew that this was a possibility. I was even prepared for this to happen and that I should appreciate that I made it this far. Yet here I am, feeling bummed out and like a loser.

Maybe I am going through a chemical imbalance. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am going to take time to rest and to grieve. After that, I will double my efforts to get that English teaching job in Taiwan and also still apply for those multinational firms at the same time.

Holy Hole in a Donut, Batman! (I can’t believed it worked)

Yesterday, I couldn’t sleep out of anxiety.

Going through the same list I always complain about: I don’t like my job and its hours. I deal with family drama. My sleep cycle is messed up.

The main solution to my problems is a better job. I get a better job, with better pay, then all I have to do is move out. Once I move out, I can workout anytime I feel like and maybe even have some space to myself to rewire my crazy sleeping pattern.

But would that be possible? When I got back to the US and got stuck due to COVID, my parents told me to never teach English again. I am to work a real corporate job and move up the ladder to become supervisor, manager, or whatever. No more teaching English.

For the longest time, I applied to many other positions from New York to Taipei to see if they can hire me. No go, no dice. I might get an email saying, “Thank you very much and good luck with your job hunt” but that was about it.

A few weeks ago, I was resigned that the only way I can move out is to work as an English teacher in Asia. Don’t get me wrong, I love the work and I sure as hell enjoy it, but job growth is limited and very few can retire working as one if one does it as a career.

While I was willing to go back to English teaching, I was wondering if that’s all I can do with my life. Will I not be able to do anything else? Will I not be able to even have my own home, so to speak?

I decided to go on Linkedin and looked at the same jobs and companies I used to apply. Then three thoughts came into my mind:

  1. From Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World, “I will persist until I succeed.”

  2. From the first Billy Jack film, The Born Losers, well . . . “I am born to lose.”

  3. From my mind, “If I apply to become company president, the worst that will happen is that my resume will get laughed at. So what the hell!”

There is this one company based in Bangkok I have been trying to apply for about a year and a half. Every time I applied for a position I thought I would excel at, I would get rejection after rejection. That night, I decided to apply to almost every open position I saw on Linkedin. I might have even applied for a senior management position which I had no business applying for!

Tonight, I was checking my email before I sleep and I got an email from the company. I was expecting the usual “Thank you for applying and have a nice day” type of drivel.

Instead, I got an email from the company saying they are interested taking the next step in my application!

I still cannot believe my eyes. I am amazed at how far I went with this throwing caution to the wind approach. Basically, I have to take an assessment test before I get an interview. I am hoping that I will pass for the round. Soon enough, I hope I can get that job and move to Bangkok.

Seriously guys, this is a dream job for me and I never expected that I would be able to take the next step. I hope it won’t be my last.

If it is my last, though, I will still be happy. To me this is a sign that things are looking up and that if I can get this far in the application process of this company, I might be able to get farther in an another one.

How it’s going 5/21/2022

I know I have been acting like a wet blanket for a couple of weeks so I want to try to change that and write about some of the good things that are going on in my life.

As I have written before, as I am studying Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman Course I must read a scroll three times a day daily for a month. At the same time, I also read Dharma Master Kim Jae Woong’s “Polishing the Diamond” as well as “The Buddha’s Words of Wisdom” edited by Ven. Shravasti Dhammika. In both cases, I also read the same passage three times a day and read a different one tomorrow.

A few years ago I made this resolution to read more books than I did the last year. This itself is an ongoing goal. However, some years I would read a good 20 books. Others no more than 10. Because of this habit of reading 3 times a day, I am actually making a point to do some reading. Because of this habit, I am guaranteed to finish at least 2 books before the end of the year. In fact, I am almost finished with Dharma Master Kim’s book and now I am thinking of replacing that one with another to study. I might replace it with “Dropping the Ashes on the Buddha” by Ven. Seung Sahn, “The Mirror of Zen” by Ven Sosan, or “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Dr. Richard Carlson.

I don’t read as many novels as I would like, but I am getting better on that front.

I told myself that I will not do anything more than qigong for fitness. Well I decided to change that and added the exercise routine I modified from Walter Camp’s workout. Sure I won’t get fit anytime soon since it’s a 10-15 minute workout, but I feel good when I do it.

I do want to do both the calisthenics workout and qigong twice a day, but I am not too serious about it now. If I am, I might get frustrated whenever I couldn’t put in a second calisthenics and qigong practice. In fact, most of this week that was the case. I was only able to do a second qigong practice Sunday night.

Monday night was when I was able to do a second calisthenics practice. I didn’t use the workout I posted on my blog, however, but I did practice the routines put up by a Asian governments. That night, I did a South Korean routine, a Taiwanese one, and even one from the North Koreans living in Japan. I didn’t sweat too much since the night was very cold, but I felt nice and relaxed after going through them.

It gave me this idea of maybe memorizing all the routines that are available from the Japanese Radio Taiso to the Chinese Broadcast Exercises and do them in succession for an entire workout, 3 times a week.

Also, Thursday I had a really good qigong session.

Ever since I got back from vacation, I haven’t been able to do qigong. Once I started, I resigned myself into thinking that I would have to wait 30 days until I can enjoy qigong and derive from its benefits. Yet here I am, practicing for less than a week and it felt like I was picking up from where I left off.

At this point I am focusing more on getting to Taiwan. One of the requirements is to get myself fingerprinted for an FBI background check. If I were to go my local police station, I need to bring my own set of fingerprint cards, which no one provides me. I could go, and usually went, to the state’s central police office and I could get fingerprinted there no problem. However, they require an appointment nowadays and my parents use the car during the daytime anyways. Now I found a place that opens late into the evening so I am going to call them up and set up an appointment there.

Also, last night, since almost everyone in my office wants me to work 24/7, I decided to also add in an office workout program. I don’t expect much from it, and I am going to slowly build up the habit of working out in the office, but I am hoping it will become a valuable life skill. The one I am using is one from Denise Austin.

Oh, and since I plan to work as a public school teacher in Taiwan, I found out that they institute nap periods after lunch for all students and teachers. That means either I can rest up or . . . . I get to do put in another qigong practice!

Hell yeah.

. . . then I will work on in despair

The title of the post comes from the 3rd scroll of Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman book. The full quote goes like this:

“I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows.”

For the past couple of weeks, I feel like I am being tested in that regard. Ever since I got back from my vacation, everything seemed to stop going my way. My sleeping pattern was more erratic than before. Home life is getting more chaotic. And I’ve been putting more time in the office than I would like.

Speaking of which, the weather is getting warmer and summer vacation is about to start. What makes this a bad situation for me is that most of the staff, especially with kids, will take frequent vacations which means more work for the rest of us . . . including me. I am not liking what the future may hold.

I have written before about doing more qigong, doing more conventional exercises, reading more books and so on. However, all those plans went awry as they do. Most of the time I would work, struggle with sleep, oversleep, wake up and go back to work. I almost never have time for anything else.

The only one cultivation practice I have been keeping up is the readings I do for the Greatest Salesman course. Otherwise, nothing much else.

Today, May 14, I have finally done one qigong set. At this point, I am determined to do just that for the next 100 days. That is to say I am restarting My Qigong Life, I just stick to 1 set a day. Maybe I can do a second set if I am lucky. Although today’s qigong practice wasn’t as “uplifting” as weeks before, I am grateful enough to at least get myself back to practice.

Another good news is that I am much more determined to get myself to Taiwan. For some time I was trying to work in an office there, like in a multinational company. At this point, I don’t care. I am going back to teach English as a Second Language. While it is not considered an honorable profession by many, even in East Asia, at the least I can do some good. Besides, I enjoy teaching. Sure I have to deal with that one disruptive punk in the class and there is paperwork involved, but it feels less like work than what I do now. Some of my favorite memories of Thailand and Korea are the funny interactions I had with the students even if I was the butt of their shenanigans.

Plus working set hours means I can depend on having free time to do more important things such as Zen cultivation, playing video games, and reading bad sci-fi novels. I might even write one of my own in the same vein as Edgar Rice Burroughs and L. Ron Hubbard. I dropped those two names because I do not see myself as equal to Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, or even the underrated H. Beam Piper.

I don’t really have any strong religious beliefs, except for one: A person’s life can change for the better as long as he or she changes him or herself. Because I should be able to focus more on self-cultivation and self-change, I can see my luck improve for the better. Maybe the school teaching job will be the very last one for me and that I will stay there for the rest of my life. Maybe that job would help me find better employment in Asia or in North America. Either way, though, I feel optimistic about my upcoming move.

I do have to say that the only problem that I have still yet to figure out is what happens whenever I deal with controlling individuals. As you might figure out, I always think about when I was in Korea and dealing with that Anson guy as well as the Korean-American professor. Both of them tried to micromanage my free time to a point I would face harassment for not capitulating to their demands. The last place I worked in Thailand, I dealt with this guy who I call Bosco and how he was always trying to bother me because he was too bored with his life. I never wrote about him before, but I also dealt with an American in my first time in Korea who always personally attacked me and threw temper tantrums if I did not obey his commands or even parrot his opinions.

Therein lies the question, will I deal with people like them if and when I move to Taiwan? Will I meet with a Brit or Kiwi who thinks that my sole purpose in life is to serve them? Will I meet an American or Canadian who will spend time making my life hell because I stand up for myself instead of complying to their demands? Will there be an Aussie who will manipulate me into doing things I don’t want to do and get disrespected for it?

That is a possibility. One stereotype that is enduring in East Asia is that Westerners who teach in Asia are maladjusted losers who couldn’t get a job back home. I’d hate to say this, as I met lots of awesome teachers abroad, but it is true on some level.

While I am planning for my move abroad, I also have to plan on meeting those types of individuals. The one tool at my disposal is that I have a decent indoor workout that can be done in an apartment. I can definitely use that as a way to improve my health and channel out any stress that I would incur by meeting those creeps. I can try to think of other coping methods, but the workout is a good start.

Until then, I just have to keep moving no matter how slow.

Greatest Salesman Month 3 Report

This has been the “longest” month in my Greatest Salesman study so far. As I have a rule to add in a week for every day I miss, plus my vacation to the Cascades, my 30 days of study extended to many many weeks.

I figure it’s not a bad thing. The psychological function of the Greatest Salesman course is to impress upon my subconscious mind the values to help me become a better salesman, or at the least a better worker.

This is what I like about the course thus far.

A lot of us have these morals and values that we love to espouse to be true and righteous. However, as we all know, it is easier to talk the talk rather than walk the walk. We might pontificate about the importance of being kind, honest, upright, and so on only to have past habits and our environment influence us to act otherwise.

The biggest problem with keeping up with our own sense of ethics is that we often try to do so from an extrinsic point of view, as in through our conscious thinking. The thing is, though, our subconscious mind influences our thinking and actions more than we realize.

Therefore by doing something similar to the Greatest Salesman course, such as reading an essay or a list of rules over and over again, your subconscious thinking and your outlook gradually changes to a point that you act out these ethics out of instinct rather than compulsion.

On that end, I can tell it is working. It will take time, but it works.

I looked at the central messages of each scroll in the Greatest Salesman course and what I can say that I won’t be learning anything new. I am familiar with a lot of the concepts that Mandino teaches from other books. However, the biggest question has always been how to incorporate those teachings, which is being resolved through this course.

Last month, I was reading an essay/scroll about being more loving. While I never felt more loving during that month, a couple weeks after I was done reading that essay love has started to bloom in my heart. As people who read my blog, I would ruminate over people I met in my travels who did me wrong (in my defense, it’s because I have been trying to figure how to deal with people like them). However, by thinking in love, especially silently saying “I love you” whenever I think of them, my frustration has been slowly disappearing. Do I still think of them in anger? Yes, but a lot less now and it’s only a matter of time when love will replace those negative emotions.

The same could be said for the current month. I have been getting myself to become more tenacious and persevering in my thoughts and actions. To be brutally honest, though, my life has been rough and there were times I spend half a day asleep out of hopelessness and depression. By all appearances, I am doing the opposite of what I am studying. However, I have faith that in a couple of weeks, I will find myself becoming more persistent with my efforts to succeed in life.

As it is, I am already planning on what I can do to teach English in Taiwan at the very least.

Qigong will still be a primary means of fitness for me for the time being. I still want to mediate, but I cannot see myself doing it for sometime since I don’t see my life settling down any time soon. Right now I am incorporating more of Shakti Gawain’s creative visualization techniques, both to get myself working a better job and giving out good vibrations to a workplace rival.

I am glad I took that vacation to the Cascades region, but it did throw my off in my cultivation pattern. As it is, I feel like I am starting from square 1 in qigong. The only thing for me to do is keep on practicing and be patient in doing so. I might go back to practicing only 1 qigong set a day and slowly add another set and another once my sleeping pattern stabilizes. I might even get myself back to adding more meditation to my life, again when I can sleep a lot better.

Tomorrow I am going to start Month 4.


The painting above depicts Vishnu’s 3rd incarnation, Varaha the Boar.

Traditionally Hindus believe that all the planets float upon a cosmic ocean. In fact, you might see paintings of Hindu gods floating on water and that is why.

When the universe was recreated Earth was stuck underwater in that cosmic ocean. So Vishnu turned into a boar to pick up the planet and move it above water. There was a demon who conquered heaven and wanted to kill the boar, knowing that boar was Vishnu. The two fought, Vishnu kicked the demon’s ass. The Earth is now floating on the ocean, the heavens are free, and everyone is happy.

That’s the boar’s story in a nutshell. You can watch a cartoon version here. Also, here is the an old school Bollywood depiction of the fight, with bad-but-oh-so-good special effects and all.

So far, the common theme in my writing about Vishnu’s avatars in how I have to research and rediscover all of the stories I forgot about growing up. I may not have been the most religious kid, but I loved the stories and it was probably the only thing I liked about growing up Hindu. So rereading some of the tales is quite an enjoyable thing for me.

It’s also a bit frustrating.

Usually whenever I research these stories, I start on Wikipedia. Wikipedia being Wikipedia, reading up the stories also means reading up the various retellings and inconsistencies from one text to the next. It has become quite a task for me to figure out which details in the legends are important and which aren’t.

One day, I was reading this anthology collection of Batman comics and then I had this thought: are the changes in Hindu mythologies no different than the changes in superhero comics?

If you think about it, superhero comics tend to reinvent themselves in style and story telling over and over again. The way Bruce Wayne becomes Batman gets retold in different movie and comic book versions. Batman’s personality changes over time, from a upright do-gooder* to a brooding anti-hero.

Also who is the Joker? Is he a giggling, mischievous maniac like how Caesar Romero** portrayed him? Is he a suave, sophisticated gangster like how Jack Nicholson played? Maybe he was an insane criminal in the vein of Heath Ledger? What about the crazy emo-goth incarnation of Jared Leto? How about a sad, tragic man driven to crime like that of Joaquin Phoenix’ interpretation?

The whole point is that even in modern times people take beloved tales and retell them with their own spin. Why not the same for Hindu mythology? Just like how a regular schmoe like me is trying to figure out these ancient Hindu tales, it could be possible that someone thousands of years into the future will look at a comic book heroes and get all confused with the inconsistencies that is part of the subculture.

And yes, what is considered popular, low-brow art today will be considered higher forms of literature in the future.

* Adam West is my favorite Batman. When I first watched his version of Batman as a kid, I thought it was just an action TV show. When I watched it as an adult, I realized that it was more of a comedy and it made me laugh.

** Since Adam West’s Batman is my favorite, Romero’s Joker is also a favorite of mine. You can tell Romero was having too much fun with that role. Whenever Romero gets interviewed on camera, though, he exhibited a classy personality that I aspire to become.

Change in plans, 4/23/2022

Photo by Kai-Chieh Chan on Pexels.com

I have this problem of being too ambitious and swimming against the stream when it comes to cultivation.

Once I start one cultivation practice, I want to do more and more until I am satisfied that I can cover all my bases when it comes to self-improvement. In a sense I am spoiled due to my past “successes”. When I came back from my first foray in Korea I was practicing Zen for hours a day, since I was unemployed. On my second time in Korea I spend 3 weeks at a martial arts temple and of course I was doing all sorts of practices which made my time there wonderful.

But reality is reality and, I guess in my case, people need me to pull me into their problems. This is especially how I might stay late for work or deal with family issues. Also, my sleeping pattern is still erratic. It’s getting better, but it is erratic. Without a decent amount of sleep, most of my practices would be too difficult for me to do.

It also doesn’t help that some of the practices I do involves time to overcome internal resistance. My meditation practice is a perfect example. Sure it takes me 15 minutes to meditate, but I have to give myself a pep talk in order to sit down and meditate. I feel great after I am done, but I still have to push myself to do it and that takes time.

Also, and as frivolous as it sounds, I need to have fun dammit! I have a pile of books that I want to read and I hardly ever get to do so. If anything, I miss lying around and getting lost in a story. I downloaded a bunch of games to play but I never play them. The same goes for the movies I possess. If work and family doesn’t suck up my time, my cultivation does.

Last week, I did some qigong but I mainly focused on the readings. This disappointed me as I want to live a more cultivated life in which I deal with life’s problems in a more elegant fashion. Lately, though, I had to stay up late due to work and other errands. Last weekend also sucked for me since I spent most of it sleeping.

So I am going to try something new. I am going to get myself back into cultivation, but in more harmony with my current obstacles. This means working with sleep, family, and job and not against it.

First and foremost, I will still keep up with the readings. I still want to see to through to the end to find out if it helps me change my life for the better.

I am still going to do qigong three times a day. Since stress seems to come naturally to me like mud to a pig, I have to keep on “cleaning” myself from all the drama so that I won’t let the pressure get to me.

I am still going to do the creative visualization work to help make my rival’s life a lot happier. I am also going to do the same for myself; one visualization when I get up and one before I sleep.

I am also flirting with the idea of mediating five minutes a day, twice a day. The same with doing an Asian calisthenics workout, a la Japan’s radio taiso, as well. I am also thinking of doing a sitting isometrics and stretching workout. For now, though, I am going to add them one week at a time so I won’t get too overwhelmed.

Oh, I have to be brutally honest. As much as I talk about finding a new job, my efforts have been lacking. This time I am going to go for broke. That’s also part of the reason why I am doing the creative visualization exercise for myself, to motivate myself to get going and stop wasting time!

The picture I posted above to remind me to keep the dream alive.

I’m back and what’s next

The traveling was a pain. The red tape getting into Canada and back into the US was a headache. All-in-all, though, I really enjoyed my vacation. I enjoyed my vacation so much that I even told my friend in Vancouver that I want to move there.

Of course, the thing about vacations is that they put me out of rhythm when it comes to self-cultivation.

For the Greatest Salesman Course, I did the readings once a day only and that was it. I am now getting myself back to the habit of doing the readings three times a day. I am also adding another 2 weeks of reading my current scroll.

Qigong is another matter. Originally I was planning to do qigong for 100 days straight to prove to myself that qigong is a good fitness system. I was practicing qigong everyday until halfway through the vacation I stopped. I have read somewhere that I need to do three days of qigong to make up for one day I missed. Since I stopped doing qigong for at least 5 days, that is at least 15 days for me to do qigong to make up the days I missed during vacation.

So why not start over?

It sucks that I didn’t do 100 days straight of qigong (yet), but I have been able to prove to myself that qigong is good and good for me. I am still surprised that I lost belly fat in the process!

This time, as I wrote before my vacation, I am going to do three different qigong sets three times a day: one I get up, during office hours, and before I sleep.

Also, I am going to meditate when I get up as well. I feel like I have been in a rut for some time and I need that meditation to help me get of out that and to see my life in a different perspective. I need new ideas to change my life and I need it pronto.

I am also getting myself back into the calisthenics workout. I don’t need it as much for weight loss or athleticism as much as I need it for the endorphins. To be brutally honest, I am getting annoyed at work almost everyday and I need a way to make myself happy before I lose control. Again , it doesn’t help that work-life balance is almost non-existent in my job.

Last, but not least, I am going to try something new. I am going to use creative visualization to send positive vibes to a work rival. Long story short, this rival hates me and I don’t know why. I do try to get along with her but she refuses to let go any and all ill-will towards me. I told her straight up that I don’t want to be her enemy, but she wants to be mine whether I want it or not. Story of my life as it’s the same with almost every other rival I deal with.

So every night before I sleep I am going to imagine that she will get a promotion with a huge raise. She will get that promotion and will move to a better city like New York or Paris with a sweet apartment for her. She will work less hours, make more money, and live that Instagram worthy lifestyle. Of course I will add an affirmation about how this or something better will manifest for her.

That I will do every night for 100 days. If somehow she does get that raise/promotion or that our workplace relationship improves then I can use this tool to deal with other people; whether I work in an American corporation or teaching English in Asia.

What I need to also address is reality. It’s great if I can do all these things everyday but I know I won’t.

Boss might schedule a meeting during the time I should be sleeping. I still have that coworker who expects me to clean up his mess. He’s getting better, but he still tells me something in the vein of “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Also, now that the weather is getting better I will probably be expected to spend more time working in the office as my coworkers will take their copious vacations. At the same time, my home and family life almost resembles a Hindi soap opera where small problems get blown out of proportion, especially during Hindu and American holidays.

So the question is what can I do about this?

My only answer is this: as long as I keep up the Greatest Salesman Course, get at least 1 qigong practice in a day, and do the creative virtualization work to help out my office rival then it should be good enough.

Until then, I just have to keep on going or as Og Mandino writes, “I will persist until I succeed.”

This Week and Next

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

As I have written on my last post, I am going to start doing qigong 3 times a day. The first qigong set I will do is the one from David Carradine which I have been doing for a little over the past month. I have mentioned before that I would occasionally do Lam Kam Chuen’s set from one of his Taiji (Tai Chi) books, that will be set number 2. Set number 3 will be this night time qigong routine from this young lady.

As per usual, I am also doing my readings for the Greatest Salesman Course. I am also reading a passage from Dharma Master Kim Jae Woong as well as the Daily Readings from the Buddha’s Words of Wisdom by Venerable Shravasti Dhammika. At the same time, I chant the Amitabha Buddha’s name as well.

And yes, I am making sure I meditate 15 minutes a day each time I wake up.

That is for this week.

Next week, I am taking a well-needed vacation and going to Vancouver and Seattle. I have a few friends I am going to visit on both sides of the US-Canadian border. What this means is that I won’t be cultivating myself as much as I would like and usually do. Not that I am complaining as one of my Canadian friends is planning a lot for us to do and I am like “F—k yeah! That’s great!”

Og Mandino writes in his book that I don’t have to keep up with the readings while on vacation. I just take my vacation and simply start where I left off when I return. The thing is, I still want to maintain some cultivation efforts while I am out. On the qigong front, it is important to never skip a day.

So on my vacation, I will do the readings at least once a day. Once I get back home I will add another week of the regular thrice daily readings. There is no way I can do qigong three times a day, but I can do that at least once a day. Also, one of my friends in Vancouver is getting into qigong so it might be a case of me trying out her set and then her trying out mine. That I am also excited about.

So if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks, you know why.

Thoughts on My Qigong Life, 2022年3月25日

There are four parts I want to write about. They will seem disjointed in a sense, but they are somewhat connected.

Part I

Doing the same qigong set day in and day out can be boring. That is why I have been thinking of using free weights once in awhile for variety.

I once asked my qigong teacher-consultant about this to which she advised against it. The main reason, she writes, is because of acupuncture and how my holding dumbbells will cover the laogong points on my palms. If I do qigong with weights, it’s weight training only and can’t be counted as qi training.

As much as I have disbelief in qi and acupuncture, I will respect her advice and not use weights. After all, she knows what she is talking about.

I also have been wanting to get back into conventional exercise. Yes the kind when one moves fast or exerts oneself as what many fitness enthusiasts do. Yes, I see the value of qigong and other slower workouts, but it feels good to sweat once in a while. Plus the endorphin feels great.

For some time, it seemed more feasible. My work hours have been stabilizing. The family drama has cooled down. While my sleeping is still erratic, I have been sleeping a lot better whenever I go into slumber.

Then reality has slapped me in the face again. Last weekend, I was going to start doing a calisthenics workout when I got called into a family meeting. It wasn’t a big deal but the meeting went on for awhile and I had other chores to do. A couple of days later, coworker decided to push a bunch of work on me and that caused me to stay in the office a lot longer. It did get me upset since I hardly have time during the week to do anything else. When do I read, write, play video games, watch TV, or anything else leisurely? During the weekends. In the weekdays, it’s wake up, do qigong, go to work, and then try to sleep to do it all over again. Of course, I am still doing the readings for the Greatest Salesman Course.

It seems to me that qigong is the only thing I can do and I really need to put more effort in getting a better job with better work-life balance.

One way that I decided to deal with this problem is making My Qigong Life more of a Qigong Life. I usually do qigong once a day, mainly when I wake up. I have started adding another qigong session when I get back home from work. As a way to deal with my workplace issues, and a way to turn the other cheek, I am planning to do another qigong session while at work.

Part II

One of the problems I have with my job is that coworkers sometimes like to create more work for others and I am usually the target. I had one who was a rival who tried to pile as much on me as possible and complain about how she is being overworked . . . while she leaves the office 30 minutes to an hour early while I stay 1-2 hours later. There is this one guy who used to hint that I am the laziest worker in the company and he also would leave me more work to do.

What gets to me is those two, as well as a lot of others, frequently take vacations. The dude who called me lazy took a vacation every two weeks last summer. The girl who complains of being overworked used to take a week long vacation once a month and I would be called to finish both her work and mine, this resulted in me working 60-70 hours that week.

Last summer and winter, a lot of people were taking vacations as well. That meant more time in the office for me. That was when I was feeling nothing but fatigue and ennui. Plus the weather is getting nice and there is a chance more people will take more vacations.

Thinking about all of this depressed me. I just want to go to the office, put my time in, and go home to do more important things. I sure as hell don’t want to make this job into anything more than that. Not only do I not care to move up the ladder, I don’t even want to think of my job when I am not working.

That was when I was thinking, if people want me to stay in the office for more than 8 hours, why not do so on my own terms? The worst that can happen is I get fired, but this means other people have to pick up the slack which many of them don’t want. Sure I have to get the work done, but it doesn’t really matter if I get it done in 8 hours or 12, as long as it is finished.

That was when I thought of the idea of doing a qigong session while in the office. If I am going to do a whole pile of work, I might as well do so in a relaxed manner. There is no use for me being stressed out while I am stuck in the office. I haven’t thought of what qigong set I am going to do, but once I decide I will get to it.

Another idea popped in as well. I like to read, but I hardly get a chance to do so except in the weekends. However, there is no guarantee that I can do so. Sometimes family drama manifests. Other times I am trying to catch up on some sleep. Sometimes I have chores to do that will take a huge chunk out of my day.

Again, since people at work want me to stay in the office for longer hours, why not use that time to do reading as well? My plan was to spend 45 minutes doing the work and then 15 minutes reading whatever I want.

In fact, I tried that yesterday. After every 45 minutes, I would crack open a book and do some reading.

I am glad I tried it out since made my shift go by a lot faster. Yesterday I read parts of two books on qigong and it gave me new ideas to try out to improve my practice. I also felt a lot more refreshed that I want to try reading novels as well.

Funny enough, because I committed to working 45 minutes every hour, I somehow got more productive than I usually would. I wasn’t aiming for higher productivity, but I am glad it worked out.

Speaking of which, I do plan to read up on emotional blackmail, but I am going to put it off for a couple of weeks. I have to get my taxes done, plus I have a vacation coming up. Yes, I complained about others taking vacations, but this is my only one of the year. Besides, I talked with one of my coworkers about mitigating some of the problems he would face when I am gone such as how he can get more done with less time.

Part III

I am going to be honest. As much as I talk about trying to get a new job, I have been lazy. My guess is qigong and the Greatest Salesman course both make me too relaxed and happy at the moments I do both.

This is where I am going to get angry. I am choosing to get angry so that I can get myself the energy and motivation to find better employment.

It worked before. I wrote about how I used to work with a guy named “Will” in this post and this other post. Will’s betrayal got me so angry, that it motivated me to work my ass off to get a new job in Korea. This job was also difficult to get as I had to go through many rounds of interviews, online courses, and essays. In the end it was worth it.

I am going to remember how that one coworker I wrote about in the beginning of this post piled on a bunch of work for me at the last minute, and how he was callous about it, so I push myself to find a better job so that I won’t have to deal with this BS ever again (or at least for a long time).

Part IV

I am going to start meditating every time I wake up. 

Thoughts on My Qigong Life, 2022年3月11日

 

All I can say is that I am glad that I am doing qigong. Sure I wake up all grumpy and tired, but once I practice qigong I feel a lot more alive and awake. I do have to say, sometimes I feel that “energy flow” coursing through my body. However, I don’t want to delude myself that all of a sudden I am feeling the Force like the Jedi.

Science is first and foremost on my mind. There are a lot of questions I have about the existence of qi and the formation of Chinese medicine. First and foremost, who discovered qi and how? Who came up with the system of meridians and how did said person or someone else found out, for example, one can heal the liver by rubbing a certain part of the foot? These are a small sample of questions I have.

That being said, qigong is a great exercise. This is especially a great exercise for those who don’t like it at all! Furthermore, if someone is out of shape and is too afraid to workout to an exercise video or run around the block, qigong is a great way to start. Before long, one might feel the urge to do something more vigorous.

The main theme of My Qigong Life is a combination of being grateful how things turn out and learning to make lemons into lemonade.

For instance, I really wanted to get myself moving fast and end up sweaty everyday to lose the fat and improve my health. Unfortunately, there are people at work that get me to stay longer on the job which means less sleep or waking up later than I would like. Thanks to this situation and those people, I was “compelled” to really focus on qigong practice. I did like qigong as a supplementary practice and never saw it as a viable physical fitness option. Now I do and I am very glad for it.

I don’t want to bring up a sore subject, but I need to for my next point. So a couple of days ago I wrote a post about a racist issue I was facing, especially teaching English over in Asia. Due to that, and my current efforts in resolving this issue, I find myself feeling more stressed out that unusual. Because of this, I am now doing qigong twice a day. I do qigong when I get up and when I finish work.

I have been wanting to practice twice daily for sometime now and this horrible situation is giving me the push to do so. In fact, Sifu Anthony Korahais recommends this as well so I am glad that I am finally getting myself to do this.

As Japanese monk Nichiren once said, I am “turning poison into medicine”.

I try to separate My Qigong Life from my study into the Greatest Salesman course, but sometimes they do overlap. This month, I am focusing on building tenacity and persistence from Og Mandino’s book. The phrase I often repeat myself is “I will persist until I succeed.” It’s giving me the push to keep on doing qigong, to deal with my racial problem, and to really go for finding that new job.

More often than not, as I am counting down the days to finishing this 100 day qigong challenge, I ask myself what next. I love qigong now, but I am not renouncing other forms of physical fitness. If anything, I want to incorporate both. Maybe I can do my calisthenics workout after I wake up and then qigong before I sleep. Maybe I can do a more physical workout an hour a day, three times a week and qigong at night. Also, I also want to try Ba Duan Jin with dumbbells, too.

I don’t know at this point, I just have to think up a plan I can stick with. As it is, insomnia is a problem. Family drama can erupt, but things seem to have settled down. Work is also a wildcard and I might have to put more hours in to cover other people when they go on vacation. The question is always can I stick to the plan without any hitch?

Who knows? I do hope that I can change my job before then, though. Work-life balance is an uphill battle for me.