Director, Arbinger Singapore/Malaysia
(Connect with Malar via LinkedIn)
A few weeks ago, I was in Marine Parade Central after getting some stationery from a bookstore nearby. On my way to the taxi stand, I heard someone singing. It was an Elvis Presley song and whoever was singing had a pretty good voice. I grew up with music around me all my life….my Dad used to sing in a band and our home was always filled with music from the radio or my dad singing… Elvis, Jim Reeves, Frank Sinatra. Today many of my friends are musicians and I can’t live without music. Naturally I was curious to find out who was singing.
I walked around a little and saw an elderly gentleman busking with a guitar and a little portable mike system in the middle of an open area. A few older gentlemen were standing around him and listening. They were clearly enjoying themselves. I wanted to go and put some money into the little metal container he had next to him but I was unable to move closer towards him. I am not sure if it was because these men were watching him and I was uncomfortable that if I moved towards him.. they would be watching me closely. Or was it because no one else seemed to be giving him any money. People were walking around… they would look and smile and then continue on their own journeys.
I turned and continued walking towards the taxi stand. But I was so uneasy as I had really wanted to put some money into that little metal container but I did not do so. As I was nearing the taxi stand, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to get cleaning supplies from a shop in the area. I had to go back and get them. This meant going back to the area where I had seen the busker.
I went back and got my cleaning supplies and this time I went and put some money in the container. He smiled and nodded as I did so. And yes the other elderly gentlemen were watching me as I did this.
I felt such huge relief as I walked towards the taxi stand. It was as if a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. But this was a burden I had imposed on myself. I don’t know if I really went back because I needed to get the cleaning supplies or my heart and mind were telling me subconsciously that I had to honour my sense. Whatever it is, when I honoured my sense, I was a lot happier! No more….. I wish I had done that or even worse trying to justify not doing it. I am sure I would have started justifying my actions once I got home if I had not honoured my sense.
I have come to realize that simple things like being alive to my genuine heartfelt senses/desires and honouring them are so important to live free and unburdened. Be it at work, at home or in the midst of strangers.
So let’s just honour our senses instead of regretting not doing so and then trying to justify our actions after that.
It makes life so much better for us as well as others involved.
Arbinger’s books “Leadership and Self Deception” and “The Anatomy of Peace” suggests a powerful language and framework to heighten self-awareness. The rationale creates a fundamental shift in mindset that is a key component for heightening self-awareness. Also introducing Arbinger’s latest book “The Outward Mindset” which builds on Arbinger’s 35 years of work by sharing the stories of individual leaders and client organizations.
For more information visit arbinger.com.
Malar Rani, is a Director of The Arbinger Institute Singapore / Malaysia. Prior to joining the team, Malar spent 22 years teaching in Singapore. She spent 17 years teaching in secondary schools and 5 years teaching at the Prison Education Branch. She is a firm believer in inculcating self-discipline in students and has spent most of her teaching career helping less motivated students achieve their goals and dreams.