Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giving it 110%

Hi dear sisters ...... haha, BIG warning! This is a kind of boring philosophical piece. If you doze off while reading the words, hehe, just look at his handsome Bassini pictures, huh? Since I haven't posted this last batch, I figure I might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone :) Here it goes .....

In today’s competitive society where often high achievers are being rewarded and words like ‘ambitious’ and ‘aggressive’ boast positive connotation, you can easily comprehend why world records of all sorts are being broken and young people are constantly striving to push past their own limits. Thus, what you often hear "I’ll give it my 110%!" has become a new unwritten principle for excellence.

Surely, I don’t think anyone sets out to do a task and wants to do a bad job, everyone wants to gives it their best shot and be successful. The fact is : life is hinged on equilibrium. When one extracts 110% out from oneself, somewhere from within has to yield that extra 10%, so that means something is suffering and operating only at a 90% capacity! (so far so good? got the Math right? I know I'm confused already :) That something could be one’s own physical being, mental health, or maybe even the relationship with the loved ones around!

Oh dear, I hope you don’t feel I am preaching or anything as it is not my intention. In fact, I started to contemplate on what our very observant gosijo has thoughtfully shared regarding our handsome prince’s work ethic :

"Another change that seems very recent is wuri Yong Joon’s new realization that pushing himself past his physical limits is not, after all, the best way of doing his very best at all time. I know we’ve admired him greatly for his heroic work ethic. ...... for him to come to the conclusion that “This time I have also learned something from the experience. Managing one’s health to not get sick is part of “to exert one’s full strength to do their utmost"."

Reflecting on what I have been through these past 2 years in Japan. I am like a big (well, more like bulky :) dry sponge, thirsty for any new knowledge and philosophy in the unique Japanese cultures. What normally takes the Japanese a whole lifetime to learn and perfect, I am na├»ve and inadequate enough to attempt. Needless to say, my story resembles a non-swimmer trying to go upstream against the strong Niagara River currents. Hehe, I can't tell you the ending yet whether I drown under the mighty Fall or reach the destination, you'll know when I leave Japan :) Indeed, trying one’s best doesn’t mean one has to exert to the point past 110%. The threshold for everyone and every task is different, the key is to know one’s limitations, be it personal, circumstantial or environmental.

As Yong Joon realized after his abrupt departure from Japan because of Sepsis disease, knowing the limit of his body is very crucial. When the signals are there indicating dangerous signs of stress and sickness, one needs to stop immediately to re-evaluate and re-prioritize. To myself, I always feel trying my best means at the end of my day or my life, there is nothing to regret about. (Yeah I know it’s not realistic either, who do not have something they don't regret in their lives?) But more importantly, will I learn, like Yong Joon, the 'healthy' way to exert our full strength to do our utmost? And to accept that 100% is good enough!

Hehe, if you reach this point and are still awake, thank you for reading :) Haha, this is just a drill, as the next post will be philosophical too, sorry!

Pictures original from BYJGallery by style


Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime and Bae sisters:
Greetings on a rainy, windy and cold day that presages the first snow of the year on saturday.
I like this posting of yours. Philosophy need not be intimidating. In fact, the Aha moment of Zen, the satori insight is always an instant of grace. It is revealment and unrevealment, concealment and unconcealemnt of the self. It touches even those people, like me, who read about it.
Sarang Hamnida,

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

As I am a very simple person, I don't think I can join your philosophicla talk. You know in Japanese 'Zen Mondo - Q&A session with Zen monks' is supposed to be a puzzle, hehe.

As for the extra 10% of 110%, for me it's a magic moment, a special gift that one finds in herself
unexpectedly. It's very hard to know one's limit and I can't even say that I have done something to my limit, but I believe that extra 10% will be an award to only those who do something beyond one's limit. It's not something you aim for. That's why I don't like such trendy phrase as "give it my 110%!". It's not that easy. (I admit that I also make up an excuse for giving up easily.)

Have a nice weekend.

cloud nine

Carol Ann said...

These are wonderful, thoughtful, expressive photos of BYJ! And I think they go with your post very well!

In this day and age, it seems like all of us are stressed and pushed to our limits, so much so that instead of being able to enjoy our lives and the special moments, we whiz past the important things because there is always one more thing to do, one more place to go, one more demand on our time.

I think women especially are in this mode: that we must be superwomen, working outside the home, often full time and giving our "110%", taking care of our families perfectly, having "perfect" homes - but no one person can keep that up for long.

Something has to give - usually we suffer from lack of sleep, lack of taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally - or all of the above!!!

Even though life is so short and we want to get as much out of it as we can, sometimes it can be so much more valuable to slow down, say no once in a while and savor the simple things. If we are healthy in mind and body, we can then do so much more for those we love and even for ourselves.

It seems like BYJ has learned that lesson too and I am glad.

I also agree with you, cloud nine, that there is sometimes that special magical moment, when you have pushed yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of and something beautiful happens - but that is not an everyday thing, nor should we try to make it that!

Wow ... great post, Jaime, really made me thing about a few things :-)

cecy said...

hi jaime, how are you?
I think that if, devote 100% to what we hope or wish to achieve is valid, especially if that something is something we like and it's easier, but I think you enjoy it until we deliver and strive a little harder when we do something that it's hard or not but we like what we do ..., well I hope I have understood the concept of 100 and 110% mmm ... and if I read ...
cuidate cecy fondly Mexico.

Hyds said...

Hi Jaime!
Why does this post hit home? I don't normally use figures either. I just try and try until I get there or get somewhere. It's true that it's hard to know your limits and until you break down physically or mentally then you know it's time to stop and take a closer look of yourself.
It nearly drove me mad last year doing a full time job, studying three subjects and running a home. I am on the same road again but I have learned my lessons and would certainly find the balance (time management esp).
BYJ had some big lessons learned as well and I'm sure clever as he is he won't be in the same situation twice.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime

You sounded so apologetic at the beginning of this post. Don't be . . . you've just touched on something that all of us can relate to, esp working mothers with children, trying so hard to be on top of everything-work, relationship, household chores, etc.

Personally, I don't like the term 110% (mathematically, it's not sound but yes, jaime, you did your maths right :)). I don't really like the way the world exalts certain qualities. And I don't like the way people push one another beyond their limits.

To cut things short, I believe in achieving balance (difficult as it may seem and for me, i've learnt it the hard way that it all boils down to making choices) most importantly to create a harmonious environment where we live in. For where there's harmony, the heart, mind and soul will thrive, in happiness.

I wish Yong Joon that he finds his own balance between his work, his health and his private life.

Lastly, thanks Jaime for this piece and I really look forward to your next post.

warmest regards

jaime said...

Hi Josephine,

I think sometimes philosphize things does keep a person in balance. Thanks for always sharing your thoughts with us.

Please take care in the cold weather.

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi dear cloudnine,

Hehe, I am not qualified to discuss philosophy. This is just inspired from the wisdom of Yong Joon and then kind of find myself in a similar situation too. Hoepfully I get draw some strength from the handsome one :)

Sigh, I am kind of guilty also to ask my son to push himself to his limit sometimes.

Please take care.
love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear Carol Ann,

You said all the things in my mind and in my heart. Thank for laying it out so clearly. For sure we suffer when we stretch ourselves thin for a prolonged period of time. Hopefully we will make some adjustment when the warning signs show up.

Hehe, looks like you know what I am going to write about next :)
Have a nice weekend!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi dear Cecy,

Thanks for mentioning this point. Yes, it's very important that we enjoy what we are doing. Then achieving that 100% or even 110% does not seem so difficult a goal for us. Choosing your own destiny is a key to a fulfilled life. It's nice to hear from you again!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear Hyds,

I can relate to what you have been through. Wow, a full time job, studying 3 subjects and running a household, it must have been very exhausting for even a smart young woman like you (haha, imagine a slow old lady like me?) I think learning from our experience is what make us grow. I am happy that you know how to deal with this situation again. I am trying myself too :) My best wishes, dear!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear alcy,

Thank you for coming by here. Yes, achieving this inner harmony is something we strive for. A lot of times we are practically being driven by the 'norm' and competition from outside, thus we force ourselves to behave like everyone else.

Our dear Yong Joon has set an excellent example of someone who follows his heart, principles and goals. He is never swayed by others to conform to the 'norm' or to his competition. He is a great inspiration.

Please take care!
love ... jaime