Fish don’t know they’re in water

All these years of burning the midnight oil, leading a sedentary lifestyle and enormous stress had finally taken a toll on my body. My skin allergy never recovers and my hormones are crazy.

So I went to consult a famous traditional Chinese medicine doctor in Petaling Street. He checked my pulse and shook his head.

He asked me, “What do you do besides looking at the computer?”

“I… Erm… work.”

He asked again, “So what can you do besides looking at the computer?”

Wait, what? What does he even mean?

I mean, I can cook…? I can drive…

But I can’t sew or paint. Neither do I have any medical knowledge or survival skills.

I can take a cute selfie with a dog. Does that count?

I spend my day either driving, staring at my computer, my iPad or my phone. I don’t really know how to live my life without them.

Occasionally I will detach myself from the screens and give my mind a short break. But it usually doesn’t last long before I reach for my phone again.

Have you heard about the story of fish and water?

In the vast ocean, an old fish asks a young fish, “How’s the water?” Confused, the young fish replies, “What the hell is water?”

You don’t see the “water” you’re in. The day-to-day hustle. The habits. The passing time. The same work environment. The neglected family member. The forgotten promise.

I’m repeating my daily habitual loop that feels completely normal. Until the doctor reminds me that it isn’t.

What surrounds you is only normal because it’s what you’re used to.

That’s why we have to pause and reflect.

It is about simple awareness. Be aware of what is real and essential.

If you’re reading this blog post now, think about this, what can you do besides staring at your phone? 🤔

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