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The first step towards getting somewhere

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“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” —Unknown

Very true and wise, don’t you think? I’m been feeling so lazy recently it’s crazy how one can just lay in bed all day watching TV and playing on the iPhone. I’ve lost that bit of motivation somewhat in waking up early to have breakfast and get started on existing work or driving for more new business. I’ve been too … comfortable. And it scares me.

I recently attended a course on entrepreneurship, which discusses about the types of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial traits and whether they are born with the qualities and if their circumstances that made them that way. It was a good module, because I finally learned how to spell “entrepreneur” correctly without struggling after the “p” part. Haha! But seriously, it taught me to look at myself — my behaviour in general, my attitude towards situations or people and my surroundings — and I have determined that I currently lack drive, because I’ve been too comfortable with life.

I still read a lot, but I’m not progressing any further with the new information and knowledge I’ve been absorbing like a sponge. I’m on a plateau and I need a push off it. I need to remind myself how thrilling it is to be filled with vigour in clinching new business, the pride in churning out quality work before the deadlines and (this is the most important bit) the joy in receiving that paycheque at the end of it.

Deep down, I know I’m born to do more with my time in this world. But the only way for me to do that is to stop sitting on (actually, it’s lying down most of the times) the plushy bed and get up (to work on the computer) to do stuff — useful things that will lift me up from the plateau to the peak of a menacing-looking mountain with a nice snowy cap. Perhaps I should take notes from a true entrepreneur, Richard Branson, who wanted more in life and dared to set up so many businesses and challenged the norm and was not afraid to fail and keep trying. In doing so, he became a knight for his bravery in the corporate world. Maybe if I ever falter and revert back to lazy mode, I should just keep asking myself: “WWRBD (What would Richard Branson do)?”

Sounds like a great doable plan. I have a totally smug expression now. If only you could see me now.

Right, so it’s five minutes more before my alarm rings for me to get ready for one full day of work. I’m gonna head out there to try seizing the day for myself. I hope this blog post has sort of inspired you to do the same. Carpe diem!

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Laugh at dogs that photobomb

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Photo credit: REDDIT ELVENDUDE

I laughed, when I saw this pic last week, and I laughed again, when I saw it in my phone’s photo album today. The innocent expressions are so hilarious and I don’t think the dogs had any idea what was going on. Innocence is so adorable!

There’s a series of photos here that you can view and laugh to your heart’s content, though I have no idea how many of them were photoshopped (some you can blatantly see they are fake).

On Saturday, I was accosted by a McDonald’s in-house staff who was recruiting bystanders on the street to join the fast food giant. It was the company’s country-wide recruitment day and I happened to walk past the restaurant at 9:30am on my way to get coffee. Lucky me. She took my friendly smile and eye contact for consent to come forward to pitch to me how great working at McDonald’s would be for me.

Holding onto a piece of paper illustrating the hourly wages (which were not a lot) and the overtime pay (also not a lot) in one hand, while holding onto my arm with the other, she said it’s a fun environment and I would learn many things and it’d be a good way to occupy my time. In my mind, I was thinking I didn’t know I look so relaxed and unburdened by work stress. Or maybe I look jobless? Or in need of a distraction?

She added that if I join the company, I could easily rise up the career ladder to become a store manager of McDonald’s within one year, because I am young, plus I can read and write. She then gestured to her store manager who was standing nearby pitching to some middle-aged housewives, saying that she had learned the ropes and climbed up the ranks within a short time, so I shouldn’t be afraid to try the job out, because I look like I can achieve anything. Should I be flattered? Hahaha!

She then looked at me so earnestly that I nearly wanted to put my name down on her list to help her meet her target. She tried sweetening the deal by saying I could just put my name down on the list first and decline to come for the interview later. But I resisted, despite my overwhelming desire to help, because I know I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time if I’m not interested. Ahem. So take note, young job seekers out there.

I have to admit though, I’m keen to find out how McDonald’s recruits and selects its staff. So one day, I might just walk in to the restaurant to apply for a job to test its processes on fairness and effectiveness. So erm… Watch out! I might just “photobomb” your recruitment someday!

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Laughter is the best drug

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Two or three weeks ago, I happened to turn on the TV one morning and an episode from Sex And The City was already playing halfway. I immediately settled down to watch it, because I secretly adore the show, even though I won’t tell anyone about it!

It was the second episode of the first season, so everything looked retro, even though it was only 1998 then. But it was still hilarious. It was about beautiful people, aka models, and whether dating them is a privilege or a chore (more like death sentence the way how it was portrayed in the show). And how less beautiful people, aka 99% of ordinary average-looking human beings, behave differently (feel insecure?) when they are around models. Hence, the title Models and Mortals.

The ending was particularly sweet. It was a conversation between Carrie Bradshaw and her Mr Big at the usual cafe that she writes her columns at.

Carrie typing on her laptop (VoiceOver): “I began to realise that being beautiful is like having a rent-controlled apartment overlooking the park — Completely unfair and usually bestowed upon those who deserve it least.”

Mr Big [walks into the cafe and slides into the booth where Carrie is at]: “I’m not interrupting your work, am I?”

Carrie: “Hey, what a surprise.”

Mr Big: “I can’t stay. I’m late for a meeting, but I’ve been thinking about your article on men who date models.”

Carrie: “What about them?”

Mr Big: “First of all, there are so many goddamn gorgeous women in this city.”

Carrie: “What an amazing observation.”

Mr Big: “But the thing is this … after a while, you just wanna be with the one that makes you laugh. Know what I mean?”

And Carrie couldn’t stop smiling after that. I guess she knew what Big meant? I didn’t really get the reference Carrie used in the beginning of the scene about the rent-controlled apartment. Maybe it’s a New York thing.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that laughter is good. Being with someone who makes you laugh is better. Being able to laugh at the same things with that someone is even better. Being able to laugh at each other all the time? Now that’s gold.

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It’s okay if you haven’t achieved anything yet

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So I opened my Feedly app and this image and headline was the cover page of the day’s top news. With over 700 “shares” for this article, there must be plenty of people feeling the same way as I do. Coincidence? I think not.

According to a Facebook employee, you don’t have to achieve everything when you’re young. That’s a relief because I was getting worried about my lack of stellar achievements in my 30 years on earth.

It’s true what Anthony Sharwood said on news.com.au: If you don’t have the most happening career and the most Twitter followers and the greatest this and the most excellent that, you might start to look at all your successful friends and wonder ‘Why isn’t my life like that?’. And then you might begin to feel pretty down on yourself.

If you’re sighing sorrowfully now like me, the following might just change your entire perspective for the better. Kejia Zhu is a 29-year-old guy who was born in China. He grew up in the UK and now lives in America. Here’s what the Facebook employee has to say about the pursuit of success in his blog post:

“Do you sometimes lie awake worrying that you aren’t succeeding fast enough? Are you tortured by younger peers who have global businesses, penned acclaimed books and a string of iron-man medals? Do you count down the years until you can no longer make the 30 under 30 list? Take a deep breath. My 92 year old grandpa has some advice for you.

“He is a tremendously accomplished individual and considered by many to be a pioneer in biomedical engineering. I visited him in Beijing recently. We were taking an after dinner stroll. I was pestering him for details about his career, looking for tidbits that might help my own. What was he like at my age? How did he work? Is there a secret a routine? He stops me mid-sentence: ‘You know, my career only really took off after I turned 58.’

“Hang on, what?

‘Yes, I’d say the 10 years between my 60s and 70s were my busiest.’

“I was floored. Here is a man who helped revolutionise medical technology and he did it in his twilight years.”

Kejia’s grandfather had gone through various hardships in China, because of the political turmoil and World War II. He found success only in the late 1970s.

“My grandpa’s story made me reflect upon the worship of youthful achievement and our drive to get it all so early in life. I, like many other insecure overachievers, feel an urgency to do big things. Deep down I know this anxiety is root in fear. That I’m not actually any good. That I will waste my shot at life and be a disappointment. So I strive for a quick success because I need to validate my worth. After that I can relax and everything will be plain sailing. Right? Instead, this warped expectation more often leads me to behave in a manner that’s unsustainable and counterproductive.

“It’s easy to forget that our careers extend for decades beyond our 20s and 30s. The truth is significant works usually take a long time. Whether it’s business, academia or the arts, most of the contributions made have been the result of many years of toil. It’s just that we hear of the young overnight success because that’s a more attractive narrative. Even then, those rare few who achieve a lot early in life do not simply stop. The race doesn’t end with the win.

“My grandpa had no choice but to wait a long time for his opportunity. It’s likely he would have achieved even more had be moved to the West. However, had he missed his moment, I dare say he would still have had a fulfilling life. Without the acclaim and recognition he’d still be the jovial, curious and industrious man I love.

“His advice to me: ‘Don’t be in so much of a rush. Be easier on yourself. Comparing yourself to what others are doing is a waste of time.'”

Kejia’s grandfather dispenses one last morsel of wisdom—an old Chinese saying “大器晚成” that roughly translates to “A big construction is always completed late.”

Encouraging, huh? If you had been holding your breath and worrying yourself sick this whole time wondering if you will ever get to the metaphorical “top”, you may exhale now. Take a chill pill and be patient.

Something else Kejia said to news.com.au struck a chord in me:

“It feels like I was part of the generation groomed to feel like they could and should achieve everything. I, for one, have been anxious about living up to this expectation and could see many of my peers felt the same, though it was never talked about. …

“Despite some early successes, I feel rather unremarkable here, which is a good thing. I wanted to be in a position, where I could feel like a rookie and soak up the learning. I do think that the high achievement-driven attitude that fuels this area has a negative impact on people’s expectations of themselves.”

You know what the moral of this blog post is, don’t you? Don’t fret over whether you’re the smarter than everyone else or if you’re way ahead in the rat race. Just know what you want in life and do things in your own time and trust that the universe will do the rest.

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Nothing makes me happier

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Nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder … than you.

It’s true. I haven’t felt right for a long time. It’s nearly 1.5 or two years… The past few days I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind, as I recalled the conversation we used to have. Oh well, let’s move on. I can only feel ’emo’ for this long. Besides, this quote is applicable for my studies and shopping purchases as you will read below…

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for close to a month. In my defence, I was swamped with work and studies, though there’s nothing to crow about, since I will most likely not get any first-class honours. It’d be a miracle if I do receive high distinctions for my papers. Still, my fingers will remain crossed. After all, I’m always lucky. You never know…

Also, in spite of my busy schedule, I found time to go on a shopping spree, which was therapeutic, but certainly not cheaper than getting a massage or spa treatment. In fact, I might need to see a therapist after this. You know how it is when your friends show off their shopping goodies and you’d tut-tut at them for spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on branded clothes, bags and shoes (and sometimes they’d be broke after that)? And then you would exclaim how you would never spend that much money on such materialistic items, because you are absolutely confident that you can find cheaper and equally nice substitutes? Yup, I’ve become one of those people you’d tut-tut at for spending ridiculous amounts of dough on luxury goods. Now I know why Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City goes crazy over expensive branded shoes. I totally get you now, Carrie.

I swear I’m not a brand whore, BUT … The stuff I buy are really, really nice, because I have excellent taste and fabulous dress sense. Ahem. Anyway, I’m lazy to post pictures; you just gotta trust me on this. I highly recommend everyone to buy ridiculously expensive clothes and shoes, because they are really comfortable. And the quality is absolutely topnotch — so good you know for certain it will probably outlast your lifespan. Say, you slip your feet in well-crafted exquisitely soft leather shoes, you’d immediately feel like “Ah… This is what a good life should be.”

Once you buy your first pair of $500-700 luxury shoes, you’ll wonder why have you spent half of your life without them. And the next thing you know… You’re signing a credit card slip for a $1,200-worth pair of shoes. Yup, by the time you reach home, you’re still in a daze from the swiftness of that transaction, but you are also gleeful of how good you look in the mirror. Then when you add the cost of the branded shirts and bottoms to the shoes, you’d realise your outfit from head to toe is probably worth around $1,000 or more, which would shock you for like five seconds and then you’d quickly put it out of your mind. Because you’re thinking of your next purchase. True story.

The only thing I haven’t splurged on is bags, because I have a specific requirement for them. But I have my eye on a few items already… So don’t be surprised if you see me on the streets looking like a million bucks one day; my outfit would probably have cost that much. Hahaha!

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Do something for your future self today

Always put yourself first.

Always put yourself first.

I thought this would be inspirational for everyone, since it’s Monday again — the start of another work week. Oh, the horrors. I haven’t been able to log into WordPress via the iPhone app, so some intelligent tech person has to sort that out pronto. It feels weird to be blogging on my laptop, since the last time I did that was months ago. That’s how useful the WordPress iPhone app has been, but I think the new iOS 7 is screwing some of its functionality. SORT IT OUT, WordPress.

So I spent the past two days trying to juggle several things at once, and have successfully not accomplished a single thing. This goes to show how bad I am at multitasking, but also how good I am at procrastinating. It really depends on which perspective you prefer to see. Ahem.

On the bright side, I have sort of formulated a long-term plan for my future. What’s next is to overcome my fears and hesitation in detailing the steps to achieve it and then, of course, carrying it out faithfully. But right now, I have six 1,200-word essays to finish by end-September and one 3,000-word coursework to complete by 7 October. Argh! I felt like I have wasted my whole weekend doing nothing of importance. All my 48 hours were not being utilised well, because I had to sleep, eat, shower, entertain friends and watch TV. Somehow, writing this blog post feels like more precious time is being taken up too. Sorry, my loyal readers, I was only being brutally honest. That’s why you love me! Ahem.

So, I am going to do something today that my future self will thank me for. Spend the next 40 35 minutes doing a quick draft of one essay before I watch the derby match between my beloved Manchester United and those City wannabes. And sleep by 1:30am, so my liver can be super productive and start detoxifying my body.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Photo credit: The sweet Internet

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In love with Jaime Murray

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When I saw this pic, I chuckled out loud, because it’s SO TRUE. That’s what I do every single time after gazing lovingly at Jaime’s photos or watching videos of her and then I think to myself: “No wonder, I’m still single.”

This woman is so incredibly funny (just read her Twitter feed) and she looks gorgeous from almost any camera angle. And that British accent. She’s poised and she sounds intelligent. /me sighs. I was almost sad when I found out that she very likely has a long-term boyfriend. She just has a face and personality that said she’s meant to be a lesbian, you know.

Then again, I’d be equally sad if she was with a girl, but I’d get over it eventually, because she’d be an excellent advocate for all the lesbians in the world. Much like Ellen and Portia. I mean, no one actually knew that Portia was gay, right? And the next thing you know, she’s happily married to Ellen for many years now (something I blogged about months ago).

My crush on her is so deep that I keep refreshing all the social network feeds through the day just to read what she has been doing and see her latest photos. She’s the first person I want to read about and the last person I want to see before I sleep. No wonder, I’m still single. Right?!

My daily quota for Jaime is limitless. I just can’t get enough of this really hot woman. I first noticed her in Dexter and thought “Wow!” Then I saw her again in Warehouse 13 followed by The Finder and thought “Wahey!” Then I realised she’s in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and Defiance too and I was like “Woohoo!” /me is high on beauty.

So yes, I do think she’s perfect in every way. I so want a life partner like her! That’d be my idealistic dream and lusty fantasy come true. Make it happen this year, Universe. I’m right here waiting. For Jaime-lite. Hahaha!

Here’s a few more treats for you (but mainly it’s for me). Jaime was at Dragon Con signing autographs for her Defiance fans, when her devoted nerdsbians presented her with a crown, sceptre and dragon’s blood (which is really liquid soap, I think). She was so touched that she decided to wear the crown and carry the sceptre all the time whenever possible. How super adorable of her, right?!

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True to her word, Jaime wore the crown and carried her sceptre out to dinner with her best friend Julie Benz (another hot woman) weeks later. I haven’t stopped swooning since I started writing this blog post. Sigh.

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Photo credits: The Internet and adoring fangirls of Jaime Murray