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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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Drink less, work more

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Gina Rinehart, world’s richest woman, wrote: ‘Do something to make more money yourself.’ (Photo: AFP/File, Tony Ashby)

I read this article few days ago and I thought it was one of the most useful inspirational pieces someone who’s striving to be a success in life can take as motivation.

Writing in an industry magazine column, the world’s richest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, urged those envious of the wealthy to do something about it, and stop whining.

Rinehart is the matriarch of her family iron ore prospecting fortune of US$30.1 billion, which also makes her Australia’s wealthiest person.

“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she wrote.

“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.

“Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”

Other people (they’re probably myopic) have slammed her supposedly controversial remarks, but I think her words made absolute sense. And the fact that she has multiplied her family fortune to where it is now only enhances the value of her advice. Priceless.

I truly believe that if someone has perfectly functional limbs and mental intelligence, then they should work hard for what they want, instead of begrudging the government or the society or the environment or the people around them for not serving everything on a platter to them. Agree?

Those, who have been protesting that Rinehart should share her wealth with the poor, should just shut up. How would you like it if you were told to donate half your salary to poor strangers you don’t know every month? Don’t argue that you have less money than her. It’s a matter of perspective.

Giive Rinehart the benefit… She probably does her fair share of charity work and just hasn’t publicise every single activity, unlike other publicity seeking organisations that have to advertise every dollar they donate.

Remember, there’s no monopoly in earning your first million dollars.

Rinehart, you’ve got a supporter in me!

P/S: If your kids insist on taking you to court over the trust fund and you’re thinking of disowning them, I’m available for adoption. Ahem.

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Make it happen

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Hi! Miss me? Bet you’ve been missing me and my witty words terribly, eh? I had two long weeks at work and the slow Internet connection — whether it’s via 3G or Wi-Fi — on my mobile phone has been shit. SHIT, I tell you.

At this modern day and age, trickling slow Internet connection can really drive me nuts, especially when I’m impatient and bored. It pisses me off when my service provider (StarHub) is utterly useless and yet it has the audacity to charge a high rate for its ‘services’. Pui!

I can’t even surf the usual social networks a day without getting frustrated with the quality of my media consumption. I can’t wait to switch telcos, and you should too, if you’re using a shitty service provider like I unfortunately am. 😦

Anyway, I digress. I’ve been wanting to blog for ages after watching an episode from the third season of the TV series White Collar. It’s brilliant! I have a massive crush on Neal Caffrey and his posh lifestyle. The show is also witty, and has the right balance of intelligent humour (think sharp wit that’s caustic at times), drama and action. Like what’s new, right?

There were a few standout quotes in episode eight “As You Were” that really caught my ears. I like how they made me pause and ponder some of the things we chase for our whole life.

On needing to have passion in life:

Caffrey: Yeah, it makes the world go round; passion to get what we want, passion to keep what we have, passion to get back the things we lost.

On making decisions and enjoying the good days:

Jones: We can’t have it all, right?
Caffrey: Well, why not?
Jones: Well, because choices are sacrifices. And, inevitably, that means giving up something that you want, for something that you want more. So, now I have to ask… What does “having it all” mean to Neal Caffrey?
Caffrey: Never having to worry about money. Um, doing something that’s meaningful, being surrounded by people I care about and respect, you know. That’s pretty much the dream.

Are you already living the dream? I can’t wait to live out my dream!

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A new era

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Today is the first day of a new beginning. At least this is what I have been thinking since last Friday. In a way, my self-prophecy came true. Obviously, I wish I had better comeback lines to outwit the nasty people I had to deal with on a regular basis. But today is not the time to ruminate about the past.

Ok, I know you are confused right now and you have absolutely no idea what I am rambling about. Please be patient while I sort my thoughts out and turn them into a more coherent format.

But hey, since I’m feeling generous during this Chinese New Year period, here are some clues: career, crossroads and courage.

This will be one of the greatest lessons you will ever learn about life and career in general – something that they never teach in school. Why? Because it’s something only life can teach you. And here I’m giving it to you for free.

It’s simple. I’m shit scared but I have to take this leap of faith if I want to truly succeed. If I continue to be shit scared because I fear looking silly or facing failure, then I will always have that “what if” on my mind. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? Right? Glad you came to the same conclusion.

So yes, I admit that I’m shit scared. But I am also telling myself this: “Use this fear as motivation to do better. You only live once. You can always pick yourself up, no matter what. The most important thing is you have to try.”

Because if you never try, you will never know. What makes you think you won’t succeed? Why not think of it as “every move you make is a step closer to success”?

And it doesn’t mean you sit there and wait for things to drop on your lap. You have to understand that it’s going to be extremely tough and you will have to put in effort to ensure that you are well-prepared and ready to take up the opportunity when it arrives.

Being grateful helps too. When you show gratitude to the good things in your life and people who have helped you, you will find that more of the same will come to you.

But always, always remember that you are worthy of the success that is coming your way. So dream big and prepare yourself in all ways possible to receive it.

You can do it. Happiness is in your hands.

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Worst day of my life

Today is officially the worst day of my life in January and it is only the 10th day of the new year.

It was so bad from the minute I walked into the office until 8.46pm – yes, until this very moment – that I officially want to quit my job or kill myself. I kept telling myself that it can get only better and there will be an end in sight. There was none.

I finally buckled and called my friend for help. In the end, I was filled with so much frustrations that I broke down in the car, unable to stop crying. Thinking about the day’s events and how weak I felt made me even angrier.

The call I received at 6.45pm was humiliating, to say the least. I can’t believe someone had the cheek to make those comments to me. Worst of all, I can’t believe I let myself land into this situation. I never had to sink so low my entire life and it’s an experience I am going to remember for a very very very long time.

Unable to get over the humiliation, I drove blindly and I nearly crashed into the barrier while exiting the highway. The moment when I had to swerve wildly to avoid hitting a car and the barrier while a motorbike was following closely behind my car scared the crap out of me.

If I didn’t steer away in time, I would be stuck with a wrecked car at the highway and a lot of explaining to do to the police. That woke me up. I didn’t feel better about myself but at least I was more focused.

I did what I had to do. I will survive and recoup my losses and I will come up with a solution to deal with this. For now, I just need the day to end.

Tomorrow, I will activate my positive neurones and face the world like I am infallible again. Goodnight.

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Big fish

If you conduct a google search for this phrase “Big fish in a small pond”, this website will give you this meaning:

“People who are important but only within their limited circle of influence.”

The converse phrase is “small fish in a big pond”.

The phrases are often used to convey the degree of ambition a person has – if they are content to stay in a small place or seek out a chance to grow into a “big fish”.

I remember someone asking me about this “big fish versus big pond” conundrum once because she thought I was wasting my talent in a small firm when I could probably grow and fulfill my ambitions in a larger organisation. I think I kept quiet then but to be honest, I had been mulling over it and biding my time since 2009.

Anyway, recently I blogged that I have made a big decision more than a month ago after much discussions with my close friends. Then on 20 September, I had an insightful chat with a mentor of sorts. He gave me so much useful career advice that I was trying to type as much as I can remember down after we parted.

What he said to me that day reaffirmed and validated my initial decision. But I think what was more important (and what made me felt better) was that he said the things I wanted to hear. Yet he was right in many ways.

Ok, there’s a tangent here. He also said I look very young and he thought I was only 26 years old. He is the seventh or eighth person who said I look young in the past two months. The sixth person had called me a young kid few weekends and someone I met at a party thought I was only 23.

Have I taken a youth elixir I didn’t know?! Maybe it’s my longish floppy rockstar hair that has been creating the youthful aura. Bet you want to be in my funky shoes now. If only my good looks can help me grow a bit taller.

SO. Guess this is it. I’ll be starting afresh and hopefully I have made the right choice for my future. I am fearful of the changes I have to adapt, and yet I am optimistic because I am confident that I will thrive no matter where I am. I am that good at what I do after all.

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Breaking point

(This post was typed halfway 14 Sep on my way home after yet a long exhausting day at work. I finally have time to finish it on 15 Sep.)

I AM SO SWAMPED AND BURIED WITH SO MUCH WORK AND COURSEWORK THAT I AM FEELING ALL CHOKED UP and sleep-deprived.

I was so close to breaking point working in the office alone tonight that when someone appeared out of nowhere with dinner as a surprise, I felt so blessed. Hehe.

Still, it has only been three/four days since I last blogged and I had to cramp in so many responsibilities in under 72 hours. I have never felt so drained my entire life.

I think about work before I sleep and the moment I wake up. I worry so much about failure that I have lost my appetite. I have dark eye rings and a permanent scowl on my face. I literally feel like I’m being pushed to a corner with nowhere to run. It is that horrific.

It has been an intense eight, coming to nine, days that I don’t think I can continue living/sleeping/working/studying with only 24 hours a day. It is impossible. And I haven’t even added in leisure time. Sad face.

I have also stopped logging onto ALL social networks for a very long time. I don’t even know if I am missing out on anything. Even if I did, I guess I couldn’t care less because I feel so liberated. My mind is so much clearer and I am more focused on the things that matter.

The only concession I made was on Saturday because people started adding me on Facebook and telling me they have added me so I couldn’t avoid not logging in. But I am proud to say I didn’t stay long and I wasn’t even interested to look at those new friends I added. (Actually I have never looked at new friends’ profiles. I don’t know why I don’t care! Maybe because I am more interesting than them. Ha!)

PHOOOOOO…. that was a huge long sigh of breath, not a fart. In an ironic way I have never felt more alive – having to cramp hours of revision, work in group project, conduct hours of research, show leadership, fulfil regular work tasks on top of understanding a totally new subject. All these things leave me with no space or time to think about anything else but survival and sleep.

I like sleeping. I miss sleeping. I enjoy sleeping. Which is why I’m going to enjoy my comfy, soft, fluffy kingsized bed now. Hehe. It’s almost as gluey as BTB.

See you.

Oh! I have to add this before I forget. A second, (and third and fourth) person asked if I was 21/22 years old on Sunday. I nearly choked on my drink.

“No, I’m not 22.”

“But you look so young. Are you sure? I keep thinking you are younger than me.”

Turns out that person was only 24. (again, this girl looked closer to 30! The other two people who asked me my age over lunch were much older and look old too. I feel young besides them!)

Which made me really puzzled because I was the unofficial leader for the team. And everyone was obediently following my instructions and listening to me. If they had all assumed I was only 21 and that they were much older and yet they were willing to be led by me, then WOW, I must have awesome leadership skills.

You can’t get me out of your mind now, isn’t it?

Also, a big decision was made yesterday… More exciting updates to follow shortly.