0

The first step towards getting somewhere

20131205-073053.jpg

“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!

0

Drink less, work more

20120908-134957.jpg

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.

0

Make it happen

20120815-002924.jpg

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!

Standard
0

A new era

20120126-011041.jpg

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.

0

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.

Standard
0

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.

0

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.

0

Truly Asia

20110620-114646.jpg

Two weeks ago, I went on a three-day business trip to Kuala Lumpur (KL). Whenever it was lunchtime, my co-workers would bring me through the snaky dodgy alleys under the scorching hot sun to a depilated but crowded Chinese restaurant.

It had slow spinning fans which provided little relief. The air was thick with hot humidity. You had to breathe twice as hard and think cool thoughts while your perspiration slowly seeped through your shirt. The uncle who took our orders knew my drink by heart by the second day. The food was decent and cheap.

So I was enjoying my meals and seeing how Malaysians interact with one another. Maybe I was self-conscious but I swear they could sense I was a foreigner. Maybe I had a face that didn’t belong. Maybe I’m just naturally awkward so I’d stand out.

But this being only my second trip out of the country for work, I was feeling grown up and super pleased with myself. Even though it was hard for me to get any actual work done because I wasn’t used to working without my office desktop, I was trying to learn as much as I can about the culture, the quirks and the people so I would feel more comfortable. I mean I’ve heard horror stories about the criminal activity in the country, dude, and I fear for my safety.

So we were walking back to the office and we had to walk along a mucky looking narrow pavement before we cut through the snaky dodgy alleys. Then one of my colleagues said: “Does anyone know if the acid splasher has been caught?”

I froze and repeated the two key words my mind could only register. “Acid. Splasher?”

“Oh yes, in the past two months, there was an Indian motorcyclist who would ride along pavements and randomly splash acid on passer-bys. Some of the victims have been quite badly scarred. It’s all over the papers.”

Oh really. Quite why no one remembered to ask me to stay away from the pavements before befuddled me. I cautiously walked further away from the road without panicking like Chicken Little in the “I’m doomed” mode or gasping out loud. Really, I should be awarded for my calm demeanour.

Anyway, moving on. I guess it’s full body armour time for me whenever I walk along the streets of KL from now. At least until someone tells me the acid splasher has been caught.

0

The colour of Monday

I was so annoyed with the people I work with today I scratched my neck in frustration. Now there are big red marks on my neck and they hurt. To think I still wonder why I am losing my hair in an alarming rate.

Seriously, I counted last night – I saw more than 10 strands among the suds when I was shampooing my hair and there were 11 strands of hair on the bathroom floor by the time I finished drying my hair. That is excluding the ones I found on the bedroom floor and on the bed. I know an average human being would shed around 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. But really, this is excessive for someone with short hair. So yes, my possible hair loss is worrying the crap out of me and I don’t know what to do. Yet.

And will someone please let me use their shower facilities? The water heater at my place broke and I have been forced to bathe with extremely cold water the past three days. Let’s put it in perspective. The water is so cold that even my pee is hotter than it so technically speaking, I’d rather bathe in my pee than the freezing water. Besides, wasn’t there research that said urine has antibacterial properties? No? Then you probably should not come near me until the heater gets fixed. Just saying.

Right now, I am eating a packed lunch that (I suspected was cooked by my sister and I think she should keep her full-time job) consists of macaroni, some mixed vegetables, hotdogs, cuttlefish balls and tomato pasta sauce.

This has been a tiring Monday morning and the end is not even in sight. There were plenty of times when I wanted to hit the table or scream out in anger because people were being stupid. And there are at least five more hours to go before I can officially leave the office.

So my mentor once told me that I have to be more tolerant and easy-going and not take things personally when things are going against me. He said the best thing I can do is to let go and smile and things will naturally look up. All I can say is he hasn’t seen the people I have to deal with for work.

So it’s lunchtime now and after I thought about what would be calming for me, I decided to blog about it. Blogging has therapeutic qualities for me in that I get to voice my frustrations out loud to you, Internet, without bothering anyone IRL. Also, solutions might soon emerge by themselves after all my ranting. (I hope.)

Usually, I’d feel better because I’d realise that things are not as bad as they sound and I have so many things to be grateful for so I tend to become a more pleasant human being after that. (Again, I hope at least it appears that way.)

So yes, reminding myself of the things I am grateful for is a philosophy I stand by because when I remember how good life has been / is treating me, I would immediately smile and the weight on my shoulders becomes lighter. Also, repeating the line “life is too short to waste my energy on stupid people” tends to help. HA.

Another thing that keeps me grounded to happiness is when I think of the awesome times we spent together. If we had any hilarious conversations or videos or photos of us doing silly things, I would be looking through the recent ones on my phone or email inbox, thinking about the next time we get to see each other again. Now that will definitely make me grin.

Writing about our adventures together is another great therapy for me. It not only helps me document our happy memories, it also inspires me to be the best I can be for us when I know we have so much more to look forward to.

Oh yes. Come on, I know you’re mostly here to read about our love story. Stop denying it. Ha!

0

I’m alive

Haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii…… No, this isn’t some weird Lolzcat speak for “hi”. This is a really really really long low monotonous DUH sounding sigh that if you were in front of me, the impact would knock you over because it’s still echoing through my mouth.

Which means…… I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE!

After sleeping less than four hours the last two days in an awkward sitting position because I dozed off halfway punching out a 2,500-word feature and 800-word column, I thought I wouldn’t survive past the today’s deadline.

My neck and shoulders are creaky but I musn’t complain. Because I can finally move on with the rest of my life. Only the rest of my life consists of putting out three more print editions before this year ends. I wept two nights ago by the way. I had to face the public with my left eye way smaller than the right next day. THE ENTIRE DAY! Oh god, the amount of self consciousness that I had to keep at bay.

I honestly doubt if I can survive this Darth Vader-like “force choke” work pressure by myself because good staff are hard to find these days. After the issues I had with, not one, but two irresponsible young former employees this week, I am mentally scarred. The weirdest thing is when I relate my traumatising experience with bad staff to people I sort of trust, they understood my point of view. I’m very relieved to know I’m not the one who needs a hard knock on the head. Say what you want about fair employment, I am already forming some very discriminating thoughts about what I don’t want to see in the next hire. Bite me.

My goal this weekend is to watch tv, sleep, clean my room, watch more tv, exercise, nap, watch even more tv. Oh and eat! Mustn’t forget about sustenance, especially since I’ve stopped eating regularly the last two months. Silly, I know. I can be overly ambitious at times.

What I learned about myself is I am kinda ok slogging through work and I obviously want to do the best I can but I rather spend my time creating a well-oiled efficient army of minions to carry out my commands. How else am I supposed to rule the world?

Let me interrupt you reading here for a second. I have to say this before I forget. Glee is hilarious! Ok, done.

Well, there are 10 more days before October ends. Sometimes I wish I have someone to call and just talk about what’s really bothering me. Or even share some random interesting and amusing things I see daily without worrying if I am overdoing it. Maybe I think too much because I am secretly idealistic because I have issues about the past because I am just a … Maybe I need to go sleep now. But I’m free from deadlines which means I can sleep properly! At least for the next few days! Yay!