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The purpose of life

IMG_1768-1.JPG This is a pic of a birthday card that I thought was meaningful.

AND Whaaaaaat?! It’s August already?! I can’t believe it.

I had a long well-deserved vacation in July and in that time I learned so much about myself. Now I feel I know my likes and dislikes even better than before. I’m starting to grow into my own person and I no longer have that fear of not fitting in with others. Why? Because I no longer care whether I am socially awkward or if I’m going against the social norms or whether people like me!

The most important thing I’ve learned in July is that life is short and you have to do what YOU want NOW; waiting for others to either make up their mind to follow you or force you to do what they like is a pure waste of your time. Why? Because life is short! Every moment you are not enjoying in it is a moment of your life wasted. The right moment is now and this moment is the best time of your life.

Also, the best relationship you can have is with yourself. Love and nurture yourself, because you deserve the best. Agree?

“The purpose of life is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama

And before I sign off, this song has been on repeat in my playlist the past two (three?) weeks and I just love the music video and the energy. It’s one of the most romantic, bouncy songs ever. Hahaha! I’ve listened to it so many time and I still get the feels. It also helps that Taylor Swift looks hot in it. Mega feels. Try it and see if you get the feels too. I think you would just fall in love.

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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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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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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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You’re never alone

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I have been single for so long I have forgotten what it’s like to be with someone and the feeling of being in love. I have a feeling i have forgotten how to flirt too. No, I’m not depressed. I’m just puzzled. Is being a relationship an “end all be all” thing you must do in your life? Is your life only fulfilled by someone else?

Many of my friends and colleagues are seemingly happy with their other halves. Hell, even my former girlfriend seems to have found someone she clearly wants to be with and is extremely happy with. Maybe he fulfils everything on her checklist, has her parents’ approval and meets her criteria for an eventual “happily ever after” marriage with plenty of children. Yes, it cuts me just thinking about it or seeing any photographic evidence. It makes me wonder if she was ever in love with me and if she truly wanted to be with me. Probably not.

The devil in me obviously said: “Good riddance to that emotional immature wreck and that I should be happy that someone has finally taken her off my hands and that I’m free from her numerous taxing issues and that she has finally met someone who is at her childish level.” Woah, there are many “that” in that sentence alone. And wow, the devil in me is super vindictive.

Back to the point I’m making. I am largely numb from the pain I had felt over the past two years. After all, I feel much lighter (mentally) now that I am not tormented from the hoops she used to make me go through. Maybe I wasn’t ready for her. Maybe I wasn’t emotionally strong to handle her. Maybe i wasn’t right for her. And if a relationship was taking its toll on me and was difficult since the beginning, it should have been a cue for me to run far far away from her the first chance I got. Like what my friends Jean and Qiqi warned me from the start. My excuse to all my friends who saw me in anguish and tears during the entire relationship was that I love that girl too damn much to let go. Silly huh?

She was my muse in all my writing — every column I wrote for work and every post I wrote on this blog was dedicated to her. Even now, there are still traces of her in my memory, in my life and in the things I do. See why it had been so hard for me to let go? I had dug myself into a hole so deep I became claustrophobic and lost my way back to the entrance.

I still want my Kokology book back from her though. She said she would send it back to me, though she did add the caveat that she would do it when she’s free. A cuss word is right at the tip of my tongue now. Refrain!!! Ok, refrained. I hate it when my ex-girlfriends keep something of mine and not return them. Annoying. Especially so, when they usually take things that I like and cherish. Not to mention a piece of my heart.

‘There’s a moment in every relationship, when romance gives way to reality.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

That’s when you know a relationship isn’t working out. So, it’s ok if you are single. You don’t really need someone to “complete” you. The world does not require you to make more babies. Overpopulation is already a serious issue for governments and there are already too many children around living in poverty. Stop adding to it. The world does have limited resources to support a population of seven billion — a number that is still growing every day. Besides, being single means more time to spend with your family, your friends and even your beloved dog (or cat). Most importantly, you get to be yourself and love who you are and enjoy being you.

With this, I’d like to end my piece on being single with these surprising deep and very apt quotes from Sex And The City.

‘Later that night, I got to thinking about fate — the concept that we’re not responsible for the course of our lives, that it’s all predestined, written in the stars. Maybe that explains why, if you live in a city where you can’t see the stars, your love life tends to feel more random.

‘Even if every kiss, every heartache is pre-ordered from some cosmic catalogue, can we still take a wrong step and wander off our personal Milky Way? I couldn’t help but wonder: can you make a mistake and miss your fate?’ —Carrie Bradshaw

Maybe you were my mistake, maybe we were meant to be but I screwed it up, maybe it wasn’t the right time for us, maybe we will meet again someday, maybe we will be the best of friends, maybe we will fall in love with each other some time down the road. Or maybe, just maybe, you were meant to only pass through my life and teach me a valuable lesson about myself, while I was meant to bring joy, laughter and rainbows into your life at a point in time when you really needed to be happy again. No matter what happened between us, there will always be a fragment of you hidden in a crevice of my heart. You’re the secret I would whisper into a tree and let the wind take the memory of us to a parallel world where we would be together looking at the same stars every night.

Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love … or be who we are.

After all, seasons change. So do cities.
People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

NB: Yes, I’m a sucker for Sex And The City! I’ve been watching the reruns almost daily at 9:30am. It’s so fascinating to see how the show had influenced all the girls in the late 90s to early 2000s. The concept of love, sex, relationships and dating has definitely shifted since then. Whether it had been a good influence is still debatable.

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A kiss between two cute girls

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These two girls are so incredibly cute together. I so want to see them together forever. Yes, even though they are just high-school kids who are probably susceptible to mood swings/fickleness/indecisiveness about love and their partners and have yet to enter the real adult world, Glee’s Santana and Brittany are the cutest ‘Lebanese’ couple in TV-land and I just can’t get enough of them. They give me so much hope. Seeing them make out is alluringly hot as well. Ahem.

Here’s a little heartfelt moment of how deep their love runs for each other and why they are meant to be together no matter what from Glee season 2, episode 15 “Sexy”:

Santana: I wanna be with you, but I’m afraid of the talks and the looks. I mean, you know what happened to Kurt at this school.

Brittany: But honey, if anybody were to ever make fun of you, you would either kick their ass or slash them with your vicious, vicious words.

Santana: Yeah, I know, but I’m so afraid of what everyone will say behind my back. Still, I have to accept that I love you. I love you and I don’t want to be with Sam or Finn or any of those other guys. I just want you. Please say you love me back. Please.

Brittany: Of course, I love you. I do. And I would totally be with you if it weren’t for Artie.

Santana: Artie.

Brittany: I love him too. I don’t wanna to hurt him. That’s not right. I can’t break up with him.

Santana: Yes, you can. He’s just a stupid boy.

Brittany: But it wouldn’t be right, Santana. You have to know if Artie and I were to ever break up, and [if] I’m lucky enough and you’re still single…

Santana: Don’t.

Brittany: I am so yours. Proudly so.

So hot. Right?

They are each other’s best friend and they understand each other better than anyone else do. I love how they are always together, always holding hands, cuddling, glancing at each other with a knowing smile and showing little signs of affection with each other.

Brittany even told Santana that she loves her more than she has loved anyone else in the whole world. And she is a very supportive girlfriend who would always try to help Santana achieve her dreams in her naive, slightly airhead way.

Santana, on her part, would defend Brittany to the hilt whenever anyone tried to criticise or bully her. She also turns gentle whenever they are together. Santana told Brittany that in her sophomore year she would sit at the back of the choir room and secretly watch Brittany. She would count the number of times Brittany smiled at her and died at the days she didn’t. How sweet huh?

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Brittany: Someday, I’m gonna marry Santana.
Santana: *smiles*

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They look so sweet together—a perfect combination of sexy, wild and cute at the same time. And I love how their friends are so supportive of them.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pGVTrtGgAmU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpGVTrtGgAmU

I especially love the part when Brittany pulled Santana’s arm out of her jacket, just so she could hold her hand. It just seems so natural and genuine. Swoons.

How incredibly hot if they were to be together IRL?! I might just faint.

Here’s a compilation YouTube video of their best moments together:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UERsZImECTk&feature=fvwrel

Here’s an even better compilation video of the trials and tribulations Santana and Brittany had to go through to be better: http://youtu.be/tSEr4ch4Pi0

Wow, okay, I have to stop now, before my crush for Brittana/Santittany turns obsessive. Then again, there will always be more obsessive fans than me on the Internet. So I’m safe. Hahaha!

Image credits: Santana and Brittany celebrate Valentine’s Day, Santana and Brittany making out and Santana and Brittany share a kiss.