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Tag: Oh Life! (page 1 of 3)

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.
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Yadah Yadah

It’s been a while since the last update. Life has been same old same old, and time passes really fast. It’s already Q3 and I’ve recently completed a year in my current company – JUST LIKE THAT. To think that it was an impossible feat for my first three real jobs, and I thought I had some serious problems.

A major milestone is that I am now a house owner!

But it’s still empty! Like my CPF! YAY!

Hahahaha. Being an adult sucks.. but also exciting at the same time where Loti and I run around like monkeys trying to figure out this whole new renovation thingy together. Who ask us gei kiang wanna do everything ourselves. (Trust me, it was a long tussle before deciding to ditch the idea of hiring an interior designer.)

Pokémon Go is taking over the world by storm. Singaporeans have gone mad. I’ve never seen so many people roaming the outdoors before, and the sight is really quite phenomenal. I’m guilty as charged, but I’m not super siao over it – level 10 only.

Nothing beats the good old days Pokémon Blue days where bro and I turned to the PC emulator version after mum confiscated our Game Boys. (OH BTW, WHAT AN OLD SCHOOL NERDY PHOTO OF US THAT MY COUSIN DUG OUT AND POSTED ON FACEBOOK! :O)

Ya, I’ve finally gotten over the new fugly Instagram logo and updated my app. They ripped off the stories thing from Snapchat, like whuuuuttttt. I don’t use any of these stories thing ‘cos I refuse to conform to the trend my Snap only has two friends T_T hahahah. And Instagram stories are kinda weird when the audience is so random. It’s for extreme extroverts really – I prefer to hide behind the screen and stalk them hahaha. With all these new instant updating on-the-go technologies, who still blogs? I’m so passé LOL.

Another no link thought. Life is really full of surprises. Life is short.

Life has you running around in circles chasing after things that I don’t know for what sometimes.

In the end, does it even matter?

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The End of Life

People always look forward to the end of everything. The end of a working day, the end of a working week, the end of a project, the end of the year. But as we wish for time to move faster to the end of all these, we are also indirectly looking forward to the end of life.

Actually, I kinda look forward to the end of life in some way. (I’m not committing suicide don’t worry.) It’s just that I’ve always wondered about death in the most curious way. What would it feel like? Will it be just dark nothingness or will your soul leave your body and an afterlife continues? I choose to believe the latter.

They always say things like treasure every single day, live life to the fullest, etc, but the truth is – there will never be a better time to die. We all will have unfinished business regardless of our age; we all can never say our goodbyes soon enough; we all can never appreciate our loved ones enough; we all will have our regrets.

I know I am someone who constantly tries to save stuffs for the future or good days. Like I am thrifty because I wish to enjoy more in my older years; like I hold off giving a gift to someone until there’s an occasion; like I keep wanting to write this post but I don’t get to it. Hahaha nay that’s just pure procrastination, but you get the drift.

When I die, don’t be sad for me because I believe it’s not the end of life, it’s the beginning of an adventure. Whether it’s having my tongue cut off, burning in hell, or having the ability to pass through walls and coming back to haunt you, I still look forward to it.

People who will be at my funeral (and not play mahjong), I love you.

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My Life Now

Back to a hamster ball life where it’s work eat sleep repeat. It has only been slightly more than a month of full-time work and I feel jaded already. Was discussing with friends today what is our ideal age to retire and my answer was to “semi-retire” at the age of 35, by finding a job where I only have to work 2 – 3 days per week (no idea what that is, barista maybe?) and do freelance work from home. I know this totally sounds like what a spoilt brat would say but hey, this goal will never involve living off anyone but myself.

I fianlly cleared all my trip photos and videos (even the Korea one which dragged on for almost a year) YAY! I have a lot more to update on this space but time is forever not on my side. Almost every other thing or person requires my immediate attention and sometimes I do really feel drowned. In two weeks’, I’ll be gone to Vietnam and Laos for 22 days. It will be my first actual backpacking trip (with an actual backpack) and I’m really looking forward to it. Fingers crossed on the safety and crockoaches though.

Okay I’m on a bus now and my fingers are freezing and eyes are drying up (thanks haze). Till my next update, adios!

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The Gratitude Challenge

Read this from my colleague’s Faceboook posts and I’m inspired to challenge myself as well – to list 3 things I’m grateful over for the next 7 days. Today is the beginning of a new month and week, which seems like a perfect day to start.

Day 1 (1 Sep)

  1. As much as it’s a Monday and a busy one to start with (due to a pitch), I’m grateful that our team never fail to help each other out, and don’t play “abandon ship.”
  2. Overtime dinner was at Fish & Co. Glass House and I’m grateful for the dining vouchers I had won (with my girlfriends) through their foosball competition at their event some time back. The perks of a food blogger, ha!
  3. I’m grateful that I am friends with most of my colleagues and they’re willing to share things even like intimate family stories with me. And upon hearing theirs, I’m grateful to belong to a family where it feels like one without much complicated family issues.

Day 2 (2 Sep)

  1. Loti called for a quick chat in the morning and I’m grateful for little actions like these – that we still have each other in mind despite our busy schedules.
  2. Over our weekly meeting, our team leader shared some tips regarding sitting postures so we don’t strain our back due to long office working hours. I’m grateful that she cares for our well-being.
  3. Tuesdays are squash days and I’m grateful I have a kaki in the office to drag each other along for exercising every week ‘cos health is as important as work.

Day 3 (3 Sep)

  1. I’m grateful that I discovered there’s Crazy Taxi on iPhone! Haha I don’t usually play games but this was like my teenagehood :’)
  2. Having colleagues whom I can hang out with after work is worth being grateful for (‘cos it was something I used to envy). They’re steady people, even if it means walking from Clarke Quay to MBS.
  3. Due to my bro’s part-time job as a mooncake promoter, we got to try lots of snow skin mooncakes from a few hotels. The thing that I’m most grateful for is that he used money from his own pockets to buy some of them back just to let us try, despite me knowing that he’s not someone who is willing to spend much on food.

Day 4 (4 Sep)

  1. Despite everyone’s teasing and questions about me and Jo’s “lesbianship” in the office, I’m still grateful to have her as a close girlfriend to share almost everything. Never thought I’d be able to do this again.
  2. Date day with Loti and because I said we keep going to the same places, he suggested to travel to Bedok this time. So we did, and I’m grateful that Loti gives a shit about my feedback hahahah.
  3. Went over to Loti’s place to stay, and I’m grateful that his mum and aunt sees me as part of the family almost since day one – always showering me with concern and food 🙂

Day 5 (5 Sep)

  1. Grateful to see my loved one first thing in the morning and have someone kiss me goodbye before leaving the house.
  2. I secretly enjoy setting off from Loti’s place for work because of the shorter travelling time. I’m grateful that I get to sleep a lil’ longer.
  3. Not feeling well in the evening so I headed home to sleep (on a Friday night). Grateful for the unmatched comfort in my own bed that no where else has.

Day 6 (6 Sep)

  1. I’m grateful that my family gathers on every Saturday morning for catching up over brunch, though this week was without my bro’s presence due to his work.
  2. Spent a whole afternoon at home organising photos and whatnot, and I’m grateful for this rest as I’ve been out consecutively everyday for almost two weeks.
  3. Loti, on the other hand, slept his afternoon and when we finally met it was 9.30pm. Apparently his Friday night was much more happening than mine, and I’m grateful for his transparency towards me in everything he does 🙂

Day 7 (7 Sep)

  1. Woke up early wanting to go for a swim nearby. Bro heard and offered me a ride to and fro SAFRA for that and I’m grateful.
  2. Today is a quiet Sunday and I’m grateful for the peace I have to complete editing my diving video (which I’ll post soon).
  3. I felt very lazy for the rest of the day and I’m grateful that dad packed dinner so I don’t have to move hahaha. (He was also lazy and just wanna watch TV.)

Much as I was afraid I won’t be able to complete this challenge, I did, without much struggle. There are endless stuffs worth complaining everyday, but if you learn how to count your blessings, you realise you’re actually much more fortunate than you think. People who wants more self-love should totally take this challenge. Over to you!

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Being a Better Being

I’ve just completed my third book and this time, it’s a “self-help” book called ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ by Richard Carlson. Dry at times, but it made me reflect a lot. Since, I’ve been trying to take a step back and slowly improve myself as a human.

For self-reminder’s sake, here are some massive chunks of text that hit me.

6. Remind Yourself that When You Die, Your “In Basket” Won’t Be Empty

So many of us live our lives as if the secret purpose is to somehow get everything done. We stay up late, get up early, avoid having fun, and keep our loved ones waiting. Sadly, I’ve seen many people who put off their loved ones so long that the loved ones lose interest in maintaining the relationship. I used to do this myself. Often, we convince ourselves that our obsession with our “to do” list is only temporary – that once we get through the list, we’ll be calm, relaxed, and happy. But in reality, this rarely happens. As items are checked off, new ones simply replace them.

The nature of your “in basket” is that it’s meant to have items to be completed in it – it’s not meant to be empty. There will always be phone calls that need to be made, projects to complete, and work to be done. In fact, it can be argued that a full “in basket” is essential for success. It means your time is in demand!

Regardless of who you are or what you do, however, remember that nothing is more important than your own sense of happiness and inner peace and that of your loved ones. If you’re obsessed with getting everything done, you’ll never have a sense of well being! In reality, almost everything can wait. Very little in our work lives truly falls into the “emergency” category. If you stay focused on your work, it will all get done in due time.

I find that if I remind myself (frequently) that the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier for me to control my obsession with completing my list of things to do. Remember, when you die, there will still be unfinished business to take care of. And you know what? Someone else will do it for you! Don’t waste any more precious moments of your life regretting the inevitable.


10. Learn to Live in the Present Moment

To a large degree, the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.

Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year, and what may or may not happen tomorrow, the present moment is where you are – always!

Without question, many of us have mastered the neurotic art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things – all at once. We allow past problems and future concerns to dominate our present moments, so much so that we end up anxious, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless. On the flip side, we also postpone our gratification, our stated priorities, and our happiness, often convincing ourselves that “someday” will be better than today. Unfortunately, the same mental dynamics that tell us to look toward the future will only repeat themselves so that “someday” never actually arrives. John Lennon once said, “Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans.”

When we’re busy making “other plans.” our children are busy growing up, the people we love are moving away and dying, our bodies are getting out of shape, and our dreams are slipping away. In short, we miss out on life.

Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date. It isn’t. In fact, no one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow. Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over. When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds. Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future – we won’t have enough money, our children will get into trouble, we will get old and die, whatever.

To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present. Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” I don’t think I can say it any better. Practice keeping your attention on the here and now. Your efforts will pay great dividends.


40. When in Doubt about Whose Turn It Is to Take Out the Trash Go Ahead and Take It Out

If we’re not careful, it’s easy to become resentful about all the responsibilities of daily living. Once, in a very low mood, I figured out that on an average day, I do over 1,000 different things. Of course, when I’m in a better mood, that number is significantly lower.

As I think about it, it’s astounding to me how easy it is for me to remember all the chores that I do, as well as all the other responsibilities that I take care of. But, at the same time, it’s easy for me to forget all the things that my wife does on a daily basis. How convenient!

It’s really difficult to become a contented person if you’re keeping score of all you do. Keeping track only discourages you by cluttering your mind with who’s doing what, who’s doing more, and so forth. If you want to know the truth about it, this is the epitome of “small stuff.” it will bring you far more joy to your life to know that you have done your part and someone else in your family has one less thing to do, than it will to worry and fret over whose turn it is to take out the trash.

The strongest argument against this strategy is the concern that you’ll be taken advantage of. This mistake is similar to believing it’s important that you’re right. Most of the time it’s not important that you’re right, and neither is it important if you take the trash out a few more times than your spouse or housemate. Making things like garbage less relevant in your life will undoubtedly free up more time and energy for truly important things.


41. Avoid Weatherproofing

The idea of weatherproofing as it pertains to peaceful living is a metaphor to explain one of our most neurotic, ungrateful tendencies. It comes from a friend of mind, Dr. George Pransky.

Just as we can weatherproof a home for the winter by looking for cracks, leaks, and imperfections, we can also weatherproof our relationships, even our lives, by doing the very same thing. Essentially, weatherproofing means that you are on the careful lookout for what needs to be fixed or repaired. It’s finding the cracks and flaws of life, and either trying to fix them, or at least point them out to others. Not only does this tendency alienate you from other people, it makes you feel bad, too. it encourages you to think about what’s wrong with everything and everyone – what you don’t like. So, rather than appreciating our relationships and our lives, weatherproofing encourages us to end up thinking that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nothing is ever good enough the way it is.

In our relationships, weatherproofing typically plays itself like this. You meet someone and all is well. You are attracted to his or her appearance, personality intellect, sense of humor, or some combination of these traits. Initially, you not only approve of your differences with this person, you actually appreciate them. You might even be attracted to the person, in part because of how different you are. You have different opinions, preferences, tastes, and priorities.

After a while, however, you begin to notice little quirks about your new partner (or friend, teacher, whoever), that you feel could be improved upon. You bring it to their attention. You might say, “You know, you sure have a tendency to be late.” Or, “I’ve noticed you don’t read very much.” The point is, you’ve begun what inevitably turns into a way of life – looking for and thinking about what you don’t like about someone, or something that isn’t quite right.

Obviously, an occasional comment, constructive criticism, or helpful guidance isn’t cause for alarm. I have to say, however, that in the course of working with hundreds of couples over the years, I’ve met very few people who didn’t feel that they were weatherproofed at times by their partner. Occasional harmless comments have an insidious tendency to become a way of looking at life.

When you are weatherproofing another human being, it says nothing about them – but it does define you as someone who needs to be critical.

Whether you have a tendency to weatherproof your relationships, certain aspects of your life, or both, what you need to do is write off weatherproofing as a bad idea. As the habit creeps into your thinking, catch yourself and seal your lips. The less often you weatherproof your partner or your friends, the more you’ll notice how super your life really is.


49. Resist the Urge to Criticize

When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.

If you attend a gathering and listen to all the criticism that is typically levied against others, and then go home and consider how much good all that criticism actually does to make our world a better place, you’ll probably come up with the same answer that I do: Zero! It does no good. But that’s not all. Being critical not only solves nothing; it contributes to the anger and distrust in our world. After all, none of us likes to be criticized. Our reaction to criticism is usually to become defensive and/or withdrawn. A person who feels attacked is likely to do one of two things: he will either retreat in fear or shame, or he will attack or lash out in anger. How many times have you criticized someone and had them respond by saying, “Thank you so much for pointing out my flaws. I really appreciate it”?

Criticism, like swearing, is actually nothing more than a bad habit. It’s something we get used to doing; we’re familiar with how it feels. It keeps us busy and gives us something to talk about.

If, however, you take a moment to observe how you actually feel immediately after you criticize someone, you’ll notice that you will feel a little deflated and ashamed, almost like you’re the one who has been attacked. The reason this is true is that when we criticize, it’s a statement to the world and to ourselves, “I have a need to be critical.” This isn’t something we are usually proud to admit.

The solution is to catch yourself in the act of being critical. Notice how often you do it and how bad it makes you feel. What I like to do is turn it into a game. I still catch myself being critical, but as my need to criticize arises, I try to remember to say to myself, “There I go again.” Hopefully, more often than not, I can turn my criticism into tolerance and respect.


55. Breathe Before You Speak

This simple strategy has had remarkable results for virtually everyone I know who has tried it. The almost immediate results include increased patience, added perspective, and, as a side benefit, more gratitude and respect from others.

The strategy itself is remarkably simple. It involves nothing more than pausing – breathing – after the person to whom you are speaking is finished. At first, the time gap between your voices may seem like an eternity – but in reality, it amounts to only a fraction of a second of actual time. You will get used to the power and beauty of breathing, and you will come to appreciate it as well. It will bring you closer to, and earn you more respect from, virtually everyone you come in contact with. You’ll find that being listened to is one of the rarest and most treasured gifts you can offer. All it takes is intention and practice.

If you observe the conversations around you, you’ll notice that, often, what many of us do is simply wait for our chance to speak. We’re not really listening to the other person, but simply waiting for an opening to express our own view. We often complete other people’s sentences, or say things like, “Yeah, yeah,” or “I know,” very rapidly, urging them to hurry up so that we can have our turn. It seems that talking to one another is sometimes more like sparring back and forth like fighters or Ping-Pong balls than it is enjoying or learning from the conversation.

This harried form of communication encourages us to criticize points of view, overreact, misinterpret meaning, impute false motives, and form opinions, all before our fellow communicator is even finished speaking. No wonder we are so often annoyed, bothered, and irritated with one another. Sometimes, with our poor listening skills, it’s a miracle that we have any friends at all!

I spent most of my life waiting for my turn to speak. If you’re at all like me, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of surprise as you let others completely finish their thought before you begin yours. Often, you will be allowing someone to feel listened to for the very first time. You will sense a feeling of relief coming fromthe person to whom you are speaking – and a much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of you. No need to worry that you won’t get your turn to speak – you will. In fact, it will be more rewarding to speak because the person you are speaking to will pick up on your respect and patience and will begin to do the same.


86. The Next Time You Find Yourself in an Argument, Rather than Defend Your Position, See if You Can See the Other Point of View First

It’s interesting to consider that when you disagree with someone, the person you are disagreeing with is every bit as certain of his or her position as you are of yours. Yet we always take sides – ours! This is our ego’s way of refusing to learn anything new. It’s also a habit that creates a lot of unnecessary stress.

The first time I consciously tried the strategy of seeing the other point of view first, I found out something truly wonderful: It didn’t hurt, and it brought me closer to the person with whom I was disagreeing.

Suppose a friend says to you, “Liberals [or conservatives] are the major cause of our social problems.” Rather than automatically defending your own position (whatever it is), see if you can learn something new. Say to your friend, “Tell me why you think that’s true.” Don’t say this with a hidden agenda or in preparation to defend or prove your position, but simply to learn a different point of view. Don’t try to correct or make your friend see how he is wrong. Let your friend have the satisfaction of being right. Practice being a good listener.

Contrary to popular belief, this attitude does not make you weak. It doesn’t mean you aren’t passionate about your beliefs, or that you’re admitting that you’re wrong. You’re simply trying to see another point of view – you’re seeking first to understand. It takes enormous energy to constantly prove a rigid position. On the other hand, it takes no energy to allow someone else to be right. In fact, it’s outright energizing.

When you understand other positions and points of view, several wonderful things begin to happen. First, you often learn something new. You expand your horizons. Second, when the person you are talking to feels listened to, he or she will appreciate and respect you far more than when you habitually jump in with your own position. Jumping in only makes him or her more determined and defensive. Almost always, if you are softer, the other person will be softer too. It might not happen right away, but in time, it will. By seeking first to understand, you are putting your love and respect for the person to whom you are speaking above your need to be right. You are practicing a form of unconditional love. A side benefit is that the person you are speaking to may even listen to your point of view. While there is no guarantee that he will listen to you, one thing is guaranteed: If you don’t listen, he or she won’t. By being the first person to reach out and listen, you stop the spiral of stubbornness.


89. If Someone Throws You the Ball, You Don’t Have to Catch It

My best friend, Benjamin Shield, taught me this valuable lesson. Often our inner struggles come from our tendency to jump on board someone else’s problem; someone throws you a concern and you assume you must
catch it, and respond. For example, suppose you’re really busy when a friend calls in a frantic tone and says, “My mother is driving me crazy. What should I do?” Rather than saying, “I’m really sorry but I don’t know what to suggest,” you automatically catch the ball and try to solve the problem. Then later, you feel stressed or resentful that you are behind schedule and that everyone seems to be making demands on you. It’s easy to lose sight of your willing participation in the dramas of your own life.

Remembering that you don’t have to catch the ball is a very effective way to reduce the stress in your life. When your friend calls, you can drop the ball, meaning you don’t have to participate simply because he or she is attempting to lure you in. If you don’t take the bait, the person will probably call someone else to see if they will become involved.

This doesn’t mean you never catch the ball, only that it’s your choice to do so. Neither does this mean that you don’t care about your friend, or that you’re crass or unhelpful. Developing a more tranquil outlook on life requires that we know our own limits and that we take responsibility for our part in the process. Most of us get balls thrown at us many times each day at work, from our children, friends, neighbors, salespeople, even strangers. If I caught all the balls thrown in my direction, I would certainly go crazy – and I suspect that you would too! The key is to know when we’re catching another ball so that we won’t feet victimized, resentful, or overwhelmed.

Even something terribly simple like answering your phone when you’re really too busy to talk is a form of catching the ball. By answering the phone, you are willingly taking part in an interaction that you may not have the time, energy, or mind-set for at the present time. By simply not answering the phone, you are taking responsibility for your own peace of mind. The same idea applies to being insulted or criticized. When someone throws an idea or comment in your direction, you can catch it and feel hurt, or you can drop it and go on with your day.

The idea of “not catching the ball” simply because it’s thrown to you is a powerful tool to explore. I hope you’ll experiment with this one. You may find that you catch the ball a lot more than you think you do.


90. One More Passing Show

This is a strategy that I have recently adopted into my own life. It’s a subtle reminder that everything – the good and bad, pleasure and pain, approval and disapproval, achievements and mistakes, fame and shame – all come and go. Everything has a beginning and an ending and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Every experience you have ever had is over. Every thought you’ve ever had, started and finished. Every emotion and mood you’ve experienced has been replaced by another. You’ve been happy, sad, jealous, depressed, angry, in love, shamed, proud, and every other conceivable human feeling. Where did they all go? The answer is, no one really knows. All we know is that, eventually, everything disappears into nothingness. Welcoming this truth into your life is the beginning of a liberating adventure.

Our disappointment comes about in essentially two ways. When we’re experiencing pleasure we want it to last forever. It never does. Or, when we’re experiencing pain, we want it to go away now. It usually doesn’t. Unhappiness is the result of struggling against the natural flow of experience.

It’s enormously helpful to experiment with the awareness that life is just one thing after another. One present moment followed by another present moment. When something is happening that we enjoy, know that while it’s wonderful to experience the happiness it brings, it will eventually be replaced by something else, a different type of moment. If that’s okay with you, you’ll feel peace even when the moment changes. And if you’re experiencing some type of pain or displeasure, know that this too shall pass. Keeping this awareness close to your heart is a wonderful way to maintain your perspective, even in the face of adversity. It’s not always easy, but it is usually helpful.


92. Realize the Power of Your Own Thoughts

If you were to become aware of only one mental dynamic, the most important one to know about would be the relationship between your thinking and the way you feel.

It’s important to realize that you are constantly thinking. Don’t be fooled into believing that you are already aware of this fact! Think, for a moment, about your breathing. Until this moment, when you are reading this sentence, you had certainly lost sight of the fact that you were doing it. The truth is, unless you are out of breath, you simply forget that it’s occurring.

Thinking works in the same way. Because you’re always doing it, it’s easy to forget that it’s happening, and it becomes invisible to you. Unlike breathing, however, forgetting that you are thinking can cause some serious problems in your life, such as unhappiness, anger, inner conflicts, and stress. The reason this is true is that your thinking will always come back to you as a feeling; there is a point-to-point relationship.

Try getting angry without first having angry thoughts! Okay, now try feeling stressed out without first having stressful thoughts – or sad without sad thoughts – or jealous without thoughts of jealousy. You can’t do it – it’s impossible. The truth is, in order to experience a feeling, you must first have a thought that produces that feeling.

Unhappiness doesn’t and can’t exist on its own. Unhappiness is the feeling that accompanies negative thinking about your life. In the absence of that thinking, the unhappiness, or stress, or jealousy, can’t exist. There is nothing to hold your negative feelings in place other than your own thinking. The next time you’re feeling upset, notice your thinking – it will be negative. Remind yourself that it’s your thinking that is negative, not your life. This simple awareness will be the first step in putting you back on the path toward happiness. It takes practice, but you can get to the point where you treat your negative thoughts in much the same way you would treat flies at a picnic: You shoo them away and get on with your day.


93. Give Up on the Idea that “More Is Better”

We live in the most affluent culture the world has ever seen. Estimates are that although we have only 6 percent of the world’s population in America, we use almost half of the natural resources. It seems to me that if more were actually better, we would live in the happiest, most satisfied culture of all time. But we don’t. Not even close. In fact, we live in one of the most dissatisfied cultures on record.

It’s not that having a lot of things is bad, wrong, or harmful in and of itself, only that the desire to have more and more and more is insatiable. As long as you think more is better, you’ll never be satisfied.

As soon as we get something, or achieve something, most of us simply go on to the next thing – immediately. This squelches our appreciation for life and for our many blessings. I know a man, for example, who bought a beautiful home in a nice area. He was happy until the day after he moved in. Then the thrill was gone. Immediately, he wished he’d bought a bigger, nicer home. His “more is better” thinking wouldn’t allow him to enjoy his new home, even for a day. Sadly, he is not unique. To varying degrees, we’re all like that. It’s gotten to the point that when the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989, one of the first questions he received from a reporter was “What’s next?” It seems that whatever we do – buy a home or a car, eat a meal, find a partner, purchase some clothes, even win a prestigious honor it’s never enough.

The trick in overcoming this insidious tendency is to convince yourself that more isn’t better and that the problem doesn’t lie in what you don’t have, but in the longing for more.

Learning to be satisfied doesn’t mean you can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t ever want more than you have, only that your happiness isn’t contingent on it. You can learn to be happy with what you have by becoming more present-moment oriented, by not focusing so much on what you want. As thoughts of what would make your life better enter your mind, gently remind yourself that, even if you got what you think you want, you wouldn’t be one bit more satisfied, because the same mind-set that wants more now would want more then.

Develop a new appreciation for the blessings you already enjoy. See your life freshly, as if for the first time. As you develop this new awareness, you’ll find that as new possessions or accomplishments enter your life, your level of appreciation will be heightened.

An excellent measure of happiness is the differential between what you have and what you want. You can spend your lifetime wanting more, always chasing happiness – or you can simply decide to consciously want less. This latter strategy is infinitely easier and more fulfilling.

My First Book in More than a Decade

A recommended loan from a friend, and yes, I had a good read and learnt several important lessons about happiness quoted from the novel.

Lesson No. 1: Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.

Lesson No. 2: Happiness often comes when least expected.

Lesson No. 3: Many people see happiness only in their future.

Lesson No. 4: Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.

Lesson No. 5: Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.

Lesson No. 6: Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.

Lesson No. 7: It’s a mistake to think that happiness is a goal.

Lesson No. 8: Happiness is being with the people you love.

Lesson No. 8b: Unhappiness is being separated from the people you love.

Lesson No. 9: Happiness is knowing your family lacks for nothing.

Lesson No. 10: Happiness is doing a job you love.

Lesson No. 11: Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own.

Lesson No. 12: It’s harder to be happy in a country run by bad people.

Lesson No. 13: Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.

Lesson No. 14: People are kinder to a child who smiles.

Lesson No. 15: Happiness comes when you feel truly alive.

Lesson No. 16: Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.

Lesson No. 17: Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.

Lesson No. 18: Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time.
Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think.

Lesson No. 19: The sun and the sea make everybody happy.

Lesson No. 20: Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.

Lesson No. 21: Rivalry poisons happiness.

Lesson No. 22: Women care more than men about making others happy.

Lesson No. 23: Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy?

UPDATE:

Omg they’re making a movie out of this book! Coolios!

I’m gonna catch it!

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Fear vs. Love

…in the decisions we make in this moment which are based on either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practically. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dared ask the universe for it.
…You can fail when you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance when doing what you love.

To put down everything, go all out, and leave recklessly or to hold on to the current plan because it’s already.. planned. In the end, I still chose the practical and responsible (or you can call it hum ji) path. Jim Carey, you truly inspired me for that 60 seconds. However, it always boil down to commitments, and we keep thinking there’ll be a second chance.

Why I Don’t Want Kids

1. Expensive.

The extreme high cost of living in Singapore is such a turn off. Unless me and my partner’s incomes increase by a fold, having kids will be a struggle. It’s not even about the ridiculous prices in the beginning ($600 per month child care, $80 milk powder, $XXXX toys and god-knows-what); the costs will continue to grow for at least two more decades, especially when wage stagnation, unemployment, over population, and competition will all be more apparent in the future. If they grow up useless, I don’t want to continue providing them for the rest of my life.


2. Screwed up society.

This is becoming very real. Look at the kids these days. Secondary school kids dressing up and behaving like adults; college students starting families due to unplanned pregnancies; underage smoking and drinking etc. Yes, it depends on the upbringing, but we still can’t control what they pick up from their friends and everything on the internet.


3. So stress.

I don’t want my children to go through what I’m going through multiply by ten. The stress and pressure (especially in Singapore) will only get worse. And we are not just fighting against our own people, we have to fight against more and more imported people. Doesn’t help that our government are more protective over them than us citizens, though they are trying to look like they’re not.


4. F A T.

My waistline armline legline neckline are all gonna expand like balloons, and I’m afraid that I won’t have enough time or self-determination to shave those extra KGs off. Even if I do, I don’t think anything can save me from those nasty stretch marks.


5. Bye bye freedom.

Freedom to travel. This alone, is enough to rob my soul away.


6. Karma.

I’ve gossiped and laughed too much. I’m really afraid that all the bad things that I’ve said about others will all happen to my kids.


7. I might forget about my kid.

Leaving my kid on a table / in a cab and walking away after that sounds like something I’ll be guilty of. I’m so absent minded I can’t take care of myself and my belongings, how can I look after another human being?


8. Who’s gonna take care?

Nows a days, both parents have to work in order to support a family (unless you marry someone rich). Working parents will leave their children either in the hands of their own parents or a childcare. The former will spoil your kid, and the latter will run into attention and hygiene problems which will make doctor trips a routine.


9. Hassle much.

Every time you go out – milk bottle, milk powder / breast pump, stroller, toys / iPad, dunno-simi-wako that will take up one big bag. Good if you can afford a car; good luck if you’re on public transport. When they start wailing or throw tantrums, everyone is gonna throw dagger stares at you.


10. Harder if things don’t work out.

Adultery, dying love, simply cannot live together; there are many reasons that call for THE extreme solution – a divorce. However, having kids makes separation even more difficult and painful.


11. Above all, I’m selfish.

Yup I am, and having children are not for selfish people. You must be selfless. You must give and provide without expecting anything in return. You must sacrifice without complaining. If you procreate because you want your next generation to take care of you, then don’t bother, ‘cos the mentality is wrong to begin with.

Can’t believe that I used to wanna get married and 24 and have kids at 25. Now that I’m 25+, things that happened along the way totally changed my mindset. Though I’m pretty firm right now, things will change again later so it’s good to jot down my current “I don’t want kids” mindset. Ten or twenty years later, I’ll look back at this entry with either with agreement, regret, or with my own kiddos sitting on my lap.

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13 Things I’ve Learnt in 2013

1. Say no.

It took me a long time to learn how to say no, but the thing, is you can’t please everyone, forever. Pick up some balls, reject once, and the rest will follow. Rule of thumb is: never say yes when you’re saying no to yourself. BUT if someone proposes with a diamond ring gold bar, just say yes first then sort him out later 😉


2. Speak up.

No one will know your existence if you keep quiet all day. Nobody will go up to a piece of furniture and offer it chocolate cakes or opportunities. Stop being that chair in the office and start rattling.


3. Stop making new year resolutions.

Make multiple 100-day plans instead. Remember, the goals have to be concise like, “eat six times a day,” rather than, “I want to look like a pig.”


4. Appreciate.

It is not in our Asian upbringing to constantly express love verbally, especially to our parents. However, do know that you’re truly blessed if people even bother nagging at you.

People say I love you all the time – when they say, “take an umbrella, it’s raining,” or “hurry back,” or even “watch out, you’ll break your neck.” There are hundreds of ways of wording it – you just have to listen for it, my dear.

– The Curious Savage (John Patrick)


5. Belittle yourself.

You’re not that great. Really. I once thought I could be superman and jump over a stretched rubber band placed at shoulder height (aka zero point) in office, and I ended up cracking my toes. The pain prolonged till now.


6. Never be a slave to anyone.

Not your bestest of friends. (To begin with, a friend should never make you feel that way.) Not even your own boss. Real people actually die from overworking these days. Not worth it.


7. Let go.

Letting go is like repeating point 1 for a thousand times till it has no effect on you. Pretty tough, but achievable. It is necessary in life because people change all the time, including myself.


8. Black and whites are not cool.

Rules and the whole junk of proving this and that is bullshit. I know while mandatory, too much of them gives no free play and sucks humanity TO DEATH.


9. Take chances.

You’ll never know what’s in-store for you next. If you want to do it, go. Spare some considerations for consequences though, then do it with all your heart. YOLO!


10. Don’t procrastinate.

Because I procrastinated to pump my bike tyres, I landed in an accident. Because I procrastinated to install iTunes on my new laptop, I lost my phone without the latest backup files. (Btw, it’s better to setup auto backup in iCloud.) STOP FUCKING PROCRASTINATING.


11. Enjoy boredom.
Motivation and passion cannot keep you going on forever, boredom will. This is similar to the 100-day plan thing (point 3). Using the same example, indulge in the process of binge eating everyday instead of focusing on looking like a pig. Trust me, you’ll get there.


12. Cold showers are good.

Better immunity, higher metabolism, more energy, lots of benefits blah. It think my morning sinus improved after cold showering for a few months.


13. Eat. A lot.

No better way to treat your body and soul. Well, at least for me!

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