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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Love is like the Wind ... Wedding Speech

Once again public speaking is not my forté, but I do enjoy listening wedding speeches! I'm not terribly fond of the kind of speech where the speaker "toasts" the couple and pokes fun at them, because it's their special day they should only have to hear positive remarks. Speeches that are very sweet or sentimental are my favourite kind, and I really enjoy that sort of thing! I just have to make my speech fun so I could hold back my happy tears.

Good evening everyone, for those of you who don't know me, I am the very proud “so call twin big sister” of our glamorous Bride. I want to start by congratulating the bride and groom, and thanking all of you for coming here today.

When I look at the bride and groom, I feel such a whirlwind of emotions. I know that Purdey has found her true match and I know that theirs will be a marriage of long standing. My heart is bursting with love for you two today. I know you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you, and with everyone’s blessing your marriage will last for decades to come.

I never knew Justin before he dated my sister, so I can't tell you horrible stories about him, but I can tell you that I know he is perfect for my sister! He's easy going, interesting, easy to talk to, and he has a great sense of humour! I am very sure Purdey’s family are very happy to welcome Justin as part of the family. I know he's made perfect for her, and I hope she’s specially made for him too!

Purdey, I want to note how beautiful you look today, and to tell you that this has truly been a special day for me. Thank you for giving true meaning to the word sister and for sharing the last 5 years with me. I truly enjoyed your company, and laughter, when I think back on our adventures by browsing through Facebook albums; I have nothing but fond memories. The fondest memories include the times we spent having short road trips, outdoor sports (marathon, badminton, gym) and lots of sleep over. I know how much joy she has brought into my life, and I know that she'll bring that joy into Justin’s life as well.

To this day, Purdey is the only person I know that can make me laugh so hard it hurts. I have a lot more funny and embarrassing stories about her, but because this is her special day, I will leave her alone now.

I thought about the words of advice that we'd like to give to the newlyweds and came up with this five points:
The two secrets of a long lasting and happy marriage are a good sense of humour and a short memory!

Always remember to say those three important little words..."You're right darling"
If you're clever, you'll always have the last word. However, if you are very clever, you won't use it.
# Whenever you are wrong, admit it. Whenever you are right, be quiet.
And, Justin, always remember...a happy wife, makes for a happy life!

# Separately, you are two special, remarkable people, but together you are complete. As you sit side by side through this roller coaster of life, remember to scream from the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loop the loops, and enjoy every twist and turn ... for the RIDE is much better when you share it together. 

# Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

My wishes for Justin and Purdey are that they have a continued loving friendship and partnership; that they enjoy success and laughter together; that they are blessed with children; and through the years, your love for each other will deepen and grow.

# May your love be like the wind, strong enough to move the clouds, soft enough to never hurt, but always never ending

I wish you the very best and happily ever after.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

FAQs, Do's and Don't's

Stuck waiting at the departure lounge in the international terminal, I dedicated this to a good friend who gave me a very eventful birthday experience this year.

For those who might be planning to explore the option of speed dating, you probably would find these Q&A relevant. Speed dating is the hot new alternative on the dating scene, compared to barhopping and on-line dating. In the present world of speed and frenzy, speed dating is the instant dating solution for today’s youngsters or working professionals. Unlike normal dating, you have got 5 to 10 minutes to meet and create chemistry. (hahaha fat chance)

One thing you really don’t have is the luxury of time, therefore the way you dress and the questions you ask are really important. If you are tongue-tied, you are out of the picture. Yup it is a competitive world out there. Dating experts advise that no one wants to date some one who does not talk, is boring or nervous, you must be ready with a list of interesting, impressive and enjoyable questions that will keep the conversation thriving. (sounds like a lot of work)

The Do's and Don't's
1. Remember to be confident (act confident even if you are not)
2. Make a proper introduction (work on your smile)
3. Go with a positive attitude
4. Dress well
5. Avoid swearing, telling lies or have unrealistic expectations

There are numerous other questions you can ask on a speed date if you rack your brains. The trick is to select from among these the questions that are closest to your heart and whose answers are important to you. If you can't remember the important questions; there are so many topic to discuss and enjoy!

Some of the questions I found interesting or I would used during a date (ranging from serious to silly)

Conversation starter
  • What do you do for work? - It is an introductory question. It may reveal the professional status of a person but very little about his personality. So move on to another question.
  • Where are you from? - This reveals background. It throws better light on the person.
  • What is the one thing about yourself that you would like me to know? More insight into his personality.
  • When was your last relationship and how long did it last? A probing question that will open up the communication.
  • Do you believe in love at first sight? You can decide whether he is a romantic person or not.

Warming up
  • What do you do for fun? This will throw light on whether your leisure activities match.
  • How do you spend your spare time? This is important, as it will really help if both love to do the same things in spare time.
  • Are you an outdoor person and he a bookworm? Which is the last book you read?
  • Do you like animals/keep pets? Are you going to clash on this issue - one an animal hater, the other a pet lover?
  • Describe your perfect holiday. Would you like to climb a mountain or trek across a desert? If one thinks frozen Alaska, the other sunny tropical island. Uh-oh
  • What is your favourite month of the year and why? Does he like to sweat it out in summer activities or curl up like a cat in winter?
  • Are you a morning person or a night person? Is sexual compatibility important to you?
  • Who is you favourite movie/actor/actress/celebrity and why? Into which personality’s shoes would you like to step for a day? Says a lot about his taste.
  • What is your favourite sports or team? Who is your favourite sportsperson?
  • Do you believe a cup is half empty or half full? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

By now you would have a good feeling if you want to continue on with the conversation with him or stop here.

Going into the details
  • What are you looking for in a relationship? What do you think is the most important value in a relationship? You can both instantly compare whether you match in this area.
  • Do you want to marry or have you ever been married? This is important, as it will reveal if both are moving in the same direction - towards or away from marriage.
  • What do you look for in a husband/wife? Do you want/do you have any children? An important question if you are looking for a long-term relationship.
  • Is religion important to you? 24x7 living together means understanding on certain basic issues like religious beliefs.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time? Watch out if he has no definite goals for the future and is in a rut. A positive mark if you have your life and career planned out positively.

Now if you still have time, you may light up the mood with some silly remarks.

Insight into personality.
  • If you could travel back through time, what single mistake would you correct in life? 
  • What are your deepest regrets?
  • You have got six months to live, what will you do first?

Amusing question just for laughs.
  • If you won a lottery, how would you spend your millions?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • Which is the one job in the world that you would love to do?

Some of my personal favourite answers about life, goal, work, relationship and time 

Share briefly about your personal life?

My current goal in life is to become simpler and simpler.
Before this I wanted to do so much. My mum taught me a lot of things and exposed me to many different situations, I grew up basically wanting to do this kind of stuff and learn that new set of skills....
Now I'm taking life a little more slowly and still looking for new projects that I haven't done before, explore things that broadened my horizon … but I am now a lot more selective. It is like practising both longevity and diversity at the same time by doing different things in my own way at my own pace and exploring how to remain the relevance over a longer period of time.

What qualities, attributes or talent can be seen in your work?
A lot of discipline and dedication. I don't go out partying all the time, I used to do it when I was younger but now it is not a constructive use of my time. I am way over it cause it no longer serve any purpose for me. I guess there are things in life you have to give up in order to acquire a new task. Remaining focus in life is not an easy exercise, I find balancing between both work and family became a very crucial part of my life.

What qualities do you look for in the close friend that you keep?
Creative thinkers, people that inspires me, not necessary in the same industry but also people outside the industry are important and good friends that work hard to achieve what they want. When I seethe passion in their work, it reminds me of who I am, what I like to do. There are times when I might lose inspiration or my dream/ ambition. When I hang out with them, it restart that whole drive in me again. I feel it is important to have close friends like that to support each other, to discuss topics with passion and laughter. 

How do you spend your free, down and spare time?
It really depends on what I do, where I am going, what my mood is ... it can be very different every time. There are times when I can be really hyperactive and do a lot of things. Other times when I am very exhausted from work and I just want to go home and not see anybody. Spend a quiet evening or weekend, having some ME time (for myself).
A couple of times I was so occupied with life, I just wanted to spend some quality time with my family. Get in touch with my friends back home, you know, having more than just an email or an on-line chat or a quick phone conversation, it's good to see them in person over a good meal or coffee and talk.

Where do you normally travel and how do you choose your vacation?
I am very fortunately that I have a job that pays my bills and also allowed me to take time off and travel over the last couple of years. I have been to a few places and would like to visit a few more. Singapore, Hong Kong, LA and Vegas is a great place for shopping, full of energy and vibrant, I would like to visit New York someday. 
I love to travelling to different places in Europe and Japan to explore the culture and history, but you need to save up and plan well for these trips. Many parts of Asia can be fun, cheap and easy, you learn a lot about the society.
I recently made a trip to Tibet and China. I brought my computer, I had a phone with internet but I realise that I don't need all these modern conveniences, I learn what basic human living is all about, no need for fancy cars or expensive clothes, all I need is to sleep, to rest and to adsorb what's happening around me. I spend a month there and came back here, it put things into a better perspective, stop me from being such a spoilt brat, keep my feet on the ground (no more flying like a legless bird)
I am ravished by the beauty of the world and I really love spending time exploring nature.
My next destination would probably be Latin America or South Africa, I haven't decided yet.

Okay time to board my flight ... 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Romancing in Thin Air

Last night, I decided to pack my bags for yet another travel, even though it will be short trip but it is not easy to pack, most of the stuff are either gifts for my family or souvenirs for relatives reunion dinner and not forgetting my friend's wedding (brides maid dress, shoes, make-up, accessories) I hope I did not forget anything this time. Oh well, from all the travels I had, you pack what you can and the rest just buy if needed, no point over packing. Yup bags are heavy and filled, I am satisfied.

I left work early and I had some spare time so I decided to have a relaxing evening, I was home alone, peace and quiet, I watched "Romancing In Thin Air (高海拔之恋II)" directed by Johnnie To, one of Hong Kong’s most exciting directors, starring none other than my two favourites, Louis Koo and Sammi Cheng. 

I have so much respect for Sammi. She had a long history in the entertainment industry, good and not so good rumours, during a break lasting more than 1,000 days, she reflected upon her life, and became a born-again Christian. After taking a break for about 2 years, she re-invented herself again, and held her concert titled "Show Mi" (Mi being the nickname of SamMI given by her fans). I was very fortunate to have attended her concert tour in Australia back in 2008.

This new movie definitely marks a welcome return for Sammi. Her previous movies that I enjoyed growing up watching
1996 Feel 100% with Ekin Cheng
1998 The Lucky Guy with Stephen Chow
2000 Needing You with Andy Lau
2000 Summer Holiday with Richie Ren
2001 Love on A Diet with Andy Lau
2002 Infernal Affairs with Andy Lau
2004 Magic Kitchen with Jerry Yen
2004 Yesterday Once More with Andy Lau

"Needing You" and "Yesterday Once more" was produced and directed by Johnnie To and you can tell she is a perfect screen couple with Andy Lau.

Like a scene straight out of a movie, on the day superstar Michael is to marry his actress sweetheart Yuan Yuan, a coal miner shows up and runs off with the bride.
While dodging the paparazzi, Michael inadvertently boards a truck driven by Sue and ends up in Shangri-la.
Sue is the innkeeper of a local inn and allows the rather depressed Michael to stay and get his life back together. During his stay, Michael finds out Sue is a die-hard fan and Michael's movies are the links of Sue's marriage. Unfortunately, her husband, Tian, disappeared 7 years ago near the inn and hasn't been found ever since.
Year after year, the rescue team looks for Tian and Sue hasn't given up either. But when hope turns into despair, Sue commits suicide and Michael rescues her. As time goes by, Michael nurses Sue back to health and encourages her to put Tian behind her. When they both sense love is in the air, Sue gets word Tian's body has been found. Unable to forget her husband, Sue turns Michael down.

Before "Romancing in Thin Air" was released, I watched the trailer, teaser and listened to the OST "Do Re Mi" performed by Sammi. I didn't get the meaning behind the lyrics but after watching it all makes sense now.

This morning as I was loading up my car with my luggage and fishes (dropping it off at a friend's place), I reminded myself true friendship and true love do sustain the tests of distance and time. There are many ways out there to make a relationship work. All I can say is love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.

While driving to work (surprisingly no traffic), I came across "Don't compare your love story to those you watch in movies. They are written by scriptwriters, yours is written by God." Yup scenes in movies definitely bring back memories ... riding a bike, hugging from behind, kissing in the rain, being taken care when sick, drinking till you pass out, warming each other in the cold ....

Love is beautiful and poetic, it can bring sunshine to a bad day, and it is the rainbow to the storm. However, we all live in reality. Sadly we all need to eat, sleep, pay bills and contribute to society and not live on just love.

Love is grand, but it must not remove us from reality. God has a great way of combining love with justice, purpose and productivity. His love is not that of a besotted teenager, but a mature love that helps people to grow and develop. That is the kind of love we should have for everyone; love that develops respect and maturity in those around us.

How can you express love to everyone in such a way that they are better off from experiencing it?

A friend came to me for advice, I told her not to focus on choosing the better man, she should instead consider the man that make her a better woman. God's love is made perfect, I pray that everyday we may learn to extend His love to everyone around us so that we all become better people from the experience.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Time To Catch My Breath ~ Home Sweet Home

Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do?
Marlin: No I don't wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
Marlin: Dory, no singing.
Dory: [continuing] Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim.
Marlin: Now I'm stuck with that song... Now it's in my head.
Dory: Sorry. 

Weeks of poor sleep pattern and bad dreams are a recipe for a very cracky and short tempered person.

Every where I turn I see some sort of challenge, slowly the view becomes obscured (like a layer of morning mist) and I am too tired to discern whether I see Prince Charming coming or to gauge how long before the dawn comes as I lay in bed wide awake some nights.

Three people keep showing up in my dreams, two are dead to me and one is very much alive. I don't need to sit with a genius to understand why they are there or what they represent in my life. I know, for a fact that if life would have worked out a bit differently there would have been times where all three of them would have been together at the same place (maybe not a very good idea).

And mind you this actually did happened a few years back, two of them were there at my first wedding as a bridesmaid. Until today I can't recall how they were invited.There were not from the common group of friends and there were not even from the same country. You must be joking, among hundreds of guest, both of them ended up sitting next to each other.

The music started playing in the background, my cue to start walking down the aisle, there they were both standing looking at me side by side, each gave me a wide smile, it was a truely awkward moment, thank goodness I did not trip and fell on my face. Deep down I know one was ready to punch and the other will not hold back the attack. I was praying that they don't start a scene, the very last thing I wanted was for them to act like boys and destroy the wedding. This is the reason why you never invite an Ex to your wedding (or any wedding).

I guess there would have been more than one occasion for us to gather seperately (reunion) and it would have made me very happy to catch up but for some strange reason, them being invited to "my friend's wedding" at the same time has indeed made me a tiny bit uncomfortable.

I have attended a few other weddings alone since then. This time round it would be my very best friend aka twin sister wedding. Once again one of them will be there, that is not how it should be and I am not crying over it. I may be a dreamer and someone who believes that dreams can become reality, but I am also practical. I live in my current reality and I understand exactly what is happening. Is this fate, destiny or revenge? I have this strange feeling he is bringing a plus one. But isn't that what I wanted, for them to move on ... to find their happiness and leave me alone? ... well yes ... but not in front of my face.

I am not going to be given time to catch my breath during this trip. Oh well life isn't going to stop anyway. It doesn't matter how loudly I yell or how hard I try to force it to be otherwise, I can't make things happen the way I want (unless it is my own wedding of course). All I can do is enjoy my birthday, try to make the most out of wedding the next day and  rush home to spend quality time with my family. Tonight I better start packing, tomorrow I shall make a few smart decisions and the wedding speech will hopefully be the topic of my discussion next week.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

I Love You Mom

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it's life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

"You will simply call her, 'Mom.'"

Friday, 11 May 2012

Thank You and Goodbye

I just wanted to point out that it's interesting that most of the following items discuss below involve words - written, spoken, and sung. Ways of sending, recording, transmitting and storing words may change and disappear, but words are essential for life. Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come.

The "Things" That You Own
Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. eg Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" 

Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes me want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert. Surely we remember how important physical touch is.

It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your email/favourite/ads will change to reflect those habits. "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again. 

Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers or iPads. And they're playing games on iPhones and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator, let's see how long reality TV shows can keep the rating coming. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix or IPTV.

The Land Line Telephone
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it or they bundle it with their broadband. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes. I say go Naked DSL !!!

This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

The Book
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book. Kindle is Awesome !!!

The Newspaper
This new generation simply doesn't read the newspaper any more but Dad still insist on subscribing to a daily delivered print edition, I told him that may go just like the ice-cream van, milk man, bakery delivery truck ... As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance to develop a model for paid subscription services. 

The Post Office
Can you imagine a world without the post office. They are deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. I guess that is why local postage keep increasing yearly. Probably relying on shopping on-line eg, eBay has somehow push Fed Ex and UPS to wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of  my daily mail is either junk mail or bills, and we are encourage to consider the environment hence we opt for email delivery nowadays.

The Cheque
It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process cheques. Credit cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque. I vaguely remember my cheque book, I reckon it is still sitting deep in the drawers.
Yup I have to agree, all these things are slowly disappearing in my lifetime. All we will have left that can't be changed are "Memories". And then probably Alzheimer will take that away from you too! How ironic ...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

There are no mistakes in life, just lessons ...

How interesting, last night, four individuals from different walks of life, Japanese, New Zealander, Chinese and Indian came together in conjunction for a friend's farewell and to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Sitting closely together we had a wonderful time at a local cosy French restaurant. Everyone was enjoying themselves, we discuss about travels, food, culture and life.

It is that time of the year for a quarterly reality check and life's biggest question. After speaking to friends and clients over the last couple of weeks (maybe months) since I got back from my missions trip, everyday we seem to be striving for financial freedom and getting more years out of life ... when we should really be focusing on getting more life out of our years ... trying to find ways to live, and not merely exist.

Well probably not everyone will understand my point here, but yes too often we go through life on autopilot, going through the motions and having each day pass like the one before it.

Before we know it, time flew pass in front of us. Everyone experience the same problem.
Well some individual find that comfortable while others accept it as part of life.

My question, is that really fine? You think maybe it is but let's look at the following scenarios.

Scenario 1 : Friends
That's fine until one day you meet someone you have not meet for a long time, you realise they have gone through another year without having done anything, without having really lived life.

Scenario 2: Partners
That's fine until you see your close friends having kids one by one and then you realise that you are missing out on parenthood.

Scenario 3 : Parents
That's fine until they see their kids go off to college and they tell you that they missed their childhoods.

I don't want to reached old age and look back on life with regrets. It’s not fine and it's not fair. 

If I want to truly live life, to really experience it, to enjoy it to the fullest, instead of barely scraping by and only living a life of existence, I need to find ways to break free.

Now let's drink to life, because what follows is just a list of ways I choose to live my life (Hey! we all need reminders and I am here to share my life lessons, some which I am still trying to accomplish every single day)

1. Fall in love, if you aren't already (Abandon being too cautious and let your heart be broken) it doesn't have to be romantic love, you can love all humanity, one person at a time.

2. Go outside, stop working so hard, pay attention to nature. Walk barefoot on the grass, hike the woods, dive in the freezing ocean, dance on the beach. Do your work on a laptop in a coffee shop, become a freelancer. It might be worth it.

3. Savour good food, don't just eat your food but really enjoy it. Feel the texture and flavours,savour every bite slowly.

4. Wake up early, greet the day, start a morning ritual, watch the sun rise, tell yourself today is a gift, enjoy some coffee.

5. Find your passion, your dreams, things that excite you, go after them, take chances. Make life one exciting adventure after another (with perhaps some quiet times in between). Make your living by doing the thing you love to do you only live once.I was often told I live my life too cautiously, worried about what might go wrong. Be bold, risk it all. Quit your job and go start a business for yourself (plan it out first!), or go up to that guy you've liked for a long time and ask him out. What do you have to lose? I have done it and got turn down a couple of times, yes it is embarrassing at first but I laughed about it now (instead of regretting not doing when I had the chance).

6. Open your heart and face your fears or suffering, I always tell others to face their fears but this doesn't mean I am perfect or I do not have my own fears. I am also trying to face it only then I will be set free. What is holding you back? Are you mess up, feeling empty, filled with scars? Talk to someone, practise makes perfect, life isn't all about fun games, suffering is inevitable. We lost jobs, our lovers, pets ... get injured or sick. It is normal to feel the pain and really grieve. When you are done move on ... so you are ready to find joy.

7. Slowdown and do nothing, I have to confess I fail terribly in this area.Friends always joke "she never stops" but I take it very seriously (not personally) ... this is not a compliment, I might burned out very soon, I don't want a major overhaul so young. Definitely this is not healthy or conducive living. Practise patience, learn to move snail pace start from eating to walking, driving, working and reading.

Next, when I say do nothing, it literally means no reading, taking nap, talking on the phone, not even watching TV, just sit still in silence, hear our inner voice, be in tune with our breathing, our mind should be blank (you may even call it meditating).

8. Turn off entertainment or the media, I stop watching the news on TV, maybe it is because I  never arrived home in time for it so I started to follow twitter news feed, short and precise, I can easily pick topic that caught my attention to read. Have you ever notice all the local news channel focus on depressing issues. Sometimes I feel like asking the TV to show me something important or at less exciting (excluding TV shows), slowly it became a background sound, no one pay any attention, so it is mainly switch off.

Note: Unless you are reading something useful (like this article) pull away from the Internet ;)

9. Rediscover what's important and eliminate everything else, make a list of everything that is important to you, add everything that you want to do in life, now cut the list down to 5 things you want to achieve, this is your core list, that is what matters. Focus on them and make time. As much as possible eliminate what is not on the list (wasting your time and distracting your attention) 

10. Exercise and stay positive, get active, you will love it, walk, run, push up, crunches, shake it. Learn to recognise negative thoughts, self-doubts, criticisms of others, complaints, gossips ... find your own way to stop and replace with good thoughts, happy emotion and positivity attitude. You can do this!

11. Volunteer and get touch by humanity, I suggest finding those who lived in worse conditions than yours, meet them, talk to them, understand them, better still live among them, be one of them. Are you willing to give up your materialistic lifestyle in search of truth, compassion, ease the suffering the poor/sick/ needy. Be honest and ask yourself, how far are you willing to go for others.

12. Play with children and talk to old people, my personal favourite, more than anyone else, children know how to live. They experience every moment fully. When they hurt they cry, when they play they have fun, when they are happy they giggle away. I enjoy playing with children on Sunday at church, they light up my life. I always wonder when I am ready to start a family of my own, will still feel the same? Anyway there is no one wiser, more experience, more learned than those who live through life. They have amazing stories to tell, they give great advice, we can learn from their regrets and avoid the same mistakes. They are pure wisdom of our society - take advantage of their existence while they are still around. Cherish them and keep them close.

13. Learn new skills and be in the moment, there is no excuse for us NOT to constantly improve ourself. 
Instead of thinking about things you need to do, or things that have happened to you, or worrying or planning or regretting, think about what you are doing, right now. What is around you? 

Well my purpose is to live a simple life, without having a reason to work, I still enjoy work but I don't want to have to go to work just because I needed work. I dream to be make a living by freelancing, work while I travel. Only work an hour or two a day, check email once a week. Then use the rest of the time to see the world. How awesome is that?  Can you see ... working toward this goal or "the process" is life itself.

Find ways to take a few weeks off every months, to rest, to spend time with your family. What I do is save up, get rid or sell my unused possessions and travel. Enjoy the short break and then go back to work, save up enough and do it again all over again. I say do it now while you're young.

14. Break away from routines and try something new, ask yourself what shall I try ... seek new experience. I can't learn Spanish in a week but I want to give it a try. For example, take a different route home, start your day differently, approach work from a new angle, notice sunset on the way back from work, kiss in the rain, make an awesome dessert 

15. Lose control, laugh till you cry ... let loose (stop taking yourself so seriously)
Men tend to hold in their emotions ... cry when you are hurt, learn to laugh at anything (tell jokes), it's okay to lose control now and then, forget trying to control or understand others, it is unnecessary stress, instead rely on effective communication, avoid walk away from the situation and hiding your feeling.

If you find this useful, print it out, and start using it. Today.

Friday, 4 May 2012

婆婆 Your Love is Forever

"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling. "