Saturday, 30 April 2011

10 signs on how I know I was overwhelmed

My mind was screaming. My spirit was sinking. But on the surface, I was collected as I went on my everyday routine. Even then, I knew I was overwhelmed and here are how I knew:

1. My old laptop screamed “Low Memory” ten times a day. My new laptop took 2 months to reach me due to poor distribution, mistake in shipment and wrong OS installation. Now I understand why competitor brand (D**l ) deserved to get a bigger pie of the market.

2. I told my coaches I needed a week break. They ended up 2 to 3 weeks.

3. My planned vacation in May seems like a long wait. I am glad it is almost there now as I need a recharge badly.

4. I conveniently forgot all the deadlines and tasks. I kept a to-do list in my iPhone, which I relied on a lot. Unfortunately, I refused to refer or update the list by telling myself I need to find better software to do a better job. Because I believed I was definitely NOT the cause of this problem. Nothing beats to blaming everything else except ourselves.

5. I started reading more than 8 books since 3 months ago, but never even finish one book. And I kept buying new books. It is like buying 10 dresses during sales but never actually wear one out.

6. I used only 3 days to re-write my third Toastmaster speech after I was not satisfied with the first draft. And I was left with 2 days to rehearse. Obviously, the delivery was bad and it sapped my confidence. Then I spent the next few weeks trying to find ways to boost my confidence, including reading a book on confidence which I also did not manage to finish as well.

7. I carried piles of documents to and from work in a separate bag that weighed somewhere in between 10 to 20 apples. I felt like anytime now,  Anthony Robbins might give me a call to ask me on some of the things he is not sure. So, in order to be able to answer his question, I need to have my documents close to me. (Of course, I did not take into account that he actually does not have my phone number and have never met me before.)

8. I re-watched my few favourite TV dramas for the second and third times. Believe me, I was very much aware that I had other more constructive things to do.

9. I broke the record for my blog. There was no post for more than 3 months. Finally, when I managed to write something, it was about how overwhelmed I was and why I could NOT post anything to my blog.

10. The fact that I am writing this post while my piles of work were not done yet. And the fact that I could really find the 10 signs on why I was overwhelmed.

I am so glad my “overwhelming” period is over. Now, I am back on track. Just like a new-born.

Speaking on new-born, congratulations to all of my friends who have or going to have babies this year – quite a bunch of them. Maybe can setup a football team?

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The 5 More Things I Discovered in Year 2010

Continuing from my earlier post on the things I discovered:

5. Minimal material possessions lead to simpler life.

Moving two times in one year, I discover I have very minimal material possessions. In fact, they can be fitted into a sedan. I consider this a blessing as I have successfully eliminated a lot of physical clutter in my life. It makes me feel tonnes lighter and happier.

I heard of these questions before:
Imagine your life is in a backpack. What do you want to put into the backpack and carry it with you all the times? A house? A car? Imagine how heavy your backpack can be? How sore your shoulder can be to carry a heavy backpack?

6. Attracting the Law of Attraction

I found joy in studying, practicing and sharing passionately with those I know on Law of Attraction. I even delivered my second Toastmaster speech on that. Because of my sharing, I was able to attract more knowledge on Law of Attraction. And I feel so lucky and happy these days as good things have been coming to me recently. And it continues to come.

This is probably the best thing that happened to me in 2010.

Quite a long while ago, I was exposed to Law of Attraction. But that was on a very small scale. I was also advised not to share my knowledge on Law of Attraction with others. The justification is that if others know it, they can use it to do evil things. Based on what I have learned recently, it is not really true. Because Law of Attraction doesn’t work that way. Our “desire” has to be aligned with our “inner self” or the “God” within us. And the “God” within us is good and pure. In fact, I believe that the world can be a better place if more people know and practice the Law of Attraction.

7. I am Switzerland.

I also learnt about the Art of Allowing from Abraham Hicks when learning about Law of Attraction. (

In short, Art of Allowing is about letting people and situations be as they are, and making peace with yourself. This includes allowing other people to make their own choices (and live out the consequential experience of those choices) for themselves, knowing that your guidance is for you and only they can create for them.

One day, I was in the middle of a healthy argument of my two colleagues on their differing beliefs. Let’s call them Emily and Jonathan. Emily believes success can be achieved only through hard work and Jonathan believes success can come quite easily, without hard work.

When I was asked on my view, I chose to be a Switzerland. Personally, I think both beliefs are true, in a twisted way, for both of them. Because what one choose to believe is always true. So, if Emily believes success can be achieved only through hard work, she is right. Same for Jonathan. And I choose to allow them to make their own choices in their beliefs.

That’s why I am able to accept a lot of different and contradicting things in life. Most importantly, I accept and feel good about who I am, with my flaws, which make me a complete person. And also equally important is who I want to be.

8. It helps me to help others.

I was told something like this before:

You cannot help people if you yourself are not good enough. If you teach others, you will be teaching the wrong things and that is not helping them. If you give others what you barely have, you will suffer. When you suffer, you cannot continue to help others. Sometimes, you let people take too much advantage from you when you try to help. And they’ll step all over you.

Sound logical, right?

For a long while, I was convinced that I was not good enough. So, I refrained from giving advices or helping others. And, this got me into a downward spiral because when I stopped giving, I was not flowing with the nature of the life.

I discover that the more people I help, the happier I am. In fact, when I help others, it feels like I am helping myself, especially to move to the positive directions. I even managed to help lifted a few people when I was in a deep hole myself. The fact is because of that, I gained more energy to pull myself up from the hole I had fallen into (also with helps from friends and families).

I am neither virtuous (because I help people) nor selfish (because one reason is to make myself feel good). It is just something that align with my inner self and thus, I am just answering my own calling.

And, finally..............


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The 4 Things I Discovered in Year 2010

2010 was definitely a dramatic year for me. But I've never felt so alive in my life before. The best part was I made great discoveries about life and myself. This could not be achieved if I did not invite Mr. Pain in my life. But now, it was gone, for good.

So, my journey to self discoveries began in 2010, when the world turned to a new decade.

And I am thankful to God for these:

1. I found Work-Life Balance

It feels great to know that I can be efficient in my job without spending too much overtimes at work. Sure, there were demands in my job like getting on teleconferences at night, working on a night shift occasionally and dealing with conflicts. But I have never had a job like my current one, which allows me to have ample personal times. This opens paths to many interesting things in my life now.

Work-life balance has always been something that seemed out of reach for me. But now that I have experienced it, I am truly thankful for it.

The most important thing is I am still competitive, thinking creatively and always finding ways to do better. For that, I think I can get a promotion for my continuous commitment to excellence. The fact is I am still working hard, but mostly to improve myself in a lot of different areas outside of works. But I think these have indirectly helped me in my job too.

In the book “A Class With Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher”, Peter Drucker was mentioned to encourage his students to develop expertise outside their fields to be effective managers.

2. It is good to keep things short and simple

Mark Twain wrote “If I Had More Time I Would Write a Shorter Letter”. I have been struggling for a long time to write and speak more concisely. It has been a quite a challenge, but I had a lot of practices when preparing Toastmaster speeches. I am forced into it, I would say, as I am only allowed to speak on a subject for 6 o 8 minutes, even though I want to cover far and wide.

So, what should I do?

I learn to cut down on a lot of things. I cut down non-essential things, and even sometimes essential things. Because no one can digest all the stuffs I want to throw out at them. So, I have to pick a few essential ones, make my points and make them strong.

Would you prefer slim and tone OR fat-filled content?

3. Silence is my virtue.

One morning when I was visiting a customer in his office, I accidentally SLAMMED my car door with my thumb in between while parking my car. (Yes, I always manage to do weird things to myself). In spite of the excruciating pain, I did not scream. I did not even utter a single word, not even a sigh. I calmly took a tissue out and wrapped it around my bleeding thumb. Blood spurt out fast and my thumb was getting more swollen by the seconds. But I went on to meet the customer. The only time anyone realized about my mishap was when I had to apologize for not being able to shake their hand. It was a funny and painful experience, but it is a solid case on how silent I can be.

If I was not complaining when my thumbs are throbbing and pain is sharp, I do not see any good reason to complain. In his famous book “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, Dale Carnegie shared a great message. “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive”, which means don’t criticize, condemn or complain. If you have nothing better to say, zip your mouth shut.

That's why silence can be a virtue. And I prefer to be with people who talk about positive things rather than people who complain all the times.

4. I am so over bad guys.

The world wonders why girls are always attracted to bad guy. I know I did and it is past tense now. Believe me, going what I have gone through, I am so OVER bad guys now.

In one of her interview, Kristen Stewart said one of the reasons why she got hook up with a bad guy is because she had this belief that she might just be the special one who can turn a bad guy into a good one. That is the attraction, albeit a fatal one. It turned out she could not (as expected) and so she suffered the consequences. Her view is so right at the point. I think she has learned her lesson. Looks at whom she is with now? Robert Pattinson, and he is the good guy type. (Yes, my Edward Cullen in Twilight world. LOL)

In another example:

In the TV series “Vampire Diaries”, two brothers fall for the same girl (Elena). There is the good brother (Stefan) and there is a bad brother (Damon). Apparently, in real life, Damon character has much more fans than Stefan’s. Look at this poll Damon won by 80%! Why is that?

A lot of fans even hope Damon can win over Elena in the battle of affections. From Elena’s point of view, why would she want to hook up with a guy who attempted to kill her brother, just because he was in a bad mood and was provoked? (In fact, Damon did kill Elena’s brother, just that there was some super natural thingy that brought him back to life.).

Yes, Damon is sexy and fun, but Elena should not end up with him. No way! Stefan is loving, caring, respectful, kind, honest, committed and always there to support her. That is a long list of great virtues. And it is time good guys rule over bad guys, cause the latter are so outdated these days.

Alright, at least for me.

My review and reflection for The Garden of Words

I just watched this short animation work from Makoto Shinkai. I had previously watched his grand hit 'Your Name' and absolutely fel...