31 December 2011

Over expect and Under promise

Ahh, goodbye 2011, you have been a good and crazy year for me.

This year, I grew a lot as a person, mostly because I started finding my direction easier and realized that you need to seize every good opportunity. Not every opportunity is good, and it takes experience and wisdom to tell the difference. One thing I've come to learn this year is that as long as you know what direction you're heading, you're heading in the right direction. I still cannot give myself nor anyone a clear indication of where I want to be heading, but I do know that as long as when the day ends and I'm happy with what I did, I'm doing it right.

After a long time, I finally enjoyed a proper week-long vacation in Bali. It did me wonders. I finally got to refuel and recharge as a person and it reminded me of how to be focused without being stressed out. I got to enjoy the sound of the ocean and appreciate the little things in life, like soaking my feet in grass. I realized that working hard and earning a living was only meaningful if I learnt how to spend what I earned on something that enriched my soul rather than my desires. For anyone feeling lost or lacking direction, I strongly suggest escaping the world for 3 - 6 days and just staring at nature. There's a certain magic to it. Reading a book in a coffee shop vs. reading it at the seaside is very different.

Another big chapter in this year was when I found myself drowned in work. I wasn't struggling to stay afloat because I didn't know how to swim properly, but I had taken on too much because I thought I was able to do more than I really could. It sucks when you have to face the man in the mirror and accept that you messed up. I re-read some of my writings from last year and one of my resolutions was to learn to say no more. I suppose, it's a resolution for 2012 again.

On a brighter note, I finally re-organized my desk and wires so that I can convert my desk to a standing desk on-demand, which is awesome because there are days when I'm just tired of sitting. Now, with a few rotations of my handy crank, the table rises and voila, it's a bar-table :) I've also finally gotten back on track with some exercise (man I slacked the hell off for the last 2 months! I am literally as fit as I was....2 years ago..) I've finished most of the items due by the end of 2011 (or at least the ones I still wanted to get done this year) and am in extreme pre-new-years mood right now.

I guess 2011 has been a great year, and the idea of 2012 being the end of the world frightens me. Not because of death or suffering, but because I'm not done enjoying what life has to offer. Knowing that at any moment things could be over gives you a sense of appreciation like nothing else. I suppose the rumors of 2012 being the end of times is a blessing in disguise if you know how to digest it.

So here's to a fantastic 2012 filled with great times, happiness, laughter and beautiful memories that turn into legends for everyone!

Make the most of it! I know I will :)


18 December 2011

The Fly on the Wall of Clouds

Well hello again from 53908502750 feet above land... once again I find myself in a plane when it's time to hit the blog with a new entry. Well this time I got shipped off over to Singapore for a weekend of comedy gigs, it was a lot of fun and this time there was an Indian theme to the shows so that was even better since I could whip out some very Indian bits I have in my little collection of silly things.

Well, here we are ending 2011 and things have been super hectic for me. My schedule has been packed, Hong Kong has been cold and I've been tired. This trip to Singapore has been good because it's forced me to stay very much offline for most of the time which I've come to realize is nearly impossible while I'm in Hong Kong. The temptation to check email or get some work done is far too high.

So on my last day in Singapore I had a few hours to kill so I went to the Marina Bay Sands casino and well...it's a casino. I get it, but they have this weird rule where locals have to pay to enter while foreigners go in for free. That must suck! I walked around, got some food and even treated myself to ice cream (yay for tongue, booo for getting even fatter). Then I decided since I was here I might as well do the uber tourist thing of going to the Sands SkyPark. I knew they'd make us buy a ticket but it cost me 20 Singapore dollars which I thought was more than I expected but ahh well, I might as well. So I got to the top and turns out they've closed off the pool area so I only could be on one side of the roof...and well then I got to see the view....from above. Again, I get it. It's the view of Singapore. Ok. I have to say, this is where Hong Kong wins with the ICC tower's Sky100. Not only does it beat Singapore's 57th floor by being on the 100th floor, it is 360 degrees and absolutely breath-taking!

On a more positive note, I did get to eat a lot of local good food...man I think my cholestoral and everything has shot up these last few days because there has been no meal without a good dose of grease and just guilty pleasure :) I even got to try flavored yakult while I was here (this trip I had time to explore and walk around myself) and well after trying orange and grape, turns out the original flavor is still the best...the others just seem like they're trying too hard to be tasty.

I did find that while I was walking in the Sands Shopping area, I was..happy. Genuinely happy because I felt like I could just shut off my brain for a while and go with the flow with absolutely no worry of interruption. Like even if I wanted to, no one could contact me. I had no phone service and no wifi, so there was no "oh let me go online and read about this" before taking action, it was purely a "go with the flow" moment. Even when I went for ice cream, the scooper guy asked me if I wanted to go with the larger size cup and I was like....why not. And indulgence began.

I think that's definitely something I need to add to my 2012 resolution. Moments to just go with the flow. I used to take Tuesdays off every week and allow myself to just go out and do whatever, I think it really helped my soul in general as it allowed me to re-inforce the reasons I work for myself, so I could follow my mind and soul and enjoy life. I've read so many articles about how you're only young once and I do believe that. I can feel I'm getting older but a big part of me is still like a kid. I still get excited when I see ice cream and I have a chance to enjoy it. I suppose it'd be a good idea to allow myself to just be a kid and be as care-free as possible once in a while, perhaps every 10 days, just like my blog entries.

And speaking of being a kid, my mac has been loaded up with a classic game I grew up playing: Indian Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I was always a biiiggg fan of adventure games by lucasarts. They just did a perfect combination of puzzles and humor, it wasn't your straight forward humor, but twisted jokes that you got to laugh about after you solved the puzzle in the game. The best part was, I used to sit at my PC when I was younger for hours trying to crack puzzles because there was no internet and no walk throughs I could get my hands on (you had to buy them and at my pocket money, that wasn't happening). And well while I was playing this, it also reminded me how these games taught me to explore all possibilities, even if they didn't seem to make sense. I mean, now that I'm older, I'm realizing a lot of things in the game were direct hints. For example, when talking to an old man in the game who was an antique collector, he'd say "unless you've got some great antiques to show me, don't bother me" at the end of a conversation. This is a hint to say when I do get any antiques, find this guy and he'll give you the next clue. It's interesting when I think back how these games have influeced my mind. Even first-person-shooter games like Quake 2 that I know I've burnt up hours and hours of my youth at. Thanks to that, it has helped me with eye-hand coordination and when it comes to design work, I can move my mouse precisely where necessary. It also taught me to type fast because in between games, we'd have maybe 2 seconds to type out a whole sentence and since internet wasn't that fast back then, you didn't have mic and voice talking in games...it was all typing...ahaha so video games are in fact good for you! And speaking of which, I think it's time to load up some Indian Jones and enjoy some of its classic goodness while I wait for the 3:30hr flight to finish.....see you soon and enjoy Christmas!


05 December 2011

The closing ceremony :)

Well, here we are, everyone has begun their countdown to the end of 2011 (or the beginning of 2012). It's an exciting time for many people because motivation is at an all time high for everyone. This is the time everyone sits and dreams big, and believes that at the stroke of midnight on 31 Dec 2011, things will be different, things will be better. I am one of those people. The interesting thing is, in 2010 I thought the same thing but wanted to experiment a bit by tracking what I end up accomplishing in 2011, and turns out I've been averaging 50% at doing what I wanted to do. Not that I accomplished only half the goals, but usually my goals are those that require daily work or repeated work, and I've been able to follow that schedule 50% of the time.

Looks like the summer months were the best times in 2011 that I could stay on track with my goals. But I'm curious if this is because of the weather or because of my workload. I notice most of my slacking off has happened near the end of 2011 when things started going mad with me work-wise. One big lesson I've learned in 2011 is my workload limits. So one new year's resolution I have for 2012, is to not allow myself to burn out like I found myself doing in 2011. And as the late Steve Jobs said, “There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.”  and well, I'll keep reminding myself that as I charge through 2012 and hope for the best!

So good luck and remember, a habit takes 21 days to develop, so if you want to test-run a resolution, now's the time! :)