So what?

How often do you reason with yourselves? For some it is a constant inner battling and for some maybe it became a habit that has gone undetected.

Here’s the food for thought – What would you do if you knew you could not fail? 

A common response with many start with BUT……

Here’s the tip, NO BUT…..have courage to look into the possibilities and imagine of the impossible.

For your life to be what you want to see, what would have to change?

Here’s a TED Talk that I found inspiring and still watch it from time to time to gain new perspective in life.

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To See the World

It has been quite a while since I sat down to voice my thoughts here. When I meet new people, one of the common questions being asked – What do you enjoy doing most? My answer no doubt is – travelling. It was one day a colleague actually challenged me – but I don’t see you travel much. It was a good point because at that stage in life, I have traveled much lesser than I ever been. I could blame it on no time but really the bottom line it was me who resulted in the outcome.

What exactly had happened?

When I was young and in University and certainly was not financially free, I live to travel literally. I looked out for flight deals and have a knack in getting good value for money on accommodation. I booked my trips and watched my pennies! My parents couldn’t understand and that is a common conflicts in value about managing money. The common remark was – if you had not spent on travelling, how much more you could have save up? Here’s the hard truth, they do not know how much I was spending. It was not a fair judgement but it did not stop me from travelling. Here’s another truth, I did work part time to pay for the extra things I wanted in life. Looking back, I enjoyed working to earn my travels.

Then I went into the corporate world to be a working profession. That was a milestone in life that led to the focus on career growth. Not only that, I started watching my pennies – for driving school, getting my first car, second car……and so on. I still travel and work around my availability. I probably had more road trips which reminded me of the time I was stuck in the rain and traffic. What I appreciate that now is that those road trips build up my driving confidence…yeah…fast and furious.

Fast track forward, my career took me to the next focus – leadership. That is like the formula to NO TIME until one day my boss reminded me to spend time to recharge myself. One of his golden advise that apply to many aspect in work and life – sometimes we need to waste time to gain time. With that, I built in routine to be good to myself. Where did travel plan fit in? I prioritized traveling home to be with my family or family holiday. That was a clear focus and I would not do it any other way. Every two years, I would do a long trip to places that are in my to-go-list. That brought me to Niagara Falls, Petra, Rocky Mountains…in addition from first speeding ticket, getting a free ride in a police car to enjoying three Michelin star meal in New York.

On reflection, I still travel – less but with more focus. Yes, I still look for value for money with more appreciation for comfort within my means. What is next then? I spoke of visiting New Zealand but never set a firm plan. And so I have set my mind and things started falling through. A travel buddy confirmed her availability. I took it from there and nailed it TODAY! The ticket has been booked and the trip is happening over Christmas break. It is exciting and stressful but in a good way! I do not know what is going to happen as it will be a road trip but that is the beauty of it. The unknown and to see the world…..

The key takeaway for me…when it really matters so much to me, no reasoning would stop me. Just like how it had not back in the days.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today at 13th May is when you appreciates your mother exclusively. In the culture and family where I grew up, it is not norm to express myself openly. Back in the days, it was awkward for give her a hug not to mention my appreciation for her verbally. The physical intimacy is beyond me. On the other hand, my late grandma was everything but the above. I remembered how I would tell her how I wish she didn’t have to go by the end of the visit. Never had I ever said the same to my mom when she visited.

My relationship with my mom remains close nonetheless. We just don’t speak the unsaid. There was once we got her a bouquet of roses on Mother’s Day and her response was “What a waste of money’. From there, I decided it is best to ask her what she would like or get her favorite food. I have booked my next trip back home and I asked if she would like to have a durian feast. Her response on WhatsApp was ‘Mao San Wang’. She sure is high maintenance, lol.

I did an exercise with her recently. In this conversation, I given her the permission to be honest and truthful. These are the following prompt questions;

1. What are the things that you appreciated about me?

She was stuck in the beginning so I prompted what memories came to mind to get her started.

2. What are the things you would like to see me do more of?

She started with my bad habit which I had to pause her. The key is to focus on existing qualities that she believes can be further stretch to be a better me.

It was amazing what I heard – coming from my very mom who has never said any of those to me. Whilst I have heard of it through others, it made a whole lot of difference coming directly from her.

When you are ready, you may give it a try and let me know how it feels after.

To all mothers, have a good day ahead and enjoy the pampering. If you are not being spoilt, what is stopping you from spoiling yourself?

Choice

How often do you listen to others? We often call that feedback.

How often do you listen to yourself? We commonly known this as inner voice, gut feel or instinct.

For many who has a lot going on in mind, the noises in our head may be heightened or suppressed. Often I’m asked what should it be. My response is neither but to be aware of it. And when you are ready, you may ask yourself what would you like to do about it. It is a journey that we need time to process. If there is an answer for today, we are resolving the present. It may return again in the future to confront us. Then we start the cycle again. Are you aware of it being repeating? What do you do then?

Here’s a fact, the journey to process is not going to be an easy ride if you have a lot to process. Once you get the wheel going, it gets easier over time. What’s your choice? Ultimately, it is a personal choice and most importantly there is no right or wrong. You will be the best judge for it. If you are ready, you have a decision. If you are not ready, you know what to do too. Back to what I was saying….being aware of it. Have that conversation with yourself. It’s no different to have a meeting with others to make a decision for a project, business or life decision.

Below is a TED talk that I find insightful on a similar topic.

Be the change you want to be

Life choices – are you making it or letting it make you? When you are ready….have a moment to reflect, what is stopping you to be what you want to be?

Below is an insightful poem written by Portia Nelson. I hope it is as impactful to you as it was to me.

Autobiography in Five Chapters by Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost…

I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in…it’s a habit

My eyes are open; I know where I am;

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.