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This phrase is a very common phrase, used widely by the authors of motivational books, by leaders, counselors, etc. We hear this line almost every week. But most of us don’t really realize it.

For myself, i’ve known this ‘theory’ since many years ago but till today, i must admit i cannot really control my emotions properly.

Just yesterday, i did something which i shouldn’t have done.

I reached home quite late (10.30 pm…. so stewpid, 10pm went back from KL City and got stuck in a ‘mini’ traffic jam). I was very tired then my friend (ex-classmate) messaged me in MSN and said “HAHA, Rooney KAKI PATAH !!” I was like ….er… ok. So? Then he repeated the same thing…and i must admit, i got pissed and said “Aren’t you bored? You know I am die-hard Manchester United fan and you have been cursing my team for few years now. I’m bit tired with all your curses”

Somehow, my friend got offended and the conversation ended there.

To be honest, i am really a die hard MU fan. But the thing is, i don’t see a point of making a joke over someone’s broken leg, be it my favourite player or someone i hardly know. Guess i’m not really a person who can take certain ‘jokes’ lightly. I guess i really need to change on this.
Few minutes later, I’ve realized how stupid I was to behave that way when the line “you control your own emotions” came to me. Yeap, i CAN control my emotions and i really shouldn’t make such a big fuss over someone i don’t know, no matter what my friend did or said. It’s no big deal actually. A few wrong words basically ruined my friend’s mood and worsen my day.

In the end, i promised myself not to repeat that. Nothing is big enough to worth damaging my friendship with my friends (ok, pardon me for the weird English). After all….i’m quite sure MU can still win without Rooney. hahahaha.

So here, mst apologize to my friend Rob. ๐Ÿ˜‰

p/s… i seriously doubt he actually checks my blog…and oh yea, he’s a Liverpool fan. ๐Ÿ˜› That should explain why he likes to curse MU ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

p/s… this is just an example of me and my friend. Sometimes, i lost control of my own emotions against my family members as well. That hurts the most. Maybe that’s why i feel i must really learn to control my own emotions…ย 

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Ok, i’m pretty sure that 90% of you will say it is bad. ๐Ÿ˜€ To me, it’s good AND bad, depends on how you see it (gosh, i do sound like someone working in a consulting firm).

If you haven’t read my previous post on Family vs Work, do take few minutes to read. I find the post very meaningful (ok…now i’m back to the old Alvin Lim).

I just came back from dinner with few senior colleagues and they talked about our ex-colleague being workacholic. This ex-colleague (let’s name the person ABC – not air batu campur…or…er..in English is mixed ice?) of ours was quite an extreme person who has nothing in his mind but work, work and work. He is the type of person who will go back to office and work after dinner or during weekends. The type of person who always get his ideas at weird hours….3am. The bad thing is, well, he’ll call you up excitedly and let you know about his ideas!

Gosh, i’m fortunate that my boss is a family man.

To be honest, I myself can be quite a workacholic. I can work very long hours but my style is not the typical 9-5. I like to take short breaks in between….maybe to play games or watch animation or read comic or sleep. After that, i’ll continue to work. That’s my style and if i am working on something i am passionate about ….i can really work for long long hours.

But that’s just me and my own world. I am sane enough to know that i shouldn’t call up someone at 3am just to shout out my ideas to him. Work life balance…this is important.

I believe if you do have some “life” ….be it in between your working time (like my preferred style) or after your work, it is good enough. Don’t be overly absorbed in your work.

Some companies (especially chinaman styled companies) actually like to hire workacholics. They hire you to do more work for the same (or lesser) pay as the rest of the applicants. Isn’t that better? ๐Ÿ™‚

But these companies should also realize that a workacholic might cause other problems such as poor work performance (long hours will make you tired, regardless of whether you are batman, spiderman or superman), unhappy subordinates (don’t think you want your boss to call you at 2am right? or a boss who penalizes you for working lesser amount of time than he does), etc.

For me, work is important but your life is more important. After you retired, what is left? Your spouse and maybe your family…but it is definitely not your work, and not the company who you’ve worked so hard for. When you are sick, who will be there for you (besides the doctors)? Not your ex-bosses but your family and friends.

Life is more than just work, work and work. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m currently reading a book called “The Secret“. It’s a good book actually. Not because it teaches us how to ‘cheat‘ our way by using the “Genie of the universe“….by wishing what we want and imagine we have it, we’ll eventually get it.

To me, things like this do happen because our human brain is so wonderful and powerful that we can actually do many many things which only a mad scientist will think it’s possible. Human beings can heal themselves (ok…i speak as if i’m not part of human race) by just focusing on happy things etc. There are miracles happening around us…people who got their cancer cured within months. It’s not impossible.

I even came out with my own Vision Board or so-called Mission Statements board…where i post up all my “wants” and “dreams” so that i will look at them and visualize everytime i wake up. And i’m feeling grateful for the things i have now and will visualize the things I want (remember the power of daydreaming? yea..just don’t get too much of it, you’ll get addicted).

However, i believe the book or the Secret didn’t say one thing – efforts. You dream, you visualize and you hope…you feel grateful and you feel happy……but you need to make an effort to fulfill your dreams. Your dreams won’t come to you. You hope and hope and hope for a good company to come and hire you….but you will need to improve yourself, to learn more things, to excel in your field of expertise so that this company will notice you. When it does, it might come to you and offer you a job (oh ya, and you need to make an effort in the interview n stuff…u get what i mean). BUT, at this moment….you hold the key…you decide whether to accept or reject. True, you’ve visualized all you want before this…but if you say NO…in the end, whatever you have visualized will go down the drain. No?

The key is yourself…not the universe. I do believe there’s a greater force in the universe doing all these nice n wonderful things, but there are more things that YOU control.

Anyway, I personally love this book because it really made me feel better….feeling grateful, being happy with my life, and thinking about the positive things, focusing on the things i want to achieve, etc.

Not sure whether you’ve read it. Haha. And the author even came out with a DVD and some free video clips in Youtube.

Here are the links.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=phL0RLKL8bcย 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2MqciSMOmkย 

In case you’re wondering, NO, I’m not referring to multi-personalities syndrome. No Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde here. I’m referring to the multiple roles each of us play everyday in our life.

Just recently, a radio DJ (again) talked about this topic on multiple roles/responsibilities and why we should make sure we know how to differentiate them. I find this topic rather interesting, and decided to write this post.

Each and everyone of us do have at least 1 role to play in this world. Most of us, though, have multiple roles to play. Take myself for example. While at work, I’m a IT Developer in my company. But that’s just my position in the company. My role here is as an employee who delivers based on the timeline given. That’s my role in the office (besides trying to help my colleagues or cheer them up when they’re down or give them moral support, etc… see? I’m a nice guy). At home, my role is as a son to my parents and a brother to my elder sister. I need to look after them, love them, care for them, pay for the housing loan, etc. That’s part of my responsibilities at home. But to my friends, I am, well, a friend. Someone to hang out with, someone to seek advice or help from whenever necessary.

You see….some of us already know what are the correct roles we should play at specific time and place. However, the problem lies with how many of us actually can practice what we know? Not many.

Let me ask you this question – how many of you actually bring your work back to your house? I must admit I do that (and I love doing that). But I also must admit I am an expert in multi-tasking. When you bring your office work back to your home, it is never a good thing since you’ll most likely neglect your family. You are bringing the role of an employee from your office, back to your home. Thus, replacing your role as your parents’ son, or your wife’s husband, etc.ย  It’s okay if you do this once in a blue moon….but if you always do this (and you can’t multi-task at all), then it is very unhealthy. Even if you can multi-task, I must admit it is better to separate work from family.

On the other hand, some people who don’t bring their work back to home, will instead bring their mindset back. No matter which industry you’re working in, you can never escape from work-related stress. But, do you think it is appropriate to bring whatever stress you have accumulated in the office and release everything when you are back at home? Many of us know it’s WRONG but how many of us actually can say the sentence “I have never done that before“. 10% maybe. My advice is, no matter how stressed up you are at work….you should leave it as it is once you stepped into your home. You won’t want to end up shouting at your innocent 3 year old boy who is just trying to help his worried-looking dad.

What if you are the president of some large corporations who recently joined a non-profit organization to contribute? Should you bring your “status” as a president into this non-profit group? Again, know your role. You should never assume yourself as the president of the company anywhere else other than in your company. Not in this non-profit organization who shares a completely different ideology, not in your family, and not even in a shopping complex. Know to play the appropriate role based on the situation, the timing, and the location you are in. You won’t want to end up bossing people around during a charity dinner when your main objective is to contribute to those in needs.

I know it’s never easy to do whatever I said above. Human beings are very “dynamic” creatures. We can change roles as we like…. but sometimes, we just won’t realize we are playing the wrong roles until it’s too late. The ability to be “dynamic” is a double-edged sword.

In the end, I believe it is up to the person himself to control this and balance up his life. Play the appropriate role at the right time, right place….. and never make the roles overlapping each other.

Hope it helps.

Just recently, one of the blog readers (who is most probably reading this) mentioned to me that I sounded like a 30+ years old corporate manager (or someone in the executive level). Well, I was happy and sad. Happy because I didn’t know that I have such a mature thinking *ahem*. Sad because, I’m really not that old. I’m 25 this year and I’m not a high level executive. I’m just a junior staff in a UK IT consulting company. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, the “30+ years old” thing somehow prompt me to ask myself this question – does age really matter? I’m sure most of you have asked this yourselves (it could be something related to your career, love, friendship, etc) but does it really matter if you’re 24 or 30, or even 50?

To me, yes and no.

Let’s look at it from 4 perspectives – career, love/friendship and life itself.

Career

Every company has its own junior and senior staff. Some companies take age and experience very seriously. To them, someone at the age of 40 is always better and more mature than someone at the age of 25. I find this to be true in most cases but not true in few cases. I’ve known seniors at the age of 30+ who…basically think like a kid…. whereas juniors who are in their mid 20s think like they are 30-40 years old.

In terms of work experience, it goes all the way down to the efforts of the individual. If someone senior who only works 8 hours a day and has no interest in improving himself, he will (sooner or later) be replaced by someone junior but has the urge and will to work harder in order to improve himself.

Mindset is the key here, not the age. Working experience and maturity go hand in hand with age most of the time – not all the time. So, don’t judge a junior person to be “less qualified” than a senior who behaves like a kid. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love life/friendship

I’m not very sure about other regions, but in Asia, age plays an important role when one chooses his/her life partner. Most Asian girls prefer older and more mature guys, whereas guys don’t really care about age (as long as the gap is not too big). Fact is, age is just a number. Being younger does not mean the guy is not financially stable, and it does not mean the guy is more childish than she is. What matters most in any relationship, be it love life or friendship, is how you two (or you all) “click” with each other.

Just make sure there’s no generation gap (too big gap will result in this) and you two love and care for each other (applies to friends as well), have the common interests, etc ….I guess that’s all that matters… I might be wrong though.

Life

To be honest, whenever we grow up or older…..our parents are too. My parents are no longer young. I can see that they get easily tired after some simple activities…and their muscles/bones are no longer that strong. It hurts my heart when I see that. But I know it’s something that nobody can change. All I can tell them is to stop thinking they are old. Yes…you need to keep that kind of mentality. Believe it or not, it works. Whenever they mention they are old, I have to lecture them and remind them not to say that again. And they will suddenly feel slightly more energized and said “Yeah ! We cannot say we’re old!” ๐Ÿ™‚ Whenever they do that, it brightens my life a little……though I didn’t show much. ๐Ÿ™‚

To me, age is indeed just a number. It’s true that in life, this “number” will influence some of the things we do. However, I still strongly believe that mindset plays an important role. If you believe that you’re young, you will be – physically and mentally.

So, for all of you out there who always have this fear of getting older …please don’t because you cannot change it. You can never escape from it. You just have to accept it with an open arm…and tell yourself “Age is just a number. It doesn’t really matter much“.

It only matters to the extent that you allow it to. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, I’m back from my 1 week Chinese New Year vacation. Hope things are going well for all of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

During this short vacation, I’ve finished reading (finally finished) the famous “Fish! Tales” book. To be honest, it’s not as good as I was hoping it would be. Nevertheless, I still managed to grab few important lessons from this book.

One of them is to “be there” for someone. It could be anyone – from your family, your friends, colleagues, bosses or even customers. By doing that, it doesn’t only mean you are there physically. You need to be there physically AND mentally. You need to pay attention to whatever the person is telling you. You need to “feel” his or her problems or concerns and understand them well. Most importantly, you need to “be there” to show you care.

After reading the book, I’ve noticed something which I have not noticed for a long long time. Whenever my family members (be it my parents or my sister) talk to me while I am doing my work or playing my computer, I would just talk to them while doing whatever I was doing at that time. Well, I’m an IT specialist…so I AM supposed to be able to multitask. ๐Ÿ˜› As expected, the conversation didn’t last long….with me not listening to them.

However…just few days ago, I noticed that whenever I approached my mum to talk to her (whether she’s doing something or not), she would stop whatever she is doing and looks at me…and listens. So is my dad…and my sister…well, at times. She’s a multitask specialist as well. ๐Ÿ˜›

Once I noticed this…I’ve made a promise to myself that I will always “be there” when someone important to me, talks to me. Just to show that I’m concerned and I do care about the person.

That’s not all…try bringing this mentality to work…when you are facing your colleagues, bosses or even clients. I believe it will work very well (especially if you’re a consultant and you’re facing a client who has a lot of problems with his/her company’s operations).

I’m going to try this in every part of my life. I think you should try it too. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re all here in this world, to make a difference. Try making a difference in someone’s life now.

As human, we need to communicate with other human beings everyday (even Tom Hanks needs to talk to “Wilson” in the movie “Cast Away). Different people have different methods of having a conversation. A salesman for example, talks to a potential customer differently if compared to an employee talking to his boss. No matter what, being honest in a conversation is very important most of the time.

Why?

Well, if you’re a consultant (bear with me, I’m from a consulting company), you are supposed to sell your services and your solutions to the clients. You might need to BS (in case some of you don’t know what is “BS“…well, just ask your consultant friend) most of the time but that won’t get you any long term result. It pays to be honest to your clients. Give them an honest assessment of their problems and provide the solution which is most suitable for them…….and not aiming to rip them apart for $$. At the end of the day, what you need to get is a long term business relationship….not a “I got your money so byebye to you” kind of relationship.

Another example is your conversation with your friends, your colleagues, your bosses or anyone who is close to you. I’ve seen people suffering from emotional stress because their loved ones ignored them (I used to be one of them…) for something they didn’t know. I’ve also seen friends been laid off even though their bosses complimented on their performances just weeks before the laying off. So what is the problem now? Lack of honest conversation…or the so-called “heart to heart talk“. Again, it pays to be honest and tell someone what you feel about him/her HONESTLY. Don’t beat around the bush. If there’s something you don’t like, tell them so that they have the opportunity to change. It’ll be unfair to both of you if you don’t tell him honestly.

To be honest (yea, I’m speaking honestly now), I’m rushing my work now…..just suddenly have this urge to write on this topic because tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. ๐Ÿ˜›

Remember, nobody can change something which they’re not aware of…. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is up to the people around this “nobody” to let them know, so that they can change.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great time!

In our lives, we meet all sorts of individuals – be it nice, or not-so-nice. There will be people who touched our hearts, but somehow, there will also be a group of people who want to ruin our lives. We call them, “bullies”.

Bullies exist everywhere – in schools, companies, families, or friends. How do you define “bully”? Based on the definition from The Free Dictionary, a bully is a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing especially to smaller or weaker people. For example, I used to be bullied around by a classmate of mine while I was in primary school. I was a very quiet boy then. This “big bully” often picked quiet boys like me. I was being pushed around, laughed at, teased, taunted…etc.

I’m sure most of us have been bullied before in our lives. Some of us encountered such bullies during our school time, among our colleagues, or maybe the bully is one of our relatives.

Just remember, we’re not in this world to be bullied around. We live for ourselves. Nobody wants other people to start having fun by making an idiot out of us. If there’s a bully in your life, and if you can’t tolerate anymore…put a full stop to this.

As for my real life example above, I’d put a stop to the bully’s behavior. I became good friends with BIGGER-sized boys, and also I’d lodged a complaint to one of the most influential teachers.

Do what you must (in a legal way of course). Approach the people higher (in terms of position and authority) than this bully, seek confrontation with this person and talk some sense out of him and if nothing goes well…….break any relationship you might have with this person (if he’s your boss, go seek for new job in another company).

Bear in mind, you don’t deserve to be bullied around.

p/s…. if you are a bully yourself, justย keep in mind thatย we are here in this world, to make ourselves feel good and also to makeย the people around us feel good. Help each others, contribute to the society, etc. None of usย should try to make other people’s life miserable. ย 

p/s…. if you are being bullied for a short period of time due to your own mistakes, then it’s a different story. Admit your mistakes, correct them and hopefully they will stop bullying you around.

Recently, I’ve watched a movie called Click by Adam Sandler. It’s a very good movie…very touching indeed.

In the movie, it talked about a guy who always wanted to work hard to support his family (thus giving them a better life). I am sure most of us have this same feeling (including myself). There’s nothing wrong with this mindset….the problem occurs when the workacholic architect overlooked his family while concentrating on his work. Time flies and he became very old. He did managed to become a very successful architect…..well-known and admired by many. However, he lost his wife, his father, and his family.

Do you want to be someone like this? I assume the answer is NO (that’s for me anyway).

Work-related things can always be rearranged. If the customers are concerned, the rearrangement might make them a bit unhappy but you can always work harder to repair that relationship. You can’t postpone your son’s graduation day….or your in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary. These are the stuff you cannot afford to miss…because there might not be a second 50th wedding anniversary.

Life is unpredictable. Family should always come first. Work and passions are equally important but there are things which you can afford to put on hold a little longer.

To my family, I might be a bit hot-tempered at times, but having you all by my side is one of the greatest things in my life. Cars, houses, money….. they can never replace the place my family has in my heart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

p/s…. I was touched by the movie, and thus I decided to write this post. ย