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So, why do guys luv football (or any sports for that matter)?

Well, because it’s our nature? LOL. Actually there are quite a number of female friends of mine who luv to watch football. Some of them even support the club that i’ve been supporting since 1990 – Manchester United. Erm….some of them started watching football (or Manchester United) because of …..David Beckham.

Mmm, i m not sure about other people but for myself, i started watcing football since 1989, influenced by my dad. He’s a MU fan and at that time, i was in primary 1. He always asked me to sit down with him to watch the game. At that time, i was thinking “what is so nice bout football? one ball, chase here and there like idiots” and i fell asleep within 5-10 minutes.

1 year later, i started to enjoy the “idiotic” game more. And in 2000, i became a die-hard MU fan. 2004, i started to watch every single MU game including those at 3am on weekdays. πŸ˜‰

It’s nice to see the team you support win things…and see the youngsters becoming successful, the newcomers blending well and showing you a bag of tricks….. and most importantly, is to watch and enjoy the game with my family and friends. πŸ™‚

Believe me, when you watch skillful players dribbling and doing crossover…it’s entertaining. Of course, it’s never fun to watch a bunch of idiots (all 10 of them, excluding the goalkeeper of course) chasing after every single ball from 1 end to the other end (i donno why…but the word Malaysia suddenly springs to my mind). If a team doesn’t play entertaining football, even a football fan like me will fall asleep.

So, there you are – excitement (esp when the team you support is losing…but too much of this is bad for your heart..so..it’s better to have the team winning πŸ˜›) entertainment (skills), family (my dad’s influence) and friends/colleagues (can talk more esp wif fellow MU fans). Some of you might say $$$….but it doesn’t apply for me because i don’t bet. πŸ˜› Not when the thing you’re trying to bet on is a round thing. Hahahah.

So fellow football fans, be it guys or gals…do share with us why do you luv football? πŸ˜›

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. πŸ˜‰

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

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…Β 

When we were kids (ah….those were the days….), school used to be our 2nd home. We eat there, study there, sleep there (yea, i used to sleep a lot in classes). But as we grow older (suddenly sound so sad), our 2nd home is no longer our school but our office. We eat (sandwiches? biscuits?), sleep (nap?), work and study there. We spend 8 hours a day in our office and sometimes more than the amount of time we spend at home.

That’s why it is quite important to choose the right company…it is just like choosing your life companion. Unless, of course, you are someone who job hops a lot. πŸ™‚ If that’s the case, you don’t need to find the right company. Any company which pays well, will suit you. OK OK, i am not encouraging anyone to do that. Job hopping is a very bad thing especially if your objective is to gain quick money. If you job hop because you want to try many different industries, then it’s not entirely a bad thing.

Anyway, there are 2 major factors that you might want to look into when you start to hunt for the right company:

  • Core values – what are the core values of the company? Do they believe in the things you believe in as well? This is perhaps the most important thing that one should look at. If the company believes in slave driving and you prioritize work life balance….then it’ll only shorten you time working for the company. Also, it depends on whether the company provides the opportunity to learn. Does the company offer trainings or you are on your own? If it is on your own, does it actually fit what you want?
  • Industry – some companies are involved in different industries…especially the big companies. In these companies, you get to learn about different industries/fields and maybe find the right one for you. However, most companies focus on 1 or 2 industries. If you want to learn about IT, no point to work for a company which only does publishing.

Other factors will be things like benefits, salary, location, opportunity to learn, etc etc. But i believe the 2 major factors are as stated above. Do take some time to read Cirnelle‘s post “The kindess of a boss” which in my opinion, is a good post. She talked about the 2 different systems for a company – the Nanny or the Organized Chaos. πŸ˜€

Hope it helps. πŸ™‚

Ok, i’m pretty sure that 90% of you will say it is bad. πŸ˜€ 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? πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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=phL0RLKL8bcΒ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2MqciSMOmkΒ 

Been quite busy the past few days and din realize my last post was…er.. 4 days back?

Anyway, if any of you noticed, i’ve mentioned in my previous post that i’ve won the Animax story writing award for South East Asia…and i won like USD 2k. Animax (channel 25 on Astro) has been showing off my “photogenic” look during prime time (7-10pm) for more than a week now…and i’ve been receiving calls to congratulate me and…to ask me to give away free meals (since every one of them knows i’ve won USD 2k). 😐

To be honest, i don’t really mind treating my good friends or those who have helped me, to a nice meal. But…those who called me up for a free meal…..and never give up even after i pretend to forget about it…. *sighs*, what do you actually do with those people?

Some of my friends (somehow) know about my little windfall….bonus, headhunting allowances, prize money, etc… and they kept on insisting i’m so rich bla bla bla… but that’s one thing that they do not know (or do not wish to admit). I’ve worked hard for all these things. I’ve spent longer hour than them in office, i’ve took the trouble to look around for the suitable people for my team (headhunting allowances) and i spent hours n hours n hours on the Animax story. They on the other hand, did not do anything to deserve those.

To me, there are many ways in this world to earn money. It’s just a question of whether you are willing to make some efforts in such things. So please, if you are this so-called “freeloader friend” who tries to leech away people’s money…or just being jealous of them, do everyone a favor and stop it. Don’t being jealous because you can do the same thing if you want to. πŸ™‚

As for me…….i think i will pretend i donno anything again. Hahahaha. I will, of course, thank the people who helped me with the story – Angie, Jason, Julie, Boo, Yu Xiang, Benny, Wei Cher and K Wai Ling. πŸ™‚

p/s…i might offend some of my friends, but well…i cannot please everyone right? πŸ˜€ To the few close friends of mine, i’ll still treat you all to a nice meal even if your name is not listed above. πŸ˜‰ Β 

I’ve been debating with my inner self for months now……..whether to have my own domain and host it somewhere……or to stick to this default WordPress. I love WordPress, so I believe i’ll use their tools even if I do get my own domain and hosting.

Now…the million dollar question is… (no, you don’t get the million dollar if you help me answer this question)…. is it better for me to start my own domain?

I’m asking this because most of my friends who own a blog (or few blogs) do have their own domain and hosting…..and well, I’m from IT background…so i’m supposed to be more adventurous than just stick to my default WordPress thingy. So, for those who already own their personal domains………do give me some pointers ya?

Pros

  • I can have my own domain name…www.alvinlim.name? er…www.alvinlim.com has been taken. =_= so much for having a ‘famous’ name……too many Alvin Lims around.
  • I will be able to avoid all my previous articles from being washed away……..just in case WordPress starts to hate me.
  • I can put some advertising stuff to earn…maybe RM 10 per month? Currently, WordPress doesn’t allow any form of advertising.
  • I get to prove that i AM indeed IT savvy……
  • I will be able to add some ‘cool stuff’…erm, like the one Jamy has in her blog…the top commentator thingy?

Cons

  • I will have to restart my Google ranking…….
  • I will have to use my own stats counter.……
  • I will have to find a good hosting service….get a domain name….which will cost me around RM 100-300 startup fees.
  • I have no idea how the visitors can use their existing wordpress login account to post comments….and not having to register themselves again.
  • I have to go through the entire installation process for WordPress, which I believe is not THAT hard…erm..right?

Let’s see…I believe most of the cons are coming from my Laziness. πŸ˜› So, people, please advise. I know as a blogger……having your own domain name and your own SPACE (and not WordPress‘ space) is the first and most important thing to do. Well…if someone can just provide me with a proper instruction manual…? Just kidding, I can Google for it easily (but if anyone of you have such manuals…I don’t mind you know). Just let me know what are the nice tools, if there’s any. πŸ™‚

Do feel free to teach this ‘blog noob’…or as Jamy would say, ‘dinosaur’ anything…especially things related to blogging πŸ˜›

p/s ….hope my bosses won’t see this….malu la, IT people ler.

p/s ….this posting proves something……..i’m a victim of our ‘spoon feeding’ education system πŸ˜›

The line “The sky is falling!” sure sounds familiar especially to the Chicken Little fans out there. Well, it’s his fav phrase after all.

In the Chicken Little story, the character likes to run around the neighborhood shouting and alerting the neighbors that the sky is falling….but fact is, the sky is not falling.In our daily life, we are surrounded by at least one Chicken Little. Not the cute cartoon character….but the true, living Chicken Little. The person who likes to think negative and keep demotivating himself (and the people around him). The doomsayers.

They will come out with all sorts of things, just to demotivate you and made you feel bad about what you are doing or planning to do.

When you buy a property..they will say that the property is a waste of money and you should put your money in Fixed Deposit (and they don’t even know anything bout property investment). When you said you want to start a new business, they would say you are too young and immature (when inside their heart, they might feel regret for not starting their own business when they were still young) . Everything you say, they will try disagree and go on to explain why you are wrong and they are right. Fact is…most Chicken Littles do not know what they are talking about. They are being negative because they are afraid….or they’re jealous. Why? Because you are doing things that they do not dare to do.

Chicken Littles are everywhere. You can’t escape from them.

The only thing you can do is….follow your gut feelings. Do what you like, with proper research n studies of course. If you are not sure and need some advice…go seek the advice of professionals or experienced individuals. Need to know investment? Go ask the real investors…people who have been investing their money in stocks/bonds/funds, etc. Need to know about starting a business? Go ask the right people.

Never ever ask the wrong guy……and if you really did (accidentally maybe) ask the wrong guy…the Chicken Little guy, then please don’t get demotivated by the person. πŸ™‚

I often hear people saying “Stop daydreaming, Alvin!”, “Please concentrate in my class!” or things like “…*PIAK*”…the story of the flying chalk……

..ah well, those were the days…of me sleeping and daydreaming in the class.

Most adults would tell their children to stop daydreaming and face the real world. I do agree, AND disagree. One should always be brave enough to dream…..but make sure you don’t just DREAM, you should also take the necessary steps in making your dream a reality.

Recently, I’ve entered the 2007 Animax Award.Β  It’s an anime story writing competition. Actually, I really like this kind of competition because it promotes creativity and innovation among the younger generation. I’ve submitted one story for the Asia Pacific region (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia) and someone called me that I’ve won the competition. *grin grin* Hmm, quite a big surprise for me since I feel my story was quite crappy. πŸ˜› Anyway, I haven’t obtain any proof (besides the e-mail and phone call)….so, we’ll wait then. πŸ™‚

To be honest, I really enjoy doing creative stuff. To dream…to imagine…….to fantasize (in a good and positive way), is always good. You can think of the impossible, think of the unimaginable (to some people), to think of anything. Your imagination is the biggest free world you can ever get. Use it.

Leonardo Da Vinci daydreamed and imagined a lot……he imagined things like helicopter during his time. If you were to think like him during that period of time…..and went on to tell people the things you imagined, people will think you’re a madman. He’s not a madman. He’s a genius. πŸ™‚

So, don’t be afraid to dream and to imagine. Without dreams and imaginations, we human are just an empty vessel.Β 

Many of us have asked this question over and over and over again, including myself. I’m going to tell you one pretty bad news…….. if you do always ask yourself this question, it means you are most probably trapped in the rat race like I do. A person who has no worries about money, will never ask that question……or maybe, the frequency won’t be as high as those caught up in the rat race. πŸ˜‰

Just a few hours ago, my dad called me up…(for your info, he’s my financial controller…in-charged of paying the loans on my behalf), and informed me I owe him **** amount this month. Thats is actually more than 50% of my monthly salary (the monthly salary before the income tax, pension fund, etc which one must pay every month to the government). And after paying my study loan, mutual fund investment, etc…….i’ll only have RM 400-500 per month to eat. Hmm… my brain is already trying to work out how to get “free meals” from my friends. LOL.

Sometimes, people tend to get trapped in the rat race without knowing it…..they work and work and work, hoping that the next increment will come soon. When it came, they then realized that it is not enough. Their expenses somehow will shoot up also. This is exactly what I am currently experiencing. My expenses used to be quite okay…..and then I changed a job, got a 30-40% pay rise……..and i went on to buy a car (I opted for a slightly more expensive Japanese car due to safety reason). Then I moved into my new condominium….renovation, furnitures, etc…..all these cost $$$. Before I realized…..i’ve become the latest victim of rat race. Working hard, just to pay the bills.

So, how do I intend to step out from this rat race? It’s not easy. Or rather…I’ll say it’s very difficult based on the number of commitments I have – taxes, mortgages, etc. Still, this will not destroy my ambitions. I believe I’ll figure out some ways to step out of this rat race.

Maybe working as a part-timer in Starbucks? LOL. Just kidding. There should be some other ways to do this. Taking a part-time job is not really recommended especially for those in the IT & Consulting line.

Sorry for reading my ramblings. My intention here is to tell you my first hand experience of being a victim in the rat race. I seriously hope that all of you will plan your finance better so that you will not end up being the next rat race victim. If you are already in the rat race…well, all is not lost.

Start asking yourselves…...why are you working so hard yet earning nothing? Why are you repeating the routine of getting more pay just to pay off higher debts?Β  How are you going to stop this routine?Β 

One of the simplest methods – start to buy assets and not liabilities….please refer to my previous posts on that. πŸ™‚

Hope it helps.