January 10, 2015

A Reflection

Below is an email I sent to my team at work. My reflection of the year 2014. 

Dear awesome team, 
It is now 10 days into 2015. I don't know how it went for you guys but it was surprisingly calm for me. I used to be very excited about the new year but this year, I couldn't care less. Nothing negative though. I guess it is just that as we grow, our priorities in life changes. 

In this post, I would like share with you guys my reflection of the past year. I remember I was crazily excited during new year last year as I had a pretty rough 2013. But when I look back now, I laugh at myself for being so silly. Silly because I was looking forward to unpredictable events. In other words, illusion. While I looked forward to 2014, I had no clue what was in store for me. I did not know whether 2014 was going to be good. And this inspired my first realisation. 

Life may be unpredictable but we are in control of the outcome of our lives
After living the past year, I came to realise that in any situation regardless positive or negative, I was in control of the outcome. Outcome in terms of my understanding and acceptance. 

So yes there were a few negative events in the past year for me but I did not let those events bring me down. Instead I took time to analyse the events and learnt from it. At the end of the day, these negative events turned positive because I took it as a learning. With these learning, I am able to face all future similiar events with confidence. Confident that even if I fail again, I would be able to stand up, much stronger from the previous failure. And if I am confident to face the failures, what more the successes. So this taught me that even though we can't foresee the future, we need not be afraid if we are prepared for it. Which brings me to my next realisation...

Knowledge is the key to all doors
Most of my friends would have heard me say this before, everything we do in our daily lives is a learning in itself'. I truly believe this statement. Everything we do, we are learning. That is why I always say to never look down on our job. It may seem simple but if take each and everything we do as a learning, you'll realise day by day we're improving our knowledge. These knowledge will surely serve a purpose in our lives. Knowledge gained is never wasted. It is not gaining knowledge that pulls us down. 

This is also why I love reading. I read all kinds of books and articles be it business, politics, religion, science, finance, world news etc. I read because I love it when I am posed a question or statement, almost immediately I can engage in a conversation. Having these general knowledge enables me to speak to almost anyone I meet. And people will appreciate the conversation if you know your stuff. Which leads me to my next realisation...

Surround yourself with people who will motivate and inspire you to improve
Nothing beats having friends and family who dare to confront you when they see a flaw or problem in you. These are the kind of people to keep for life. These are the people who deserve to be in your life because when one dares to point out your flaws, that person truly value you as a friend. A 'friend' who avoids discussing problems with you isn't a true friend. 

We all have dreams and goals we want to achieve. Very often though we lack motivation for various reasons. So it is important to have people around us to constantly motivate us towards our goals. And of course we should do the same for the people who are around us as well. While they are kind to us, we repay them in our actions. Which brings me to my next realisation...

Talk will bring you to the universe but action will keep you on earth
What this really means is that we can talk and promise the universe but talk is really cheap if our actions don't match our words. Instead those who are grounded on earth are usually the ones who acts on their promises/words. These are the kind of people who will find success sooner or later because they take action step by step to achieve their dreams. They don't promise you the universe but they make their way there with their vast vision coupled with their actions. 

In the past year, I constantly reminded myself of this and I'm glad I was able to achieve it or most of it. I found that when I took this as a daily habit, it naturally became easier and easier to do. 

So that's what a bit of what I learnt and realised in the year 2014. I hope you guys can take a learning or two from this. Of course, feel free to share with us your realisations too if you feel like it. As the saying goes, sharing is caring =)

Thank you for your time!


July 3, 2014

The good works of Soup Kitchens

I read in the news today that the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan is asking Soup Kitchens in KL to move out of HIS city and not help the homeless people on HIS streets anymore because HIS city's image is very bad.

I am not going to argue with that because I really do not want to stoop so low especially during this holy month of Ramadan.

Today I would like to share with everyone the good works Soup Kitchens are doing on a daily basis, in particular Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) as I had the fortune of volunteering with them on many occasions.

As we would all expect, a soup kitchen serves food to the homeless people. But it is not all that they do. KSK in particular do so much more than feed the homeless community. Serving food to the homeless people is just the very first step to connect and to gain their trust. With the connection that the soup kitchens have made with the homeless community, the sky is the limit as to how we can help get these homeless people back on their feet and off the streets.

Many people have the impression that all homeless people deserve to be in their situation and should not be helped. Yes I admit that there are homeless people who got themselves into such situations but there are also many who were forced into being homeless for various reasons. Regards of the reasons, we should not discriminate.

I had the fortune of volunteering with KSK so I have seen with my own eyes and even spoke to some of the homeless people and I can tell you that many of them although have made some mistakes in the past, are willing to do whatever it takes to get back on their feet and off the streets. All they need is a little support from the community and this is where Soup Kitchens like KSK play a major role.

Below are some of the many things KSK is doing to help the homeless community.

Medical Care via Kechara Mobile Clinic

Haircut by volunteers

Providing food to the hardcore poor via Kechara Food Bank

- KSK also provides a space for the homeless community to do their laundry

- Provide counselling services

- Help connect them to jobs

- Help connect them to Nursing, Old folks homes

Below are some of the many cases of KSK helping the homeless community to get back on their feet. Do head over to those links to read:

- Four more homeless off the streets

- Off the street – Ganapati and Shila with their son Jonathan

- Better vision for Uncle Ong

- Helping Chris

- Securing Ng’s future

All that I have shared above are only a small part of what Soup Kitchens like KSK is doing for the homeless community. There is so much more they do on a daily basis to help these homeless people to get back on their feet and off the streets.

More importantly soup kitchens provide a lot of care and support to the homeless community which is something they do not get often. Caring for the homeless people who are part of our community is not wrong.

I really hope the FT Ministry will reconsider their actions. The Ministry should be working with these soup kitchens instead of getting rid of them.Perhaps Tengku Adnan should volunteer with the soup kitchens to see the real situation.

To read more of the good works Kechara Soup Kitchen is doing, head on to their website (http://www.kechara.com/soup-kitchen/) and facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KSKPage)

*All information and images are extracted from KSK website and FB page

June 19, 2014

Two reasons why I treasure my job

I think I was very lucky to land my current job. My job scope is actually very simple. All I have to do is produce a defined set of results every day and i'm done. This is the simplest way to define my job but looking at it deeper, there is more than just the defined results.

Today I would like to share with you two reasons why I treasure my job. 

1) The potential of growth - Although my job is simple, I personally think it has so much potential to become something more. I treat it like a start-up. A start-up where a simple idea can be turned into something massive. 

I am not the kind of person who can sit still and follow a set of rules every single day for the rest of my life. I like to move, innovate and hopefully create something out of it. So in this job, while others may just look at it as a simple task, I look at it as a rough diamond. A rough diamond after it is cut will turn into a gem of the company. 

I actually do not have a plan in mind yet on how I can improve my job but since I've decided to stay, I definitely will not sit still. I will challenge myself to bring improvement to both the team and myself. 

My point is that we can grow in any position, department and company if we really want to. The onus is on us to want to improve. With this mindset, we will naturally think of ways to improve our jobs which in turn serves the company and ourselves good. It is a win-win situation for sure. 

2) The people - At this time and age, no employers will disagree that the most important asset of a company is the people. And I believe it is a mutual thing. One of the reasons why I decided to stay on is because I have good superiors. I respect them very much. For their care, knowledge, vision and leadership.

I have heard from a lot of my friends about their awful superiors so I am extremely thankful to have superiors who are not only good at their jobs but also care very much for their subordinates. Care not just career wise but also in terms of personal growth. I'm just a bit sad not everyone can see this in them. 

In this dog eat dog world, it is superbly rare to find a bunch of people who would genuinely care for you so it troubles me quite a bit when some people don't respect such good superiors. I really hope they realise it soon. 

Also, not forgetting my colleagues who I see almost every day. However different we are as a person, at work we work as a team. And I really hope we will become good friends too in the long run. That is something I treasure very much. Wouldn't it be nice to have a bunch of good friends to grow old with? 

So yup that sums up my two reasons. Now, why do you treasure your job?

June 10, 2014

Is being ambitious the key to happiness?

There are a few topics which I would like to write and share but I think this one is somewhat important to set the pace.
This morning when I woke up I read Timothy Tiah's blog. Timothy is the co-founder of Nuffnang and Churp Churp. He just turned 30 years old a couple days ago. My point in mentioning his age is not to point out that he's getting older but that at the age of 30 he is already living a rather comfortable life in terms of wealth. 

In the blog post I read titled A Conversation with my mother, Timothy had a conversation with his mom about being ambitious and wanting to chase the billion dollar buck which would usually catch my attention but it was this sentence that his mom said that really caught my attention. 
Why do we have to always be ambitious? Why can’t we just be happy?
The beauty of this sentence lies in its honesty. We often read in books and articles that we should dream big and never put a limit to our ambitions. While this may work for some individuals, it may not gel well with the rest of the world which are the majority. Imagine if everyone is just chasing success,wealth or wanting to be the best, what would the world become? A zombie land?

Back to my point, how often do we get people telling us that whatever we have now is enough for us to be happy? Greed is slowly turning us humans to robots. Robots with no emotions to be exact. And that's where the happiness lies, our emotions.

In this generation and age especially when it is easier to access information, it is also easier for us to lose ourselves in all the wealth and success we see. We get so engrossed in our delusions that we forget to stop, pause and reflect on the beauty of life we already have. Our family, our friends, the luxuries we already have and the beautiful environment surrounding us which we might destroy if continue to work through our limitless ambitions.

The point here is really simple if we are all willing to take a moment to reflect. While we all want to live a meaningful life and have all that we wish for, having more or wanting more does not guarantee happiness. As ironic as it sounds, happiness comes from within. Happiness is a choice whether and when we are rich, poor, healthy or ill.

It is not wrong for us to chase our dreams/ambitions. But in the process of that we should not forget and forgo the happiness we already have right now.

Wonderful how a simple sentence like that can have so much wisdom huh? Thank you Timothy for sharing this inspiring conversation you had with your mom!

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