Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Instapicks: Water

A photo posted by Rachel Rabin (@rachel_rosemarie) on

I love everything about this picture. The look in the girl's eyes, the fact that she's in a tub and yet there are fish and lily pads in there. Even as a kid, I've always been quite fascinated with water. There's something magical about it. Have you ever held your breath underwater, whether in the pool or in the sea, to take a moment to appreciate how mystically serene everything looks and feels underwater? It's so therapeutic. That feeling of floating on water with your eyes closed; it's as if all your problems are being washed away. Ok, so clearly I miss the sea. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

What are you proud of?

During a moment of self-reflection just now, I asked myself: "What have I done so far in life which I am most proud of?" 

The proudest thing I've done which can't even be materialised into an award or a certificate to prove it, is being a good friend to someone. You can be lousy at your office job, you can be a sucky *insert anything you're bad at* but the best and most fulfilling job you can excel at is being a good friend. 

Being a good friend doesn't have to be exclusive to your best friend or people in your social circle. Be a good friend to your neighbour, your siblings, your colleague, but do so sincerely and selflessly. If you expect your good deeds to be requited, you'll be very disappointed

You've to understand that someone who's always ready to help will always be taken for granted and that is guaranteed. You can go out of your way to support someone through thick and thin but out of the 100 things you do for them they'll probably only remember 1 thing. That's OK.

If you expect people to validate and show appreciation for the good things you've done, you can FORGET IT but once in a while, when you least expect it, someone will thank you. Someone will tell you that you've impacted their life in a way that you never thought you could. Those moments are gold

Being a good friend doesn't actually bring benefits that directly affect your life but you get an overwhelmingly good feeling knowing that you helped someone achieve something, change for the better or even change their perspective on life. It is humbling to know that YOU can be a force of change.

Don't get me wrong; don't be anyone's doormat. Don't invest too much of your time in something or someone and put your peace of mind at stake because in the end, it's not up to you to change someone's life; that's their responsibility and not yours. 

If you feel that you can help that person and you're not risking your emotional wellbeing, then do it. Do it because you believe in how powerful an act of kindness is. Do it because you want to be the change that you'd like to see in this world. I don't believe in being unkind just because there are insincere hypocrites out there. That's their problem and I don't wish to be one of them.

In a world where everyone demands recognition, be someone who's part of something even bigger. Be someone your younger self can look up to. Work sincerely and in silence. You don't need to be recognised; you just have to recognise that you're born to do great things and with that kind of self-motivation, there's no doubt that you will achieve GREAT things, insyaAllah. :)

Here's an ad that pretty much sums up what I'm trying to say. Be prepared to wipe your tears.

Hope you had a good weekend. Tomorrow's work - woohoo!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Weekly Post-it #3

Since mid 2013, I've made it a point to try out new things and change up my routine every now and then. In the past 2 years, I've tried out yoga, hiking and even started swimming again. By all means, trying something new isn't about trying something you know you won't like. Trying something new is about something you've always wanted to but never got around to it. Whenever you try out something  you're genuinely interested in, it adds a whole new dimension to your life. Discovering or re-discovering something new keeps things interesting so if you feel like life is getting a bit dull, grab a friend and do something new! 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Planning for success

January is over and we're now in the month of February! That was quick, wasn't it? While having coffee with my best friend yesterday, we were discussing our plans for the year plus our 20s in general. I'm grateful to have a friend who's as ambitious as me if not more; it keeps me driven and stops me from slacking. I definitely have a lot of plans for 2015 (and 2016 already!). Plans aside, I also have non career-oriented resolutions which I think are just as important. Back in boarding school, I would write them on the white board in my room and they were separated into 3 categories. Evidence:
'Wash face 2x a day'?? Hahaha. Please BELIEVE that my resolutions since my school days have advanced greatly although I still do wish the zits would go away. Hormones, what to do. Back to making resolutions—putting them into different categories is a good practice. You shouldn't only have academic/career oriented goals. Your academic life/career is just ONE aspect of your life, improving yourself in terms of health/fitness and personal growth are just as important.

There are people and plenty of internet memes dissing the idea of yearly resolutions and yes, sometimes we tend to forget them as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life but it's important to have a mental blueprint of how you want the year to unfold. Plans don't have to happen exactly the way you envision them but it's important to have one. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail!

When I asked my grandfather what his advice for me was now that I've entered adult life, he told me to have a plan. He's in his late 80s guys, I'm sure he knows what he's saying. 

Friday, 30 January 2015

Dragon sickness

Note: This blog post would make a lot more sense if you've actually watched or read The Hobbit.

I'm a MASSIVE fan of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. I thought Peter Jackson did a great job with the LOTR trilogy and when The Hobbit: Battle of The Five Armies was released in cinemas, I watched it twice. Or maybe thrice, I can't even remember. 

What I found to be quite profound was when Thorin became infected with dragon sicknessa condition which made him lust uncontrollably for gold and in the process, corrupted his morals and good values. 

"Bilbo is right; you cannot see what you've become. You sit now with a crown on your head and yet you're lesser now than you've ever been before."

"This treasure will be your death."

"If more people valued their home more than they valued gold the world would be a better place."

Dragon sickness may be a fictitious term for overwhelming greed in Middle Earth but it certainly has its roots placed in reality. It's unfortunate but dragon sickness exists. Greed is a real force of evil in this world and frankly, I'm disappointed with anyone who compromises their integrity for wealth.

I've been raised to be grateful for wealth but never to glorify it. I wish more people knew that although one cannot survive without money, you certainly can't achieve a happier life by prioritising it above your family and friends or your integrity. 

I've been unlucky enough in my lifetime to have already come across so many who have disregarded their work ethics for the sake of money. I've observed people who neglected their loved ones for money. I've learned about leaders who did not serve their followers because they were too blinded by wealth and power.

Just like the dragon in The Hobbit, gold or wealth make fools out of men. Dragons have no practical use for gold nor do they actually benefit from it, yet they guard it with their lives and mercilessly avenge those who try to steal it from them. Greed has the potential to be a manic obsession.

Although wealth certainly serves a practical purpose in our daily lives, we've to be cautious to not let something so transient transform us into someone whose worth or ambitions solely revolve around riches. It's ludicrous to let something impermanent have that much control over us. 

Wealth comes and goes. When it goes, what do you have left? Who do you go running to? When it disappears, what else do you've to be proud of? Is it the only thing that defines you? Is it the only impressive thing about you? Just a few questions to ponder on...