Good Side To Things

my desk

Last Wednesday, I was working at my desk by the window when a group of teenage boys walked by and saw me by the window.

“Do you know how to fix the iPhone?”, one shouted at me.

Hearing that remark, I assumed that he was taunting me for being an Asian. (I might be wrong!) While I was a little annoyed, I decided to pretend that I couldn’t hear him through my headphones and continued working on my laptop.

Then, they became rowdier – knocking on my window, shouting at me and banging on my door. I continued to ignore them despite them being right in front of me. Eventually, they gave up, toppled my wheelie bin and walked away.

Was I irritated? You bet! Was it all that bad? Not quite!

Coincidentally, I had an assignment for one of my modules – Strategic Games due the following day and I turned this incident into the content of the essay!

I had to write about anĀ interactive situation in the media or my everyday life which resembles a strategic game. I was struggling to think of one until this incident and it felt like a great example of brinksmanship!

I think I have to thank the boys now! šŸ˜‰

Everything happens for a reason

I wanted to write this post because I feel that when something seemingly bad happens, it is seldom as bad as it seems and if we look hard enough, there’s likely a good side to it. Everything happens for a reason.

Also, I wanted to share that it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of discrimination. I don’t fault the boys entirely because IĀ believe I’m not perfect in this way generally too.

While I do not intentionally discriminate others, I believe I make unintentional (and possibly not so nice) associations of people due to my unconscious bias (Thanks, Natalie and Courtney, for the unconscious bias training!). And this incident and reflection are a great reminder for myself to tackle my unconscious bias. Again, another good outcome šŸ˜Š

Good side to things

Personal Growth

I have been thinking about personal growth recently and I came to a conclusion that personal growth is about being able to make bigger decisions better. Bigger in the sense that these decisions have greater consequences or will affect more people.

For example, one of such decisions I have made is going to the UK to study. (“going” as I’m in Hawaii now ;)) It was a decision which had greater consequences for my life than, I believe, all the decisionsĀ I’ve made before. Furthermore, the decision wasn’t only about me, but also my family and my girlfriend.

Making that decision, experiencing the outcomes and learning from it helped me grow. I feel that if I were to make similar decisions now, I’ll beĀ better at analysing the situation andĀ deciding what to do than before.

So I believeĀ that making bigger decisions and learning from them is a great way to grow as an individual.

personal growth

Live Smarter, Not Harder

“… We rush around in the daily grind of life and at the end of the day, falling in bed exhausted, waiting for weekends to come around. When they do, we spend our time racing the clock stressed about what we didn’t achieve or what’s next on our plate …”

I love this quote from Day 1 of the 7 Days of Calm of the meditation app, Calm. It resonates with me a lot.

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend about productivity and I mentioned that my mood and energy level are factors affecting my productivity. I was reminded of this quote from the mindfulness program.

At Buffer, we aim to “Live smarter, not harder“.

You value waking up fresh over working that extra hour.

An extra hour of output might be great, but not if that extra hour reduces my productivity by more than an hour of output the next day (assuming it isn’t something that must be done then).

It feels like I have been trying to squeeze in that extra hour recently and it might not be a wise thing to do.

You always aim to be fully engaged in an activity, or resting.

I feel that being fully engaged in resting is as important as being fully engaged in an activity. It allows my mind to take a break and recover so that I can work as well as before or even better.

I schedule breaks into my day (lunch, dinner, calling my girlfriend, etc.), but I’m not sure if I have been fully engaged in resting during those times. I find myself trying to work while I have my dinner on most evenings or thinking about work over lunch. ItĀ doesn’t feel very healthy or great for my productivity.

You are at the top of your game, as you focus on expanding the capacity of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy.

My gut feeling is that with the nature of my work being more creative and less straightforward, my output is not largely dependent on the number of hours I work (though, it is still a factor), but also dependent on my mood and energy level too. (How to manage our mood and energy level and whether we should let them affect our productivity could be a discussion for another time.)

I have been missing my meditation quite a bit recently and I just picked it up again, striving to become more mindful about how I spend my time. Instead of trying to work more hours, it might be better to focus on working more productive hours.



Good Things Take Time

good things take time

Today, I spent about 4 to 5 hours editing this photo.

club photo

It is not perfect but I’d say that it isĀ not bad either šŸ™‚

This “exercise” served as a gentle reminder to me that to produce quality work, I need to put in the time. Some things can be done in an hour or two, but some require much more time – days, months, and even years.

I just re-read Elon Musk’s biography and was reminded of how it took Elon Musk and his team 6Ā years to put a rocket into Earth orbit.

Good things take time.

Ironically, not a lot of time was taken to write this post. I wouldĀ not consider this to be a good piece but that is not the point. The point was simply for me to write šŸ™‚

Welcome 2016



In 2015, I set myself a goal to blog weekly.

I wrote 35 posts – 30 from my 30-in-30 writing challenge in March-April period. Since then, I have barely written on my blog.

Many people whom I follow write amazing blog posts and I have always strived to do the same. However, the thought of writing a big piece scares me so much that I oftenĀ put it off.


For 2016, I set the same goal – to write weekly.

However, Iā€™m taking a different strategy. Inspired by Colinā€™s 2015 strategy, Iā€™m going for small posts rather than big posts. And to make it even easier, I told myself that I need not publish every piece that I write.

This post is for the first week of 2016. 51 more weeks to go. Letā€™s see how I fare.