Monday, December 29, 2008

Worry Less or Not at all!

A short message to all,

" If things are not within your control, why worry?

If the things are within your control, rid those things to eliminate the worries."

You need a plan and strategy to get rid of those worries, one by one, if not all at one shot.

Worrying is not good for mental health as well as physical health.

It ties you down.

Identify those problem areas and selectively remove them, starting with the most troublesome ones.

With the toughest one removed, you will find it easier to continue flushing away the rest.

It is easier said than done. New ones keep coming in.

Do not despair. Have confidence and press on.
If there is a will, there is always a way.

Happy New Year!

*** :D *****


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Look for Long Term Benefits

There are always cases where you have to decide for immediate gain or a short-term sacrifice for long-term benefits.

Buying things on offer is one example.
Do you go for offer stuff that you do not need now but saves a lot (immediate gain)?
Or do you go for stuff that you need but costs more than last time?

Or do you buy package deal at a discount or one item of the package at a higher price?

This a one case of decision making that affects immediate versus long-term gain.

Is it also the same in your learning journey?

You have to, sometimes, balance the chance of having more time with your kids versus the promotion you are eyeing for since last year.

What is your long-term goal?
Is the short-term sacrifices worth the long-term ones?

Building rapport is a long-term goal for anyone. Saving time by refusing to help is an immediate failure in certain situation. It causes a glitch in the relation.

Check if rejection is the only way out. If it is so, explain the reason(s) to avoid mis-understanding.

In many cases, do decide properly what benefits and what does not. Align these to match your goals. Looking for long-term benefits is still a better and safer choice. It will last longer than any immediate gains that you can get.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Having a Cheerful Look Always

I have went to a food place recently for a meal. I noticed that some stalls were hardly being patronised while some are busy serving customers.

What was the striking difference that I observed?

The facial expression of the stall owners.

They were smiling and cheerful in their outlook.

These impressed the people scouting for food to buy.

After all, who will buy food from a groomy and dull person?
He will not be able to digest the food if he got one from the owner!

Through this observation, I believe it can be applied to other matter as well.

When we deal with our surrounding colleagues, we have to have a positive attitude to serve and respond to them happily. This creates a positive feedback and willing co-operation from them as a result.

A cheerful look at all times may be hard to maintain, but the benefits can be apparent.

If there is a choice, why choose the undesirable look and appearance?
Be happy. It's free. It spreads.

You will gain more friends or contacts too.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Watch What Comes Out Of The Mouth

This is not about bad breath. It is about verbal message that you send out through your mouth.

What you say reflects what you think at that instance.

If you utter nonsense, it shows that at that point in time, your mind is abnormal.

If you say beautiful words, it reflects your mood to be fine and pleasant, or maybe happy.

Thus, what comes out of your mouth is important.
It tells many thing besides the verbal message.

To gain trust, watch what your mouth says. This indirectly shows who you are, especially if you are talking to a stranger or a person you first meet.

Impression counts, not only through appearance, but also through verbal communication.

If you want to have a consistent respect from others, the words that comes out have to be consistent in meaning and behaviour too.

Therefore, do not let the mouth leaks out what you do not want others to know.

Better still, train yourself to have good thoughts and respect for others intrinsically.
In this way, what goes out through the gap of ours will be words of frank beauties.

The training to speak well and correctly is a form of self-improvement.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Reacting Versus Responding | Which is desired?

Reacting and responding?

We deal with events that happen out of the norm differently.

Do you react to events more or response to the events more?

When you react to events, you are caught unprepared. You tend to get angry, frustrated and defensive at times.

However, when you response to those events, you are expecting them, though you wish that they would not happen.

Hiccups do occur now and then. To be prepared, you need to anticipate events and plan for action when they occur. This leads you to a better emotional dealing of the abnormal situations.
You response to them.

Reacting, on the other hand, is detrimental in that you are stressed up, being lost in plan to "attack" the unexpected occurrences.

Thus, to avoid going into a tight corner, you have to prepare for contingencies, especially when critical and important events are concerned.

You may train yourself starting with minor daily events, gaining experiences along the way. Move on to bigger events, learning to manage them after having more confidence.

This skill to response to circumstances allows you to be a better person in term of managing not only your personal life and work, but also do good to people around you.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learn To Decide At The Correct Time

Decision making is a good skill to have.

Everyone makes decisions everyday.

However making good decision (versus bad ones) needs experience.

And choosing the correct time to make decision is a decision itself.

The risk of not making a decision against making one has to be considered.

If nobody makes a decision regarding your future or direction in your job, do you stay passive?

Do you want anyone to decide your future?

Do you have the necessary information to guide you to an accurate direction?
Or let your boss decide for you, assuming that he has a better and clearer picture?

All these questions generate questions. It forces you to think and decide what next to do.

Balance the importance yourself, if you are caught in one.
However, do note the timing too.

A good decision made at an inappropriate time is as good as a bad one.

Do not despair though if you have made a wrong choice. We learn through mistake, and making an unsuitable decision is a learning experience that allow us to grow.

In short, do not forget to pick up this decision-making ability, for if you lack the skill, someone else will decide for you.

Happy deciding.


Friday, November 28, 2008

A Concluding Read-Through Is Beneficial

This post is one good conclusion that I like to share with my readers about short time-frame learning.

I recently completed a short course on a technical subject. The course is a compressed one with extensive hands-on practice complemented with theoretical learning.

The time frame given is short for part-timers point of view.

These factors led me into a piece-by-piece sort of learning; gathering whatever comes to mind , and salvaging information from previous lectures to link up with current sections.

One thing that I always have during the learning phase is the lack of a comprehensive picture to the topics taught. I may understand the current topic, but its scope with relation to applications and other modules are not felt.

This is OK since I managed to pass all the topical tests and practical tests.

Did I master the subject?
At that time I did not think so, even though I cleared all the topical assessments. I lacked the confidence to embark onto a new project if given one. I did not have a complete picture!

But comes the FINAL EXAMINATION that is required to graduate. This is no longer topical, but encompasses all the knowledge picked up in the course.

This forced me to read through all the chapters and practical laboratory worksheets for a period of time at one go, continuously.

It is taxing and tedious!

But what did I discovered at the end?
It is an important learning experience that I will not understand and treasure if I did not do that.

I noticed that I slowly comprehended the topical materials of one chapter with other chapters, forming a bigger knowledge base. I am able to link up the practical works of one topic with another work in another section. All seems to match and form into "happy" and cohesive piece.

The concluding read-through, for the examination, had ensured a comprehensive summary of learning by combining the various topical knowledge captured. The complete run-through was beneficial as such.

A conclusive picture had formed and gave me more confidence of what I am picking up.

However, one thing that I have learned is the necessity to read through all materials again, combining all related points while the mind and memory (of them) are still fresh. This allow the topical lessons to grow into a more meaning bigger lesson.

It is the skill of learning that I like to share here.
It is useful.
More so when you are self-improving.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Watch Your Companion for Betterment

"Monkey see, monkey do."

The above statement applies to your learning environment.

Who you mix with will determine what you do and think. You tend to follow your companion's behaviour due to social concern or peer bonding.

There may also be the case of vocational constraint. This is when you are in certain job where you mingle alot with people who are worse off than you.

Examples: Teacher, factory line leader, construction supervisor.

For self-improvement, you need the company of people better off than you. This allows you to have more opportunities to get fresh ideas and feedback. You will learn more from them since they are at a level higher than you presently are.

This involves identifying the area you wish to improve upon. After that, seek out those people who are recognised in that field for their capability. Mix or relate to them. Learn from them.

So, to have a better future through self-improvement, watch who your companion are. They will lead you or enable you to set a personal goal at a different platform than mixing with people of normal standard.

(However, do not forsake those who are your constant friendly partners or friends. They are still needed for your social networking.)

Message is to mix with a desire group of people who can support you for your betterment. The results of your selected companion are proof of it.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reliability of Learning Material

In the matter of self-improvement, you are on your own, and is solely accountable for your own learning outcome.

This statement is heavy to the ear, but, it is true.

Learning is to get yourself better. Learning is picking up new information to be applied when the times come.

Information become a key issue in self-learning.

What if the information is biased?
What if the information is not reliable?

Information can be created from the framework of another person. This framework can be formed from the past experience and perceived view of that person. Is it appropriate?

When learning, you need to scout for the correctness of the information. How?

1) Look widely.

Read from more than one source. This, at least, allow you to identify the accuracy of the published information. Reading from many sources also enable you to pinpoint the essentials from the many irrelevances.

2) Trying out.

This is for practical, hands-on type of learning. Trying out directly proves the correctness of the information ( steps, or deductions).

3) Thinking about it and reasoning out the content.

This is a critical part of learning. Do not trust whatever is presented. Read with a questioning mind. This will ensure that all material are scrutinised before acceptance. Upon acceptance, the reversal will not be easy. Thus, think about the information carefully and whether they make sense. Some of the material may sound nice, but upon careful analysis, yields otherwise.

Learning takes time, and time is precious. Learning from an unreliable source, is therefore, unwanted.

Be wise when doing self-learning.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Huge Mistakes, Tiny Mistakes

Mistakes can be big or small.
Some mistakes are more apparent than others.

Regardless of whether they are huge or tiny, apparent or hidden, they are still mistakes.

What is important is the treatment and attitude towards the mistakes. What will happen next depends on our view of the mistakes.

Some small, overlooked mistakes accumulated to produce a BIG and serious disaster.

Therefore, we should treat all mistakes with a serious view, and to access and channel action appropriate to their level.

Mistakes that are categorised as close-shaved, are normally put aside. They are put aside as they are not seen to have cause a problem, just an accidental incident that are deemed not to happen again.

This is dangerous when they are related to something of importance.

If you like to jay-walk and always get away with no accident or minor injuries, do you think you can escape this wrong-doing forever without any mishap?

If you like to take short-cut in accessing something to save cost, do you think no problem can happen if you constantly practice this technique?

All mistakes have implication. It is a matter of time where their accumulated effect occurs.

Thus, learning from mistakes as they come along, regardless of how tiny they may be, will serve you good in the long run. Dig out the truth of why they happen, dig out the reason how they lead to the outcome. Dig, dig and dig till you are satisfied, within constraints, of course.

After that, you can rest assure that you have done your part and can have a good night sleep. No mistake over this.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning More Through Mistakes Made

Mistakes are things that many people tried to avoid in whatever they do. It is not wrong and having this attitude is good, conditionally.

Mistakes reflect badly on the person making it. People attach failure to them. No positive outcome may be included. Or is it?

Everything in life has two sides of a story. This includes making mistakes.

I have gone through a course recently, and it completes rather smoothly. But this smoothness, somehow or rather, gives me a bit of a nudge.


I found myself learning things that I have expected and able to learn on my own, through other resources (books, internet, etc).

What I have missed out is the chance to pick up adverse limit of the topic in the course. This limit(s) can be exposed if I made some mistakes. Mistakes, therefore, became a value that I unknowingly, wanted but had not gotten.

Frankly asking yourself, do you learn more through mistakes or through a topic that is "easy" on the mind without any upsets in it?

I, personally, retain more information about the mistakes made related to a topics, than the "good" stuffs that I have made. Surprising, right?

Our brain works in the harsh way. The tougher a material to pick up, the longer we can retain it. The longer we can retain the knowledge or information, the better the chancee we are able to link it with new incoming information.

Hence, making mistakes is not a bad thing afterall. However, prudence has to be applied here.
NOT all things can afford mistake. Take the throwing a genade for instance.

Make deliberate mistake for the sake of learning and exploring at a suitable time. Take cautions as you go along and review the results constantly. You will be amazed at the "weird" outcomes that you may have by-passed if you have choosen the conventional route.

Let mistakes be your teacher. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Laziness and Arrogance Are NO! NO!

This is a simple message,

"Our world does not reward laziness and arrogance."

In fact, it has a way to punish those who aim for them.

Being hardworking is a good virtue of life. You will get rewards ultimately, even though the results may not be immediate. This is a known fact, but always slipping out of the mind of the lazies.

Being arrogance is equally bad. By having this attitude, you are mentally preparing yourself for laziness and avoidance of challenges ahead. Your mind starts to slog.

What happens when you become casual in the thinking?
The answer is very simple. Things will begin to lose control and collapse.

If your watchdog system is in place, you will have hope to recover the disaster, otherwise, good luck!

Thus, it is good that you keep being hardworking in whatever matter you deal with. Stay humble to others and self. You will definitely move in the correct path to a better and successful life.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Amount Of Effort In Life Is A Constant

In science, you learn that all energy, regardless of their forms or states, remain a constant. They transfer from one state to another. One state loses in energy level means a gain in level of another form.

In a water dam system, the water-flow energy changes to electrical energy.
In an air-con system, electrical energy becomes heat (or reduction in temperature of the surrounding air).

Energy is, thus, a constant - a well known fact.

How about translating it to our human life, specifically in learning?

It is the same. Why?

Effort put into any matter results in expansion of the knowledge base. The inputs gathered over a period of time creates experiences that you can fall back on for application when deemed fit. They prepare you for the future. The more effort you put in, the more you have the resources to handle problems.

What does this implies?
It means that early efforts in your life give you a relaxed life later on. This is due to the knowledge and skill that you have picked up along the way.
Any upgrades later on would not pose a problem since your knowledge base has a solid foundation now. You will require less effort then.

What if you did not work much in your early life to create this much needed experience base?
You still can make it, but with more effort needed to make up for the vacuum. Age does catch up with anyone, including you. Memory power may be lacking, physical attention may not be held long compared to younger days. More commitments resulting in lack of focus, etc.

Thus, the less effort put in the early years results in less relaxation and more effort later on.

Therefore, the amount of effort in life does add up to a constant. It is a matter of choosing which way you want to exercise it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Accepting Self-Ignorance

Not knowing much of a topic is really bad. It slows you down and taxes you mentally.
Nobody like to be ignorant in the positive sense. Of course, some people do, on purpose, feign ignorance.

However, for self-improvement to be effective, the first thing you have to do is to acknowledge that you cannot know everything.

Just by the very fact that you can say " I do not know this" is a clear signal to yourself that you are truthfully being honest with yourself. This is important and key to self-improvement.

To improve yourself, you need to recognise what you lack in. By knowing this vacuum, you can then patch up the space. Accepting ignorance, is thus, a good thing and should be practiced for the sake of bettering yourself.

Have you come across people who claim to know a certain topic but upon questioning, avoided giving the answer upfront?

Do you think they can learn and really pick up new skill?
They have assumed that they knew the topic and skill. It may be half-complete knowledge, that has blinded their mind. It is a path to be avoided. They are not being honest with themselves. It could be due to their self-pride, or some past experiences. But their learning is, hence, obstructed through this inappropriate mindset.

Therefore, to ensure continuous improvement, it is not wrong to claim ignorance and nothing to be shameful of. Stay positive and honest with yourself for the notion that once the knowledge and skill has been acquired, you are a better person. You gain respect as a result too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Success Motivates, Failure Awakens

It is very normal that when things are plain easy and smooth going, you tend to move towards complacency. You will reach your comfort zone sooner or later, and get stuck in it. This is a problem.

However, when you avoid this comfort zone totally, you will get demoralised finally as things do not "hit" targets. Too many bad things or unsatisfactory matters will actually move you away from your desire to reach the goals set initially.

Therefore, to keep on moving motivated, you need the important element of timely successes.

This so-called timely successes, will be the pushes for us to stay on track and not deviate out of the path set forth. Success, thus, motivates. And is needed at regular interval.

With this knowledge that success does motivates, you will then notice that when working in a team, you should always motivate your team members. This timely encouragement will go a long way towards achieving rapport and support for each other. Success will then follow suit. This will then motivates you and your team-mates to strive further.

But while success is good, failure is equally so. This is in the positive sense that failure awakens you to complacency. Failure, taken in the correct perspective, will actually tell you that when things are not managed properly, "something" undesirable will happen.

Failure, is thus, a useful wake-up call or a watchdog for you to stay on track.

Another benefit of failure is that it allows you to further dig into the matter for detail understanding. On the whole, therefore, having mistakes help in improving your knowledge.

What is needed here is correct and proper attitude towards success and failure. It calls for maturity in your thinking, and the desire to improve and better yourself.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Don't Be A Blamer!

How do you react when there is a fault?
Do you get angry and push the blame to others?

It seems to be human nature to push the responsibilities to others and stay clean from any problems?

Self-improvement does not go with this.

Having faults and accepting them is one way to improve one's maturity to seeing issue at a higher level.

Can problem be solve by blaming?
Yes, the blamer will be rid of the problem, but it is still there, and with another person!

If you put a sweet on the table and it is "hijacked" by ants, do you blame yourself or the ants?
If your writing paper got blown off the table, do you blame the wind?

Take fault as a learning process and work to resolve it than wasting time on blaming.
If it is truly your fault, accept it. You will feel really good, internally.

Passing the issue to others is a short term way to handling problems. Looking at it and analysing the problem head-on, serves a long-term mission to character building. It is self-improvement.


Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Not About Winning

People do like to win and hate to lose. This is human nature.

Through winning, we feel GREAT and wonderful.
Through winning, we find the confidence to move on.

There are many stories about winning.
Court cases, sports, examinations, lotteries are examples we are familiar with.

But do we REALLY need to win?
Is it a must so that others will take notice of us?
Is it an important ingredient for self-improvement?

The true fact is that winning is just an indication of success on the surface.

Winning has an underlying purpose.
The purpose of exceeding expectations, whether self-imposed or otherwise.

Sometimes, being the last person in a race has better exposure than the first competitor.
If the last person has given what it takes, no matter what happens along the way, if he completes the race, he has fulfilled the mission, and that is the true spirit of any event.

It is not the positioning that counts. It is the effort and the strength to complete the race that counts. It is the relative jump in exceeding the norm that matters ( and that causes surprises).

It is how you win. It is how you exceeded expectations.
You can be the winner even in the last position.

Think about it.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Travel The Unventured Path

In this world, there are many people lost about what to do. They follow others. They see and scout out the successful to emulate.

They model after them to hopefully gain the same results. They "act" like them. They do what their targets do. They try to think the way they think. The hope is that, at least, the result is apparent and achievable, if they follow the method.

It is NOT wrong to do that.
It is fine and good for starters.
Everything is new and has value to these learners.

But to be really successful and unique in living in this world, you have to bear one thing in mind.
This one thing will have an everlasting impression on your experience.

What is this thing or message?

I would like to share it here.

"To be successful, do not follow the path set by others, the proven path once travelled by others.
Go travel the path that has yet to be ventured upon. Leave trail for others. Set the lead."

Creating the path for others means going into the unknown. A path of discoveries and mysteries proves to be real experience where you have to solve problem that may not have the solution.

You have to find the solutions! You have to break the unknown to form the known. Exciting isn't it!

Get out from the comfort zone and self-improve yourself. Travel the unventured path or journey and you will sure learn more than anyone in that selected area or field.

Any exposure will lead to learning and, definitely, new experience. This is so because everything within this unknown path will be new to you.

Thus, in conclusion, to travel a path that has yet to be set upon is a valuable learning journey that will create a better you. The bonus through the hard work is that you will leave trails for others to follow and you to be remember upon by others. How great that will be!

Cheers for learning.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Being Me

We interact with many people daily.
We are influenced mentally somewhat with these numerous interactions carried out.

Do we change with these influences?
Inevitable, but to what extent, is the main issue.

Sometimes, we do wish to be like the best person we met on that particular day.
Sometimes, we do wish to be as pretty as that lady we met on the street.
Sometimes, we like to emulate the person we deem successful.

These wishes are not wrong. For a start, if I have to be clear.

Yes, we do want to be as pretty and successful as anyone of that category.

But are we then running our own life? Or living anther life?
Have we lost ourselves if we "pretend" to be like them?

For a start, in fact, it can be better if we can find a role model to follow and learn from. It will enable us to jump start the learning process and shorten the improvement phase as a result.

But after having achieve that, do we have to stick on with the emulated style?

Being me means living our own life. To be able to customised our desires and goals from the reference set by others.This reference is the role model that we have initially selected to follow and learned.

We can modify the approach to solving problems to suit our character and style. We can improved on the learned technique and re-define the scope from the initial reference.

However, being me is also being comfortable with our inner self. Not being able to catch up with the rest does not means we are not good. It means we DO NOT WANT to catch up in that direction.

Comparing ourselves with the "better" ones is good if we are only taking reference.
We are not going to be them.
We need to be ourselves.
This is the important message.

Self-improvement does not mean being better than others.
It means being better than our past self.

This way, we remain ourselves, and an improved self.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Being Useful

What is the purpose of learning so much?

Wouldn't it be better if we can just relax and enjoy the day as it flows by?

Wouldn't life be simpler if we can choose to do what we like and ignore those that we are not able to handle?

Why keep up with the latest?

Why self-improve?

Self-improvement comes about to serve a meaningful objective.
This objective is to make our stay on this very Earth purposeful, before we call our end for the last time.

Being useful is the key word.

Why come to this world to do nothing meaningful?

Having the attitude to learn and pick up new skill and knowledge continuously, is a good virtue and habit that anyone should inculcate in themselves.

There are many things in this world that we can discover that suit our behaviour and aptitude. Explore them and choose whichever we like. Make ourselves useful!

On learning and mastering the new skill, we can contribute. We can contribute in any which way that improves life. This makes us feel wonderful; wonderful for a deserving life.

Thus self-improvement is not for fun.

It is to push us to a better future for our self and our next generation.

Work hard and work smart too! Hurray for us, the self-improver.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fear of Failures | Overcoming it

What is more demeaning than facing failure?

Do you like to be branded a successful person?

Have you experience failure?

We do not like failure, to be honest. But how to overcome it?

Let's look at why we fail.

Failing means not achieving what we set out for. Why did we not achieve it?

It is because we are not prepared! We did not find enough information to set out on the journey to achieve what we want. We did not plan according towards the goal(s). This may be time or hard resources.

Therefore to overcome this, we must be truly sincere to WANT to achieve it.

We failed due to lack of practice. From this lack of practice, we are not able to carry out the task properly.

Thus, the first step is to have more practices. With more practices, we can do the tasks better.

Being able to do the task better, we feel better. And feeling better doing the task, we replaces the fear with enjoyment. When we enjoy doing the task, we will stick on doing the task.

Therefore, overcoming the fear of failure by practicing more, we are able to change our destiny to a better one. When we enjoy doing the desired task, we tend to make less, if no, mistake.

It is a simple process of starting on the correct foot by consistent practicing to gain experience or exposure and doing a a good job. Nothing difficult.

Do not fear failure, overcome it! Good future lies ahead of those who practice hard and smart.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Developing Oneself Through Others

Self-improvement is the developing of oneself through self. It is self-initiated for a goal that satisfies one's development plan.

The process of developing oneself through self may take a longer time and at a slower pace. He need to analyse and digest the new knowledge alone. Resources are limited, whether it is time or physical materials. This method of self-improvement or development, however, give oneself the added self-confidence when one overcomes obstacles facing him along the way.

How about developing oneself through others?
Will the learners really learn, given the help from others?
Will the information digesting and analysing process be diluted when others are involved?

It is a known fact that discussion and co-operation may shorten the learning in term of time and resources. But how well understood is the knowledge picked up?

Take for example the case of doing a technical project.
If the solution came from a supplier of a hardware purchased for the project, will the person supposedly doing the project, learn when he is presented the solution?

Yes, he may know the solution to the current problem encountered, but can he solve future problems?

These few questions mentioned above, hopefully, do trigger some thoughts to proper learning.
Choose the correct path to acquire knowledge.

Learning a new skill and picking up new knowledge is a wonderful thing to have. Do treasure the process and journey to improve oneself. Ultimately, it is oneself who is the true beneficial to the effort put in.

Being happy is true to oneself and true to one's learning.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy From A Correct Cause

Being happy is a wish everyone hopes for.

But what is real happiness?

We can achieve happiness through many ways.

We can help others.
We can donate to a good cause.
We may strike first prize in a lottery.
We may receive good comments about our blog postings.

The numbers of ways to get happy is endless.

But being happy ourselves, does it necessary mean happiness to others, especially those close-by or related to the happy event?

It may not be so!

Sometimes, happiness is obtained through cutting down others. Making other looks bad can make us feel a level higher. This feeling is good and leads to happiness within.

But is it real happiness?

True happiness has to come from a correct cause.

The cause has to be such that as many people as possible agree and share the happy moment together sincerely from the bottom of their hearts. This is a better way to real happiness.

It is the way to ensure that the community of friends stay intact with full trust of each others.

What if we like to share our happiness upon striking the top prize in a lottery?

Case by case. This differs from people to people.

I, personally, do not favour this type of happiness.

It is good to share a token of the award. But is it from a good cause.

If the money is hard-earned and given as a reward, my full support goes to it.

But if the money was gotten through wishful and "easy" means, I rather the person keep the earnings in the bank and stay happy himself. There is nothing to share as far as effort is concerned. It is luck, if you can pardon me.

True happiness to be shared are those that has improvement to a person's life or those related.

It is intrinsic and pure, with good intention from a good cause.

It can be small to others, but is big in the heart of the source.

Therefore, do not be blinded by immediate happiness. Understand the situation that leads to this happiness and where will it then leads to. If the forward path is improvement, happiness is there to stay and treasured.

Otherwise, this happiness will not be long-lasting and will soon be replaced.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Multi-tasking | A Doubtful Impact to Learning

What do you like, an efficiency way to do and complete many tasks at one go or serially taking longer time but with focus?

This is multi-tasking versus pipe-lining.

While multi-tasking is a very effective way to achieve goals within a shorter time frame and is sometimes used to judge efficiency in work appraisal, is it a suitable technique as far as learning is concerned?

Multi-tasking, as the word implies, means doing multiple tasks at the same time.

What happens to the mind?
What happens to the focus?
How long can a person sustain multi-tasking before quality of work degrades?

Frightening, right?

It may not be so when the tasks at hand are familiar ones. In fact, it will be a pleasure to complete these familiar tasks at one go and at the shortest possible time.

But when learning is the issue, where unfamiliar grounds are all around, multi-tasking and learning different topics at the same time seems to be detrimental.

How to focus into detail with full comprehension when the mind is searching and analysing many information, and converting them into useful knowledge?

Understanding one's learning limit becomes the key element here. While multi-tasking is good, it has its own weakness. The impact it has on learning is doubtful.

Concentration on learning and digesting facts need time and focus. Rushing into matters may lead to wrong understanding that can reveal itself in costly recovery.

When there are many tasks to be completed with pressing learning needs, one solution is to have proper time management and self-discipline.

Go for multi-tasking in work that are familiar in nature or potentially less problematic, while keeping to pipe-lining technique for learning.

In this way, you will have the best of both world, and will be less stressful. You may even find learning a satisfying experience. Practice prudence in multi-tasking.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Not Everything Will Go As Planned

In these chaotic days, planning is important to guide us in whatever we want to do and achieve. We need the planning to give us foresight to where we are going. Checking on the results after different stages of our progress will indicate whether we are on track to see "light".

Knowing, therefore, the merits of planning, we SHOULD plan properly.

What do I mean?

Planning is easy, if the task is easy and non-complex. However, if the progress to achieve the goal, is complex with inter-links and external factors involved, planning takes on another dimension.

Anticipation becomes the key issue. Planning for failures or interruptions has to be within.

What if the plan or direction change along the way?
What if a higher-priority task comes along and has to be serviced fast?
What if...
What if...

Therefore, planning for schedule interruption is a need and a must nowadays.
Not everything will go as planned.

But what else has to be prepared with these interruptions?

Emotional matters.

With interrupts, everything gets upset. Flow of thoughts, flow of planning, flow of communication, all got messed up. These deviations lead to frustration!

One way to reduce this negative impact to interrupts is to accept them before the start of the journey. This mentally prepare us for deviations when they come along. This will pose less of a mental resistance when interruptions really appear.

Another way to be less frustrated is to be aware that there are times where we cannot take all.

We have to give some, and take some, at times. This is sharing of time and priorities.

We cannot "win" all the time. There are organisational goals, as well as personal goals. Accept that we are in an ever-moving community of people. Many goals and directions come forth every now and then.

Some tasks and people become the prime targets overnight, or within a short notice period. Arrangements, thus, have to be made, sometimes, unwillingly. But, ultimately, understanding is the key issue. With understanding of the situation, comes acceptance. With acceptance, mental resistance and emotional upset will reduce.

To be a better person, we need to be a thinking person. Knowing the surrounding and its situational operation is a good skill to pick up. This will finally lead us to an elevated platform for thinking and performance.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Silence Is Golden, Or Is it?

The saying "Silence is golden" has long existed. Silence reduces conflicts. Silence prevents escalation of troubles. Silence .... Silence.... and silence.

No doubt, silence when applied appropriately at the correct instance, is golden. It may even be 100% pure!

But is it good to apply it at all times?

As far as learning is concerned, it may not be good, especially when help is available.

What good is there when questions in the mind are not answered, by keeping quiet? Lack of confidence or lack of self-esteem?

When questions are not answered, nothing new is being learned. Silence is detrimental here!

Some may think that by asking questions to clarify means revealing of stupidity. It may.

But do you want to be stupid for that moment only, or stupid for the rest of your life?

It takes courage to ask questions. It may diminish self-confidence when others stared at you.

But what does it matters when acquiring new knowledge is concerned?

Break the silence, and ask. It is free!

In fact, after the asking and getting a response, you will feel better and with confidence boosted.

ASKING is GOLDEN (in the learning context).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect - Be careful!

"Practice makes perfect", a well-known phrase to remind people of its importance, has to be taken care of in its correct sense.

What correct sense?

If we identified a skill to be perfected, we practice till it serves its purpose. We can finally apply the skill learned to other cause or solve problems with it. This is making correct sense of practising till perfection (if any near).

However, if we did not clearly identify the skill or goal to achieve, or the details to be mastered, and continue with the practice, we are aimlessly going into a dark tunnel. Practice what to perfection?

"Practice makes perfection" has meaning if we know what we are aiming at.

If we are unclear of the objectives, we may be practising the wrong thing. Practising with the wrong or unwanted skill to perfection is thus a wastage of effort and time.

"Practice makes perfect" therefore rightly saying is "Correct practice makes perfect".

This ensures that the end result will be a skill that is wanted and is perfect (or near to it).

Keep your mind clear.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Look On The Bright Side Of Things

Many things affect us in our daily life. Work, friends, colleague, travel, emails, bosses, environment, and the list can go on.

There are, therefore, many ups and downs along the way.

The "ups" will brighten our days while the "downs" will dampen it.

Can we avoid them?

We cannot. But we can choose how to look at them.

We can select those that we like to see. There is the bright and the dark side of any thing.

Which do you prefer?

Look at the bright side!

This is easily said and most of us know it. But we do harbour the "bad" thoughts even when we know we should not.

How then do we REALLY look at the bright side?

Practice and constantly be aware of your mental state. Be discipline. It is your life!

It is hard sometimes to swallow negative feelings, but, with practice to focus on the nice side of things, the time taken to reverse the mental and emotional situation can be shortened.

Have always some memories of good incidence ready to replace any bad things that crops up. Flush the bad things out and fill the mind with quality stuff.

Stay away from the negative side or look at beautiful pictures or hum a silent tune.

Strive to change your mood when you are in the corner or finding imminent dark things coming your way. Your reaction towards these will be better handled with a cheerful heart.

We have only one life. Enjoy it through a bright outlook.

Cheers! Have a nice day aaaaahead!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Every Action Has Consequences

Action and reaction comes hand-in-hand.

The results that occur after an action may, however, not be predictable.

But consequences will result, however small (or big) it is.

To be a better person, we must know the above message.

A slight and tiny action of ours may cause a big "case" later on. Nobody knows!

If this "case" did appear immediately, it may appear later. And worse when the person causing it is already not around (or has resigned).

Therefore, though the consequences may not appear to the person's knowledge, and may seem not to exist, it is because somebody may have taken the "case".

The consequence may not be always bad though. It can also be a good "case". The credit therefore may end up with the lucky person.

Do think, thus, of any consequences, especially if it results in a bad one, before carrying out the action. Plan properly and with due consideration to the people around you.

A better person is not born overnight. It takes practice and understanding of people and the environment before a good action can be carried out with the least disruption to others.

Learn to consider. Cheers to a better and happy life!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nobody Is Good At Everything

Have you try to be good at everything your friend is good at?

Have you seen and wish to emulate those people who seems to be good at anything?

Do you feel inferior to others because they are better than you?

My message is "Do not despair. We are not superhuman."

Each individuals are simply unique and different.

All human has weakness, as well as, strength.

Those that seem to be good at anything is not exactly what they appear to be. They seem to be good because they presented the good things! What they are weak at, they keep.

It is not wrong, though, to keep the weakness. It is because, since it is their weakness, what else can they do with it or contribute to the betterment of self or others?

They may be improving on it, getting it ready for "launch" at the appropriate time.

Therefore, do not be overly worried or stressed that you are below the mark. Nobody is good at everything. You have your own strength that may be the weakness of others. It is, thus, your duty to discover that unique strengths of yours, that you quietly possess, and to demonstrate them.

It is not for show that you apply these strength of yours. Use it to solve problems or improve on existing. Stay modest!

Know that you are human, and that you can be good at anything you choose and set target for.

We are equal.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seeing Values In People Make Us A Better Person

There are two categories of people when judging of others is concern.

The two types are:
  1. Those who see fault in people
  2. Those who see value in others

All people have strength and weakness. It is the proportion of these two elements that differentiate a person. The ratio, however, do varies from phase to phase in a person's life.

Judging a person's capability by identifying their fault is a one-sided view. If it is done fast, it become worse.

What do they gain?

Improve self-esteem at the expense of others? Or a sense of greatness by digging out faults of others?

Are they happy finally with sincere friends? I do not think so.

How about those that look for values in people?

I believe they are better accepted by others. In identifying the values of people, they are indirectly encouraging relationship building. They work towards team co-operation. They synergize.

Seeing values is equivalent to positiveness in one's outlook.

It enhances the belief in a person to move forward using his strength as oppose to focusing on his weakness which may hinder progress.

Therefore, looking out for values in a person is a good sign of self-improvement for oneself. It is a win-win case of working relationship.

Though people has their flaws in some matters, banking on this does no good to a long term relationship. Focus on what we and others can contribute with our strength or value is the ultimate aim.

It will ensure happy days ahead.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy People Attracts Others

Have you been in a situation where there are hostile people around?

How about being around sad and grumpy people?

Or lively and happy people?

In all these situations, I believe, you will prefer to be always in the company of the latter category.

Why is it so?

We, as human, will always want peace of mind. We want people who can make us relax and happy.

As such, should we not be happy to have a surrounding of people who supports the same cause?

We may have friends who we can share woes with.

However, if we consistently share "bad personal news" with them, do you think they will stay with you long?

If we are temperament and have occasional mode swing, do you think people will be attracted to us?

No! They will support and understand our emotional hiccups once a while, but for a long period of these undesirable behaviour, they will definitely move away and avoid us. They have their own worries to take care of.

Being happy is thus a benefit in term of drawing friends or partners to you.

Even if there is nothing to be happy about, at least stay positive.

In the working world, we interact with many people. Having a good working relationship with people therefore becomes a must. Team-work is essential and getting people to work happily with us becomes crucial. A hostile and negative person will not have this merit.

An advice, then, for anyone having personal woes is to keep them at home and not always bringing them to the workplace or office. Stay happy and isolate personal matters from work.

Strive to be happy by resolving problems upfront or reducing those that cannot be controlled.

Just remember, "Happy people attracts others".

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Say Hi! How are you?

Have you sat with a stranger in a public transport before?

What did you do then?

Did you talk to him, or keep to yourself?

In this ever-changing world, life has been tough on us. If we keep everything to our internal self, all things good and bad will accumulate within us. This is not a healthy direction to aim for.

Depending on our mode that day, we may be talking happily, without constraint, to the stranger sitting beside us. Or we may be keeping quiet throughout the journey (to a dull or unfulfilling vacuum).

Which is a better option?

I believe everyone will choose the former. Why? Because you feel better and happier.

Yes, talking sometimes bring out the special emotional transformation within us that brightens the day ahead. It "let" us go and rid us of the negative things building up upon us. Talking relaxes our mind at times. Why is it so?

This is so because by saying "Hi!" or "How are you?", we are breaking down the barrier between human, respecting the needs of human to communicate. We are making non-restricted mental friendship (though maybe for a short while).

Just a simple verbal gesture is actually enough to bring cheers to ourself and also to that stranger, provided he reciprocrates with the same manner.

Imagine the impact that goes along. You are freshened up, and he too is freshened up. Both meet others, and the brightness continues to spread. The people around you will sense the good "feeling" and this helps make the day a nice one.

One benefit this simple Hi! does is to give people a good impression that you can be a person to link up with. Even if he is a stranger, he may one day meet you and conversation starts again without any hiccups. Negative emotion will be dampened or overridened with just this fantastic little Hi!. Did you get the idea?

Hi! How are you?
Have a nice day.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Be Prepared, Look Ahead

In all things we do, we need to have a purpose. The purpose has also to meet our goals, our desires and has a positive impact on improving ourselves.

All things has a past, current and future stage.

Our past is history, and aids us in reviewing our action. It helps in expanding our experience and knowledge base. It allows us to look back and learn from mistakes we made. It also reflects the weakness or gap in our being that need to be patch up for the future. Our past will therefore set a reference for us to gauge our improvement and progress.

Current stage is the best time for action. We take reference from the past, and act upon it to achieve our goals. We can review our results and plan for strategies to better the outcomes. Treasure this current stage and appreciate all that happen as what is past cannot be recovered. It becomes history after that.

Future is the brightest that we can imagine. It has yet to happen, and therefore has the best possible results. It is where we aim for in the very first stage of any plan.

All the three stages are, thus, linked closely to each other. However, the last two stages has more impact towards our improvement and survival.

For survival, we need to see and think ahead. Be aware of current trend in all fields related to us, be it in education, career or family matters. Be prepared for the future!

Being prepared is the only way we can survive with the current pace of change affecting the world. See what is lacking in us or what is weakening or outdated. Strive to improve the standard of our skills and strengthen our mindset for continuous upgrading. Maintain our positive attitude towards things and seek always for new perspectives and deviations from current.

Look ahead is the key message. Take up any course or expose yourself to new skill to gain experience that will come in handy in line with the expected future development. With this preparation, we can at least be assured peace of mind when thing changes for the worst in our current stage. We are prepared!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ingredients for Success

What is SUCCESS?

Different people have different definition for success.

Is being rich considered successful?
Is being clever a success?
How about being famous?

There is no definite answer to this. I guess it much depends on the person to what he desires to achieve or target for.

However, regardless of the meaning of SUCCESS, a certain set of ingredients is needed for one to be considered successful.

What are these ingredients?

- Courage
- Discipline
- Hard work
- Integrity

Guts are required to venture into areas that are not familiar to most people. With courage comes opportunities. With opportunities, come experiences. Those who dare to face challenges are those who will reap positive outcome (tangible or intangible).

To see things through, self-discipine is must. This is not only to make progress, but to re-inforce to the mind that it is possible. Discipline keeps the person on track and focuses on the target. It is a head-strong drive to strive for results.

Hard work:
Venturing into new areas is not an easy task. Obstacles layed aplenty on its path. To stay on track, one has to work hard to rid the journey of obstacles and problems that will arise along the way. Learning is a must also. Time management is important too. Mentally and physically, one has to maintain balance by covering most aspect of the plan and execution. Consistent following up with issues is critical, as well as monitoring to gather feedbacks for corrective actions.

Integrity makes or breaks a person's reputation and future dealings. If one is deemed reliable and trusted, his journey to achievement of results is in a better position than one that is not so. A person's character is therefore of utmost important and is a big influence to his teammate and partners.

With all these ingredients, chances of success will be better. Though some people may require more ingredients, these four are the basic anyone will at least requires to see favourable results.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vision of HOPE

HOPE. This is not the dirty 4 lettered word. It is a word full of meaning. HOPE.

HOPE is the word that will boost up our life. It gives us meaning. It pushes us forward towards our goals. It brightens our day!

If you are lost in your daily life doing the normal task or going through the same routine day in and day out, review it.

Are you aiming towards the first thing you set out for..... ?

We hope for a good life.
We hope to improve ourselves.
We hope for better grade in our studies.
We hope for a huge pay increase.
We hope our kids are well-behaved.

HOPE gives us direction that forces us to take action. It sets the goal and allows us to focus our attention.

If you are lost, create HOPE.
Any will do, as long as it is good to mankind.

A hopeful soul will produce a hopeful outcome.

A hopeless soul ...? You bet!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Total Commitment

Commitment is a strong word for anyone performing a task. It requires strength to stay on the planned journey to a desired goal.

Commitment needs self-motivation to push things through. This is specially so when obstacles are aplenty. Teamwork (if there is) matters. Group synergy, if handled properly, will drive the team through the difficult times. However, individually, one has to a team player too.

During easy times, commitment is never an issue.

What happens when times are tough?

Do you abandon the boat and run for your life when you encountered problems?
Do you surrender when you change your mind half-way through a project?

The challenge is to complete what is set forth in the beginning and finish up the task neatly whatever the path is. (This is provided the cause is still valid).

A person's strength and character is well reflected during times of difficulties, and not during times of luxury.

How one conducts himself can be seen by many. The remaining jobs may be carried on by others, but, ultimately the person who gave up is the one who will lost most. His credibility will be at stake.

This applies not only for assignment given to a group, it applies equally well for individual task.

Task, like, self-studying and training for a marathon, involves total commitment. It will get tough as the level of difficulty increases along the way of progress. Mental stamina counts.

Those who hang on despite the difficulties will slowly see miracles appearing from the incremental improvement achieved. With total commitment, depth and understanding of the target will be obtained and this will inspire anyone to move toward his goals more willingly.

For a start, any person may feel worried or afraid to commit. It is natural as a human being.
Do not fear of failures. Take them as learning points along the way. Train yourself and gain the valuable experience. Anyway, one has to start somewhere for improvement.

After all is said, commitment is still a virtue anybody should aim for no matter what happened along the way. Completion of a task agreed upon will bring you not only satisfaction and confidence, it brings you happiness too!

For those who is thinking that life is tough on them, understand that you are not alone. Many people are facing that too, but they are striving hard to improve through commitment.

Join them!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Why Learn So Much?

Every now and then, we see things change. To keep up with the knowledge, we have to chase after them. Even when we are trying to stay low and avoiding them, new information keep coming towards us through various channels.

That is the time when we question ourselves "Why learn so much?"

Yes, we do capture and absorb knowledge as it come. But what is the rationale behind it?

Learning new skill and upgrading our current abilities is a must nowadays to survive in the working society. Even when we are not working, we have other skills and knowledge to keep up with. New digital products, new roads, new systems, new policies, new kids, etc, are things we cannot avoid.

The rationale after learning and updating is not to keep the latest, but to apply the learned know-how. It generates more opportunities after knowing more things.

Learning is an input process that allow us to link or relate future to present. We learn to prepare ourself for the future and the coming challenge that new information brings.

So does the new information motivates us?

No,information gathering and containing actually do not motivate us. It may initially, but the uncertainty of having it kills our interest after a few round.

What really motivate us after learning new things is the ability to see chances for improvement or better opportunities that lie ahead. The "brightness" at the end of the learning tunnel is the catch that quitely motivate us, without us knowing it sometimes.

What is amazing after we jumped into applying the new skill is the discovery that we are a more confident and relevant person (to the society). This is another element that pushes us to move forward to upgrade ourself.

For those who still ponder why they need to learn so much, they may have lost most of the exciting moments that others have experience.

Thus, the message is to learn as long as we can and apply the newly gained knowledge to better ourself.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Art Of Smiling

"You're are never dressed until you wear a smile"
- Charley Willey

Starting the day with a smile is a positive step towards a fruitful day.

Smile spreads to others easily.

It is a welcomed sign to many people, and one that nobody will reject (provided it is done in the proper manner).

However, smiling is not simply a physical action. It involves the psychological part too!

A smile reveals many issues.

A sincere smile can be seen and felt by most people.

But a fast-pulling smile done for the sake of protocol may not receive any good feedback.

Do you agree?

How then do we REALLY smile?

Attitude comes first. If we are to smile, do it sincerely.

If the person is a friendly one and no previous bad encounter with, the smile will be easily produced.

However, when it is otherwise, then more effort and mentally preparation has to be done first.

What are they?

To give a sincere smile to whoever deserves it, change your mindeset.

If he is one person who you had detested but has been forgiven, think of his kind deeds done previously. Know that he is still human, and human does err. Changing the mindset will reduce the bad feeling towards him, and ultimately smoothens the emotional friction. The smile produced then will be a better one.

Cleaning up or purifying the thoughts and feelings towards a person, can change one's perspection and therefore, generate a nice feeling in a person. This emotional and pyschological impact gives a smile that will reveal a sincere and kind giver.

Another way is to think of self.

Do you want to, forever, have a disturbed and unbalanced internal reaction upon seeing someone?

Use the smile to rectify the situation.

Use the practice of "One stone kills two birds".
- One, smiling cools you down.
- Two, smiling breaks down any unfavourable situation.

Bring out the smile from the heart. Appreciate and be aware of the goodness of a well delivered smile. Know its advantages. Through the times, a habit will be formed, whereby you can easily produce a gentle smile that everyone will like.

Everyone can smile, but smiling from the heart takes effort and awareness.
Do it sincerely and warmly. Cheers! : )

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Things Are Never Straight

When we opened up our eyes each morning preparing for a new day, we are bombarded with events. Deadlines to complete tasks assigned, new projects, children to take care off, meetings, dental appointments, and the list can go on and on....

Sometimes, we find that we are put into a situation that is helplessly choatic. This is so even after time scheduling. Last minute activities are now a constant. Things poped up now and then to disrupt a good time table. Buffering for accidents and interruptions do not seem to be enough.

How do we mentally deal with this?

Should we give up the high expectation and take things easy?

To be strong and honest with ourselves, we should not damage our hope for improvement by giving up due to the intense time pressure. Rather assess the situation, re-defining the scope and try our best to catch up with the pace. Trying our best will be a consolation when things do not match the outcome. At least we are in a better mental position to understand that we had tried our very best.

People may criticise us for the results obtained, but if we had done our utmost best, we know in our very own heart that we are great to have achieved this level of outcome amidst all the surrounding difficulties.

Giving up is a no-no in any case. The strength to stay on, after committment, is a good virtue for anyone desiring to be a better person. By not taking action or avoiding taking action when things are not straight reflects weakness in the person's character. Waiting for things to go straight (before taking action) is a myth.

Things will never go straight!

Mentally prepare for this message in life. Take action no matter what happen. Stagnation is a killer to progress. Move on and learn along the way. With progress, comes improvement. By doing things and understanding them, we enlarge our knowledge for future applications. Learn to address complex situations as they come forth. Face them head-front with a positive attitude. Even in failure, we do pick up some pointers. This is the learning spirit for anyone wishing for self-improvement.

Appreciating Ourself

Human mind is a wonder. It creates nice thoughts as well as horrible ones. It controls our feelings to love or hate others. And it can even dictate our own thoughts! We are always mentally conflicting ourselves almost every now and then.

Are we at peace with ourselves?

External factors do affect us greatly. Our senses are sometimes confused. Mentally we lost track of what we should be doing. Our mind has too many things to consider to think rationally. We do not find peace psychologically.

Sometimes, we encounter people who are nice to us but are cruel to themselves. They worked for others neglecting their family and self-interest. We do appreciate these people, but sympathise them for their unlimited help to others at the expense of self. If we are like them, do you think we are balanced?

In order to address the above issues, what we should be looking seriously at, is our appreciation of self. What this means is to clean up ourself mentally before all else can be meaningfully carried out.

Appreciating ourself has to be done with a kind intention and not with a selfish objective. It should be done with the aim of helping self in order to help others.

Self-disciplining of the mind has to be look into. Be aware, continuously, of how you think and what you think. (It takes time to strengthen this part though). Always strive for positive encouraging thoughts as these will enlighten your life and well-being. Throw out self-destroying thoughts. Understand yourself. Be honest with yourself. Know your weakness and strength. Stay cool and understand that whatever you have done is the best possible within all means.

Basically, hug yourself.

This is a cruical step for anyone to make peace with himself and to seriously appreciate himself.

What benefit does this step have?

We live in a society full of people. We encounter them everywhere. We work in a team most of the time. If we are not able to appreciate ourself and clean up our thinking, how else are we to appreciate and work decently with others? How else are we to wish the best of others?

Good things, therefore, has to start from self before they can spread to others in the appropriate manner, and not the imbalance sense. By doing and constantly practicing self-discipline to have clear thougths, we will indirectly help ourself by reducing the chance of self-conflict, and also, fill up our surrounding with positive thinking community of people.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Momentum Is The Key

Stagnation means staying put in your comfort zone, playing it safe and doing what you have been doing in the past. No new experiences, no thrill and no progress.

For progress to materialise, you have to move to new areas. After gaining whatever is intented in that new area, search for another new experience for continual improvement. This set the momentum for self-improvement.

You may have done your initial part of the planning:
- Identified your strength and weakness
- Defined your short and long term goals
- Prioritised the goals
- Identified the action to take to reach your goals
- Identified the skills needed to reach your goals
- Deceided on the time frame for each goals

What's next?

Take action! Sitting on a plan with be forever, sitting and dreaming of the plan and the goals.

Having taken all the crucial steps in sequencing the steps to arrive at the goals, move forward. Start with the first step, and then the next step. Keep up the momentum. Keep moving.

Human has a tentancy to slack off into their comfort zone at times. Therefore, keeping check on the schedule is necessary. Self-discipline matters here. The constant push to stay on track. Momentum will ease the inertia when thing moves.

When too long a break is taken, the start-up time and effort increases. This will put more resistance into you, mentally and physically.

Therefore, no matter how small is the step, do it to stay in progress. Shorten the break period to your most comfortable level, but keep moving. Momentum is the key! Self-improvement will automatically come next. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Level Of Self-Expectation

We get many expectations daily. They may come from within ourselves, or come from others. The expectation may range from high to low requirement. Some may match our abilities, while some, sadly, do not. What can we do to reduce the gap in the expectation?

Here, note that, expectations from external factors cannot be controlled at times. Hence, what we can do in this circumstances, is to negotiate the terms and relevant scope that is expected of us. However, do face the challenge if the expectation is potentially within our means.

The other type of expectations are those that come from self. This is definitely under our own control. We know best our limits and threshold of pain. So for this type of self-expectation, what is the level we should set for ourselves?

Sometimes, we hear people complaining, with all sort of reasons, why they cannot succeed in a particular area. They blame this and they blame that, but not themselves. Self-expectation comes in here.

The level that we set for ourselves, if too low, will result in a low reward. The path to success will, therefore, be slow (unless lucky!). The less we expect, the less we are willing to do to achieve the expectation. If we set the standard to be too high, and outside the reach of ourselves, we are asking for failure and demoralisation.

Thus, to set an appropriate level is not a simple task. It may have to be iterated at times to adjust for a suitable standard. Do not be afraid of changes. (Only you yourself knows it). Be honest and do accordingly.

Set a level that is slightly above your norm and check the results or outcomes. If they are still within your potential and you feel comfortable, go ahead with it. You may even raise the level higher for the excitement to self-motivate. Why not?

If you face failure, do not give excuses and back off. Re-adjust your level again, and keep focus. Stamina and attitude matter in whatever you do. Just remember, the lesser you expect from yourself, the lesser you will do to achieve it. This may spiral downwards and reach an undesirable stage.

Hence, buck up and go for the ride of your life journey. Set a suitable challenging self-expectation, and dash off ........ All the Way!

Friday, March 14, 2008

How To Control Your Emotion

Everyone of us has emotion. We are human, and we live in a world full of events. Some events favoured us, while some are against us.

People also affect our emotion and our thinking. They make us hot and make us cold. They may like us at times, and dig at us another time.

So what is the constant here?

The constant is we, ourselves. It is our conscious and our self-belief.

What affects us are external. If we are able to isolate this external inputs from our internal self, we are then in a better position to control our emotion, regardless of whether positive or negative. Though we can maintain the positive emotion (example, extreme happiness) as we wish. But extreme sadness? I suppose not!.

What are the key elements in controlling our emotion?

  • Understanding ourselves. This will reveal our strengths and weaknesses in dealing with events. Learn to match or re-focus feeling to other areas that we are comfortable in. Do not dwell long into any extreme situation where emotion gets intense. Move away! Come back to the situation only after some time when emotion or feeling settles down, and when better understanding of event has occurred.

  • Our role in the event. Some roles do not permit us to reflect an honest expression and this affects our emotion. Example is the role as a customer front-line officer. He is expected to be polite and courteous all times. However, he may encounter nasty customers that "do not give up complaining". If he follow suit and rebel, emotionally both side loses out. In this case, self-awareness is important. "What is our duty?". "What is our purpose in the situation?" Try to isolate inputs from our personal feeling. Attached them to the role and serve the duty properly in order to address any adverse situation. Emotion will, therefore, not be affected with this knowledge.

  • Understanding others. Place yourself in the other person's shoe. Seek to understand the situation from his point of view. New discoveries may happen and better relation can materalise. You will be talking in the same frequency as the others (if possible and appropriate). This element will serve to dilute any extreme emotional swing when dealing with unhappy occasion.

Emotion is a sticky problem. Learning to control it takes time and sincere practices. Internalise the way to react and control. Be honest with yourself (be frank over your weaknesses), and aim to be clear of your emotion for the good of yourself and others.


Friday, March 7, 2008

The Skill Of Self-Praising

Now and then, we do like to hear nice comments about us. This is a fact as we are human. We need the extra motivation to move us on.

Comments that make us fly, remarks that allow us to dream and statements that cause us to sing, are what we like to have (even if they are not sincere!).

So what if none comes in?

We cannot always depend on others to praise us. They do not owe us any!
We will have to earn the praise, and have to work for it.

But during the times when we really need the much-desired praise and no one is in sight, the only person to praise us is OURSELVES.

Therefore the skill of self-praising comes in. We cannot anyhow praise ourselves. By doing so, we are asking for trouble. Any little thing, however, simple, if we start praising ourselves, we will get numb after sometime. We will be immue to sincere praises later on.

To receive praise from ourselves, we must know one thing.
It is to set a goal or target, and only where upon achieving it, can we qualify to praise ourselves. The goal set must be slightly above our capability though.

Another issue is the complexity of the goal.

If the goal is too complex and cannot be fulfilled at one go, we can break them into smaller goals. Praise for reaching the individual smaller goals can motivate us to carry on with the next task to reach the final goal.

Be clear of the objective of self-praise. Upon mastering this skill, we are in line for self-improvement. This self-praise is a catalyst to improving ourselves faster. With this skill well-learned, we need not have to depend on others to give us the added motivation to move on. We can self-independently strike on and complete any mission set forth.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Inspirational Quote - Its Benefits To Self-Improvement

There are times when we are down and restless. We may encounter difficult events that put us down, and maybe, out. The pace of life is getting more demanding and challenging. We need to muster whatever energy we have at times.

But we do know that life is not always a downward trend. It is like a roller coaster, having its up and down at different periods of our life. If we are able to roll over the hard period, we will see "sunlight" finally.

However, how do we ride over these difficult times?
How do we improve ourselves during this low periods?

Though there are many ways or techniques to boost our morale, not all are suitable. We need to find those that suit our needs and situations, and are simple and easy to fuse in, given the already tough times.

Quotes, the inspirational and motivational types, are the simplest to pull up our mode at this crucial period. They are easily implementable. And they are not time-sensitive. They can be used anytime.

Quotes can be put up anywhere where we can see them. They serve to remind us of our directions and goals. They keep us going. They give us the added energy to push on mentally.

For desk-bounded working people, quotes can be installed into the screen-saver of the computer monitor screen. "Post-it" notes written with inspirational quotes can pasted onto wall of cubicles that we worked in, or even the side of the desk or drawers.

Those working at home can have them pasted at the fridge or doors of rooms. They can be framed up and beautified as in learning institutes.

Where to get these quotes?

You can get them from books, and also the internet. There are aplenty. You can also customised them to suit your taste. You can create book marks using these inspirational quotes.

To sum it all, inspirational quotes are good if we want to improve ourselves and ride through tough times. We need intrinsic, as well as, extrinsic motivational inspirations sometimes to help us achieve goals in life. Quotes serve this extrinsic factor well. And best of all, they are mostly free!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Time Management Strategy- How Knowing Your Most Effective Time Can Save You from Time Deprivation

You have an internal clock that you are born with. When you try to fight and work against your internal clock it’s an uphill struggle that dramatically reduces your productivity. The simple truth is that when you try to work against your internal clock it takes you much longer to accomplish the task at hand, and you are much more likely to make frequent mistakes that cause you to have to do a lot of reworking. Working against your internal clock is a poor time management strategy.

If working with your internal clock is a good time management strategy how do you know what your internal clock is telling you? It’s just a matter of identifying your peak times for different levels of activities and tasks. Once you know when those peak times are you can schedule to tackle your projects when your internal clock is best set to handle the task.

What time of the day do you have the most mental energy? This is the time of day when you can stay focused on the task at hand and really get down to work planning and problem solving. This may be first thing in the morning, right before bed, or some other time throughout the day, but when you recognize when you can think the most efficiently use your time management strategies to schedule your activities that require the most mental energies at those peak times.
What time of day do you have the most physical energy? Do you need to get out and stretch after a long day at work? Whenever you find that you have pent up physical energy throughout the day, it’s during those times that you want to plan your physical activities.

What time of day are you most creative? What part of the day do you find your thoughts turning to new ideas or new ways of doing things? That’s when you should be scheduling time for your creative tasks.

When are you most tired? Ideally if you find that about mid-afternoon you are just fighting to stay awake this is a great time for you to schedule a mid-afternoon nap. Unfortunately, if you work for someone else your employer may not understand. But you understand that during this low energy slump is not the time for you to start high energy projects.

Would you like to learn more about your time behaviors? Try this Time Management Analysis and find out where your opportunities for improvement are.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

How To Save Time

There are many time management articles or information to be found anywhere. There are wonderful stuffs. I like them personally. However, recently, I came across a conversation between two persons in the train and found it enlightening to share it here.

How do we save time? This is the key question.

Yes, we can have it saved by many ways. Plan the daily activities, cut-short the tea break, organised things properly, use electronic gadget for reminders, etc. The list can go on with good intention, of course. But what is the concept that we must be aiming at?

The concept is to save the SECONDS ( or minutes included). Though we like to save hours or even days of effort, we must have the determination to start with the seconds. This "seconds" will accumulate to minutes and hours finally.

The saying "Every seconds count!" is true to the core here.

Strike to save the bit of seconds, and slowly this will transform into good habit to save more.

The logic is simple, right? Start small but grow big.

This concept is nice and easy. It will not be that tough going if we start with the seconds as opposed to starting with the hours (for example).

Therefore, to cut this post short and save you time, save whatever SECONDs you have.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Inspire Yourself Through Imagination

Our brain acts like a sponge. It can absorb many information. But as we grow older, we tend to relax and go into our comfort zone. This relaxation slows down the activity with the brain. Maybe physical part of the body relates to the slowing down of this mental exercise. But to continue with this "comfort zone" situation is a inefficient way to self-improve and keep up to date. You will be outcasted in no time especially in this, nowadays, fast-changing society.

I have, however, discovered an enjoyable activity. It is to imagine. It inspires the mind to test the limit of convention. Imagination can be done anytime when in the relaxed state.

Just pick up any item, be it a picture or hard item, and look at them with another perspective. See if there is another usage for it. See if they represent another meaning. Do not limit your thoughts. Just let it flow with your dreams or unguided thought. Close your eyes if necessary.

You can imagine flying in the sky at times. You can imagine swimming deep within the ocean searching for yet to be found fishes. You can be riding a supersonic vehicle round the world or into outerspace.

What you are doing with imagination is to generate ideas. Ideas that may give you new light to a problem. Ideas to a new product may be discovered. This imagination stretches the mind and make for an active brain. Even when no new solution happens, at least, you had your fun flying and swimming.

Why be limited by our physical being? Imagine and stay mentally active. Pick up a book, a picture, see a movie, take a bus to nowhere and imagine. Who knows, wonders may happen!


To Clear Our Thoughts, Clear Our Surroundings

There are times when I was confused about what to do. I was lost as too many things have to be handled and deemed important. All streamed in at the same time! My mind screamed with questions like "How?" and "What next?". I can't prioritise.

Does this situation sounds familiar?

If the answer is yes, please read on. You may gather some tips as self-improvement.

We, as human, pick up information through our senses. The inputs received by our brain may be relevant or otherwise. Those that are irrelevant serves no purpose and would mess up our thoughts. Therefore to reduce these unnecessary inputs, we have to remove the chances for receiving them. This is the key step to clear our thoughts. Only then can we decide which task to select as our "number one".

How then can we reduce the chances to receive the un-needed inputs?

Clear our surroundings!

At the workplace, we can practice good house-keeping. Clear our work desk to get rid of untidy piling up of documents. Arrange whatever necessary to give a tidy desk. This clean desk message clears our mind for clear thoughts. With clear thoughts, our mind will be in a better state to decide what is proper. We will not be so easily confused to the extent of confusion. Form the habit of clearing the work desk at the end of the working day before you leave for home. The next day, you will have a clean and nicely arranged desk to start the day of. It has a positive impact on your brain. At least the untidiness is not there to disrupt.

At home, we can organise and keep things in their proper place. Locating them, when needed, will not be a chore. Hunting high and low for anything is not only frustrating but stressful. Save time for better thinking by cleaning up. To start off, you can past reminders on the wall or doors. This constant reminders will ultimately form into good habit that will lead to a clearer mind. Or at least you feel better as an organised person.

Other small stuffs that can be a nuisance are your drawers, your bookshelf, your cars, and even your carrying bag. Arrange the material within them, and the sight of a neatly handled containment that you use daily will give you a definite clear mind for thinking.

Therefore to have focus and undisturbed thoughts, clear the surrondings you live in. The clear visual impact will serve you good.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Attitude, Education, Network

Self-improvement means to improve ourself continuously. There are however, some basics guides that we need to follow to better ourself. The title I have selected for this post represents the areas we need to focus our attention on.

The first area to emphasis ourself, for a start, is ATTITUDE.

This is a key element for the next 2 areas. Without the proper attitude, nothing significant happens. Poorly completed work or assignment will be submitted if attitude is not proper. Be serious and respect each work given or to be completed. This is the basis for anyone to move on. If we do not possess correct attitude, we only drag with us a burden of problems to be solved later on (by ourself or others).

Next area is EDUCATION. This may not mean formal classroom education, though that is the best option, if available. We need to seek being educated to our highest academic level. With knowledge and skills picked up, we can then contribute to any organisation and society. We may aim for short courses when full-time job does not permit us to study full-time. Always go for knowledge as they enable us to decide better.

The last area is NETWORK. As we grow, we know more people. People becomes our contact in the working life. They may help and advice us along the way. They are exposed to other areas that we may otherwise lack in. They give us another perspective to a view, at times. Selecting friends for networking is important, as they reflect who we are. People view us through our contacts. Are we reliable and efficient? Are we pro-active or passive? These can be reflected in the people we mix with. We need to know our purpose before defining our network of friends.

Though these 3 areas are nothing surprising, they takes effort and time to master or achieve. Be discipline and mindful of their merits. Self-improvement is a simple word but has strong impact on anyone. :D

Small Little Things Matter

Early in life, we are taught to behaviour ourself. We are told what is right and what is wrong to do. We are instilled with good habits and attitude. We are also taught good study skills. We are exposed to many good things.

However, some of these are self-discovered. Some children are not as privileged as others. They learned through experience. They picked up good habits as well as bad habits. They learned to experiment with the process and checking on the outcomes. They grew positively over the years if they understood the purposes of what they picked up. Others may move in the opposite direction, picking up wrong habits and attitudes, and not being able to differentiate proper and improper conduct.

Many a times, the final outcome came from many small little things we do. The accumulation of these supposedly minor steps led to habits and attitudes that mould a person's character.

Those who take things seriously, whether small or big, enable them to continually improve and succeed. In whatever, we do, we do it to the best of our ability. This is attitude.

If we are not able to wash a cup properly, can we wash a bowl or a pan? How about washing a car manually? Small little things matter. Learn small but grow big.

If we are not able to write neatly, can we expect others to read our works? It reflects on the person if work is done in an undesirable manner.

If we cannot differentiate between sand and soil, can we build houses? Nobody will trust us if we dare to build the house!

Small things matter. Do them well for the sake of not to complete the task only, but to instill good habits in us, to fulfill whatever in mind, with our best effort. Only then can we move on to do bigger things.

Therefore do not take things too lightly when they are small or insignificant upfront. They do matters.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

When Things Doesn't Get Moving

The mind controls most of the tasks we do. External factors do matter. But if we are able to filter these external factors, we have to deal only with our internal factors.

Examples of external factors that affect our mind:
  1. Our superior
  2. Our family members
  3. Neighbours
  4. Counter staffs
  5. Technology
  6. Noise
  7. Lighting
  8. Colour

Examples of internal factors that influence our mind:

  1. Mood
  2. Energy level
  3. Attitude
  4. Past experience
  5. Knowledge base
  6. Education level
  7. Self-confidence
  8. Self-esteem
  9. Self-discipline
  10. Determination

Even if we can identify the factors that decides the outcome of any tasks taken, we have to address an important issue before-hand. This is the skill of "Positive Thinking".

What is this "Positive Thinking"?

It is the ability to think in good sense and see negative event in positive light. Those who are able to see opportunities in setbacks, reap quality results that re-inforce past experience. They see failures as feedback and use them to revisit and revise their strategy towards their goals.

Focusing on positive issue removes the mental space for negative issue. As time goes by, the person practicing positive thinking moves towards success and those that do otherwise become more of a loser. Things get done (and easily) when the mind focuses on what is possible instead of what is NOT possible. Alternative directions or solutions materialise when we think of what can be done. These positive thinkings and actions make things happen.

Only when we start off positively, the external and internal factors can then be quickly identified and stress upon or filtered off to set us in the pursuit of our dreams.

Therefore, when things does not seem to get moving, focus on the possibilities. Train the mind to twist towards "good stuff". Find ways or methods that remove the obstacles along the path and chances are that the outcome will be the one we desire. It is all in the mind and we can control it.

Is It Wise To Hate?

I believe everyone do not like to hate anything. Hating drains our energy and makes us unhappy. The hating spoils our mode and day. But why do we still hate things at times? We are human afterall, I believe.

What is the implication if we hate?

Hating forces us to attach our mind to the object that we do not wish to have. It goes opposite to our desire. The more we hate an object, the more it stays connected to us.

How not to hate?

We cannot don't hate. However, we can choose to forgive. Once we choose to forgive or seek understanding of why the negative event happened, our mind disconnects from the object and "cool" emotion sets in.

We have to constantly remind ourself of the negative impact hatred has on us when event forces us to hate things. The below are some tips:

  • We can momentarily move away from the site in question to cool down.
  • We can steal sometime to analyse the situation.
  • We can move any object that trigger us away from our sight since "Out of sight" means "Out of mind".
  • We can take a deep breadth as more energy is absorded during the process.
  • Smile and think positive.
  • Forgive and forget.

The list is not exhausive, but I believe they are good enough to suggest ways to lengthen our life. We live in a beautiful world, why bring "hate" into it? Learn to remove hatred from our life.