Just two weeks back, a friend said to me, "I am now seldom moved by what people write. I guess maybe I have turned cold after all these things."
I felt... sad, after hearing those words.
I always enjoyed writing. I believe that it clears the mind and allows me to express some of my inner thoughts that I probably could not express as well if I had verbalised it. Writing frees me. It transport me to this world of my personal thoughts and allows me to see, reflect and express them. It represents emotions that may otherwise remain hidden. And most importantly, I strongly believe that words, or being able to choose the right kind of words to communicate my thoughts and emotions, is one hell of a personal endorphine high.
And words, beautiful words, can warm and lift a spirit. It is also those words that brings men to unimaginable emotion highs, unifies our fellow men to fulfill dreams, ideals and even war. Those powerful, beautiful words.
Maybe we are too caught up in the rat race. Maybe we are seeing witnessing less emotions. Maybe we are mastering the poker face too well. Maybe.... just maybe, we have turned less human.
Take some time. Write a note. Share your joy. Give praise. Love.
And maybe, just maybe, my friend will rediscover that warmth, that fluttering feeling in the heart when words like these are read.
Been awhile since the last entry. Many exposure and thoughts these couple of days and I thought I should sought to crystalise them here.
The concept of investing in yourself is not unfamiliar to many but how many do really understand it fully. During a weekly meeting this month, the topic of discussion was financial investment and a couple of attendees mentioned that their priority is investing in themselves at the moment.
This intrigued me. The first time I was exposed to this idea was back in 2009 where I attended a seminar. "Invest in yourself first!" the facilitator would scream. "It's the only asset that will be with you, no matter what happens. Nobody can take that away from you." Wow. At that point, a revelation.
Investing in yourself as against investing in your business (business owners and self employed) is vastly different but yet easily overlapped (or confused). Investing in your business includes buying a car, hiring people, optimising processes, training staff, marketing, purchasing inventory, etc.
In my books, investing in yourself can be simply split into two categories: Improving yourself and Pampering yourself.
- Are you buying books every now and then? - Are you attending seminars? - Are you signing up for workshops? - Are you always curious and asking for answers? - Are you feeding yourself the right food? - Are you exercising? - Do you have a gym membership? - Do you reward yourself?
While we need the creature comfort of life: good rich food, a massage perhaps, buying the bag that we always wanted, taking a holiday, etc, we still need to always seem to be improving. Always feels like taking a step forward as a person.
You know, sometimes when the stars align, you just have to enjoy the ride. Right after the said weekly meeting, we were back in office and a video was being shown as part of the video screening program in the office. The speaker was talking about Happiness and Pleasure.
Happiness as defined by the speaker is permanent. It trickles from the innate nature of us. We feel happy when we do something for our loved ones. We feel happy when we felt that we had made a difference to someone's life. We feel happy when we have acheived something.
Pleasure on the other hand gives us that sense of satisfaction in that particular time and place. Usually, it don't last as long as happiness. Eating a superb dinner, enjoying a session in the spa, buying that bag. These gives us instantaneous joy, but usually fleeting.
Happiness creates lasting memory while Pleasure creates a good feeling. Don't get me wrong. Both are important, but what is your balance. And which one are you investing yourself in?
29.Dec. This date used to hold only one significant event in my life. Now it holds 2. The birth of my baby brother and the passing of my paternal grandmother. One's a beginning of a life chapter, the other a closing. Both mark the 'last', a sibling and a grandparent.
I was too young to know what was going on when both my paternal and maternal grandfathers passed on. I was first year in uni when my maternal granny passed on. During the wake, Sep 11 2001 happened. And now my paternal granny decided that we should count down with her for 2011.
I realised I look at death of a loved one very differently, at least compared to 10 years back.
"Family and friends, we gather here to grief... and celebrate the death of a great woman. My grandmother. We grief for the loss of her company and the chance to physically love her and hold her. But we are also here to celebrate. Celebrate 86 years of life well spent. My grandmother didn't grow up in the most cushy environment. Having gone through the war, bringing up a hoard load of kids and painstakingly going through the passing of her husband, three sons, one daughter-in-law and a grandchild.
Nevertheless she soldiered on.
I had the priviledge to go through her notes. Notes she made herself. Her innermost thoughts, and her documentation of signigicant events. Events like our weddings, her birthday celebrations and her favourite festival, Chinese New Year. Though her words were short, and simple, I could feel the love that flowed as she wrote the notes down.
What made me tear, she had Qingyou's wedding dates noted in it too. She sat through one, but unfortunately, she will miss the other one.
Her love and care, though sometimes shown as tough love nurtured her children and whom brought up the bunch of grandchildren, whom she is very fond, and proud of. Standing amongst us are teachers, professionals, engineers, financiers and many many more, whom in our own right and established ourselves and in some way or another added value to the people around us.
Isn't this a testimony of 86 years well spent?
So while we grief at the future love and comfort we would have given and received from her, let's at the same time celebrate her past 86 years. A lifetime well spent."
In 1986, my youngest brother was born. But throughout my almost 30 years of life, I had made many many good friends whom I call brothers. So in 2010, 29 Dec, comes the passing of my last Grandparent, I am consoled to know that I will, like the many brothers I made, have the fortune of having and meeting grandparents of life.