Monday, August 27, 2007


Getting a little depressed upon hearing all the sad news...... One fren just decided to get divorced, another having problems with work and boss, another having difficulties coping with work and family..... and of cos, my own life is not a bed of roses..... so what if it was a bed of roses...... It must have been roses with lots of thorns.

I heard about this great book "FISH!" many many years ago and I actually bought a Chinese version when I was away in Shanghai on a business trip...... But I never got a chance to read it. I'm glad that I bought a similar book "FISH! for life" at a bookfair in Pattaya. I must say that it's a great book and I finished reading it in less than a day. The FISH! philosophy is so easy to understand and if we all put in a little effort, we all can easily apply it in our everyday lives; and maybe our lives would be in a much better shape. Stupid me! Why did I buy the Chinese version of FISH! and left it on the bookshelf to gather dust???

I think I should share the simple principles of FISH!:
1) Play – Add some fun to your daily routine. Always carry a light heart around and don't take things too hard.
2) Make Their Day – Make someone's day by doing something special or doing things in a special way.
3) Be There – Be where u actually are. Your spirit, mind and body should be at the same space. No distractions. Be focused.
4) Choose Your Attitude – Choose carefully the way you are being on the outside cos it can affect you and those around you.

Simple isn't it? It can be applied anywhere.... at work, family, marriage, friendship... No doubt these principles look great, but I guess it takes a lot of effort to keep reminding oneself to apply them.

But no pain, no gain. So, let's all try to use FISH! in our lives. FISH! FISH! FISH!.........

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How much is HONESTY worth?

I was standing in front of the Starbucks counter, looking at the overhead menu deciding what drink I should have and checking out the fridge to see which piece of cake appeals to me..... And then I spotted a mobile phone (a Nokia, dunno what model but it looks like it can perform extensive tasks) lying comfortably in front of the biscuits display before the cashier. I looked around to see if anyone has the "look" of searching frantically for something..... Nope, no one..... I handed the mobile phone to the Starbucks staff and hope that they themselves don't keep it.....

Suddenly another thought crossed my mind..... Could it be The Reader Digest reporters performing another round of sampling tests called the "Global Phone Test" where they purposely left a mobile phone, hide away and test the reaction of the person who picked up the phone..... to see if the person will try to return the phone or turn off the phone & keep the phone away quickly to prevent getting any calls from the owner. It can't be the case cos they had recently just performed such test around the world and had published the results in the Reader Digest August 2007 issue.

As a Singaporean, it's a shame to know that the test showed only 53% of the missing mobile phones were returned to the Reader Digest reporters in Singapore. I must count my blessings when I accidentally left my precious mobile phone in a taxi a few years ago and after many many calls to my mobile phone & many touching smses to appeal to the one who picked up my phone & saw the smses..... the taxi driver finally answered my phone and said he would return my phone in half an hour's time. He explained that he did not pick up the calls cos he was driving although I did not ask for any explanation as I'm just glad that I got back my phone. It was really nice of him to send the mobile phone back to me from dunno which part of Singapore he was then. I can fully understand the pain and frustration of losing a mobile phone..... That mobile phone of mine is not expensive but it had its sentimental value as it's the first phone which both YH and myself like and decided to buy them as a pair...... and of cos losing all your contacts in your mobile phone is like losing connection with the world. 53% is considered as one of the lowest among the tests and this shows that the personal values of Singaporeans nowadays are diminishing...... HONESTY is now only worth a few hundred dollars...... WHERE HAVE THE VALUES GONE!!!??? This is getting on my nerves.

Thank god that I'm now in Thailand, Bangkok and the test result showed that 70% of the phones were being returned..... Okie, so I should trust the Starbucks staff to return the mobile phone to the owner should anyone comes forward to enquire about a lost phone. Way to go, Thailand!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Quart-life Crisis

Was watching a documentary on ChannelnewsAsia that day and the topic of Quart-life Crisis was being discussed. What a term! We would have heard about mid-life crisis, about how more matured people are coping with menopause and ageing problems. What is Quart-life Crisis? It's there but I guess that the younger generation refuses to acknowledge that we are actually facing a crisis at such a young age.

I must admit that I could have gone through a Quart-life Crisis myself. I remembered 3 years after working very hard as an auditor in a Big 4 accounting firm, I started to ask myself why am I working so hard, where am I heading to from here. The auditors used to joke that auditors are even worse paid than a Bangladesh construction worker if we go by hourly rate cos we work very long hours. I kept asking myself why couldn't life be simpler, like working regular hours, leaving work at where it is supposed to be (i.e. in the office) after office hours, having time to do something that I like and spending quality time with my loved ones. Asking these bring me nowhere cos I am not doing anything about it. All these escalate to a point in time when I suddenly realized that my life is not working out the way I wanted it to be, but I dunno what to do and dunno which way to go. Maybe this is what they mean by Quart-life Crisis (or is it one-third of life crisis? whatever)..... when we were lost & confused..... Not sure which way to go..... dunno what to do to make things better for us...... and sometimes, don't even know what we want in life.

I'm glad that I made the decision to take a break..... to take life slowly..... to rediscover myself...... to take a step back to see things better...... to do something that I never have a chance to do if I'm still in Singapore...... and I hope this break can help me to live a better life in the way that I wanted it to turn out...... and to walk out of my Quart-life Crisis.

And for those who are facing a crisis...... I pray for you all to find your purpose in life soon and hope that a crisis will never ever happen again.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Is this a FAIR punishment?

Emm.... I got a student from my second class who was made to clean the toilets for a week and not allowed to go home during weekends for 2 months. This is because he and another student were caught drinking Whiskey after school hours. It's the School's rules and regulations that the students are not allowed to drink while in the School. I heard that there were more students involved in the drinking session but only 2 were caught and punished.

Okie, I agree that it's the school rule that they broke and so, they should be punished. But should they be made to clean the toilets DURING lessons time? Can't they be made to clean the toilets after school ends? They are giving up learning time to do punishment. This, I do not agree. Moreover, this student of mine is considered one of the weaker students. He's already a borderline case during mid term exam and I'm sure he will have difficulty in catching up with the rest of the class if he misses more lessons.

What can I do? Put up a protest or petition for the School to amend its punishments?

What's the Matter?

At first I thought it was English.... that's why my students are finding it difficult to cope. But I found out yesterday that about half of my first class (i.e. 6 out of 13) failed their core subject in the mid term exam. This is very worrying. Their core subject is their "ticket" to earn their livelihood after they leave the School. If they don't do well, what's going to happen to them in the future? They can don't do well in English but at least they should try their very best to excel in their core subject..... What's the matter with them??

I hope they can "wake up" after the counselling session with their core subject teachers yesterday..... And I think some of them are "waking up" cos they seems to be quite moody during class today..... My guess is that they are bothered by the fact that they fail. Anyway, they have to be responsible for their own lives; just like everyone of us should..... U choose the way that u want to live your life.