Respond, don’t react

Someone very close once told me to focus on responding to a situation, instead of reacting. We were having an argument and that person later sent me a quote saying “Respond, don’t react” and I must admit, I couldn’t help but smile.

There was an elaborate explanation that accompanied the quote which goes:

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Why am I always going to Langkawi?

“Are you hiding something there? Someone maybe?”
“You have a house there is it?”
“What’s so great about Langkawi?”
“Don’t you get bored?”

All very valid questions, but the honest truth is…I just really like the place. *boring*

Over the past few years, I found myself visiting Langkawi frequently. Last year I went there 3 times. Save for the fact that I have already done the tourist visits years back, as I come back each time I don’t exactly do much – I go out, I go cafe hopping, last year I even went ‘hotel day-hopping’ which means I would go and visit what different hotels have to offer without staying there (a pretty win situation if you ask me).

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What I’ve learned about myself (and people) from social media in almost 10 years

So it’s been about close to 10 years since I joined social media. I signed up on Facebook in 2009 and Instagram later in 2012. Okay yes, I had friendster way back then too but the effect of social media back then was not the same. I was not as glued as I have become today.

I was thinking about the many things I’ve learned about both myself and general behaviour of people from my experience over the years.

Are people really what they seem to be? Am I really what I seem to be? How come she finds this person inspiring but I don’t? How come I don’t get as much attention for my caption which was way better than his? How can some people “quit facebook?” cos man I would feel super FOMO!

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Look in the mirror

“People always want others to change, circumstances around them to change, but hardly want to change themselves.”

We’ve all heard this before. We say it to one another, reflect for five minutes, and then continue as normal – expecting others to change.

Time and difficult experiences with people have taught me that first and foremost, people don’t typically change for you. They change for themselves, and were in fact inspired by you. So you could inspire them to action. Not impose your expectations.

Time and difficult experiences with people have also taught me that I should never expect change – I should change my perspective of things to adapt to the circumstances. Someone being difficult to you? Inclined to hate or fight them? Wish you could change the way they think? It’s okay. Look in the mirror. Focus on what you can control – yourself. Change the way you view the situation, mould yourself to adjust. The miracle out of this is that things do change. And most of the time, nothing actually happened. You just decided to accept the situation and make the most of it – and guess what? You won. You’re happier.

I thought I learned this in 2016. Yet I continued to struggle with this concept into 2017 and now into 2018, I hope to try harder to understand. I cannot change people. I cannot change the situation. I can pray to God that He would help, but the reality is that I must help myself too.

I once read somewhere “If you want someone to change so much, what is it about them that you love?”

I have been struck by that quote since.

My first year in the newsroom

It’s been about 9 months since I made the decision to join journalism. A complete jump from my previous job, though I have no regrets. From naively thinking a good command of English and writing skills would be enough to equip me for the job, I have since been humbled by my lack thereof. In between unlearning and relearning different ways to write, I have also been learning more about how business and the economy works, making sense of numbers, juggling editors expectations, deadlines and just really trying to have fun in between.

I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far here, because really, no one talks about this great profession enough.

#1 – Get straight to the point, “this is not a law essay”

Basically what my editor told me on my first day when I was given my first announcement for the website. As a typical law grad, I had written a really long paragraph with long sentences that did not even address the issue. I was quickly introduced to the inverted-pyramid style used in journalism – salient points in first paragraph. Everything a law essay was not!

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