Aldous Huxley Once Said,

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly.
Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even.
Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.”

― Aldous Huxley, Island

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Source: Ballet and Beautiful Things

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How Alycia met God at the salon.

Meeting God does not have to be explicit nor grand. In fact, He is with us everyday everywhere all the time. We can meet Him anytime anywhere, even during our daily experiences, if we open your heart and mind to that wonderful possibility.

Today, I’d like to share how my friend, Alycia, met God at the salon.

All the words from here on, will be according to how Aly told the story on her facebook photo album. Enjoy! 🙂

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This was inspired by our friend, Christine, who said that she offered up her seminar as a prayer.
It made me think of how I could offer my hairdressing experience as a prayer.

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I, Alycia, have been thinking of doing something to my hair for a long time.
I knew the change would be good, but I never got the courage to do it.

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Thankfully, I had friends who encouraged me to make the change.
Some friends said, “Go for it.”
One friend even said, “But you’re someone who will never do it.”
Though some of them had not intended to encourage me,
the things they said gave me the courage to make the change.

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This is May, my hairdresser.
I’ve never seen her before.
And even though she’s the hairdresser, which means she knows her stuff,
I found it difficult to trust her.
I was scared that I would walk out of the salon with a silly-looking hairstyle.

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May went on to cut my hair and added some highlights to my fringe.
She told me she would continue cutting my hair after the dye had set.
But I grew worried.
It was a work in process, and it looked terrible when incomplete.

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May set the timer for the dye to set, and walked away,
giving me some time alone.
During that period, I had some silence to reflect and think.

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When the timer beeped,
May returned and brought me to the sink to get my hair washed.
It felt refreshing.

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After the washing, we went back to the seat,
and when she finished drying my hair, the cutting continued.
I began to see that things were looking brighter,
and it gave me hope.

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When she was done, I looked in the mirror and
the change was much better than I had expected.
I never thought that I would make this change, but I did.
Happy with my new look, I quickly found my friends to show it to them and they shared my joy. 

I made this change, thanks to my friends and May.

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Well, I’d have to tell you the story from the beginning again.

As I sat in the chair in the salon wondering how I could offer my hairdressing experience as a prayer,
I realised how it reflected my journey to be a better person.

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I know I’m a person of many sinful ways, and I really want to be a better person.
But sometimes, there’s some inertia.
I don’t have the courage or will to make the change,
even though I know it’d be good.

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Along the way, friends encourage me.
Some friends patiently urged me to continue trying, even if I fail at times.
Some may use “tough love”.
But I am encouraged, nonetheless, to make the change,
and I saw that the change would be good.

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I realised that God was my hairdresser in life.
He knew better than I do about my paths, my future, which road is the best for me.
But sometimes I don’t trust Him, because it means giving up the stirring wheel in my life.
I was scared to do certain things, like giving up my pride and selfishness.

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On the road to being a better person, I have to remove things in my life.
This is the most painful part for me.
For example, once, my friends told me off, and it really hurt.
But the change was incomplete.
It was difficult to see the end- how I would be a much better person,
and that my friendships with my friends would improve.

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Sometimes, God gives me time to reflect, to get over the hurts and pains in my life.
He’s always nearby, like May was in the salon,
but He knew I needed time alone to give me the opportunity to grow.

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During the process, I often cried.
It was part of the healing.
Even though it was painful at times, these tears helped me heal.
It was refreshing, in a way.

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Over time, the hurts and pains diminished.
God would continue with the final touches, slight adjustments and tweaks to make me who He created me to be.
Things began to look hopeful, and I saw that it was good.

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It takes a long time to overcome each sin,
and I’m still struggling with my sins today.
But I know, that I am a much better person than I was years ago.
I can see the change in myself, and so can my friends,
and they share my joy.


I am a new person today, because of my friends, and more importantly, because of God. (:

God and His sense of humour

So, recently, I’ve been praying to God to help me see, feel, and listen to the Holy Spirit more easily.

Well, I’m proud to say, that I have been more in tune with His voice and guidance. I have been finding it easier to hear words of encourage when I’m feeling anxious and doubtful.  Plus, once in a while, when I need to make some decisions, big or small, I would suddenly hear some bible verses out of nowhere.

Nonetheless, I prayed for more. I mean, He’s the loving omnipotent God. If we ask Him to flood us with blessings, He’ll (supposedly) bless us abundantly indeed! Am I right?

So, this afternoon, during my bus ride, a middle-aged man sat beside me. He was wearing a white shirt and was trying sooo hard to fix his tie. Guess what?!? I couldn’t help but notice that the diagonal patter on his tie says the words “Holy Spirit” repeated numerous times!!! Coincidence, much?

With such an obvious sign, I just couldn’t resist striking a conversation. Hence, I offered to help him with his tie, then I assured him that the tie’s all fixed and he looks good.  Apparently, he’s on the way for evening mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit. So, I guess he’s an usher in the church — that explains the tie. Haha! So, within a span of 5 – 8 bus stops, I found out that he’s single, he helps out in RCIA, and he teaches Sec 2 catechism. He even offered me to try it out, esp because he’s church is short of catechist. I said, I’ll check it out. As usual, I didn’t get his name but, well, let’s call him Mr Holy-Spirit-Tie.

After Mr Holy-Spirit-Tie alighted, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and think what a comedian God is!  A dark red tie with “Holy Spirit” “Holy Spirit” written over and over again? Really?! That’s a freakin’ funny sense of humour, big guy! hahaha 😀

Okay. Fine. Message received, Sir!

PS: Thanks! (:

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Photo Credit: jesus-generation

My 24th birthday candle

 

Natalie Langenderfer

So, I wrote this quote on my friend Fritzie’s wall a few monthsss back to encourage and affirm her. Guess what? On friday (my birthday) Fritzie tagged me on this post that her friend posted, quoting me! I was so shocked! Imagine! My wall post inspired and touched Natalie such that she felt the urge to share it and again, inspire at least 15 of her other friends along they way. I need to add that Natalie is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and she met Fritzie when she previously came as an exchange student in Singapore.

How powerful can a few kind intention and modern communication channels are, huh? How far these thoughts of encouragement have reached! I am not even gonna start on how long ago Kubler-Ross wrote this. And the wonderful thing is how my intention have pervaded time, distance, continents, and have gone one full circle and returned back to me. What goes around really does come back around, huh?

It was even more special to find out about it on my birthday, on top of so many birthday greetings I have received. I believe that it was God affirming me and showing me His love, a thing I’ve been praying for. It was like the whole universe was conspiring to tell me how much the world appreciates having me around. All those greetings, especially this post, affirmed me that my actions can make a difference in the world. It seemed like He was showing me the people who I have touched in one way or another and the potential I had if I were to do more with what I have.

And, it reminded me of Matthew 5:13-16,

13 ‘You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet.
14 ‘You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden.
15 No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house.
16 In the same way your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.

And, it hit me. To at least try and pay Jesus back for all the things He gave me and glorify His name, I need to spread the love (more) and shine my light. I need to stop hiding, questioning myself, and diminishing my value. I need to make myself “salty” and spice things up. I am God’s daughter and he created me to be a light for the world. So, this little light of my life, I’m gonna make it shine. (:

You too. God bless.

It was a long day of fun-filled adventures today! Little India food tripping, board games  shopping, board games playing (duh?!) and bridge, and visiting the magical world of Incanto! 🙂

However, at the end of the day, I was super exhausted that I was just begging for a chance to sit on my way home. Unfortunately,  as everyone rushes home, the train was super crowded so I had to stand. Hence, I stood in the middle of the carriage, between the rows of seats, in anticipation of someone alighting soon.

Fortunately, a few stops later, a couple in front of me alighted. However, instead of sitting down, I offered it to a 55-year old lady who was carrying a couple of bags. She sheepishly sat and continued to offer me the other seat. I said, “It’s okay. Seems like other people are more tired than me anyway.” Within a split second, other people simply took the seat.

The lady, then told me and my friend, “Next time you want to buy health supplements, come to my shop at Novena Gardens.” She fumbled around for some brochures and continued to explain to us what she sells. In the middle of a crowded train on long tiring weekday, I bet people were judging us and wondering why two young people are talking so loudly with an auntie. Nonetheless, I continued talking to her, engaging her in the conversation. I asked for her name (Ruth) and she asked me mine. I even asked whether she’s in the shop everyday so that I can bring my mom to “see-see.” It was heart-warming to see her excitedly talking about the products she sells as though it was the beginning of her day and I was her first customer. (Remember, we are still in the middle of the train at 1030pm).

Eventually, she told me, “I don’t offer this to everyone but since you have such a good heart and you let me sit, when you come and visit, I give you 15% discount, ok? Actually now got discount but if next time you come, I give you my member discount and points.” In addition, she shared to me how she like selling the health products (because she used it previously too) . She said, “now, that I’m 55 (that’s how I got her age), I want to help young people especially good-hearted ones like you to take care before it’s too late. Before your body pain here there, must take care, ok?”

Isn’t that just so touching?  It didn’t take too much effort for me to offer a seat, neither did it take her too much effort to offer a discount. Yet, the act of charity was exhibited there and then, between two strangers, in the fullest sense of the word.

Then, when we finally reached my destination, I told her, “I have to go now but see you okay? You take care. (big smile)” And, she said, “You too. God bless! (even bigger smile)” <—goosebumps moment right there!!!

Then, as I walk out the train doors, a huge wave of relief and happiness filled me.

Learning from the prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10), I have been asking Him to “expand my territory.” In other words, I was asking him to send me someone who needs my help every now and then so that I can spread His love and glorify His name.

And, as I walk away, I knew that was my prayer being granted. That was Him blessing me with a “territory.” And, looking back, He has been giving me someone to help (or touch their lives) in the simplest smallest ways, every single day this week.

Today, as that woman told me “God bless,” I knew that it was God himself  blessing me at that point in time. Amen. (:

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Photo Credits: cleanheartsyou

Keep your arms wide open

Always keep your arms wide open and welcome people as they walk into you life.

Some people may only walk in once and stay forever. Open your arms and hug them and never let them go.  They will be with you through good times and bad. Keep your arms wide open to always be ready to receive and give much love.

Some people may walk into your life momentarily and then, leave forever. Open your arms. You’d want to experience their purpose in your life so let them. Similarly, give them as much love as you can. Open your arms and hug them before they go out of your life. That’s the best souvenir or token of appreciation for someone who ain’t coming back.

Some people may just be on the sidelines. Open up your arms such that it says, “Welcome! Please come in.” Hoping one day they will so that they can also experience your love. Otherwise, it’s just always nice to let people know that love is all around.

Some people may walk in and out of your life. Open your arms and continue loving them still. They might have fallen along the way due to some heavy burden. They need no judgment or persecution but your understanding and love. Give them the benefit of the doubt and be welcoming. Realise that there might be something about you that keeps drawing them back.

Sometimes, you may feel like a swinging door with people constantly walking in and out of your life that it starts to hurt. Keep your arms wide open still. Love was not meant to be easily angered. It perseveres. Even the sinners love those who love them, but only the children of God can turn the other cheek and continue to love those who’ve hurt, crushed, and trampled on one’s heart. Love was not meant to be measured. You just give all you have in hopes of receiving them back too.

So, keep your arms wide open for anytime someone would need them.

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Photo Credit: thisisdiana

Let there be light.

Sometimes, we make so much mistakes and commit so much things that we start to see ourselves as terrible people. We feel that we’ve done so much wrong and so irrevocably damaged that there is no turning back. When we look into the mirror, we see so much evil that you need to be saved from yourself. And, when you look around, all you see is darkness and you don’t know who to reach out to either.

The thing is, we are created in God’s image and we are actually innately good people. However, sometimes, in the dark, we get lost and unsure of what to do. As such, it becomes easier for us to give in to temptations and succumb to evil. It does not mean we are bad people, just good people in the shadow of darkness. But, instead of letting the vicious cycle continue, pause for a while. We need to realise, darkness is not the opposite of brightness; Darkness is the absence of light.

So, if we do not want to be in the dark anymore, we should turn on the light to cast out all the darkness. Indeed, this can easily be done by surrendering it all up to God and strengthening our relationship with him. He is our light and salvation.

It is God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ that has shone into our hearts to enlighten them with the knowledge of God’s glory, the glory on the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

I know it can’t be easily be done. We have to accept that we need help. We have to let go of who we used to be and allow Him to mould us into a new person. But, if we want to get out of the dark, the only way is to let the source our light shine through. And what better source than He who created light himself.

Indeed, He, as the Holy Spirit, is within each and everyone of us. If we allow Him, His power in us is greater than any force that comes against us. If you’ve allowed the enemy to hide you in the dark, today you can be free. Meditate on His promises and renew your faith in God. Conquer the darkness by making the choice to turn on the light.

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Shauna Niequist: This season is about becoming.

Adopted from Axis . Read the full article “Twenty-Five” by Shauna Niequist posted on Monday, September 20, 2010.

Taken from Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist Copyright © 2010.  shaunaniequist.com

 

I know that age is, of course, one of the most arbitrary ways of measuring a person. I have friends in their sixties who continually teach me about discovery and possibility, and friends in their young twenties who are as crotchety and set in their ways as Archie Bunker. Age, like numbers on a scale and letters on a report card, tells us very little of who we are. You decide every year exactly how young and how old you want to be.

When you’re twenty-five-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding, and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership, or your retirement plan.

Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re twenty-five: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs, and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.

Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country, or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.

Twenty-five is also a great time to start counseling, if you haven’t already, and it might be a good round two of counseling if it’s been awhile. You might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.

Twenty-five is the perfect time to get involved in a church that you love, no matter how different it is from the one you were a part of growing up. Be patient and prayerful, and decide that you’re going to be a person who grows, who seeks your own faith, who lives with intention. Set your alarm on Sunday mornings, no matter how late you were out on Saturday night. It will be dreadful at first, and then after a few weeks, you’ll find that you like it, that the pattern of it fills up something inside you.

I know that most people need a season of space, a time to take a step back and evaluate the spiritual context of their youth. I didn’t go to church for a long season in college, and that space and freedom was so important for me. It gave me the perspective I needed to find my own faith. But it’s very easy for a season of space to turn into several years without any kind of spiritual groundedness. It’s easy to wake up several years from now and find yourself unable to locate that precious, faith-filled part of your heart and history, because it slowly disintegrated over months and years. Don’t do that. Do whatever you have to do to connect with God in a way that feels authentic and truthful to you. Do it now, so that you don’t regret the person you become, little by little, over time, without it.

This is the thing: when you start to hit twenty-eight or thirty, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their twenties to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults.

And then there’s the other kind, who are hanging on to college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. Walk away, try something new. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either.

Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Ask yourself some good questions like, Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep with me for this leg of the journey? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?
These years will pass much more quickly than you think they will. You will go to lots of weddings, and my advice, of course, is to dance your pants off at every single one. I hope you go to very few funerals. You’ll watch TV and run on the treadmill and go on dates, some of them great and some of them terrible. Time will pass, and all of a sudden, things will begin to feel a little more serious. You won’t be old, of course. But you will want to have some things figured out, and the most important things only get figured out if you dive into them now.

For a while in my early twenties I felt like I woke up a different person every day, and was constantly confused about which one, if any, was the real me. I feel more and more like myself with each passing year, for better and for worse, and you’ll find that, too. Every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and every year the trade will be worth it. I promise.

Now is your time. Become, believe, try. Walk closely with people you love, and with other people who believe that God is very good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t spend time with people who make you feel like less than you are. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Ted Hughes writes to his son, Nicholas.

Source: Brainpickings

“When I came to Lake Victoria, it was quite obvious to me that in some of the most important ways you are much more mature than I am. . . . But in many other ways obviously you are still childish — how could you not be, you alone among mankind? It’s something people don’t discuss, because it’s something most people are aware of only as a general crisis of sense of inadequacy, or helpless dependence, or pointless loneliness, or a sense of not having a strong enough ego to meet and master inner storms that come from an unexpected angle. But not many people realise that it is, in fact, the suffering of the child inside them. Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it. So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances. And when we meet people this is what we usually meet. And if this is the only part of them we meet we’re likely to get a rough time, and to end up making ‘no contact’. But when you develop a strong divining sense for the child behind that armour, and you make your dealings and negotiations only with that child, you find that everybody becomes, in a way, like your own child. It’s an intangible thing. But they too sense when that is what you are appealing to, and they respond with an impulse of real life, you get a little flash of the essential person, which is the child. Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced. Every single person is vulnerable to unexpected defeat in this inmost emotional self. At every moment, behind the most efficient seeming adult exterior, the whole world of the person’s childhood is being carefully held like a glass of water bulging above the brim. And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool — for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful. So there it is. And the sense of itself, in that little being, at its core, is what it always was. But since that artificial secondary self took over the control of life around the age of eight, and relegated the real, vulnerable, supersensitive, suffering self back into its nursery, it has lacked training, this inner prisoner. And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line — unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive — even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources — not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self — struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence — you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself. The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”

Hamilton Wright Mabie Once Said,

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

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And, I completely agree. I just love Christmas season. It is the time when gifts are exchanged and carols are sung. Thanks to the belief to Santa Claus, even the naughty kids choose to be nice on this time of the year. Even the idea of consumerism is built on the concept that people just love to give. It is the time when shortcomings and disappointments are downplayed and instead, love is shared. It feels like the time when all of us choose to have faith in humanity and decide to share all the love we have to give. It’s like when Baby Jesus was born amongst us, every single Holy Spirit inculcated within us choose to shine brightly for the people around us as well. So, sure! This Christmas, and for every Christmas yet to come, let’s shower the love to the world just as God showered His love to us through His son.

Things I Learnt from My Internship Experiences

  1. Bring your personality.
    When entering a room where everyone seems so sure of themselves, don’t be demoralised or be scared. Instead, show them who you are and what makes you different. Your personality is your competitive advantage. Sometimes, you may feel different from others and hence, out of place, but maybe that’s the reason you were hired to begin with. The place may need a little bit more quirkiness, meticulousness, healthy living, or edge. So, just be yourself and let your personality shine. The workplace can be a better place just by having you around.

  2. Be accountable and take initiative.
    You may be working at the bottom of the totem pole and you may feel that you have no power over things but always remember that you have a power over your actions and what you show other people. You can always choose to speak up, have an opinion, contribute a suggestion. Even though you’re the tiniest ant in the colony, you can still be the most hardworking. No one will stop you from going over and beyond what you ought to do. But the thing is, no one will ask you either. So if you think something’s ought to be done, have the initiative and step up.
  3. Have a very open mind.
    Some people underestimate the phrase “have an open mind.” Out there in the real world, a lot of other things need to come with an open-mind. You need to be understanding of other people’s mind set, you need to be sympathetic of other people’s mind. You need to be mature enough to understand that not all people think alike. In fact, everyone choose to different things in their own ways at their own times. Heck! You even to realise that some people have a different set of principles, ideals, priorities, moralities, work ethics, level or responsibilities as you. And all I’ve got to say is, have a very open mind.
  4. Be humble.
    Yes, you may be the creme de la creme to be able to get this job. However, being the best outside doesn’t mean you have nothing to learn inside. Realise that everyone around you has something to offer and you will always have something new to learn. By being proud, you will be complacent and continue to assume that you are the best. By doing so, you are closing your windows to many other things that could have developed you as an employee and as a person. Moreover, bosses like people who are eager to learn. I guess, it’s better to ask seemingly stupid questions sometimes instead of always making stupid mistakes. So, be humble and ask questions. Understand that no matter how good you are, there is always room for improvements. So, be humble.
  5. Give respect. Earn respect.
    One thing people often forget in a system filled with corporate ladder and rat race is the value of respect. One must not confuse fear with respect. The thing is, respect does not automatically come with one’s designation. Nor can respect be bought with money. Even if a person is on top of the chain of command, they will need to earn respect through their ideologies and actions. Moreover, people “below” find it easier to respect people on top if they are respected in return instead of being belittled. Respect is a two-way thing. Hence, regardless of where you are on the totem pole, respect others and gain respect in return.
  6. Manage your time.
    Time-management is the most crucial thing around. Not only do you have to ensure that you are able to meet all the deadlines, you also have to ensure that you have time for yourself, your family, your friends, and others. Sometimes, it just seems so easy to get buried in our pile of work, and foregoing meals, dinner plans, exercising, and loads of other mundane-but-healthy social activities. If you think money is important, imagine how important time is. You wouldn’t want to look back realising that all you’ve done for the past few decade is work.
  7. Do something you believe in.
    Just like finding a boyfriend, it easy to find a job. But, to find a job that you love and enjoy now, that’s a different topic. But the thing is, once you find a job you really like and believe in, you will look forward to it in the morning. You will always be motivated to contribute to it and help it grow. And the more you help it grow, the more you will grow as well. When you talk to other people about it, they’ll feel the fire of passion in you and you will always “sell” what you have to sell. This will be your avenue to spread your wings and make a difference. After all, would you like to spend 10 hours of your life a day on something you don’t even believe in?
  8. Have someone to look up to.
    It is inevitable to have a boss who you have a very difficult time to see eye to eye with. Fortunately, there’s almost always someone you can look up to. Someone you can confide in, someone who’ll appreciate and value your contribution, and (hopefully) someone who’ll defend when people blame you just because you’re the easiest escape goat around. These people will take their time to share things with you, teach new things to you, and most of all, respect what you have to offer.
  9. Keep supportive friends around.
    Working has the ability to eat us alive. It is just so easy to engross yourself in it and be stuck in the rat race. But the thing about being in a rat race is that even if/when you win, you are still a rat. Sometimes, spending time with friends may feel like a “waste of time” when you’re supposed to be working. But, believe me. Those excel sheets, word documents, and pdf files will always be there. So, I say, remember to keep your good friends around. Surround yourself with people who has light-hearted jokes to share, who’ll remind you of the big picture. Make time for friends who have been bugging you for a drink on weekends. It’s always good to have a breath of fresh air from work.
  10. Always look at the big picture.
    Whatever you are working as, it is inevitable that there will be numerous shortbacks and pet peeves that will bottleneck you from your goal. But the thing is, we should always look at the BIG picture and not be bogged down by the small things. Although there are things to be learned in these areas, we should not be completely distracted by it. The first step in winning the game is to ensure that you are IN the game. Keep the endgame in mind and keep the ball in the court. Prioritise on things that will help you get to your goal. If one thing does not work, maybe another one will. So, no matter how many small hiccups you have, get over it and remember the big picture instead.