50 things that connects me to Singapore

As a 80s kid growing up in Singapore, I have experienced many touching moments which connects me to the country. There are many quirky and memorable things that brings back good memories.

Since this is the jubilee year for Singapore, I felt that this is the best time to chronicle them.

*P.S.: This are just from my personal experiences and may differ from person to person.

1) Multi-Racial Society

We are same but at the same time we are different. My close friends are all from different races. Brothers from different Mothers.

Not only me, i am sure many fellow Singaporeans either at school, work or in national service, will have close friends from different races. In the first 50 years we sometimes identify ourselves based on our races bounded by our common identity of Singaporeans (E.g. I am a Singaporean Chinese etc) but this is changing. Interrace marriages are on the rise in recent times. Hopefully by the next 50 years our nationality and race will merge to become one, that is Singaporean.

2) Chewing Gum ban

Sometimes, just crossing the causeway gives me happiness as now I am able to buy and chew on flavoured gum as much as I want. Guess forbidden fruits tastes the sweetest! But this is one quirky little fact of Singapore that doesn’t fails to amuse foreigners. Well you can always chew on a banana instead.

3) National Service

A ritual all Singaporean boys go through to become a man. Something dreaded by every Singaporean son. But even how much we complain about it we will still serve with pride and dedication. A great social equalizer where I was exposed to many different people from the different strata of society.

4) IPPT

Only reason, I force myself to exercise sometimes. Most of us have issues clearing this (Must be the food). But one topic that unites all males is in complaining about it or boasting about it (E.g. I didn’t run for a year and today i managed to get sub 10 timing for my 2.4km !!) Hopefully with the new format, no more RT for me.

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5) Milo

Somehow the famous Milo truck is a common sight at primary school and sports meets. It just tastes delicious and until now I still don’t know why the trucks are always there but even now it transports me to my childhood. Well there is always Milo Dinosaur available to quench the craving.

6) PSLE

The first major examinations for every kid and an important one. One that can determine your future. Sleepless nights especially for parents, rather than the kids.

7) Examinations

O-Level, A-Level, Polytechnics, University. PSLE is the first one so it has a special place. But examinations follow us everywhere, most of us just can’t wait for it to be over.

Strangely, after starting to work, I miss the mugging and examinations. It creates a unifying bond with your friends.

8) Homework

Every kid dreads it but somehow we have to do it or least our parents and teachers will ensure we have done it. An integral portion to every Singaporean kid’s growing up process.

9) World Wrestling Federation (WWF) now known as WWE.

My friends and me will often mimic the wrestlers, spouting their punch lines and even try their finishing moves on each other. It bonds us all when we were kids. The trash talking helps too!! If you smellllllllll, what The Rock is cookin…….

10) Soccer/Football

Recess time play, after school play, under void deck play. This was the most common past time for me and most kids from my era (PC/Mobile games were not common then). All kids wants the coveted Number 17 jersey so that we can all emulate the great Fandi Ahmad.

11) Manchester United vs Liverpool

There are only 2 types of football supporters in Singapore. You are either the Red Devil or the Red Scouser. All the other pretenders please move aside. Form is temporary but Class is permanent.

12) Chicken Rice

An unifying dish for all of us. Not sure what to eat? Somehow will always end up eating Chicken Rice. The safest choice. Something that I misses most when going overseas for an extended period.

13) Chili Crab

Big and juicy Sri Lankan crab in red hot gravy with hot freshly baked buns on the sides. Just take my money and give me one plate now pls.

14) Prata

There is even a term coined for it based on how it is made. “He flip prata liao!” (To signify that he has changes his stand significantly).

An stable breakfast diet for me and many Singaporeans during my growing up days and even now.

15) Uniquely Singapore Drinks

Having a copious amount of Lattes, Cappuccinos or any other fancy named drinks in an Al Fresco cafe beoing Ang Mo chiobu at the same time in a cold weathered country may sound heavenly to most people. But to me, nothing even come close in giving the same pleasure as sipping a hot cup of Teh Halia along Arab street on a rainy day. It is something I missed most whenever I need to go overseas for more than 1 day.

Kopi C, Teh C, Teh Tarik, Kopi Susu, Milo Dinosaur and many more. We even have our own range of drinks.

16) Food

Satay, Briyani, Hokkien Mee, Mee Goreng, Nasi Goreng, Kway Teow, You Tiao….. Think I will need another post just for food.

In short, some folks eat to live, but we Singaporeans live to eat.

17) Kopi Shop

Group of kakis drinking beer, having kopi or grabbing a quick meal. A common sight in our heartlands. Somehow this is where conspiracy theories rises and many political analysis takes place. You want to know the ground sentiments, take a trip to a kopi shop nearby. Mostly based in the midst of the heartlands.

18) Hawker Centres

A more formal settings for having cheap and good food. You can find many varieties of food at a cheap price here. It doesn’t make any sense to go to any upscale restaurants in Singapore. Why would you pay high price for tasteless food?

And a personal tip for all the bros. Any girl on a date suggests going to a hawker centre to grab some food, guys ALERT, she is a keeper!!! Go and apply HDB with her immediately!!

19) 24 hours Prata Shops

A good place to eat supper, post party meal or post football meal. 24 hours and serves piping hot good food at a cheap price throughout the day. Now these are things that truly makes Singapore a food paradise.

20) Void decks

Some people will be playing Chinese Chess, some will be practicing their guitar skills and some kids like me will be playing football under the No Football signs.  A common meeting place for all.

A melting pot where you can see a Malay Wedding one week and a Chinese funeral the next week.

21) Festivals

Chinese New Year means long break, 2 days of light traffic and most shops will be closed. Hari Raya Puasa means chance to eat different types of kuehs from my Malay neighbours and a colurful Geylang Serai Market to visit. Deepavali means Muruku and hope that my ever friendly Indian friend will invite me over for lunch.Who can resist a good briyani anyways? Christmas means year end sales and Christmas lighting at Orchard road.

22) Pasar Malam

Our version of night markets like those famous ones in Taiwan but instead of Taiwan MeiMeis you will find mostly uncles mending the shops here. Other than that you can also find unique and endangered food like Prawn Vadais and Ramly Burgers. Only time you can find them in Singapore.

23) Chaptey

A very simple game which I played in between classes mostly in primary school to kill time.

24) Mama shop

A small shop selling necessities located under the block. A convenient place for snacks and drinks whenever I feel like munching on something.

25) Macdonald’s

Most Singaporean kid’s favourite food in our growing up process. Most neighbourhoods will have a branch somewhere. A place where most kids including myself patronise after school.

26) Ice Cream push cart uncle

Something that is very rare now. My favourite was chocolate ice cream sandwiched between a slice of white bread. Even better that you can get it right under your block.

27) Campaigns

We are obedient people. Thus whenever there is a campaign, we will follow it responsibly. Becoming less nowadays maybe because the novelty factor is wearing off. But nevertheless it was popular in the 80s-90s period.

28) Lee Kuan Yew

Maybe the younger generation do not have the opportunity to see him much. But for an 80s kid, you will be definitely at one point be impacted by his policies during your lifetime. In short #noyewnous.

29) Singapore Pledge

Something we recite every morning in schools, special occasions and during national day. The words have deep meaning on how Singapore portrays itself based on meritocracy.

30) National Anthem

Written in our National Language of malay, something that motivates us and reinstates the Singaporean spirit in us.

31) HDB Flats

My generation may have missed living in the kampongs, but we are the ones who made living in HDBs cool. And in uniquely Singaporean way, we propose to girls by asking, “Wanna apply for BTO?”

An opportunity to interact with our neighbours of different races living together in the same block. And who can forget block catching and other unique games we played during our free time.

32) Malaysia

Our abang. We have many similar cultures and traditions, and at the end of the day we cross over the causeway for chewing gum, cheap food and short holidays.

And most importantly our national football team can play badly against anybody but must never lose to our neighbour. Now that is forbidden!

33) Water

Water’s importance is something that has been drilled into my generation. Singapore is a small country and water is scarce. We need to save water. I still remember water ration exercises where everyone need to collect water in pails for a day. Today Singapore is one of the pioneers in water related technologies especially our New Water.

34) Kallang Wave

Our own celebration in stadiums. Something that is unique to us which even some countries considered as football powerhouses doesn’t have.

35) Public Transport (MRT/Bus)

Our main mode of transportation. World class and breakdowns was unheard of in the 90s.

36) COE and ERP

2 things that burns a deep hole in drivers’ pocket. And the reason why most in my generation could not afford to buy a car. To put it bluntly, we have been priced out from owning a car.

37) Garang Guni

Recycling brought to our HDB doorsteps. You will even be paid for it!!

38) Wet market

A place where a wide range of vegetables, fresh seafood and meat available at affordable price. I still recall accompanying my grandmother to help her carry back the groceries. Of course I get youtiao and freshly brewed soya milk in return for the help.

39) Racial Harmony Day

Not sure how it is being celebrated now. But in the early 90s when I was in primary school, it was a day of great fun and frolicking. We will wear our traditional attire and play traditional games on that day. Guess anything other than studying in school is fun!

40) Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam

These places are part of my national education back in secondary school. Each place has their own significance. Like Chinatown has the oldest Indian temple in Singapore and a famous mosque just beside the temple. Little India is the place which sells authentic Indian food, fresh flowers and Indian traditional spices. Kampong Glam gets glamorous during Hari Raya Puasa with all the lighting and shops selling traditional Malay foods, items and clothings.

41) Rules and Regulations

We are made world famous because of our rules and regulations. Even though outsiders may ridicule us for our rules but at the end of the day, these are what makes us proper and efficient.

42) Orchard Road

World famous shopping belt of Singapore. In my secondary school days the go to place during weekends. We will all dress up and be motivated to attract the pretty girl you will always run into in Orchard road.

43) Mustafa Centre

Our own all in one 24 hours giant retail shop. Gold, Electronics, Vegetables, Shoes, Clothes and many more. You name it and you can find it in Mustafa.

44) Thaipusam

An unique Indian procession that involves multiple body piercing and devotees carrying kavadi. Devotees will be dancing along to the music of devotional songs to prevent fatigue from setting in. A unique and intriguing festival which I look forward to in the 90s to watch and soak in the atmosphere with my Indian friends.

45) Chingay

A massive street performance and float parade. An uniquely Singaporean festival similar to the famous Mardi Gras from Brazil.

46) NRIC

For males we misses it most during the separation from it for 2+ years during NS. Our identity and our keepsake.

47) Passport

One of the few in the world that allows you to travel without the need for a visa to most countries. Something that fetches us respect overseas from the immigration officials.

48) Singapore Flag

The symbol for our homeland. The red symbolizes “universal brotherhood and equality of man”, and white, “pervading and everlasting purity and virtue”. The waxing crescent moon “represents a young nation on the ascendant”. The five stars “stand for the nation’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality”. ~ From Wikipedia

49) Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines

Our pride. A world class facility that doesn’t fails to impress foreigners all over the world. And of course the SIA girls are pleasant to eyes. Somehow it makes me feel emotional whenever I comes back from overseas and lands at Changi Airport. Guess that’s why this is called home.

50) Acronyms

We have a strange affection for acronyms. Anyways it further proves that we are efficient people, we shortens longs wording for effective and efficient communications. But strangely my GP teacher always penalize me for using acronyms and minus marks from my essays. Isn’t it more effective? Can keep within the word count what? Haha.

There could be other symbols of Singapore that I could have missed out. Because this list is not from my mind but from my heart (may sound cliche). Singapore is where I am born. It was part of my growing up process. No country is perfect but the imperfections and quirky characteristics are what that defines us and makes us unique. We went from third world to first world in a couple of generations. As fellow Singaporeans we must cherish the success our country have achieved so far and aim to protect it by being good citizens. May everyone have a good SG50 celebrations.

Majulah Singapura,

David Webb
Twitter: @david_n_webb
Instagram: david_n_webb

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Reminiscing @ Former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

It is Hari Raya Puasa today. Meaning it is a public holiday in Singapore!! There were only bad shows on television and Walking Dead have still not resumed yet 😦

So after much tribulations on deciding between doing something useful or slacking at home, I decided to spend the day usefully by visiting the former railway station located at Tanjong Pagar.

A bit of history about the railway station first. It was started in 1932 and was in operation till 2011 serving as the railway station connecting Singapore and Malaysia. After many years of discussions on who the station and the surroundings belongs to, it was finally agreed that it goes to Singapore. Soon after that there were other plans in place for a high speed train service between the countries. Thus this station will be decommissioned and redevelopments will be done to the surroundings.

It has some 79 years of history within the walls. And for a young nation like Singapore who is celebrating her 50 years of birthday this year, this site holds much memories and heritage. So much that it has been designated as one of the National Monuments of Singapore.

(P.S. Thanks Wiki for the info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanjong_Pagar_railway_station)

To cut the long story short, I wanted to experience the heritage before redevelopments take place in the area. Since the station was decommissioned, it is only opened to the public during special occasions like public holidays. Since today is a public holiday I made the decision to visit the station!!

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The railway station is located along Keppel road and is easily accessible by public buses from the Harbourfront MRT station. You can already see a slice of the dying history at the entrance. Yes, I am talking about motorised push carts selling cheap cold drinks and ice cream. It reminded me of my childhood where such vehicles are a common sight at neighbourhoods. In recent times, this is as rare as the COE prices dropping. Well after grabbing myself a ice cold drink in an exceptionally hot day, I headed into the station.

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The entrance is grand and reminds you of the designs usually associated with European arts. Apparently this is called Art Deco and was designed by an Italian sculptor called, Rudolfo Nolli.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanjong_Pagar_railway_station

The immediate interior halls were also grand with high ceiling, lots of natural lights and decorated with wall paintings.

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After the interior hall, you will reach the gates leading to the station platform.

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You will also come across empty stalls that has been vacated since the closure of the station in 2011.

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As it is a public holiday, there was a good crowd of families and kids exploring the station. There was even a wedding shoot going on!! The wedding couple are smart as the pictures will be unique and retro in style.

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You can feel the vast space of the station as shown in the pictures below.

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The railways track are retained only for a few meters. The remaining tracks has been removed and now replaced by vast patches of grass.

You can complete exploring the station within an hour but the experiences gained may last you for a lifetime. I may be over exaggerating but in the highly globalised Singapore society where land is scare and everything needs to be optimised, not may places can retain the history and heritage amid high rise buildings and swanky casinos.

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For example, the above picture may only show an empty train platform but to me it may contain many stories of unfinished kisses, goodbyes, tearful separations, happy reunions or even today for the couple doing their wedding shoot a lifetime of memories. Hopefully such history will continue to survive and retained.

With this thought in mind I ended my successful and meaningful Hari Raya Puasa endeavour.

Till my next scribble,

David Webb
Twitter: @david_n_webb
Instagram: david_n_webb

Laying the smacketh down on your job?

How many folks out there want to lay the smacketh down on your job (or colleagues) and just walk away with eyebrow raised? smakethdown

http://plug-in.bestbuy.ca/t5/Off-Topic-Feedback/So-quite/td-p/112763/page/4

Guess many out there would want to do so, including myself.

Life is so unpredictable nowadays. Is there anyone out there who can confidently say when is their expiry date? The answer is no.

Advances in medical care may have increased the average lifespan of mankind. But always remember, “Man Proposes, God Dispose.” Many people passes away everyday due to natural disasters, accidents, diseases and many other reasons in both natural and unatural ways. In this uncertain world what is important is to live life happily and be contented with what we have. Carpe Diem, seize each day and live happily.

In a widely circulated list, the top 5 regrets of people in their dying bed were observed and recorded by an nurse working in the palliative ward. You can read about them at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying

The 2nd top regret is: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Now what is the one thing we spend most of our adult life on? Our job. Love it or loathe it unless you are born into a family of billionaires most of us have to work for a living. That’s where we spend most of our active life on. Isn’t it important to get it right and love what we do?

If you do what you love (for e.g. a hobby), then technically it is not a job but rather you are getting paid for doing your hobby!! Isn’t it great!! Not all of us could do what we like doing. But we can always strive to customise our job into one which is more enjoyable and meaningful.

To put it in Steve Job’s words:

quotes-about-work-download-hd-wallpaper-with-steve-jobs-picture-quote

http://sdhaoyun.com/quotes-about-work/quotes-about-work-download-hd-wallpaper-with-steve-jobs-picture-quote/

I have known people who purely stick with their job because they have a family to support and their current job pays them well. Once we settle with what we have we may tend to tolerate our job instead of loving it.

So how do you identify that you need to quit your job now? Well from my personal experience here are the five signs:

  1. When you do not feel motivated to go to work.
  2. When your job feels like a chore for you.
  3. When you are working purely for the sake of money.
  4. When given a chance you like to give a Rock Bottom to your colleagues or boss.
  5. Where there are no improvements nor job satisfaction in your job.

After quitting the key is to experiment as much as possible. Try different varieties and fix on something that motivates and makes you happy. Even if you don’t find your ultimate job, never put up with abusive colleagues! What is important is self-respect!!

rocky

https://www.pinterest.com/mregmeyers3/rocky-balboa/

In conclusion, not everyone can quit our jobs tomorrow and just take a backpack and travel around the world blogging about our experiences. But we can always strive to improve our daily life to make ourselves happier. One place we can start, is by looking at our job. If it fulfills the list above then maybe it is time to look for a new job. Everything that has a beginning has an end. We have to just believe in our capabilities.

At the end of the day, in our travel to the end let’s reach it with happiness rather then sadness and regret. It is in our hands to make a positive change in our own life. And don’t forget maybe all it takes is a rock bottom on your abusive colleagues to get your goal moving (You need not quit your job, you will be asked to leave :)). Just Bring It!!

rockbottom

Till the next scribble,

David Webb

Positive Living

As mentioned in my prelude post, I have crystallized what I have learnt about positive living from my meditation classes and have summarized them as four main questions below. As some of the them are very deep (be careful of the risk of drowning) do ponder over them for self-realization.

1) What makes sea water salty?

Ans: Salt

This may sound cheesy, but a very useful analogy to remember what makes us angry? Our anger. Just like how if we remove salt from the sea water it becomes clear and turns into fresh water if we remove anger from our minds we will also become clear minded and have a fresh approach towards life.

amazing-clear-water-pictures-3

http://www.snappypixels.com/travel/20-amazing-clear-water-pictures-at-the-beach-and-the-mountains/

2) Where to find happiness?

Ans: Within

Never associate your happiness with another tangible thing. For example, your happiness should not be dependent on your job. Because one day you may lose your job and this must not be the end of your happiness. You should derive happiness from within (sounds harder than deriving laplace’s 3rd order differential equation). Anyways we must try. In this way you can’t lose it easily.

3) What is your value?

Ans: Priceless

Never put a value to yourself by comparing yourself to others. Everyone is unique in their own ways. Don’t be too serious about success or failure. Life should not be taken seriously, as no one gets out from it alive in the end.

4) How do you want to be treated?

Ans: With Respect

This is something I follow even before going for meditation classes. Always put yourself in another person’s shoe. Will you do it? How would you feel if the same thing is said to you? If you will not do it nor feel great about it then do not do it to others! Life is a mirror. It is a reflection of your actions. In other words, karma. karma

http://www.spiritual-knowledge.net/articles/karma.php

Like Newton’s third law (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.), what we do to others will ultimately have an impact on us. Good things happen to those who does good things. Live and Let Live.

That’s it folks. Hope you all find something useful in the four pointers mentioned above. There are definitely much more to positive living than these four pointers but I don’t want the readers to dread reading long posts like PHD thesis (who reads them anyways??).  Lol!! So as and when I come across good pointers, I will share with everyone.

Stay tune for my  future scribbles.

Cheers!!

I am back!

Hi All,

After a short hiatus, suddenly the writing bug has bitten me again and decided to scribble more!!

I traveled to a few European cities in the past few months and will be sharing more about my experiences in my next few scribbles. But before that, an very important question

Ques: What do you need after a holiday?

Ans: Another holiday!!

Sadly that was my case. After a wonderful experience of travelling to new countries and meeting friendly folks, I came back to work and the reality hit me (similar feeling as receiving your grades in high school).

Piles of work and a ticket number to join the rat race.

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http://www.ratracetrap.com/the-rat-race-trap/dont-be-scammed-out-of-the-rat-race.html

Well every work place have colleagues whose only aim in life is to make you feel bad, my work place seems to have a disproportionately larger number of such characters. Well you can’t go holidays frequently unless you are a bad actor with six pecs but still get to act in movies or a 20 years old footballer who managed to make everyone believe that you are going to be the top footballer in the world and thus could demand few hundred grand per week in salary. Either one is not going to work for me so I decided to take up something out of my usual routine to keep my sanity and at the same time not risking losing my faith in humanity.

After searching around decided to pursue what I wanted to do for a long time.

Meditation.

meditating

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/files/2013/03/meditating.jpg

Surprisingly the meditation classes I went to not only focused on breathing techniques and calming your mind but they will also sprinkle some advises that seems very useful in getting by life.

Like MSG (monosodium glutamate) that makes the food tastier, these advises spices up your life too. Only that it is much healthier when consumed as compared to MSG.

Stay tuned for my next scribble on positive living.

30 things to do or start doing before reaching 30 years old

A break from updating on my travel in Taiwan. Let’s discuss about life in general.

I was thinking about it alot recently since I will be reaching 30 years old soon. Thought of just penning down from my experience on what I have done, should have done or should be doing. I may be wrong!!! But life is what we define. So keep calm and read on 🙂

1)      Getting  a decent education.

– Basically something that can gets you a decent job. It can be a degree, diploma or even a professional certificate. It should be something that could earn you a living with a monthly salary.

2)      Fall in love and get your heart broken.

– If it worked out the first time, good for you. You are one of the few. But for most of us, it would be a range of emotions from good memories to despair. The lesson learnt from the failure is the key so that when you meet your true love in the future, you will be matured enough to handle the relationship in the best possible manner. Learn from the past and apply the lessons to experience the best in the future.

http://creativefan.com/broken-heart-pictures/

3)      Travel to a least 3 countries with totally different living cultures.

– Unless you have travelled, it would be impossible for you to appreciate what is available in your country. Travelling is such a eye opening experience. You get to meet new people and learn new things. Who knows you may just love one of the countries and may want to just settle down there. 3 is just the number, best is to travel to as much countries as possible.

4)      Have a decent saving.

– Save a bit of your salary each month. This can be for the rainy days or even for you to take a break from your work if possible. So how much is enough? The amount should be just enough for you to go without working for 1 year.

5)      Do not have unnecessary liabilities that costs you money.

– It can be like owning a car which requires you to spend almost 25% of your salary. It is not worth it. Even though it can be used to attract chicks, on the long run it is just making you to lose your potential savings. So do away from such liabilities.

6)      Kick out drinking and smoking from your life.

– While you are young, you may feel invincible and may be thinking that such vices would do no harm to yourself. But as you enter your 30s, your body will slowly breaks down. Thus lead a healthy living. You can start by quitting smoking and drinking.

7)      Stick to a exercise regime

– You should exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Have a regime and stick to it. Like going to gym once a week, running in your local park once a week, playing futsal once a week or even other sports like boxing or badminton once a week. In the long run, it will do you more benefits than harm.

8)      Pick up a hobby other than work and do it religiously for a few hours each week.

– It can be anything. Writing, singing, drawing etc. As long you have a passion for it. Do it continuously and by the time you retire in 20 years time, your hobby could be your potential post retirement job which you will enjoy.

9)      Meditation

– Learn to meditate. It can be anything from breathing exercises or just finding a quite spot to sit and reflect peaceful. It will help in your mental health in the long run.

 

 

10)  Have at least 2-3 close friends.

– The quantity of friends doesn’t matter but the quality matters. Have at least 2-3 friends whom you can ask frank opinions. Family members are another source but usually they are not of the same age group and may not give the correct opinion. Having reliable friends who you can turn to for frank advice is the best.

11)   Start spending more time with your parents.

– Your girlfriend or boyfriend may leave you. Your friends may get busy with their own life. But as the saying goes “Blood is Thicker than Water”. Whoever leaves, you must know that your parents will be there for you. Spend more time with your parents. Fulfil their wishes. Make them happy.

12)   Mend relationship with your siblings

– We are all guilty of this at one point of another. Which siblings doesn’t fight when young?  Mend the burnt bridges. Who understands you more than your siblings? You need not be best of friends, but as someone you sees you growing up they can give you the correct advice when you are doing something wrong. (Read: Getting into the wrong relationship!!)

13)   Have a career.

– Having a job is different from having a career. You do a job just for monetary benefits. Career is something you can grow in it. No one likes working (including me!!), so choose a career where you have a high chance for a decent employment and improve yourself in that line. Well it is strictly for money, you have your hobby to fall back when you come back home.

14)   Make plans to further your studies.

– It can be a masters or something else. But this is to improve your highest qualification level. Well you could even take a 1 year break to pursue it. This is where your savings help.

15)   Have both formal and informal clothes.

– Informal is for your everyday dressing to work etc. Formal is for special occasions like ceremonies, weddings etc. Look the part for the event. It will increase your confidence too. And of course score points with the opposite sex 🙂

 http://www.mensxp.com/dating/flirting-a-attraction/2890-simple-skill-of-attracting-women.html

16)   Have a online blog.

– Writing helps to clear your mind. You can crystallise your thinking process. It also helps in your thinking process overall. Makes you smarter. You can blog about anything. Watch a movie, write an review. Saw something you liked or disliked, discuss about it. Travelled somewhere, write about it too. Soon you will get the audience. There are tons of free online blogs online. Register for one and start writing. Just be careful not to write anything to criticise about race and religion or criticise a person personally.

17)   Develop a reading habit.

–  I know this is easier said than done. But you can start small. Spent  maybe 15 minutes each day to read something and slowly increase the frequency and the types of reading materials. From newspapers to autobiographies. The key is having a reading habit,  just read what you like. You will be surprised that the information you picked up will be useful in your daily conversations and improve your general knowledge. And guys NO, FHM and Playboy doesn’t count as reading materials as you will be using other organs other than your brain to think 🙂

 http://www.siamsport.co.th/siamsport_info.html

18)   Have multiple social media accounts.

– Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Even though this is a huge time wasting tool, you will be surprised how much you can learn from the it. Best holiday places to visit, well you can learn from your friend’s facebook postings if anyone have visited the place before.  Twitter helps you to learn about latest happenings in the world and Instagram well you will know how the food at various eateries look like. In other words learn to harness the power of social media. It could be useful in your work too. Keeps you updated.

19)   Have a decent collection of music.

– It could a iPod, MP3 player or any device that plays music. Have a collection of your favourite music and songs. When you are alone and stressed out, listen to music. It greatly helps you. It diverts your mind and you will be refreshed and will be clear headed to take decisions. You can be inspired too!!! (For me the best inspiring song is Eminem’s Lose Yourself)

http://music.cbc.ca/#/blogs/2013/10/Hear-the-knockout-isolated-vocal-track-of-Eminems-Lose-Yourself

20)  Stop watching porn

– In today’s highly sexualised world, we are tend to be sucked into the world of pornography. Once in a while is fine but don’t make it a habit. Well it is time to get the real deal guys.

21)   Stop excessive video gaming

– It is okay to play video games. But they are people who spend their whole weekends/free time playing video games as their only source of entertainment living in an alternative reality. Well limit it and get off the couch for other activities.

22)   Learn to cook

– Everyone eats everyday. Ultimately we work to eat. It will be very satisfying to not depend on anyone and fix your own meal maybe once or twice a week. It can be a simple sandwich, omelette, instant noodles or a hot drink. Key is to learn to make something for yourself which you yourself can eat in the first place.

23)   Learn to drive

– Mainly  cars. Just a handy skill which could be useful if you need to move around alot for your work or you need a temporary transport for your elderly parents or small kids in the future. Vehicle is money guzzling but when you absolutely need it if you do not have the license it will be difficult to get one as you need to go for classes and tests. Thus get one in your twenties. It will not go to waste, driving taxi is a career option after retirement too!!

24)  Learn to do your own laundry

– Your mum may be helping you with washing your clothes so far. But she is not getting any younger and I don’t think you want to spend a fortune on laundry services. Learn to wash your own clothes. Be independent, you are reaching 30 for goodness sake!! Learn to do your own laundry and fix your own meal.

25)   Have a credit/debit card

– There are many things that can be easily done online without the need to wait in the queue etc. Like applications for various things. You can also get cheaper stuff online like booking airtickets, buying clothings etc. You can save time and money. Well you can also learn self control and be careful of not overspending.

26)  Buying your own house

– In some countries it is quite strict that you need to be attached or married before you can apply for the public housing and private housing is very expensive. As least have a substantial housing saving separately which you can use for down payment for your own house when the time is right. You can’t expect to live with your parents forever.

27)   Train your younger peers

– It could be anyone. Like interns or your tuition kids. The key is to get the experience of imparting your knowledge to someone younger. Why is this important? Well it gives you the satisfaction seeing someone you have trained to succeed or do well in something you have trained them in. It gives you a preview about what it takes to be a leader. It also trains you to be responsible. People will look up to you. Like your nieces and nephews. If they see you drunk and wasted every weekend they may think it is an expectable behavior. Set a good example. Transit from being a follower to a leader.

28)  Start donating a small among of money every month.

– It can be 50 bucks or even lesser. Just a little for a good cause. For a less privileged child or old folks. It will bring immense satisfaction to your life. Not everyone is as lucky as you are.

29)   Start volunteering

– It can be once a month or even once a few months. Or if you are really enthusiastic every week. But just 1-2 hours per month to help others. Bring out the humanity in us.

30)   Start visiting your preferred place of worship

– Well it is up to individuals. It can be weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. But the key is when visiting your preferred place of worship don’t pray that you want this or that like a bigger car or bigger house etc.  Instead say thanks and be grateful for your current life. It makes wonders to how you approach life. There are many out there who don’t get to live till 30 years old. Or even if yes, in a turmoil environment or suffering from life threatening sickness. So be grateful for your current life.

http://www.prosportstickers.com/products/Pray-Hands-Decal-2.html#.U2eVA_mSzT8

Well I am approaching 30 and thought to pen down my thoughts on what must be done and I should be doing reaching 30. This is just my point of view. I may be wrong, maybe at 40 if I am still around I could compare and write another list of 40 things to do before reaching 40.

#YOLO, so stop fretting about small things in life (e.g. being dumped by a girl, petty arguments, jealousy, arguments etc). Get out and live life positively and happily.

Live and Let Live!!!

 

http://www.lovethispic.com/image/50626/live-and-let-live

New Year Resolutions: Is it necessary?

The new year have started almost 2 months ago. People have been asking what is your new year resolution, what are your aims, what do you plan to do this year etc. There were also a lot of blog writeups on new resolutions and what they going to start doing in the new year.

I also had new year resolutions and wanted very much to write about it. But I gave myself 2 months to see whether I will be persistent in following whatever aims I set myself before writing about it.

From my previous experiences in past years, it is always very easy to start a task. But what is difficult is finishing it within a particular time frame. Let me give you my personal experience from 2 such resolutions which I took in the past 2 years and wanted to finish it within that year itself.

First is obtaining a driving license 2 years ago. It started out well. I cleared the theory tests and started on the practical lessons. I took manual license. So it is much harder than auto where the driver need not worry about changing gears. Soon I found out that my hand, leg and eye coordination needs alot of practice. I managed to passed the driving test on my 4th try. So including the waiting time, it took me around 1.5 years to complete the task which I wanted to finish within 1 year.

Second is joining Toastmasters and obtaining the competent communicator rank by completing the first 10 assignments within 1 year. It started out well but soon it took me longer and longer to complete each assignment because I couldn’t think of new speech topics. It became more of a chore and after completing the 5th assignment it was 1 year and I didn’t renew my membership subsequently. With all due respect to Toastmasters, it was a fantastic program to improve on your presentation skills. But you must be persistent and be motivated to complete it.

In obtaining the driver’s license, I was motivated to get it. So even I failed thrice, I persisted and managed to get it on my 4th try. For Toastmasters, due to the repeated nature of the assignments, I couldn’t motivate myself to complete the program thus dropped out midway. Thus for the past 2 years I completed 1 resolution late and didn’t finish another. So this year what is my new resolution?

failure_success

http://www.agencypost.com/why-failing-is-really-winning/

My resolution is to focus and have the perseverance in completing whatever tasks I do in the year. There is no point in setting a timeframe to complete a task. You already have a timeframe to complete projects at work. Why have it in life?

Live life like a walk in the park where you can see the beautiful sunset and feel the light breeze. It is not a marathon where you force yourself to run finish the full race and then take few days to recover (no offence to any marathoners, just my point of view. Really salute you guys, the max I could only complete 5km).

how-can-you-tell-if-someone-ran-a-marathon_thumb

http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/my-big-fat-finished-marathon/

Don’t choose a resolution just for the sake of doing it. If you want to lose weight don’t take up a gym membership and go for 1 month and disappear for the rest. Instead choose an activity which you really wanted to do and stick with it. Thus you will enjoy it fully.

Mid last year I took up boxing. I really wanted to try it since watching Rocky movies (pls don’t laugh but it is the truth). I went with no expectation but with the mentality that just to enjoy the sport. It was not a new year resolution, just something I did ad-hoc in the middle of the year. And guess what, it has been fantastic so far and I have no plans to quit anytime soon.

rocky-forwardwinning-quotes-151626123

http://www.fansshare.com/gallery/photos/11910802/rocky-forwardwinning-quotes/?displaying

In conclusion:

  • Don’t choose a resolution at the beginning of the year just for the sake of it.
    • It could be at any point of time of the year. The key is to fully enjoy the chosen activity and stick with it.
  • Life is too short to have time frame for activities. Instead enjoy everyday of your life like a walk in the park.
    • Work hard when at work (no choice folks, there is no easy money)
    • Experience life fully when outside work.
      • How many of us do it? We tend to focus on past quarrels or failures in life. (me too, I am trying to change)
  • You Only Live Once (YOLO).
    • So Live and Let Live!!!

 

Best Regards,

David Webb

“Live and Let Live!!”