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30 Day Challenge

“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” John Cage

Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more. – Andy Warhol

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” – Andy Warhol

Today, I’m bored. (Most times, I’m boring). I’m an accidental Warhol fan and took his advice.

Embrace the place where life happens

I started with the most boring, unimportant and urgent task, cleaning my car windshield screen. A cleaner in the building walked past and asked if I was bathing my car. “Just as we need to bathe everyday, the car also needs daily bathing”, he shared.

Purpose and meaning to the ordinary

Very wise advice, “bathing” is indeed a boring but essential activity. That simple connection of our shared activity of cleaning. Perhaps that was how he saw meaning in his work. Zen of everyday living.

People’s opinion

When I put attention to something, it becomes more important and more interesting. I am going through the book of Psalms which used to bore me. Recently I started reading it with the help of Ms Seah Jiak Choo’s video and resources of CS Lewis and David Pawson and fellow educators.

Going through it together, albeit virtually somehow made it interesting for me. Although I read the same poem everyday, I chew on each word, its meaning and significance in my life and greater context. No surprise, this is the year of the ox. Chew on it.

CNY Salad at HV restaurant with Bel, 2021

Boredom could be a sign of anhedonia or fatigue and burnout. If thats you, seek help and rest.

Putting the ordinary on the Pedestal

Im a hoarder. After being inspired by Netflix series: Marie Kondo, The Minimalists and Home edit, I decided to clear my closets.

Today I chanced upon a glass teapot I bought 4 mths ago and made myself a pot of lemongrass/screwpine tea.

And realised that in my cupboard, I had 24 different types of tea. The canisters of most were already rusty, so I cant give them away. But it was shocking that I could make myself a different cup each day. Yet, I drink Arabica coffee every morning, when I had so many choices in my home pantry.

Why am I not taking the pause to edit and enjoy the resources I have ?

Are there resources in your closet which you are not aware?

Yesterday, I saw a newsclip about an ebtreprenurial Singaporean male who sold off his SHN items. SHN stands for “stay home notice”, a word which many shudder during covid. It means you stay at home and cannot have contact with the outside world.

This guy had two SHNs, in total stayed home for 28 days.

What if this happened to me? How could I make the stay more comfortable? Or if I had to be isolated for 14 days in a small hotel room?

During covid, I discovered my greatest fear, introvert that I am, was “social rejection, loneliness and boredom”.

I used to play a game of “What if… I got stranded on an island, what 5 items will I bring with me”. I actually said my identity card. Less than three months later, I really lost my ID card with $400. Why I carry so much cash? Advice from my mom that during state of emergency, I cant go to the bank. Ironically she told me the same thing the night before #lockdown or what we know as #circuitbreaker. I forgot that we now have credit cards and Paynow.

Anyway, what would I bring?

1. Handphone and charger

2. My mask and beauty routine

3. Laptop and battery charger + yeti mike + earphones

4. Eye drops

5. Precept Bible + flags + TSW book

6. Blank journal + drawing stationery

7. Exercise mat + hoola hoop

8. Flask and tea bags

9. Cute Socks + sweater + mom’s bolster + blanket from brother + pajamas + clothes

10. Credit cards

With my hp and laptop, I can work and connect with anyone. I can pray, listen to sermons, worship etc. I can even go to church via my laptop, ie attend church service. :-))

I can follow exercise routines. I can even order anything I need and pay via internet. Rest is really luxury.

Seriously, time to begin minimalist lifestyle and focus on the important. Maybe even start a healthy diet.

What would you bring if you were under quarantine orders?

You know the conversation. The Great Man theory proposed by likes in history and research. Leaders follow a mold.

Im reading Jacob Morgan’s “Future Leader”. Leaders decide they want to be leaders. (Steven Covey)

We can choose to exercise situational leadership. Small things we do.

When you see someone exercise a selfless act, affirm them for choosing to do that. Leadership is a choice.

Whats one habit you choose to develop today?

To develop our personal brand, many of us struggle to find our niche. What is an area that can define my expertise?

The best way to find out is to Ask!
1. Who is the person in the mirror? Ask yourself, do a personal reflection.
2. What is my preferred style?
3. Am Iikeable? Do I like myself? (Many people would rather do business with people they like, rather than with a jerk.)
4. Do I have access to people who need my services or products?

For anyone who is feeling a little lethargic after the New Year Break, here is a networking challenge for the brave hearted.

Let’s start your networking challenge

Day 1: come up with positive adjectives, strengths and weakness that describe me
Day 2: draft my personal brand statement
Day 3: come up with 5 ice breakers
Day 4: Bring my closest friends to lunch and ask positive adjectives describe me.
Day 5: start my daily list of 10 thanksgiving items. Creative positive energy.
Day 6: list my rewards or motivators on challenge. (Positive energy)
Day 7: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 8: write home call home (parents, siblings), plan next family gathering. If not convenient, send positive thoughts and thank them in mind. Send postcard.
Day 9: start my project of saying hello to a different colleague or classmate everyday for 30 days. Ask: what are you working on? What’s a trend that may bother you? What’s a skill you wish you had time to pick up?
Day 10: create a Linkedin account
Day 11: join a public speaking group such as toastmasters in your area
Day 12: identify an area of professional interest
Day 13: join a group in professional interest
Day 14: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 15: identify a person to start a personal friendship group
Day 16: List 5 latest books affecting your area.
Day 17: Arrange to have coffee with former internship supervisor or colleagues
Day 18: Keep in touch with (one) classmate from past. Repeat with different person next cycle.
Day 19: Sign up for a talk in area of interest
Day 20: join a group of personal interest, faith or hobby, eg. Mahjong or tennis
Day 21: Rest Day, Reflection – list 10 topics you have collected from conversations.
Day 22: Start a blog, write your first article
Day 23: List of social causes, pick one Volunteer for a social cause
Day 24: Congratulate a friend
Day 25: Rest Day, Reflection
Day 26: Update my Linkedin. Write my first post
Day 27: Celebrate friend’s birthday or anything worth celebrating!
Day 28: Compliment a service staff (stranger).
Day 29: Send postcard to relative
Day 30: Celebrate with loved one!

Repeat cycle!!

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Photo: Visit to Adecco Singapore office with RMIT (HRM) students.

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Last night right after class, I went down to the Singapore River, excited to catch the LightUp of Singapore River for the Bicentennial celebrations of when Raffles sat foot in 1819.

How different it looks at night. Sitting on a bumboat, enjoying the breeze.

Our Singapore Story began even before 1819, our location was useful to the Majapahit empire before, connecting people to the global trade, a rest from the Monsoon winds.

Reflecting how our story began 200 yrs and prior. How will our story end? What is your story?

How are you building bridges, connecting people? Taking a rest from the winds of disruptive change?

Head down to the Singapore river.

#buildingbridges
#iLightSingapore
#bicentennial

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Photo: an old carriage wheel in Kitahama Station, Hokkaido

Its the first weekend of 2019. The fireworks and champagne have been put away. Reality strikes. 2019. As my nephew put it, its the last year that has any teen in it.

My friend Joseph from Chinese Toastmasters club sent this greeting.

用真诚经营爱情 (love/ romance)
用执着追求事业 (career)
用善良对待朋友 (relationship)
用平淡对待磨难 (meditation/ spirituality)
用虔诚祈盼幸福 (fun/ joy)
用感恩回报人间 (social causes)

心随爱走,爱随心愿。
朋友一生幸福,永远快乐!

In every culture, the new year signifies hope, new beginnings.

Even as I meditate on this photo I took in Hokkaido, Japan of an old carriage wheel found in a displaced train station, where no one stops but is now a tourist stopover from a long drive. Horse carriage disrupted by trains disrupted by cars, disrupted by …

Time rushes on.

Disruption is the only constant.

What 3 major areas will you focus in 2019?
Financial goals
Learning and Growth goals
Friendship
New technology
New markets
Fun
Volunteer
Health/ fitness?

Can you combine any of these goals?
Join a fitness class with a friend
Walk to/ from work
Train for Machu Picchu or Camino de Santiago, Spain

I’ve finally signed up for a diploma on social media branding. My goal is to increase my writing and launch a podcast.

Q: Can”t I learn on my own?
A: I’m relying on a community to push me. We will see.

As Stephen Covey wrote in his book on 7 Habits of Successful people, put in the big rocks first.

Barriers/ Limitations
Time (Classes on Saturday)
Money (government subsidy)

What I need to do to make it happen:
Research on schools offering program (done)
Application (done)