Archive

Happiness

Recently, my 90 yr old mother in law received orders to be isolated in a hotel room with her son. They were detected to be in close encounters with someone who had contracted the covid virus.

Thankfully she tested “negative” in the 14 days.

Resilience of the human mind. I am so impressed that she pulled through. Reading the Chinese newspaper, albeit missing her daily walks. She is a “quarantine orders survivor”!! Thats quite an achievement for a very active person.

Although 14 days zoomed past for me, time crawled for them. Time is relative.

The biggest surprise I had was how fast the 14 days went.

I asked myself, what did I achieve?  Did I build habits?

Was I a good steward of my time, my voice, my emotional energy?

*I had a lot of wins*

Quality time with family. Brought them to zoo and river safari.

Toyed with a podcast

Participated in daily prayers

Learn cords on guitar

Debunked myth of “the greatest romance of the century”. (ok, I was derailed by youtube)

ASK

How do you measure your time on earth?

Whats something small you can do daily to cumulate into big impact?

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 are a PEARL

Do you think your life is a series of random events which you have no control?

18 months ago, I embarked on a learning journey with 10 ladies Ive never met, facilitated by an amazing loving lady Catherine.

We were paired with peer coaches. However, as there were three outsiders, we were put together. E, A and me. Unfortunately, three of us couldnt match our schedule as A was always busy. This was before we knew ZOOM as an option. E dropped out and joined another group. A and I never had a chance to meet up. She had a successful online business marketing health products and volunteered to help other ladies with their home business.

Last weekend, we were informed that A passed away. She was 55 yrs old. May she rest in peace.

Her life direction statement was “To use my joy and healing gift to evangelize, to pray and heal, so that ladies who are broken hearted physically, emotionally and spiritually can be restored.”

Indeed. May she be restored to greater joy in the arms of her Maker. Last lesson from my former peer coach on the brevity of life and to focus on the essentials.

This week I learned of an activity on gratitude.

Mental subtraction – What is that one thing when taken away from you, will be dearly missed?

I can think of two areas. My family – Beloved. Peace in my beautiful country Singapore. I am grateful for my family and the leaders in my country.

My thoughts of lovingkindness (Psalms 63:3) and compassion towards them, that they will live out their Purpose in Lovingkindness.

Spiritual Gifts Survey – Copyright © LifeWay Christian Resources

http://ebcrochester.org/misc/php/LifeWaySpiritualGiftsSurvey.php

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01897/full


One of my coaching clients shared that he was very anxious but didnt know why. We have this conversation every week for past 6 months. Where he tells me he is anxious but not sure why.

His anxiety is not unexpected given the current economic conditions and the “departures” from his firm. Especially the conversations he is having with his bosses who are down-sizing.

The question is not WHY? His anxiety is natural, given the circumstances. It is HOW?

How can I improve my well being despite the circumstances?

% time spent in affirmative relationship
% time spent in flow, engagement activities
% time spent in meaningful activity
% time spent in positive emotions
% time spent in achievement

Source: Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model

Total : Anxiety level

Indeed he was catching up with well-meaning ex colleagues spending 3 hrs going through all the conspiracy theories over the weekend on power play. His fear level spiked.

How can I improve my well being despite the circumstances?

Shifted my desert rose from sun to shade. It started to thrive.

Who would have thought when the seller at Chatuchat market said it was sun loving.

Relook assumptions of what makes you thrive. Have a supportive environment that believes in you.

  1. Always make your future bigger than your past.
  2. Always make your learning greater than your experience.
  3. Always make your contribution bigger than your reward.
  4. Always make your performance greater than your applause.
  5. Always make your gratitude greater than your success.
  6. Always make your enjoyment greater than your effort.
  7. Always make your cooperation greater than your status.
  8. Always make your confidence greater than your comfort.
  9. Always make your purpose greater than your money.
  10. Always make your questions bigger than your answers.

I recently chanced upon the writings of strategic coach Dan Sullivan whose 10 laws of growth are so inspiring if you, like me struggle with how opportunistic networking can be.

If we know that networking is necessary, whats holding us back? Fear of rejection.

1. Courage to step out. Curiosity to acquire diversity of experiences.

2. Commitment to change

3. Capability – deep work

4. Confidence

Adapted fron the 4Cs of Dan Sullivan.

Source: https://resources.strategiccoach.com/the-multiplier-mindset-blog/the-laws-of-lifetime-growth

image

Designing the ideal chair for your partner client

Empathy, understand your client.

What I found designing for my partner (client), is that I was actually designing for myself. My ideal chair.

Her ideal, well, my client was not very forthcoming was, a Japanese style tatami chair.

What a surprise.

Ask, draw, check, and if possible, ask them to draw it out.

In career coaching, its the same. You may think you know the ideal job for your client,  it can be entirely different from what your client has in mind.

After a week in Kagoshima and Yakushima, known for its agriculture, I want to pay tribute to Japanese mastery and continuoius improvement.

Kagoshima is famous for its black Kurobuta pork perfected from the black Berkshire pig gifted by the UK.

Despite what you hear about over-worked Japanese office workers, a culture that coined the term Karoshi or death by over-work, it does not apply to farm animals. Pigs do get depression. Farmers know that unhappy pigs do not produce good meat. So they keep pigs happy with exercise and clean food.

image

This month while some are on holiday, Alibaba founder, Jack Ma made headlines advising young people the need to work 996, 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week.

Shortly after, he made an about turn when he drew a lot of negativity.

In a sense Jack Ma is not wrong. Malcolm Gladwell popularised the concept of “deliberate practice” or 10,000 hours rule that to achieve excellence, deliberate practice is needed. There is no true genius without hard work.

What is the difference between an overworked employee or a workaholic and a high performer?

Mastery
Autonomy and
Sense of Purpose or Meaning.

Research abounds that working long hours with high stress is unproductive and harmful to the body. Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/332234

Hours do not translate to high stress.

Stress is caused by interpretation of the work, whether it is aligned to the individual’s motivation, sense of control and purpose.

Giving an individual more autonomy can ironically create more stress, if the individual has a low sense of self efficacy and external locus of control, ie they do not believe they have power to change their circumstances and are helpless victims of fate.

Some organisations have moved to using personality profiling to detect similarities in their top performers and recruit employees with a better fit.

Employees who link work to skills mastery, and career purpose are more engaged. (Daniel Pink).

To my 3rd year student who is wondering why he should bring home over the weekend for his internship:

Questions to reflect:

Mastery and Personal Excellence
1. Do the long hours contribute to personal mastery or deep skills?

Or

2. Are the long hours the result of inefficiency, wasting time waiting for inputs or misguided attention?

3. How much of work can be automated?

4. Does personality differences make a difference in an ideal employee?

5. Is your boss abusing her authorities or is hard work the norm?

6. Do you believe you can make changes to your work and a personal difference? Self efficacy. Do you have an internal locus of control.

How will you know?
Keep a personal scoreboard. Track your activities. Do they match personal, department, organisation or community goals?

As they say, if you enjoy your work, you never need to work a single day.

Jack Ma to his employees:
“Don’t make me happy, don’t love me. Make your customer happy, make your customer love you, and I will love you any minute.‘”

Jack Ma U-turns on 996 work culture, says companies ‘foolish’ to force overtime