Wednesday, 28 July 2004

The Four Agreements

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

A book by Don Miguel Ruiz

Monday, 26 July 2004

i can't believe i'm THAT right brain! durh.

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (76%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (30%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

Left brain dominant individuals are more literal, articulate, and to the point. They are good at understanding directions and anything that is explicit and logical. They can have trouble comprehending emotions and abstract concepts, they can feel lost when things are not clear, doubting anything that is not stated and proven.

Right brain dominant individuals are more visual and intuitive. They are better at summarizing multiple points, picking up on what's not said, visualizing things, and making things up. They can lack attention to detail, directness, and the ability to explain their ideas verbally, leaving them unable to communicate effectively.

Overall you appear to be Right Brain Dominant


The ideal is to develop both your left and right brain. Many people identify their personality with being more right or left brained. "I am just not verbal" or "I just don't like art". The right and left brain are just functions to be utilized, they are not who you are. You are the manager, coach, architect, developer of your functions. No matter how developed one side of your mind is, if you have deficiencies in the other you will be functionally crippled. Right brain deficiencies inhibit your comprehension of life - who you are, where you stand, what's the point. Left brain deficiencies will inhibit your ability to express yourself verbally to others, leaving you mute to the world.

Tuesday, 20 July 2004

spoilt for choice
Apple IPod or Creative ZenTouch
diseconomies of scale
in economics, there is a term called "diseconomies of scale", which describes increases to a firm's cost of production in the long term as a result of output increasing excessively, either within a firm (internal) or as an industry (external).
typically, internal diseconomies of scale are attributed to (a) the firm suffering from increasing bureaucracy (red tape) as more and more people are employed, i.e. info and feedback has difficulty reaching the top management from the workers on the bottom rung and vice versa due to the many layers through which it has to pass; as well as (b) strained relationships between workers and their management as workers feel more and more cut off and unimportant (cog-in-the-wheel?) and disgruntled.
i've just uncovered the third (and probably most common but suppressed) reason for the existence of internal diseconomies of scale within large firms..
office politics.
when a firm starts to grow larger, this awful thing called "office politics" (manifesting itself as vicious gossip, back stabbing, etc) starts to develop, almost always, unless you are really darn lucky.  insecure individuals within the organisation start looking at each other with suspicion, and almost all niceness is pretentious or ulteriorly motivated.
personally, i'm someone very annoyed with the whole idea of office politics, and try my best to keep out of it, as best as i can.  hence, i was really annoyed today to hear that, despite my being here at my new job only for a short while and trying my best to be friendly and helpful to everyone, i have someone going around saying i was rude to her.  
further probing from the third/fourth/fifth/nth party revealed that the gossip-monger had complained i had rudely hurried her at the photocopy machine as she was using it.  
after thinking really hard to recall an incident when i had done such an unreasonable thing, i finally realised that the only time i had stood at a photocopy machine and said the word "Hurry up" was actually the time i was talking to the photocopy machine itself (yes, i'm mad), and she happened, probably, to be using the other machine next to me.  the machine i was using goes into a "standby mode" frequently and then takes forever to warm up and jams all papers that are fed to it (it's one of those with a mind of its own).  as far as i know, EVERYONE yells at it (so i'm not actually that mad).  while i don't blame her for the misunderstanding, i really don't see the reason why she had to go around saying something as unpleasant as that about me, or anyone else for that matter...
how annoying. and how gossipy.  grr..
Do You Have A.A.A.D.D. ?  (via email from fio)

Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.
This is how it manifests:

I decide to wash my car.

. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table.
. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trash can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full.
. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first.
. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
. I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left
. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.
. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
. As I head toward the kitchen with the coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.
. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote.
. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
. I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor.
. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.
. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

without question, I have A.A.A.D.D.... HEEEELLLLPPPP!!!!!

Sunday, 18 July 2004

the "holistic" weekend
packed this weekend with an unexpected assortment of different experiences and managed to think through a couple of troubling "imbalances" in my life at the moment.. like the fact that i can't seem to fit in any other activities in my life, beside work... especially since my working hours are not particularly long .. and yet.... i always seem to be so tired... 
i mean, can you see that i'm blogging a lot less too??
anyway, this was what happened this weekend (just for the record):
Sat: went to listen to a free talk after lunch on Internet business (which we left midway once it started turning into a boring sales pitch), then swung by the Success Shop at Peninsular Plaza and bought Be Your Own Coach (my favourite shop for motivation books that go for S$9.90 each).  For what it's worth, it was nice for me to feel that i had at least time to take stock of my life at this point and think about what my dreams and goals are and assess if i'm moving forward, back or stagnating..
then relaxed over coffee and cake at Dome before popping into the Singapore Art Museum for the very interesting exhibition by 40-something French duo Pierre & Gilles - Beautiful Dragon (presented by the French Embassy and the Singapore Art Museum as a highlight of the Month of Photography) - full of glitter, imagination, fantasy, and surreal larger-than-life portraits of beautiful (and occasionally erotically poised) males and females.  and of course for the series of strange concrete people by Taiwanese artist-sculptor Ju Ming (who also made the giant odd-shaped granite blocks obstructing traffic along the pavements of Orchard).
ended off the evening watching this thoroughly enjoyable play at The Play Den - Old Parliament House by Bud's Youth Theatre: 3 Fat Virgins Unassembled (written by Ovidia Yu).  Commendable effort by the youth group. *Applause* :)
Sun:  Dropped by twice at this random Food Fiesta thingey at the Thai Embassy in Orchard and stuffed face with yummy thai food.  Didn't expect to find such tasty food, especially the young coconut drink, fish maw soup and papaya salad.  yum... my mouth waters thinking of the food..
then went to Borders and bought 3 novels  (for the price of 2), to Popular to buy another really thick hard cover one (which weighs at least 1 kg) and finally to Tangs to buy a new bag to bring to work (so i don't have to continue using this other one i borrowed from my mum since earlier this year which.. err.. suits people of her age better?? :P).. retail therapy never fails... ha..
and i'm back home early to blog and will be in bed soon.. :)
till i blog again.. see u and take care! drink more water and remember to exercise!

Thursday, 15 July 2004

the thin line between work and personal life

been spending every waking moment thinking of how to help my students learn and enjoy what they are studying; and how to make them think more positively and more confidently about themselves and their work..

and spending every sleeping moment having nightmares of myself oversleeping and missing lessons or walking into class under-prepared..

the line between worklife and personal life has blurred...

sigh.. i've always been a workaholic, of sorts.. :p..

ha. need to get back to running soon.. *pinching my side flaps*

Saturday, 10 July 2004

cool website

do not mistake it for: - where u can buy drugs online... heh heh...
The Thinker

Rodin's The Thinker

"What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with the brain, with his knitted brow, his destended nostrils, and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs, with his clenched fist and gripping toes."

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)

The image of "The Thinker" is not that of a passive dreamer, but of a man actively engaged in creative thought. Thinking has been expressed not only through the meditative attitude of the body, but through the effort of every muscle.

Thursday, 8 July 2004


A brunette, a redhead, and a blonde tried to escape a burning building by climbing to the roof. The firemen are on the street below, holding a blanket for them to jump into.

The firemen yell to the brunette, "Jump! Jump! It's your only chance to survive!"

The brunette jumps and SWISH! The firemen yank the blanket away. The brunette slams into the sidewalk like a tomato.

"C'mon! Jump! You gotta jump!" say the firemen to the redhead.

"Oh no! You're gonna pull the blanket away!" says the redhead.

"No! It's brunettes we can't stand! We're OK with redheads!"

"Ok," says the redhead and she jumps.

SWISH! The firemen yank the blanket away, and the lady is flattened on the pavement like a pancake.

Finally, the blonde steps to the edge of the roof. Again, the firemen yell, "Jump! You have to jump!"

"No way! You're just gonna pull the blanket away!" yelled the blonde.

"No! Really! You have to jump! We won't pull the blanket away!"

"Look," the blonde says, "Nothing you say is gonna convince me that you're not gonna pull the blanket away! So what I want you to do is put the blanket down, and back away from it."

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

happy days, busy days

second day of teaching and i'm already feeling rather overwhelmed.. phew.. figuring my way around this mega-maze known as the "Education System" is an achievement in itself..

busy is an understatement.. but to keep things in perspective, a friend just told me that the Chinese character for "Busy":

dead heart

is actually made up of the two separate characters which mean "Heart" and "Dead".. wow.. did u realise that??

keep things in perspective! keep the fire burning!!

Thursday, 1 July 2004

Explore. Dream. Discover.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

~ Mark Twain, 19th century US author and humorist
dark cloud hanging over me?

Morning of 1 July 2004

ha! bet you thought this blog entry was going to be a negative one... actually, i'm feeling quite ok.. cos i just read:

"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best."

yes.. life is quite challenging now.. but i'll do my best.. yea, i'll do my best.. and i'll find joy from putting my heart into my work and doing it with enthusiasm and passion..