Don’t Get Lost in Other People’s Garden

I love reading about other people’s struggle and success story. Especially the stories about how they made their fortunes through great challenges.

I feel good and inspired. I live in their world and their history. The stories are with me long after I finish reading. Their life is filled with richness like a large beautiful garden and I got lost in it. Their stories made me feel so good that I did not want to leave. I did not do anything else with my life either.

Stop getting lost in other people’s garden. Let other’s success to inspire you to take action and do something with your life. Many times, we stop trying is because we compare ourselves with others. If we compare with Elon Musk, whatever that we do chances are is insignificant.

This does not mean we should not try to do something with our life. During our childhood, we sketch and draw without any worry how the world sees us. We did not compare ourselves to others. We built our own little world. We built our own garden.

As we all got older, we wanted instant gratification. We wanted things now. We stopped trying because it is difficult. There are too much effort with too little return.

Every great garden starts with a little flower. It is the many little flower that made up the great garden. Start small start today, plant your first seed. The more seeds you plant, the bigger the garden gets. You may not see the results immediately, but you will see it soon enough.

  • Connect with someone whom you have to meet for more than three months.
  • Say thanks to someone who has helped you today.
  • Start the first sentence of the book that you have always want to write.
  • Start preparing for the business that you think it can let you escape the cubicle jungle.

You may still think your garden may not be as good as others. At least, you can say you did it yourself. Everyone is unique in their own ways. If everyone’s garden is identical, the world would be a boring place. Let life’s challenges, setback and disappointment be the fertilizer of your garden.

The Secret to Never Fail in Life Is…

“To never try.”

I am sorry to have click bait you.

I have tried starting a blog about 10 years ago, it failed because I got too lazy to write. I tried to learn Java, I failed because I lack the dedication. I have tried setting up an online store, the only thing that I have completed is setting up the store with nothing on it. I have big dreams, and the dreams made me too afraid to take finish the journey.

You cannot blame me for lack of trying.

Trying is not enough but it is the first step. A try without a sense of commitment will end in failure. As a writer, I can only write one word and followed by another. The complete the journey, I can only take one step followed by another.

Sunday Video: Neil Gaiman on Make Good Art

I have just finished Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard book. I am an immediate fan of Neil Gaiman. I cannot recommend enough of The Graveyard Book about a boy who grew up in the graveyard.

Neil is one of the greatest writers of our time. His commencement speech on making art is applicable to anyone who is interested in creation.

Creating Happiness Out from Nothing

Father and daughter
Father and daughter at District 7, Hoh Chin Minh City, Vietnam

I like walking in public park. I enjoy listening to children’s laughter. I see couples enjoying each others’ company. Families sharing an ice-cream in the hot humid day. Children riding bicycles. Toddlers who can barely walk trying to catch up with their older siblings.

To me, the Magic Kingdom is not the happiest place on earth. Instead, it is the public park.

Do we need loads of money or all kinds of material things to make us happy? Do not get me wrong, I am still struggling with money for the family. Having money surely helps to a certain level. According to this report, in United States, people need around $65,000 to $99,000 a year. Any amount that is lower, there will be stress about money. Any amount that is higher, the happiness is taper off.

We do not need to search far but within ourselves. I remember my childhood laughter when I sneak into the bucket full of laundry water where my family saved it for watering the plant. Or the excitement of dropping dry leaves into the drain and seeing it washed away.

Children did not need a lot of things to be happy. They make use of whatever that they can find. As we grow older, the resourcefulness somehow disappeared. Let your childhood memories and innocence be your guide.

Better yet, do one thing that you used to enjoy doing when you were a kid.

A child laughs around 300 to 500 times a day. While an adult laughs around 15 times a day. So what happened?

Even if you are struggling with money or other issues in life, you still can find happiness. Just make a date with yourself and take a walk in your nearest public park. Happiness does not last long, but so is sadness.

Summing it all

You do not need a lot to find happiness. Go out and take a walk.

What Will They Say In Your Funeral?

Rest In Peace

At least once a year, I would think about my mortality. Sometimes, news about someone’s passing reminds us about life’s uncertainty.

Death can be scary. It brings pain and tears. In fact, we do not usually discuss or talk about it. Yet, death can be a good wake up call. Sometimes, we need death to remind us what are the important things.

Imagine you are attending your own funeral. Think about what family and friends would say about you. The local community and your colleagues would say about you.

There will be stories. Stories how you touch their life. There could even be a joke or two.

Also, think about things that they did not say about you. How much money you have. The size of your house. The model of your car. Your professional career which you have slaved for years.

Now think about what they have said and what they did not say. Which is more important? What are you going to do to make a difference? Start now. Take a small step. Make a difference today.

The funeral exercise makes us realize what kind of person we wish we want to be. By knowing what we want to be, we can only take the correct action to become that person.

This post is dedicated to a friend who passed away peacefully on 14th October.

Bullet Journal: An Introduction

I have been using Bullet Journal for nearly 3 years. Of all the productivity method that I have tried, this method is by far that I have used the longest.

This method works for me is because it is low tech. All I need is just a pen and a simple notebook. As such, it is flexible and low cost.

I use the notebook to track to-do list, issues to follow up, and writing ideas. Since the pages are blank, I can plan my days by the hours or even by bullet points. I can create my own formatting as and when I needed it.

Furthermore, I remember better by writing things down. When necessary, I will consolidate some of my ideas into Evernote. As such, if I lose my notebook, I will not lose the important ideas within it.

An unexpected benefit that came out from Bullet Journal is I improved my handwriting. During the first few months, I can hardly read my handwriting. So that’s a big plus for me.

For those who are interested, I suggest that you watch the video and pick the ideas that works for you.

Life Lessons from Someone That I Least Expected

I am not a smart person. When I realised that I am not smart. This frees up my ego and opened my eyes. I believe that I can learn at least one lesson from one person.

Sometimes, the best lesson in life is from books but from life itself.

She smiled at me. The restaurant was quiet, only one table was occupied. The neighbouring restaurants are relatively busy. Maybe it was her smile that led me into the restaurant. If you want to reach into a person’s heart, you just need to smile.

I ordered my food and since the restaurant was quiet. I strike up a conversation with her. Most of the time, we could not understand each other. I could not understand her accent, she could not understand mine either.

The dinner business has not been good at all. There are nights with zero sales.

Observing her serving the other table, her enthusiasm and her willingness to serve is rather hypnotic. She gets things done quickly and there is always a bounce in her walking. The food was not great but her attitude made up for the whole dining experience.

Can I still smile when the business is bad? Can I still have the energy to serve when things are not going well? When things are tough, I clench my fist, and I bit my lips. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

I believe in grit and I believe in perseverance. Can I do both with a smile? I am not sure. Someone once told me that I look fierce some especially when I am not smiling.

Smiling helps the body to fight stress. Smiling makes you look good and smiling can be contagious. 

I asked for the bill and paid my dinner. She smiled and thanked me.

No. It should be me who thank you.

I walked away smiling with a much lighter footing and body.