How to Prepare for Tomorrow, Today

tomorrow
tomorrow

One day gone is one day less to live. Our life is like a bus ride. The bus of life keeps moving forward and will not turn back. Everyone has a designated stop. One day, we all will reach our stop. No one can stay on the bus forever. We do not know when is our stop. We have to make every day count because it will never come back. Prepare for tomorrow, today. 

To be ready for tomorrow, you have to sleep well. Life can be cruel and uncertain. A well-rested body and mind will get you ready for anything. 

Before you go to bed. Do a brain dump. Write down everything that is bothering you. The brain dump helps you to sleep. Many of us have tons of thoughts buzzing nearing bedtime. These thoughts can affect your sleep quality. So, it is best to put it all out on a paper

Here are some guidelines.

  • What is the one must-do item? This item has to be both urgent and important. For example, putting petrol into your vehicle. The car does not negotiate with you. When he runs out of fuel it stops, no exception. What is your must-do? You cannot procrastinate, you cannot negotiate with it.
  • What are the three important items? The items may not be urgent but important enough that you need to get it done. For example, a report that is due next week or the medical check-up that you have been putting off. Put it all down on your to-do list.
  • What else is bothering you? Write down what is in your mind. The purpose is not about finding a solution. It is about putting things into perspective. Chances are the things that are bothering you are not real issues. This exercise is to help you to have better sleep.

Bonus tip — Do a check-in before meals. Before you have your lunch or dinner. Go through your list. Are you progressing as expected? If you are on the track, maintain the momentum. If you are behind schedule, did you waste time or your expectation is unreasonable? Recalibrate, reload and keep going.

If you are interested in my reading. Please check out my reading list.

Stop The Negative Labelling

label
label

Do you ever call yourself a procrastinator?
Do you ever call yourself a cheater?
The self-talk and labelling have prevented you from moving ahead in life.
You may have procrastinated but you are NOT a procrastinator.
You may have cheated but you are NOT a cheater.
By recognizing the labelling that you put on yourself. You will be on your way to recovery and change.
You are a go-getter. You are an honest person.

I Reach Out to 100 Strangers in My LinkedIn Contacts. Here is What Happened.

How many LinkedIn connections do you have? How many people do you actually know of your connection? If you are like me, I do not think I know more than half of my connections.The question of what does the connection means always bugs me.

I started this exercise when I noticed I have more than 650 LinkedIn connections. The number of my connections does not mean much. The connections are a mixed of friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues and bunch of strangers. Whenever a stranger asked for connection, I would accept it without much thought. And the numbers of connection grow without much meaning. As a matter of fact, I hardly reach out to anyone who is on my contact list.

According to Dunbar’s Number, we can only maintain a stable relationship with about 150 people. As such, having 650 connection is obviously too much and unrealistic.

Of course, Dunbar’s Number does not stop me from reaching out. So, I have decided to reach out to the strangers whom I have connected. And I write the following as a template.

“Hello XXX. I have just accepted your invitation. Curious, how does the connection benefit you in terms of career and ambition? Don’t mind me. I am just curious. :)” 

Within hours, I started to receive replies from my contacts. Broadly speaking, the replies are broken down into a few categories.

  • Asking whether I am interested in new job opportunities
  • Asking whether I am interested in their services
  • Readers from my post who wanted to connect with me.

Thus far, the majority of the people that I have written did not reply.

Nevertheless, for those who have responded, I learned much more than all the years of writing and reading on LinkedIn combined.

  • I have introduced a few headhunters to some friends who are looking for new job opportunities. Both parties are happy to get connected.
  • I have exchanged a few emails with those who read my post. We shared stories and encouragement.
  • I have made new contacts whom I will be meeting up for coffee.
  • I caught up with friends whom I have not talk for a long time.

What is the point of this exercise? I actually wanted to challenge the notion of getting connections for the sake of getting connected. For some of the individuals, they are now more than just a plain digital face. To these new found friends, they may be living in a faraway place, they all shared the same frustrations, fear and ambitions like me. I am not rich or famous, but I still can reach out.

Next time, if you ever click to accept a stranger’s invitation to connect. Write back and ask about their life, ambition, and inspiration. You will get more than just LinkedIn connection, you are truly getting “linked”.

Stay Curious to Break Habits

Google “mindfulness“, you will get about 62 million hits. The world mindfulness is very abstract and rather difficult grasp.

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer on this Ted talk gave a better definition. Being curious. By being curious, we are given the permission to explore and aware of what is going on. Instead of going on autopilot to pick up the cigarette or check the phone as soon as it pings, be curious why you need to pick it up.

Having the ability to be more self-aware, you get to know yourself better and start to make changes.

 

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.