Friday, August 29, 2008

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Monday, August 25, 2008

simplifying my life...

Seriously, I have very little tolerance running all over the place and ending up accomplishing very little or nothing at all.

I'm beginning to learn that some things can be simplified to improve effectiveness and efficiency, while others being complex in nature (like physics, rocket science, human emotion) should remain the way they are.

There is indeed a balance to strike between focusing all on a few and spreading out what you have on many. And wisdom comes from knowing when to execute what depending on the occasion or situation.

I've de-cluttered some aspects of my life and still in the process of tidying up things further. If you ask me what I want to do, there's a high likelihood that whatever that comes out will be things which I really want to do (ie passion, ambition, dreams, etc), rather than mere superficial desires.

I'm starting to taste the fruit of some of my labour here and there, but one thing I must ensure is that I stay humble and teachable. Thinking I'm gloriously superb and all will only ensure that my next fall will be a hard one...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the little things that slowly add up...

I'm using a bit of maths and simple algebra to explain this...

X: watching TV, surfing the net, playing computer games, etc
Y: full 3 years = 1095 days = 26 280 hours

If you do X for 2 hours a day, for 36 will have spent Y.
If you do X for 2.5 hours a day, for 28.8 years, you will have spent Y.
If you do X for 3 hours a day, for 24 years, you will have spent Y.

Putting in specific examples and complete sentencing:

If we watched TV 2.5 hours everyday, for 28.8 years (say from ages 5 to 34), we would have spent enough time to complete a full-time, 3 year degree course.

I mean full-time as in with full day lessons, with free time and holidays inside.

No wonder being organised and informed about what we do in life goes a long, long way...

Friday, August 08, 2008


Seriously, it's very hard to live in a world where people and cultures are performance-oriented - where numbers and figures matter the most.

Even though the numbers can be used as indicators of performance, judging performance based on the figures is inadequate.

My point is that we sometimes we try so hard to do so many things that at the end of the day, we accomplish very little things of significant worth. We rush through things, we get over-stressed, we get tense and uptight and when things go wrong, we curse, we blame, we criticize.

I still remember the 1st semester of my 2nd year. All in all, it was seriously a mad rush. Exam results were great nevertheless, but honestly, I felt that too many other things were sacrificed just for the academic gold rush. Time spent with God, with family, friends and myself, hobbies, passions, and all, were pushed (if not shoved) aside.

I was always trying to make ends meet academically. Trying to stay on the balls of my feet, not wanting to let myself down. I was a performance-freak!

Fast forward to this day.

I've learnt countless lessons on time and life management from peers, experiences and the role models around me.

I am finite. God is infinite. I should let Him have His way - so that He'll do the 99% and I'll do the 1% (or my best, so to speak). And not the other way around. Not to take charge of everything and then slot God into any space left available.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Living in constant surrender and submission to Him seems to be the most pleasurable way to live life.

My days of saying 'yes' to almost everything is over. I have to leave that behind. I cannot take on the whole world. Thinking I'm a superhuman (which I sometimes do) is mere suicide.

So, to be specific, here's an outline (not exhaustive, though) of my edited lifestyle changes:

1. God
- constantly soaking in His presence, talking to Him
- spending quality time with Him early in the morning everyday (at least 30min)

2. Church
- cell: building them up, being there for them, walking through life with them
- leaders' cell: peer-to-peer accountability
- prayer ministry: interceding for God's Kingdom, for our generation, for our schools

3. Family
- spending more time at home for meals together
- being more open and expressive in communication

4. Friends
- catching up with them and being a blessing to them

5. Personal
- 1 hour guitar practice everyday (at least)
- 2 evening jogs every week (at least)
- shut down computer at 11pm (on weekdays) and sleep before midnight
- alternate dinner fasts
- acoustic jamming sessions with Roy (frequency to be decided)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

the awful truth about TV

I don't really watch TV, but I know of countless of others who do - and even do it "for a living" - as in live off it.

After reading this, I'm really awakened by the devastating truths about that innocent looking piece of furniture.

You should read this too...(it's in PDF format)