May 26, 2012

6 Habits of Truly Memorable People

In order to succeed, almost everyone—whether business owner or employee—must be memorable.

While you don't have to be The Most Interesting Man in the World, being known is one of the main goals of marketing, advertising, and personal branding.
Out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of business.

But if your only goal is to be known for professional reasons, you're missing out. People who are memorable for the right reasons also live a richer, fuller, and more satisfying life. Win-win!
So forget the flashy business cards and personal value propositions and idiosyncratic clothing choices.
Here's how to be more memorable—and have a lot more fun.

1. Don't see. Do.

Can you speak intelligently about how clothing provides a window into the inner lives of Mad Men characters? Do you find yourself arguing about how the degree of depth lost in the Game of Thrones TV series as compared to the books?
Anyone can share opinions about movies or TV or even (I'll grudgingly admit) books. That's why opinions are quickly forgotten. What you say isn't interesting; what you do is interesting.

Spend your life doing instead of watching. Cool things will happen. Cool things are a lot more interesting and a lot more memorable.
That's especially true when you...

2. Do something unusual.

Draw a circle and put all your "stuff" in it. Your circle will look a lot like everyone else's: Everyone works, everyone has a family, everyone has homes and cars and clothes....
We like to think we're unique, but roughly speaking we're all the same, and similar isn't memorable.

So occasionally do something different. Backpack to the next town just to see how many people stop to offer you a ride. (Don't take them up on it, though. Unless you appear to be in distress, the people who want to give you a ride are the last people you want to ride with.)
Try to hike/scramble to the top of a nearby mountain no one climbs. (Trust me; take water.) Compete with your daughter to see who can swim the most laps in three hours. (If you live in my house you'll lose. Badly.)

Or work from a coffee shop one day just to see what you learn about other people... and about yourself.
Whatever you do, the less productive and sensible it is, the better. Your goal isn't to accomplish something worthwhile; the goal is to collect experiences.
Experiences, especially unusual experiences, make your life a lot richer and way more interesting. You can even...

3. Embark on a worthless mission.

You're incredibly focused, consistently on point, and relentlessly efficient.
You're also really, really boring.

Remember when you were young and followed stupid ideas to their illogical conclusions? Road trips, failing the cinnamon challenge, trying to eat six saltine crackers in one minute without water... you dined out on those stories for years.

Going on "missions," however pointless and inconvenient, was fun. In fact the more pointless the more fun you had, because missions are about the ride, not the destination.

So do something, just once, that adults no longer do. Drive eight hours to see a band. Buy your seafood at the dock. Or do something no one else thinks of doing. Ride along with a policeman on a Friday night (it's the king of all eye-opening experiences.)

Pick something it doesn't make sense to do a certain way and do it that way. You'll remember it forever—and so will other people.

4. Embrace a cause.

People care about—and remember—people who care. When you stand for something you stand apart.

5. Let other people spread the word.

People who brag are not remembered for what they've done; they're remembered for the fact they brag.
Do good things and other people will find out. The less you say, the more people remember.

6. Get over yourself.

Most of the time your professional life is like a hamster wheel of resume or C.V. padding: You avoid all possibility of failure while maximizing the odds of success in order to ensure your achievement graph climbs up and up and up.
Inevitably, that approach starts to extend to your personal life too.

So you run... but you won't enter a race because you don't want to finish at the back of the pack. You sing... but you won't share a mic in a friend's band because you're no Adele. You'll sponsor the employee softball team but you won't play because you're not very good.

Personally and professionally, you feel compelled to maintain your all-knowing, all-achieving, all conquering image.
And you're not a person. You're a resume.

Stop trying to seem perfect. Accept your faults. Make mistakes. Hang yourself out there. Try and fail.
Then be gracious when you fail.
When you do, people will definitely remember you because people who are willing to fail are rare... and because people who display grace and humility, especially in the face of defeat, are incredibly rare.

Secret to happiness

I had people asking me how is it possible to laugh a lot and still have a positive attitude towards life.. Maybe they see that my life isn't exactly a fairy tale.  Well, after some thinking, this is the recipe that works for me..

- Life isn't easy and we can't choose what happens to us. But we can always choose to smile or to whine.
- Open up your mind. See things from different perspectives. Try standing on the floor, on the table, everywhere, to get new angles.
- Do not stop learning. Be it from a child or a professor.
- Think positively about other people.
- Always try to see the silver lining in every situation.
- Don't pretend to be what you are not. Embrace your fortes and flaws
- Do to others what as you would have them do to you
- Don't care too much about what other people think of you. What they think of us is none of our business.
- Bad things happen to good people. Expecting that you're spared from bad things because you're a good person is like expecting a bull not to attack you because you're a vegetarian
- Let go of the pain and hurt.
- Do not harbor hatred and resentment.
- Forgive quickly, forget the deeds but keep the lesson.
- Do not wallow on the past. We make mistakes, learn and move forward
- Live in the moment
- Be ready for change. Don't expect things or people to stay the way they are. Even the earth keeps revolving.
- Remember: The only certain thing is uncertainty
- You can't control everything
- Don't make someone a priority when you're only an option
- Everybody deserves happiness. I repeat. Everybody.
- Don't judge people using our own lenses. Everyone has their own stories
- Don't over think. You will create a problem that isn't there in the first place
- Be spontaneous
- Stop worrying about the future. Do our best for today, and que sera sera. 
- If you're feeling sad or depressed, remember nothing lasts forever. Not even your sadness
- Sometimes, it is what it is.
Oh, and this too :)

Wishing others their karma

Someone I know posted many status updates on Facebook about someone she's currently having a huge problem with.

" The more she covered everything up the more she is going to show her true colour! GOD is great :)"

 "I know that GOD is not blind and she will get her karma sooner or later"

These kind of status updates made me think.. Ok, apparently she's a devoted Christian who gives her God all the glory, but what about the main point of christianity, about forgiving people who mistreated her?
Hm, it makes me proud to be an agnostic. 

A friend of mine just had her heart broken as her BF cheated on her with another girl. She kept saying,"Why am I so miserable and he's so happy now? Where's the fairness? But I believe karma exists. He'll reap what he sow".

Why do we have to wish others their bad karma? Because they hurt us?
Before you say I am not hurt and can't relate to them, let me put things straight. I was hurt deeply quite recently.
I used to be very angry at that someone but even in my anger, I never wished him his karma.
Ok, I got hurt. But maybe that person didn't intentionally mean to hurt me. He was just doing what he knows best. To everything there's a reason, perhaps that's the way he was brought up in the family.
What I know is that everybody deserves their own happiness.

Maybe he got his happiness by hurting other people. But I am supposed to be happy that I helped someone to get his happiness, aren't I?
I know, its easier said than done. But to tell you the truth, I was happy that he's happy, even though I was hurt.
As for me, at that time, I told myself, my turn would come. I deserved to be happy, just like everybody else, and I would be happy eventually. And guess what, I AM happy :)

I pity these people who harbor resentment and hatred towards others who hurt them, who wish people their karma and prayed that god wouldnt turn a blind eye on their pain by punishing those 'culprits'.

I don't really care if god has the time to hold revenge for them or if karma exists. All I care about is my own peace of mind. And what I know is that harboring those negative feelings is poisonous for me.  

And wouldn't they be more resentful if those 'culprits' live a joyful and fulfilling life when they prayed every night for the culprit's bad karma? Who would be more miserable in the end? Well, I'm glad that it wouldn't be me. I choose to let go. And let everyone find their own happiness.

Am I naive? Maybe.
Naive and happy.

May 23, 2012

Wear Sunscreen

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth;
oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….
You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind;
 the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts,
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…
the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives,
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t,
maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary… what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can… don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old,
and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable,
politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse;
but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen…

*"Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young"

May 10, 2012

Girls and our insecurities

It's hard to be a girl sometimes. We always have to deal with our insecurities about our appearances.
I've never heard a guy telling his guy friends,"Hey, don't dress up yea. Cos I'm not in my best shirt today."
Most of them just don't care about what their counterparts are wearing or how they look.
Whereas girls have the tendency to compete with their counterparts on who looks best.

I was supposed to meet up with some girlfriends a few weeks ago. I was still at home when they called me and said,"Hey, don't wear make up and don't dress up. We're not wearing make up and we look ugly."

They are not the first one who said that to me. My other girlfriends have told me the same thing too before.
This made me think, hey, I've never told my friends what to wear and what not to wear thankfully. No matter how ugly and dressed down I am, I dont really care what my friends are wearing.
I am very short and I can't wear high heels either. My friends are all taller than me and they love to wear high heels. But what do I care? It doesn't make any difference either, with or without high heels, they're all taller than me. Ok, maybe this is desperation talking hehe.

But sometimes I feel sad for my friends.. Don't they feel tired, comparing themselves to other girls? Striving to be the prettiest and the best dressed all the time?

Recently I was surprised how some pretty girls can be the most insecure ones.
I went to a pool party with a cute girlfriend. She asked me a few weeks ago to bring her a pair of bikini, and I did. I told her, let's jump to the pool. She refused and told me that she didn't want to wear her bikini. Why? Because she got a ugly bruise on her leg, as she just fell down the stairs a few days ago.

I told her,"It's ok. It's dark, and no one will notice anyway. I have surgery scars all over my body. If anyone notices your bruise, they will have noticed my scars first. I'll cover up for you, no worries."
Still she refused. And by the end of the party, she stayed dry and sulked in the corner.
Me? I was dancing the night away at the poolside in my bikini, surrounded by awesome people, having the time of our lives :)
Scars, bruises? Who cares? I don't. And apparently others don't either.

Isn't it a pity that a pretty girl could ruin her own fun worrying about small stuffs, being insecure and afraid of what other people would think, and forgetting the fact that she has a lot more to focus on than her bruise.
In the end, it is indeed a matter of how you see, accept and be comfortable in your own skin that counts.

I am now officially an Iphone convert

As a gadget-illiterate person, I have to admit I'm now an Iphone convert.
I realized how handy this dear thing was when I was traveling solo through Vietnam.
Photos? One click. The photo quality is very nice as well. Though I won't say this at night.
No one there to take a photo for you? Front camera feature!
Need to kill time at the airport or bus station? built in Ipod
No pen and travel diary? Covered
WiFi available? Yes! I'm saved.
Money is running out and need to call dad :D ? Hey, it's still an iPHONE

And where's my Blackberry? Buried in the bottom of my backpack. 

Iphone.. I'm in love.. And in Steve Jobs I do trust.