Monday, May 04, 2009

Life's Purpose...?

Maybe I've too much time on my hands or maybe I'm just bored with studying and needed to think about something other than reserves, pricing, solvency capital requirements etc for a change...

Or maybe I'm at the crossroads of my life where I'm beginning to take stock of my life.

What have I achieved? What do I lack? What do I need to do? What should I do? And most important of all... Am I happy and content with my life?

Difficult questions... for which I don't know the answer.

No boyfriend/ husband/ children... Is that a failure on my part?

At the same time, I also wonder... is it really necessary?!

Sure, the upside of it is that I won't end up alone when I grow old and grey, but who's to say they will still be around then? :) There's always the downside of marrying someone totally wrong and you end up unhappy with your life.

So why are we here... alive on this earth? The idea of evolution really amazes me... How our ancestors were apes who roamed this earth. But have we questioned: Why were they here in the first place?! What was their purpose on this earth? To give birth to the next generation? To do what?

We live our lives day by day... but what do we all ultimately achieve in the end? For those who believe in God and his creation of all life on this earth, I'm sure you have your answers ready. But is that all? Is our purpose just to spread the word of God and gain divine immortality and live our after-lives in heaven? What then?

So many questions... so few answers...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

How happy are you - really?

Saw this article on MSN website.

Do you sometimes feel that your life hasn't turned out the way it should be. And no matter what you do, you're just don't seem to be satisfied with yourself.

Here's a list given on the website on how the author made 10 small changes in her life that made her so much happier now than before. Something worth trying... :)

1. Don't start with profundities. When I began my Happiness Project, I realized pretty quickly that, rather than jumping in with lengthy daily meditation or answering deep questions of self-identity, I should start with the basics, like going to sleep at a decent hour and not letting myself get too hungry. Science backs this up; these two factors have a big impact on happiness.

2. Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

3. Fake it till you feel it. Feelings follow actions. If I'm feeling low, I deliberately act cheery, and I find myself actually feeling happier. If I'm feeling angry at someone, I do something thoughtful for her and my feelings toward her soften. This strategy is uncannily effective.

4. Realize that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Challenge and novelty are key elements of happiness. The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. People who do new things―learn a game, travel to unfamiliar places―are happier than people who stick to familiar activities that they already do well. I often remind myself to "Enjoy the fun of failure" and tackle some daunting goal.

5. Don't treat the blues with a "treat." Often the things I choose as "treats" aren't good for me. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt and loss of control and other negative consequences deepen the lousiness of the day. While it's easy to think, I'll feel good after I have a few glasses of wine...a pint of ice cream...a cigarette...a new pair of jeans, it's worth pausing to ask whether this will truly make things better.

6. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn't automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I've learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.

7. Don't insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they're satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can't make a decision until they've examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they're often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

8. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, "I'm just too tired to go to the gym"? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.

9. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn't working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn't realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying "Milk!" instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?

10. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You're born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that's that. Although it's true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won't take you a whole year.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mad World - Tears For Fears

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere

And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
'Cos I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very... Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

Saturday, April 04, 2009


... 要两个同样用心的人。

Lyrics from Jacky Cheung's 情书

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What did I do today?

Ever had one of those days where you spent the whole day working hard at the office, and yet at the end of the day, couldn't remember what you actually accomplished that day?

Sigh, been experiencing that quite a lot nowadays... Not a nice feeling at all...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Do you have what it takes?

Some people are born to do certain things. Musicians are born with a natural talent to sing any tune. Artists are born with the innate ability to paint anything they see. (Granted certain musicians and artists are self-proclaimed and their works of art are appreciated only by a select few. But I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?)

I truly believe that people with certain types of personality and disposition are born to do a particular field of work.

For example, doctors require an excellent memory and also must have the desire to care for others. (But of course for some, it’s just for the money.)

Lawyers are born to argue. They see things not as black and white, but grey and they relish the opportunity to reason their way towards either end of the spectrum. Ever pointed to a stubborn kid who can talk his way out of anything and said, “Someday he’d make a great lawyer!”

Businessmen & entrepreneurs always think in terms of profit and sales – the quickest way to make a buck. The successful ones are sharp enough to see where the opportunities are and are quick to act upon them. And they have to be pretty shrewd and street smart too, otherwise they’d end up losing more money than not.

Thus my observation stands: That if you want to be successful in something, you must be born with the ability or the character suitable for that particular field. I’m not saying that if you’re born with the ability, you will definitely succeed. But it is a significant step towards that. The remainder would be the hard work and sweat that you put in, and to overcome any obstacles along the way.

So what about you? Does your personality suit your job?

I’m starting to wonder whether mine does…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

13 Things I should've done when I was younger...

  1. Learnt to dance professionally!! :P
  2. Continued with ballet lessons when I was in primary school
  3. Continued with tennis training in secondary school
  4. Be more assertive when I was in secondary school. I was quite a push-over when I was younger. Still one now, but much better than before!!
  5. Spent more time to get to know my grandfather before he passed away
  6. Talked to my parents more (which I shall do more from now on!!)
  7. Completed my Grade 8 piano exam
  8. Concentrated more on my actuarial exams early on in my career (then I would've finished them by now! Sigh...)
  9. Learnt to play the violin
  10. Learnt Spanish
  11. Saved more money when I was working in KL
  12. Learnt to use my money more wisely, like investing to grow whatever little wealth I had.
  13. Dated more... :)