Monday, April 26, 2010

Contentment is gratitude to life, complacency is disaster to humankind

It is very important to have contentment in life - feeling that you are enough and having enough. Indeed, everyone of us have enough. You don't believe me?

Try opening your wardrobe and check out the many clothes you have. Try opening the refrigerator - the food and drinks we have. On the tap - the clean water running out the tap for our daily use. On the electricity - lights brighten the night at one blink of an eye. The fact that you are reading this blog, you have Internet access. Ain't our lives have enough? We live with ease, eat and drink enough - until obesity is even the major problem now....

Yes we have enough. Contentment is gratitude to life - the fact that you have enough, you feel enough and thankful for whatever is given or whatever you have in life.

However, we all should not be complacent, being too comfortable of our lives till we fail to improve. Improvements in life is one of the greatest gift you can give to humankind. We are not a beggar on the street or someone who could not make things work for our lives. We can.

Improvements in our lives, whether you are ordinary or special or unique, everyone should improve! Some people who added me on Facebook - after looking at my website always say - "Oh there is nothing to introduce myself about. I am just an ordinary person" Well hey ordinary in your own way has specialty in many ways. And in fact, improvements should start from HOME, not making hoo-hah of getting BIG things done. If you cannot do big things, do small things in a big way - that is just right from home!

Well, starting from home - you slowly inspire your family members and eventually your friends encircled you and later the community and eventually the country and slowly the world.

Let me share an example. I have been promoting organ donation since I first read a booklet on this topic. I first started with MYSELF - pledging my organs. Then I talked to my friends in school and even put up related articles at the school notice board. Well, many would say "How many people will be influenced that way?" But surprisingly, I have ex classmates (that was 16 years ago) putting a comment on my facebook saying "Hoong Ling I still remember you telling me about organ donation when we were in school and I still do not have that courage yet." Well, at least is a good start, and people REMEMBER that I told them about organ donation. Yes, so what if 16 years and she still has not signed up but years to come, more and more people talk about it, I am sure it will happen. Slowly but surely, 16 years efforts will not go by just like that.

I also remember my friend, Anas Zubedy starting ads on unity during festive seasons in Malaysia since 1990s (forgot which year he started it). And then, he also fought for September 16th as a holiday because it will be something significant and so Malaysians will learn Malaysia Day - the day we all Malaysians unite and not just merely a August 31st. His dream came true last year.

Last few years ago, crime rate in my housing area was at peak. We could hear people getting robbed even at daylight every other week. We first gathered among neighbours to add more lights at night. We also figured that many of us do not know our neighbours thus we should have some "parties" to know each other. Party means food and that attracted people. I was so glad to have a Malay neighbour who was never calculative and we shared the costs. At times he absorbed the full costs. We have small parties of about 10-30 people.

The tipping point was when a lady got slashed on the chin and needed 7 stitches from the doctor. That was when we figured we should do things collaboratively - eventually we spread out news that we are having a meeting. The community there was unconcerned and never bothered much so we expect only a few of us from our close community, the most maybe 30 but a whooping 120 people turned up! We eventually set up a Neighbourhood Watch and collaborate with the local MP to fence up our area. Crime rate fell - amazing results. See how we first started small....

Today, I am still doing the same thing. I figured out that environment is a big issue now. Dad wanted to start our own gardening long time ago so we have 2 big containers meant for gardening. We have a dog now so he cut the grass at the front porch often so our dog can play comfortably. I started last week to collect the cut grass, threw in every vege/fruits peels we have and I now also have a hamster - its bedding also can be threw in the container. Yesterday the local council cut trees in front of our house so we have dead wood, saw dust, green leaves but alas - a neighbour is now burning it right in front of our house!!! How disgusting! I should have shared about compost building with them so I can keep all the "rubbish" that they are burning. But I successfully inform my next door neighbour and she, too thinks she can do the same. As she plants some potted plants, she thinks is good to have compost, too so I taught her how to do it. This will eventually lessen the rubbish we have - vege fruits peels, table scrap can all be recycled as compost now.

Slowly but surely.

At times I, too fell into complacency but my nature is such that the complacency only last 2 months - bored with nothing to do, I will do something that will improve my life. And I am glad to have this nature in me. I hope you are too!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Challenge To Life

I first heard this when playing CDs of Napoleon Hill Science of Success and have been repeating this section again and again. Googled it and found, would like to share.

Life, you can’t subdue me because I refuse to take your discipline too seriously. When you try to hurt me, I laugh-and the laughter knows no pain. I appreciate your joys wherever I find them; your sorrows neither frighten nor discourage me, for there is laughter in my soul.

Temporary defeat does not make me sad. I simply set music to the words of defeat and turn it into a song. Your tears are not for me, for I like laughter much better, and because I like it, I use it as a substitute for grief and sorrow and pain and disappointment.

Life, you are a fickle trickster-don’t deny it. You slipped the emotion of love into my heart so that you might use it as a thorn with which to prick my soul-but I learned to dodge your trap with laughter. You tried to lure me with the desire for gold, but I have fooled you by following the trail which leads to knowledge instead. You induced me to build beautiful friendships-then converted my friends to enemies so you may harden my heart, but I sidestepped your figure on this by laughing off your attempts and selecting new friends in my own way.

You caused men to cheat me at trade so I will become distrustful, but I won again because I possess one precious asset which no man can steal-it is the power to think my own thoughts and to be myself. You threaten me with death, but to me death is nothing worse than a long peaceful sleep, and sleep is the sweetest of human experiences-excepting laughter. You build a fire of hope in my heart, then sprinkle water on the flames, but I can go you one better by rekindling the fire-and I laugh at you once more.

You have nothing that can lure me away from laughter, and you are powerless to scare me into submission. To a life of laughter, then, I raise my cup of cheer!

by the king maker of millionaires, Napoleon Hill

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Control Your Life BEFORE Facebook Does It!

Is interesting how Facebook slowly takes over your life.

I am a loyal person. Very loyal. I was first in Friendster and said will be loyal to it but only until messages after messages came inviting me to Facebook - finally, I gave in and registered an account to see what has it got. Surprisingly simple to use, easy to connect and a heaven of Internet "bookrmarks" ie you can share and tag a photo, video or note, or even synchronise with a blog, twitter, plurk; inviting friends to an event even knowing the RSVPs, joining a group or fan page, even for business connections. Facebook statuses now serve as a quicker, speedier, more accurate news updates than newspaper or TV news.

Then slowly, internet games where you connect and socialize with friends. I must admit I know a lot of new, close friends when playing one of the games, Farmville of course! While it takes up much of my time, I slowly need self discipline to control myself. Fortunately, I have strong self-control.

Last Tuesday I have decided not to go to for 7 days. Boy, the first hour of that decision was difficult but then I blended in - by reading, spending time with dog, cook for family, write some articles, research some knowledge, getting more information on dogs, going to office, play badminton.... wow imagine the bonding back to real physical life!

However, as there are comments by friends on my activities still dropping via email, I find a few questioned my 7-day-no-facebook determination. Many thought I have logged in but in fact I merely shared links via youtube and websites, became a fan via fan box in a website and updating my twitter - which appear at the status! Wow... even NOT logging on - doing daily activities on the web will update the Facebook wall - imagine how Facebook has controlled our lives. Almost every other websites you visited - has "Share on Facebook", "Become a Fan" or even "Join us on Facebook".

No doubt Internet is one thing that I may not be able to do 7-day-no-Internet thingy. I have been to a 10-day meditation retreat thinking it will be great to stop from Internet as laptops were not allowed but my PDA has EDGE! Alas....

But today is the 5th day I successfully abstained from 2 more days I can log in back. How I did it? I have tried scheduling my calendar to specific time or hours of the day only for facebooking - failed. I have tried only certain days - full day facebooking, other days NO facebook - failed. I have tried reading - failed. I am a person who must be treated with super drastic change. So how..?

1. Determined in the mind that I will abstain from Facebook and announce it to the world - I put on my status! Take stock how much time you are spending on facebook and try imagine what you have always wanted to do if not for facebook blocking that time - ie going for a movie, shopping for family, walking the dog, teaching the dog new tricks, cooking for family, calling some friends to reconnect, viewing some properties, learning money management, reading.... lots of things!

2. Remove facebook from bookmarks - it never pops up in front of you - the lesser the better - none pop up  the best

3. Think of ONE alternative word for facebook ie BOOK and have it so many with you. So when I thought of facebook or the itchy finger would like to type, I think of BOOK and I grab the book I was reading half way and continue reading. I even have that book in my handbag just in case I thought of facebook while driving - I'm PDA connected! I am only about 3 chapters away from finishing the book now! Amazing how things get done without much facebook.

4. Arranged my time with outings - Yesterday I went for a dialogue, then to the Grand Opening of Monavie, then to PAWS Mission looking at dogs and I purposely stayed there for dinner, shop around till night, came back to train and play with my Beagle and then bathe and all I have was time to sleep. No facebook for another day, yay!

My purpose of facebook-fasting is not to abstain it forever but to completely cut down the time on facebook and then slowly increasing to an hour a day. Yes, facebook can never disappear from our lives now but if we do not control our lives, most likely Facebook will!