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When all hell breaks loose…

adversity-saidaonline Finally found some time to write into my blog..

the exams has been very stressful for the past 2 weeks plus.. my routine lifestyle has been “broken” , i.e.

- cant be a avid facebook user

- cant slack on msn

- no bball trainings

- no tues meditation

- no wing chun

- no long hours of sleeping

I could go on and say how much it sucked.. bla bla bla.. but I won’t, because I have this very strong belief, that every adversity is a learning opportunity, there is something good out of every bad thing that happens to us – only if we look hard enough.

So what is so good about not being able to do the above? (Note: I am just saying theres a good side to it, not that it is 100% nice and rosy)

well for one, I get alot of personal time with myself (and my exam preparation) , and I get to cut off most(if not all) social activities (including online social activities) , which allowed for me to

- look at myself and reflect in quiet solitude about the purpose of life

- cherish the times that I had with my friends

- have time to be greatful for what I have

- relook at the way I was living my life

okay thats the heavy stuff.. now for some lighter stuff, because the exams totally interrupted my pattern, it meant that I had the opportunity to re-establish new patterns AFTER the exams! And in my quiet solitude, I learned a great deal about myself and the way I did things, it was most insightful and rather personal.

One things for sure, we are stronger than we think and have much more in us that we show . But we seldom show that side of ourselves, because life is too nice and rosy, however when all hell breaks loose, the part of us that says “Never give up” will show, and that is when life is most rewarding .

My good brother (xin hao) once shared with me the things he did prior to his full time ordination , he went to the places he loved, ate the food he liked.. etc etc . How much of these do we take for granted in our daily lives?

Although the exams has been a daunting task so far, however if I could choose again (assuming I could), I would choose to go through it again.


Because in the face of adversity,

when all odds seems to be against me,

I suddenly stopped walking

and looked at myself,

and for once, I saw my own reflection,

who I really am.

It is one of the “ahh” moments in life, when things goes too smoothly, we seldom stop in our tracks (pun intended) to look at how we are travelling or where we are going, only when we hit a kerb or fall down, do we reconsider our options – that is why , in every adversity , lies an opportunity.

Getting things off your mind – Part III

key on paper In Part II , it was mentioned that the first piece of the puzzle was to allow the mind to only focus on one thing at a time and thus making an “appointment” with the tasks at hand ! Just by doing this alone, the heart can calm down a whole lot … but the second piece of the puzzle is the crnerstone to ensure the first piece of puzzle is firmly in place…

Second Puzzle Piece – Breaking things down

The second piece of the puzzle comes from the ability to put all of the “stuff” in our mind out of our mind ! But many conventional “organizing” methods does this, but there is a crux in doing so which was almost never mentioned before, pay attention to what is going to be mentioned for it is the most important content of the second piece of the puzzle ,

“Decide the very next physical action required to move the situation forward…”– David Allen , “Getting Things Done”

Taking an example from part I ,

Need to exercise 30 mins 3 times a week” – is this a physical action? – NO , it is only a statement , a description – call it what you may , but it is not an action.

And when something isn’t an “action” , we tend to get lost ! Unless we decide upon the next physical action, chances are all the “stuff” gets thrown back into your mind =) But once the next physical action has been decided, our mind tend to naturally detach itself from it , because it has been given an assurance , our mind is like a child, to make a child secure , you either have to give the sweet to him right away or be very detail about when he’s getting that sweet , just saying “you’ll get your sweet in due time” is not good enough.

This was the key difference ! This is exactly what was missing, the method to allow the mind to detach from a task naturally!

So let’s look at the “Need to exercise 30 mins 3 times a week” again , let’s turn this into a “physical action” ,

1) Go for basketball games on mondays and wednesdays for 45 minutes after school(approximately 6pm to 6.45pm)

2) Set a reminder in a way (personalised it yourself!) that you will remember to do the above

Once that is done , something amazing happens, your mind KNOWS that this matter has been taken care of and KNOWS that it’ll be reminded in a way that you cannot forget, and what happens? It detaches itself from the activity of “planning it” .

A typical example we might better relate to is how do we make sure we remember to bring something to school/work the next day? let’s say to bring an important piece of document to your boss the next day, what would you do? If you are like most people, all that needs to be done is to place that document beside something you would NEVER FORGET to bring out of your house – like the keys, in our briefcase or on our shoes (if it doesn’t stink lol)

After placing the document on your shoe (example) , what happens? Yes, you know what happens, your mind automatically detaches itself from worrying/thinking/planning about that very important document !

TADA! , the 2nd piece of the puzzle has been found :)

Getting things off your mind – Part II


As mentioned in Part I , the i-got-alot-of-things-to-do-but-i-got-no-time symdrome comes from the looping of the mind over the things that needs to be done over and over again… which leads to the inevitable conclusion that “I got alot of things to do but no time!” And now…

My story continues – part II

As I begin to realize that I am in deep shit, I began to look for a solution, organizing myself, de-cluttering , managing time , prioritizing , you name it!

Did it work? NO. If anything, it only made me come to the conclusion that I have even MORE things to do now, why was that so? As rightly pointed out by David Allen (spoiler : Do not google his name if you want to read on , Managing time , Managing information and/or managing priorities, After all,

1) you don’t manage five minutes and end up with six;

2) you don’t manage information overload – otherwise you’ve walk into a library and die or the first time you connected to the web, or even opened a phone book, you’d blow up;(pun intended) and

3) you don’t manage priorities – you have them

So here is my story on the problem… now the story of the solution.. (yes what we all have been waiting for)

The story of the solution – Initial Realization

My first realization of the possible solution came from my own meditation practice , I realised that since the mind can only have one focus at a time, it would only make sense that whenever we do something, we should focus solely on the task at hand – this was the first piece of the puzzle.

This meant that everything deserved our attention only when we consciously decide to do so – meaning if I was having dinner, I want to have the choice of just focus on eating my dinner and not think of what is about to happen when the world ends.

That was as far as I got as far as my realization was concern , I couldn’t yet find any sort of solution further from this,

So readers, remember the first part of the puzzle,(there are a total of three)

Our mind can only focus on ONE thing at a time, and things should only have our attention when we consciously decide to do so.

What does this lead to you may ask? The very first part of the puzzle lead to me making “appointments” with my task at hand, if i set 30 mins for my morning workout, that’ve be my focus for that span of 30 mins , not engaged in the future nor the past. And when I do need to “plan” for the future or “review” the past, I put my full attention on doing so .

This can be summarised in a sentence ,

“To live in the now , the present , this very moment or in day-light-compartments”

But this is not the complete picture , what I realized next was an important trampoline to put this first piece of puzzle in it’s place – towards forming the complete picture.

Getting things off your mind – Part I

overwhelmed-lady-desk I’ve finally realised the cause of my ineffectiveness in school and in life !!! *Three Cheers* Allow me to digress a little from the actual solution =) I’ve like to relate my situation with everyone reading this as it’ve be unlikely that most of you know the story yet…

(As I write this, I realise it’ve be too long to squeeze everything into one part, hence i’ll split it up into various parts)

The story beings…

I’ve always felt …

1. I have alot to accomplish

2. I have “no time” to accomplish the things I want to

3. Feeling that I have alot of things “I need to do” on a very consistent basis

4. I am being split apart by commitments ranging from work to friends in all aspects

5. I don’t have time for myself

Does that sound familiar to you? I bet at least one of them does, an informal survey would reflect that in today’s modern society, at least 70% (being modest here) of people “suffer” from the above syndrome, the i-got-alot-of-things-to-do-but-i-got-no-time symdrome !

Question , “Why is that so?” –> this is the question that I only found an answer to … Yesterday (14 Nov 09)

The cause of the problem is simple,(but detailed if I were to answer here), i’ll put it simply and generally ,

We cannot get the things off our minds

Relating back to my story, All the things that I want to do are all fermenting within my mind ! Health issues… studies.. sports… martial arts.. family.. friends … Do i need to go on? The first “realization one needs to know is this, the mind can only focus on one thing at a time! Hence it isnt hard to figure out how overwhelmed I felt when I had my WHOLE LIFE’s concern in my mind!

Basically, my mind was overloaded with problems and although there were solutions , it just simply wasn’t possible to make it into feasible plans because everything is stuffed up there! The mind is moving within a very narrow boundary , imagine the inner conversation go…

Health : Need to exercise 30 mins 3 times a week , Eat fruits , do marketing, sleep early

Martial Art : Need to train for 30 mins (EH can i consider this a exercise?) , everyday , make it a routine

Studies : Need to study at least 2 hours per day, review notes , do tutorials , do up presentation (whow alot of time needed..)

Home : Need to do housework, do the laundry, buy groceries…

The list of priorities goes ON , but at this point, my mind was already  overwhelmed and it came to a conclusion “I need alot of time, I dont have so much time” – period. My mind shuts down, switches off, closes shop and says good night.

And what did I get out of this “mental processing” ? A whole bunch of negative conclusions, it’s hard not to be negative when the whole world is “crashing in” with so many “to-dos” and “to-plans”.

This resulted in my being less motivated to do the things that needs to be done! And it basically rolled itself in a vicious cycle, and things don’t get done, I cower away into that little place we all call “Comfort zone” or “a place to NUA” - I was escaping reality .

But when the time comes for a reality check(exams/tests/deadlines etc) , suddenly, I realised..

“I am in deep shit”


Hi all my readers,

in view of my examinations, I may not be posting for the duration from now till 2nd december (my last paper).

I also won't be frequenting facebook/msn/websites-i-usually-surf =)

Do drop my some tags !! :)

Exams are coming!

Some very random rants…

As the exams draws near…! Everyone is busy preparing for it… Somehow , It feels a bit foolish isn’t it?

I’ve always been prepared for most of life’s challenges, but one of the challenges that is bound to happen one day – I am not prepared at all. And guess what ? That’s death.

We spend so much time preparing for the light – happiness – at the end of the tunnel, but we’re never sure when death will hit us =(

Well yea… nevertheless! Life goes on =) Tomorrow I’ll be heading out for the Body World Exhibition, it’ll sure be an eye opener for me ^^

Off to bed! :)

世外桃园,a place called peace



中国花园之景色,Actual Footage of chinese garden



爱与好友闲聊,所以便答应了他。晚餐就不提了,用完饭之后,我们决定到中国花园(chinese garden)练习武术,一路上我们有说有笑,仿佛亲兄弟一班。





Phew, that was a feat ! Been a while since I last used chinese to write such a long “Compo” !

Today martial arts training was cancelled due to some unforseen circumstances, wanted to stay at home and study, however I decided one of my good pals ck and I decided to have our own training session and have dinner together at the same time.  And this was how I discovered “A Place Called Peace”,

After dinner, ck and I decided to go to chinese garden for our “private” training session, upon reaching the gates of the garden, the welcoming breeze greeted us and a amazing sort of peace feeling took over . Although the skies was showing it’s wrath with instances after instances of lightning, we proceeded to tour the garden and settled for a spot – which was near a toilet which could act as a shelter for us in case it rained – and started our training.

The feeling that such a place brought was a very calm, serene and indescribable sense of peace .  There were little signs of humans within sight, however, a walk around revealed people jogging, dancing and meditating amongst the woods. Everyone was composed and calm and there were only the sounds of nature echoing against the peaceful lake .

I’ve never felt so incredibly at ease without effort at all, a step away from the city life, it was a savour of mother nature and the blessing to have a good brother by my side.

Before we left, my good friend ck even said “every departure signifies the next arrival”, it came as a total surprise as my friend hardly speaks eloquently, much less made a poem! It was then that I was sure this is “A Place Called Peace” .

20 days to exams

It is 20 days to my first paper (CBC 113) ,and i’ve decided to keep a small log of how things goes on a frequent basis (if possible daily – depends on my schedule). It’s a bit LATE to start preparing, but nevertheless, better late than never , so goes the sayings! (there’ll be photos below… phew!)

Also I intend to form some new habits… I wont list them here… If i do post about them you’ll see ^^

Here’s the initial planning stage…

1) Prepare study area that’s conducive and comfortable

1.1 – Table , Side table, notice boards, stationeries , well organised desk

1.2 – Conducive Music (Soft Pali Chants Is Chosen this time)

2) Prepare a flowchart

This is important.. to gauge what NEEDS to be done.. as mdm yaw (my sec sch teacher said) ,

If you want to get As, plan – that’s the first step !

So this part is going to scare me off.. because I’ve alot of stuff that needs to be done  – mostly due to my super perfectionist attitude towards anything!

It will be 32 days later when my LAST paper ends… Just nice one month… time to heat things up and do well!

Here are some photos… (speaks for themselves)



This is the core reason why I am struggling now.. inexperienced… spent my time ONLINE during lessons breaks.. omg..:X (old photos – week 1-7 I was as such…!)

IMG_0050 My revamped study area, conducive (notice the right cabinet? It is to give me a feeling of “compactness” which was not present previously – without the cabinet , this causes me to be easily distracted


A closer look reveals two green notice boards and a comfortable “closed up” environment" !


Temporarily , I’ve shifted all my “junk” here (area behind the shot above), once this is cleared, either can make a new study area (for grp study) or some other purpose (meditation corner?)

Hope you enjoyed!