Friday, December 27, 2013

Quirk & Color



Phoot Camp



Courtesy of Ryan Schude.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Swimmingly



Thursday, December 05, 2013

Coal Burning

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Perspectives from SE Asia

Works caught at Singapore Biennale 2013.









Sunday, November 17, 2013

Space

Action View!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catharsis

When you're unhappy, what do you do?

Swallow it? Let live? Laugh it off and hope you really did?

If you don't, will it start to gnaw, eat and nibble away your insides?

Symptoms include sighing, lethargy and becoming numbed to other things that ought to matter.

Ask yourself, what do you need?

Importance of Finding a Competent Partner

IPA Street Photography Asia Award 2013 Winners

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In The Dark



Mortality is not the end of life. As we know it, it's all how you live. Or as I recently learnt from Steve Jobs, it's how you build your life.

Life is full of storms. Some loom large and threaten to blow everything away. Some loom far but don't get close enough. Some brew quietly inside, not visible from without but surely it spins and whirls--demand a real effort to tame it.

There're also moments when the lights seem to go out. And you panic. Perspire. Plead for help. Yet in that moment, perhaps a voice tells you to try. You're in the right place. And step by step, things will fall in place.

Who's to say you're on the right track? Shouldn't each of us be the best judge of that? Maybe not right away, but eventually yes?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Money and the lack thereof

Whatever amount we have, I think the heart of the attitude is really about having contentment.

As Paul says in Philippians 4:12,

I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. (GWT)
Beyond basic needs, can I say that everything else becomes relative? And in crowded SG, driven by competition?

Where does contentment come from? Why are some more generous than others? Maybe it's simply learning to have enough, to enjoy life wherever we are, whatever we have, whoever we're with.

Now, I know comparison with others and focusing on things we don't have always highlight one's lack. But surely we've to remind ourselves that net worth don't determine a person's self-worth.

And if we keep focusing on our needs, whether present or future, we'll never feel we've enough. There's always something that requires money.

Can we simply learn to make the most of what we have? If we prosper, then enjoy the moment. If we don't, well, make do and be happy.

That's right, be happy.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Pursuing



There is talent, there is hard work and then there is luck. I believe in the luck that comes in the form of favour and opportunity. To make the most of these, one needs an attitude that is hopeful, positive and values networking.

Now, would others around describe you as one who pursues his dreams and priorities?

Pursuit demands energy--relentless--and sweeping aside anything that can distract or detract.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Love-like



In all of us, there is a need to relate, to connect & to feel loved & accepted. A hole in the soul results from a deficit of these--even the perception of it. A hole that, if it is not mended, will eat on the inside.

When a person reaches out but fails to connect, it's disappointing. But when a person finds not connection but exploitation, the sense of betrayal swells and engulfs. Because now the other person saw you for who you are, your vulnerable core. And now, loss, isolation & darkness ensues.

All is not hopeless. Life is not loveless. One has to hold on to this.

Perhaps it's that, even if we are carrying our own weight, the act of lightening's others' would lighten our own. Is it because it sets things in perspective? It takes the focus off yourself?

Whatever it is, we can all afford to connect. More. Deeply.

Come Running Back To YOU

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Spurts of Intense Work

Perhaps it's time to do challenging work first thing in your day. Don't be afraid to try it. Make it a habit, so it becomes ingrained. This is towards becoming more effective and to grow in taking on bigger challenges.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/how-interval-training-can-make-you-incredibly-efficient-at-work/

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Time Off


Would you quit your job to do what you always wanted to do? Such as spending a year living in the Arctic Circle, enjoying time with yourself and your family?

This man did. Arctic Dream | Our Family's One-Year Adventure Living on an Arctic Island http://arcticdream.me/

Success isn't money, fame or influence (nothing wrong with these in themselves though). Success ought to be what really matters...to you.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Crepuscular

Monday, June 03, 2013

Bubbling

Arms straining at the effort, he tried to keep up with the swimmer ahead. Take a break? He asked himself. At the turn, his left calf tightened nearly to a cramp. Keep going, determination said.

Just an hour ago, the sky was arrayed in glorious orange-red. Barely anyone remarked on it, but surely all saw it.

One man asked another how his run was. A few sentences later, the other said goodbye and hauled himself out of the waters, now clear & placid.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Looking Beyond

Eric Schmidt of Google reports this of The New Digital Age:

  • In Kenya, Maasai nomads live without home electricity or running water nonetheless pay for items with their mobile devices.
  • In North Korea, citizens risk their lives and harsh punishment in order to obtain smuggled phones and tablets and take an even greater risk to venture close to the Chinese border so they can capture a signal.
  • In Pakistan, we met a group of women who were attacked by the Taliban with acid. Their physical scars carry an unfair stigma that makes it hard for them to find work, but the Internet allows them to run businesses and interact with the world despite these challenges.
  • In Iraq, following the return of looted artifacts, we were able to put the entire museum online so the world could experience the country's rich history.

Things that people of the developed, connected world take for granted are being fought for and relished in less privileged regions.

Will getting the world all wired up make it flatter, more connected & consuming more resources? Yet social, cultural & financial divides will surely persist.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Desperate for YOU


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hope & Future

Standing for what you believe in. Knowing you can accomplish something of worth.

Affirmation from people certainly help. But it's the self-belief that matters most. What you are capable of, not in another's shadow, but to be your own.

Acknowledging you're not perfect, so slips & setbacks do occur. But keep pushing on. Because you can do it. Because you do believe in that one thing.

Who matters to you? Pay attention to them. That's what you'll find rewarding.

Be hopeful. Things will work out for the better.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Currently reading



"Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck (HSGL) is the result of research started in 2009 on what really makes entrepreneurs and business-builders tick."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunacy

When accused, confronted and cornered, how does one react? When outnumbered?

No one is perfectly good...everyone has faults and vulnerabilities. Is someone beckoning us to live as a good man?

Is it fear that drives us? Woe be the one who doesn't see it. Or is it desperation that grips us?

There comes a time when each is put to the trial, tested for what he is inside. While we realize it, hopefully we're given time to love and accept who we really are, and also examine areas that are lacking.

Now, what measure? Whose and how do we apply? Surely we just want to live a life well-lived. Even well-remembered.

No man will live for a lie. Neither will he stand to live for one.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Confront & Embrace

Recently I read about phantom limb syndrome, a peculiar & painful phenomenon where the affected person still feels sensations in his missing limb. Supposedly, the loss of a limb causes neurons to stop firing signals originating from it, so the synaptic firing should be silent, yet somehow the continued firing of synapses from surrounding neurons manages to convince the brain that the missing limb is sending out sensations.

The key question really ought to be: How do you resolve this syndrome of feeling something that by right should not be there? How do you initiate change in the direction of complete healing & emotional restoration?

We all want to get on with life, no matter what it deals at us. And definitely it helps immensely to have God on your side.

But first, you gotta confront what ails you. Identify it, whatever it is, and decide how you're gonna deal with it. Stab it in the foot, if that's what it takes! Keep hoping and going.

Then embrace the change you've selected. Will it work out for good? There's only one way to find out. If it doesn't, then just try another path, another method.

Make the most of what you have, who you have and when you have. You can do it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Holding On



By Hoang Hiep Nguyen (Sony World Photography Awards)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dancing



Who knows what might come your way if you'd just try?

Everyone's got his/her own hangups, screwups, muckups. Life seems to deal us blows in the gut. But you know what? You just move on.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Groove!

Divine Lady

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stepping Forward



If you want to move forward, well...take a step. Everything else will fall in place.

Adventure.

I remember telling a friend years ago after hearing an inspiring message, "Let's get ready for an adventure!"

Certainly spiritual, but also definitely in this world and in this time.

Getting to our God-outlined destination, not by our own route but surely by our steps, guided and sometimes redirected.

I suppose the adventure comes from being willing to simply get out, experiencing things you never thought you would--some bruising, some elating--and discovering more of yourself, God and this world along the way.

Letting it die. The past? The darkness that grips you? Mistakes, missteps, misbehaviours?

If it don't die, then you can't live. Live out loud, that is.

What's in your heart, go out and accomplish it. Even if you aren't sure what it is, go out anyway.

The sun will shine through. Yes it ultimately will. Stormy times, dark times, testing times... Whatever. It will end.

So keep stepping forward. You're one step closer already!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making Room



Need breathing space?

Beneath the bustle, we have priorities that beckon to be met. While we truly want them to be met, sometimes we just don't.

Routines and obligations keep us from doing so, but that isn't how it should be.

Make room in your daily schedule, so you can breathe easier. So that not only do you fit in the things that matter, but really do focus on them and well, allow them time to likewise breathe into your life.

Does family matter to you? Friends? Personal happiness? Does money/career/things really mean more to you than these?

It will feel uncomfortable to make adjustments. So might it be worthwhile?

I think it will.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Loved

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loved



The truth is every one of us wants to love and be loved.

We are moved by scenes of couples getting together, getting married, families enjoying time together.. In real life or in drama.

How do we know he or she is the one? How do we know our future with our loved ones will last and will work out for the best? How do we know relationships and friendships will last?

By faith, that's the answer.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Quiet In A Noisy World


Reading Susan Cain's Quiet is plenty enlightening and assuring. If you simply understand and are at peace with how your introverted self thinks, behaves and instinctively responds, then you're more likely to find balance in this hyper-connected social time we live in.

Why does an introvert usually shun social gatherings, novel situations and even just getting out of the house? One, he is highly reactive and sensitive to his environment. Feeling things more deeply, he can be overly stimulated and more exhausted. Another thing is that he prefers meaningful relationships and thinking more deeply about things. Perhaps he hasn't learnt to interact and speak up with multiple parties at once, and doesn't like being labelled anti-social. At the very least, he prefers friendly and cooperative group settings.

Can an apparently extroverted person actually be introverted within? Yes, as he has learnt to project such a persona, whether motivated by work obligations or a cause he passionately pursues. He is usually highly observant and empathic, even towards a group audience. This is however demanding and energy-sapping for him, that's why he's got to find "restorative niches" to recharge himself.

He could even make a great leader. Because he is astute, listens well, takes carefully calculated risks, is persistent, and probably appreciates how other introverts operate and will afford them the space they need to thrive. Many fine examples stand out in human history, belied by whatever front we remember of them: the fiery, oratorical sort; the unassuming, behind-the-scenes worker; or the powerful, letter-writing influencer.

Coming to a place of self-awareness and self-acceptance is definitely key to finding personal happiness in what he does for a living, how he manages his time and energy everyday, how he complements and makes compromises with his life partner, how he deals with conflicts and stressful situations etc. Otherwise when confronted and overwhelmed by fear, guilt or anxiety that is triggered by others voicing their criticism or venting their anger, he shuts down his natural empathy and becomes avoidant.

Well, the world needs both introverts and extroverts, Cain reiterates in her book. And they both need each other. The extrovert very well seeks meaningful lifelong relationship which he finds possible with an introvert. The introvert finds conversation with the extrovert easy and interesting. Effective, well-considered decisions are made with the inputs of both achievement-oriented and properly analyzed views.

Learning all this makes me feel more at peace and hopeful of applying myself well in life. It's timely because I'm realising that my priorities include paying attention to the nearest and dearest around me--and not money, career success or material possessions. All the better if I can relate better to my family and close friends, be they introverts or extroverts.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Melancholy Songs

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Pointers For Managing Self



Some pointers I gleaned so far from Tony Schwartz's Be Excellent At Anything: The Four Keys To Transforming The Way We Work And Live:

1) Our attention span typically lasts 90min max. Anything more and performance suffers. Yet most of us in desk-bound jobs easily find ourselves sitting down for hours at a stretch. Schwartz's suggestion: Take frequent renewal breaks, be it active (running, read a book) or passive (napping, lunching).

2) Sleep is important. With sufficient rest, your mind and body are better able to perform optimally.

3) Exercise is key, including cardio which keeps your mind alert and your heart beating strong and healthily and strengthening which maintains muscle mass requisite for daily activities (especially crucial for aging bodies).

4) Our brains programme us in fight-or-flight emotional responses when our sense of self-security is threatened. Triggers include being scolded or being neglected. Whichever response is instinctive to you depends on your personality. To better deal with such situations, try to take control of yourself (breathe & stay calm) and respond in a way that is atypical of you.

Question now is how do I apply these pointers practically and consistently in my daily life? Conscious self-discipline is certainly the key.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013