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Last Day of January


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How is your New Year’s Resolution so far? Are we part of the 88% (those who fail to follow through the New Year’s Resolution)?

A quick thought: there are still 334 days to go around the sun.

Although the days are not as ‘sunny’ as we tried to foresee when we planned it in December, we have been given enough time in January to tweak the plan to ride on this ‘rough weather’.

So.. We’ve learned to weather the weather this January. Let’s keep the New Year’s Resolution. Chase your goals.

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On Free Writing [Write Your 2013 Now]


I love Sunday.

My own version of paradise is to sit at home on a Sunday afternoon and watch movies with my loved ones. So relaxing…

Half of the time if not most of the time, I would have a mini-sleep or dozed off during the movie… Perhaps due to the strenuous long run prior to the movie watching.

Yesterday, it was a bit different. My better half picked ‘Sixth Sense’ as our Sunday afternoon movie. It brought fond memories since this is the one of the first movies that we watched during our ‘dating years’ back in college years.

What’s interesting.. I learned new thing from this movie: free writing. It’s the exercise of writing down your thoughts and keep writing and pouring the thoughts to dig your inner most ‘creative’ side. …Or perhaps to dig down deep in your subconscious part of the brain.

Yesterday, I did not doze off during the movie watching session. The conversation on free writing sparked an idea in my head.

Hey, I could actually use this newly-found tool to plan for my new year’s resolutions!

I simply write down my goals in this coming year and try to picture myself already (almost) finishing 2013 with all the written goals achieved.

The exercise simply energized me! The feeling that you are ‘THERE’ is quite powerful.

Having been energized, the thoughts are overflowing in my head. How I feel when I achieve the goals. I can picture the obstacle which I overcame. Working through the limit by going around the ‘barrier’ .. One thought leaps to another and spurs branches of thoughts.

The challenge will be to reconcile the seemingly disparate thoughts into coherent and structured ones so that the words can be ‘ACTIONABLE’ in time when the implementation part comes..

Try it yourself.

1. Imagine you are at the end of 2013 with all the achieved goals.

How do you feel? By feeling this surge of energy, I can assure you that you will be ‘dizzy’ with abundance of possibilities that you can write or should I say you can plan to do in order to achieve in this coming year.

2. Write and write and write. Do not worry whether your thoughts make good sense or not (at least not for now).

3. Reconcile the thoughts. You can frame the thoughts in simple chronological order (e.g. the timeline on initiatives that you need to implement) or cause and effect or even perhaps issue and solution.

To give you a glimpse of my exercise:

” It’s the time of the year again, December. Yep, the Mayans were out stone perhaps or other logistics to create their calendar  beyond 2012.. We are already in 2013 and I feel so blessed to hit my long time goal of publishing my own book. Any intellectual(s) [with strong alter ego] would have got the same ambition or dream: to be an author or influential thinker. I could have done this without the strong support from my loved ones to help me go through the grind every single day. A page a day. A dozen of pages during the weekend. Daily reminder of how I should progress.. Inch by inch.. The stacks of printed papers grow taller…”

What do you think?

Do try this free writing and share your thoughts.

A Reflection


Our new routine at home is to sit down with our 3 year old and let him or ask him (this super active cute little guy) to share his activities at his school (he is in Playgroup). The game that he played, the friends he talked to, the new song that he learned etc.

It’s a short review of his (daily) activities on that day– a reflection, if you will.

Now, before you pack up your bag and go home at the close of business day, do your review of the day.

Have you ticked all the boxes for today?

 

A Head Start


If you are a fan of Robin Sharma (like me) then you must be familiar with one of his tips to be more productive: wake up at 5AM.

Being quite competitive myself, I want to outdo Mr Sharma by waking at 4AM every morning. Well, I must admit that I missed this super early habit from time to time when I had a very late night. The main reason that I need to wake up that early is that I need to catch up on my ‘running’ mileage — to prepare myself for the race, a half marathon race.

Next week will be the last month of 2012.

All the productivity ‘gurus’ or ‘practitioners’ are ‘bombarding’ my inbox on getting a head start for 2013. Well, more like a nice reminder, though.

The reasoning is very simple. Don’t be like the rest of the people who are starting to contemplate the New Year’s Resolution at the end of December or (even worse) in January.

Start now.

Give yourself a head start for 2013.

Set your goals and plan how to achieve them.

Half Marathon (My Take on Standard Chartered Half Marathon Indonesia 2012)


[Caution: Backward and Forward Plot]

0 – 17KM

At 17km, I ‘screamed’ to myself: “This is torturous!”

When I reached 16km, I thought to myself “What am I doing? Don’t I have better things to do in a fine sunny Sunday morning”

At 9km, little that I knew when I ran passing a person (who literally shouted at himself : “Come on (his own name)! Let’s go.”) that I would scream and shout at myself. Although, I somehow managed to maintain my poised (externally) and only ‘shouted’ silently to myself when I reached 17km.

Oh, I also heard someone gave a pep talk to himself while running. He sounded like a school teacher telling off his student:”I have never seen a more dissapointing runner like you.”

Funny how people have their own way of keeping themselves motivated in a half marathon race.

What happened during the first 9km? I managed to maintain the speed between 5.45 to 6 min per km. The training plan and the pain of  executing the plan in discipline manner definetely paid off!

How about the start? I knew that I should have emptied my bladder. I could foresee a long queueing line to the portable toilet. I did just that. Took a ‘leak’ before I left home. It took only a 10 minute drive to get to the race venue. I’m such a lucky guy to have a supportive wife who drove me to the race venue.

So, I guessed I was on the right track already to start this half marathon. I guessed wrong. The combination of 3 sips of water and the rush of adrenaline plus the espresso that I had before I left home served me well as ‘diuretic’ trigger.

Yep. I did stand in line for the toilet before the START. Fortunately, someone let me take his turn to go to toilet first knowing that I was doing the half marathon (while he is doing 10km). Thank you kind stranger!

[sorry for this backward plot, folks]

Quick Thoughts

What kept me running? I did not run for the prize – of course.

Ever heard of the power of visualization? I visualized my wife and son waiting at the FINISH line. And with the runner’s HIGH kicking in.. The serenity is simply indescribable.

I did reach the finish line, though. It felt like reaching a new ‘height’ in running.

We can learn a lot of lessons from running that we can actually apply in life.

At first, when we start something new or something different, the motivation and passion  gives us the ‘nudge’ to start.

In the middle, when we are going through the daily grind, the habit and discipline works on us like clockwork.

To finish?

You have to finish what you start, right? Of course.

Nothing replaces actual experience. We can always plan and prepare..

To actually finish something ‘BIG’ is a journey of self discovery.

What are you made of? What keeps you going? Will you give up?

So.. To finish (to run that last 4km) requires a reminder of why you start this crazy journey to begin with..

17-21km

Still interested to know how I actually finish my first half marathon?

At 18km, when I prepared to speed up and finish strong in the last 3km, I started by tightening my knee support.

Wrong move.

Somehow, it caused a stitch in my left ankle. Oops..

I slowed down by walking and running intermittently which caused me to miss my target pace and ended up running to: 7 minute to 8 minute per km.

I did run consistently at the last 1 km and carried my little kiddo to the finish line. Yes, they were waiting for me (10 meters from the finish line).

Thank you my little cute family.

On Habit


Everybody is talking about habit these days.

At work, my team and I are coordinating an initiative to formulate the ideal habit at branch level of our organization.

Personally, I have been trying to build a daily habit of writing a blog per day as well as other habits:  waking up early, writing to do list, exercise, drinking enough water, spending quality time with family etc.

As any readers might observe, my attempt to build daily writing habit had seen some of its successful streaks as well as its ‘dry spell’.

Creating good habit is not as easy as it might seem. Once you lose the momentum, the inertia is really taking over and even taking stronghold inside yourself and beating the deep-seated passion. Sounds like a hyperbolic sentence? Well, I simply cannot describe – in better way – what sort of forces that can defeat such great passion.

The more interesting question would be: what brought me to re-live the ‘writing’ habit again?

As I have written in my previous blog, ‘the universe’ has its way of reminding you to stay ‘on course’.

This morning, during our regular weekly meeting, we talked about our ‘working behavior’ and how that will shape us in 10 years time.

I thought to myself: “Hey, I started this blog in November last year — it will be one year by next month!” I might not be JK Rowling or JRR Tolkien when I turn 43 (now, you can guess my age :)) but I surely have a rich ‘story’ of my personal as well as professional ‘journey’ by then — provided that I continue this ‘writing habit’.

Here’s to writing.

Enjoy your weekend folks!

 

When You Really Want Something (The Universe Will Remind You To Chase It)


I want to write a book. A how-to-book, an e-book.. A book.

Compilation of thoughts and experience that will help others to chase their dreams (or a how-not-to guideline so that the readers can avoid some possible pitfalls).

A few months back, I met a long time friend/ex colleague when I was waiting for my morning train to work.

What do you know?

This guy, who shares the same passion for ‘amassing knowledge’ (read: reading), is also thinking about pouring his thoughts into writing.

So, we embarked in a journey to start to write an e-book — for a start.

The pace of the start was ‘break neck’ — to say the least.

We secured a website, created a twitter account and (of course) a wordpress account as channel to establish our presence to our targeted audience. The thinking goes: by the time we launch / release the e-book, our targeted audience will already be familiar with our work/writing. All those setting-up activities were completed in a single day — during our daily activities: work, family, running race preparation etc. Our day job trains us so well to be an efficient ‘tasker’.

Follow through

This is the hardest part!

We managed to ‘procastinate’ the actual work of writing by focusing first in ‘planning stage’. After all, you cannot simply jump head first to an unknown ‘water’.

This is where my expertise in project management came in handy.

An efficient project manager’s main concern is delivering the goals with the available resources.

Our main resources is simply our ‘free time’. Well, there’s not much ‘free time’ to begin with. So instead we tried to list down the required tasks and activities to write a book: research (primary and secondary), writing first draft, finalizing draft (and many other creative activities in between these main tasks).

How are we doing so far with this project?

Well.. If you look at the GANTT Chart of the project then you will get the impression that it is very much ‘on track’.

I know that we can’t be too ‘ambitious’ in driving this project with the busy schedule.

But, if we are talking about the ‘soul’ of the project then we know that it’s a ‘zombie’.  Soul-less.

The universe has a ‘funny’ way of telling you or reminding you of your dreams and ambitions.

During a casual chat with a consultant, I found out that she is going to launch her book.

Huh? Releasing a book? I’d like to do that too.. Launching the e-book.

I also found out that writing a book is not an easy undertaking. It took 2 and a half year for the consultant to (finally) launch the book.

A breath of fresh air…

Yes, the casual chat was definitely a breath of fresh air which will ‘jumpstart’ this ‘zombie’ project.

On Inspiration


We always need that slight ‘nudge’ to get going..

That ‘nudge’ can be in many forms: visual, auditory, combination of both (visual and auditory) or perhaps a real nudge in its literal meaning 🙂

Take 5 minutes after your heavy lunch to watch or listen to something inspirational.

..and get back to work.

This video gets me inspired these days. Enjoy!

Journey


 

Plan the journey well.

Adjust the sail so that the wind pushes you to the right direction.

Don’t get carried away by the wind..

Don’t let it define your direction.

Make Your Splash


Somehow, as far as I can remember, I was one precocious kid.

Curious little kid who was always tirelessly asking my parents (and also other adults) for explanations of things that I observed.

While I was a tireless wide-eyed wonderer, I did not know that parents and adult were going through tougher obstacles and challenges in life.

I can still vividly remember the ultimate answer from my dad when he just could not answer my questions anymore:”You’ll eventually understand when you are a grown up”.

Now, I know.. I have found out for myself all those unanswered questions back then.

The funny thing in life is that when you gain something, you tend to lose something else.

As I gain better understanding of life, I think I might have slipped off something and lost it along the way.

To approach life in a such fun way and “make your splash”.

Play.

Don’t worry whether your ‘environment’  agree or disagree with you.

They’ll find out that you mean well and make your idea into reality.

They’ll get ‘wet’ a little by playing along with you.

If they do have a good time and play along then they only benefit from you

..and they will be back for some more good time or good idea for that matter.

Thanks son for the inspiration.

Make more splash !