Friday, August 31, 2007

Putting Work Woes in Perspective

Thursday morning, BY brought the article "Putting Work Woes in Perspective" and shared with some of us. She mentioned at the first few paragraphs in fact echoed what she's going through at present. Coincidentally, on Thursday's RECRUIT, there's an article on "Build up emotional strength".

Went home... and pull out the article for a more 'thorough read'... Yes, the article describes the emotions of many in the office (hm... in our section?). Step back and ask ourselves... does this only happen here? Hm... in fact, I believe we can find similar symptom everywhere... even within our building... across divisions and branches!

Here are several interesting points that provoke my thoughts:
"...I must admit, there are days and sometimes even weeks when I feel incompetent at my job..."

  • This in fact reminds me of the Peter's Principle (I'm not an avid reader but this dusty little book hidden among the books in the NIE library caught my attention while I did my DDM course many years back... I think, it aroused my curiosity to read further because it has something to do with management and supervision - it talks about competence).
  • Briefly, from wikipedia, it says, "anything that works will be used in progressively challenging applications until it causes a disaster." & "On the personal level, the Peter Principle's practical application allows assessment of the potential of an employee for a promotion based on performance in the current job, i.e. members of a hierarchical organization eventually are promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to incompetence. That level is the employee's "level of incompetence" where the employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career's ceiling in an organization."
  • So, is it a matter of incompetence - with reference to the skill set required by the current jobscope? or is it because one has not tried hard enough and still lives in the old world, old paradigm?

"...The temptation is to go for a big cover up - I'll just make myself look very busy so that no one will be able to tell I'm worry about how I'm messing up..."

  • I thought this is quite unlikely to happen... or even if it happens, one would not be able to cover up for long 'cos the deliverables tells! The deliverable (when quality counts!) tells the amount of effort, the amount knowledge one has, and the amount of experience one has - on the particular task.
  • The worst is, when one is asked - "Based on what I see, I really could not understand what you are busy with"... Get it? Others can see through the disguise! Then, I think it's worse... the emotional bank account may just go burst!

"...The first thing to do to deal with feelings of inadequacy is to have a realistic appraisal of your own strengths and weak..."

  • Appraisal of one's strengths and weakness - it also means taking a good look and assess our very own. It is easy to acknowledge our strengths. On the other hand, to acknowledge our own weakness can be very cruel, too!

"...Sometimes, it is leadership which has failed you. It could be that your tasks are impossible because they have ill-defined goals that keep shifting..."

  • Hm... that sounds familiar? It could be ill-defined goals... on the other hand, it could be assumptions that leaders have... ???
  • Shifting goals? In fact, that's not uncommon... even in schools, there's shifting goals, too... while in one year, the goal is defined and all are clear to head towards it, external factor sometimes simply sway it away from its main course! One good example is when one reaches its goal far more faster than expected... then...???

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Build up emotional strength

Read this on Thursday's RECRUIT... it talked about Emotional Strength.

An interesting analogy: Emotional Fitness <> Physical Fitness

It describes Emotional Strength as the ability to develop a sustained capacity to thrive when the going gets tough. One needs emotional fitness when handling a crisis or some prolonged challenging situation that confronts and confounds us. It takes tremendous emotional energy to remain motivated.

The article pointed out 4 areas to work on:

  • 1. Be Patient, which is the most important of all 4.
  • When a recurrent problematic situation saps our emotional energy, the best way to react is to be patient and work towards the best solution even though it may take time.
  • The article also advises to break the problem into smaller achievable steps and enjoy the little victories everytime we solve one small aspect of the problem. This helps us to focus and remain motivated.
  • Patience builds one's internal strength. The 'demand' of patience also tests one's internal strength. It has its limit, and interesting, this limit is elastic - depending on the kind of 'test' it's subjected to and other external factors!
  • An analogy would be the boiling point of water. At sea level "0", water boils at 100 ° C. However, at the mountain top, its boiling point changes because of the change of pressure!
  • Of course, over the years, many of us mellowed down... and no longer think, act and speak so 'impulsively'... is it because of maturity? because of the accumulated wisdom? Hm... ^.^
  • Sometimes, I think, by putting ourselves in others' shoes, try to think from his/her perspective (taking into account of his background and past experiences), it does help to stretch our patience further, as we understand why sometimes he/she react in a certain manner - that tests our patience! Yes, I think, it helps!
  • 2. Develop a Spiritual Centre where we accept who we are and what we can do. Do not be interferred by external "good to haves".
  • Being realistic and down-to-earth makes us feel good about ourselves.
  • Also, appreicate our own talents and work on our AFIs!
  • Yes... many a time, we look around us... and envy what others have... (but we have yet experienced). It brings to the old analogy: Is the glass half filled or half empty?
  • It's human nature - that we tend to compare... (that day was just talking about this with PH and BY)...
  • There's a high tendency when we compare of ourselves with the better off... and we ended up asking why? Why better things tend to happen to others but not ourselves? So, our glass is half empty?
  • One obvious example I could think of would be a comparison of the working atmosphere of the 2 sections, which is a great contrast.
  • While one section projects a very sunny image when others perceive things go very well and people are happy - does this apply to everyone? It's good to observe and imagine how one fits into the company too... Does the sun always shine?
  • While in another section that projects a very 'stressed-up' and 'serious' image... is it a true indication of situation really that bad? Think about it... Has the sun shy away from here?
  • It's also human nature that intuitively, we don't compare ourselves with the 'worse off' unless we are subjected to that kind of thoughts! We forget to see the filled portion and appreciate what we have.
  • 3. Make a Paradigm shift. "A paradigm is a way of thinking".
  • It says, if something is not working for you, it could be that you are tapped in a certain way of thinking.
  • So??? Try looking at the challenge from a different perspective. Talk to someone you trust to see if there's any suggestion to handle the situation.
  • 4. Engage in Positive Self-Reflection.
  • Learn to always see ourself as a positive and successful person.
  • For things that do not go well, it's good should acknowledge what has happened, where and why things went wrong - reflect and pick up the learning points... move on and stop dwelling on the past!

"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realise it. For the world has built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us marching onwards." - Henry Ford

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Was rather hungry after the watching the musical... well, it's not the musical that made me hungry, but went without lunch (because of the heavy breakfast)... Ah ha! There came the chance to try out some new food outlets at the basement of the Raffles City... There are so many of them...

So far, have been getting the cream puffs from Beard Papa ... Hm... the yummy yummy light cream puffs! Yes, it's really worth the try, espec

Hopped into a small Japanese outlet (Amanogawa)... ordered a yamato set... It comes with a very thick miso soup, 3 pieces of prawn tempura that were very fresh and pretty juicy, a salad, and of course, the main reason for ordering that, a hearty serving of salmon! 6 thick freshy jusicy pieces!

While dugging into my meal, a few teenagers sat on the table, overheard what their discussion on what to order...
  • 吃什么?
  • 我要吃生的 (ie. sashimi)
  • 我不吃生的。。。还有什么?
  • 不要紧,我吃生的。。。你就吃“死”的。。。

Er??? 吃“死”的? 有没有搞错?是吃熟的吧!


The Musical: The King and I

the musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, based on Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon.

  • The musical... One of the few that generates laughter from the audience... Yes, we will not hear such response at the Phantom of the Opera!
  • "etc. etc. etc." hahaha... this has become the "most memorable words" said in the play... which means "the rest..." (as Anna explained to the King)
  • There are so many children! OK, it's after the show when I read the website, then realised that many of them are our local children!
  • It's the first time that so many males 'bared' their body... as Louis surprised Anna "There's a naked man" which the latter corrected him embarrassingly "They are half-naked"... hahaha...
  • So much 'gold' colour seen.
  • One old asian culture "男尊女卑" was obvious illustrated: When the king asked Anna not to be 'taller' than him... {OK, it was brought out in a humorous way}
  • Another thing, the FACE... the importance of making sure one does not loss face also appeared here... when the king faced the problem (being called barbaric) and wanted to find a solution (through Anna)... however, refusing to admit he needed the help... The King asked Anna to guess his "solution" (that he had not had any)... while Anna tactfully provided her suggestion in response to the guess... Smart, right? Hm... Anna has very high EQ!!!
  • Oh yes, also The Small House of Uncle Cabin, performed in the Siam ballet... the very first time to see the thai art... the exaggerating gestures with masked / heavily powdered white faces.

  • Overall... it was a good show... a good Saturday afternoon at the theatre...
  • The singing is good though at the beginning, I was trying to figure out what the King's trying to say... OK, I always blame it to my weak english listening skill... Hm... after 2nd thought, I think, it must be because I'm not that familiar with the plot and the songs...
The cast: ,

More about "The King and I":
Uncle Tom's Cabin:
"The King and I" Singapore Tour:

Friday, August 24, 2007


近几个月,很偶然的,接二连三地遇到老朋友。。。 前阵子,遇上了高中同学。。。

这个星期,七天里,就接二连三遇到DDM的同学 - Linda (在Sungei Buloh Workshop),Chiew Ming (那天跟Gayatri讨论Project时收到她打来的电话,可是因为讨论到一半,无法抽空出来见面)和Tock Lee(在S7 ITSharing时遇上)。


Sunday, August 19, 2007




在Maths Conference,遇见宜美。
在NIE Library,遇见Douglas
在ExCEL Fest,遇见秀盈。
在Yishun Interchange,遇见佩珊



Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Sweet 42

Singapore celebrates its 42nd birthday! Hooray! We have reached another milestone. I think, each year, has been a milestone... Each year, there're always challenges to roughen our physic. It has toughened us along the way... It has also shaped our mental model, in a way, how we see this island country.

National Education, have we started experiencing the effect it has brought to us over the years? Globalisation, how has it changed our views on ourselves? We have progressed fast... have our behaviour, thinking reflect a nation that's at the mature age of 42?

"There's No Place I'd Rather Be" [2007]


"Will You" [2007]

"Reach out for the Skies" [2006]

"My Island Home" [2006]


"The National Anthem"

"One United People"

From Dick Lee:
"Count on me":
"Christmas Song":

Widow Village @ New Delhi

The documentary shown about married women in India - those who lose their spouse and those who were abused.

It's a surprise(?) there exists widow villages in India (the one shown in the documentary is at New Delhi). Who comes here? or perhaps should ask - who send them there? why send them there?

The sad thing is, as far as they lost their spouse, they are considered unlucky women and will be isolated. On the other hand, the widows in the interview seem to be very receptive to the treatment. The sadder thing is, one woman mentioned, it was her children who sent her there and since (for more than 20 years) not visited her.

Why the community set up such a widow village? Isn't it encouraging such a practice within the community? Why the women are just so receptive to this unjustice treatment?

Saturday, August 04, 2007






其实,当我更认识一个机构后,有时,是因更了解而更失望。其实,这其中包含了因为很多个“为什么”。。。但,为什么不去问呢?道理很简单,因为,问了也是没用, 没有答案的。

简单的看,就是为了个“争”字 - 争一口气? 争“名”?争“功”。。。到头来,只会保护自己,而忘了大局。其实,为什么要“争"呢?大家做的,还不是为了同一个机构吗?“争"是为了得到认同?赞赏? 是为了可以出线吗?是为了把别人比下去吗?难道,是为了显示自己的“权" 吗?唉!失望!



两个部门主管之间的“争", 是无人不知的。时不时就会出现对指的场面;时不时会看到明显的“偏”;有时,还看到同样的东西出现双胞胎!那时,费时又费力的事!这同事造成了有些同时有样学样。。。