Life

On a Monday autumn morning when the sun is out!

I have posted before that I was “forbidden” from doing any sort of cardio exercises early in the morning at home (http://intodifferentphasesoflife.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/no-freedom-even-if-you-are-at-your-own-home/). So for weeks I’ve been plotting an alternatives, in my head. I went out to find a “good spot” in order to execute my plan. I have some places in mind but haven’t had the will to do it yet. Partly also because the weather had been crappy since the “complaint” was last made by my neighbour.

This morning, I woke up having wars in my head whether I should already get up and do yogalates at home. But the blinds told me otherwise: “It is a beautiful sunny morning.”

So … I just got it out of my head and went out to explore my alternatives.I went to the nearest park, which is literally just about 400 feet from my house, to see if it is feasible to do that there. Well, to my dismay, there were 2 big guys doing what I wanted to do. One is a PT and the other, you know, someone like me. Sure, there’s no conflict of me doing my thing there whilst they do their thing. But the shy me decided to turned around before they spotted me. I don’t think I can co-exist with them fearing the PT will comment on my activity or that I’d need his help.

So I walked to the other park, which is just 0.3 miles from my house. I didn’t know what to expect but just walked nonetheless. When I left the house, I just thought that if I didn’t get to do the cardio today, I will just walk as a form my exercise. No harm done since it is a beautiful sunny morning.

First I saw the wood, which is great. A big field hidden behind tall bushes, no one there. I should be all right from being scrutinised by passersby. I walked in, and there were four elderly chatting and walking their dogs. I ignored them and tried to look for the perfect spot. I need a place to put my tablet and found a picnic table. I went over and tried it out, but a bit too far and glaring for me to see anything. And those four people were still there, the field is too big for them to walk any quicker.

Anyway, I decided this isn’t the right spot. I packed and walk to the park next to it. There is a playground for kids, but also some fixated gym machines, i.e. steppers and an exercise bike. The playground is fitted with mat for kids in case they fall over. The park is big, so I moved on but before I walked further, I saw this little spot inside the playground. The ground is tarred, perfect for workout. The grass on the field is wet due to the recent rainfalls. I need somewhere drier. And what’s more this spot has a bench at the end of it. I have to check it out!

The moment I got there, I knew this is the right spot. I set up my tablet, and opened workouts I saved in it. I could hardly hear it but the vision is just perfect. So I started to do my workout here! Perfect!! My back is facing a walking path at the field, which is fine by me. I am facing the big field, which nobody would walk on it. The walking path in front of me, is too far for me to bother. I mean the last thing I want is distraction. I know people walking at the path behind me stopped and looked, but I didn’t see them. So I am not too bothered.

Now I just wish and pray that it won’t rain early in the morning. I don’t mind to go out even if it is not sunny but if it is going to rain, then I’ll do the workout at home. Just have to do something less noisy like yoga or pilates.

IMG_20130916_085121_662

Advertisements
Categories: Exercise, Life, Motivation | Leave a comment

Happily Ever After? (Fiction)

“I don’t love you any more, do I, love?”
“No, love”, she replies, nonchalantly.

There was a brief pause and silence.

“Where am I, love?”
“We are at the hospital, Roy”.
“What are we doing here?” asked Roy again.
“We are here to see doctor. You had an accident few months ago, and now we need to come back for your follow-up.”

I stood and observed the conversation between this couple. When Roy was admitted to the hospital few months ago in an accident, his head was all bloody. He was conscious and kept on insisting that he had to get home to his wife. It was his wife’s birthday. He has planned a surprise for her birthday. But the paramedics knew too well that his condition wasn’t good. Roy didn’t realise the jelly-like on his hair had caused much alarmed to the paramedics.

Well it was still a surprise, except it wasn’t a pleasant one. His wife was all tears when she was at the hospital. Her frail body was supported by her friends who were summoned by Roy a day before for her surprise birthday party. Typical. She could barely speak nor stand when she was attempting to listen attentively to what the doctor had to say to her.

The doctors shook their head and told her to prepare for the worst. Roy was unconscious now despite all the best efforts of the doctors to stitch him back. He looked lifeless on the bed. Eve cried uncontrollably but composed. Perhaps her frail body was too weak, she eventually passed out from the cries. Her friends had to take her and let her rest on the chair.

I could not do much except to observe from afar. My tears were rolling down too without my realisation. They are the most loving couple I have ever known in my life. How could one of them be gone, forever? That is not true. The God is testing them, again. Roy does not look like one who has such a short life. That is not Roy on the life supporting machine now.

Roy and Eve had gone through a lot to be together. Roy’s mother is a superstitious person. She disliked Eve for no reasons, as far as I am concerned. All I could guess was she must be some kind of control freak. She dislikes any girls who go out with her sons. It wasn’t just Eve her mother “attacked”. Roy’s brother, Sam, had the same predicament. She “attacked” Roy’s sister-in-law, then Sam’s girlfriend too.

Eve had gone through tremendous mental torture from her. Every evening at almost the same time she will be going home from work, his mother would drive to her apartment to stalk her. She always get a tip off from either Sam or Roy’s sister, Manny. This always set her in fear and she would then have to stay longer in the office, until she got the “clearance” from Roy.

There was a time, Roy’s mom would come knock on every door in her apartment as she didn’t know which unit she lived in. She knelt before the security guards and pretended to cry begging them to let her in. That was one fateful night that Eve couldn’t escape this torment. She found her unit eventually, and she too knelt before Eve begging her to let go of her son. Eve could see her crocodile tears and also begged her to go. It was the most embarrassing moment in her life. It was as if Eve was having an affair with a married man and now his wife came to beg her to let her husband go. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

There was another incident whereby his mother waited for Roy at Eve’s apartment. The moment she saw Roy came out from the apartment, she went berserk. In one hand, she was holding a lighter and another was a bottle of liquid. Roy didn’t know what it was until she pour on her very own son. Roy smelt petrol and immediately backed-off when he saw his very own mother tried to lit up the lighter. She was screaming and shouting something, which Eve couldn’t hear clearly from afar. She was so afraid but before she could do anything, the security guards came to the rescue and threw Roy’s mom out from the compound. Roy was furious rather than scared.

After that incident, Roy decided to move out of his own house and found a place far away from his mom. He took Eve with him as he knew his mom wouldn’t let Eve go. And so they moved to another country, to where they are now. They got married and as the fairy tales go, happily ever after.

Or do they?

Categories: Life, Short Story | Leave a comment

What I Learnt About Myself: My past experience

Into different phases of life

Since I have figured out how introverted I am, although I still feel I have this compelling urge to decode the other 3 dichotomies of my personality based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), i.e. intuition, feeling and perception, I can’t help to feel a bit disorientated. I thought by discovering I am an introvert, I could at least start to figure how I can move forward or at least have formed a direction of how I could move forward. So I started to question myself whether this is important or whether it would make any difference to my future if I didn’t decode it. Or is it just how I am? Would I be wasting another few days, weeks or months to figuring this out? I don’t know to be honest.

I continued to research and read about MBTI, amongst others including those articles reportedly how bollocks the MBTI assessments…

View original post 716 more words

Categories: Life | Leave a comment

What I learnt about myself from “Quiet: The Introvert

Into different phases of life

I have mentioned in my last posting, I am an introvert. What I didn’t mention was I am a 100% introvert. How did I know? I took Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment of personality to assess how we experience the world and make decisions, an extenstion of Carl Jung typology theories. How accurate is it? I thought it was very accurate, but further reaffirmed after I started to read “Quiet” written by Susan Cain. (http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/)

I knew that I am an introvert for a very long time and I thought I understood it. Yet since I have started this soul searching mission, there are a lot of things about me that I kept on wondering why and what does it behold. I didn’t put any dotted lines between the fact that I am an introvert and these different things I was wondering. My instincts told me that there are something…

View original post 1,325 more words

Categories: Life | Leave a comment

What I learnt About Myself – Challenge 1: Food bank collection volunteer

Into different phases of life

I signed as a volunteer for a charity drive to collect food items at one of Tesco Metro shops. I was placed at the exit point of the counter, i.e. to collect food items donated by customers, which also marks the end of their shopping trip. There was another person stationed at the entrance to either give out leaflets or to create the awareness of such activity.

The charity organisation that drives such campaign is Fareshare. It is a non-profit organisation with a mission to fight hunger in the UK by re-distributing surplus food to over 900 charities across the UK, such as home shelters for homeless people, children’s breakfast and elderly luncheons. Surplus food is food produced in excess, either due to poor planning, over-forecast, wrong labelling or simply just not good enough to be shelved in the supermarket. These surplus food items are normally fresh food such as…

View original post 1,248 more words

Categories: Life | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

What’s next after what’s next?

Since I have written my first blog on what’s next after I have resigned and now in unemployment, I have been searching and searching. I did search externally by attending few talks and trying to find out what or more importantly how I could find my next moves. I have attended a career planning seminar, which I have also written about it on my blog (https://gooly2012.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/5-pence-in-life/), an entrepreneurs networking session, a career fair which targeted at women and moms, etc. Mind you, all of these were free events and I didn’t have to pay a penny, except my transportations and coffee.

I also borrowed a lot of books from my local library and did a lot of research online, reading etc. A lot of these provide good advises, practical but definitely require a lot of actions. When I resigned from my last job, I gave an excuse of wanting to pursuing study. Well not quite an excuse since it did hold to a certain extent the truth of my intentions. What do I want to study? Where do I want to study? These are the few questions my last boss asked me. I told him proudly “Psychology” but not quite decided where to study. I told him I needed to do more research. I want to do something completely different to what I have done for the last 10 years.

But why Psychology? Do you want to work with people with mental problems?

Not quite exactly what I intended to do. Obviously when I declared that I wanted to study psychology, I thought I knew about the profession. The fact is I didn’t. I have no idea what exactly how the career world is like for those who have done psychology.

So I started to research. Of course the first step would be the universities. It was a pure intention to enrolling to courses, Master degree as I don’t wish to waste any more time to start all over again. But all Master courses require a foundation degree or diploma in Psychology. I don’t have any of those.

So I took myself back on the journey of how I started to become an Internal Auditor without following through the traditional route, i.e. doing a Chartered Accountant. I still survived today in this profession although not without any hardships.

I went to a talk organised by The Institute of Internal Auditor in Malaysia one evening after work when I was still working in PwC in Malaysia. That talk changed my life indeed as I was determined to enrol and take the Certified in Internal Auditor exam. Is that a short cut for me? Maybe but more importantly I always like to be different or to be the minority. So in this psychology route, I was wondering whether I could do something similar?

I looked at the syllabus of the psychology courses offered in most major universities in the UK. To be honest after reading the content, I was less motivated to study Psychology. It sounded boring to me and I did wonder whether I really want to study that? I wasn’t sure, in particular when I was told that I have to either spend 3 -4 years in Bachelor’s degree in order to gain an entry to the Master degree. I am not young anymore and definitely not prepared to be out of job for so long. Then to my aghast, I have to spend another 3 years in order to be able to gain myself into that uptight psychology profession. Do I want to do that?

I went to a “Clinical Psychology” talk in March without knowing what exactly the talk was about. In a way, it was similar to the Internal Audit talk I went to many years ago, which helped me to decide to go into that route. However this talk was different. It didn’t quite have the same impact on me. It was in fact on the contrary, I wanted to get out of the room almost immediately. The presenters were from NHS working as a clinical psychologist. Whilst their work is undeniably demand respect, they are to me somewhat uptight. And I really can’t envision myself being one.

There was only one clinical psychologist to-be who has all the charms a normal human being have. That was because he has had more than 10 years of odd jobs life experience. He decided to try himself out in clinical psychology eventually. He graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology but decided to do something different apart from the psychologists route. He has a breadth of life experience, facing and dealing with people of which he must have acquired some other soft skills that other conventional psychologists don’t have. Then again, I don’t know anyone who works in that field. So I can’t quite conclude that psychologists lack the normal human nature. Would they?

I wonder if psychologists will view all human beings as a subject of study? I think if I am one of them, I would. Would I then lost that normal human touch? The normal human interaction without passing any judgments consciously or sub-consciously? Then again, even when I am not one, I am a very judgemental person and I would boxed people up in different categories. So I guess it is not to do with the profession, but more so of my own restrictive knowledge of human mind and mental and behaviour.

Now after having done some research of psychology discipline, from what I thought I know about to a confucious state of mind due to the number of schools of thoughts to different associations in the UK market, abd to varying degrees of specialisation, I can only conclude now that I am ever more confused than before the research. I wonder if it is me who is just being so green in this field or that discipline itself is so diverse that opens to interpretation and practices? Do I want to be in that field that I couldn’t even understand to begin with?

So I am back to the basic question. Why do I want to study Psychology? Can I really work as a psychologist? There are a lot of not so glamourous about this profession and practice. Can I afford to do that?

Why do I want to study psychology?

The first thing I thought about was I wanted to understand human and in that process I can only do so if I study the discipline and the subject. But most importantly I want to help people to solve their problems. Or could I? I don’t aspire to work with those with serious mental illness. I guess I only want to work with people with mental health problem. It is a big difference as mental health problems, to my limited knowledge, are what we are facing in our normal life, i.e. stress given either by ourselves, society or perceived demands. I could be having mental health problems and so is anyone around us.

But I am more interested in helping people to unleash their potentials and optimise it. That brings me to career counseling. I do enjoy doing that. When my friend and I were choosing for our universities and programmes many years ago, I knew instantly what I wanted to do or where to do it, with the restrictions I have. I managed to decide that on my own and on top of that, helped my friend or rather pushed my friend to go for her opportunity to study abroad. That gave me a sense of satisfaction as  if she was living my dream of studying abroad.

Then later in my breathing years, I also helped another newly acquainted friend to steer his direction of study and eventually choice of career. I did so by the combination my observation and analysis of his personality, behaviour, thinking method, etc. He is now doing that and fingers crossed that I have given the right advice.

So what gave me the nerves to do that? I have no idea but just pure gut feeling. So I must be either good in this or people just basically need some push in order to pursue what they think they want or they really want to pursue.

But is that really what I want to do then? I don’t know but that sense of satisfaction is definitely there.

I bought a book “Jung” many moons ago and only  now I have the will to read the book. It is about Carl Jung, his early days in the profession, his relationship with Sigmund Freud, etc. More interestingly, I could associate with him or more specifically he had done something what I am doing now. No surprise as he was in the psychology field, you may think. But what I didn’t know was when he was in his late 30s, he had withdrawn himself from the world to do some internal search. Exactly what I am doing now. Mid life crisis he labelled that. Not so much of because of menopause, or because of old age. More so of what exactly my life is about.

He explored his own unconscious mind, through his dreams and fantasies. So I am following this now. All of sudden, I realised that it wasn’t a change of career that I am looking for to satisfy my own self existence. It is searching internally, what exactly am I looking for in a broader context. What does my “mask” tell me about me or what is my “persona”, my animus, my partner choice of me as his spouse, etc.

The journey of within continues……

Categories: Career, Life, Mind | Leave a comment

Neuro Linguistic Programme (NLP) And My Workout

I have heard of this term for many years but haven’t had the urge or any reasons to understand it. I thought it is just another gimmicky self-help and personal development technique in the market. Somehow I was given a “Going for Gold – Change Your Life with NLP” material written by Jimmy Petruzzi. This material was sent to me as part of the Diet and Nutrition Advisor Diploma: Train to become a Nutritionist course I signed up to study.

Prior to this, I have borrowed a book on NLP but thought the book wasn’t written very well or perhaps at that point of time, I wasn’t ready to accept NLP or that I didn’t manage to grasp the concept very well. Somehow this Going For Gold article, although there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors, the article was interactive or engaging. I was able to associate it to myself in one way or another. Perhaps it was written with personal experience of the author and along the line, there are few examples of his clients whose problems or issues resembled mine.

One exercise that I gave it a try but didn’t really expect any results out of it, was the following (all copied from this material, with my own input in response to the instructions given):

Here are the steps to the New Behaviour Generator: Technique to assist you in overcoming negative behaviour and unwanted bad habits. First decide on a behaviour you would like to change and decide on a new behaviour to replace it.

I have chosen to build a new behaviour to be an active person, to love exercise. The unwanted bad habit is to exercise with pain, less enthusiasm, and feel heavy. As a result, I give up the exercise within the first 20 mins or so. I want to replace this habit to an active me who enjoy the exercises with enthusiasm. I want to be able to do the exercise or workout in hours. One followed by another. I just want to be that active person.

1. Think of a time you demonstrated that behaviour you would like, or choose a role model that has the behaviour, skills or abilities that you want for yourself. i.e. confident, motivated, excellent public speaker.

A role model I have chosen is my former Manager, Josephine, who to me is someone who lives her life to the fullest, enjoy outdoor and indoor physical activities and enjoy meeting people. She is my role model and I really would like to be like her, to enjoy life as should have been. Have a big group of friends to enjoy similar activities, and not only able to survive in any situation but she masters it. It seems to me that there’s nothing impossible in her life. Nothing that she can’t do. A very bright person, good looking and confident.

I also thought about a time I demonstrated that behaviour, i.e. enjoyed an exercise or workout, That was few years ago when I was working in the same company with her, we both participated in the annual sports day, and we played netball. It was a team work and I was the defender of the team. We practiced every week to foster and nurture team spirit and cohesiveness. I was able to lose weight for that period of time due the fact that I was exercising hard, run hard without feeling much of the pain. I was having fun indeed. So I want to be that person again to do my daily routine exercise or workout at home. Yes, because I am not working now and no income, I have to cut back on these substitutable expenses. If I really want to exercise, I don’t need to go to gym or pay money to do that. I have the right resources at home, i.e. a TV set, a set of different workouts, space and most importantly time. I don’t have any reason that I can’t do exercise at home. Yes, there will need a lot of self-motivation to start the workout, and yes, there won’t be any other people whom I can talk to or connect with. It is all about myself. I do need to build this new habit into me. If I could, I would be able to do exercise no matter what the circumstances are.

2. Close your eyes and visualize yourself or that person in action. Watch it like a movie in your mind. See how you or they look, how you or they use their body, how you or they use their posture; how you or they stand, walk, and sit. Pay close attention. Hear how you or they talk, what you or they say, and how you or they say it.

And so I closed my eyes, and visualised myself doing the action. I was dancing gracefully to the workout on the TV set, I practiced the steps in my head, and I didn’t feel any pain in my legs, or felt heavy when I jumped up and down. I was able to enjoy the workout as I should be. My arms were swinging forward and backward whilst my legs were doing box set, or jumping, or skipping or even running. I then did the Salsa moves, and Cha Cha Cha. I was having fun doing it. And of course, I visualised myself to be slimmer me and able to move gracefully.  I was all smiling when doing this.

On top of this instruction, I added additional element to it. Somehow I looked at the reality, the usual me. How did I normally behaved when I did those workouts. I was heavy, panting, painful legs due to the spurbony growth, and aching muscles. I didn’t enjoy the workout at all although I know I have to do it.  I have to build the new habit, my mind instructing me. If I could get into the routines, I would be able to continue it everday.  If I didn’t do it for one day, I should feel uneasy as if I didn’t brush my teeth in the morning, or took shower everyday, or ate or even went to the toilet like I have to whenever I have the urge. It should give me a cold turkey. But this is the big ultimate goal that I have set myself stopped before I achieve the goal. That is the real me. I am not committed to the goal and I am just weak. Will power!

3. Ask yourself: do you really want to adopt this behaviour to change the old one? Confirm that it is what you want for yourself.

Obviously I wanted to do that. I want that new me in that visualisation I had. I want to be that active person who recognise no pain during the workout but full of enthusiasm enjoying the workout.

4. See yourself as the model or yourself conducting this choice of behaviour. You have stepped into the role model’s place. You are watching yourself do as the model does. You have taken over the role and are acting exactly like your role model. Or imagine reliving a time you did the preferred behaviour.

When I came to this step, I had already done it in Step 2. So I just reinforced the image of me doing that.

5. Do you feel any negativity come up within you when you watch yourself? Any doubts that you are capable of doing as the model does or producing your new behaviour? Go through them one by one and adjust them, or adjust your action in the movie, until you are happy with what you see and hear in this new behaviour. Feel positive and confident in your abilities.

When I watched myself in that visualisation, I didn’t see any negativity. However when I took that reality steps, I did. I saw the non-committal me who just gave up after 10-20 mins of workout, because I was telling myself that I was out of breath, and my legs were painful.

6. Mentally step inside the picture. You are now inside your movie image, looking through your own eyes. You are no longer watching yourself. You are doing the new behaviour just as you did it in the past or the model did it. How does it feel to perform this new behaviour or be this person with these new behaviours? How does your body feel? How is your posture? What do you hear? How does your voice sound to you?

Again, I have done it in Step 2. I felt alive doing the workout, sweating and energised. I heard myself laughing and saw myself smilling.

7. Imagine a future situation where you want to behave this way. Put yourself there. Look through your own eyes at this situation. You are the star of this movie and behaving in the new way! Is it all working? Do you need to make any adjustments?

8. Open your eyes and come to the present moment.

9. Imagine that you are now the new you with the new behaviour. Get up and walk around as the new model. Walk the walk and talk the talk as they say. How does it feel? Building new pathways in the mind is a great way to adopt a new behaviour, one way I like to put it is re patterning existing negative thought process and replacing it with a more productive level of thinking, even by doing this technique it can be powerful enough to move us forward into a more productive thought process and outcome.

So I have followed through step 1 to 9, but it didn’t just stop there. I didn’t think of what I have done would bring any results.

Yet when it was already 4 pm in the afternoon and I felt that I needed a break from the laptop and the virtual world, I changed into my exercise gear and turned on the TV and the workout channel, almost habitually. I chose “Pump It Up Dance workout”, which I had been doing for the last few days without success. It was a high intensity workout which I normally could only last for about 7-10 mins before I paused to take my breath or changed to another workout. If I could continue, I would only do so for another 5 -10 mins as I was too tired to follow through then.

Somehow this time, I was doing it with energy, and the first break I had was in about 20 mins after some jumping and running. I drank water, and took my  breath and continued on for another 15 mins or so. I have stepped into a workout zone which I haven’t done or even seen before as normally I would have either changed to watch another channel or to an easier fitness ball workout, which I didn’t manage to last for more than 10 mins. Cheating myself I guess.

Although I didn’t finish all the sections of the workout, i.e. I had skipped the peak of the intensity of the workout at the 40th minute, I still managed to do a full 1  hour workout intermittently.

I didn’t realise the impact of this new behaviour visualisation until I went to bed that night, still marvelling at my great effort in the afternoon. I was thinking of that moment when I felt great when I was taking a break, that first drop of sweat dripped from my forehead and I felt alive! I hungered for more sweat and I wanted to do more. So after a few mins break, I continued on with the workout. To taste more sweat. I want to feel wet, not pornographically, but really sweat wet.

I will from now on visualise this exercise and feeling every day so that I could build this new regime, new habit, new behaviour  in my life. I will remember that taste of first sweat in my workout yesterday!

Categories: Exercise, Life, Mind, Motivation, New Habit, NLP | 2 Comments

What is your thinking style?

I am reading a book entitled “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Happiness” by Ruth Searle. One of the chapters is “Discover your personal thinking style”. When we are referring to the thinking style, it is more often than not associated with whether you are a left- or right-brainer. From young up until now, I am fairly certain I am a left-brain thinker, i.e. my thinking process is more on “the logical, sequential, linear and rational, organised, verbal expression, writing, and reading” style. I always like to expand my right-brain as well, i.e. to become more creative, intuitive, abstract, random, feelings, etc, because I am dead certain I am not much of a right brainer person. But at least I know I have brain!

In the book, there is a test to help the readers to ascertain if you are a right- or left-brainer . 20 sets of words or statements are listed and all you have to do is to choose which best describe yourself. I chose based on what I thought I am and surprise, surprise! The test results actually indicated I am predominantly a right-brain thinker! How bizarre. Here is the 10 2 sets of words/ statements, and choose which one best describes you.

Q1: A) Studying/ Reading B) Warm

I chose (A) – Column 1

Q2 A) Imaginative B) Analytical

I chose (B) – Column 1

Q3 A) Sensitive B) Precise

I chose (A) – Column 2

Q4 A) Feeling B) Speaking

I chose (A) – Column 2

Q5 A) Science B) Intuition

I chose (B) – Column 2

Q6 A) Factual B) Arts

I chose (A) – Column 1

Q7 A) Untidy B) Organised

I chose (A) – Column 2

Q8 A) Numbers B) Thinking

I chose (B) – Column 2

Q9 A) Creative B) Cool

I chose (B) – Column 1

Q10 A) Competitive B) Spontaneous

I chose (B) – Column 2

I have 6 column 2 and 4 column 1. (There are only 2 columns, so if your answers differ from mine, then yours will be on the opposite column). With higher total in column 2, this indicates I am predominantly a right-brain thinker, random, creative, and intuitive. Although it is just by 60/40 mark, the result definitely gave me a big question of how much do I know myself. Before taking the test, I thought it would have been a 90/10 or 80/20 mark, which both would have indicated I am a predominantly left-brain thinker.

So maybe I should start working on my left-brain to make my brain more balance? Or should I continue to work on the right-brain to strengthen my skills? Ironically I thought I have been working in a profession which requires more of a left-brain than right-brain thinking.

I am so confused now! Is this why I always self-doubt my performance at work? Should that be the case, I have been working my left-brain for the last 10 years. I do hate numbers although ironically I study accounting. Again, it was a wrong decision to do that, and I definitely think the career choice back in my schooling days weren’t great. They always associate an accounting profession with mathematics or solving problems. Let me stress that it is not the case! In fact accounting has nothing to do with the fact that you can calculate well. You can add, subtract, multiply or divide. You just have to know how to punch the calculator or computer in order to get the equations. Interest in mathematics or statistics does not mean you have interest in accounts! And I don’t deal with numbers! Why I like math is because the logic, the equations, the fact that if I can solve a problem that gives me a hyper level satisfaction! Whereas accounting, you can only do so if you manage to balance the balance sheet or trial balance. Both does not require any problem solving skills, but you just have to be conscious what has gone into the debit or credit. It is a balancing act, and to a certain extent, creativity! Ok, creative accounting is not quite encouraged from auditing or perhaps legal point of view. So I wouldn’t go into details anymore and in fact, I have diverted the topic.

Back to the thinking style. In the book, there is another table to suggest how to develop left- or right brain once you have identified with the 10 of 2 sets of words or statements earlier. So for me, I should be developing my left-brain more by doing the following activities:

a) Keep a diary of my daily activities and organise my week 

Ok, I don’t really keep a diary of my daily activities and organise my week. Well I like to be a bit more free – (Ok, it is the first indication of me being a non-left brainer) 

b) Read newspaper and factual books

I do read factual books and newspaper. In fact I have lost interest on fiction novels now. – so that is one tick! 

c) Put together a speech or presentation on my favourite subject

Public speaking?? That makes me legs jelly! 

d) Organise your finances on a computer spreadsheet 

Ok, I am an accounting undergraduate, but I hate to manage finance. I have my own “finance manager” at home, so I wouldn’t need to do that myself!  

e) Make a list of items you need in order to redecorate a room, or a list of plants you would put in the garden

I may do this if I have my own house later. Would I make a list? Erm…maybe not. I think I would just see what decorative items are easy to clean but pretty at the same time. Why would I want to put a list of what I need to decorate the house? And plants?.. ermm… 

Right I should be doing these if I want to develop my left-brain! Keep that in mind. 

f) Make a “Mind Map” of your goals and plans and list ways you would achieve them 

Yup I was supposed to do that too after attended the career planning seminar. I started to scribble something, well, not quite finish yet. Mind mapping may be a good way to continue it. At least that is more fun than just answering the questions. Well those are thoughts provoking questions but I just haven’t had the quiet moment to do that yet. Quiet internally. 

g) Write a list of all the new experiences in life you want to try out 

I like this exercise. I could be listing all sorts of experiences that I like to try out. In fact, I have been doing that, well not quite writing it down but thinking about doing it. But whether I have done- or will do it or not, that is another set of questions! (Why can’t I commit??!!!) 

h) Go to the library and explore the internet to find out as much as you can about an interesting new hobby 

Surely I can do it at home? I have internet at home. Sorry, I think the key words are “new hobby” and not where I do the research. Ok, I will think of a new hobby later on. Then again, I did pick up a new hobby 2-3 years ago, i.e. photography and purchased 1 DLSR camera (well 2 actually as the first one was stolen). So how is that going to help with the left-brain activity? Where is the element that is going to help me to develop my left-brain? In fact when I started this hobby, I thought it is a good way for me to expand my right-brain as it requires creativity and artistic eyes to certain extent in order to capture that beautiful moment. In fact, I felt it is a powerful tool for me to express my creativity. It may not be to the professional standard, but I do feel satisfied with the results. And I insist on not “photoshop” them as it will not be “natural” anymore. I may do some colour adjustments to enhance it but will definitely not anything more than than. 

i) Write plans and lists of things to do every day 

I again have some vague idea of what I want to do every day especially this time of my life. Waking up clueless of what I am going to do for the day is suffering. So before I went to bed yesterday, I thought about what I want to do today. Which I did, just haven’t started yet. It is only mid-day and I should be doing it later. 

There you go the whole long list of to-do to develop my left-brain. My reactions to each of the activity did somehow indicate I am a right-brain thinker. How stupid am I?  So let’s look at what activities to develop the right-brain and whether I have the same reaction I had with the left-brain thinker activities.

1) Keep a diary of your feelings 

That is quite accurate. I would rather write about my feelings than what my daily activities are. 

2) Write a short story and read more fiction

I love writing short story, although not quite successful, as I don’t have good juicy stories or ways to play with words. I always think that will be a good read if my vocabulary is better. And I have been reading fictions since young although as I mentioned earlier, I prefer to read non-fiction now. How ignorant am I not to realise that this actually indicates I am a right-brainer?!! 

3) Learn to paint and draw

When I was young, I did take up art classes, although only lasted for a month or less. In fact, I hate art classes in school. I didn’t quite enjoy painting or drawing as I think I don’t have the talent. I would love to draw though. I remember when I was young and free, I would take a poster of my idol, Tony Leung and drew his portrait with pencil. I thought I did quite well. But I don’t know where that drawing is anymore. 

4) Make something with clay

Ok, I haven’t tried this one before. But then again, I did want to make something out of plasticine but it always left my hands with oil or sticky feeling. I guess plasticine in my era wasn’t as good as what it is now. I am quite amazed with the play doh nowadays. Very creative. 

5) Redesign a room in your house or your garden

Similar to (5) in right-brainer activities, I would do so when I have my own house. I do day-dream what kitchen I like to have. With an island in the middle of the kitchen and a big work top so that I can do whatever cooking there. What colour I like? Doesn’t matter as long as easy to clean. Which means I wouldn’t want my stove to be near the wall at all!

6) Make a “Mind Map” of your feelings  about your life and how you would feel if you changed things

Again this is something I always do although not necessarily “mind mapping”. Just thinking abstractly but never really put things in place. 

7) Write a story of yourself and your life and what you want to achieve

I have written a few postings here already!

8) Visualise yourself doing something new and exciting

I am always doing it. Again, I only visualise but never really got to doing it. 

9) Daydream more often

Right, day dreaming! I don’t know if I realise I do that or not. I do think that I don’t day dream too much. Maybe I should. Hmm… 

Right, after having done this last exercise, I think I am indeed a left-brain thinker than a right-brain thinker than I always thought I was. Very interesting exercise! (I wonder this exercise would help me to develop my right brain).

And I wonder if that could help me to steer my future direction, regardless in my current profession or in a completely different profession? I hope I can figure out very soon!

Categories: Career, Life, Thinking Style | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Stuffed Chestnut Mushrooms with Minced Prawn

IMG_20130323_185228_069

Yong tau foo is one of my favourite food. Whilst it is not easy to find delicious home made yong tau fu in Kuala Lumpur, thankfully there are still good yong tau fu in Ipoh.

I have been trying to recreate yong tau foo in my home in London and still searching for the best fishes to do so. However I didn’t stop at fishes only, I also tried prawns, which is just the right ingredient for yong tau foo too. I have tried to stuff with fried taufu, which is absolutely delicious. I bought some chestnut mushrooms the other day and when I saw the size, I thought I could also try to stuff with the paste. And voila! It is another to die for dish. The recipe is fairly easy and shouldn’t be too difficult to make. All you need is some love and patient! And this is a very versatile dish. You can stuff the paste with anything, such as aubergine, fried or non-fried taufu, bean curd sheet, bitter gourd, ladies fingers or okra, or just eat it on its own.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

250g prawns, shells removed and deveined

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks of spring onion, diced

salt and white pepper to taste

1 tsp sesame oil

cornflour

For the sauce:

garlic, finely diced

oyster sauce

chestnut mushroom stalks, finely diced

10 chestnut mushroom

Methods:

1. Before you work on the minced meat, let’s focus on the diced carrots first. As prawns cooked fairly quickly, what I did was to blanch the diced carrots for about 15-20 mins in boiled water. Don’t boil the carrots as this may soften the carrots too much. By blanching, the carrots will be partially cooked and its crunchiness is retained. You need this texture in the paste to add another dimension to your dish.

2. In the meantime, you can move on to the prawns. Once the shells and vein of the prawns have been removed, you can either use a heavy knife to “mince” the prawn till it forms paste, which I like to use. Or you if you have a food processor, you can process the prawns in it. Just be careful not to process the meat too much till it becomes mousse. Not quite the right texture you want.

3. Season the prawn paste with salt, pepper, cornflour and water. Mix it evenly and then add a dash of sesame oil and mix again. Once you have done so, the fun part begins. Take a big enough bowl and by using a clean hand, scoop out the paste and raise it about 15-20 cm from the bowl, throw the minced prawn to the bowl. This is the secret to having bouncy meat balls. (I am still trying to find out the actual reason of how this will help the minced meat to become bouncy). Try it and you will love it. Again the texture will be different to normal minced meat balls. Repeat this for 10-20 times.  Once this is done, place the minced prawn in a bowl, wrap it with cling film and put in the fridge while proceeding on with the following steps.

4. I use chestnut mushroom because it has nutty flavour than normal white button mushroom. Shiitake mushroom can be used as well, but it may not have the right shape to stuff the paste. If there are black dirts on the mushrooms, remove it with clean cloth or tissue. Once all have been checked and removed, run the mushrooms quickly in cold running water. Wipe the mushrooms with a clean kitchen towel or kitchen tissue. Then remove the stalks so that you can stuff it with the paste. But don’t throw the stalks away as you need it for sauce later on. Or if you want to use it for other dishes, by all means. Just don’t waste food.

5. Now you can take out the paste from the fridge. Mix the paste with the blanched carrots and spring onion. If you like other types of vegetable, make sure it has the right crunchiness and flavour. If I were to do this dish in Malaysia, I’d add water chestnuts.

6. Once it is all evenly mixed, heat up the pan or wok and pour in a small dash of oil. What you are going to do next is to taste it. You just want to make sure that you have seasoned the paste enough. So drop in few bits of the mixed paste and wait till it cooks. Taste it and add salt or pepper if necessary.

7. Again, wash your hand and in a fairly large bowl, pour cold water in it. This is for you to dip your hand in if the paste is sticking to your hand or fingers. You will be using your hand to work with the paste  a lot.

8. Once you are ready, scoop a handful of paste in your hand and form a smooth ball while pushing some paste through your thumb and index fingers. Use a spoon with the other hand to scoop out the paste from the thumb and index fingers. Stuff this formed prawn ball paste into the mushroom. Repeat till all  mushrooms are stuffed. As the final touch, wet your index,  middle and ring fingers with water and smooth the top of the paste. It should have shiny effect. Also you can use this opportunity to press the paste down to ensure it is tightly stuffed.

9. Now you can start to pan fried the paste and mushroom. Turn on the heat and add a dash of oil to the pan. First put the stuffed mushroom with the minced prawn facing down to the pan first. Fried till it brown. And turn the stuffed mushrooms over so to brown or cook the mushrooms. Remember to pan fry these with medium heat as you don’t want to burn it. You may need to cover the pan at this juncture to ensure the prawn is cooked thoroughly. You can obviously take one out and cut to see if it is all cooked, but by covering the pan for 5-10 mins, the prawn should be cooked.

10. Plate the mushroom and don’t worry if the mushrooms start to water. With the same pan, saute the garlic, and diced mushroom and add oyster sauce to taste. Pour it over the stuffed mushroom and enjoy!

Categories: Life, Mushrooms, Prawn, Recipe | Leave a comment

Big 4 World Tour Concert in London! (The Hong Kong singers!)

IMG_1991

I was lucky enough to win two tickets to watch Big 4 concert in The O2, London. It was the 3rd time I watched concert in London. Eason Chan’s,  the first ever Chinese concert held in the O2, thanks to Orientouch Entertainment, was the first concert I watched in London. This followed shortly by NKOTBSB’s concert, performed by New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys.

We  took our DSLR camera the first time we went for concert in the O2, but we almost risked our camera of being “confiscated” by the security at the entrance. They in the end gave it back to us with a condition that we won’t use the camera during the concert. So for the next concerts onwards, we decided not to bring the camera again.

However, the situation in Big 4 concert was slightly less rigid. There were a lot of people with DSLR camera and some with big lenses. How did they get pass the security line I have no idea. I just felt stupid for not bringing my DSLR.

Our seat. It was Block B, Row 112, entrance H. To our pleasant surprise, it was the 2nd row from the ground floor and very near to the stage. I just wonder how many more free tickets were given out.
The venue was half covered with cloth, which means that only half of the venue was filled with audiences. But our rough guess was there must be at least 5,000 audiences.

IMG_2090

At 8 pm, the light was finally dimmed and the drums started to roll with the countdown from 10 to 4 only! The Big 4 kicked off the concert with high powered song entitled 大家利事 (I haven’t heard before this concert), with one by one emerged to the stage.  The following picture was taken after they have sung the first song.

From left to right, Andy Hui (許志安), Edmond Leong (梁漢文), Dicky Cheung (張衛健) and William So (蘇永康).

IMG_2001

They were busy debating whether Dicky would still be able to spring off the ground while lying on his back (i.e. by bending arms and put palms on the ground above head, bend knees and bring them to chest. Then thrust legs up and out while pushing off with hands. Back is arched as launch and snap upright when feet hit the ground), as he did in his younger days in a singing competition. To answer their challenge, Dicky volunteered to give £200 to a lucky audience should he failed to do so. ( I later found out that he paid HKD3,000, which is almost equivalent to £300!!).

IMG_2006

So Dicky was getting ready to the act, (picture above) and the result??!! He managed to bounce up half way but fell back to his buttock! And so everyone in the concert was really ecstatic as a lucky person would not only able to go to the stage but to get his/ her hand on the £200. I didn’t let go of this chance too and kept on waving the light in my hand, attempting to attract their attention. But my light lost in thousands lights that night and my seat wasn’t exactly the convenient seat to go up to the stage.

Finally a chef by the name of Ah Lung won the price. However, he was also asked to perform the same movement, and he did! He managed to do it successfully!

Over the next few pictures were taken during their individual rendition of their own songs. First up was William So, who is better known for his fanciful glasses and fashion. I can’t recall the name of all songs he sang or the sequence that night, but my favourite were 那誰, 越吻越傷心,  來夜方長 and 男人不該讓女人流淚. Some of these songs were sang in a group, and by the other members.

IMG_2015

IMG_2063

Next up is Andy Hui’s pictures. He dressed up in pink, recounting his experience of learning piano 2 years ago. He started off by thanking Edmond Leong for encouraging him to take up piano lessons, and so he sang Edmond’s song as an appreciation. Then he continued on with William’s and was speechless when came to Dicky. He commented that Dicky didn’t encourage or add any value whatsoever in this case, but he played and sang Dicky’s infamous song, 哎呀哎呀親親你. He ended that session with his own song, 半天假. Other songs he sang that night, were 唯獨你是不可取替, 男人最痛, 世紀末煙花, etc.

IMG_2020

IMG_2023

Edmond Leung is probably the most low-profile person in the group. He has a quite a number of good songs which I like, such as 衣櫃裡的男人, 七友, and 纏綿遊戲. However,  he didn’t sing my favourite song, which he duets with Miriam Yeung, 滾, a powerful almost operatic performance from both singers.

IMG_2058

IMG_2059

Last but not least, Dicky. Unlike his other counterparts, Dicky didn’t release as many albums as. In fact, he is more well-known for his Monkey God character in TVB series, Wai Siu Bo and others Chinese series. However his talent as a stand-up comedian definitely filled in the gap of the night and cracked laughter from the floor. He also took the opportunity to express his love to his wife and dedicated a song to her. And perhaps he was the one who had the most outfits that night compared to the others. From outraging yellow outfit somewhat similar to a chick, to a modern twist of the renaissance European women costume. One of the most passionate topic he talked about that night was  Andy and Sammi Cheng’s relationship.

IMG_2032 IMG_2034 IMG_2030 IMG_2035

Now, my favourite moment of the entire night was when these four old men sang one of  TVB series, 天與地, songs,  年少無知, originally sung by Bowie Lam (林保怡)、Moses Chan (陳豪) and Kenny Wong, (黃德斌) and composed by Paul Wong from Beyond. They also mimic the group in performing the song, i.e. a band, with Dicky as the drummer, William So and Andy Hui as the guitarists and Edmond the pianist.

IMG_2045

The atmosphere of the night definitely heightened when two guests performed, especially for those who grew up with  Hong Kong music from the 80s till 2000s  era. Joey Tang, (鄧建明) a common face nowadays in most of Hong Kong artists’ concerts, one of the talented guitarists in Hong Kong music industry from a rock band  Tai Chi (太極)  and a 80s/ 90s singer, composer and actor, Eddie Ng (吳國敬), who may be a stranger to a lot of youngsters as he is working behind the scene more nowadays. They performed 2 of Tai Chi’s songs, one of which was performed together with Big 4, i.e. 紅色跑車.

I always thought guests are too expensive to be invited in any world tours. Later I realised they were  not only guests of the night, they were also part of the band, a guitarist and a backing vocalists for Big 4 in the concert.

Others more well-known artists who were there on the stage that were Mark Lui (雷頌德) as the musical director, Pal Si or better known as “Brother Panther” – 豹哥 (單立文 ) on bass and Dennie Wong (黃丹儀) on keyboards.

IMG_2040 IMG_2042

Another big surprise for me was all of them came down from the stage. There was even a session whereby Big 4 shook hands with audiences. However I guess the seats that we got were cheaper than the ground and those on the left, so we didn’t have the chance to shake hands with them.

Like most of Chinese weddings receptions, one of the events is “growing up with the newly weds”, i.e. a series of slideshows of the bride and groom growing up process. So Big 4 adopted this concept, and featured their babies to youngster to adults and to more current photos. Just managed to snap two of the many photos they showed that night.

IMG_2047 IMG_2049

With the most colourful and vibrant outfits, Big 4 ended the concert with 愛莫能助, a song composed by Mark Lui and lyrics by Wyman Wong 黃偉文.

IMG_2088

Overall, I enjoyed the concert thoroughly. There was no dead air at any moment in time throughout the night. If I had  to fork out my money to buy the tickets, Big 4 concert is definitely worth it than Eason Chan.

Categories: Concert, Hong Kong Artists, Life | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.