Friday, December 28, 2007

Post #291: Reminder to Self

On this sunny day of 28th December 2007; an interesting post, 30 Happiness Tips: Program Your Life for Optimum Enjoyment, from the Dumb Little Man reminded me that ...
26. Jealousy doesn't help. Many people obsess about others who are successful or happy. That gets you nowhere, fast. Instead, be happy for them. Then focus on yourself, and what you do right.

Note to Self: Remember and STOP the jealousy!!! :P

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Year Resolutions

I actually silently decided that I am not going to blog about this topic. But I was intrigued by a particular post.

It is lovely to think that I will improve all aspects of myself in the NEW YEAR. I will do things better. I will achieve my career goals. I will be better at adhering to my budget. I will lose my flabs and never worry about my appearance anymore. I will be a nicer person.

Truth is - these resolutions are rolled over from the past few years.

They all seem great at the time they were made. All the goals look realistic and possible despite being shiny and shimmery. But as soon as the holiday is over and work started, the jittery got lost in routines. Before I know it, I fall back to doing the same things the exact same way I've always been doing them and forgot all about the resolutions (until I reach the end of the year - again!).

Nothing changed. No extra savings. No in-love-with-my-job. No sudden weight loss. No volunteering. Bleh!

So... in the post that intrigued me, "7 Highly Effective Resolutions for the New Year" at Ririan Project, the author advised us to...
... make a useful and realistic resolution. Stop focusing on such perennial classics as going to the gym more often, losing weight and quitting smoking. Think bigger, better and brighter, for you and for those around you.

In the post, she listed 7 resolutions that will help with self improvement - becoming a better person. For me though, the following resolutions seem very applicable:

  • Be Grateful - If you don’t already thank people when they do something nice for you, start taking the time to notice just how many people help you over the course of a day.
  • Though for me, I'd like to be more grateful with what I already have. Being envious is extremely tiresome!

  • Change One Negative Thing About Yourself - Be it jealousy, constant stress, misanthropy, always staying in, lying, or what have you, pick something that exudes negative energy and phase it out. ... Fixing the negative will increase your self-esteem, so believe in yourself.
  • I will need to have a year-end self-reflection session and decide on which one of my negative thing that I really can't stand anymore - will report back later. :P

  • Listen More - Remember: “If he who listens, listens fully, then he who listens becomes he who understands.”

With this list published here - I hope I'll have more success in sticking with them for the year 2008!

"A nice bonus is that once you feel yourself improving, in body and in mind, you will want to improve your life in other ways. One resolution could lead to a dozen more!"-- Taken from the above article.

Well, the best of luck to all of us in sticking to whatever New Year Resolution that we decided to make. May the future be better than today.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dumb Little Man says...

This morning, the "Arguing 101: Learn the Rules" article from the Dumb Little Man blog intro me to itself.

Then, just like what anyone would normally do when they first meet someone new, I asked questions. Hmmm more accurately, I poked the site a little, which was smart of me (hihihi :P) cause I found the following article, which in my humble opinion contain some very very useful tips...
"Things I Wish I Knew..."

Some of the ones that I particularly like are as follows (direct quotes):
  • No one will believe in you more than you do. ... If you believe in it, do it.

  • In business, trust is never sacred. ... I don't care who your partner is - MONEY CHANGES PEOPLE!

  • Money isn't Bad. You have to understand that money is good and your spending habits are bad. ... EVERY single dollar you spend must be scrutinized. If the dollar is not helping your long term goals, don't spend it.

  • Having a kid will change your life. ... Don't play with fire unless you are ready to completely change your life... it's not a dog.

  • and lastly, my personal favorite ...

  • You choose your destination. Your time to experiment is over quickly. Before your obligations consume you, be sure you are happy with your personal path.

Thought of the Day (20th December 2007)

I'm not quite sure of whether it is habitually on purpose cause it's the end of year or coincidentally, a few questions have been bubbling up in my head:
"How am I going with my life lately; socially, purpose-wise, happiness, financially?"
"Is there anything that I'd like to change and do differently?"
"Which parts of my life that I'd really like to keep the way it is at the moment cause it's 'AWESOME'?"

The title of the following article by Steve Pavlina yesterday (the 19th December 2007), "Love Your Work or Don’t Work at All" intrigued me.

In that article, he suggests that we
"Consider the following quote from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:"
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

He open the article with the following question:
"Why is it that so many people are willing to tolerate work they don’t enjoy for the sake of a paycheck?"
In which he answer with his assumption of ...
"I think it’s because most of them simply don’t know what it’s really like to be in love with their work. Their fear is greater than their power, so they never make the leap into the unknown to find out what it’s like to work from love instead of for money."

Now, knowing that surely I don't "love" my work, I can help answer his question. The thing is, even though I don't necessarily "love" my work; I don't hate it either (I think :P). He might be right in saying that most of us don't know what it's really like to be in love with our work. I think some of us also think that it is unlikely for us to love work. Sure, I've read about people who love their jobs, but more often than not, people that I talk to DON'T love their job. They're just doing it for the money.
Also, I was conditioned from when I was a kid to make the best out of what I've got and that greedy-ness never result in good outcome. Hence, it doesn't seem right to stop doing what I neither love nor hate in looking for something that I love.

Question is, should I stop being lazy, get brave and make the leap into the unknown world of trying to find the work that I love?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Blog RSS Link

I've opt-ed to try out the FeedsBurner thing, so please update your RSS reader with the new feed link

Thanks! ^.^

Thoughts of the Day (18th December)

"The best and most beautiful things in this world
cannot be seen or even heard,
but must be felt with the heart."
– Helen Keller

"Nature gave us one tongue and two ears
so we could hear twice as much as we speak."
– Epictetus

Pssst... The above quotes are copied from this great article, "How to Build Intimacy in Any Relationship", by Tina @

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Extract of the day: "Making a difference"

Taken from Buddhism for Busy People page 155 *:
I once heard a story about a woman who was rescuing starfish stranded on a beach. A whole shoal of them had washed up, and as she took her regular morning walk, she'd bend down, pick one up and throw it back into the ocean.

'What's the point?' she was challenged by fellow walkers, overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. 'You can only save a handful.'

'Yes,' she agreed. 'But for the handful I save, it really matters.'

None of us can solve all the world's problems, but that shouldn't make us give up doing what we can to help. The amazing paradox of developing compassion and practising generosity is the experience of just how much happiness we create for ourselves.
* Page references comes from the 2nd edition soft cover version of the book.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"I'll be happy when..."

On the 6th of December 2007, Gretchen from The Happiness Project posted the "I'll be so happy once I'm thin. Or rich. Or successful. Or engaged. Right?" article. I read them recently and I really liked it. Her honest words got me thinking on the fact that the "I'll be happy when.." thinking way is so relate-able to me.

Not long after that, as I was reading Chapter 4: Karma of the Buddhism for Busy People book, just like many other life funny coincidences, I got to the "I'll be happy when..." section. It starts with an interesting Tibetan saying..
Don't overlook small and seemingly insignificant negative actions.
The smallest of sparks can burn down a mountain.
@ page 77 *

Right after that section is the 'Getting what you want' section, and in there I found an interesting thought that is said to be a famous aphorism from George Bernard Shaw...
'There are two disappointments in life; not getting what you want, and getting it.'
@ page 80 *

These thoughts are definitely something worth pondering upon.

* Page references comes from the 2nd edition soft cover version of the book.

Video: Home Made Optimus Prime (Transformers)

Check this out..
I think it's pretty cool!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quarter-Life Crisis (QLC)

Whoa - the term "Quarter-Life Crisis" actually exists!!! Here I thought I made it up from the Mid Life Crisis thing (but hey - I am not the only one who thought so - refer this nice little blog post that I just found).

Wikipedia defines it as...
"The quarterlife crisis (QLC) is a term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the ages of 21 - 29. The term is named by analogy with mid-life crisis. It is now recognised by many therapists and professionals in the mental health field."

Wikipedia explains that the characteristics of quarter-life crisis may include:
  • feeling "not good enough" because one can't find a job that is at one's academic/intellectual level

  • frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career

  • confusion of identity

  • insecurity regarding the near future

  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments

  • re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships

  • disappointment with one's job

  • nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life

  • tendency to hold stronger opinions

  • boredom with social interactions

  • financially-rooted stress

  • loneliness

  • desire to have children

  • a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you

The list above has quite accurately describes my symptoms - especially the Bold-ed entries; not so much the Italic ones!!!

Here's a little more description from Wikipedia:
"These emotions and insecurities are not uncommon at this age, nor at any age in adult life. In the context of the quarter-life crisis, however, they occur shortly after a young person – usually an educated professional, in this context – enters the "real world". After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive and less forgiving than they imagined. Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.

I'll do a little bit more research into this and report on my finding sometime once I'm finished with my current book.

In the mean time, here's some links for you to flick through:

Are you experiencing this? What helps? What not?

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Question for Myself...

While I was doing a silly quiz from BlogThings (don't ask which one - too embarrassing to tell! :P), I came across this interesting question...
I chose an answer.. but I don't know if it's true..
It's something I'm figuring out at the moment, "What is my secret dream life path really?"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More Extracts from "Buddhism for Busy People"

I have to say, the book is very well written in a way that intrigues my mind to start thinking about the things that he's talking about.
"I like the story of the novice monk who asked a very much older yogi, 'What do you do, as an enlightened being?'
To which the other replied, after a pause, 'I walk and I eat and I sleep.'
The young monk was taken aback. 'But I also walk and eat and sleep,' he responded.
'Yes,' the other smiled. 'But when I walk, I walk. When I eat, I eat. And when I sleep, I sleep.'"
@ pg 43 *
It's been an extremely enjoyable read that I even started to think that maybe I should slow down a little. Read a chapter a day. Let the contents sink in. At the same time, I'm impatient to read more, to get more calming feeling and interesting thoughts from it.

* Page references comes from the 2nd edition soft cover version of the book.

"Plain Chocolate" by Chocolate Source

My search for definition of "plain chocolate" brought me to Chocolate Source, a resource of chocolate recipes and information.
Thought I should help publish this kewl site.

To my surprise though,
"Dark chocolate without milk as an additive is also called plain chocolate. The US Government calls this sweet chocolate, and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids."

Thankfully I went and look it up before going to buy milk chocolate which is what I initially thought plain chocolate is. I guess I should be smarter and understand that plain means "just chocolate" and not taking it as plain "without almond/hazelnut/cashew/etc". *wink*

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thoughts of the Day (4th Dec 2007)

Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But wearing leather just on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it.
@ page 5 *
In Buddhism we like people to ask questions, we don't like blind faith. Buddha himself once said, "Anyone who believes what I ay is a fool - unless he has tried it for himself." So you look into it.
@ page 18 *
"Even when you make yourself comfortable, it doesn't last long and you have to change your position. This applies to everything. Work. Relationships. Home. Your car. Everything!"
@ page 21 *
The above are excerpts from "Buddhism for Busy People" by David Michie.

I've only started reading up to page 25 - but it has already got me thinking about the words all the time. Very interesting indeed.

Ref: Chapter One: What does it take to be happy.

* Page references comes from the 2nd edition soft cover version of the book.

Book Reviews Site

In my search of a good Self-Help book on the topics of Confidence / Self Esteem, Handling Fear and Insecurities, Avoid Over Thinking and Finding Inner Peace; I came across many different titles. Each one prettier than the other. Various promises on how it will "change life".

How do I know which one will be worth reading? Does any of them has capability of really changing my life? Why is there no website for book reviews that has everything?

I suppose Amazon do the job pretty well.. Most books will be available there - but I have to scroll quite a bit before I actually get to the Review part and it's pretty random... It would be nice to have an actual Book Review portal which does only that and nothing else.

I found this metacritic site. It has Film, DVD, Music, Games, Books, TV reviews. The book reviews are not as complete as I'd like it to be but hey, maybe it's just a matter of time and publicity.

As a trial, check out the reviews on the "Eat Pray Love" book by Gilbert Elizabeth.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Note to self: 9 Point Plan Towards Inner Peace

In my search of solution towards my being lost feeling, I came across this very handy article.. "Revealed: Nine ways to find your inner happiness" by Ben Mcconville in New York (posted on Wed 12 Nov 2003).

The plan in summary is as follows:
  1. Stop comparing how you look with others. It says, "The secret is to believe you look great."

  2. Next, "curb those aspirational desires". Aspiring far beyond what you currently tended sets you up for being less happier than if you aspire for things that are closer to what you already tended. This is quite reasonable seeing that by aspiring far beyond, you will have to commit for a long period before realising the aspiration.

  3. Interestingly put, "money can buy happiness, but it doesn’t buy you very much. Once you can afford to feed, clothe and house yourself, each extra pound makes less and less difference, said Professor Robert Frank, an economist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York."

  4. Intelligence has no effect towards happiness - according to the few surveys that has examined the relationship between the two.

  5. Though this is not necessarily helpful, apparently "Happiness is also genetic." However, know that the genetic link actually comes through Personality, which helps. Cause we can direct our personality to lean towards happiness.

  6. "Married people are also consistently happier than singles." Really? Though, note on the side, "happy people are more likely to get married and stay married." So, maybe it's just cause they're already happy to begin with? (my defense for the non-married - like me :P)

  7. Apparently, "believing in God or an afterlife can give people meaning and purpose, and reduce the feeling of being alone in the world." Though I personally think, it doesn't necessarily have to be God or afterlife, it could come in the form of meditation.

  8. "Several studies have found a link between happiness and altruistic behaviour."

  9. Last but not least, "to grow old gracefully." It elaborates and explains that "old people reported positive emotions as often as young people but negative emotions much less frequently." Well, I guess the wisdom and appreciation that people got from life experiences do help.

Please visit the above post for more detailed information.

On a more religious side, the article titled "Bodhinatha Speaks on: Attaining Enduring Happiness" at Kauai's Hindu Monastery has several valid points too...

Maybe it's time for me to start reading "Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World (Paperback)"
It has intrigued me a while ago when I first saw it. I shall go and get them today with the help of Borders 30% Discount coupon.. *wink*

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My Latest Craving: Bubur Sum Sum

Image from Herti Kitchen Gallery > Bubur Sumsum (here).

Recipe available in HomeMadeS' "Sugar High Friday-Craving Something Traditional..." post mixed with "Comfort Food: Bubur Candil".

Perhaps you prefer the's version here (in English).

Note (8th December):
Tried the above recipes from HomeMadeS blog. I made the combination of Bubur Sumsum + Sauce + Candil (without Pudding) + Coconut Sauce.
The Candil dough was a little tricky to roll (need to add a splash of water every now and then) but it turns out yummy. I boiled them with a little bit of palm sugar (~50g) and Pandan Leave. The Bubur Sumsum sauce turns out great too.
But, the Bubur Sumsum itself was a little funny. It was lumpy even though I have made sure they were smooth before I start cooking them. The heat starts lumping the mixture from the bottom of the saucepan. Before I know it - it was all cooked through lumpi-ly!!! :P
I will try the tips from Recipezaar (pouring the half coconut milk + rice flour mixture into the already boiling other half mixture of half coconut milk and salt) next time.

Cupcakes... Again???

Hihihi.. A girl can never have too much of the cupcakes' cuteness!

This time though - I won't be posting proof of cupcakes' lovely looks. It will be more of a tips and tricks session. (Not that I am anywhere near able to provide them.) I'll only be quoting - or more precisely, referencing links...

So - I tried to bake my first batch of cupcakes. Not so good. The icing was madly sweet and the cupcake could be so much more fluffier. It would also be nice for the icing to turn out white instead of YELLOW!!! :P

LOL! What's a girl gotta do but to research into these problems?

Found the following post from Su Yin on her blog (The Journal of a Girl who loves To Cook) - "Cupcakes".
Highly recommended. Complete tips and tricks session. Very handy indeed.

Diana's Dessert's Conversion Calculators page is also one of the page that I'll be visiting quite a bit. This site also offers loads of tempting recipes and the Kitchen and Baking Essentials page and Basic Tips and Techniques page are highly recommended if you're a baking-noob like me!

Joy of baking offers pages like Frosting or Icing which explains more about the different types and how best to make it. The page about Baking Powder and Baking Soda is also very informative.

Here's couple more links which I have been browsing to get some tips before baking my second (and hopefully better) batch of cupcakes...

Now, if you want to try out your knowledge of how to bake the perfect cupcake, here's something to bake... Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe from Pink Cake Box blog!