Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Amazing Everyday

A few weeks ago, I bumped into my company Legal Director in the lift. I don’t even know the Legal Director personally, only on a Hi & Bye basis…then this week, I’ve received the news that the Legal Director have passed away due to cancer :( The Legal Director can be considered as successful, young (early 40s) and also a very capable employee. This is indeed a very sad news.

Death is a daily occurring phenomenon. I would like to fill my coming days with more love and less negative emotions every day. I think I will be happy and I will lead a better life. And the most valuable trait of all is to cherish life. It really is bloody damn short. I feel it’s an important philosophy to have, as I step into the dawn of my 30s. See, life can be a tiring rollercoaster ride at times. As a kid…as a younger person, roller coaster rides are easy, and fun, and the dangers of the twists & turns beckon you because the excitement and thrills are the things that we naturally seek. But as we grow older, and as life keeps hitting and banging you with its version of the roller coaster twists and turns, it's easy to become jaded, and to shy away from challenges. To stay safe and to fall back on the first excuse that comes to hand, 'I'm old already. These things are not for me.' But because life is indeed short, I think we should push through it and to enjoy life to the fullest. I believe that there are things that we must do before going 6 feet under. Thus, this year I have created a Bucket List where I have list down the things that I wanted to do.

But of course, as I plod along in life, as each turn greets me with its several choices, I choose to have them be simpler and smaller, more 'manageable' selections. But inside of me, I've never quite lost that faith in believing that little choice of action that might affect the course of history, in a positive way :) This is why I've chosen to do what I do, work where I work. It's not a big deal, because there are many people like me, but among my own circle of friends, I've got people questioning my choices, and wondering why I took the step that I did. I've never quite spoken about it here in my blog before, because, over the years, I've learnt to appreciate the value of privacy.

Thank You GOD, Praise To The Lord, Bless You GOD :) I feel alive today. Really, truly alive.

Life is an experiment

Yup, that’s how I have been feeling lately…I am in my new portfolio for the past 57 days. Toys & Luggage analysis have been completed. Same goes for Leisure. Planogram for Luggage, Camping & Nautism is almost done. Now, only in the process of fine-tuning the sports elements. The Toys category have been my biggest challenge so far. Giving me lots of headache. Too much of complexity & complications. I have made some changes which I’m not sure whether they are right or wrong. Only time will tell. If I am right; it will be cool. If I am wrong, I will have to move forward and to improvise & fine tune it along the way. I live or die with my decisions. Now, all I can only do is to absorb all of the stress & pressure while waiting for judgment day. I know that I have sailed through all of these obstacles is only because of GOD’s grace, mercy and strength. Every day, I humbly prayed to God to give me the needed strength, patience and endurance that’s enough for me to go through the day, and HE did give what I needed. I am also very thankful to both William & Henry, the suppliers and the store people. Yes, we are going through some trying times…the most difficult stage of D33 history. They have been fantastic and I know that the perfect execution often comes with decades of experience. I also feel that I have graduated with a better EQ :) I can maintain a more positive composure compare to the last time. But it’s all the work of GOD who continually gave me a sense of calmness, inner peace, wisdom and a clear mind.

In life there are things that we can and cannot choose.
We CAN’T choose when we’d want to be born.
We CAN’T choose our race.
We CAN’T choose our parents.
There are also many things in our lives that are simply be ‘beyond’ our control. And we simply can’t make a choice.
There are countless other things in our lives that we CAN choose.
We CAN choose to forgive and not to hate.
We CAN choose to be more of a giver and not just a receiver.
We CAN choose to be more grateful and not complain.
We CAN choose to be more loving in our words and actions towards our family and everyone else.
We CAN choose to see life in a more positive light and not be a pessimistic.
There will definitely be HEAPS of choices that I will and need to make this year.
Choices that are personal.

I feel happy, tired, lonely, and very proud that I’m managing it all so well, thus far.

"We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way" - John Halt

So Blessed

Thank You GOD, Praise To The Lord, Bless You GOD :)

I have been head-hunted by this company call Rocket Internet who is a newcomer in the industry but aims to do big business in the e-commerce section. I am grateful for such an opportunity. However, I have decided not to take up their offer. Online business is still in the infancy stage in Malaysia. Food & beverages, services, fashions & accessories are still ok…but when it comes to hard goods, this business module will take a very long time to work. Malaysians are a shopping consumers, we have a very strong shopping culture here compare to elsewhere…we have so much of shopping malls around that I believe that supply have exceeded demand right now and many retail space will turn into white elephant and there will be a glut growth in the near future. We love touching, look-look & see-see the products before making a purchase.

Besides, it’s also not what I am looking for as well. I would like to move out from the retail box, I know what I am looking for and I know what my interests are…so, crossing fingers, GOD will show me the way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Phone Idol

I've got a new toy – I’ve got myself a new phone…a Nokia 300. Yes, I’m such a dinosaur…when everyone else is getting a new smart phone; I am still using such an old phone model. But I’ve got to give myself a pat at the back because this phone actually comes with a combination of both of the key pads and touch screen features altogether :) So, I still have the buttons which I’m familiar with and still have the touch screen where I learn to tap & drag. At first, I am still not used to dragging to find the function that I want, but after a while, I am getting better at using it. Seriously, when it comes to gadgets & technology…I’m not that good about trying anything new that is electronics related. So, before I move to a smart phone on a full time basis, I will get myself familiarize with this first :) And it’s a fiery red too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

the statistical probability of love at first sight

What a memorable day it was :) I attended a local stand-up comedy at PJ Live Arts at Jaya One the other day.

Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians presents THREE AND A HALF MEN (C.N.Y. EDITION) featuring Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan, Phoon Chi Ho and Dr. Jason. Seriously, they are very very good. The materials, the jokes, the metaphors…I really have a good laugh from the start of the session till the end. They really surprise me. They manage to incorporate a very typical Malaysian stereotypes perspective on everything into Malaysian everyday lives & conversation. They poke fun on our local politicians, on our government policies, on our Singaporean neighbors, on our fellow Malays, Chinese & Indians brothers & sisters, and many more. Of course, it may be sensitive or even offensive to some people, but come on...attending such an event, a person really has to keep an open mind to it. The overall structure is good. The interpretation was very modern. It was contemporary with hilarious overtones. The guys are just lovely, funny, cool, talented and so down to earth. I remembered seeing Douglas Lim on TV since I was a teenager and at that time he was the skinny hairdresser who owned the Stylo-Milo hair salon on 'Kopitiam'.

It was a simple and casual event, with an excellent attendance! I hope that I can attend more of this :)

the Open Door Tour

Work Tales – I have finally received my Official Letter. After weeks of waiting for it anxiously. I have faith that it will arrive, but with your mom playing the devil’s advocate role…it does shake my belief a little :) But I am very glad that the wait is over for now. There is a closure to it. Thank you GOD, Praise to the LORD, Bless you GOD. However, the salary increment does not even meet my minimum requirement, but then again; with a 20% adjustment…it’s better than nothing. And definitely, I will use this blessing to bless more people in my life.

I will be 30 this year – What’s Next? I certainly have no idea. Coming back to D33 was to help the team, to help the division, to help both Stewart & Juan Carlos…perhaps, once I have finished laying down the foundation, passing down the necessary knowledge & skills to William & Henry…maybe it will be the right time for me to move somewhere else, outside of the retail box; hopefully. I would have liked to have made my decision earlier but this is still isn’t clear to me yet. It’s a personal question. I need to find the motivation to continue and it is still isn’t clear. I'm quite undecided on how I feel about this. It doesn't help that I work in a very goal and results driven organization, where we're constantly setting impossible targets and then pushing the limits to achieve them ahead of schedule. I think the entire psyche of 'Chasing Goals' is so embedded into my very being that sometimes, times like now, I'm just exhausted and I just crave...crave for that single MINUTE where I can totally erase it off my mind and hope that minute will lasts an eternity.

"Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with good grace all that you are not" - Henry Frederick Emile.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Chic

Manchester United beat Liverpool 2 – 1 :(

Secret Codes & Battleships

Singer and actress Whitney Houston; winner of six Grammy Awards including record of the year for "I Will Always Love You" and album of the year for "The Bodyguard," has died at the age of 48 :(

This is so sudden. The moment I heard about her demise on the radio this morning, the first thing that I thought was…oh my goodness, she was SO young. It made me realize that no matter how great the achievements one has, how large the wealth that one has acquired…no matter how big one’s empire is…or how successful, respected, important one may have been…we are all human and can never escape sickness and death.

I grew up listening to all of her songs and every one of them was my favorite. During that era, there was only her, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion & Gloria Estefan. Whitney Houston was the most outstanding among the four…she have a very solid, powerful & melodious vocals. Her ballads were amazingly beautiful; both in lyrics and in melodies. She was like a raw diamond when she first started out, and later on as she was being polished by music producers & industry experts…she became a sparkling gem. Her soaring vocals and powerful stage presence were the gold standard by which many of her peers & current crops of singers judged themselves today. I totally agree with Mariah Carey, her collaborator on "When You Believe", said that Whitney had one of the "greatest voices to ever grace the earth". Even though, she was embroiled with drug additions & mingling with the wrong crowd…and without a strong come-back song to put her back on track in the music scene, nonetheless she has proven herself many times over that she is determined to turn over a new leaf, to make new records…to be the absolute glorified diva that she is worthy of. Let all of us be reminded of her self-worth and her valued contributions to the world. The world has lost a great talent.

It’s Not About The Bike

I have bought myself 2 new handbags :) Yay! What is different about this handbag purchases this time around is that I actually bought them online for the first time. Really, seriously...I am not a big fan of buying things online even though many people have said that it is more convenient, more access, more choices and the providers have more unique merchandises which we cannot find it in the overly-commercialized shopping outlets. The handbags that I bought are reasonably price and I find that the quality & the details is not that bad at all. I like the fact that I can hang the bag on my shoulder either on a short leash or a long leash. Thus, it gives my wardrobe more versatility. Even though, the pictures that were posted on the internet website makes the products look super fantastic. But I still believe that the good-old-fashion-way-of-shopping is still the best :) I still prefer to touch-touch & feel-feel the item before making a transaction.

Rich Kid, Poor Kid

I have finally finished reading my first book of the year. Well, actually…I started reading the book last year…I was half-way through…but I still consider as finishing reading my first book of 2012 :)

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a book by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It advocates financial independence through investing, real estate, owning businesses, and the use of finance protection tactics. I actually don’t like to read books that have figures, figures-related issues, investment…because I find the material to be too heavy for me to read. I enjoy reading light contents. For materials with substance, I prefer watching than reading. That is why I rather watch National Geographic documentaries than reading their magazines. But surprisingly, this book is written in the style of a set of parables, ostensibly based on Kiyosaki's life. Kiyosaki stresses the ownership of high value assets, rather than being an employee as a recurring theme in the book's chapters. The book is largely based on Kiyosaki's upbringing and education in Hawaii. The book highlights the different attitudes to money, work and life of two men, and how they in turn influenced key decisions in Kiyosaki's life. Among some of the book's topics are the values of financial intelligence that corporations spend first, then pay taxes, while individuals must pay taxes first and that corporations are artificial entities that anyone can use, but the poor usually do not know how. According to Kiyosaki and Lechter, wealth is measured as the number of days the income from your assets will sustain you, and financial independence is achieved when your monthly income from assets exceeds your monthly expenses. Each dad had a different way of teaching his son.

I agree that in this age of time, having one income is really insufficient…and it is a very good advice that we should use our income to buy assets which in turn will generate a second source of income for us in the long run. But unfortunately, not many people are as lucky as the authors because I notice that people (including myself) are not equip with the necessary financial knowledge, how to seek the know-how, what to know, who to ask, where to invest etc. But after reading this book, I’ll definitely have changed my perspective on money, retirement and attitude towards my life.

Not everyone have the privilege like Kiyosaki. Growing up means getting your qualifications in place, finding a great job, finding love, falling out of love, making that commitment, signing those legal documents, trying for a baby, getting that baby, learning how to cope, becoming a parent, getting a maid of your own for the first time. This recurring theme is in everyone’s life is almost patterned, and sometimes, rather predictable. But I would say that this book is indeed a good read. I recommend it. But don’t just read one book and follow it to the letter. Form your own opinions; pick and choose what techniques work for you and your family in your own unique situation. Or you’ll get too confused by all the different opinions and teachings.

an uncultured fool

Troy was in KL last weekend and we had the opportunity to catch-up with each other over breakfast. We had our morning Dim Sum at Jin Xuan Hong Kong Restaurant in Damansara. Coincidencely, it was both of us favorite Dim Sum eatery :)

We’ve been friends since our undergraduate days and have been through each other’s good and hellish days together. I’ve never really thought about how much we’ve grown and well, how much we have acquired along the way since we’ve grown up. I mean when we look at our old friends, we just see them as they are…or rather, as they were…and we don’t look at the benefits that they come with. And sometimes, I feel very paiseh, because Troy always brings me small gifts. And I always tend to be the forgetful one :)

I know that in my life, there will be good weather and bad weather people. And Troy is one of my good weather friends. Even though, we are far apart, I know that Troy will be there for me through every single rough steps, held my hand through all the tough days. Like what Troy did for me when the both of us were studying in Perth. During our days in South Street, Troy & I party together, celebrate festive seasons with each other, went on holidays together. We were there for each other. I really missed those times. Sometimes, I wished that I can drop everything and join Troy on the many adventures that Troy has been in.

I guess there’s perhaps no right or wrong type of friends. We need a balance of both types of people in our lives so that we always have people to laugh with and cry with. Friendship is such a privilege. It always is.

Like I said, a Fantastic Day

Attended Kendra’s fourth birthday celebration at Vistana Hotel.
Every year, without fail, Stewart will organize a birthday party for Kendra and will invite Celtic and myself. This year, the new addition to the family is Mrs. Simon. These are all the former and current D31 members. It was fun catching-up with each one of them :)
Stewart kid’s party was held at a warehouse sized ballroom, the buffet was certainly a pleasure, the pink Minnie Mouse birthday cake was nice to look at, oh…they even hired a clown this time around who goes from table to table to make sculptured balloons for the children, many of Kendra’s friends were invited…they were funny, energetic, playful, friendly, sociable, active, confident and happy. Unfortunately, this time around…Danny was not in the attendance…or else…I would have tried my luck in trying to get a free-of-charge-consultation on work-related matters from him :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Secrets For Sale

Tottenham draws 0-0 at Liverpool.
The Reds play good when there is no pressure but when people start to pay attention to them again, they fumble :( People had already written Liverpool's chances off since the second half of the season but The Reds won games after games. Now, when people start to expect them to beat Tottenham at home, Liverpool just cannot finish the job :(

The Book Of Matthew

After one month of absence, it certainly feels good to be back in the church again :) To feel that serenity. I didn’t grow up in a very conservative Chinese Christian environment, thus my beliefs have never been that strong. Seriously, I only like the quiet praying session and the singing-worshipping part…sometimes, what the pastor preaches also doesn’t really make any sense to me :) At times, I feel it is sufficient if I focus on just praying & talking to GOD, I don’t have to go to church because I do not believe that GOD is confined to a building, located in a certain place only. I, for one, also do not believe that GOD will only allow a certain type of people into Heaven.

Sinking Retailer

Work Tales - Why did I mention uncertain time & new frontiers in my previous blog? Well, it’s because of this piece of news which was released to the public recently.

...Europe's largest retailer, the World’s second biggest retailer has picked industry veteran Georges Plassat as its next boss, signaling key shareholders may back another attempt to fix its ailing hypermarkets rather than push for a break up. Plassat, the 62-year-old head of private equity-backed retailer Vivarte, will replace Lars Olofsson, who faced mounting criticism over a series of profit warnings that hammered the French group's shares down 43 percent over the past year. "The reference shareholders have been hesitating between restructuring the group or breaking it up. Plassat is the man of a restructuring," said one analyst who declined to be named, referring to French's top investors -- French tycoon Bernard Arnault and U.S. private equity firm Colony Capital. Speculation has long swirled that Olofsson's departure could herald the breakup of this French company, with the possible sale of its faster-growing emerging market businesses. "This French company has lost the confidence of its managers, staff, suppliers and shareholders. Appointing a respected retailer at its helm polishes up the image of the board, which some critics have accused of conducting a short-term financial strategy," CM-CIC analyst Christian Devismes said. Olofsson's main response was The Planet, a costly revamp of the stores that has so far not yielded the necessary results and is likely to be scaled down in March amid a worsening economic climate. A new CEO might pursue an alternative strategy for the hypermarkets, like downsizing them, slashing prices to lure back cash-strapped shoppers who think that the French products are too expensive and investing more in e-commerce, analysts said. "The appointment of Plassat should be viewed as a big win for the French," said Natalie Berg, director of global research at Planet Retail. "He is a seasoned retail executive with the non-food experience that the French vitally needs." However, she said Plassat faced an uphill struggle in a world where giant stores are out of fashion and you need to give shoppers a good reason to make that out of town trip…

Oh boy, here we go again…

The Lion King

A lion dance troupe visited us the other day in the office; helping us to usher in some good fortunes, blessings & prosperity. I think we really need it; whatsmore during this uncertain time, where we are in the new frontiers. All in all, I love the energy, the high spirits and the laughter. I hope that the good times are starting again :)