An important lesson in life…

I’ve had my brother and his family come stay with me over the last six days.
It’s been so lovely having a busy noisy household.
Main reason being my 13 month old nephew Isaac and my one year old puppy Pepper.
They became best friends from the moment they met.
And they make a lot of noise and fun together.

They have gone home today and the house is quiet again.
I miss them tremendously.
The one thing that helps me when I am homesick for my family is to just enjoy my own company.

It’s been one of the most important things that I have learnt.
Enjoying my own company.

There is always so much to do, plan and think about.
And it’s actually a lot of fun for me.

What do you do when you are enjoying your own company?

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You chose to be a victim.

Or a rescuer.
Or a persecutor.

It’s a mind game most people play.
If you have heard of the Drama Triangle, or even if you haven’t, most people shift their amongst these three roles, from one to the other…

It’s sad to see people stuck in these roles that they have created for themselves.
I still fall into this trap every now and then.
It’s hard work being mature.
It’s hard work stepping out of the drama.

Which role do you fall into most of the time?
How do you get yourself out of this drama?

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You are not that interesting.

One of the best advice that I ever got was…
“Don’t talk about yourself all the time, you are not that interesting.”

In my quest to discover interesting, intelligent and WISE people, I met a lot of people who only talk about themselves.
And they confirmed that piece of advice I mentioned just now.
These people are usually not that interesting, and they usually don’t realize that all they talk about is themselves.

So I learnt to shut up and listen.
Not just because I’d like to be more interesting, but also because I am listening for real wisdom in others. People who have something that I can learn from.

These people usually don’t talk as much.
You have to listen really intently to hear what they have to say.

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Happiness is… Team work

I am so happy, grateful and honored to work with like minded people.
It makes work fun.
It makes us forget time when we are in the flow.

We not only work well together, we are very appreciative of each others’ contributions, talents and positive attitude.
And we make a real effort to let each other know.

When was the last time you told someone that you appreciate what they do as part of your team?
It might be the smallest thing but sometimes it is what makes a difference.

Scroll down past my drawing for a condensed gratitude list from the weekend and today!

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I am thankful for…

1. An amazing time at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, giving a talk on career planning.

2. The great crowd at Chinese University – over 100 people!

3. My team mate Beatrice – your enthusiasm, your tenacity and your happy face.

4. My good health.

5. My puppy Pepper for her constant companionship and general silliness.

6. My mum feeling better after a bout of the common cold.

7. Learning more about the psyche, the brain and the body.

8. Getting a clear sign of what to do next.

9. Having a kitchen to cook home food.

10. Having amazing life partners who share my love, my woes and my hopes.

Friendship is … asking questions that matter

The last six months have been challenging.
Lots of changes and many decisions to be made.

It’s been a habit of mine to keep thoughts to myself and work things out on my own.
This often causes a lot of stress and eventually physical illness for me.
And I know I need to consult my close friends and share my burdens.

It is not advice that I seek.
What I love about my close friends is when they ask me questions that make me think.

The question of the month is,
“What does ‘home’ mean to you?”

Something as simple as that helped me tremendously.

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Today, I am thankful for…

1. Our early morning meeting!

2. Waking up just in time!

3. A lovely breakfast of croissant and tea!

4. Spending time with my sweet friend and colleague Beatrice.

5. The adorable old plumber who declogged my kitchen sink.

6. A superb afternoon of phone meetings which went very very well.

7. All the good things that are happening right here right now.

8. Feeling better physically.

9. Hearing that my sweet friend Keiko will be visiting HK next week.

10. Speaking to my mother and my niece on the phone.

Little Blue Bird

My first ever pet was a little bird.
(I think I had a duckling as a small child but those memories are hazy.)
So my official first pet is the bird.

And I have always liked birds.
With my new PENCIL, I was experimenting and drew this little blue bird.
I hope one day I’d be able to do a better job.

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Happiness is… watching TV movies with someone you love

During my Christmas holiday, my mum and I would stay up late to watch TV movies.
Mostly European films, which are either slightly bizarre, exceptionally wonderful or strangely realistic.

Apart from the fun of watching some great movies, the best part was just sitting with my mum.
Since we do not live in the same country, we don’t have the chance to do this often.
And I found it very comforting to have my mother right next to me.

Now that I am back in HK, watching films on my own at home is a different sort of enjoyment.
I do miss having my mum next to me.

On a side note, I have also missed making my gratitude list.
So here’s one for today.

I am thankful for…

1. Waking up feeling well enough to go to work.

2. Having enough energy to last the entire day!

3. Having lovely people to support me in my workshop.

4. Having a group of enthusiastic participants in my workshop today.

5. Seeing my puppy go crazy with happiness when I come home.

6. Coming home to a clean and tidy house.

7. Knowing I will have family visiting me in the coming weeks.

8. Having a thermos of hot water to soothe my illness.

9. Having aspirin to ease my fever.

10. Doing work that I love and enjoy.

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PENCIL

My dear friend Odie got me the PENCIL from the US.
It has finally arrived in my hands and I am so happy.

It really is as good as they say.
I draw all my doodles on my iPad mini, using the app PAPER by 53.
Now paired with their stylus PENCIL, it’s even better!

Thank you Odie.
It’s Christmas again today.
For me.

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My mum’s Chinese New Year tradition

You know Chinese New Year is coming when my mum gets a perm.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on 31st January, 2014.
In anticipation of this most important celebration of the year, my mum always gets her hair permed.
It’s been like this ever since I can remember.

I love that my mum has these little rituals of her own.
You would never catch her changing her hair style any other time of the year.

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