02 September 2008

Dive No. 28

My 2nd dive of 2008 Merdeka day at Paku Kecil, Redang. I haven't logged dives online for a long time, but this one I just have to. Jellyfish!

It wasn't till 10 minutes into the dive when I came across the first jellyfish. I admired it a little and swam along. Soon after, a few more started showing up around the reef. Had to push my dive guide down a little because he was about to put his head right into the tentacles of a jellyfish floating right above him. *phew*

Before even realizing it, we were surrounded by jellyfish. Forget many... it was an entire armada. Apparently it's jellyfish season over there... mainly because of the lack of underwater currents. Can't say I wasn't warned, but I only had time for 2 dives and I really didn't want to waste the opportunity.

For the record, the field of jellyfish in Pixar's Finding Nemo wasn't accurately represented. After watching the cartoon, I thought that jelly fish all swam in one direction, with their heads upright... kind of like mushrooms. Well, the jellyfish armada I had the misfortune of swimming through seemed to be heading in multiple directions, with tentacles stringing all over the place.

Suffice to say, it was impossible to pay attention to anything other than avoiding jellyfish. I was beginning to think that it would take a miracle to complete the dive without either of us being stung.

I guess I was blessed with a miracle afterall. Although it wasn't much of a dive and I didn't get to truly enjoy the dive, this was certainly one dive to remember!

12 August 2008

Looking Good

As my boss so bluntly puts it, I'm being a fa-hai right now. In the office but doing other stuff like updating my blog while doing work.

Have you surfed Facebook or Friendster much lately? I'm linked up with so many friends it's hard to keep track even with the use of these two sites. Many of these people are from my past, back in high school, primary school, some even date back to when we were toddling - family friends I mean. Don't keep in touch all that much anymore.

Sometimes I get random updates through the two F-sites, and I must say it's quite interesting to see how people change... at least on the outside. Honestly, I have no clue how most of these people have grown inside since I was last 'connected' with them. But judging from the looks of some of the photos uploaded, people do change.

I still remember some of these people looking all nerdy and shit, in their uniforms back in the day. Look at them now. The guys have grown... looking smart and sleek. The gals, some of them can make any man's jaw drop... hot as hell. The funny thing is I don't remember these people looking like that back then.

Haha... change - inevitable!

08 August 2008


Nothing oh-so-important to blog about at the moment because time is not my best friend right now. Nonetheless, I wanted to post something today simply because of the significant date. Very himbo I know. Laugh at me!

In any case, here's something from chiewgirl's multiply which I chanced upon while surfing randomly. Hope she doesn't mind. I'm sure many of us could use some advice in this area of life... I know I do.
Always celebrate! Whether it's the 1st or the 50th, each year together is a triumph.

Let each other know how much you appreciate each other. You may already know but hearing it from each other is always better.

Be best friends preferably before being boyfriend-girlfriend. Take time to know each other so the relationship will be a deep one. Tell each other about your crushes, dreams and problems. Make sure he/she is your best friend before getting engaged. The strong bond of friendship will help you both survive tough times.

Make it a point to spend time together often but leave room for each other. Also spend time alone w/ each other, so that at the end of the day you could both share your experiences. This way, you stay interesting with your partner.

Always compliment each other. This will prevent feelings of resentment & thinking that one is being taken for granted.

Keep doings things that you both enjoy, do them together. Make time & continue to date to keep the romance - look good, smell good to maintain physical attraction

Celebrate differences. Never force your ideologies down each other's throat. Give up trying to turn your partner into you. Accept differences, appreciate them.

Fight w/the aim to resolve the issue. Don't outdo each other. The longer you extend the fight. The more chances that you'll say something hurtful that you don't really mean. As mad as you were w/ your partner, he/she is still the person who laughs at your jokes & thinks you're hot. Hear each other out, don't dig up old issues. Choose your battles. Make sure the fight will be worth it & that something will change in the relationship as a result of the fight.

Know that the perfect person does not exist. Know that just as there are things that you love about him/her, there will be things that will make you go crazy. We are only human with our own flaws.

Have fun together! This means keeping the fun & spontaneity that was there in the early days. Allow yourselves to get silly. Being able to make each other laugh & see the lighter, crazier, absurd side is the best way to get through all the differences in personalities, adjustments in lifestyle & opposing viewpoints.

Make sure you have similar goals. It would be difficult to keep your bond intact if your views are complete opposite.

Quit tabulating grudges. Let it off. Discuss it, then trash it, don't recycle it.

Keep it hot by traveling to diff. places together. A new setting will do wonders. Always have skin contact - be it holding hands, a massage or just plain leg rubbing.

Don't lie or hide things. The problem will only get bigger.

Learn each other's interest. It really keeps the conversation flowing!

A hug can be far better more intimate than a kiss.

Don't lose your personality - that's why he/she fell in love w/you. Have separate interest & activities to keep your individual, & to be able to contribute more to the relationship.

Having your own income means you're the boss in your life.

Make rooms for the in-laws.

Wish each other well. Don't wish each other worst

Speak up about the awkward stuff now, like money & sex. The earlier, the better.

Listen, listen, listen. Hear each other out especially during arguments.

Mind your appearance! Stay fit & healthy for each other.

It all boils down to your love, chemistry & respect for each other.

Remind each other of the old days. Do something that you used to do for each other before. It may even be corny but it made you two together. Experience new things together- from dining into a new restaurant to experiencing street food together to exploring to new places. It's the little surprises that make great memories.

No matter how long you've been together, do not think that you can read each other's mind.

Be good to yourself, then be good to your partner. That's what love is all about. Think about your partner. Will it make him/her happy? Will she/he enjoy it? Consider each other's feelings. Be very attentive & sensitive to each other's needs, physically & emotionally, that way your partner learns to do the same for you. Never take your partner for granted.

If one says it's important, then it is! Prioritize each other among other things!

Give each other space. Have your boy's night out. If you can't trust each other with this, then don't get married.

Say sorry when you're wrong.

No matter how long you've known each other, be open to surprises, both good or bad.

Think for two & always work as a team. Consult each other before making a decision because everything will always affect both of you. Strengthen couple power. In many ways, we have to decide based on what is best for the relationship in favor of our individual selves.

Support each other's dream. Be willing to follow your passions, support your partner in his/her decisions & create new ones together. Two heads are better than one.

Tell each other's stories. Life goes by so fast & its easy to see how easily couple can grow apart. Whenever something funny, scary, exciting or juicy happened to you or to someone you know, tell each other about it & have your partner do the same. Keep each other in the loop of life.

23 July 2008

Hair Cut

After out-growing the whole Indian barber phase, which was a period of over 20 years, I started patronizing Thomas & Guys in SS2 when I first decided to give my hair a bit more attention cos I was starting work.

I had a go at different stylists each time I went back for the first couple of months until I found one who seemed to really know what she was doing. Not that the others were bad, but Yen seemed to know what I wanted. I suppose it's my fault for not being the kind who would point out the latest hairstyle a model/celebrity was parading around in a magazine and have the stylist Xerox it onto my head. I kind of just do the whole barber deal... you know... "short, neat, a bit spikey at the top... wanna look smart and clean... blah blah blah". Well, Yen actually manages to figure out all my blabbering and leaves me with something to my liking.

After some time she gained enough of my trust for me to say "go ahead and do what you think will suit me". I'm always pleased with the outcome.

The other thing I look forward to when I go for my monthly cut is the wash. I thoroughly enjoy it when the trainee that does my wash puts in the extra effort to give my scalp a nice thorough massage. It's the perfect end to a long work day. The only thing better than that would be sex!

A few months ago I walked into Thomas & Guys to find that Yen had been transferred down to their KL outlet. She didn't even tell me. I was disappointed. And I had to put up with trying to find a new stylist. 4 cuts and 4 stylists later, I still didn't find one I preferred, and I'd always leave with a decent cut which would grow out of shape within 2 weeks. As much as I liked spending time at the place, I didn't fancy paying RM30+ so frequently. Therefore I generally like to have a cut which won't grow out of shape within a month.

Today, 3 weeks since my last visit, I dragged myself back there because I just couldn't stand looking at the mess in the mirror. When I walked through the door, all the available stylists looked at me and one asked who I'd like to work on my hair today. My usual answer - "anybody la".

I sat down for the pre-cut hair wash... another new trainee washing my hair. He wasn't good. At ALL! The massage didn't leave much of an impact. He didn't even wrap the towel tight around my head as I walked from the sink back to my seat. It's not easy balancing a loose towel over my head while walking. So disappointing.

As I sat back down, I was informed that Yen was back and that she'd like to do my hair for me. To think that they'd even have to ask my permission. I guess they could tell when my face lit up. I was all smiles when I saw her. A sight for sore eyes.

I made a few complaints about how my hair kept growing out of place too quickly while she happily cleaned up the mess.

I'm told that she's now back in SS2 branch teaching in the academy until 6pm before she comes down to her customers. Good 'ol bubbly Yen. Glad to have her back.

Note to self - go after 6pm!

18 July 2008

Happy Birthday

This here post is for no one other than MUAH! Nothing implied, but I do believe I'm special enough to deserve a little bit of attention from myself.

Anyway... my birthday was just over a week ago. 9 July to be precise. Due to it falling on a Wednesday, and given my current workload, I decided to do nothing special... which later on turned out to be a bad idea.

Due to my lack of plans, I got so carried away at work that I got to work before 9am that day, and didn't head home till 2am the next morning. And I didn't even head home because I was tired, nor had I finished all my work. I headed home because I hadn't yet packed my bags for my 7.30am flight.

Yep, I was going on holiday barely a month into starting work. I blame bad planning. All these plans were made far in advance thinking that I'd still be my own boss when the time comes and taking time off is entirely at my own discretion.

Fortunately for me, my bosses gave me the go-ahead since everything was already planned out and paid for. So I guess if there was any form of birthday celebration for myself this year, it was the diving and snorkeling I did over in Perhentian Island.

p/s: got my brand spanking new Atomic Aquatics B2 regulator, fully assembled with Atomic Aquatics SS1 safe seconds inflator and Tusa Platina pressure gauge. Not the setup I originally wanted, but still my pride and joy! My scuba gear is now complete. Anything I buy from here on out is completely optional. Whooopie!

A big thank you to Jo for spending so many hours in the office just to teman me on my birthday.
Thank you to everyone who wished me, on that day, in advance, and belated too. Your calls, emails, smses, facebook msgs all mean a lot. :o)
Thank you to the buddies who had dinner together at Jo & Yen's place over the weekend - it was a great get-together, even though it wasn't specifically to celebrate anything.
Thank you to Soon Yean and the rest of you for the lovely present which I now have framed up and hanging on my office desk...


Oooh... last post was over a month ago. So paiseh!

I apologise, but the truth is unavoidable. As much as I'd like to, I won't be able to update quite as often as I like anymore. As some of you may already know, while many others are still in the dark, I have recently gone back into employment.

Herbalife was great and all but I always found myself too free during 9am-5pm... too much bumming around left me feeling very unproductive.

Coincidentally, some people very close to me were facing unavoidable business expansion and needed to grow the team with people they can trust. I was at the top of the list. After numerous approaches, I finally gave in thinking that I can hold a full time job whilst still doing Herbalife part time.

Unfortunately, as exciting as work is, there's just so much of it. So much so that I'm working 14-17 hour work days. Even when I bring work home over the weekend it's tough to walk back in on a Monday without having to still do work from the week before.

Nonetheless, the job still excites me... and we're now at a place where the only direction to head is forward. That's quite a pleasant thought!

14 June 2008


As I unwittingly take a sneak peak back into the world of business, I am reminded of my disliking towards corporate politics and shoe-polishing. Alas, that is how the world spins.

10 June 2008

Employed vs Self-employed

In terms of work experience, I've been contributing to the economy since way back during my schooling days. Having a mother who runs a recruitment agency really has its perks when it came to finding vacation work. From short 1 or 2-day stints up to 2 or 3-month long temporary work, I always got great opportunities come my way, with above average paychecks as well.

On my own account, I also had an offer for permanent employment even before graduating... from a company who was willing to pay me more than I was asking. I spent 2 years with them before venturing out into the world of self-employment. It has been nearly a year since making that bold move and it's an entirely different world.

You could probably make your own comparison, but here's my take on it.

I miss the routine of walking into the office every morning and greeting my fellow colleagues. I miss have company for lunch regardless of whether or not I have a sales call. It was also a joy looking forward to company trips or annual dinners. Now looking back on the past, I realize being accountable to a boss has its advantages as well. Not to mention having a guaranteed paycheck and various allowances and expense claims.

On the other hand, I like the flexibility of being self-employed. Having the freedom to schedule my work around my family and friends instead of vice versa. I like being able to plan adhoc holidays as and when I like, assuming budget permits. I like not having to report to an idiotic boss. I like that there's no limit to how much I earn as it depends solely on how much I'm willing to work.

After experiencing both employment and self-employment, there's only one thing left to try... and it's not unemployment. I would really like to find something that combines all the benefits of employment and self-employment. Anyone got any ideas?

04 June 2008

Fishing My Way To Made Of Honour

Trying some nuffnang contest.

16 May 2008


I bet somewhere in the world they use this guy as an evil method to torture prisoners in the darkest of dungeons.

15 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 3 (Tuesday)

The only plan for the day was to visit Sea World. AUD5.40 bought us a ticket aboard the bus, valid for the entire day. It was barely a 10 minute ride from Cavill Ave and the driver was friendly.
Here's a picture of me in my totally mismatched outfit. I just wanted to feel comfortable. Didn't realize it would turn out to be such a fashion disaster.

Activities at the Sea World included the Seal Detectives show, Wipe-Out Water Ski show, SOS 4D Movie, and the Imagine Dolphin show which was really the highlight of my day. I can't help but feel impressed by the relationship forged between each dolphin and trainer. Truly remarkable!

There's a Sesame Street Beach and show for the kiddies who visit the theme park.

We also got to see penguins, sharks, polar bears, pelicans and ride Sea World's Skyway and Australia's first monorail. These pint-sized penguins only measured about a foot tall. Cute buggers!

Mom & dad on the Skyway.

Like with any theme park, there are also theme park rides for the young and old.
Though I didn't get on any of the rides, I managed to catch Jo & Adeline in action here... sort of. Those are their hands raised up high as they came down the slide with a huge splash.

AUD66 is quite a steep price for tickets to a theme park, but I must say that it's good knowing that the money generated from visitors is put towards research, conservation and rescue efforts.

Next time I make a trip to Sea World, I'd like to be a part of their Animal Adventure program, and maybe even a helicopter tour. Alas, all that costs a lot of money... especially more when we come from a country whose currency is much weaker.

12 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 2 (Monday)

Here's the sunrise view from our 2 bedroom apartment on the 27th floor of Condor Apartments, which cost about AUD160 per night for the 5 of us.The sun rises at about 6am here. It's seriously hard not to wake up when your room is so brightly lit and there's no "off" switch. Our first morning on holiday and we were already up at 4am M'sian time!

Spent the morning hunting for a supermarket so that we could get some groceries for the apartment. Unfortunately, as it was Labor Day, all the supermarkets were closed. We had to settle for temporary supplies from 7-11. Very expensive!

This is the Clock Hotel in town.We also took the opportunity to run about and get a feel of the place. As Gold Coast's economy is built mainly on tourism, there were many tourist information outlets scattered throughout Surfers Paradise. An easy way to identify one is to notice the racks and racks of brochures of sights and things to do. They run as a tour agent and can give you pretty good rates.

We stumbled on one at Chevron Renaissance which offered us the theme park Escape Pass for AUD100 instead of the published AUD105 price. That gave us entry to two theme parks (normally AUD66 per park). I highly recommend getting your theme park tickets this way. Can save a lot! We also arranged for a day tour of some of the sights around Gold Coast through the same tour agent.
This little bin (slightly bigger than a soda can) for cigarette butts can be found attached to the street curbs. It's obvious that they're particular about cleanliness.

On a public holiday like this, I was not surprised to see the huge crowds at the beach. I like that they have surf rescue patrolling the beaches and life guard towers every few hundred meters. Looked like something out of Baywatch. They also have designated areas for swimming away from the surfers set up by the life guard on duty. These areas are marked by little flags sticking out of the sand, as seen in the above picture.

Having taken my rescue diver course recently, I know for a fact that surf rescue is a huge job indeed.

The afternoon was spent catching up on sleep. Sunset came around a quarter past 5pm. And after that, the place gets really quiet. It was a far cry from the crowded streets the night before.

11 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 1 (Sunday)

Our flight was delayed by 45mins, not the fault of AirAsia. One of the passengers had a problem with immigration and it wasn't apparent till everyone was aboard the plan. Due to wind conditions in our favor, we arrived at Coolangatta Airport on time.

Gavin Bolam of Gold Coast Direct Charters was waiting at the airport for us with my name written across a piece of cardboard. First time that has ever happened. The journey from the airport up to our accommodation at Condor Apartments in Surfers Paradise took about half an hour. Gavin was really helpful with info & tips about Gold Coast. Transfer for 5 people was AUD45, no stops, friendly service. I think that's good value for money.

By the time we got our apartment key and put our luggage down, it was already close to 10pm. A quick stroll down the road was Cavill Avenue, the central area of Surfers. At this hour, food is scarce but alcohol unlimited. Strangely, the crowd kept growing. Turns out they celebrate their Labor day on the 5th of May so it was a party night. Boy, when they get drunk, they get obscenely rowdy... men and women alike.

Hungry Jacks (the equivalent of Burger King back home) was still open, although extremely understaffed. From what I could tell, there were only 2 staff serving and 2 staff in the kitchen preparing food. That's not enough to cater to the 20 people in queue, let alone clean the mess off the tables and mop up the soda covered floor. A combo meal there costs about AUD7-AUD9, depending on what you order. Can't say it tasted fantastic either. Maybe it was because of the climate - 16 deg celcius, everything gets cold pretty fast.

01 May 2008

Marriage Proposal

My buddy Chee How just got engaged!!! The proposal has been on his mind for some time now. Strangely, he only asked Soon Yean, Robert and I to help out just 4 days before the proposal.

With Soon Yean on the guitar, we rocked (poor choice of words) to the tune of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You". Of all places - Sunway Medical Centre. And Mrs.Wong-to-be wasn't even on duty that day. Go figure!

I think it was a good plan nonetheless. The four boys all dressed up, with a tune, a bouquet of white lilies, a diamond ring, and a man on his knee making a proposal of a lifetime.

She accepted.

Can't believe one of us is already tying the knot... so fast. Then again, it's about time!!! Was beginning to wonder if we were all just gay and using our girlfriends as a cover up! Hahah!

Well congratulations Chee How! Looking forward to helping you put the wedding together.

p.s. video and pics are not available at time of this posting.

30 April 2008


Today is the last day of April. It also marks an entire month without a gym membership. In these 30 days, I have only ever exercised on my own 3 or 4 times as opposed to the 10-12 gym visits every month previously - shame on me.

Truth be told, there are lots of body weight exercises out there one can do without gym facilities. Yet for some reason, I find myself lacking the will to do it.

Tomorrow, I'm returning to the gym. Hope to rebuild the 3kgs of muscle mass I've lost within the next month. And given that I'm still in pretty good shape, I'm confident that I'll have my 6 pack in order by the end of 10 weeks.

23 April 2008

The Origins of Golf

A little golfing humor from Robin Williams

22 April 2008

Earth Day 2008

This post is dedicated to our planet.


Herbalife Malaysia Supervisor Academy 2008

This past weekend was spent at JW Marriot with about 800 other active Herbalife distributors from all over Malaysia who qualified to attend this special event.

Check this out - in no other company can I ever imagine to find the kind of energy and excitement produced here. That's PASSION! It is indeed special to have this kind of passion for the work we do... and get paid mighty well for it too!

On a separate note, I was really impressed by the fact that Jo and I were out from 8am on Saturday morning till Sunday 3am (itchy backside went clubbing sommore), and then again from 7.30am till 8.30pm back at the Herbalife event in KL.

Here's the kicker - we had little trouble staying awake throughout the 10-hour training, and even came back more energised than ever before. If I had to guess, that was only possible because of the products we're on, and the energy and excitement in the hall.

In my previous job, I would have dreaded a weekend of training after a week of work. I'm sure many of you who are employed feel the same. That's what makes this company so special!

Gosh I love what I do!

17 April 2008

2008 Century Ride

I just got a call with information that Herbalife might be sponsoring the 2008 Century Ride organized by Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh (KRI). And it seems they're looking for distributors to ride for Team Herbalife. My cycling up to now has been minimal, but it sounds exciting.

I've never done more than a 40km ride before, let alone ride at a competitive level. Yet I somehow find myself seriously considering the 160km Century Ride. 100 miles... I must be mad. On the other hand, I think it would be an interesting experience to at least make a serious attempt - meaning to complete it within 10hrs 30mins.

With 3 months to train for the event, I think it's doable. And it would make for a great story, not to mention build up my confidence for the triathlon I'm hoping to one day complete.


15 April 2008

Diving with Bubbles @ Perhentian Island

The recent weekend was an amazing one. Saturday, Sunday & Monday were spent at Perhentian Island with my favourie people. And with them around, it's always a blast!

To add to the excitement, Robert, Grace and Jo finally visited the spectacular underwater world. They're now fully qualified PADI Open Water Divers. Congratulations guys! Pity Soon Yean & I didn't get to dive with them, but I'm sure our next trip will be even better.

Soon Yean, Pei Yin & I are now qualified PADI Rescue Divers. Though, I think I speak for all of us when I say that knowing what to do is one thing... actually doing it is another. My confidence in handling an diving emergency isn't strong. I think I could do with a bit more practice before actually helping out in any rescue effort. Fortunately, diving accidents are rare and can usually be avoided.

I think the best thing that came out of doing the PADI Rescue Diver course is that I now have a greater awareness on the do's and don'ts, the consequences of not following those do's and don'ts as well as how to handle an emergency resulting from not keeping to those do's and don'ts. That in itself is a huge improvement to my previous ignorance.

We did 5 leisure dives this trip. Apart from the slight discomfort in my ears from not being able equalize properly on the first dive, and my mask fogging up on the first and last dive, everything was real fun. I especially enjoyed the final dive which was a night dive. Our initial worries of not getting to see much was nothing. We saw so many amazing nocturnal creatures come alive during that dive. It was just a matter of knowing where to look, and a bit of luck. Pictures will come once Pei Yin & Soon Yean upload what they captured.

On the fourth dive, I made a last minute descent to retrieve a compass one of the other divers dropped as they climbed back onto the boat. During the search, I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous sea snake. This was my first ever first-hand encounter with a sea snake underwater so understandably, I couldn't recognise which species. And because I was down there with another objective - to find the lost compass, I didn't think to pay attention to the snakes features and check later. The worst thing was that I couldn't even find the compass which was lost to the sea. I kept the search short since I went down alone... didn't want the others to get worried. Turns out, the compass wasn't even working anyway. Go figure!

Apart from the long drive home, all in all it was a good trip. Great dives, great meals, great sights, great weather, great company. What more can I ask for?!

09 April 2008

How Fast Do You Type?

Here's something I came across. I've always wondered how fast I typed.

75 words

08 April 2008


This post is dedicated to my new ambition, which is to become a motivational speaker and one day speak on an massive stage in front of an international crowd, and have them leave a little wiser than when they arrived. Allow me to share how this came about.

It was a darrrrk and storrrmy night... in a land far far away... (just kidding).

Seriously, after taking 2 weeks off to hunt for a clue on a potential career for myself, I went through some really great books and audio tapes which taught me how to identify something good for myself. I discovered that I have a passion for talking.

I remember in kindergarten, I was so chatty the teacher put sellotape across my mouth to keep me quiet. And as a I looked through the remarks in my student report cards from my younger days, one comment which consistently appeared was that I was an "outspoken child". That passion for talking has grown quite a bit. Now I don't just want to talk... I want to talk on stage!

I'm not saying that I'm always eager to get up on stage and talk to a huge crowd of people I don't know. Truth be told, I do get the jitters whenever I have to speak to people through a microphone. I get stage fright too, like many other people out there.

My first time ever on stage was a complete disaster - 11 years of age, taking part in a storytelling contest back in primary school. My preparation was good and I knew my story relatively well. Unfortunately, once up there, I barely got past the introduction when my brain froze. Not only did I not know what to say next, I was so nervous I forgot what I had already said. I stood there on stage in front of a hall of 500-600 other students and teachers for what seemed like an eternity. It was a nightmare.

When I finally came to my senses, I was just so embarrassed and eager to run off stage that I just pieced together a rough ending to my story, anything which came off the top of my head, a sentence at a time. LOL! barely an introduction and then a pathetic dash for the ending. My story had a head and 2 feet... no body - like M&M's mascot. Suffice to say, I didn't win anything in that competition.

For most people, an experience like that would have been enough to turn a little fear into an all-out phobia. Strange that I somehow managed to find myself on stage again in secondary school, and pulling off a half decent job this time.

Today, whenever I'm put to the task of public speaking on stage, I generally brush off the nervousness within the first 2 minutes of being up there. So I believe I'm off to a good start already.

Now it's just a matter of gaining more skills and refining them. And of course to work on a plan which will ultimately qualify me to have people willing to pay thousands of dollars and fly thousands of miles just to attend one of my talks.

Then the question arises... "Are people going to pay thousands of dollars and fly thousands of miles just to listen to me talk nonsense?" Of course not. I'll need to have something good to share with them. And thus I'm setting off on my quest for personal development in hope that I will realize my ambition before I'm old and grey.

It's a big ambition, but a good one nonetheless. I'm excited!

03 April 2008

Lost In Life

Through my younger days, the topic of ambition always came up. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was the common question. I really had no clue, but I forced myself to think... lawyer, doctor, fireman, pilot, accountant... you know, the common professions. Not that it was really my ambition, but I went with whatever came to mind to "appease the gods" or in my case, my parents and kindergarten teachers.

10 years later as I finished high school and applied for college, and university after that, I still had barely a clue. Thus my lack of enthusiasm through the years. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree of Arts majoring in accounting & finance, I still didn't know what I wanted to do with myself.

Picture that... 25 years of living life without direction. Unbelievable, but true.

I've spent the past 2-3 weeks focusing on soul searching. I have finally decided on a greater goal in life... my ambition. Read more about it in my next post.

01 April 2008


I've been cleaning my room over the past couple of days. Not that it's really that messy, but I just haven't been entirely focused. Today as I went through more of the older stuff which I previously had stored away in a huge box under my table, I came across my year books from secondary school and Taylor's College.

It was nice to look through the pictures and articles of activities in the days past. I remember many faces, but few names. There were also faces which weren't familiar at all. Some classmate I was huh? In case by chance any of them are looking up old classmates, here's the list of where I've been.

1987-1988: Tadika Eu Ee SS2
1989: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 1C
1990: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 2C
1991: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 3C
1992: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 4C
1993: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 5C
1994: SRJK(C) Puay Chai - 6C
1995: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - Peralihan 5 (P5)
1996: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - 1 Hormat (1H)
1997: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - 2 Damai (2D)
1998: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - 3 Adil (3A)
1999: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - 4 Ehsan (4E)
2000: SMK Sultan Abdul Samad PJ - 5 Ehsan (5E)
2001: Taylors College SJ South Australian Matriculation (SAM) - Legal Studies 2 (L2)
2002: Help Institute Diploma In Business Studies (DipBus)
2003-2006: Help Institute BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance (BAAF)

After looking through the year books, I moved on to looking at some of the old greeting cards and letters I had received through post. Trust me, I'm not much of a sentimental guy. I don't usually keep gifts, notes, letters, cards or other souvenirs given to me. I do appreciate it, I just don't keep it.

So I was going through some of the stuff which I kept and I noticed one thing they mostly had in common - postage stamps. I've been keeping these cards and letters mainly because they were posted to me. Meaning even though we had the convenience of email, the sender actually felt that I was worth the trouble of putting their thoughts into writing, finding an envelop, affixing a stamp and mailing it off. I guess that made a difference to me, and why I kept them.

Su Ling, Shona, Yin Tse, Charity, Huey Lim, Cherie, Jane. Thank you for thinking that I was worth a postage stamp or two.

Once, I even received a handsome tie together with one of the cards in my mailbox. Thanks Shonz!

I haven't been in touch with most of these people though I'd much like to. I will continue to hang on to these souvenirs of the past.

31 March 2008

First Time Rock Climbing

Rock climbing has never been one of the things on my to do list. Though I've been invited to go with some friends time and time again, I just was never motivated enough. No one had infected me with enough excitement to want to give it a shot. Not till last Sunday.

While it was not on my list, it has been on Jo's list for a long time already. She just kept putting it off. When a good friend of hers invited her along for his weekly affair, she couldn't pass up the chance. She invited me along too. I understood the sport as an activity you do in pairs. So I figured I might as well go check it out in case she's ever in need of a buddy to go with her. Besides, I'm still living by the motto of trying anything once.

It cost us each RM38, including admission, gear rental and a basic course. We were taught the most basic things about climbing and belaying. Tying the knots to the harness was simple enough but we both had a bit of trouble with belaying. It's not that complicated but we're just not used to the motions. Time and practice will definitely help.

After some guidance from the instructor, we were left to handle ourselves. We got a bit bored of the easy routes and decided to move around a bit. As I gradually attempted tougher routes, my arms exponentially lost strength. And there I was thinking of working out at the gym before rock climbing. It's a jolly good thing I didn't.

3 hours later, I was so exhausted and sore all over I just wanted to go home, shower, eat and sleep. Yet I didn't leave the same person as when I got there. I had now accomplished something new, and was excited to return another day fresh to attempt the tougher routes once again... especially those I failed to finish.

If you don't mind climbing with a beginner, feel free to invite me the next time you go climbing.

30 March 2008

Samsonite Out-Liners Connection

It's been an interesting weekend. Went and bought myself a laptop backpack - Samsonite Out Liner Connection. Best RM270 I spent in a long time.

Convenient, functional, sturdy, spacious... just what I had in mind.
Though it was quite a chore finding it and making my purchase, I'm glad I finally have something convenient to carry my load around.

I got the black one.

Come back later for an update on my first time rock climbing

28 March 2008

Getting Back On Track

Didn't realize that it's already been 3 months since my last post. I apologise.

Have you ever been so "caught up"? That's what happened to me. Unfortunately, I was caught up with the wrong things. I was caught up with being unproductive. Day after day I was waking up later and later, feeling less and less excited about starting the day. It was a vicous cycle of doing nothing important, things which didn't excite me. I was sinking into depression. The most disastrous part of it all was that I hid it so well that not only did the closest people in my lives not notice, even I didn't notice.

Then things changed. I started to take notice of the change in feelings. How could I feel so shitty when just a couple of months back I was the happy go lucky guy I've always been. I knew I needed to work on myself, but I had no idea where to start, nor what to do. It was also then when people around began to notice that things weren't quite right with me. Alas, it didn't help.

The one person I was willing to consult was away in Chiangmai without any sign of when he would be returning. Finally, last Sunday I met him and we talked a bit. I explained my lack of motivation and how I was feeling so down lately. The response he gave me didn't really press the right buttons, and I felt no different at the end of the conversation. However, he did do one thing right. He gave me an assignment.

Together with Anthony Robbins Personal Power 2 CDs, he gave me instructions to wake up early every morning, take a shower, dress nice, have a hot cup of tea and listen to 1 CD every day before starting the day, over the next 30 days.

At first it sounded a little bit excessive to me. However I was compelled to oblige because I was desperate to feel differently. Anything was worth a shot.

He then continued by asking me if I would do as he instructed, and take it seriously. I had my doubts about doing that for 30 days but really, what choice did I have. I said yes.

He didn't stop there. He pulled out a pen and a piece of blank paper for me. He told me to write down exactly what I will do for the next 30 days, as a commitment to him, as well as to myself.

Now I knew he was getting serious. And so, I wrote down something like this, signed it, and gave it to him for keeping.

"I, Mervyn Tan, promise to wake up every morning, shower, have a hot cup of tea, and listen to the Anthony Robbins CDs by 8am. I will complete the daily assignments given by Anthony Robbins accordingly, and I will report back to Bjorn with what I learnt from that day's lesson. I will do so for the next 30 days until the program is complete"

Just as I handed the letter back to Bjorn, he emphasized how important it was for me to do exactly as I had commited, or he would be seriously disappointed and would lose his trust in me.

I don't know if he knew how much value I place on trust, but he pushed the right button alright. The next morning, and every morning since then, I have woken up and done accordingly. Truth be told, what I have been doing these past couple of days has truly lifted my spirits. I'm actively getting more and more things done and it feels great. People around me have noticed the change too.

I have also finally sat down to draw up a life mission for myself. Nothing fancy, but I think it'll serve as a decent guide while I chart my course through life. I'm penning it down here so I can reflect on it from time to time. I also hope that others may be inspired to do the same and live their lives with purpose and passion.

Mervyn's Mission
  • I commit to continuous learning and inspiring others with the knowledge and experience gained.
  • I will live with passion, surrounding myself with my family and dearest friends.
  • I will constantly seek new ways to challenge myself, setting new goals regularly and achieving them.
  • I will afford the time & money freedom required to enable me to travel the world at will.

03 January 2008

2008 Resolutions - 12 Books Of 2008

After all the partying to usher off 2007 and welcome in 2008, it is only fair that I sit come up with my list of resolutions for this year. Truth be told, I didn't have much of a chance to sum up last year's resolutions and see where I stand, nor have I put a great deal of thought into my goals for 2008. But I have to start somewhere, so here's my first resolution of 2008 - one book a month.
I have never been much of a book person, but I was recently introduced to my first book in a very long time - How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield. Jo spent somewhere between 15-30mins promoting this book to me like crazy after she read it at Borders in Berjaya Time Square. The next day I sent her out to get it for me - RM39.90.

I have since read through about a quarter of the book and I find it very inspiring. I will give you my two cents worth once I'm done with it, but I am impressed so far and have every intention of putting what I learn into action.
I'm eager to finish this book so that I can get to my next read - Screw It, Let's Do It (Expanded) by Richard Branson which I received for Christmas.