Summer plans, anyone?

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

It’s March, we’re all waiting for that turnover from winter to summer. But I’m going to put it out there, have you made plans for summer yet? It’s a thought that came up to my mind even since January. It’s probably because I know this is probably my last long summer.. for the rest of my life. Seems mildly dramatic but with clinics round the corner (hopefully) I’m  convinced on making the most of my summer. Here’s a few tips for you to look into if you – like me- like to plan things early for summer 🙂

1. Holiday (duh)
What else would you be doing in the summer but to plan a holiday right? Go and get some sun (while it’s there) soak up the Vitamin D. Be it by going to the beach, going hiking in the mountains, visiting ruins of an ancient city, or just merely sight-seeing. Plan a getaway where you have always wanted to go with your family, friend or lover. Take some time out to relax and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

2. Go home/ visit your family
We are often caught up with our busy lives that we don’t show how much we love and appreciate our family who is always there for us – especially our parents. Why don’t you go and visit them during the summer? Give them a surprise visit and spend time with them. Family consist of the people that are most likely your constant so going back home is always good. PLUS, the food at home is always worth it, isn’t it? 😉

3. Volunteer
Ever had the motivation to volunteer but then thought that you have no time to do it? What better time than to do it during your summer? Think of a cause that you want to volunteer for and go and find a way to do it. We have to make time to contribute to society too. Not only would it be good for the people you are volunteering for (a good deed always goes a long way), but it will also make you feel productive about yourself and makes you feel pretty good. Plus the experience is definitely worth it.

4. Rediscover yourself somehow!
Be it through going on some retreat or spend time reading through the summer – find a way to reflect on the past year. A holiday won’t be so useful if you don’t take sometime to reflect on what you have done so far and find a way to improve yourself once you have ended your holiday. So why not try? We always can find aspects of our lives that we can improve right?

5. Do something new!
Find a new hobby – take up a new activity. This can range from learning how to cook to going abseiling. It can be as wild or as simple as you wish it to be. Aim to learn a new skill that will be useful and make you happy throughout the summer. When you have the time, why not put it into good use? Who knows you might just find a new love for a hobby that you never knew you had a knack at!

6. Finding an internship – or something work related
Ok I have to admit this is not the slightest bit fun. Well i guess it might depend on how you look at it. Regardless, it’s important. If you do have a bit of time in the summer, taking part in some internship/ research project/ etc or other ways that can help you boost your CV then why not? My main tip is: start looking early – it gets competitive especially if you are in certain fields. Another tip: don’t give up. Be persistent – even if it consists of trying to email 30 companies and being rejected by 29 of them. Sometimes asking for help, helps too! Good luck!

7. Part-time work?
Saving up for some money to go on holiday? I guess the answer here is get a summer/ part-time work. It seems reasonable yet so boring. But it all pays off so work hard and save up!

These are my suggestions on how to make your summer as productive as possible. Any other suggestions of what to do for the summer? Don’t forget, whatever you are planning to do, to have fun! Summer is a time to relax a little. ☀️ For now, we can only dream of the time the sun will come out from this rainy and cold almost-spring 😂🌸

Follow your heart. Find your passion.

 

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Is there something as caring too much?

“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I don’t know how many of you are like me – you see someone that needs caring for and your maternal instinct just. kicks. in. It doesn’t matter who the person is, how close you are to them, or how they treat you – if they need your help you’ll just be there because it defies every being of who you are NOT to take care of them.

Maybe this is not something that everyone relates to – but to those that have the maternal/paternal instinct i know you know what i mean?

Now have you been through that frustration of growing to care so much for a single person who just doesn’t seem to take your care seriously? It’s unnerving and hurtful. It makes you  want to just stop caring, but yet you can’t. Is there something as caring too much? Is there a limit when we need to just stop? Or should we just go on.

Logically, in a such cost-benefit-analysis world where we would only want to do something for our own selfish reason why should we even care at all? ESPECIALLY if the person you are caring for doesn’t seem to appreciate your care. If it’s painful, why do we need to suffer right? Well yes some people might say that.

BUT, I am a sole believer of showing all the love I have for someone (in whatever form it is) no matter what. Sometimes, this world is too selfish, too self-centered, too independent, too proud, to show their emotions to show how human we are. At the very centre of humanity is community-living. We are made to help each other.

Think about it. What exactly are our lives defined by? We are defined by the relationships we build with other people. We don’t technically exist (well ok except maybe by official records) without the definition of a relationship. By us knowing another person, other people know of our existence. We all live in an interconnected network of interactions. So why are we trying to cut ourselves off from others? Why are we trying to fight for what we want alone when we can do it with other people? Why do we shut off the love other people give?

I personally don’t feel it is necessary to be alone. The more love and affection you show to other people (be it friends, family, lover) the more you strengthen that bond and relationship.

It may seem naive to suggest that you should continue to care for someone that doesn’t seem to care but what if they just can’t show it? What if your care is the only thing motivating them to fight on? After all, we don’t know the extent to our own actions of caring. All we know is the care that we give. I personally think – don’t underestimate it. It can mean a lot.

Fight through the pain and the hurt of rejection, abandonment and lack of love from the person when they are not appreciative. Even if they don’t appreciate it, it gives an example to other people. This way, it might inspire others to do the same – to spread the love and care to others when they might not initially have the courage to do so.

So my conclusion would be that “No – there is no such thing as caring too much”. Remember what Mother Theresa said “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Spread the love in this world that needs more love to all. Never be afraid to show how much you care because love has never been a weakness only a strength – if not for yourself, then for others.

“Some people’s weakness is that they care too much; `it is also their strength.” – Brigitte Nicole

Follow your heart. Find your passion ❤️

Being organised (well we all try)

“Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” – A. A. Milne

Who can underestimate the importance of being organised? It might be difficult, might be boring, but we all know it’s important. Being organised, helps us from making the place that we live in bearable to having a plan for the future. It sorts out all the things that is going on in our head and compartmentalise them into manageable pieces of information to be processed.

The difficulty comes with the implementation on how to be organised. Here are a few helpful tips on how to organise your life:

1. Make a plan.
No matter what you aim to be organised in, making a plan is always a good start. When you are trying to tidy up your room or decorate it, plan out where you want things to be (create a blueprint, if-need-be)! If it’s with regards to your future, making a plan of what needs to be done is also a good idea. It is always good to write down your plan somehow somewhere. This way it is tangible. Don’t forget to stick it somewhere you see often (e.g. in front of the mirror)
When you are making a plan:
prioritise!
How you prioritise totally depends on you because everyone have their own priorities. But since there is usually a lot of things that you want to do, make sure to prioritise what you want to achieve first and what can be delayed. This is extremely important!

2. Make a timeline
Deadlines are good because they keep you on track. Give yourself a deadline for each step that you have planned. Put in the specific date (and if necessary – time) of when each task need to be accomplished. This way you can make sure that your plan is going to work out.

3. Make a check-list
Not always applicable, but when you have planned for something long-term, you need to find a way to keep track of the progress you are making. A physical check-list often helps you. It also gives you the sense of accomplishment when you tick that box off one-by-one! Place your check-list somewhere visible! This way you are constantly reminded.

4. Speaking of reminders, set a reminder!
There is no reason that this is difficult these days because there is always Google calendar or apple calendar. Make sure to set a reminder of the things you need to accomplish in your timeline. If you really don’t have an electronic reminder, how about going old-school and getting an agenda? Or ask your friends/ family to remind you (make sure to find someone reliable that WILL remember though).

At each step, don’t forget to make sure its realistic. Remember – SMART goals! (read previous post 😊)

I agree with you that being organised is not easy. It’s in our apparently inherent nature to be lazy and procrastinate anything that requires organisation. But, I believe the only thing you need is the initial push to start organising. Once you begin, you really don’t feel like stopping. We all have to agree of the gratifying feeling of satisfaction once we have organised something. In the end we all appreciate orderliness, it’s just the thought of the effort becomes too much most of the time. Next time you are procrastinating on organising think of this quote:

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination”

Simple as it might be it’s a deep thought. No matter what is the form of clutter (physical or mental), it reminds us (well at least for me) of the things that I need to do.

AND (most importantly!) always remember to stay motivated and work hard! I’m sure there is some form of passion/ motivation behind wanting to be more organised. Remember that passion and motivation. It is often the only thing that will keep you going when you feel like procrastinating!

Hope this will inspire you and help you be more organised! If anyone have any additional tips please do share them!

Follow your heart. Find your Passion.

New year, new you?

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

It’s 2017! Happy New Year! All the atrocities that happened in 2016 is now behind us yeay 😣.

Talking about the new year, we all know that a new year symbolises new resolutions. The vision of becoming a better person in light of a new era of a new year is what most of us think of as we watch the fireworks and countdown to the cheers of a “Happy New Year”. As people, I believe we always strive and yearn to become a better person. We might not be able to achieve it due to a lack of motivation and will, but the desire is always there.

What are your new year resolutions this year? Start going to the gym? Start eating healthy and waking up early?
And the more important question, how do you ensure you will stick to it?
I will write on how to make resolutions that you will be able to follow through

1 . First – reflect on the previous year ⌛️
It might seem such a cliche thought. But how do you aim to move forward before reflecting back on what you need to improve right? Think through 2016 (and previous years) what could you have done better? What were you not satisfied of? A good example of this would be what were last year’s resolution that you didn’t manage to keep? If you didn’t have a new year resolution beside surviving the year (which is fair enough considering on how bad 2016 was 😂), then maybe think of other plans you had throughout the year that you did not go through.

Spend a good while reflecting, give time for it. This is an underestimated part of resolution-making (or any plan-making to be fair).

2. Find a few concrete resolutions
There isn’t much point to making an entire list of 99 things you will do this year. Because to be fair – be real – you won’t be able to remember most of it 😂. So make a few (1 or 2) that you are really sure you want to do. At least when there is only 1 or 2 you know that you can’t forget it (well at least I hope you don’t).

3. Make sure your goals are SMART.
I’m so sure you have all heard of SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Let’s go through that one-by-one:
a. Specific – Make sure your goals are specific enough. Don’t give yourself lee-way to find loop-holes throughout the year. If you want to go to the gym every week for example –  how long are you going to spend at the gym? doing what exercises? Break it down to e.g. running for 30 minutes, cycling for 30 minutes, 5 minutes for reps for example. That way you have no reason to dilly dally having to plan something else out again. The more specific, the better.
b. Measurable – How do you know that you have achieved what you have wanted in the new year? Make sure it’s a tangible goal. If you want to lose weight, don’t just say that you want to lose a bit of fat here and there, take measurements (weight, etc.) This partially holds yourself accountable of doing what you want. Additionally, having a tangible goal is so fulfilling when you have achieved it and makes you feel even better about yourself.
c. Achievable – Please set realistic goals. It’s ok to be ambitious but know your limits. If you want to start volunteering this year and you want to be a little ambitious and say you want to go overseas for a 3 months trip to Africa that’s all good as long as you plan it and know you can do it. Don’t just say that you want to start a charity this year that has branches in 100 different countries (ok that is extreme. But i’m sure you understand what I mean. Wait unless you already have so much contacts and you’re already a big philanthropist or something, please do go ahead if you are). It all depends on your capability and knowing your capabilities.
d. Relevant – Don’t just set a random goal if it doesn’t benefit anyone. I’m sure it will be fun but live for yourself and for others (obviously). I guess this is pretty self-explanatory.
e. Time-bound – I guess being a new year’s resolution sort of already make it a guaranteed that it needs to be done by the end of 2017. But of course if you have big plans (or if its a continuous change) then it can take longer than just a year. A tip for this to make sure that you continue your progress would be to make small time check-points (e.g. what you need to achieve by the end of every month or every 3 month). This will help you track your progress 🙂

Phew, wow that’s a long list.

4. Find a resolution that you really feel strongly for
It seems too ideal to find something that you know you need and you feel so passionate about. But if you do know that what you need to do is something you feel for strongly then that is great! Like if you know you love animals and you feel like you should volunteer in a pet shelter this year then that’s a perfect recipe for a successful resolution 🙂 There is a higher chance that you will stick to it.

But if you can’t find something that you want to do and something you know is necessary, at least find a new year’s resolution that you think you will find enjoyable somehow. If not, unto no 5…

5. Ask someone to keep track of your progress
Keeping yourself accountable to something always helps in going through with a plan. So how about you tell your friends about your resolutions (that might be something you absolutely hate but you know is good for you – like cutting down those takeaways and eat healthier). This way they can keep track of your progress and remind you whenever you have that temptation to have a sneaky takeout 😉. In turn you can keep track of their resolutions. That way you two (or even better do it in a group!) can motivate each other throughout the year to keep true to your resolutions.

Now make sure you find friends that are reliable and firm and don’t cave in to your pleading and puppy-dog eyes when you’re desperate 😅

6. If you really can’t think of a resolution, then ask your friend to challenge you to something!
Sometimes you really just can’t think of something that you should do this year. Well, if that’s the case, ask your friend to challenge you. You might not realise that sometimes your friends know you better than you think you do (like all  those bad habits that you deny to acknowledge 😝). So ask them to set a challenge for you to do this year and make sure you update them about it so that they know too that you are doing it! This is a good and fun way to keep to your new year’s resolution. Again, doing it in a group also makes it even more exciting!

7. Last but not least – brace yourself. Prepare yourself mentally, physically, etc for the task of having a new resolution. If you yourself is not into it and is not fully committed there is no point to even begin. Mind over matter remember! So make sure to put your full effort into it!

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. – Rainer Maria Rilke”

Those are my tips for you to meet your new year’s resolutions! All the best, good luck and as always, i hope you always follow your heart, and find your passion. Especially in this new year! Wish everyone a happy, fulfilling and memorable 2017! 😊

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Should you remain friends?

“Being friends with your ex shows you two are mature enough to get over the fact that you weren’t meant to be together” 

Most people’s answer here is: NO.

If you don’t follow what I’m talking about, i’m talking about whether you should remain friends with your exes or that guy/ girl you had a crush on but rejected you. I understand why you shouldn’t. People always say “well they are your ex for a reason” or “it just would be better – a cleaner break”. But I have never found this answer convincing. I think the reason for this is that I have always ended up dating my best friend (bad habit but oh well there are perks too).

I always believe that a friendship doesn’t need to be ruined just because you try to date them and it doesn’t work out. If it started as a strong, solid friendship, why would you have to give it up just because it did not work romantically? Who knows if your relationships became stronger because of it instead?

There are positives and negatives of remaining friends after your break-up. I know this cos  I dated and broke up with my best friend and we are still best friends. Please take this situationally because of course it depends on how close you were before, how you broke up, etc. Luckily for me I was really really close with my best friend and we broke up on really good terms.

The negatives:

1. It is so difficult to move on.
I suppose because you still text or call or just remain in contact with that person constantly it is so much more difficult to move on. You have to act as if a few years of your life was not invested in being romantically involved with that person. You have to deal with falling out of love while still constantly being reminded how great they are because you still talk to them often. This can lead to taking years and years to get over the person.

2. You have to deal with them talking to you about their newest crush/ girlfriend/ boyfriend
You might think you are so over them and don’t want to be with them which might be true but it still hurts when they talk about their newest interest or love. Especially if they ask for you advice on how to get closer to their newest crush or how to resolve a conflict. Oh and the worse thing they can possibly say: “Oh I’ve found this new girl and she reminds me so much of you” (oh wow thanks for telling me I’m so replaceable).

3.Can’t we work it out? That constant question of whether you can work it out. I mean you work well together as friends, why can’t you work your differences out? This question will continuously be tugging at the back of your mind. But whatever happens, your ex is your ex for a reason and you have to just set it aside no matter how tempting this thought is. Just don’t go there.

But the plus side:

1. You’re still able to talk to them about anything and everything
If you remain best friends there is absolutely no filter that goes through what you say to them. You can literally talk to them about anything in the world even intimate details about other people or yourself because well they’ve heard it before either as your best friend or your previous boyfriend/ girlfriend.

2. There is no judgement/expectations if you hang out together (even if it’s just the 2 of you)
I guess if they already have a new girlfriend/boyfriend you have to be lucky enough that they dont mind (which luckily I am). But you’re still able to be go out together and catch a movie or have a besties-date having fun and with limited boundaries without being scared that it might end up being awkward/ that one of you will have feelings again because that’s over and it didn’t work in the past. So now you can just enjoy the friendship 🙂

3. You can still hang out with his/ her closest friends
There is no loss in friendship with his/ her friends because you are still friends. You can even still hang out as a group without it being weird. You can still have fun with their friends and your friends won’t tease the 2 of you either because they know that you are just friends. It would feel as if nothing has changed.

4. Reminiscing “those old times”
Just last week my ex sent me a picture of a bookmark I gave him a while back asking “was this from you? I was cleaning up my room 😂” and “wow those good old times when we were dating. That was so long ago!”. Which is a conversation I have with him once in a while. We know that we are so over each other and so we can always look back to those memories with little pain and just smile about it – that it happened 🙂 I mean, every relationship comes with its own lessons. Value the lessons you had with your ex as something precious and a part of you.

5. Most importantly – you dont lose your friend. Enough said about that. Friendship is precious especially if you were such close friends before.

Well I have given what I think the + and – of still remaining friends with your ex, reflecting my own experience. And I would say I never regret the choice.

Of course the main thing here is that both of you need to be mature about it. Rebuilding a friendship from a broken relationship doesn’t take overnight. There are moments where you know you have to give the other some space and let them think about it. But the most important thing is not to give up on it, not be awkward and be mature about it. Rebuild the dynamic that you had before you started going out.

And if you were never really close to begin with… that might be a little difficult because you have no comparison to fall back to. But still hope for the best and don’t give up if the person matters to you! 🙂

Find your passion. Follow your heart.

Having a dream

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

What do you do to achieve your dream? How much are you willing to work for it? How much are you willing to sacrifice for it? How long are you willing to struggle through it?

We all have dreams. Be it big or small. Career dreams, personal dreams, family dreams. We all have hopes and expectations of ourselves and of the people around us. This has led me to a thought of how far are you willing to go to achieve these dreams?

1. Career / your calling in life

This might be your dream job to work in one of the big four companies, it can be to be an executive in the largest bank, or it can be being the best possible teacher, doctor or priest you can be. It can be something you took a degree for or it can be a vocation that you are inclined towards.

Either way, it is something you are passionate about in what you do most of your time. You will pull strings left right and centre to get there – to achieve the goal and feel that sense of fulfilment in your life. It’s the thing you feel as if it’s your purpose in life.

If you have found that calling, then I think you’ll know and agree with me that nothing will get in your way. You would travel miles to get to that place no matter if it’s on the other side of the world. You would let go of your lover to get there even if you care so much about each other. Because it’s the thing that you know will make your life fulfilling.

2. Personal

I’m sure each one of us evaluate ourselves and have this vision of who we would like to be. It can be in the version of having an idol or just vague characteristics we would like to have: courage, wisdom, perseverance.

This often leads to having a bucket list of things you would like to accomplish for yourself in the future. It doesn’t have to be anything to do with your career. It can be simply like go bungee jumping because you want to conquer your fear of heights, or go to Denmark to see how people live so happily there.

Would you leave your family back home for this? Would you delay a marriage for this? Leaving behind everything familiar and your own comfort zones, to find and explore newer territories for reasons purely to yourself.

Would you consider this selfish? Or liberating? I personally feel it is a necessity. We are who we are and we choose how we want to grow, so if we must I believe in leaving our comfort zones, because simply “if you keep on doing what you have always been doing, you are going to get what you have always gotten”. So why not try something new?

3. Family & Relationships

Do you have a plan on wanting to have a family? Possibly where you want to live, etc. I certainly have. In comparison to the other 2 dreams, this is something we don’t decide for ourselves. We can’t just make decisions alone. We make them in a family or with your partner. I mean sure you can have a vision of it, but it will always take compromise from the different parties and negotiations to achieve it.

In the end family & relationship dreams, are something that you achieve together with the people that matter to you. It is the most unstable yet stable one of all. Unstable because you are uncertain of what the other parties will think, they might not agree with you they might be angry at you for suggesting it but you have to try right? If it’s for the better? But yet the beautiful thing is that it is also the most stable, because once they have agreed with you you know they’ll be there fighting for it with you because they love you. While the other 2 dreams you might feel as if its “me against the world” you’ll have a support network here.

So dreams don’t always have to be in the form of a career or a job in mind. It can be in the different aspects of life. I personally believe in the fact that we must find our true calling in life and do what make will make us better and continue to grow. However, never forget the importance of having a dream for your current and your own family & relationships because they can be the support network you need to achieve your growth.

Always remember that every dream requires a lot of hard work (including relationships).

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

Find your passion. Follow your heart.

Do Long Distance Relationships actually work?

 “When two hearts are meant for each other, no distance is too far, no time too long and no other love can break them apart.”

With globalisation and all that stuff, its not uncommon for us nowadays to move around in our lives. This means, obviously, coming into contact with leaving the people we love. But how about the people we fall in love with? Are long distance relationships really possible? Or is it just some fantasy?

Long distance relationship (noun) : “a romantic relationship between two people who live far apart and so are unable to meet on a frequent basis.”

Or in my own definition, well actually the definition above is pretty much what I believe is the true definition. So it’s either 2 different cities, or countries, or even continents. Not two different houses. Or two different ends of the city. Please.

When I ask most of my friends that have been through a long distance relationship, whether they would go through another one, most of them said “NO!” straightaway. Which isn’t a big surprise honestly. It takes a lot of work. And constant heartache of missing that person for it to work out. It’s painful. I have personally had my fair share of a long distance relationship that actually went smoothly (luckily) but it still didn’t work out. But I would say I still believe in it. If it’s meant to happen, it will kind of happen right?

I personally believe that long distance relationships can happen so long as the two of them have:

1. A good foundation of friendship before that.

And I really mean friendship. Not being close to each other in order to get the guy/ girl (or courting?). And solid friendship that goes by to years. Not just a “oh I kind of know that person but I’ve never talked to him/her but she’s attractive but I’ll just stay silent for a good few years”. A good example of this would be being best friends with the person since you were in primary school or kindergarten.

You will literally be miles and miles apart. If you don’t have a good friendship to begin with, how will you maintain a conversation with that person and keep an interesting relationship? I mean at least if you were really close friends before, you’ll have things in common (things you like, experiences, etc) that you can always talk about and ask them. PLUS, if you were friends way before that you are so much more comfortable talking to them about anything which is so crucial in a long distance relationship when you barely have the time to talk to each other.

Are you comfortable talking to them about your insecurities that you’re facing? The annoyed feeling you have for the other because they didn’t reply at all or something? The fear you have for your future together? These problems can be a big thing for even normal couples. But become an even greater thing for long distance relationship couples because of the time difference, different setting issue, and all that.

So I suggest making sure you are properly good friends with this person before you want to risk a long distance relationship. If not it usually ends pretty quickly unfortunately.

A good foundation supports a strong and sturdy house after all right?

2. Trust (obviously) and loyalty

“The scariest thing about distance is you don’t know if they’ll miss you or forget about you” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook.

This is so much of a given since you’ll be living in probably different countries or continents, hours and hours away, not being able to see each other at all for at least a year except through a video call.

You’ll have no idea what the other is doing. You don’t know who your girlfriend/boyfriend is actually going out with. So you’ll have to trust that they are staying faithful to you even when you’re not there. And it takes both side to work out. So don’t you be the one that go out and abuse that trust of your partner either.

It might start out as something innocent like asking a certain someone out for dinner, but when your significant other is on the other side of the world it can get lonely. Don’t fall into the temptation of cheating just because you think no one is looking. You’re betraying your partner’s trust.

3. Having the same end goal

I think you can see having a long distance relationship as someone going on separate journeys but having the same goal in mind. And I think THIS is crucial. I mean all of these are obviously crucial. But if you don’t have this then ultimately all your effort is for nothing. Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s painful.

So before you go on a long distance relationship please make sure to talk it out with your boyfriend/girlfriend whether they want the same thing in the end. Do they want to live in the same country as you? Do they want to settle down somewhere you want? Do they see you two having a future together? What happens if you are of different religions? Is this going to be a problem? (If not, GREAT! if yes, again talk about it)

Don’t delay this conversation because it’s going to make letting go even harder. If you continue to just indulge in this relationship, I mean it can go very smooth sailing (trust me) you’ll have a perfect relationship except you’re working towards nothing because ultimately there is no end goal. And the harsh reality is that you’re just wasting each other’s time. It’s better to give yourself and the other the opportunity to meet a different person who can be your/their future.

If you do have the same goal in mind, then that’s great! Please continue 🙂

4. Communication and Listen

This is a big one. Communication. I mean I think this is a big one for ALL relationships. But in a long distance relationship its even more crucial because small things can turn to big things especially when you’re already emotional from missing the other person and all that.

So it would be advisable to communicate to each other frequently, tell them how your day was (ask them how their day went), tell them your fears (ask them their fears), tell them what made you happy today (ask them what made them happy that day). Tell them anything and everything about you and ask them anything and everything about your partner. This can surprisingly make you feel closer even when you’re living probably miles apart!

Oh and don’t forget that listening is a part of communication. As you can see from the list of things I suggested to talk about I also put in what you can ask. Please don’t be that person that is “all about me”. It gets annoying. So be willing to ask about your partner and if they don’t spontaneously share, then ask! Everyone loves for someone to listen to them. You just need to make the time and effort to do so.

5. Make time for each other.

“Contrary to what the cynics say, distance is not for the fearful; it’s for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love.”

I believe in one thing: There is NO such thing as having no time, you have to MAKE TIME.

If you believe the person is important enough I know you’ll make time for them. I have no idea how anyone can disagree with that. I personally would sacrifice sleep and me-time for someone that I love, wouldn’t you?

Take the time to reply the other’s text, or call (video call would be better).

When you’re home or in the same place, meet up – spend some time together, go on a date. Because when else can you do it? The next time he/she visits in 4 more years?

6. Truth and Honesty

Another thing that I believe is actually needed in every single relationship. But more so in a long distance one. You are living so far apart that being honest with each other is crucial.

When you are irritated of the thing the other is doing, say it. When you’re scared what the other thinks, ask them ask them anyway. When you’re feeling insecure about something, mention it. This way you maintain a transparent relationship with each other and this fosters the trust you need to know the other will remain faithful to you.

7. Don’t give up on each other

Ultimately, it can get a bit rough. There will fights and heartache and crying. But if you’re fighting for it it will be all worth it. Be willing to compromise one way or another. Remember the other party has feelings and needs to and be willing to listen to each other.

So don’t give up on each other. Work hard and fight for it. Struggle and brace through it.

“What comes easy, won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.”

 

Long distance relationships are not the most pleasant way to have a relationship. But believe it or not, if you survive through it, your relationship will survive through almost anything. Because doesn’t distance make the heart grow fonder?

Follow your heart. Find your passion.

 

Fighting Spirit

“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me” – Fight Song (Rachel Platten)

Recently I have been having the job of motivating a lot of my friends that feel like they have lost their sense of drive. So I thought I should post something motivating here and hope that anyone reading this will feel motivated.

No matter if you’re having a major breakdown because you cannot find your goal in life or you have no more motivation to pursue a specific goal that seems so out of reach I would like to encourage you to fight on.

If you believe in something – do it. If it makes you happy – do it. Never give up on dreams just because it sounds too hard. Nothing comes easy but with hard work you can achieve anything.

For those of you who are struggling to find your goal and purpose in life, I would encourage you to take a step-back and analyse what makes you happy in life. What is it that makes you smile? It doesn’t have to be a specific occupation. Is it to interact with people? Is it designing something? Is it the research?

Find out why you like something. Is it because the thought of being able to interact with people gives you the satisfaction that you are directly helping them? Is the adrenaline in the pursuit of the chase in an investigation the thing that gets you pumped? – Answer the what and why.

Once you have found that, find the jobs/ course/ that it is applicable in. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be. No one is limiting you to anything as long as you believe in it. Really believe that you want it.

After that, set a plan on how to achieve it. What courses/ classes do you have to take in order to achieve it? Do you have to learn a new language? Who are the people you need to talk to to get a better idea? Do you need to make more connections? Do you need more internships? With which company? When do you need to apply by?

(Just a note that maybe consulting with a friend/ family that you believe knows you well is a good idea. They will be able to give you a perspective that you might not have realised before on you :))

All these what, when, who, where and when (don’t forget a timeline) will help you to define a new path (or at least redefined) plan for you. Hopefully through this you will feel that you have a new sense of purpose and will be able to make a big impact to the people around you, your community, or even the world.

Remember that no matter how big or small the impact is, you are making a difference. You don’t need to be the president to change someone’s lives significantly. As long as you are doing what you are doing with passion and love, you’ll change the people around you. 🙂

For those of you who are losing the motivation to pursue your dreams, your dreams are yours alone and no one else can chase it for you. I might seem over optimistic here but believe me that the biggest obstacle is yourself. There will always be a way to get to what you want.

First of all- make sure that your dreams are concrete (trust me when i say the motivation to get straight As purely for the grades is hardly a motivation in comparison to the will for you for example to get into medical school to be able to treat the patients that are dying from cancer because you have had a family member that went through the same thing, or something like that). Concrete dreams that is full of purpose is the main driving force.

Secondly, since probably at this stage you’re burnt out, take a small break. We all need it. Don’t deny yourself the need to rest. Get a few hours out in the sun going for a jog, or explore a new part of town. When you’re burnt out, if you don’t re-energise, it will not increase your productivity. Doing something else that rejuvenates you might give you just the time you need to recuperate and get back into the mood.

Lastly, pace yourself for the next round. Dreams are never that simple most of the time. If it was it would not be a dream would it? because it’s the thing you aspire to achieve – so it’s a marathon. Perseverance is fundamental. Take things one step at a time. Another helpful thing would be to talk to friends or family or whoever your support group is. Having a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear is always helpful when you feel like giving up but is in need of someone to motivate you to go on. Small steps lead to a great journey so make sure you take the small steps and you will look back and finally realise how far you have gone.

It might take a lot of effort with a lot of sleepless nights, literal blood, sweat and tears sometimes and a lot of disappointments but I believe that you can do it! 🙂

I especially quoted the song “Fight Song” because I hope that after reading this and maybe some thinking you have the Fighting Spirit within you to continue pursuing what you believe in. Find that passion of yours so that you can fight for it and prove that even if no one believe you can do it, you have the fighting spirit to prove them wrong.

As always, follow your heart, find your passion.

 

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

“Though miles may lie between us, we are never far apart. For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart”

I think those of you that read this would know that I have moved around quite a bit in my life. With this, comes the amazing opportunities to make so many new friends from all over the world. It’s a huge blessing and I am eternally grateful for it. However, there is one downside to it – I would never have that particular friend who I have been friends with since kindergarten.

Over the years, I have finally come to realise that friendship (and relationships too but that will probably be for another day) takes a great deal of effort to be maintained – especially if you are no longer in the same country. For those of you who feel frustrated that they have distanced from their old friends, here are some tips that I hope helps you (cos it has helped me so far :))

1. Make the effort to contact them

This may seem very obvious (at least for the first 6 months when you’re apart but becomes less so the longer it is) but you do have to make that extra effort to contact them. Not having their number is no excuse nowadays 😉 (don’t forget facebook messenger/ email/ etc). Find whatever way you can and contact your old friends.

2. Reply with all your heart

It might seem tempting to not reply after a while because you are busy and the conversation might not be so interesting but do reply. Of course you will be busy with other things (especially when you live in different timezones. But you can always reply later on (a few hours later, or even days later) when you actually have the time to reply all your friend’s messages. This really shows that you are making the effort. Half-hearted messages are the worst because it shows that you are in fact feeling bothered by the messages and your friend might be hesitant in replying again after that.

3. Maintain regular contact

There are friends that you can only talk to for a few hours while there are those who you can have a conversation for years non-stop (I’m not even joking it has happened). So whatever the conversation length is, make sure you keep in regular contact with them. Check-up on them when you feel it’s appropriate (e.g every week/ every month). This shows how much you do still think of them.

4. Remember important dates/ events

This is another thing that helps to maintain the friendship. Of course it’s a given to remember your friend’s birthday – so I’m not talking about that. But do try to remember important events happening in their lives – exams/ presentations/ job interviews/ when they are going on holiday/ etc. This is not only a reason for you to talk to them (hey sometimes even the closest friends run out of topic right? :p) but also it shows that you remember about them even though you are halfway across the world (and trust me it matters :)). Another extra step you can take is to maybe send them a card/ note/ present (depending on the situation) for this specific event especially if you know that your friend will really need that extra support from you 🙂

4.1 (?) Mini tip (especially for those that have friends that are in different timezones)

search the timezones on google or put the specific timezones your friends are in in your phone so you don’t forget the time difference. It comes in handy when you want to wish your friends a happy birthday/ good luck at a specific time. Hopefully then you won’t end up missing the event completely which has happened more often that I’d like to admit for me and my friends unfortunately :/.

5. Plan something

If you have plans to visit your friends in the various countries/ at home this is one thing I have always found helpful. Through this you get to finally meet your friends again and catch-up with them. Often I feel that this will make your friends feel remembered even amongst the new friends that you have made.

 

I focused more on Long Distance Friendships here because I know how valuable friendship is especially when you are someone who moves around so much and don’t get the security of having that 1 friend that is always there (because hey you are not even in the same country). I will write on Long Distance Relationships sometime later. The most important thing I think to remember is that Long Distance Friendships (like all relationships) takes both sides to make the effort. If you are the only one making the effort it’s not going to work out. So don’t forget to make sure you and your friend is on the same page :).

Oh if it doesn’t work out the first time round, try again (if you believe the friendship is worth it). There is never a point where it is too late as long as you’re willing to take that extra step. I just recently reconnected with a friend that I lost contact with for 4 years and another that I lost contact with for 9 years :). So hopefully these tips will be useful to you. And if you have any of your own tips please let me know too 🙂 I would love to get some inputs.

Friends are treasures – don’t forget that 🙂

Follow your heart. Find your passion.

Finding Good Friends

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget”

Friends are the people who you hang-out with, talk to and have an overall good time. But how often do we find loyal and true friends? True friends stick with us through the happy times, the sad times, and all the moments of our lives. They are there for you no matter where you are and when you need them.

I have observed that when we’re young, we make friends quickly, with less prejudice, less judgement and less expectations. All it takes is a single moment of happiness playing together to become friends. But as we grow older, broken friendships and hurt often either cloud or change our perception and we tend to be more selective in making friends. On one hand, the friendships we make tend to last longer as we grow older (not always true but well sometimes) because we tend to be more picky. But on the other, we surround ourselves with only people that we like, people who are usually similar with us or at least who gets/ appreciates us.

It made me think of a few questions on certain traits of friends that we always look for.

1. How easy is it nowadays to find loyal friends?

“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there”

Friends who are always there for us. This might seem quite cynical-but it’s rare.

Whether we want to accept it or not, the moments you spend with someone matters. If you see someone everyday, you’ll get close to them because you are automatically around them. But if you only meet that person once every 6 months, it often requires a lot of effort. The differences in schedule, changes in views, and often time difference changes how much you feel that person is able to relate to you. Now, I am not going to dwell on long distance relationships/ friendships. I think I’ll save that for another day but friends often come and go. It is just part of life. As we grow, the type of friends we make continue to change.

Then how do we define “loyalty”?

By definition, being loyal means: giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.

In my personal opinion, being loyal as a friend just means being there for them when they need them. Or at least if you are busy at that time to ask them what happened or message or call them when you’re no longer preoccupied. It means that you occasionally ask how are they doing and what is going on with their life. It simply means to not forget about them.

It’s oh-so-easy to forget about old friends when you have made new ones. Especially if it’s in a completely different setting, place and environment. But I’ve always believed that every friend you make contributes to who you are (bad and good). They have impacted you one way or another. It is as how the dictionary simply puts it a way of showing your friend that you care and support them constantly and giving them attention.

2. How easy is it to find trustworthy friends? Who will stand up for us when we need help? or who will take care of us in our moments of vulnerability?

Friends are easy to come-by. Especially if it’s merely for a night of fun. But when it comes to the deep and more complicated things in your life – you find out who you really can trust. In the end I think that finding a friend who have the same values as you, matter. Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends that have a different mindset than you because you definitely can as long as you compromise. But, having friends that have the same way of thinking as you help a lot. They defend the same thing as you and ultimately help you achieve the goal of what type of person you want to be.

Find a friend that you can confide in the most difficult situation. Find someone who not only can keep a secret, but is willing to break that secret if it means to improve you. Find a friend that cares about you, who won’t take advantage of you.

I have found it difficult to do so but often these things take time. Finding a trustworthy friend takes a lot of searching and questioning. Trust your gut instinct. It’s often right. Can you trust the person? It might take a little more effort, but when you have found that trustworthy friend, it’ll be worth it.

3. How easy is it to find a non-judgemental friend? Who will accept you for who you are? Not try to change you but yet will try to make you a better person? Who won’t make you do stupid things that they know is harmful?

“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked”

I do believe that having friends that are non-judgemental takes a while. We are all, after all, very judgemental people (unfortunately). A few of us are lucky enough not to be as judgemental. But I, for one, know myself – I’m judgemental as many people are. It is so difficult to not judge someone especially if they are your friends (newly made friends, that is) because you are in the process of getting to know them and you might find out more than you really want to know. However, I believe that with time you just begin to accept them for who they are.

Then if we are all judgemental how do you find non-judgemental friends?

Don’t go for friends who you know are quick to judge or at least judge people out loud. Because that indicates a lack of effort for that person to get to know you. If the person try to get to know you and ask questions – I believe it’s a good sign. I think that it is a sign that that person is trying to understand your way of thinking and trying not to judge you by understanding you.

Luckily, most of the time, once you have hit at least 1 year (or even less for some) of friendship you just don’t question your friends as much and just accept them for their quirky self-and-all.

Ok those are my quick thoughts on finding good friends. I’m definitely not going to list out  all the qualities of what constitute a good friend because then I will be writing a novel probably. But these are just some thoughts of mine. Would you agree? Do you have any other tips to find good friends? or other qualities to look out for?

For my own friends:
“Here’s the nights that turn into mornings with the friends that turned into family.”

Don’t forget: follow your heart, find your passion.