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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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.

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.

 

Find your passion

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

I find it a little apt that I should start my first piece of writing with the reason I chose the name for my blog. A close friend of mine gave me this link to watch (and I do recommend you to watch it because it is interesting):

After watching this it just made me think – for me, it has never been difficult to find out what was my passion (or mission) in my life.  Since I was young, I knew I wanted to become a doctor. So here I am, 15 or so years later, studying in medical school. But I have had so many friends and family members that were struggling to find out what do they want to be in the future. My personal thought has always been: find your passion.

Be a dreamer. Dare to find out what you want to do with your life. Being ambitious isn’t always a bad thing. Not when it’s the thing that gets you up in the morning every day or if it’s the thing that just pushes you forward every time you falter. Find the thing that makes your happy. It doesn’t have to be something mainstream or a specific course that you are looking into like engineering, or physics, or architecture. It can be anything you want it to be. I have friends that take courses in Animation, Fashion Design, Design Media, Pure Arts yet I also have friends that take courses in Pure Maths, Law, and Pure Economics. I know each of their story in getting there and although I’m not close to every single one of them, I am incredibly proud of every single one of them. Why? Because they all fought so hard for their own dreams. Don’t be afraid to find the thing that you want to do. Because once you’ve found it, you can pretty much fight through most of the hurdles that come your way and face life with a smile on your face.

Just a short thought.

Follow your heart, find your passion.