Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let Go... and Let God. How Prayer Changed My Life.

I read a book a few years ago. It said... there are two ways to approach prayer: to use it as your last resource, or use it as your first.

When people face problems, they usually try everything. They ask their friends, they google their problems, they hire consultants. And when everything else fails, they try prayer.

I used to be that kind of person. I stressed myself out, I drank a few bottle of beers, I cursed some people. Result? I made that problem bigger.

I think the better approach would be... to make prayer our first resource. "Be still and know that I am GOD" (Psalm 46:10). The Bible doesn't instruct us to keep worrying, to do all kinds of stuffs to make other people pity us.

Prayer is like sending our problem away by Fedex. We trust Fedex to deliver our package, and that's all. We don't need to check every hour or every minute where our package is. What we know is... somehow the package is delivered. How? We don't know, but somehow, it's done.

When we trust God with our problems, He will tell us "OK, got it. Now the problem is mine, not yours." If we pray and still worry, God will doubt whether we trust Him. He will tell us "Excuse me son, you think I am not good enough to solve your problems?"

Don't tell God how big our problem is, tell our problem how big our God is.

"Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24).

Friday, March 09, 2012

Choosing Advice

In the past 3 years since my last post, I have changed. A LOT. I gained some wisdom and become more mature along the way. But the negative side is... I got influenced more heavily by people. I am a melancholic by nature, so I think about everything deeply... sometimes too deeply. The flip side? I got stressed easily.

Until my friend gave me this piece of advice... this is what he said in his own words.

"Ben, in life you will meet lots of people... and they will tell you this and that. Some of the things they say are smart. Some are stupid. Some are very stupid. Some are unbelievably stupid. Wise people can decide what to follow. Listen to everyone, but follow your heart."

I tell you, I have some of the smartest friends one could ever get. People say our success and personality are the average of 6 of our closest friends. So... choose your friends wisely.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Being Your Best

My roommate and I had a conversation last night. We discussed which one is better: being excellent in one or two things or being reasonably good in lots of different things. We got different opinion with that matter.

I think life is so competitive that we just can't afford to be just good, not to mention to be average. Wanna have a proof?

In male tennis, current world number 1 is Novak Djokovic. He has accumulated career prize money of some USD 35 million. That doesn't include his endorsement money etc which is way more that that. World number 100? Joao Souza with USD 458,000, that's around 76 times less compared to Djokovic.

Assuming that there are 100,000 people playing tennis in the world (I think there're more), both Djokovic and Souza are in the top 0.1%. Any statistician will tell you, top 1% in any industry is considered very good and the top 0.1% is beyond compare. But why is there such a distinct difference in terms of income?

My point? Being just very good sucks. You gotta be excellent, you gotta be the best in something. People pay top dollars to watch Djokovic. Why? because he's good? No way! Because he's the best.

I rest my case.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I am Back!

May 3, 2009. Yes, that was the last time I blogged. Now, almost 3 years from that last post...

I am back. Better. Improved.

Just like Kim Clijsters did her come back in 2009 after being a mom, I do my comeback (not after being a dad though.)

Still, it's a milestone.

Write to you soon guys. Miss it so much!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gimme Your Dark Side! - a question

I got an E-mail from a person who happened to read my humble blog.

Question: It seems that your blog only represents your so-called bright side and not your dark side? Isn't it a bit unfair? -someone-

My respond:
It's good to listen that my blog radiates brightness, and as a matter of fact, it's the purpose of this blog to lighten up - otherwise I won't give the title of Energizing My Day (just call it Gloom My Day - brilliant!)

However, I understand very well that I am just a human - with all my weakness and limitations. For example, in this post, I wrote how I could be disappointed with some of the best friends I have ever had. In this post, I became super angry towards people who are often late. I didn't hide my troubled past and far-from-perfect background here. Like a striptease show, I bare everything. Yes, everything. No make-up, no photoshop, no mask - welcome to my life.

However, from the every beginning I understand that it's the purpose of this blog - to Energize My Day, and hopefully also Your Day. We live in a gloomy world, with all the gloomy people. Why make it even gloomier my dear friend?

That's all I have. Be positive, be happy, be grateful for everything we have. And...


Well... :p

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Thing (or Two) I learned from Rope-Pulling Competition

"We are judged by what we do and how we do it... no matter how small and insignificant that thing might be."

Yes, I believe in that sentence. How we do something determines how we do everything in life. How we treat waiters in the restaurant, how we act on our appointments including casual dinner with friends, and how we say thank-you to the auntie cleaners (or maybe, no thank-you at all, or maybe we are wondering "hey, how come the floor is always clean without any people cleaning it?" gee..)

For me, I always finish whatever I start, and I mean, finish well.

Last Sunday we had "Rope Pulling Competition" or whatever they call it in English. I signed up for it, and if that competition were a Champions League match, I won't be the Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. I train hard in the gym, but yeah, maybe I am not genetically muscular, so, well. To make the long story short, I am noone in that competition.

Except for one thing....

I never give up. I always enter a competition with one thing in mind: I am going to win. I give my best (and maybe my best is not enough, but who.bloody.CARES?).

We won our first two matches and we entered the top 6 out of 24 teams. That is quite an achievement if we look at our team: all Asians, noone is particularly big and muscular.

Even when we finally lose to the team who finally topped the whole competition, we lose with our face straight looking at our teams' eyes: proud and satisfied...

And as for me, I know myself too well. When I had a 2-hour non-stop badminton match, I will run for 2 hours. I will catch the shuttlecock wherever it goes even when I need to fall down and get hurt, that's perfectly alright. So whenever I finish something, be it a badminton match or a Rope Pulling competition; be it an exam or a job; be it a 1/2-million-dollar project or a simple speech, I always tap myself on my shoulder, and tell myself:

"Ben, I am so proud of you.Really, Really Proud"


Happy Birthday Regina...

You two are one of the sweetest couples I have ever met (Tom and Katie Cruise not included :D)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


There might be times when we felt that no matter how hard we tried, our society just can't accept us. In 23 years of my life, I have seen countless of so-called good boys or girls who turned naughty just to be accepted by their community. Some tried too hard to be popular, and some who failed finally had to rely on shortcuts like free sex and drugs.

And I know how it feels. I come from a family which is 100 miles from being harmonious, and I know how important the feeling of acceptance is. And given that kind of background, it's perfectly reasonable for me to turn into that kind of people, who are dying just to be accepted.

I know how it feels to have to depend on sleeping pills just to be able to sleep. I perfectly understand how it feels when troubles seem so big that jumping from the 6th floor of university dormitory seems to be the easiest and the least painful way.

Given the kind of acting ability, despite all the troubled past, I was able to hide all the problems behind my back, faking my smile, and appeared that I am the most blessed and problem-free person. Sometimes I didn't only have double personality syndrome, I had many - so many until I lost count. And let me tell you, we can pretend well at some occasions. We can pretend not-so-well at many occasions. However, pretending well at all occasions is just so freaking tiring - something that I did for more than 1 year, perfectly well.

And if not because of God's grace, maybe I had already given up my dream. However, I continued to pursue it, doing lots of things other probably could only dream of - graduating from one of the best universities in Asia, getting multiple job offers long before I graduated, and many other things (read my previous posts).

And I have just realized.. some people try too hard to be accepted. Maybe I tried the hardest... failed, injured, and was left disappointed.
If I were to learn from the mistakes, I would conclude my post with this very beautiful quote:

"God, give me the strength to change the things I can change, the courage to accept the things I can't change, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Some things in life are better left untouched.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just because I am no longer 18...

When I was 18 years old, everything seems to happen so slow.

When I am 23, everything seems to be too fast. And when I look back, I always wonder "What the heck have I done for the past 5 years?"
This morning I read China Daily and read that a 22-year-old college student from Wisconsin USA was elected as city mayor. And realizing that I am 1 year older than him and have accomplished nothing in life left me feeling so useless.

However, when I reflected back.. let's say I can live until 80 years old. The journey I have done so far is just over a quarter of it. If my life were a football match, it is not even half-time and for most football matches I watched, the first half of the match is boring. Manchester United scored twice in the last few minutes when they won their Champions league in 1999 and when they won it again last season, the last few minutes period was also the decision factor.

Nevertheless, I think life is short and if I imagine in the last few minutes of my life, I will be asking questions like whether I am satisfied with the life I have.

Maybe I am no longer 18 not even close to that, but I think, never in my life I am feeling so energized. Never in my life I want to (once-again) conquer the world. And never in my life I am feeling so blessed to have some of the finest things in life which can't be bought by money, and some which can be bought by money.

Maybe I am no longer 18, but who.bloody.cares.

P.S. :
1.Friends, thanks for a meaningful 23th birthday.

2. I am going to have a blog in Chinese. Do leave a message or send me an E-mail to suggest for the URL name of my chinese blog :)

3. Some of the finest things in life are FREE. One of those is salvation. Jesus Christ has died for us sinners so we can be saved. Happy Easter and may the spirit of Easter reminds us that we are indeed very, very blessed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

From Guang Zhou with Love

Surprise! Surprise! I know you have been waiting for this post for SO FREAKING LONG. I know that! thanks.. :D I arrived in Guang Zhou 2 days ago and this is my first time writing in my beloved blog... in an internet cafe full of people smoking although there are signs "No Smoking" everywhere.

I am freezing, it's FREAKING COLD here (people, whoever you are, who write in whatever space in this internet that Guang Zhou is hot all year long, I demand your explanation!). You won't believe that you are freezing at 12noon. But I like the weather here. People here have very good skin complexion generally because of this cold weather.

People, when you read something about China which is written by so-called experts, don't believe anything. The only way to experience the real China is by booking your air ticket now and Just Freaking Flying baby! After that, fake your accent so people think that you are a chinese, and dress like what a chinese usually dresses (which means, don't iron your clothes, never.)

First and foremost, China people are not rude like what people say. During 3 days in Guang Zhou, I met lots of friendly people, from a pretty customer service assistant at Bank of China to the auntie who sells "branded goods" for a living. And trust me, her Louis Vuitton, Burberry and such are good, at least good enough for what you pay for. Fifteen yuan for a "Burberry" passport wallet, well, what can you expect?

Second, Guang Zhou is not a cheap place to live at. Not at all. It is almost as expensive as Singapore. The food here is slightly better than Singapore. BUT. It's not HEAVENLY GOOD like what some people told me.

Third, is it just me or my chinese gets so good until I can't believe it myself. When I just arrived, and was going from airport to my university, I could chat with the taxi uncle and he seemed to understand most of what I told him. There are only two options: first, my chinese got better by a lot just by going to Guang Zhou airport toilet, and second, he is a superb actor. I hope the former is right.

Oh, what else should I write? Oh yes, Fourth, Guang Zhou Metro is like Singapore MRT. Sorry Singapore, but I must say, this Metro is almost as good as Singapore MRT and faster (comparing the fare, it's just 1/3 of what you pay in Singapore). It's much better and cleaner than the one in Kuala Lumpur, and just give this city a few more years, this city is going to be unbelievable.

And Fifth, don't believe when people say you should NEVER go to Guang Zhou if you want to learn Chinese because people there speak Cantonese. Guang Zhou people speak mostly chinese just with a slight accent, and there is no reason why it can't stand against Beijing or Shanghai as a place to learn chinese.

OK, when I get my internet application approved next Wednesday, I shall post some photos. A person beside me is smoking like hell and I can't stand it.

And Singapore, I miss you like crazy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

5 hours

Wohoo... I and my negotiation skill. I exchanged SGD to RMB today and a bit sweet talk (and some winks for course :D) could save me RMB300 - save that for a trip to Hong Kong for free :D

I know I am irresistible... *wink*

It's just over 5 hours before my flight...