How To See Life 101

Summary – You can choose to use light or a ruler.

Have you ever wondered what life will be if we don’t have any unit of measurement. By unit, I’m referring to those such as kilogram, meter, second etc. Just imagine going to the store and try to buy 5000 grains of rice, or describing the time taken to walk from your house to the store by calculating the number of heartbeats to reach there.

It can actually be done but it will be very tedious and the process will be very complex. Take one meter for example, one meter is actually defined as the distance travelled by light in free space in 1/299,792,458 of a second. You can choose to measure all the distance throughout your life by using light and a stopwatch. But don’t you think a ruler is far more convenient?

Now here is where we can apply it in our life. I truly believe that life is very complex in all its definitions. However, there will always be a simpler way to understand and live your life.

1st Example : The Immortal Story Of The Boy & The Girl

Let say you like a girl and you really want to introduce yourself to her. But in your mind, you start to think all the ways that she can reject you and how you will react to the rejection. Some deeper people might even try to figure out what the consequences of approaching her would be. In the end, you will just end up with a major headache and becoming more invisible than ever. This is a great example of how we are constantly making our life more complex unnecessarily.

The same situation can be approached in a much simpler way. You like the girl, just go introduce yourself to her. Anything happen then is to be handled then.

2nd Example : My 2 Years of Nonsense Worrying

A personal example to further illustrate how to simplify the complex element in life is my quest for a steam certificate. I am currently working as an engineer for a mill. To make things short, I will need to be acknowledged as an authorized steam engineer for me to be promoted. In order to achieve that I need to apply and pass a series of examination conducted by the national board of engineers. It’s been over 5 years now and I’ve been postponing the application for 2 years already.

I always remind myself of the possibility of failure in the examination and how I am still not feeling ready to sit for it.

A few weeks ago, I took my own advice and see the issue in a simpler form. The board of engineers doesn’t even know that I exist since I haven’t applied yet. And unless I send in my application, all the worrying just don’t make sense. That’s exactly what I did. I sent my application and started preparing myself for the examination. Whether I fail or succeed, I know I’m half way there.

Conclusion

There are always two ways to see your life. A complex way or a simpler way. Believe me the two will always be there for you. Just choose the simpler way.

– I Wonder –
Any other example of a complex life issues that can easily be viewed in a simpler way?


————- Personal Note —————
The examination is due this June. Wish me luck! If I passed, I will buy all of you a drink :)

Photo Credit – Zanastardust


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How To Get Excited With Tomorrow

Summary – A Page Turning Life

Have you ever read a page turning novel? The kind that after you read a page, you are compelled to read another and another. The one thing that is stopping you from continue reading is your tired eyes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we have a page turning life? Living everyday and getting even more excited about the next day – A Page Turning Life.

Luckily we can learn a thing or two from the novel author. We can learn how he successfully kept us wanting more in every page. A few tricks that immediately appear to mind are as such:

1) Put the answer on the next page

An author always bring up an interesting question in every page and immediately give hints that the answer to the question is just on another page.

This can be implemented in our everyday’s life. We just need to start asking ourselves the right kind of question. For example, when you are working, start up a social experiment. You can find the one person that hates you at work and be nice to him. Pay for his lunch or send him a card that says you are sorry. Now the whole experiment is the question of the day. Try to see the result to the experiment tomorrow.

Aren’t you excited to see what will happen?

2) Ensure every page is different

Would you read a 1000 pages book that repeat the same story in every page? I will most probably be setting fire to the book after about 3 pages.

The same goes to our everyday’s life. Yes, we have routine job everyday, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do other things differently. Instead of driving via your normal route, try driving via a longer route. Instead of chatting with your friends, find new ones. You don’t even need to ask for their number. Just chat away.

Our job will always demand us to perform it without any change. But it doesn’t mean that we have to live the same way too.

3) The best book is a story book

Do you know the Snow White (*) story? I bet you can tell it to your children without even reading it from the book. It is memorable not because it is popular. It is memorable simply because there’s a story and the story is interconnected that you can memorize it in one go. There’s the princess, the witch, the mirror, the apple, the dwarf and the prince. See, I told you it is memorable and interconnected.

Our days are the most important story in our life. Write your story so that every day is interconnected. The best way to do this is of course to set a goal. For example, set a goal that you wish to be the best father for your children. Record your everyday’s attempt (both success and failure) in achieving this goal.

That itself will be such a beautiful story. Don’t you think so?

– I wonder –
Any other ideas to make our life page-turning?

———– Personal Note ————–
The first thick novel I read was Insomnia by Stephen King. And I personally verify that it is a page-turner, at least for me. It is a story of a person who was losing sleep every day until at one time he began to see auras from people among other strange things. He also started seeing the angel of death himself.

What’s your first thick novel?

* My special thanks to Anya for pointing out that the story is Snow White and not Cinderella.

Photo Credit – Beige Alert


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Personal Rant - Where's The Next Wimax Coverage? You Decide

If you have been following my personal rant, you will know that I occasionally write a piece or two on the latest development of wimax in Malaysia. Just a personal rant from the blogger in me who yearn for faster internet connection.

And if you read all the rants from other people on the net about P1 Wimax, it is always about why their areas are not yet covered. They are all getting fed up with their current ISP and if their areas are covered, they will definitely make that switch.

Good news! you can now nominate your area to be the next place to be covered. This may be just a gimmick, or it may be the real thing. Still, would you pass such opportunity to influence the wimax coverage in your area?

All you need to do is to just visit this P1W1max site and nominate your area. From the way I see it, if you manage to convince all your hometown folk to vote, the chances will be higher and you may get that wimax coverage slightly faster.

There’s no harm in trying right? :)


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10 Proven Tricks To Build Up Your Emergency Fund

Summary – The keyword is fluid & 6 months salary

If you read financial related blogs, almost every one of them will advise you the same thing – Start your emergency fund. Technically this fund will serve as a safety net should anything happen to you. You never know.

For example, you are sacked from your job. With your emergency fund, you will be able to support your family and still pay all those monthly bills while searching for other jobs. Imagine not having one, you car will be taken from you, maybe even your house. How on earth will you be able to focus on job hunting with all those problems?

So start your emergency fund, Recommended value should be around 6 – 9 months of your monthly expenditure. Let me repeat, “expenditure” not your salary.

These tips may help in establishing your emergency fund.

1) Eliminate bad habit that cost money

Bad habits that cost money are like smoking, drinking, partying every other night etc. Look into your daily activities and identify which unimportant activities is draining your money. List them down and decide right now whether that habit is good or bad. If it’s bad, put a stop to it.

How to get out of a bad habit? Aha.. That will require an entry of its own.

2) Pretend everything cost $5 extra

If you buy your monthly groceries, and it total up to $120, Take out $125 instead. Pay up for the groceries, but the remainder $5 is to be put into your emergency fund. Do this to every purchases you do. Call it your personal tax if you want.

You will spend less for sure, and you are saving more. What harm can it do?

3) Budget and rebudget

Now you should have cut all the unnecessary expenditure. Make a budget for the month. Here is how you can do that.

Record everything you bought and spent up to the cents. This is the time consuming part, just bear with it for about 3 months. You just want to have a clear picture of how you are spending your money.

Once you have recorded every expenditure of the day, write it down in your Excel file and tally it with your actual balance in hand. If it is tally, that means you are monitoring your finance well. If not, that can only mean that there are some money lost without you knowing it. Figure this out first.

By the end of the month, you should know how much exactly are you spending on food, entertainment, bills etc.

Assuming you are spending $2000 for the whole month. Take 10% out and that would be $200. Now check back your budget. Where can you squeeze out that $200.

Certainly things like phone bills, entertainment, electricity can be cut easily. Remember this is only temporary. Once you have achieved your emergency fund target, you can do what ever you want :)

4) Snowball saving

Remember the snowball technique? That technique was actually used for eliminating debt fast. However we can adjust the technique so that we can now save faster. Always pay the minimum amount of any bills and just put the extra money to your saving.

It would help to get yourself a piggy bank. When you cannot see your money, you will be more likely to forget about it. Rule of thumb – Never pick up the piggy bank to weight them. You will be tempted to count the money inside.

5) Create multiple bank accounts

I would suggest 3 accounts. One is for rainy days, another is for death or 911 cases and the third one is to be forgotten.

One of the advantages of keeping separate accounts is that you will always see the total amount saved as low. This will hinder any temptation to use it. Imagine you are saving about $80 per month in one account. Will you withdraw that money for your entertainment when you know how hard it is to save that amount of money.

6) Use online banking.

If you can, please use online banking. It is very easy to do and you can transfer all your money to another account without touching the money.

You see when we always have that feeling of a think wallet, we will know subconciously that we have a lot of money. Anything happened, however minor, we will straight away withdraw the money since we know it’s there.

7) Play “Kutu”

“Kutu” is the name of the game played here in Malaysia. It is pronounced as Koo Too. A group of 10 people will sit down and agree to pay $100 per month for 10 months. They will then set up a schedule on when to receive the money. For example, January is for Joe, February is for Tina.

When it is January, one person will collect $100 from everyone and surrender the money to Joe. The next month, they will collect all the money and surrender it to Tina. This will go on until all 10 people have received their share of money.

One thing that must be clear. All the 10 people must be very trustworthy. The system will be a mess if somebody start avoiding payment etc.

8] The Lost Key strategy

This is another favorite of mine. Surrender your ATM card to your spouse. But do not give her the pin number. This way, both of you cannot use the card to withdraw money. The money will be safe.

You just need to explain to your spouse that the reason you didn’t give her the pin number is due to safety reason. Not because you didn’t trust her. You don’t want this saving exercise to ruin your relationship now do you? :)

9) $1 doesn’t have any value

An item cost about $7, and you pay with $10 bill. Convince yourself that the $3 change (which is in $1 bill) have no value.

But of course do not throw away that $1 bill, just put it into your piggy bank. Believe me, you will achieve your target in no time.

10) Personal loan

This should be used only as your last resort. If you are having trouble committing to your saving habits. Apply for a personal loan with low interest and put all the money in your account as an emergency fund.

The advantages

  • Your emergency fund is ready
  • People will harass you daily if you didn’t pay
  • You can even make money if you choose carefully

The disadvantages

  • You are losing money from paying interest

Conclusion

Emergency fund is a must. If you don’t have one, start working on one. Just make sure it amounts to 6 months of your salary and the saving is fluid (You can take out the money anytime you want)

– I Wonder –
How do you save your money?

————- Personal Note ————-
The lost key strategy is a bit dangerous to be used. You may end up losing your card, or forgetting your pin number or worse both.

Luckily I still remember I have an account there.

Photo Credit – Striatic


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