thoughts

Is It Wise to Share Your Thoughts Online?

The great thing about having your own space online is that you can write whatever you want!

Well, that’s not quite true.

Even though we’ve carved a space out, it never really belongs to us.

Furthermore, it’s still visible to others.

And that visibility forces us to censor ourselves.

As such, there are certain things that I would NEVER talk about online.

Not out of fear of what others might say, but simply out of a sort of understanding. That this will never be a truly ‘safe’ zone.

So where do I go to express those thoughts?

When I talk to someone I can trust.

Or I simply pen them down (yes, with a real pen) on paper (yes, real paper).

I HIGHLY recommend the writing option.

That said, I’m sharing these thoughts online.

Hmm…

'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Thoughts Came.

Christmas has become something rather different from what I remember as a younger version of myself.

I remember it to be celebratory, joyous, and a relaxing time.

Though I never really had a family tradition to celebrate the season, my mom would sometimes buy honey baked ham and log cake (chocolate!). We didn’t really do presents, though we did when I was much younger, or have a Christmas tree, but this simple gesture was enough to remind me that it was a time to indulge in a little food and have a little fun.

As a teenager, I remember attending gatherings, going to Orchard Road to see the lights, and enjoying the days leading up to it with friends. We would brave the crowds and sit somewhere to talk about the simple things that teenagers talk about.

As the years went by, I felt the vice of commercialisation tighten. I started to notice the ‘SALE’ signs everywhere, the advertisements for Christmas-sy products, and the promotions for ‘Christmas lunches and Christmas dinners’ at restaurants.

I started to resent ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchanges, the mad rushes to find something vaguely suitable, and the near-useless ‘gifts’ that ended up in everybody’s laps.

It was no longer about spending time with people I cared about. It had become a sideshow, about showboating, about who got the biggest, brightest present and how ‘lucky’ some people were to win the office prizes.

After a few years of this, I made a decision. I would no longer participate in these pointless gift exchanges and I would either spend my Christmas Day’s where I want to or stay at home.

As it turns out, this was one of my favourite decisions. Some may argue that I’m being oversensitive about the whole thing and others have tried to cajole me into joining in their versions of ‘celebrations’. I never caved.

Christmases in the most recent years are nothing like the ones I had when I was younger. They certainly don’t look as laugh-out-loud fun, but they are less meaningless to me now.

I take the time to think about the year that passed, and the one that is to come.

And, in case you wonder about my faith, Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, and I have very strong views about the christianisation of this ‘holiday’. I am not completely against the celebration of this day, but only if it is done with careful consideration, with the knowledge and understanding that this is a substitute celebration, and not a ‘holy day’ as it were.

You are free to do on this day as you please, just as you are on all the other days of the year.

As am I.

Winter


Accomplishing Stuff in the First 10 Months of 2017

10 months of 2017 have passed. We are now in the final 2 months of the year.

As with the years prior to 2017, I ask myself,

"What have you accomplished this year that you have not before?" (Yes, I talk to myself all the time in this way)

So here we go:

1) Married my One and Only, met so many familiar faces at our wedding AND got the keys to our new home in April

Looking Out

2) First Church Camp as a married couple in June

3) First overseas mission trip in end June - early July

Cambodia (113).jpg

4) Spoke for the first time at the Association of Professional Speakers Singapore (APTS) in end August

APTS - With President David

5) Did my first assembly talk in a school in mid September

6) Incorporated my first company in mid - end September

7) Presented at my first overseas conference (Professional Development Conference 2017 in Yangon) in end September

Presenting in Yangon

8) Held the first physical copy of The Introvert Teacher in early October

Books Arrived 01.jpg

9) Exhibited in my first Gem Fair, gave 4 talks related to gemstones, and met many new people in end October

Loupin Jewels Booth G114.jpg

All in all, I'd say this is a pretty hard year to beat in terms of accomplishments. And the best part? There are still two whole months to go, to get more things done.

Right now, I'm planning the book launch for The Introvert Teacher as well as workshops for Loupin Jewels, apart from an overseas trip, all before the year is out!

Very exciting stuff! I am thankful for all that has happened this year and all that is about to happen soon. Thank you for being a part of it!

Speaking at SJGF2017 02

Advice on Becoming a Public Speaker from Dr. Andrew Goh

A little over a week ago, I had an opportunity to speak to Dr. Andrew Goh. 

I told him,

"Dr. Andrew, you may not remember me. A few years ago, I asked you for advice on becoming a public speaker. Today, I am well on my way. Thank you for your advice."

I then gave him two copies of The Introvert Teacher, one addressed to him and the other to pass on to anyone he wants.

This was the advice he gave to me. The elaboration is my own:

1) Volunteer to Speak and Practise

At the start, the only way to get known and gain recognition is to speak whenever you have an opportunity.

Also, you are going to need the practice and volunteering yourself will help you to figure out your niche topic, which brings us to...

2) Have a Specific Topic

It's all too easy to take on any and all projects that come your way. 

However, being a generalist can be confusing, especially for those who are looking for speakers on a particular subject. It also makes you less memorable to those who have already heard you if you tell them that you can do 'any topic you need'.

People look to experts. Establish yourself as one.

3) Once Established, Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Speaking Fees

At some point, you are going to have to be paid if you intend to embark on speaking as a career.

This can and does happen organically but the surest way is to ask.

Start by getting the organisers to cover your travel expenses, even if it's just a taxi ride.

From there, as you gain confidence, ask for more. Be reasonable. You probably shouldn't ask for 10 thousand dollars per hour if you only started speaking 2 months ago (unless you're already some sort of celebrity) but, hey! If you get it, that'd be quite an achievement.

Still, be firm in your requests. If you give in too easily, you are only shortchanging yourself.

Thank you, Dr. Andrew, for being a teacher I look up to and for taking the time to advise me.

With Dr. Andrew Goh