Sunday, May 30, 2010

Choosing your partner in life

Choosing your partner in life is certainly one of the most important decisions you have taken or you will be taking.
So how did you go about or how will you go about looking for your partner in life? Is it a matter of luck or a deliberate choice?
What qualities do you look for in your partner in life? What do you expect from your partner in life?
In my case, I started to look for my partner in life after I finished my university education and was already working full-time. I needed to be capable of earning a good living before looking for a partner. I believe then I was restricted by time, geography and my limited network of friends and acquaintances. At that time, I was a young debonair naval architect, 26 years old, living in Glasgow, Scotland. All the girls I could meet were either in Glasgow, or in London, UK where I spent most of my holidays. During the period when I was 26-29, I had 3 - 4 intimate relationships with potential life partners, all had physical and personality traits that attracted me. My goal to to be married before age 30.
I made my final choice really instinctively based on how comfortable I felt when I was with her. Also her values and beliefs were compatible with mine. Most importantly, she was very natural - minimal make -up, with a beautiful face and smile, and with kind eyes. After 31 years together, I still recognize these same traits every time I look at her. More importantly, we have stood side by side in good and bad times. We have 3 lovely young adults as children, and we share a long history of building our family together. I do not expect my partner to make me happy. I am already happy and contented in life. I expect and have love, respect and trust from her. In return, she expects and has no less from me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life in a nutshell

Do you really value your life? What brings joy and happiness to your life? What makes life worth living? What is life in a nutshell?

Let me describe to you the lives of three of my best friends in a nutshell. They were born about fifty-eight years ago. Like most of us, they had loving and nurturing parents. They all went to school, made friends, and pretty soon they became teenagers. They had their first puppy love, broke some hearts, and had their heart broken and moved on. All three of them went colleges or universities, and afterwards they joined the work force. One became a naval architect, the second one a medical doctor and the third one a businessman. Like most men, their prize possession was their first car, which they used when they started dating girls. They chose their life partners and got married. They bought their first house. They had beautiful children.

We had some good times together, partying hard when we were single, great dinners and BBQs when we were married. We even went on holidays together. After approximately 26 years of hard work with some holidays and great times in between, we were starting to look forward to retirement. Then without any rhyme or reason, they passed away in their early fifties, Norman, the naval architect died of brain cancer, Patrick, the doctor died of Leukemia, and Maurice, the businessman died from complication following his foot amputation. That basically was the lives of my three friends in a nutshell!

So let me ask you, is that really life in a nutshell? Is that all I have to look forward to? To this day I still miss them. So does that mean that I am going to join my three friends soon? When I think of all this, I must admit that I get a little depressed. Luckily, I can still talk to my three friends even though they are dead! So when I am down, I asked them to give me some advice on how to move on. I suppose you are dying to know what they tell me! Well let me tell you the message of my friends from the spiritual world.

All three of them tell me: “Kin, get off your butt and start living! Cherish the moments you have with your family. Build strong and meaning relationships with your loved ones and friends. Express your love and affection to them. Hug them and spend time with them. Support and encourage each other, and help others in need too. Most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t even worry about the big stuff, because sooner or later you will die and join us too.”

I miss them dearly but I would rather join them later than sooner.
Their advice is surely among the best advice I have ever had in my life. I must say their advice from their graves is much better than their advice when they were alive. Back then, when I talked about learning to play golf together, they would say “Hey, golf is for when we retire, we have plenty of time in our hands.” When I suggested we take a world cruise, their advice was “Let’s plan a two-month round the world trip right after we all become millionaires!” And I am still planning and working on that. They used to advise me to eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die. Unfortunately, they did! We used to eat succulent roast pork, great lobster tails, and delicious roast duck like there was no tomorrow. As you can imagine we were all real gourmets and gourmands at the same time. My pot belly is a testimonial to this fact!

So what is life in a nutshell? Before I answer the question, I would like to thank my three friends, Normand, Patrick and Maurice, for giving me the answer.

Today I cherish my precious time with family and loved ones. I am building stronger and more meaningful relationships with them. I am always there for them, expressing my love and affection at every opportunity for I never know when it could all end. I give them plenty of hugs, kisses and smiles. I support them, and help others in need too. And I don’t worry too much anymore. I urge you to incorporate their wise advice into your life too, and watch your life changes for the better.

The bottom line is that life in a nutshell is all about meaningful, fulfilling, and loving relationships.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Being in a virtuous cycle

Being in a virtuous cycle

We’ve all been or heard other people talking about being in a vicious cycle where nothing is working out for you.

Well, the opposite of that is being in a virtuous cycle where everything is working out great for you. You are succeeding in all your endeavours. Other people are coming out of their way to assist you in your projects and in supporting you to achieve your goals.

Some people call it being lucky, being in the zone, being in the flow, being in the now, being confident and resourceful, etc. I call it being in the virtuous cycle. Whatever you want to call it, the important thing is, have you ever experience it. More importantly, do you want to experience it on a more regular basis in your life?

If you do, then you need to:
· develop a positive mental attitude;
· nurture your self-esteem;
· be grateful for all your blessings;
· set SMART goals;
· be in harmony with nature;
· be a loving and lovable person.

After many years of trial and error, I have found that being in the virtuous cycle come relatively easy to me, when I:
· think of helping others rather than myself;
· have an attitude of gratitude;
· think of abundance rather than scarcity;
· act in love rather than in fear;
· see opportunities rather than problems;
· start and end everyday with a thanksgiving prayer or thought;
· give 100% in everything I do.

Make it a habit to be fully engaged and awakened in your daily activities in a spirit of love, caring and gratitude. Living in the virtuous cycle will come easier to you. Like all things that are worth having in life, you need to persevere to acquire it. In doing so, enjoy the moments along the journey.