Friday, November 04, 2005

The Happiness List

The Happiness List

I've been starting my day very early for the past two weeks, waking up at 4.00am in the morning to start work. I think I'm going to try and keep this routine as I find that the early morning hours have been very productive ones; the mind is completely fresh and you are able to clock in four hours of undistracted work.

With four hours of work in the bag, even before the day begins, I feel extremely good for the rest of the day. Nothing makes me happier than having a productive day. But hang on, life isn't all about work, is it?

Now, let me think: what else makes me feel happy? Simple things make me happy. Let me make a happiness list: a morning jog, a nice glass of teh tarik, kopi tubruk and Indomie for breakfast in Jakarta, a movie at Block M Plaza, beer with friends, a nice bottle of red wine, a Liverpool win, a train journey and of course, a good book for company. There are certainly more in my happiness list but the point I want to make is that, these are usually simple things which don't cost a lot of money.

What about money itself? Well, I do feel happy whenever I see money credited into my bank account but I try not to work consciously for it. It's more fun if money is just treated as a "by-product" of what I do. So, receiving money from work always comes as a "pleasant surprise".

Having to run my own business, I do need to be conscious of money all the time. It can be a challenge to be constantly dealing with money-related matters and yet not being a slave to it. But I try to imagine business as a sport with profit and loss merely a "score" that I keep. Of course, you must also play all out to win!

We need to give ourselves lots of reasons and excuses to be happy. The longer the list, the better. Everytime you encounter something that makes you happy, you remind yourself how blessed you are. Finishing a blog entry always makes me happy too. When I checked my Blogger statistics, I realized that over the past two years that I have blogging, I've been blessed with happiness a total of 764 times. What a wonderful way to accumulate happiness!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My Wonderful Co-Worker

My Wonderful Co-Worker

It's a week-long break for most people this week due to the double celebrations of Deepavali and Lebaran. I'm still maintaining my "batch processing" momentum, at least for another week. Perhaps after this project, I'll take it easy for the rest of the year.

I have not been able to blog that regularly this year due to my heavy workload. It's going to be like this at least for another year. Oh, how I wish I could blog everyday like what I used to do in Jakarta!

But I'm back in KL now and after more than a year, I've gotten used to the life here again. Life here poses a different kind of challenge to me: Keeping my stress level down, for instance. Especially when I'm driving. In Jakarta, I didn't have to drive because taxis and three-wheeler bajajs were cheap and available everywhere. Here in KL, one has no choice but to drive.

The traffic jams in Jakarta are much worst of course, but Indonesian drivers are a lot more patient than their Malaysian counterparts. Enough has been written about Malaysians' bad driving habits and I don't wish to repeat them here. These days, I always have an audiobook with me everytime I'm driving; not a single minute of my time on the road is wasted. So I'm not complaining.

To lead a stress-free life, one needs to learn how to let go. Most of the things in this world are beyond our control; so you just do what you can and let the universe decide the outcome. The unhappy people that I often meet are those who tend to find fault with others. Why should it be our problem when it is other people's fault?

We tend to forget that we all have a wonderful "assistant" at our disposal: God. Let Him be the judge of people's actions. Just "delegate" all your displeasures to Him and trust that He will do the needful. All you have to do is to concentrate on doing what you are supposed to do and God will take care of the nitty-gritty details for you--things like reward and punishment. This is exactly the principle behind karma yoga--work without any attachment to the fruits of your labour.

Sometimes I just imagine myself to be a worker in the factory production line: I'm assigned to do that one thing that I'm supposed to do. I just concentrate on achieving quality on my particular portion of the work and then pass it on to the next person on the assembly line: God.

If there's anyone who should be thoroughly stressed, it's God. Tireless, uncomplaining and eternally creative--how fortunate we all are to have a co-worker like Him!