"That’s been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." - Steve Jobs
Simplicity is an indulgence, an anomaly these days because people are complex and increasingly like to make things complicated. A discussion or meeting could end up in varying directions although the issues on hand could be very simple/ straightforward. These days, people not just us ladies like to over-think… oops…
In fact, I came to realise that the more complex my life has become, the more I appreciate simplicity. These days, just by spending a bit more time with my kids and family makes me very happy. If we find ourselves unhappy or dissatisfied, try taking sorting out our thoughts… we may find that ultimately, it is the simple things that matter most.
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." - Martin Luther
We are constantly bombarded by many many things and happenings around us. Bad news, fears and uncertainties are increasingly being reported in the news and social media. In spite of the negative environments that surround us, is there something that still gives us hope and meaning to pursue? While we busy ourselves achieving our goals in life, do we also take time to water and sow in the priorities of our lives? Life is short, we have to choose what we do wisely. We could either panic and live in fear when the world becomes crazier or we could choose to continue sowing into things that matter even when the world ends.
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect." - Vince Lombardi
We just came back from a business trip in Japan. We met up with many partners and friends and I must say, I see a commonality in them i.e. passion and dedication in their work. Yes, this is not a new revelation. But this time, something just click inside of me. Many times, we know that the craftsmen, the artisans, the sushi chef are dedicated to their craft wholeheartedly and we always feel that we will never be like them in their expertise and knowledge; and then we stop short of it. However, I realised that it is not just about the artisans or craftsmen. In fact, most people I met are equally passionate or if not carry with them a great attitude. This is definitely something that encouraged me. We don’t have to wait until we have achieved something before we can be passionate about it. It is not about who we are, but what we have. Let’s all Ganbatte!
"I wrote some of the worst poetry west from the Mississippi River, but I wrote. And I finally sometimes got it right." - Maya Angelou
It is ok to fail and make mistakes. The key is we learn from our mistakes and keep trying. As we run our business, there have been countless times we make bad judgements, poor decisions and expected the wrong outcomes. At those point in times, we wanted to hit ourselves on the head and hope time will go back and we could save our resources. But as time goes by, we learned that mistakes are inevitable and they are important for growth. We thank God for letting us learn our mistakes early; to make us pay the price for our poor judgements early than late.
This is done in the hope that we could get something done right. At least things that matter to us done right and better. We may not understand why things happen. Nevertheless, we’ll keep trying and trying so that one day, we may succeed!
"Does the man make the suit… or the suit make the man?" ~ Ironman
I stumbled upon this quote on the dvd cover of Ironman 3. Yes, this is Toby’s latest craze.. hence I happened to pick up the dvd to have a closer look at it.
But this quote really stuck me. If you have watched Ironman 3, you would realise that this is the reason why he decided to leave his superhero identity - he no longer can tell who is leading who. What about us? Are we allowing our ‘position’/ ‘title’/ ‘talent’ to define us and our identity? Or are we using what we have to lead the lives we want to? The bottomline is - be who we are and who we are called to be (period).
"A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway." ~ Christopher Reeve
Toby had a drawing and he explained that they are the avengers, see if you can spot Loki in the picture hee…
He is at an age where he is very taken by super heroes and the act of them rescuing people and catching bad guys!
However, a hero is not just one with super powers. He can be anyone of us. Just like what we often watch on TV, a hero is not perfect, he often struggles with himself and yet in spite of his less than 100% faith and confidence, chooses to give it a try. It is usually because the cost of not doing anything is greater than the risk he takes. And you know what? Being a hero is not just for others, it is for ourselves too.
"When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it’s because he’s so human; and that is the secret of his popularity. " ~ Walt Disney
We are human and we need to be human. We work hard towards our goals for our family and have multiple roles and responsibilities in life. There can be endless amount of things to fulfil but at the end of the day, we are human. Humans that need to express ourselves, to feel, to be satisfied in our body, spirit and soul. I watched a movie on my flight back, titled “The Book Thief”. The main thing that struck me was when the German girl asked the Jewish man why her father would want to endanger his life and his family to hide him in their home. It was against the norm and law to do so then. To which the Jew replied, “Your papa is being human”.
While we work hard and get busy in our lives, remember we are not machines. We are humans with a heart and soul and and this is the most precious thing about being human.
"The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace’." ~ Max Lucado
Toby wet the bed for the past two nights and we had to change all the bed sheets and clear up the mess. Before I could incur my wrath on him for creating such a mess, Edwin hugged him and told him it was ok to make a mess, and said “Papa still loves you.”
I was touched by this gesture of love, the grace showered on Toby even though he made a mess reminded me of our own lives. Many times, we mess up in our lives or make the wrong decisions. But today’s episode reminded me that our Father in heaven loves us regardless. We can receive grace when we are in good shape, and in bad shape. Because God is love.
"What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives. " ~ E. M. Forster
What constitutes our daily life? Yes, we definitely need to study or work and have a certain routine in our day to day. But the question is, do we have a life and a vision beyond the daily living? Or a vision and a purpose that undergirds our daily living?
When we think that life is too unfair to us, or that we become upset over issues in life, take time to talk to people or even travel. We could draw different perspectives of life from others or from fresh experiences. Or perhaps just like Abraham, when he doubted his own ability and his faith in God, he took a look at the skies and every single star never fail to remind and encourage him of God’s promise to him.
Take time to get back you and my life! Sometimes it just takes a bit of looking out or looking up! : )
" You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back." ~ Barbara de Angelis
Today I was watching Toby playing with his favourite lego set at home alone. It was a rare moment as he was usually playing with his sister, who happened to be out today. So I just watched on as he played with the “bad guy” and the “good guy”. Surprisingly, as they said goodbye to each other, they bidded each other with a kiss, “muack” came the sound effect from Toby. I was amused and it warmed my heart. Children really learn from what they observe from day to day. As Toby sees how we bid one another goodbye everyday with a kiss, he assumes that it should be the proper way to say goodbye. With such a loving and thoughtful action, how can the bad and good guy hate each other anymore? Yup, you are right, after the kiss, Toby made them friends and they began to help each other. How to lose with love you tell me? ; )