Inspired by some blogs I read that said one of many ways to feel good is appreciating what we have completed. Therefore, I’m going to list 50 things I achieved within last year which can be categorized into different groups:
On setting new adventure:
1. Quitting my job
I made a bold decision on late 2008, to quit from my work place. My parents, especially my father objected to it. He had his reason, recession just hit South East Asia countries. But in the end, my parents supported my decision.
2. Going abroad by myself
My next plan was looking for a job, of course. One of my best friend from university asked me whether I’m interested to work abroad. Since I have nothing to lose, I decided to give it a try.
3. Being closer to friends from the past
As an active student during my study made me know many people including my juniors. I’m not that close with them personally unless I worked with them for instance event committee although I’m making friends with them. Thankfully and unexpectedly they helped me a lot through the initial stage.
4. Making new friends
Part of new journey, I met lots of new friends. It’s friend of friend and so on. And yes, soon enough you’ll learn that how small the world is. The person that you just met, maybe know some people you have known. And somehow I’m happy to know it. It feels like you are still connected to your past, in a good way, which help you to keep your feet on the ground
5. Exploring new area
Imagining myself as a sailor exploring uncharted territory is somehow fun. I like walking around the city with a handy map (a friend lent it to me). I dare myself not to feel shy to ask people when I was lost (glad that I’m quite good in directions)
6. Getting a job on the field that I want Being a web developer
I’ve been wanting to know how does it feel to work as web developer. I just love like web developing very much. I have many worries when I was on my previous job and kept dreaming about it. You’ll keep dreaming about something until you really try it. And the real experience is more exciting rather than dreaming about it.
7. Keeping my confidence
When this is your first time to work abroad, somehow, you may lose your confidence (or at least that’s how I feel).
8. Dreaming high while keeping my feet on the ground
This is my favorite part. I’m a dreamer. I admit it. I have different dreams since I was a kid. The difference now is, I know which my really dream is and which are not, and how to enjoy dreaming in reality.
On learning new things:
9. Making new habits
I made lots of small new habits on 2009. From weekend cooking, cycling, roller blading, to watch TV. Every time I started new one, I feel not comfortable. The good thing is, I become more aware about my environment. I feel I really do something, instead of do routine like a robot. I’m not saying routine is bad, it’s a good thing because routine makes me able to feel comfortable with my new habit.
10. Exercising regularly
11. Eating healthier
12. Exploring me
Yes, being myself is a new thing to me. You may think that I don’t really know myself. Well, I am. I tend to fill in the blanks between people or between jobs. Thus, I adapt very well to my environment, or at least I thought like that. Blending in is good to certain stage, it helps me to communicate with friends, colleagues or others. When you do this over and over again, yes, I lost my own. So, I stay somewhere in between blend in and be myself. And it feels good. Another example is I didn’t aware that I am quite a thinker until few years ago. I thought I was a spontaneous person, who will do what I like to do without thinking further.
On developing good working habit:
13. Talking out loud
Yes, don’t let language be a barrier between your colleague and you. I felt quite stressed at the beginning, because they are speaking casually in Mandarin though that they speak in English for formal matter. But now I’m somehow enjoy it. I take it as a chance to learn new language. Foreign language is my interest anyway.
14. Concentrating better to things I work on
My mind tends to pop many ideas, or maybe too many ideas even for me to handle. One minute I will think on something but I will think something else on the next minute.
15. Improving my touch typing speed
16. Being more organized
I like everything to be in the right place, from files inside my computer to items around me. There was some periods when I didn’t really do this. I was making day to day plan. I felt that I was chased by deadlines from time to time until I really did my plan. I see the bigger picture, then break down to smaller task. When I was not too sure, I’ll write it down on a piece of paper, scribble, draw or mark with post-it note. When I was sure about it, I’ll transfer it to computer. I like to keep everything inside my computer, so that I have less stuffs on my table.
17. Working efficiently
Use the time at office to work office stuffs and use the time at home for personal stuff. And avoid over time at work. I’ve been in that period. Almost every day in some particular week, I reached home about 9pm. (I know some friends are worse than me.) In the morning, I was barely concentrate to the things I work on, I need to drink coffee to perk me up. It’s a bad for your health also.
18. Doing one thing at a time
There is common belief that women are better than men in multitasking, which I believe in it too. It’s not entirely true or at least based on my own experience. I found that single task is more suitable for me. Since I’m focusing on a particular thing, I can finish my work faster and it also means I can switch to different things sooner since I like to experience many things.
19. Making a to-do-list
20. Doing it now or not at all
I learn a tip from a book I read, the title is “How to Get Things Done without Trying Too Hard” by Richard Templar. One of the tips says that when we crossed into something then we put it aside, it creates a chance to be a problem in the future. For instance, when we see that we have email notification, we read the email, then we go back to continue our work. A while later, we get back to that email again. First, our work is interrupted which also means our focus is split for a second then it requires our time to re-read and decide the answer for the email. I will spend some time to clear up those stuffs on a specific time after my work is done.
21. Breaking down my work into phases
22. Upgrading my knowledge
23. Learning more about something
I used WordPress and Joomla since few years ago, but again, I was only dreaming and dreaming to become familiar with those CMS system, without even trying those. So, I know more about those and hopefully I’ll be able to use my knowledge for something good.
24. Sticking to the first thing came into my mind
I admit that I’m quite indecisive when it comes to decision making or choosing something. So I learn that, the very first thing crossed inside my head is actually the thing that I want.
25. Calming, not panicking
Aha! That’s me when I meet something new or things are not going well as I expected. I see that I’m making a good progress in this one.
26. First failing experience
I failed to accomplish a task because I don’t know how to do it, really. I looked over the Internet and forums. Yet no answer satisfied me. I felt so guilty for not able to finish it. I was so stress about this. Later, one of my friend told me that it’s part of the experience.
27. Stumbled with my own ego
Relates to my earlier post.
28. Doing something as perfect as possible – leaving my perfectionist zone within the time frame
When you are expected to do things more than you should be (so it can be a new thing) and it’s an urgent request, you may think that it’s quite impossible to do. In fact, we are able to do it though that we need to compromise few things.
29. Being realistic
I hate something messy. I like to tidy things up. But I stumbled upon a very messy system, beyond my imagination. My first instinct was to tidy it up, but the work was not a one man work. Plus, I have arc enemy called time. There is no way I can make things right within the short time frame. What I did was, I built a solid foundation for my work and did some amendments bits by bits, module by module. I’m still doing it until now and I’m happy with the progress.
30. Being humble
31. Being more tolerance towards differences
32. Accepting that failure is part of learning curve, including when people mad at you
On moving forward:
33. Keeping a balance life, social and working
34. Being consistent
To do something that you like. Lots of my friends are moving from one field to another field.
On being honest:
35. Patience and patience
I am not seeing myself as a patience person. I like to move around, from one thing to another thing which interests me. Thus, when I was working on something which requires concentration and patience I was easily lost my cool. In the end, I cannot think clearly and mess up everything.
36. Cutting down some of my hobbies
I have many interests and hobbies. It varies from programming or technical stuff to non-geeky stuff like cooking. After I found a job, I found it’s hard to do all things that I like. I learn to let certain things go. Hobbies are things to do in our spare time, it’s not a must to do. I used to focus on my hobbies too much in the past, though I still performed well at work. But, there were other things I sacrificed, like friends and families. Thus, I learn to slim down my activities. It does not mean I will not do it again, instead keeping them aside when I am bored or needed I still can do it again.
37. Self motivating
I had my downs many and many times. Sometimes, I tried to talk to my friends or discuss about my problem. To be in a quite workaholic country (or at least what people think about Singapore), I feel bad to disturb people about my problem. I found quite effective solution, I will spend time alone to read books or blogs I followed. I reflected the value inside with my problem and do a little self talk. Once I found the solution or compromise about it, I’ll be happy enough and regain my spirit.
38.Worrying will not solve the problem
39. Pausing when in doubts
40. Saying no to things that I don’t like
and it does not mean that I’m picky, I don’t want to step out from my comfort zone, or I’m not willing to learn something new.
41. Saying that I can’t do it
I feel life is about experience. Therefore, when someone asked me whether I’m able to do it, I’d answer it “I’ll try it.” I can complete most of the task trusted to me. Later, I started to notice that people are starting to give me new things over and over again from time to time. Well, I gain lots of experience from doing different things, but I feel I lost myself. I can’t do things that I like to do because I don’t have time anymore. It was hard to do it in the beginning, but now, I learn a lesson that saying “I can’t” doesn’t mean a serious crime. (on a different situation, sometimes I still do it to help a friend.)
On relying to others:
42. Trusting more other party
43. Sharing the good things to others and the bad too
44. Learning from other
I learned a lot from my colleagues, especially my team lead. She inspires me in many ways too. She is a straight forward person who does not hesitate to show her feelings, thoughts or emotions. She’s just being herself.
On many other things:
45. Living in a present moment
46. Traveling with friends to new places
47. Giving myself gadgets that I want
48. Supporting my parents and brother
49. Enjoying someone success
It’s one of the most difficult thing for me in the beginning, I have to admit (sounds like I’m admitting many things here :p) until I read that two person can clap hand together that make two people are happy rather than one.
50. Accepting things I can’t change and making peace with it.
When I was about to start to write this, I was asking myself, am I able to do it? to list 50 things from 2009. Okay, it is hard to recall the experience not about the writing though. So, I do simple calculation here:
50 things / 52 weeks (a year) = 0.96 ≈ 1, it means I have at least one items that made me proud of myself of each week.
When we narrow the number down, we can list almost anything. This reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein, “To make things as simple as possible not simpler.” One of my lecturer like to put it on our exam paper when I was at university.
To conclude, early last year I was thinking that I wanted to learn more about life and myself. And now when I looked back, most of the things from my list above are my wish, about me stepping out from my comfort zone and learning more about may things in life. When I looked back to those time, I’m glad that I have opportunities to experience it. Some of them were difficult yet bitter but it’s a sweet experience after all as a saying I used to hear “good medicine usually tastes awful“.
Thus, I’m looking forward to learn more in this year, achieve more, and hopefully to inspire more people.
And, I’m still learning to be more consistent on practicing some of the items I mentioned above.
How about you? 🙂