Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Letter to Myself

So I have finally finished reading "Winning the Game of Life" by Adam Khoo last weekend. To summarise the entire book into one or two primary ideas seem to be degrading because there are just too many insights on steps to achieve success. Today I will focus on just one key idea - Loving Yourself.

How is that a key idea? Many times we claim to be loving people around us so dearly, and by loving them it means wanting the best for them, helping them achieve their goals and live a happy successful life. But often we tend to settle less for ourselves, set a lower bar/standard so that we can easily achieve the goals, only to realise we have not really achieved anything significant. Why?

Here is a person you have been living with for your entire life, wouldn't you want the best for this person, standing right in front of you when you face the mirror? Loving yourself is one of the first and foremost quality one must possess to position him/herself to success. As the adage "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars", setting a much higher goal seems like a safer bet to me than settling for an easy target. At least I am improving myself along the way.

How does this got to do with loving myself? If I truly appreciate and love myself, I will do everything I can to strive the best for myself in all areas (health, personal finance, work, family, friendship, relationship etc.), and I would never allow myself to settle for norm and mediocrity. In the book, there was this short exercise, i.e. writing letter to myself. I find it weird at first, but ultimately it works perfectly in realigning myself back to self-loving and self-appreciating mode. Imagine reading the same letter each time you feel down and unloving, you will see who you truly are and get yourself back on track. Try it for yourself too if you've got time! You may be surprised too! So here it goes...

Dear Nicholas,

We have came a long way. Having known you for the past 23 years, we've gone through ups and downs in life. But what you never actually noticed is how strong and persevering you truly are. There were times that you've failed (Additional Maths progress test in 2008, Economics A2-Level Paper 2 in 2012, our first broken relationship last year, and the latest early this year, matched betting that punched a temporary hole in our wallet), but you always came out victorious each time with even stronger fighting spirit and wisdom. Along the way, there was this one Big Guy up there who has always been watching us through the happiest and darkest moments of our life.

Despite being busy revising and uncertain of whether you were able to finish your revision on time, you were still ever faithful and continued to serve in church! While many people were panic and busy revising for their upcoming exams on Friday, you still served faithfully on Sunday and came for Homes on Wednesday! Taking two to three hours off from your study hours seemed to have no impact on your final result, because guess what, you still graduated with a First Class Honours! How proud I am for you, my dear! This is how conviction and having full faith in God sounds like, because God loves His children who love Him wholeheartedly and serve other brothers and sisters faithfully. Result: Blessings overflowing from your own small cup that could barely contain.

One thing I love about you is your ability to listen attentively and think before giving advices. You may be confused and indecisive at times, when you could not pen down your thoughts in detailed and orderly manner, but each time you will eventually come out with a grand plan and most importantly actions that ensue. People seek for advices from you and you never once shunned them away. You are always generous with your time and efforts to help someone overcome his/her life difficulties and transitions. By helping others, it gives you so much joy and pleasures because ultimately you just want to see the smile on others' faces.

Do you know you have a beautiful genuine smile too? There were a number of times you received compliments because of your smile. You may not be the most handsome guy of all, but you are charming in your own way. You always seem cheerful in front of others, and people gravitate towards positivity attributed to the cheerful personality. Don't believe? Just look into the mirror yourself and smile. Why would you ever want to take away the smile from this guy? No, I wouldn't want to do that and I can't find a reason to. He is awesome that way, period.

Although you are not the smartest guy among your friends and colleagues, you are considered above average. No, I am serious. Just look at how well you have done in school, despite all the distractions that were coming your way. You always managed to set your priorities right and work towards the most important areas. Multitasking is never your strength, but you knew your weaknesses well and chose not to focus on them, but to amplify your strengths. Now that your priorities is settling in well at work, and start taking full responsibility towards your own personal finance. Good effort, but there are certainly more room for improvements.

One major achievement that you have attained was your successful weight loss plan. You were fat for almost your whole life from Primary Four till college, and you were teased incessantly. Until the one fine day when you finally decided to subscribe to Fitness First gym membership in 2011, coupled with carefully planned diet, you managed to lose 10kg within the next eight months. In your first year in university, because of subscribing to Barclays Cycle Hire and cycling each time you were commuting within Zone 1 of London, you lost another 10kg. However, it did not last long because the first summer screwed it up eventually, putting you back 10kg. All credit to the scrumptious Malaysian food.

Thanks for taking care of our body and picking up gym exercises in the morning these days, although it is never easy to wake up at 6am. Once you start driving to work every day from early October, you have no more excuse not to exercise. You are quite adaptable to changes, because as soon as there are major changes in life, you start almost instantly to plan and execute the best strategy that you can think of. Another thing about you, is nowadays you tend to slow down your pace and appreciate the small things around you. Indeed, you slowed down to see kids running around the playground, flowers blossoming and simply the fresh air early in the morning (except recently that the haze issue here got a bit too serious). The quiet moments are also perfect for daily reflection.

One final advice: Let go of the previous failures, live at the present with optimistic and open mind. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Opportunities are everywhere even within calamities, just have to keep your eyes open!

I love you.

Yours dearest,

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