Monday, May 24, 2010

"It ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward."

~Rocky Balboa~

Things I Have Learned Since High School

Back in high school, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Sure, I was president of this, president of that etc etc - but really, I did it because I thought it would give me some popularity. Looking back, I'm glad I did all those things, because I learned so much from them. But the problem still remained: I had no idea what I was doing.

As college life comes to a close, I've made some thought of what are some of the lessons I've learned here in college, and hopefully, will remain with me as I grow up.

(1) Everything always changes. Always. I've learned that I may have the most wonderful plans, but these plans never work out perfectly. What this means is that I've learned the need to be flexible and adapt accordingly. Also, it means that I've to learn the lesson of letting go. That's hard. Really hard. But it's necessary.

(2) Life is always about the circumstances, so it seems, but really, you don't have to blindly follow what society dictates. In South Africa, I've had the amazing opportunity to learn from 2 of the most prominent anthropologists in the country - John & Jean Comaroff. They taught me that everything, including values, changes depending upon how forces in the society work on each other. At one point, I had given up hope, because what that meant was that there was no way we could fight against the society. How they concluded their lessons though, was what really struck me. Although society may have been shaped in a certain way by the past, we can make a difference. If each and every one of us realizes that there is something that can be better about society, we can gradually, but surely, change it. And that, has become my life goal.

(3) Humility is the best policy. Despite having been in America, where many of my friends back home believe that being confident (or even arrogant) equals success in life, I've come out believing ever more so that humility beats arrogance any day. I had an amazing time interning with Value Partners in Hong Kong. The CEO would constantly remind us: "When you think you're smart, you'll probably end up making stupid decisions. But when you think you're stupid, you'll probably end up making smart decisions." And that has stuck with me ever since. At the same time, being humble means being able to throw away my ego and accept mentors who would be willing to teach me the lessons of life. Truly, one of the main reasons why I am who I am today is because I've had so many people teaching me or saving me from periods where I've been utterly destroyed. For that, I've been truly grateful.

And so, that ends this post. Although I still don't know exactly what I'll be doing, I believe as long as I firmly stick to the lessons that life has posed for me so far, I'll end up looking back with a smile. Steve Jobs said in his Stanford graduation speech that "You can only connect the dots looking back. You cannot connect the dots looking forward." So true. You can only have faith that your dots will finally connect. At the moment, all we can do is to do our best, and to do what we love.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Slap in the Face

Got a huge slap in the face today. Painful - but necessary.

Wake up, Adrian. You've been asleep for far too long.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Weird... So after re-doing the MBTI test several times and going through numerous forums, I found out I've become an INFP. Eh?

The Idealist

As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves

INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.

Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.

INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.

INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".

When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.

INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.

INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.

INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic.

INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jerry's Emo Song

I love this song. Never knew the original was Japanese. Was shocked to find out yesterday. Nao - you, Jerry and I are gonna pump this song at maximum volume at the KTV - both in Japanese and Chinese!

Look, do you see what's at your feet?
This is the road you walk on
Look do you see what's up ahead?
That is your future...

My mother showed me so much tenderness
Telling me again and again, to walk on with love
I was too young then to understand what she meant
But she still took my hand and walked together with me...

My dreams always seems so far away in the sky
I'm afraid I'll never reach it, but I'll keep chasing it
Since this is my story, I don't want to give up
You held my hand when I was scared
and walked together with me

At times I hated that tenderness and let go,
not listening to my mom...

Look, do you see what's at your feet?
This is the road you walk on
Look do you see what's up ahead?
That is your future...

At times i hated that tenderness and let go,
not listening to my mom...

Look, do you see what's at your feet?
This is the road you walk on
Look do you see what's up ahead?
That is your future...

Look, do you see what's at your feet?
This is the road you walk on
Look do you see what's up ahead?
That is your future...

Turn to the future and let's walk there one step at a time

Sunday, May 9, 2010

No Charge

Oh my God... I cried so hard watching this:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Moving On

Here's some interesting tidbit: Adrian Lim went to see a counselor - for the first time in his life! No, he's not suicidal, don't worry. He just wanted a different perspective of things. And he got it. =D

So here's the story: for the first time in his life also, Adrian really disliked someone. He was completely shocked to find out about it. The feeling completely overwhelmed him. It was crazy - how could Adrian ever hate someone? So he decided to take matters into his own hands, and solve the problem.

What the counselor (and many other friends) said made perfect sense. It takes time for someone to mourn over one's loss. And feeling resentful is part of it. So there you go. It's not really hatred - there's no anger involved - it's more like annoyance. Well, it took Adrian one whole year for this feeling to arise. Apparently he was just suppressing it over the last year. I guess it's because he didn't do a good job of distancing myself from the person properly. Lesson learned. Well, it's good that it's now rather than later.

Well, I have to say that it's important that the whole incident happened. I guess it's God's way of teaching me an important lesson - that boy girl relationships are fickle. There's no point pouring one whole's worth into them, particularly once a relationship has become poisonous. Instead, the time wasted can be used for something more productive, something more meaningful. Painful lesson, and still hurting and slowly learning from it, but I'm glad I went through the whole process.

So yes, speaking of doing something more productive and meaningful, this quarter has been great! The whole 'dislike issue' that I've described above may sound HUGE, but really, it's only taken a small portion of my time. Majority of the time has been spent very productively and positively! In retrospect, I'm really happy of what I've been doing so far this quarter. Here's a brief summary of what I've been up to:

(1) Staying on top of classes. So, for the last year or so, the incident psychologically affected me so badly, that it pretty much destroyed my academics. I spent so much time and energy thinking about it, that despite quiting all the activities I was involved in, I still could not focus on my studies at all. So, for this quarter, I am ultra hyped to participate fully in my classes. I haven't had the thrill of learning for so long - it feels really great to get it back! It doesn't matter if I ultimately end up doing so-so or badly, the point is, I am determined to fight for it. I will bounce back!

(2) Staying fit. I love exercising now. During the first week of this quarter, I came across an old comic book advertisement. It was an advertisement about 'Dynamic Tension', a body building program that doesn't require weights. I recalled wanting to do it as a kid, but couldn't afford it. Now's my lucky chance! I quickly downloaded the e-book, and committed myself to it. When I first started, it was really, really tiring at first, especially since the program required me to exercise daily day AND night. But now, I'm really proud of my progress. I started off with 20 push-ups a day. Now I can do 80! Even though I haven't really built any muscles, I feel so much fitter. Also, I can bend down and touch my toes!!! For me, these have been incredible milestones. You can laugh, but I've really been wanting to touch my toes for ages! =D

(3) Re-building friendships. Even though I'm incredibly busy this quarter, I realized I actually have more time for friends now because I'm not spending all my energy and time thinking over that 'incident'. This quarter, I've met a lot of new and interesting people who have added many memorable moments to my life. At the same time, I've very slowly but surely started re-building some friendships I've neglected over the past year. These people have always been there, but I've never had my eyes opened wide enough to appreciate them properly. Can't turn back time, but I'll do my best to cherish all the remaining moments with them. (PS: To those of you who were there for me at the beginning of this quarter, let me take this moment to say THANK YOU - I don't know what I would have done without you. I am truly, truly grateful.)

All in all, Adrian has had a most wonderful quarter. Of course, there have definitely been downs, one of the main ones being described right at the beginning of this post. But so much good has come out of this quarter, that Adrian is now much more positive and hopeful for the future. Can't wait for what comes ahead! Booyah!

Signing off,
Adrian =D