The first quarter of the century, hopefully I'll have at least 2 more quarters to go ahead!
If we breakdown life this way, I'd say the 1st quarter is essential as one learns most of the skills and experiences at this period before proceeding to the next stages, which our mind kinda "solidifies" and may not be able to absorb knowledges as good as we were before we hit the 20's.
Having great time with friends at one of my favourite restaurant in Tokyo.
So today, I'd like to reflect upon some of the principles and values that become my way of life.
1) Stand by your own decisions with no regrets
At times I wonder, what I will be doing now, should I didn't chose to came to Japan almost 6 years ago.
And sometimes, I do wonder what sort of position I'll be in right now, should I chose another university instead of my current one (which I'll be graduating soon in 2 weeks' time).
In life we do have doubts over decisions that we've made. Often we do not know about the outcome until we've gone through it thoroughly. Naturally, no one likes to fail, so people would try to choose the path with less risk.
For me, I stand by my decisions, because I dislike the feeling of regretting over things. Part of me tends to dwell over things that isn't under my control, so I'll try to realign myself to get over the feeling of guilt of not making the correct decision at the first place.
Once you've decided something, stick to it and allocate full commitment for it 'til the end.
2) Timing is crucial
At times we get to know someone new, or given the chance to explore something unfamiliar. These experiences could be the 'something' that may change your life.
Given such opportunity, one has to seize the chance, at the correct timing.
Few days ago, I had a conversation with a close friend and it sort of struck me as if I were to take action during last summer, something could be brewing up right now. But then, my aim in last summer was something very much different, and therefore I didn't considered it at all.
Sticking to the 1st value, what's done is done, and there's nothing to regret, though I may need a few more days to ponder and move on.
3) Accept failure as part of learning process
Failure is a bitter pill to swallow, but that's part of life, whether you like it or not.
From my few years experience here in Japan, it isn't as successful as I appears to be in public profile (Facebook, for example). I mean, no one likes to make failures public, right?
For example, I didn't did well in the few interviews that I had so far. I thought I was confident enough and answered pretty well, but eventually the result suggested otherwise, which of course, can really make a hit on one's morale.
Nevertheless, I'll try to recall what had happened and try to be mentally more prepared for it, to do a better job during the next interview.
I used to take it hardly, and the downtime really affects me a lot. But now, I'll try to be more flexible with it....
It's OK to make mistakes, as long as it doesn't blow up the entire plan to smithereens.
"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." - Batman Begins
4) Stop blaming others
When I'm working in a team with others, inevitably things may be messed up due to human error. When that something happened, it's important not to point the finger to the particular individual who messed things up.
From my relatively shallow experiences, I can understand that sometimes it's too harsh to put the blame on someone only. Instead, I'll usually analyze the case and if it's just an unfortunate accident, what we have to focus is trying to fix things up, instead of putting pressure on someone to make him/her even more guilty.
However, there's this someone that I'd blame when things don't go as well as I initially planned. That someone is none other than myself. While I can be kind to others, I can be harsh towards myself.
Whenever something doesn't go on my way, I'd try to figure out what's wrong on my side and how can I fix it up.... but sometimes I'm putting too much pressure on myself.
Luckily after a few days, I'm up and ready to move on as usual.
5) Cherish the friendship
I managed to made it through today without any major problems, for a large part of the credits I'd gave to the friends around me. Without you all, I may not be able to achieve what I had today.
During the 1st year in the university, I wasn't in the best position as I'm trying to adapt myself into a totally new environment where most people spoke in a language which back then, my Japanese proficiency level wasn't that good enough to blend in well.
Slowly and steadily, I built up the network of friends over the past few years. I always like the fact that in the school, walking pass a few corridors and you'll be greeted by other students or maybe lecturers. I felt at ease whenever someone I know is closeby.
As I'll be graduating soon, so do some of my friends as well. Some, will be leaving Japan and going back for good. To be frank, farewells isn't my cup of tea. Parting has always been something troubling to me.
Slowly, the end of March is getting closer, I got a feeling that I'll be attending a few farewell parties to come in these few weeks. :(
Group pic with lecturers and fellow coursemates in the recording studio.
6) Pay attention to the inner voice
I'm not sure about other people, but sometimes I felt like I'm having an inner conversation with the other "me" residing in my mind.
It's some sort of like the angel and devil figure pops out together, suggesting different views at the same time. One speaks of practicality, while another speaks of ideals.
This is especially true when I'm buying stuffs.
Sometimes I'd consider a few times whether I should get it or not, and often, I step out of the shop empty handed. My argument is that since I can make do without that thing, so I'm not losing anything even if I don't buy it.
I believe the inner voice represents the dormant thoughts that do not manifest itself on the surface. Some said, follow the lead of your inner voice as it will lead you to the answer of your question.
When hesitating over something, try to calm down and stay focus on what's inside you is trying to tell you.
7) Make peace with the past
This is a problem that I have yet to overcome so far.
One particular scenario that still affects me a lot, is something to do with my 'home' back in Malaysia.
Our family moved to a new place few years back while I'm still in Japan. When I went back to our new home for the first time, everything seems familiar and yet, so unfamiliar.
The place where I once called home, is no longer ours.
It upsets me when I went back to the old house and found out that the new owner has taken a drastic step to renovate the entire house that effectively erased almost every bits of my memory of that place where I lived for almost 20 years.
Even today, once in awhile in my dream the location will set at the old house. Everything seems to be great until I woke up, forcing myself to accept the fact that now it only exists in the memories or dreams.
Whenever I had the chance to go back, I'll try to make some time to revisit the old place, trying to reconcile my past and present. At least, once I've made peace with it, I can move on and look forward for the world that lies ahead of me.
Before the transformation, as how I remembered it.
I know, my past actions affects my present, and my present actions will manifest in the future.
8) In search of true happiness
This could be the ultimate aim for everyone, to be happy in life, genuinely.
For me, I'm still in the process of achieving it.
How do I do it? I'll do it my way.
It takes time.... but have faith in oneself, I strongly believe that I can achieve it one day. ;)