On Being Realistic.

The stopwatch doesn't lie.

The stopwatch doesn’t lie.

Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity. – Will Smith

Or is it?

Well I have been fairly unrealistic with my expectations of life thus far, sometimes I’ve been proven right by reality, other times wrong.

But what I realised is that I overestimate my capabilities for today, end up over-reaching and not making the best out of the day constantly.

For example I would go to the track thinking I will run my 8x200m session with a pace that I should have been targeting at for this time of the year if I had trained according to schedule.

But I have not.

And by the 4th rep I’m horribly off pace, demoralised and utterly exhausted, wasting the session instead.

So I tried a different tactic last week, this time I under-estimated myself and deliberately set a very slow time, gradually running faster when my body allows me to.

I completed the session and felt that I’ve gotten the best out of the session.

I then came to a conclusion, the whole concept of being realistic, is relative to time.

You have to be realistic with what is going on right now, and accept that what you see today are the very real circumstances and limitations that you have to deal with right now.

But that does not have to be the reality of tomorrow.

In fact, you can be completely unrealistic about tomorrow, because the truth is: anything is possible.

You work with what you have to the best of your abilities today, then yourself up to achieve the amazing in the future.

Gotta get to work.

On Setting Goals

WP_20130218_002Goals.

Begin with the end in mind, Stephen Covey said.

Define your Definite Chief Aim and read it everyday as instructed by Napoleon Hill.

So what is your life goal?

What is mine?

I asked myself this question many times over recently.

I had one many years ago but I guess things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

So is setting life goals pretty pointless?

As what one of my friends put it, is it just a way of just setting yourself out for disappointment?

Well, no one can really guarantee you the future, but putting a stake down in the ground and marking your way forward will probably get you a lot closer to where you want to go, as compared to wandering around in circles.

And more importantly, without a goal you can’t score. 

When nothing’s for sure, anything can happen.

Have a rough plan, figure out the details along the way.

So what’s my goal in life? What’s my definite chief aim?

Well I have my pen and paper in front of me.

It’s time to write.

On Doing Something.

A common thread that often comes up with conversations with friends my age is, well what we would like to call the ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’.

I’ve blogged about it before a few years back now and I guess it’s a lot more common that I thought, I’m not the only one that feels this way.

I guess when you hit the later half of your twenties, it suddenly dawns upon you that you’re really not that young anymore, and more scarily, some of your youthful dreams are starting to fade before you have any chance of living them.

You come to the realisation that after all these years of education and preparation for this great and wonderful life, kinda never came.

You end up at somewhere you don’t really want to be, doing something you don’t really want to do, week after week.

Sounds scary doesn’t it?

The scarier part that for a lot us, it’s true.

I came back from the UK 4 months ago and found myself after having such a wonderful adventure, to be exactly where I don’t want to be.

Coming down from a high, I struggled with who I was and what I am going to be doing for the rest of my life.

And then the societal pressures start to come in, looking around, you start to get affected by everyone else’s thinking.

A need to get a job that pays, need to conform to my parent’s thinking, need to settle down, need to save up enough money to buy a ridiculously priced house.

It starts to get a little confusing, a little depressing, and then the thoughts of perhaps giving in.

But no.

Don’t.

Because it’s your life, and there’s always a choice.

I’ve always loved the line from a Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. 

But form personal experience, I know it can be a lot harder than it seems.

So, where do we go from here? How do we make sure the last few years of 20s be many times more awesome than the first few?

It’s time to take a bit of self-responsibility.

Saw this brilliant old school video the other day, I guess being self-respobsible is not that different than being self-reliant.

As seen from this article http://artofmanliness.com/2013/01/28/12-vintage-instructional-films-worth-watching/ 

Assume Responsibility – This is your life. Be responsible for it.

You are likely to be a free man, with free will to make decisions about your everyday life. If you’re not at a place you want to be, realise it’s your own fault for not being there or making an attempt to get there.

If you’ve failed in the past, realise that it was largely your own responsibility for your failure. Pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, don’t make the same mistakes again.

You and only you are responsible for yourself, stop blaming your parents, your circumstances or your surroundings.

Take charge of your own life and make exactly what you want out of it.

Be Informed – Knowledge is power.

In the age of the Internet, there really isn’t much of an excuse not to be informed.

If you need to know something or find out how something is done, go and Google it.

If you can’t find it or need more knowledge, find someone who has already done it and go out there and ask.

Don’t expect the world to come to you (even though with the internet it already largely has).

Leverage on information to create your destiny.

Know Where You’re Going Without a goal, you can’t score. 

What’s the point of finding out which road to go if you yourself do not have a good idea of where you are going?

Take some time out to really think about what you want to do with your life.

This is probably going to be one of the most important thing to do, because if you don’t, you’ll just spend your entire life looking for something that you don’t know what is (highly unlikely you’ll be able to find what you don’t know what you’re looking for).

Make Your Own Decisions – Decide.

It’s not that hard.

Take responsibilities to make your own decision.

Small exercise, when someone asks you, what you want to eat? Make a decision and go for it, rather than answering ‘I’ll have whatever you’re ok with.’

——

So, time to actually f*cking do something before I get too old to do it.

I Cry Just A Little.

Reminder. Yup that's me and that's still me.

Reminder. Yup that’s me and that’s still me.

I know, caught in the middle, I cry just a little, when I think of letting go. 

Going into the later half of your 20s, you start to realise that you’re running out of time to catch your youthful dreams.

You get frustrated with the memories of failures and defeat, wondering if you’ll ever make it or if you’ll forever just be a wannabe.

But stay the course, keep strong.

You’ve learnt a heck of a lot, don’t waste it.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off.

You’re not done yet.

You’re not done yet because you’re not where you want to be yet.

And all those painful memories, well, it’s time to cry a little, and then it’s time to let it go.

We’re going to keeping going until we get it right, you and me.

Better. Never. Stops.

On Being Back in Brunei.

 

Back to the jungles where it all began.

Back to the jungles where it all began.

Back to Brunei.

Back to Brunei.

Free your mind, let go to fly.

Free your mind, let go to fly.

So after 5 years, I heading back to Brunei.

Sometimes you got to go back to where you were, just to realise how far you’ve been.

And for me, that kinda sums up for me the feeling I got when I was back where I was all those years ago.

After I got injured in the army, I worked hard to get myself back to fitness, Brunei was the first venture back out into the field after the injury.

In a sense, that set me on this path that I have been on ever since, which was to keep pushing ahead to become what I’ve set out to be, learning that everything is possible in the world if you set your mind to it.

But one thing struck me there as well, the last 5 years have been an amazing adventure, but a large part of it was trying to ‘right a wrong’ for myself, and in a blink of an eye, it has been 5 years already.

I can’t keep living in the past anymore, I can’t keep letting what has been to determine who I will be.

It’s time to let go.

It’s time to fly.

On Carrying On.

Still here, still carry on running strong.

Still here, still carry on running strong.

When the curtain closes, carry on.

Somehow I found back my groove.

I had a hard look at my life, who I’ve become, where I’ve ended up and what I was doing for the past few days/weeks/month and I realised, I already know what I want to be, it never did change.

Get competent in decathlon, build up my business and investments to have financial and time freedom, do good for the people around me.

And just because I’ve failed at my first try doesn’t mean I’m not going to get it right eventually.

In the heart of hearts, I know what robbed me of the life that could have been.

Procrastination.

And there’s only 1 cure in the world for that.

Action.

Maybe I was angry and frustrated at myself for a long while now, but it’s time to shrug that aside and carry on.

And since I’m at that, do take a listen at Carry On by Daphne Khoo, hit this link to find it on iTunes. Really amazing song by a local artist that’s been through a lot, heard about her cancer story from another fellow local musician Lyndsey Long. Must say, knowing the back story, I could understand the emotions behind this song.

And she’s right, even when the curtain closes, carry on.

And don’t worry if you’re feeling down and out, I was for a long time.

It’s been a ride, guess I had to go to that place to get to this one. Now some of you might still be in that place, if you’re trying to get out, just follow me, I’d get you there. 

On 2012.

Happiest time, at Malibu California.

Happiest time of 2012, at the beaches of California.

’25 is a scary age.’

That was my first entry of my journal for the year 2012.

Today is the last day of 2012.

I’m not going to write this entry like how I did for 2011, somehow this time around I feel a little more somber, a little more grey (just like the weather here in Singapore incidentally, dark gloomy and raining currently).

I must say, it has been an awfully eventful year.

I dropped out of school and finished 15 years of formal education, bought my first house, went to California for almost a month and met all my track & field heroes, finished a few more decathlons, watched the London Olympics come and go, moved back to Singapore from Loughborough.

And in a sense I feel like I’ve come full circle, right back to where I began, yet everything has changed because I have changed.

At times I was awfully depressed, realising that I’ve failed to do what I’ve set out to do. Yet I’m still optimistic because I realised/learnt that it actually can be done.

So I guess I just got to keep going and keep doing.

It can be a cold cold world out there, so if you’re feeling as messed up and confused as I am sometimes, don’t worry, we’re going to keep going until we figure it out yeah?

I still believe.

Happy New Year Everyone! To 2013! =)

On The Human Game

Life is a game, play it well.

Life is a game, play it well.

How are you playing the human game?

On Working.

My day job, construction.

My day job, construction.

So I’ve spent the past 10 weeks back in Singapore from UK to a job that I ran away from 4 years ago to pursue my dreams as a decathlete.

At first my mind and my body rejected it.

Everyday I asked myself why.

Why did I come back to this mess, away from what I want to be doing.

But I guess for a large part of it, I was angry at myself that I’ve been lazy for the past four years.

I should have spent the times when I wasn’t training working harder at my studies or at establishing other sources of income.

Reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography made me realised I lacked the insane focus and insane amount of hard work needed to get good at any one thing. (Whilst Arnold was a bodybuilder, he worked as a gym instructor and ran a construction business, went into the real estate business and continued on to become an actor and a governor.)

Sequential focus is the key.

Focus at one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.

24 hours in a day.

Even training for 5 hours a day leaves 19 hours for whatever else you want to do with your life.

And after 10 weeks, I’ve finally come to terms with what I actually enjoy and want to do in terms of work.

I want to build a better future.

Back in the company, I want to build a better future for my colleagues and my parents.

At the track, I want to run fast, jump and throw far.

And maybe in my own small way because of that, I want to build a better country.

On Paying it Forwards.

 

Showing Dominique the High life in Singapore.

Showing Dominique the High life in Singapore.

From all my travels around the world, the track and field community has always showed me awesome warmth and hospitality.

I always told myself, if I ever had a chance when they came over, I’d show them the high life in Singapore.

Done.

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