Comparison

Imagine that you are working for a company that pays you $4,000 but pays your colleagues, who have same roles and responsibilities as you, $3,000, will you be happy?

Imagine again that you are working for another company that pays you $5,000 but pays your colleagues, who also have the same roles and responsibilities as you, $6,000, will you be happy?

Most people will feel happy in the first scenario and unhappy in the second. However, if you look closer, we are actually earning more in the second scenario than in the first. Shouldn’t we be happier?

We, human beings, tend to compare ourselves with others a lot. This is a great example that explains why we shouldn’t.

Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Theodore Roosevelt

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3 Benefits Of Quitting Facebook

It’s been two years since I have deleted my Facebook account. Before quitting Facebook, I had been a Facebook user for 9 years. One day, I realized that I was too consumed by it and I simply had to shut it down. I never looked back since.

More Time

I could still remember that the first and last thing that I used to do on a daily basis was to check my Facebook notifications. Even before my room was lit, the blue light emitted from my screen flashed vigorously into my pupils. Everyday, I would have spent an estimate of 3 hours on Facebook. That would equates to more than 1000 hours a year, or 45 straight days of using Facebook. Imagine what I could I have spent the time on instead. More time for my hobbies, my family, or simply just to sleep!

More Attention

It saddens me that sometimes when I am out gathering with my friends, everyone’s attention is being sucked into their phone. What even saddens me more is that some of them chooses to scroll through their Facebook than to talk. Well, actually I am not all that saddened. In fact, it could have been me choosing to give my attention to Facebook and subject my loved ones of having to endure the agony of my neglect. Thankfully, I didn’t.

Less Ego

Without Facebook, I had nowhere to post my travels and lunches to my ‘friends’ to admire. I don’t have to secretly hope for ‘likes’. I don’t have to see who had wished me ‘happy birthday’ and who had not. Quitting Facebook taught me the art of not caring. The happiness that comes from satisfying our ego is usually short-lived. The constant stroking required can result in quick burnouts.

Learning to let go of ego can truly be liberating.

Image from ME.ME

3 Things Fathers Really Want For Fathers’ Day

Fathers’ Day is around the corner and for many of us, it’s also the time where we all start scratching our heads in unison and ponder how can we give our fathers a celebration to remember.

Our Presence

I used to believe that everyday should be Fathers’ Day (or Mothers’ Day, or Valentines’ Day, etc.) I still think it should. But such believes are simply unrealistic as everyone has their own endeavours to pursue in their everyday lives.

Therefore, special occasions like these are an opportunity for us to get together and express our love and gratitude to the special people in our lives.

Happy, Healthy, and Well

For fathers, nothing beats seeing their loved ones happy, healthy, and well. There’s nothing in the world that a father will exchange for the wellness of the people they love. Therefore, this is the greatest gift a child can give to his/her father.

To Be Frugal

As a father myself, I will be worried if my loved ones spend a bomb on the celebration.

The purpose of having Fathers’ Day is for us to remember and show gratitude to the sweat and tears our fathers sacrificed while ensuring we grow up well, not another day for us to have an excuse to exercise our mindless consumerism behaviours.

Spending a fortune on it might inadvertently erodes the meaning of the occasion.

Conclusion

I can assure you that our fathers will not frown at us if we have not prepare any special gifts for them. It also doesn’t even matter where our celebrations will take place at.

Just remember to put away your phones and simply give your father your love and attention that they deserve and I guarantee that that will bring a smile to their faces, if not their hearts.

Why Have Kids?

Most of the time, there is a reason behind every choice we make. We may choose certain career path because it aligns with our financial and life objectives. Or we may prefer certain cars over others because we may find that they are big enough to fit all our family members. But ever wondered, “why have kids?” Perhaps they are cute, but does that justify the huge trade-offs required?

First of all, having kids is expensive. From the start, the pregnancy costs can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. After the child is born, essentials like diapers, milk, clothes, cot, lotions, toys, strollers, confinement services, the occasional visit to the pediatrician, birthday parties, childcare fee, milk bottles, etc. will easily cost more than $20,000. Augment this financial cost to the inevitable stress, fatigue, and sleep deprivations, it is easy to see why having kids shouldn’t just be an act of impulse.

Having kids is indeed financially, mentally, and physically taxing. But why do we still have kids? Wouldn’t it be better if we preserve our time, money, and energy for ourselves? To pursue our dream. To travel the world. Or to invest in our own future. After all, it’s not as if we all have infinite resources and time on this planet to pursue every desire we have, do we?

Society

We all live in a society and it is unavoidable for us to avoid the norms of it. Having kids after having a career and gotten married is what is naturally expected of us. For us to not oblige to this expectation will only subject ourselves to the unescapable fate of eternal condemnation.

Nature

In the jungle, the animals risk their lives to fight for the rights to reproduce. Aren’t we the same, albeit in a more civilized manner? I believe that we all are embedded with an innate urge to past down our genes to ensure the the world and the universe keep going.

Companionship

Some people have children simply for companionship. As a parent, I can attest that the happiest moments in my life are attributed to my child. Many Asian people believe that it is a blessing to be able to have many children to look after them when they have grown old. However, this belief will only materialize if the children are well brought up and inculcated with the virtues of filial piety.

There can be many other reasons as to why we have kids. However, it is important to realize that the decision should be based solely on both our and our partner’s considerations. As much as possible, we should not have kids simply to conform to ‘society guidelines’.

3 Things To Do On Vesak Day

Image by Good Vibes – Binaural Beats

Vesak Day is a day where people all over the world commemorate Buddhism. Here’s 3 things we can do on this very special day.

Eat Compassionately

Vesak Day is a great day to practise compassionate eating, choosing to eat without the needs of the pain and sufferings of other beings. Vegetarian and vegan meals are ideal options for us to eat compassionately.

Give

The greatest act of a man is to give. When we give, we are also giving ourselves a chance at greatness. This opens the door for us to abundance. Some of the stuff we can give are money, food, time, our strength, and even our attention.

Let Go

In Buddhism, attachments are sufferings. And to learn to let go is to also let go of these sufferings. This is somewhat similar to the essence of minimalism, which is to let go of the unnecessary things in our lives, to make space for what truly matters.

The 3 Arieses In My Life (And How I Survived Them)

Arieses are famous (or rather, infamous) for being demanding and short-tempered. But not many people realize that on the other hand, they are also fiercely protective of the people they love and they are the ones who you know that you can always count on.

My Mum

My mum is the perfect example of an Aries, who also happens to be a perfectionist. She will be able to spot a speck of dust on any priceless painting and deem it flawed. Because of this, I must admit that growing up under her constant high expectations was very stressful. But one thing for sure, is that I am aware, and extremely grateful for all the sacrifices she has made. Always worrying if we have enough and making sure that we only have the best.

My Wife

I often ask myself what have I done in my previous life to deserve such an amazing woman in my life. As the saying goes,“behind every successful man, there’s a woman.” This can’t be any truer. I always believe that love is not just about loving someone for their goods, but more importantly, also being able to accept those not-so-desirable characteristics in them. And for that, I am so blessed and grateful to have someone like her. Like most, we have experienced our fair share of challenges. But everytime, our relationship became even stronger. For all the dedication she has given to me and to our family, she has never once complained. It’s been seven years since we first held our hands, and my love and admiration for her today is stronger than ever.

My Son

To be honest, when our obstetrician revealed the estimated date of delivery of our baby to us, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Man, another Aries?” Even at a few months old, the notorious Aries traits were already evident in him. However, all the exasperations were immediately forgotten once he flashes those cheeky, but endearing, grins. Everyday has truly been a blessing since the day he was born and I am so thankful for that.

I am always conscious about being grateful for having the lovely people in my life. Here’s my humble two cents. Always elevate ourselves above the petty squabbles and conflicts. Tolerate, resolve, or even walk away if necessary. We must keep in mind that the people who are closest to us will not be with us forever. Everyday, our time spent together becomes lesser and lesser. And it is when the time comes where we lose them then we will only start to miss them, and wished we had cherished them a little harder when they were still around.

And with that, I wish all beautiful mothers around the world, a Happy Mothers’ Day!