Friday, March 4, 2011

Run girl run

Today I came across one of the best descriptions about running I have seen. It captures well why people, young and old, can't stop running once they start. Most interesting, I came across this in a tag hanging from a new pair or running shorts I got.

Whether you are 16 or 67,
The desire to hit the road
Is not easily explained to those who do not run.
We understand the pull of the road.
The joy of losing yourself in the solitude
Of a good long distance run,
Or the sisterhood you experience
When you find that great running partner.
Running is more than a feat of athletcism,
It is therapeutic. There is an unexpected
Exhiliritation that we experience
Having challenged our personal limitations....
Finally proving to ourselves
That we can indeed make it to the finish line!
Whether you are here to win,
Or here to experience a little more of who you are....

We salute you

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Balance, Your Balance

Talking to a friend the other day we came to the conclusion that regardless of what good fortunes we are blessed with and despite of what we achive it is only human nature that we will seek for more. We have the need to take the next step, reach for the next goal and move ahead. And while this next step will prove short of providing sustainable happiness we agreed to settle for balance instead; a true blend of work, play and good relationships. Though his balance will be different than my balance (the blend is different for everyone) it is much better to focus on figuring out what this balance means for you rather than vs. chasing the next best thing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers are Superior - Wall Street Journal Jan 8th!

NOTE: the link for the article discussed in this blog is at the very bottom of this entry under 'lables'.

I read the article and it blew my mind:

1) it had been a while since I read something that expressed such a strong opinion. Most published materials are carefully crafted to appeal to vast majority and as such be politically correct. Even if they are not thought provoking they do not push the limits nearly to the extent that this article does.

2) honest and personal. When people publish things they are seldom this honest. Even when they draw from personal experience it is vague and relates to something barely important. Most like to write/talk about "other people"

3) thought provoking. I mean hair-rasing, makes you angry and then quickly forces you to surrender due to facts and proven results. Not sure I agree with ms. Chua's mentaility of raising children but then again who am I to disagree? I have no data/facts or children of my own to debate her child rearing methods.

At the end of the day I too believe that humans, especially children are much stronger emotionally than we give them credit for. For example Ms. Chua states that Western parents are extremly anxious about their children's self esteem whereas Chinese parents are not. They assume strength, not fragility.

The author explains that based on this assumption Chinest parents push their kids hard to perform well "Chinese parents understand that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work" She continues to say "tenacious practice, practice practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underated in America. Once a child starts to excel in something - weather it;s math, piano, pitching or ballet - he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confiedence and makes the once not-so-fun activity fun."

Up till this point it made sense to me and it aligned with my values and understanding of the world. But then she lost me when she explains how she made her daughter Lulu practice non-stop for a week and when the daughter refused at one point to continue practicing the mother decided to scream until she lost her voice, threatened to take away all birthday parties for then next few years, donate her daugher's toys and when all failed even bathroom breaks where not allowed!

Ok I get it! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and harships make you build character. But where do you draw the line? At which point to you accept that each child has his or her limits? The author boasts that Lulu finally learned the piece but I could not help but wonder what would happen next if she had not done so. I can only imagine that if you always push your child to the maximum limit you're not always going to get positive results and quite frankly you may even get some devastating ones.

I am also not sure 100% conviced about the author statements in how parents have to always overide their child desires and preferences because they know what is best for their child. I guess i do believe in individuality and I have a hard time understanding how you can be a happy human being if for the first 18 years of your life (or whenever one believes they have control over their childrens' lives) your own preferences and desires have been ignored. But then again, happiness the article discusses how to raise successful children not happy children neccessarily.

In the end I come to realize that I am more of a western thinker than anything else. But I can not help but wonder: is it possible that there is some happy medium? And if so where is that happy balance? Or maybe the better question is what is it they want out of your children? if you're looking for superheroes than it is inevitable that you push to maximum limit because if you don't there will be another mother out there who will happily do so (i.e. ms. Chua). But if not, you have have the luxury of exploring happy mediums and then finding out where the journey will take you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Going the extra mile... why bother?

Going the extra mile can set you apart, get you noticed, it can make relationships better and help you create new ones. The trouble with doing that extra step is consistency. Before you know it people come to expect more from you and it does not have the same effect anymore: the wow is gone. So you either stop doing it and go back to status quo or you have to step up your game and continue to find ways to make things better which needless to say requires effort.
So why put in the extra effort especially if the stakes keep increasing? Well, because the alternative is mediocre and who wants to be that? At the end of the day you will have a more fulfilling life and get more out of relationships/career/life etc. knowing that you did your very best, gave it your best shot and didn't just settle for good enough. Because it will be good to look back and think no regrets.

Sunday, January 2, 2011



Happy New Year! It is a phrase that everyone says during this time of year but what does it really mean? Do you know what will make you happy in 2011? While we are all wishing and hoping a great year ahead, it's worthwhile to take a moment or two and figure out what will make you happy in the next twelve months. Once you ponder this question, make a plan in how you will get there. Now, if the first thing that pops in your mind is more money, more time, lose weight, find a bf/gf those are great wishes but you must focus on what you will specifically do to get there. If you need more money than focusing your resources on searching for a new/better job might be an idea. Make sure that you focus on specific actions vs. things that are outside of your control (i.e. win the lottery). It also helps to take a good look at 2010 and figure out what you liked/enjoyed/successes and what you would like to leave behind. The more detailed the plan the better your chances of actually getting what you want. I find it helpful to categorize my wish list in categories: Health, Career, Personal Life. You can have as many categories as you want but i find it helpful to keep it short and concise. Good Luck and happy planning :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Facebook Creeping is not as much fun as it used to be

So a couple of days ago Seth Godin wrote about how surfing the web is a good thing unless you are aimlessly wasting time [which is terrible]! So that got me thinking about facebook and how it is solely responsible for wasting so much time and effort and energy. Think about all the time you have spent creeping people you know or you wish you knew. As mind numbing as this activity is you loved the thrill of what you may find next. What about the friend you had not seen since grade 8? Often though you were left to feel disappointed in how boring ppls lives are and even mad as to how bad they are at hiding it but you just could not stop yourself from wanting more of it.

Well I am happy to report that this activity is diminishing. Just like the popularity of the old talk shows such as sally jesse or springer that you used to watch for the pure shock value so has facebook creeping decreased in shock value. You pretty much know the friend who can't stop posting stupid drunk pictures, the stranger who travels for exotic places every week and you have already deleted the person who thinks everything their kid does deserves posting on facebook.

I think facebook is in its decline and I am happy about it. Facebook: you had it coming!!

Recently I was introduced to a community program called Timeraiser. A program that looks to bring together people looking for opportunities/work/networking/developing skills and not for profit organizations that very much need the time and energy of young people.

Similar to any fundraiser, the Timeraiser volunteers have to go through the same steps and processes in order to organize events and generate buzz - but the end goal is to raise volunteer time rather than money. In many ways this is more difficult to accomplish as time is scarce and you have to committ to future time in order to participate in this event. But the rewards are incredible.

The concept was born when the founder of the time raiser program was in university and he found himself at a fundraiser auctioning art and he had no money to give. But he loved the art piece. What he did have was time and that's how he got the idea of creating a organization that brought together art, volunteers and not for profit agencies. The idea is brilliant really. Especially for young folks who are looking to develop skills in a particular fields you can view this as an internship opportunity where you get to gain breadth and experience. This is also an awesome way to network and meet professional people in various industries. Finally, there is no better gift to give than time and though we can all agree we have very little free time I am willing to bet most of us can make time (if we care enough to do so).

Here is an overview of how timeraiser event works:

The next Timeraiser is happening in London, Canada May 13th @ Club Mansion!!!

p.s. I wonder how often we get an idea to do/change/create something for the better and we let it slip away and forget about it