A Simple Learning Journey

To observe and learn, through life's little lessons and experiences. Simplicity.

Archive for the ‘Personal Learning’ Category

Value Judgement

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As much as I often dislike it when people force their value judgements on us, today, I felt myself doing it. And I feel like I’m contradicting my current values that people should always try not to judge. And it feels a lot worse that I am able to realise consciously about what I am doing (compared to not feeling that what I was doing was basically judging someone else) – the exact opposite of what I “preach”.

It’s just quite hard to apply the ‘ice berg’ theory here when the issue on hand is a matter that is close to the heart.

I need time to adjust. It’s just a little way too much to take in in one night.

Written by Jindy

April 8th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Some Reflections & Some things that I am enjoying

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The last four months have zoomed past so quickly in the blink of an eye.

It has been mostly smooth sailing and filled with a lot of new responsibilities, new team dynamics and slightly higher expectations.

But every single day, there is so much to observe about ourselves, only if we took a little bit of our time to look inside of ourselves, to “take a seat back” and observe our own thoughts and thinking.

I’ve been getting quite a bit of negative vibes all around since the beginning of the new year. But that’s when I realised that I had to stop for a minute and start reflecting on all the good things that I’ve had in my life so far and how blessed I have been. That’s when I posted a little reminder on Facebook to myself that “When we stop counting our blessings, we stop being happy”.

On and off, I have been feeling a little grouchy and grumbly, especially when works gets frustrating and when the time of the month comes around. I found myself complaining and whiny with all the negative energy that I possess. However, when I start thinking about all the good things and how blessed I was, it felt a little better. And it was another good reminder for me not to take things for granted.

When we take things for granted, things somehow loses its magic. Like how at the start when KS first started dropping me off on the way to work, every time it was quite exciting (not the correct word to use), but it was not something I get everyday, and so it was like a present every morning. As the days passed, and it became an almost everyday thing, that little “magic” of getting that present every morning kind of lessened. Nevertheless, I keep reminding myself not to take it for granted and I should show every bit of appreciation I had to him everyday and every single time. I knew that it not only made me feel more blessed than ever, but also made KS feel appreciated (I hope!)

On and off, I complain of things that “should have been”. But in the process, I’ve learnt that those “should have beens” are just what they are. If there weren’t, then we would not be regretting and complaining about it.

That was one big take back from the annual spring cleaning exercise for my home.

A lot of things were “good to have” – like a super spankingly clean home, spotless and a clean and extremely well-organised storage room, squeakingly clean bathrooms and neat bedrooms. Those were quite impossible to achieve given that we only had 2 weekends (just about 1 saturday and 2 sundays before Chinese New Year). It was extremely useful to have helped my mom (the super confused, unfocused and lost perfectionist) to realise that the idealistically clean home was just a “good to have” given the resources (mainly TIME) that we had. And hence, we managed to convince ourselves that we will do the 20% of the stuff that mattered or made 80% of the difference to the overall cleanliness of the home. And for some obscure reason, the end result overall was tremendously satisfying. Mainly because we did those tasks that made most of the difference, and we had some sort of a focus. (Not that we were THAT focused, but at least, we manage to steer ourselves off those little things that didn’t matter as much).

I’m also extremely pleased with my ability to clear out most of the unused, unwanted bags out of my wardrobe – some were picked out by my aunts and I had 2 new ones which I bought but didnt use to my cousins whom I know will love it. Some my aunts picked up to give away to others. Now I feel like I’m only left with the essential bags and a few sentimental ones. The results were satisfying because I now know better what bags I have and I can rotate using those few bags I have left. It feels like I’ve made their existence worth the while and justified.

I’ve picked out and cleared out some my little boxes of “sentimental” materials of cards, letters and mementoes. Some I’ve packed into one box, waiting for my cousin to help scan so that I can throw some of these away after it’s done. And I would be paying my cousin for the work, so it feels like a win-win situation, and I feel quite good about it.

So far, my table top’s been kept rather clean. It’s not 100% without things, but at least I’ve got space every night to put my bags and jacket on it, without anything spilling over. ¬†It’s quite different from the previous few years where KS described it as “a wall of stuff” and things spilling all over whenever I needed to look for something. That feeling is surprisingly liberating.

At work, I try to keep my writing space as clean and clutter free as possible. I try as much as possible in making sure the desktop looks clear before I leave, so that I can “start afresh” the next morning. Of course, being a hoarder at heart, there are quite a bit of things “hoarded” underneath my table. But at least, I get a clean table now, which allows me to think slightly more “clearly” than before.

My MUJI notebook, my sheets of “planning blocks” and my postits and highlighters are about the most important thing that I use every part of the day. It helps me clear my thoughts on the things that needs to be done, the process and steps I need to get through before I get the “end-product” done. And I must say, this system is working pretty well for me and I simply love it. Credits to the “personal organising” workshop that I attended; and the book “Sorted” for the idea on a blank notebook (only use the right side) and strike off tasks that are done with highlighter).


I was just thinking about self-esteem and confidence the other day. Simply because I admit I have a pretty low self-esteem, and although sometimes I may look “stuckup” but that’s because of my own insecurities. And I cared too much about what others think of me. WAY too much. My personal reflection in this area is that low self-esteem somehow make us have a less than desirable opinion of ourselves. And it projects our thinking into the feeling of insecurity, inferiority and that people do not think much about us. That we are not pretty enough, not friendly enough, not sociable enough. And while doing that, negative vibes comes along and tries to “help us out” by thinking negatively of others, although we may even be envious of whatever they are or had, without realising it. This low self-esteem prevents us from truly being able to connect with others. I found out that all I had to do, was to remind myself of my own strength and the “goodness” I had in me. That kind of gave me a little confidence boost.

That’s just a small little sense of achievement for me so far for now. There is still so much to do. My wardrobe is waiting to be ransacked and clothes are waiting to be picked and given to people who needs them more. And I’ve got my dressing table which looks slightly “cleaner” than before mainly because there are 2 other smaller trays of cosmetics and skincare product placed on the floor in front of my bookshelves.

One last reflection: possibilities are endless. ^^,

Counting down 12 days to the first big event at work and the feeling of freedom after that! (before the next project comes along!) ūüôā



Written by Jindy

March 26th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Review & Reflection of 2010, Looking forward for 2011!

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1. It’s been a really good year this year – with a few exciting events & major milestones in my life

a) We bought our HDB flat (next door to my parents) – for future convenience, for the government’s $40K HDB grant, and all the nice reasons

b) And because of Point A, I’m happily and¬†legally married to KS (my best friend, boyfriend turned hubby & 24 hour IT support *laughs*)

c) But we are not customarily wed (and hence we are in a half-married stage of “legally married, but unwed”). As such, we are now in another happy stage, planning and discussing (amongst ourselves and with our families and friends) for our upcoming wedding on 24 Dec 2011!

d) and 2011 will be quite exciting as we look forward and plan for the life that we will lead together with the 2 of us, and our families.

2. Things to be thankful and appreciative for:

a) Parents and families who love us the way we are – with our strengths, our flaws and weaknesses; all their love and support which made all the difference

b) Our families who are happy, healthy and safe

c) To have great colleagues and a safe and nice working enviroment

d) To have my graduation projects carried out smoothly despite little little set backs and issues along the way

e) To have a great friend and mentor in Sharon – to discuss work, ideas and everything else!

f) To have very fun loving friends – to go for walks and such, and to have them looking forward to my wedding as much as we do!

g) To have grandma still active and healthy (just wished she was a little more positive)

h) To have so much to be thankful, grateful and appreciative of – and that both of us are so blessed in every way!

3. Looking forward to 2011

I’m really really thankful and grateful for all the things that have happened in my life (with all the good and bad).And it has been great to know that we are able to control, determine and uncover who we are and who we want to be.

Seems like I have been exposed to the elements of “Eat, Pray, Love” and hope to have more of that in 2011

  • Thankful for my mom and dad for introducing and exposing us to Buddhism, meditation, yoga, exercise and health.
  • Thankful for KS’s parents for showing us what are the possible pleasures in life.
  • Thankful for the rest of the people in our lives, such that we are able to observe and learn more about relationships, communication
  • Thankful to the wonderful bloggers and writers of Minimalism – for they have deeply inspired me (us) to move towards that style of living
  • Especially thankful to the life coach, Ms Elisabetta Franzoso, whom I’ve met during a workshop on communication, but the workshop was more than that. It was about “inside out”, observing ourselves and being more aware of ourselves, and our existence, and whose simple theory of the “ice berg” affects how we can look at ourselves, others, and the things that are happening around us.

a) To embrace the minimalist lifestyle – to continue with Project Declutter for my room and for KS’s room.

  • I am looking forward to regaining those “empty spaces” in our living spaces – for the air, energy and creativity to flow and circulate more easily and freely
  • Looking forward to a more efficient and organized system of managing our stuff
  • To spend more time with people that matter more to us (our family and friends)
  • To spend time on things that we love to do
  • And to enjoy the simplest of the simplest of pleasures in life, such as a nice cup of tea and a book to read, and each other’s company on a lazy weekend afternoon

b) To enjoy and look at the positive side of my work and job – focussing on passion, sense of pride and achievement at the end of the day

  • Would love to start the first week of work in 2011 in clearing up the loose ends for my workstation – the leftover filing of documents, and the clearing up of unnecessary items and clutter
  • This is in hope of creating that “space” for thinking, planning, creativity and imagination
  • And in the process become more productive and efficient
  • To create a system that allows me to constantly “put things away”

c) To drink plenty of water everyday, and to do yoga weekly and go for weekly walks or jogs.

d) To lead a peaceful, carefree life!

Everything seems to be in place for a great 2011!

Cheers to all and here’s wishing everyone a Happy Happy New year and to a great year ahead!

Written by Jindy

January 2nd, 2011 at 5:46 pm

5 Dec 2010

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1) Everyone has their own hobbies and interests ~ who are we to judge what is right or wrong; good or bad; One man’s medicine is another man’s poison? (not sure what the correct phrase is)

2) I’m beginning to like the idea of minimalist living – the more I read those blogs on minimalist living, the greater the urge to purge all the¬†unnecessary¬†clutter and things I have in my room, in my cupboard, in my drawers. The only thing I need now is the strength of my will power to start the momentum and get it going. It’s the first time in a long time that I have the slightest visualisation of what life will be like for us if we were to start going the minimalistic way. There was this air of free-ness and freedom that I could almost feel inside me even when I think about it.

3) Now to think about it, it wasn’t so much that I am not the organised kind of person – with a lack of sorting and organising and management skills. It was more of an issue of having WAY too much. Too much of the “stocking up” and “just in case I’ll need it”. Anyone would have difficulty, unless we are managing with less.

4) On the topic of “perfection” (I read a very interesting blog just 1 or 2 days ago, will link it when I find that article again). I think I can become the classic example of how the idea of trying to get everything perfect hinders the progress and greatness I could have achieved without this perfectionistic ideals. There is a lot THAT is going on in my life. For one, at work, I seem to be on a look out for the perfect “organisation” system, the correct way of doing things, taking reference from my colleagues and how they do things. In doing that, I have overlooked that it is never about how correct or how good that “system” is, regardless whether it is for filing, for reference materials, or for how I organise the things around my workstation. Somehow or another, my colleagues’ way of filing and organising stuff seems to always be better. And I would try to¬†mimic¬†that. Not realising that there is no perfect way of doing things. It is more about finding that “fit” or “match” and the balance, whichever suits ME best. My silly obsession with perfection in this area has resulted in me not observing and taking in a closer look at what is best for myself, and what works.

5) I’ve been somewhat thinking about what my instructor at a recent workshop has briefing analysed and told me about – my insecurities and “unsureness” that springs from my experiences in childhood, and hence the need to know what is right or wrong, and the need to do what people think is right, instead of what I feel is right. Wow, and now the “judgement” thing seems to come in now.

6) What is my dream? What are my dreams? Do I have a dream? If I do have “a dream”, is that dream really mine? I’m now beginning to see a tiny bit of connection of how my perfectionistic ideals, my insecurities as well as the fear or judgement together hinders my ability to dream and to dream about what I might have been able to achieve.

7) I realised that if I reduce my obsession with getting my “system” right, I may be able to produce work better.

8) Also, when we reduce our obsession with things for just a little bit, and take a closer observation at ourselves, we may discover a lot more about ourselves, starting from the outside to the inside. The human body is a really intelligent piece of machine. It is able to detect problem areas and sends out signals in the form of “symptoms” for us to do something about it. The only problem now is our lack of ability to identify and finding ways to rectify.

– i started to notice that my nails seems to have gotten thinner and my toe nails seems to be more easily cracked then ever. Signs of the lack of calcium or the loss of calcium?

– I started to notice that the skin on my hands and my legs are really dry and withered – signs of the overuse of airconditioning, lack of fresh air and lack of water (I drink way too little water) – To my understanding, the best way to drink is to sip slowly, so that our cells may absorb the water better. I¬†realize¬†that to a certain extent, because that is relatively hard to achieve in an office environment, I somehow end up drinking tea instead. Can’t see the direct link, but the amount of water I drink a day is shockingly baffling.

– Caffeine after 5pm is a bad idea. It affects my ability to fall asleep easily and the quality of my sleep even if I fall asleep

9) The other day, I read about how we should reduce the amount of stimuli we are exposed to before we sleep, so that we may get a better sleep, e.g. avoiding our computers and mobile devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. For the 2 days that KS & I managed to shut down our devices at 10pm, it felt really good. We managed to do bits and pieces of heart to heart talk after the lights were switched off, and we were lying in our beds, and eventually drifted off to sleep together. I think KS liked that feeling. Me too.

10) One of the purpose I wanted to start this blog over again was that I wanted to journal mine and our learning progress of the little things in life. I must say I was inspired by the minimalist living blogs once again, that I visualised doing a blog update on my decluttering progress with pictures and all. We shall see about that.

11) The other day in the bathroom, when I was thinking about goals setting and how it may give me a stronger motivation and clearer direction of how to live our lives. I was reflecting on the many occasions where we tried to do goal setting for our home business, when it suddenly struck me that we were doing goals setting for many different aspects of our lives, but we were treating them separately, instead of looking at them as a whole picture and how each of them may impact each other. As such, we were subconsciously using each of the goals as excuses why we were not achieving them. No wonder there is little progress in our lives. No wonder I feel so little about myself and become easily envious of other people.

11) The kind of promise that would make you feel the worst for breaking it, is the promise to ourselves. This statement is so true. That greatly explains why I am always so depressed on the weekends, especially when we fail to wake up early and do the things that we have planned to do, and always having to find excuses to make up for the lack of action. Check the number of things I have on my personal to-do list nicely written down in the 2Do app in the iPad and iPhone and now I really really understand why I feel lousy on most weekends. (Further reflection about this showed that on weekends when we were rushing from appointments and managing to do many things on the to do lists, I felt good about myself, and was indeed happier.)

12) The few things I would very much like to implement in my lifestyle

– to wake up at the same time everyday, regardless of the time I go to bed

– to do yoga in the weekend mornings

– to drink plenty of water each day

– to visit the pool with KS for hydrotherapy to strengthen his back (this is quite tough to implement due to my fear of the hassle for visiting the pool)

Written by Jindy

December 5th, 2010 at 3:12 am

26 Nov 2010

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This is a start – but I’m beginning to like the idea of taking action, without thinking too much of whether it was going to be perfect.

This week’s of new experiences and perspectives:

1) Asking the “WHY” in our life

2) What is my dream? Everyone has the potential to fulfill their dreams.

3) If I want, I can

4) The Power of The Secret

5) The Tip of the Iceberg

6) Human are like batteries – we have both positive and negative emotions, feelings and thoughts

7) The little puppet – We all have the same structures, but we are all different

8 ) Observing vs Judging – To observe, we will embrace & accept; Instead of judging, we discern, evaluate and select

9) Good vs Bad – Good and Bad are 2 strongest judgement

10) Use empowering words – instead of using “mistakes”, use “experiences” or “lessons”; instead of “problems”, look at it as “challenges”

11) Anger is not a negative thing, as long as we do not use it in the bad way

12) In order to communicate, we need to first learn how to be an active listener

13) Listening is not agreeing

14) It is more important to be interested than interesting

15) When we are feeling negative, we can learn how to shift our moods through relaxation, music, movement or thinking about our moments of glory

16) Communication starts from within – we need to communicate with ourselves then can we communicate with others

17) The power of gratitude and visualisation

Written by Jindy

November 26th, 2010 at 6:54 pm