Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

The frequency of my posts has reduced from more than ten a month, to about 2 – 3.


Bukan tak nak update; in fact a lot has happened, but I just cannot find the time to write them down.


Alasan. As always.


Anyway, someone recently told me that he believes that I am currently at a crossroad. After the nerve-wrecking interview last Wednesday (of which he was one of the interviewers), he feels that I am indecisive of where I want to be in five or ten years time. The interview was actually part of the management’s effort to look for potential leaders in the organization.


1 hour and 15 minutes… and know he knows me or what I want in life?


Photo: The Teeming Brain


I am not going to say that he is wrong, because once in a while I do have that feeling. But at this current moment, my immediate aim is to actually complete my studies. I have got four more years before I turn 40. And I hope that I can complete before I reach 40. What happens next, whether I decide to join the academic department, or stay in the management, is something I don’t want to think about now. I will decide when the time comes. Ideally, I would like to be part of the management, but I would also like to teach one or two subjects so that I can share my knowledge with the future leaders of the country. Is that so wrong? At least I am not pretending to be someone I am not. Only time will tell because only Allah knows…


I leave it all in His hands.


Meanwhile, I just found out from Aini yesterday that Mynie’s mother had recently returned to the AlMighty after suffering a stroke. May Allah bless her soul… forgive her… and grant her the highest level of paradise… Al Fatihah.



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Negativity is something I do not appreciate, and it is definitely not the feeling that I look forward to.


Sometimes, the vibes seem to be so strong that it makes me miserable and depressed for a few hours, or maybe even days.


I encountered this some few weeks back, after I had a discussion with two colleagues, on separate occasions. Despite that I empathize with the situation that they are in and as much as I try to understand their displeasure and frustration, that negativity affected me terribly.


Not everyone is happy with what they are doing or how they are treated in an organization but to me, that is absolutely normal. You just cannot please everyone. I am sure that they have tried to take into consideration each employee’s requirements but when you have a huge workforce, it is just impossible to make everyone happy.


And I will always remember this conversation that I had with ‘someone’ in the organization. He said to me, yes, it is okay to criticize your organization because one can never be fully satisfied, but don’t overdo it – and this is simply because that is where you earn your living – and you need to make sure that it is ‘halal’!


Anyway, aren’t we all responsible for our own happiness?


I once read this quote by an anonymous author, “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”


But I cannot deny that I used to be quite negative sometime back, but I made a vow to improve. That is why, I try, as much as possible, to avoid meeting with negative people. When I get depressed, I force myself to act positive, think and nurture positive thoughts and pray that the bad vibes go away. I sincerely pray that my two friends will develop more positive feelings in life.


And I will always try to remember what Allah said in the Holy Quran, Surah Al Ra’d verse 11, that “…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…”


May we become successful khalifah in this world, which in turn will bring us everlasting success in the hereafter.


Happy 2010!

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I failed, miserably.


Seriously, I cannot let go of reading non-academic materials… well… not yet.


Horror betul.


Despite the disastrous ending during my last class on the 12th of October, and as much as I vowed to stop reading non-academic materials until I complete my studies, I still cannot help the urge.


Plus, last Friday was off for us (since Saturday is a public holiday) and I took Monday off to be with my kids on their first day of examinations… Imagine reading journals on a four-day break! Tak boleh jadi ni.


So I ended up reading three books: Wo Ai Ni Allah, Lovers and Strangers Revisited and Gurindam Jiwa. 



Wo Ai Ni Allah is a story of a 14-year old girl who wanted to know if Allah really exists. In the earlier part of the book, the story focused on the dad who was also under the same mission, but later died in a ‘planned’ accident (apparently, the mom’s ex lover killed him). Anyway, both the girl and the dad suffered mental disorder – which really complicated things. Overall, it was an interesting read… but I found some of the paragraphs quite difficult to comprehend (maybe because I wanted to read ‘lighter’ materials!)


LSR-front cover


Robert Raymer’s Lovers and Strangers Revisited won the Popular Book Award for 2009. That was the only reason why I got a copy of the book. It contains 17 short stories, from Robert’s own experience living in Malaysia. I think that any Malaysian who reads this book, can relate to most of the stories in the book. Indeed, it was worth reading.




Finally, Gurindam Jiwa. Three short stories including one GREAT story by Hlovate. By the way, Hlovate, who until today remains anonymous, writes extremely interesting books. In fact, I have read all his (or her) books – 5 Tahun 5 Bulan, aA + bB, Tunas and Rooftop Rant. Of course, the other two stories by Imaen and Noor Suraya are equally interesting, except that Hlovate’s style of writing captivates me!

Let me try to renew my vow: I will stop (read: I will TRY to stop) reading non-academic materials beginning… TODAY!

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I – The End 

Last Monday was my last official class at UIA. It was quite disastrous actually, having to present part of your proposal to your own supervisor. He wasn’t utterly happy with what I have done and believed that I should have done much more. And yes, maybe I have not done enough. But I wish he wasn’t so discouraging. His expectations from Day 1 have been very high, and he believes that doing it part-time should not be an excuse for one to lag in their research work.


As much as I am glad that I don’t have to travel weekly (and at night) to and from UIA, I am terrified of my days to come. The journey is definitely going to be more taxing, but I guess it is all part of the learning process. Surprisingly, that ‘discouraging’ effect I felt on Monday turned 360 degrees the next day. I even made a vow to read nothing else other than academic materials (but I am not too sure if I can cope though).


Anyway, I will see how it goes. My next appointment to see my supervisor is at the end of November, so I have a lot to do before that.


II – Totebags


Sometime back, while I was bloghopping, I came across three bloggers who sell homemade totebags.


And I fell in love with those bags that I decided to purchase them.


I ordered 1 from Ayu, another one from Tika, and two from As (she even gave me two free gifts.. thanks!).






III – Pak Ungku


Yesterday, we had YM Royal Professor Ungku Aziz giving the Merdeka Award Lecture (part of a series) on Real Poverty at the university.


I was there to witness one of the greatest academicians in Malaysia delivering his thought-provoking ideas on what actually is poverty.


He started off by saying we should always be precise with time (I guess it was also because we started quite late!). And he then quoted Confucius who said that we should call things by their proper name, otherwise, we would mislead people, i.e. we should call a spade a spade. Anyway, he advised us to read two important books – the Malay Dilemma and the Chinese Dilemma because they both deal with the issue of assets and wealth distribution amongst the two races in Malaysia.


With regards to poverty, he explains that the more commonly used term for ‘kemiskinan tegar’ is hardcore poverty but to him, hardcore means one is being obstinate. Degil and nak jadi miskin. The thing is, these people do not choose to be poor, but the circumstances have forced them to live in a state which is unacceptable now, considering the development that Malaysia has achieved. Thus, the term Real Poverty or Extreme Poverty is used (i.e. we should call a spade, a spade). This is, to him, another dilemma that we are facing in Malaysia.


He then elaborated that the Real Poverty Group of people are deprived of five important aspects in life, namely health, habitation, education, traveling and sports. And he suggested that these people suffer from real poverty because of low productivity, exploitation and neglect. He strongly believes that if we want to get rid of real poverty, we should change the system completely, especially on getting rid of corruption and cronyism  


There was one thing I disagreed with him, i.e. on the hijab restricting women to be more active and free. But that is something I don’t want to comment, considering his well-known secular background.


Regardless, it was an extremely enlightening session.


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5 Years

This blog celebrates its fifth birthday today.


267 posts over 60 months… That is an average of 4.45 posts a month, which is not as many as other blogs of course.


I started this blog as a medium to express my feelings and thoughts, and most importantly, to improve my writing skills.


Therefore, I pray that Allah grants me the ‘ilham’ to keep on reflecting, thinking, pondering… so that I will be able to keep on expressing my feelings, and thoughts. 

To my not-so-many-readers out there, thank you for dropping by and reading my sometimes-does-not-make-sense ramblings!

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I turned 35 on Thursday, 18 June 2009.


Thank you abah and mak for bringing me into this world 35 years ago…

May Allah grant you jannah for being such wonderful parents…



Thank you Kak Sam for the nice birthday cake…

Thank you friends (office mates and FB friends) for the well wishes… 

Thank you abah and mak for another nice birthday cake (gemuk lagi lah anak mak ni…)

Thank you big brother and sis-in-law for the gift…

Thank you abang for the unconditional love…

Thank you kakak and adik for the cute birthday cards…


All praises are due to Allah the Most Merciful…


Someone said to me, “Look to the brighter aspects of your life before looking at the dark side… and you will surely be happy.”

I will, insya Allah.

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The past few days have been full of excitement. I am glad it is all over, at least for the moment.


But then… as much I am thrilled with Ir Nizar’s win in Bukit Gantang, I still feel that as a society, we still have a long way to go. There are so many things that we need to improve… and there are so many things that need to change, for the better of course. Ir Nizar will definitely face challenges in the next few months, and all this is done to make this country a better place to live in. I was just talking to a friend of mine this morning – imagine the Opposition team in Parliament – Anwar, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, Haji Hadi, Wahid Endut, Azmin Ali… and now Nizar! Wow! A perfect team indeed!


I like to talk about change, because change is inevitable.


Change is what makes life interesting. Change is what makes a person, a better human being. Change is what everyone needs.


In trying to make changes, I think the first step is to realize that we need the change. Because if we don’t realize that we need to improve, then we will resist the change.


And I realized that I need to make more changes today.


I realized that I need to step back a little bit, take stock of my main strengths and weaknesses, accept that I have too many weaknesses that I need to improve, and find ways to overcome those weaknesses. Afterall, we are all human beings, with too many weaknesses. Only Allah, the AlMighty is perfect. Other than Him, no one else is perfect, or even close to perfect.


And to effect change, I must be aware that criticisms are extremely important. I must learn to accept it when people criticize me. It is like a ‘no hard feelings’ thing. Yes, I admit that this will be the hardest part, but if I resist being criticized, I will remain unchanged for the rest of my life!


This morning, one of the leaders in our organization gave a talk on transformation. It was very inspiring, and I learnt a lot from him and the vast experiences he had in life.


One thing that he said that really got to me was this. When he was asked what actually motivates him to come to work, he gave a very simple answer.


Life is like flying. You collect Enrich points everytime you take a flight. In life, you collect points from every good thing that you do – be it work, be it family, be it religion. These points are what you will bring with you to meet Allah when you die. Hopefully, you will have gathered enough points for you to ‘fly’ into heaven!

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