Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Habits That Steal Your Happiness: Comparisons

I was brought up in a very comparative family. In primary school, I would always be top 3 in class. I was instructed to wow crowds when performing my piano recitals. And the saddest bit, I was reminded that I'm not skinny and pretty enough, every single day, when I was growing up.

Over the years, I did understand how it is beneficial to have a bit of healthy competition. But only as of late, I understood that there is a huge difference between comparing and competing. When you compete for something, you're expecting something at the end - a trophy, a medal, money, etc. - to win or to lose. When you compare, you're putting things in your own head because there's nothing at the end of the road.

As we mature, it's natural that we compare ourselves to others. "Oh, he's got a bigger house." "My goodness, she's owns 5 cars." "Wow. Look at her diamond ring!" "She's got an amazing body." "He looks younger each day. Wonder what's his trick." And most of those sentences end up like this "Why can't I be more like him/her?" And that's when you're screwed.

See, this year, a lot of my friends are evolving in their careers, moving to a different country/city, engaged, married, having kids, the whole nine yards, basically. And here I am, having a glass of wine, thinking of what I'm going to make for dinner tonight.

However, over the weekend, I was out with one of my best friends. We basically met when we were 5 and have been friends ever since. Of course, there were fights and arguments along the years (no friendship is perfect) but look where we are now. 

So, I was telling her about how stagnant I feel in life right now. How most of my friends are either starting their own family or evolving in some ways in their careers. See, I've got tonnes of friends, but they're all scattered across the globe. Friends in the U.K are buying houses, being aunts and uncles; friends in India are CEOs of a huge ass company; friends here who are moving away, travelling around the world, being kick ass entrepreneurs.

At this point, I was already comparing myself with the people around me. Don't get me wrong, I'm super proud and happy of where all my friends are right now in their lives, but I somehow feel like I'm going nowhere. And this feeling has been dragging since the beginning of the year.

After talking (or shall I say complaining. Sorry for her ears, bless her) for almost an hour, she said something to me, which I'll probably remember for a very long time.

"This is not the Els I know. And you've been comparing yourself so much to other people for such a long time. You don't even realize how much you've done. Instead of appreciating every single step you've achieved, you've compared yourself to people who are achieving big things. Why?" 

I'm glad she said all those things I didn't want to hear/was not willing to hear, because today, I feel so much better. I mean, I will never truly know who the real Els is, but even though I don't really know who I am, I do know who I want to be in the future.

So here's my little thought for you:

Don't listen when the world tells you that you're "too old" to try something new, or that it's "too late" for you to do something incredible with your life or even make a small change. Regardless of where you find yourself at the moment, remember that there are still so many beautiful moments ahead.

Comparisons add no value to your life. Instead, when you see someone doing something you've always dreamed of, or achieving goals similar to yours, think of it as a proof. Proof, that it can be done. Let that inspire you instead of discourage you!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Things (I Want) To Do in September + Mini Life Update

Did not expect the month of September to roll in this quickly but welcome to a brand new month! 

I know it is the 5th of September (like wtf? Already the 5th?!) but I did sit down and I did think about what I want to prioritize this month and why.

I was meditating over the weekend, trying to fathom how 31 days could pass so quickly and what I've actually achieved in August. And it's scary because now, I'm starting to think that 12 months in a year is just not enough. So much to do yet so little time. Yes, shocking for me to reach this stage, I know, but I guess I'm starting to really "adult" this year. I mean, took me long enough (only 26 years to grow up) ! Although I did manage to tick off all of the boxes in my August list, I still feel dissatisfied. Hence, I want to also want to remind myself why I chose to do all these things.

So, here are some of the things I would like to do this month and the reasons behind it.

1. Spring clean my wardrobe 

The amount of crap I own in my closet is just unreal. I can't say I want to be one of those inspiring bloggers who can be a minimalist when it comes to clothing but I do want to be a smart spender when it comes to clothing. I live right above an HnM store and the amount of times I've went into the store just to buy something unnecessary is honestly unbelievable. When I'm stressed out, I hit the store. When I'm mad or angry, I spend recklessly on clothes. So, NO MORE! I am going to clean out my wardrobe this weekend.

2. Build my stamina 

One thing I'm proud to say is that I've caught up with my exercise regimes. It's nothing major and nothing fancy. I just try to fit in swimming whenever I can and a couple of my friends actually told me I look toner and healthier. And I feel that way too. But I'm not just talking about my stamina when it comes to exercise. I'm talking about my mental health game and how I go about my life on a daily basis. You may or may not know, I've been waking up at 4 in the morning everyday because I start work at 6. It's no easy task and I do feel like I'm floating most times but I'm slowly getting used to it. 2 days ago, I had a really bad migraine. I almost could not get out of bed but I went to work anyway. I know I can't be too hard on myself, but I also can't be too easy on myself. Today, as I'm writing this, I feel so much better. So, I'm slowly training myself and building my stamina.

3. Make time for friends and family

Last month, I wanted to make a trip back home but did not manage to do so because of work. My parents came to the city and I just really wanted to see them. Of course I miss my friends back home and I will visit home soon but right now, whenever my friends come to the city, I will try to make an effort to see them. Because I realized that when you can't rely on yourself, you turn to your family and your closest friends. So this month, I will try to allocate some of my time to friends and family who are visiting.

4. Work with passion 

One thing I've realized is that lately, I work like a zombie, a robot. Everything is so routined that I just don't have that fire in me. But with the work I do, it requires creativity so I don't really get stuck in a routine that long. When I was hosting an event last month, I finally found that fire again. When people came up to me saying "I listen to your show in the morning. You're really inspiring" or "You make me laugh in the mornings" or "I want to be like you", hearing those things from strangers, it just reminds me why I'm doing what I'm doing. Even though it's not millions of people screaming my name, I do take everyone's opinion into consideration. Criticisms, compliments, everything. So, I do not want to be like 95% of the world's population and work just to put food on the table, but I want to do what I do because I flippin' love it. Do what I love with passion to support myself.

5. Take time to reflect 

As I mature, I do feel like time passes quicker and quicker. Even when I'm attending some boring meetings, the meetings end quickly (not even sure what's up with that). I fear today, I look at myself in the mirror and see a 26-year-old me, and the next minute, I look in the mirror and see a grey-haired 70-year-old me. That shit scares me. So, I do want to start taking a couple of minutes in a day to reflect on what I've done and what makes me happy and focus more on that. Otherwise, what's the use of even doing what you're doing?

August was a rather challenging month for me, but I managed to handle it with grace and finesse (I would think so). Besides the 2-day migraine I had at the start of this month, I know that September will be an OK month for me. What are some of your goals for this month? Let me know in the comments 

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Where I Stayed in Langkawi

If you have been following me over on social, you'll know that I spent last weekend in beautiful Langkawi. Ever since my last visit in April, I've wanted to make another visit to the beautiful island and so I planned it for this month.

I stayed at a place called "Bella Vista Waterfront". I wanted to stay at a hotel with an amazing view and this place offered exactly that! 

This trip was more of a relaxing getaway rather than anything else. I had nothing planned. No itineraries, no gadgets, no disturbances, just pure relaxation. Therefore, I needed that sort of ambiance. I did not want to move around a lot (besides going to the beach), hence a nice accommodation with a great view.