Birthday reflections…

birthday cake ning

My Concept:Magic teammates have been absolutely wonderful. The lovable band of sneaky magicians actually threw me a surprise birthday party with a gorgeous chocolate cake, and I didn’t even suspect a thing when I came into the office! Hahaha… thank you guys, you truly know how to make a girl feel LOVED 🙂

I’d also like to say thank you to the wonderful folks who sent things down to the office, the beautiful  flowers, the chocolates, the cookies, the nicely wrapped presents, the cards, and cuddly plush toys! I really appreciate the kind gesture.

Well, I turn a year older in a couple of hours today (specifically, since I was born sometime in the evening), and my 20+ years on Earth thus far has been one thrilling, exhilarating ride.

Despite the bad global economy that cast a gloom on everyone, 2009 has been especially exciting, with much promises for the year ahead 🙂 I am indeed very thrilled, and I am very thankful for every single thing that has come my way.

The past few days  saw me meeting up with some very intriguing and interesting folks over lunch and dinner, so today I want to talk about people. I felt so inspired, I thought I just simply had to share these nuggets of wisdom I got from these wonderful people.

It’s interesting that in hindsight, these important facts of life are often so simple – and they don’t actually change that much when you transit from childhood to adulthood – but it’s more often than not, they are easier said than done 😉

Okay, here goes 🙂

1. Always do the right thing

…Even if it makes you unpopular with your peers. Because at the end of the day, you can be certain of the fact that you’ve got strength of character and no one will fault someone with ethics and principles. Unless of course, they themselves are guilty and without backbone. The adage “good triumphant over evil” exists for a reason 😉

I remember an incident (to protect the innocent, no names will be given) that happened years back in primary school, and I think it’d be something which everyone can easily relate to simply because we all know that peer influence is very real.

To cut a long story short, I thought I lost my cliche of friends then and it didn’t help that they gleefully called me a “chicken” outloud whenever they could humiliate me, and I felt down-right miserable back then… but I made new friends and now that I’m older and wiser, I’m really glad I stuck to doing the right thing and didn’t follow the crowd blindly by bowing down to unhealthy peer pressure.

It definitely takes a lot of guts to be your own person, but doing the right thing makes you know that you’d have regret & nothing against your conscience!

2. Don’t be afraid to soar

Fear cripples. Metamorphosis is necessary for the caterpillar to become the butterfly it is destined to be. Never hold yourself back from achieving the best you possibly can, just because you’re afraid of making your peers feel bad. It doesn’t make sense – I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen Michael Jackson’s award-winning “BAD” music video (the short film version, written and directed by Martin Scorsese).

Healthy competition with the right attitude is good. If they’re really people good for you, your true friends would be completely supportive in your climb and not try to sabotage what you’ve got going for you.

However, if they’re jealous of you, what you have, and expect constant things from you… you’ll need to stop for a moment and ask yourself the tough question – Why?

Sometimes misunderstandings happen and it’s impossible to always be completely understood, so just move on. Don’t be scared to spread your wings and fly. Read the wonderfully insightful book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach 🙂

3. People change

Sad but true, jealous peers who were once friends can turn into back-stabbing foes who try to bring you down, since they think they know your soft spots. Accept that you cannot please everyone to the extent their egoes desire, because you are nobody’s dog. Don’t be afraid to live your life to the fullest.

The best thing to do is to really just ignore these poisonous people and their unkind intentions but remain cordial when you interact with them. There is no need to be emotional. It takes grace, but be the bigger person. You don’t have to go down to their level and be political, two-faced, pretentious people.

Simply accept the fact while you have the right to be angry, the fact remains that people are people. We’re all imperfect in our little ways. Age has nothing to do with maturity.

4. Mind the company that you keep

Birds of a feather, flock together. Be especially wary of this universal truth and always be mindful of trying to keeping a balanced life. Trust your instincts. Listen and keep an open mind.

5.  Believe in karma

The funny thing is when you simply concentrate on your own game and ignore the ignorant and the malicious, you will  get ahead further… more often than not, in leaps and bounds!

Wisely conserve your energy, focus on what lies ahead for you, since time is so very valuable. It’s not worth trying to defend yourself until you’re blue in the face, from the untruths that insecure people who suffer from professional jealousy will inevitably spread.

The very fact that they do this to you, obviously means you’re definitely doing something right in your industry and they are highly upset and unsettled with your success. What comes around, goes around… so don’t worry too much, just carry on with what you’re doing. The universe works in mysterious ways.

6. Positivity matters

I used to be irked with unoriginal copycats and shameless cookie cutter types, who have no qualms about ripping me/ us off… but someone world-wisely shared with me that it’s all about your chosen perception at the end of the day.

Feel flattered instead of disgusted, because you’re looked up to by people desperately wanting to be you or craving what you’ve achieved or have. Just believe in yourself, that there’s much more – radiate (or laugh out loud in amusement, as my friend comically suggested) and feel good that you’ve been doing things right and have undoubtedly inspired these folks to want to be in your shoes.

Talent and inspiration should be shared with the world. Let go of all negative feelings and emotions. Learn to adopt a ZEN approach 🙂

7.  Money can’t buy you TALENT

Nuff said 😉

Work hard, play nice and be true to yourself. I come from a very humble family and I’m glad I was never a spoilt princess who was given everything. What I have now, I worked really hard to get and these things completely strengthen you from inside out.

I remember something my mother said to me when I was very little – An expensive mechanical pencil can’t magically make you pass your exams, there’s really no difference between that and your 2B pencil, except for appearances, Ning. The important differences actually comes from here, inside you.

So I stopped whining about the ugly looking China-made pencil I had in my shabby pencil-case and fully understood what Mom meant when the examination results came back. I’d fared much better than my wealthy classmate who had been proudly flaunting her pretty Japanese mechanical pencil *click click* Lesson learnt!

8. Being content and thankful with the stuff that matters

The workaholic in me always believes in constant evolution as a performance artiste, never resting on laurels and being complacent. It’s always about daring to push the envelope, aiming far and breaking glass ceilings to raise the bar. But that side is balanced by the other half of me who takes time to smell the roses and admire the beautiful sky.

I embrace God and am very thankful for all blessings given. Also, I am happy to have truly wonderful people around me who have been so very supportive and loyal. Money can’t buy you true friends and understanding loved ones.

Having said all that…

My birthday wish would be for the world to have more love and understanding. We need more kindness to make this planet a better place.

I think compassion coupled with awareness are essential and very, very important. Some people allow themselves to get hardened as time  passes and they get jaded by the world, with life, and forget what living is about.

The world can be a much better place if people want it to, that’s why I’m really touched that there are many people out there who do incredible things for others… not for the fame and glory, but just because they wish to help. They are genuinely sincere and need nothing back in return. I’m inspired by wonderful women like Suu Kyi and Somaly Mam, who dare go against a bigger (but in no ways, “higher” or in the right) power, and hope I can do my part in a bigger way too.

Like they say… yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present 🙂

PS: A very big thank you to everyone who’s sent me birthday wishes starting from this week *grin* Thank you for believing in me 🙂 You ROCK!

My birthday wish would be for the world to have more love and understanding… We need more kindness to make this planet a better place.



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4 responses to “Birthday reflections…

  1. Han

    hey i’ve been reading your blog for sometime now. Catching up on your happenings. So here’s wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYY…

  2. Happy birthday Ning ! And great post.

  3. nat

    i love your blog entry, but more importantly, i love you! stay the way you are, an inspiration and a beautiful friend.


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