Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why we all need a well-balanced life [GUEST POST]

By Noreen Amore

Photo credit: Flickr/Hans Splinter

I cannot breath anymore and destroy my soul. 

I’m totally lost with what I am doing to myself. “Noreen oh Noreen” my Dr said with his voice a little bit upset. I try to be at my best but I didn’t do it the best way until it effected my health, personal life, family and friendship. I’ve almost lost everyone that I care and love. Before it’s too late I must stop and start to say NO!!!!

Heard of ‘Workaholic’? But for my scenario, it is not workaholic but I call it ‘Tortureholic’. The episode began with my first assignment: I volunteered to help, I enjoyed it and I continue my service as if it was my full time job even though I didn’t get any single cents. I did it because I’m happy to volunteer, to help and to learn something new and meet new friends. I feel honoured the work was noticed by the community. It motivated me to work even harder and I keep doing positive things to impress everybody.

Beside volunteer service, I have also been busy helping my partner. My daily routine becomes more interesting. Life is transforming for the better, I would say. Practically 24/7 I’m occupied with something and I’m always happy till I'll forget, do I have any problems? Am I making money? I didn’t earn anything and I just take it easy running my errands and the bills will arrive by end of the month. I just keep moving and continue my new adventure without hoping for any returns. It’s from the  bottom of my heart.

A new challenge is coming and guess what? I accepted another new assignment... again!!!! This time it involved a big scale project, and gave my full swing without any mercy. I told myself that I will challenge myself. At this point, things got worse and tried to kill my soul slowly. I started to feel some pain in my body. For the past 7 months I didn’t rest and constantly moving non-stop, being active 24/7, a few hours of sleep a day, no exercise and forgotten to have a balance diet. OMG OMG…

It’s a wakeup call NOREEN! 

I went to see my Dr, and the result was shocking. My sickness is coming back and if I don’t follow my Dr's advice, I can kill myself slowly. Driving back home I started to pray and the first person I call was my mom. Guess what? I didn’t say hello and talk to her for many months. Usually I use to call her at least twice a week. She said I was very busy so she understand and constantly prays nothing bad will happen to me. An hour later, I just realize that I've lost my life's balance. I switched off my phone, with no communication with the world. I felt so empty. WHY?

I've lost my balance. 

I've created distance with my best friends, I tried to ruin my 9 years love relationship with my love partner, I tried to be far away with my own family and the worst part I tried to destroy my career and company that I've build with my own effort. Who am I actually and what have I done to myself? What am I trying to achieve and who is it for? I've already destroyed my own normal healthy life.

Well, now comes the serious and hardest part: I must stop and do something. With my decision I believe that it will hurt many people around and they will get shocked. I feel sorry and I didn’t mean it. I stop my activities and announce my resignations to everybody within 24 hours. Yes I did it…. With my unhealthy condition, I need to slow down and temporarily take a break. Everybody was shocked, angry, upset and question the sudden decision. It’s not their fault and there's nothing wrong with the internal organisation and company. It’s my personal health that is the big issue.

I feel so bad and regret but again I told myself, for my own health sake, I have to face it and make a decision. I left everything and have to settle one by one, piece by piece and I can breathe finally………………………I feel released and my soul is back. My actual friendly self is back with me. Writing is the best therapy to calm and be my real self. So sharing good stories and life experience on my blog, helps me connect back with my soul.

What I’m trying to share is that you cannot stop people from wanting to say something because human neuron brain can only accept positive but not negative. They like to hear the answer, what they want to hear but they do not want to think about the other side. People love gossip but that's only temporary and they will forget as other hot news become the headline.

No matter how high and confident we are, we need to go back to life's basics. The rules of happiness is when you find your own balance in life. When you find your balance, everything you do will in  harmony. As long as we view suffering as an unnatural state, an abnormal condition that we fear, avoid and reject, we will never uproot the causes of suffering and begin to live a happier life. An end result or product of patience and tolerance is forgiveness. When you are truly patient and tolerant, then forgiveness comes naturally. Life must be a balance and that is the purpose for happiness.

Sincerely, Noreen Amore.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Best Advice... by Tini Zainudin / @tiniz

Tini Zainudin
Child activist / Do Gooder
Follow Twitter | Facebook 

My best advice on... starting a new project
Dream big, start small! Map out your big plan and the steps on how to get there but the plan is only a framework. Make room for unexpected surprises, ask and listen to friends and others whom you want to seek advice from. be open to endless possibilities and I promise you, if it's for good for others and is a project from the heart, it will happen. Be patient and know that nothing ever goes as planned, so enjoy while working hard. Good luck!

My best advice on... being unique
Be true to yourself. Each and every one of us is unique so celebrate the best of who you are and what you want to do in life.

My best advice on... life's challenges
This too shall pass! I'm still learning that even the setbacks and difficulties when facing challenges are life lessons and teaches you new skills you never thought you'd need to learn. So learn it well!

My best advice on... relationship/friendship
Friendship? Is about love and respect and honour!

My best advice on... making a difference
Doesn't matter what others think! What's most important is what do you think? Are you making a difference in your life? Or you enriched by this difference? Then do it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

My best advice... by Jason Cruz / @jsncruz

Jason Cruz
Director of Social Products
Follow Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

My best advice on... starting a new project
Take a LOT of notes. You can never have "too few" as far as notes go. They help you put to paper and thus remember fleeting but potentially-great ideas. It doesn't matter how you do it (I'm old school, so I use pen-and-paper) as long as note-taking becomes a pre-project habit, you're in the right direction.

My best advice on... being unique
I would say listen to others, but do things your own way anyway. In my industry, there's a lot of "traditional ways of doing things". That is good if you want to be a stable member of the crowd, but that will not get you remembered. Bend, break, or make up the rules of your industry.

My best advice on... life's challenges
This sounds cliche, but look forward to tomorrow. Nothing lasts forever, especially bad times. One of my darkest moments was a three-month period of terrible leadership (my own, as I was learning) and I thought there was no way I could fix things. A year later, we're laughing about it now! Time is your best friend.

My best advice on... relationship/friendship
Go for quality, and never quantity. It's nice to be the most-liked person in the office or at home, but at the end of the day, you want to focus your energy on a handful of people you would genuinely do anything for. If your list is a loved one, your parents, and two to three very good friends, you will have more time to spend with each of them rather than divide your week for dozens of people.

My best advice on... making a difference
If you feel strongly about doing something, put all your heart, emotions, and assets behind it. There is really no room for doubt or self-questioning, as far as making a difference goes. I think that the difference between okay and great is how much we're willing to bet on the table.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Best Advice... by Norina Affiza / @NoreenAmore

Norina Affiza
Perfumer and President Cushing Syndrome Foundation
Follow Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

My best advice on... starting a new project
My first project failed, second project also failed but the third project was smooth. I keep doing my research and never let others to downgrade me because it is very imporatnt to get positive vibes when you start a new project. Spend and keep getting testimonial. Research because research is your main key to success. Age is not a barrier to start new things and that motivation and drive for success is a must.

My best advice on... being unique
Innovative and creative. I am always alert on what's happening around me. From there I try to develop something that I can share in a fun way, interesting, giving knowledge and something that benefits everybody. Of course never have any regrets in what you have done. Because regrets will make you fall down.

My best advice on... life's challenges
I always stay around with people who have positive thinking and good energy. I take all the bad comments with possible action because 'Action is Always Louder Than Words'. Never say 'No' but I always say 'I will try or I've tried'. Dreaming big is not wrong because you will eventually make your dreams come true.

My best advice on... relationship/friendship
If you've failed 100 times in a relationship, it doesn't mean you will fail with everybody else because that will make you be more tolerant and understand how important relationship is in your life. You gain experience. Treat others like you want to be treated.

My best advice on... making a difference
From my experience having a Cushing Syndrome, it's something that's priceless and a touching experience because only one in every one million people take on this journey. Even though I've been discriminated by the community, I lost some precious moments including my happiness. While others are living a normal life but I'm suffering deep inside, not knowing how to share to the world. Friday 13th, January 2012 is the date I will remember forever in my life because I am still alive and can see the world. All the prayers, tears and moral support really touched because I'm still a human being. Because of all the love, I'm giving back through Amore Rosso and Cushing Syndrome Foundation. I hope I can help those in need.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to be happier in all aspects of your life by Miss A [GUEST POST]

By Miss A

We're about to enter the fifth month of the year and how's the 2014 New Year's resolution getting along. Wait… remember that question we keep asking ourselves back in January: “What’s your new year resolution?"

Let me recall my answer: “Um, to fulfil what my heart desire?”

Okay, I’m a liar. I want to change my life so that it would be better. But I keep making excuses like, I don’t have time, not enough money, not pretty enough, I’m a boring person, blah blah blah.

2013 has taught me a few lessons in life especially on my love life and work. These two things have made my life turned up-side-down in both good and bad ways and I am sure most of you have some sort of experience regarding these two subjects.

Getting the job of your dream is wonderful. But learning that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side will make you stop for a while and wonder “Hmm I did not expect this!"

Same with falling in love and thinking that you have finally found the love of your life, only to find out after a year later you are destined to be single. This is when you will say “Damn it, I thought I have it all figured out!”

I admit I have taken some wrong turns in dealing with these problems, causing more mess throughout the year.

What is it that made everyone feel empty, discontented and moody all the time? I made a list of the possible factors that could make you feel like you are on autopilot most of the time.
  1. Love life sucks
  2. You are not motivated anymore whenever you think about your job
  3. Money issue = headache
  4. Friends; either you have no one to hang out with over the weekend OR you have abackstabber among your friends
  5. Mommy and daddy keep pressuring you on the M word
  6. You hate the place you are renting at the moment
  7. You want to try something new but you don’t have the confidence
So those are the seven factors I could think of at this moment that could make you unhappy.

Everyone can just go to you and say “Hey! I have a solution”.
  1. Find a new boyfriend/girlfriend
  2. Change your job!
  3. Find a job with better salary
  4. Socialise and ditch the ungrateful friends
  5. Tell your parents you will get married when you have found ‘the one’
  6. Find a new place!
  7. Believe in yourself and you will have the confidence
Hah! Easy for you to say. But the reality is that it is not as easy as it sounds like. So today, let’s talk
about how we can really do something with our life.

So this boyfriend/girlfriend of yours suddenly decided to end the relationship without any valid
reasons. You feel devastated but you still keep making efforts because you want to fight for your
relationship. But then you stopped because you’ve come to realize that you have been fighting alone
and the other person just wants to let go.

Yeah it’s difficult.

You know how they say it, “When you’re in a relationship suddenly there are a lot of people
interested in you, but once you’ve become single, nobody is interested anymore.”

So what CAN we do? Let me share with you some of my secrets.
  1. Ask your friends to hook you up with their friends randomly. It is just a date and a good way to socialise with new people. But remember, DO NOT think about getting into a relationship just yet.
  2. When out with your friends at Mamak for example, and you see this cute guy/girl sitting at the table next to you. You want to get to know him/her but you are too shy. For girls, write your name and number on a piece of paper and make your friends give the paper to the cute guy. For guys, gather your courage and just go and ask for the girl’s number. Hey! You don’t know them right? What do you have to lose? Exactly, nothing.

You have lost your motivation. You don’t feel excited anymore whenever you think about coming to
work. So what do we do here? Honestly, I am still in the dilemma. But let’s try something new.
  1. Wake up each morning and force yourself to smile and think that it is going to be a good day! What if it turns out to be a bad day? Hell, that’s okay. What’s the worst that could happen? You already hate your job! LOL! Yeah I’m not helping. Okay, what I’m trying to say is, try making each day a good one. Think that it’s going to be great today. If something bad happens, just take it as a lesson. Smile when you’re driving to work. Smile when you’re at the entrance of your office. Smile when you see that horrible boss of yours or that fat ex of yours or that s*ut you hate. Just smile and listen to your favourite song while doing your work. Make stupid jokes with your colleagues. If they don’t laugh at your jokes, then just laugh at yourself!
  2. Discuss with your best colleagues on what you guys want to do OR should do. Maybe propose new ideas to the boss? Or maybe start a new business together. Or start looking for new jobs together.

Where to find easy money? I’ll tell you where. Become a prostitute. Hehe. Kidding! Yes, as you all
have figured it out, there’s no easy way. But remember, all problems have solutions.
  1. Ask around and let your friends know if they found out about any part time/freelance job.
  2. No part time job? That’s okay. Start buying groceries and cook at home. Imagine having your "ME" time. Start boiling those broccolis and put it beside your scramble eggs while waiting for your chicken on the pan. Don’t forget to sprinkle some salt and pepper. Go to the fridge and pour some ‘milo kotak’ in a glass and then sit down in front of your laptop while watching Bridget Jones! Save money by cooking.
  3. Don’t know how to cook? LEARN! Or you could limit yourself to two meals a day. That way you can save your money and diet as well.
  4. Before thinking of killing yourself by the end of the month, start dividing your money every month for petrol, toll, parking, phone bill, house rent, car loan, etc. 

I’m sure you have your own best friends. If your answer is no, it is either you’re always lazy to make time for them or you’re having a fight with them.

  1. Make time. No matter how busy or tired you are, always make time for your friends. Youdon’t know how much time you have with them. You want time to be alone? Sure that’s good. But not forever. You don’t want to end up being one of those old ladies who only have cats as their friends. Or worse, you don’t have a chance to hang out with your best buddies anymore. Because darlings, life is short. Make sure you don’t do things that will haunt you for the rest of your life.
  2. Backstabbing friends. Hmm is this a trick question? Most people would say, ignore and ditch them. I had some experience on this. What I did was, I try to keep that friend with me as long as I could. I believe in second/third/fourth chances. LOL. I do give a lot of chances to people that I care about even though when I’m angry I would say things like “Get out of my life” or “Don’t ever come back”. My opinion is that, it is totally normal for two people to argue with each other or make mistakes. We’re human. We tend to make mistakes. But think about the friendship. Not your ego.

Mom: You’re 26. You’re old. Please get married ASAP.
Me: I’m 26 and fabulous. I’m young and not done with the dating life yet *snaps fingers*

Ha…. as if! You will find a knife at your neck if you say that to you mother. Instead, try this method I
did with my mom and the whole family.
  1. LAUGH. Yes, laugh every time they bring up the M word. Just go like “haha. Yea. Haha. Haha. Haha. Hahaha”. They will get tired of it and leave you alone for awhile because they will get annoyed when you just keep saying ‘haha’. LOL!
  2. SMILE AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Just smile politely and don’t say a word. They will get tired eventually.
  3. Tell your parents honestly that you’re just not ready for the responsibility and that you haven’t met the one person worth risking your life for.

You’re living with you brother/sister? You have annoying nephews/nieces? You want peace in your
own room but the kids’ stuff is all over the place? Yeah, find a new place.
  1. Try to get your best friends moving in together with you to a new place. That way you will feel more comfortable because you already know them instead of having psycho housemates.
  2. Browse around for the best deals. We used our heart when it comes to picking our boyfriend/girlfriend and look where it got us. So this time, take your time and think properly.
  3. Keep it to your budget because I am sure you do not want to commit suicide by the end of the month.

I am not totally sure about this but let’s experiment! I will tell you what I want to do and what my
plans are.
  1. I want to travel. I am afraid. Why? I don’t have enough money for that. I haven’t started saving till now. My mom won’t let me. What if I got kidnapped when I’m in Italy? What if someone rob me and then kill me? I have my fears. But here’s the plan. Starting March I will start saving because I’m planning on going for a short holiday in Malaysia this February. LOL. So this savings will be used maybe around mid 2015 or 2016? I’m going to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany, Norway and Boston, USA. Yes people, I will achieve that!
  2. I’m going to tell my boss that I’m ready for more challenges by March or April. That is after I start doing my research and gather my confidence for it.
  3. I’m going to propose new ideas to my boss so that I get to do what I want instead of just being told what to do.
  4. I want to take beautiful pictures. I’m not a graphic designer or someone who studied photography. But I think I may have some talent on photography (Yes, that’s a little bit of confidence there). Photography has this influence on me that I can’t really describe. 
  5. CONFIDENCE. Honestly, I don’t have the answer on how to gain confidence because most of the time I just act as if I’m confident. Hey maybe this could work! Act as if you have confidence! Hmm never thought of this before. Sometimes I imagine myself like I’m Lily Collins in Stuck in Love (you know.. the romantic movie) or Samantha Jones from Sex and the City OR most of the time, I’m Blair Waldorf or Serena Van Der Woodsen from the Gossip Girls series. That’s how I act as if I have confidence. True story.
To be honest, I haven’t quite figured out what I want to achieve in 10 years time. For some lucky
people, they know what they want. But I don’t. I think some of you can relate. Or not.

What I know for sure is, I want to see the world. I want to get to know people from different cultures. I want to explore everything this world has offer me. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me.

One day I hope I could say, “Hey this is the new and improved me!”

Though I still find it mysterious on how to achieve this, but I think the mysteries that make our lives interesting and colourful.

I hope you will share your experience, thoughts or advise here in this blog. Write it as anonymous if you want to, but it would be wonderful to hear to other’s point of view.

I am motivated by your LOVE. Say HELLO!!
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