What is in a name? Just about everything!

I read that a lot of parents regret the names they have given their children. One reason cited by parents for desiring a change is that the name is too popular. Don’t tell you did not see that one coming? I wonder why the name Edward ranks at about number 40 in the UK in 2010. Think you’re the only one who read Twilight and likes the old suave gentleman sound of the name? Continue reading

Learning Shakespeare through Confucius

This blog is inspired by a documentary I watched on TV entitled “For the love of Shakespeare”. It was the winning entry of The Asian Pitch in 2008. The documentary was shot in the village of Shanggu in Chengde City. Mr. Tong, the founder of a mountain school, used Confucius’ teachings to teach the pupils in the school he has founded. He was convinced that reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets by heart was the first step in learning English. Continue reading

Good looks a two-edged sword?

11 more days to my interview and I still do not know what to wear. I can hear all the guys out there groaning when they read this sentence. At this very moment they are thinking, How typically female! It’s always, “Honey! I have nothing to wear!” Then explain to me why the ceiling of the apartment below ours is practically sagging under the weight of your wardrobe? Hear is what I have to say to all those men; first this blog is not about what you assume it is about and second I will blog about being typically female soon. Continue reading

Recruiting is not immune to the laws of evolution

I came across an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal online. The title, “No More Résumés, Say Some Firms”, caught my attention. No more résumés? How cool is that! Don’t get me wrong, I am satisfied with my résumé. In my opinion I have an impressive academic and professional record. However I find a cover or motivation letter together with a résumé an inadequate medium to promote oneself. To me the traditional application often feels like an exercise in summary writing and merely shows that I have made the effort to write the letter in such a way that catches the recruiter’s attention. After all a job application is comparable to a sales pitch. I want to convince the company to pay for the product “ME”! Continue reading

Willpower is like a muscle

I read an article on Yahoo! titled “Supercharge Your Willpower” (Healthy, 2012). The author discussed in the article, how to make use of the Kaizen methodology to improve one’s life and overcome bad habits. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. Furthermore the author mentioned that willpower is comparable to a muscle. The author advised his readers to slowly strengthen their willpower. After all bad habits are not formed overnight and therefore it is not realistic to expect to break them overnight. Continue reading


One of the things I dread about gettting a classical 8 to 5 job is the waking up early part. I have always been a late riser and a long sleeper. I can work late at night and am even at my most creative during this time. I found this out when I wrote my master thesis. The first week I sat at my desk from morning till evening and after a week I had written a mere 10 pages. Out of desperation I decided to write through one night. Much to my surprise I had write as much in a night, as I had in the week before. After that I switched my writing schedule to write in the night. I went to bed when my husband woke up to go ready for work. It worked out really well for me because I had a straight A for my thesis. 🙂

However it is pretty difficult when society views this particular habit as characteristic of laziness. After all there is a saying about the early bird catching the worm. What about the late bird? Continue reading

The Quantified Self

Have you heard the terms “Quantified Self” or “Self-tracking” before? I have to admit that I have heard them for the first time last week. A radio talk show host was kind of against the idea of self-tracking. She saw this leading to others knowing about her personal data like when and how often she has gone to the toilet that day and what she ate for breakfast, etc. I find her stance on this topic absurd. After all self-tracking does not necessarily mean, you have to publish your personal data to the world but you can if you want to. It is like just because there is the functionality to upload photographs on Facebook you do not have to upload photos of you dancing on a table with a bottle of vodka in your hand but you can if you want to. I guess it depends on how extroverted and “exhibitionistic” you are. Continue reading

The Quarterlife Crisis

Today I have found a name for what I have been going through the past couple of years. I am having a Quaterlife Crisis. Attaching a name to my condition is not important but we human beings are social creatures. We need and thrive in (offline and online) communities. Therefore it is reassuring that I am not alone. Also knowing what it is could be useful in effectively targeting all efforts in overcoming this condition.

Although it is not yet as widely recognised as Midlife crisis, there are people out there studying this phenomenon. One of whom is Dr. Oliver Robinson at the University of Greenwich in the UK. According to Dr. Robinson, the Quarterlife crisis affects those between the ages of 25 – 35. Continue reading

Let passion be your guide

In my quest for a new job I have received quite a few tips from family and friends. There is a consensus that I should look for something that I am passionate about. My husband keeps telling me, “If you a passionate about what you do, work would not feel like a chore. It is important to enjoy what you are doing. I have found what I want to do. Of course there would be days when I am feeling down but overall there is a sense of fulfilment for what I do.” (I quote my husband because he is one of the wisest people I know. He is an ancient soul contained within a young body.)

I thought about my skills profile. I have an MBA, am a certified Project Manager, am a good organisational talent, have very good intercultural skills, and possess excellent intercultural knowhow. Next I did some online tests to analyse the ideal career path for me. The results were not surprising and reflected what I have always wanted to do or knew would fit my nature. Here are some of the proposed careers for me.
1.    Teacher: If I had remained in Singapore I would probably already be a teacher by now. Unfortunately only those who have completed a teaching degree in Germany would be allowed to be a teacher. Although I am a proponent for lifelong education, I do not fancy starting a degree that would last a couple of years before I can finally be a teacher.
2.    Artist: I have always loved theatre and especially acting on stage. But I am probably too old to start a professional career in this area now.
3.    Journalist: Again too old to be a journalist but maybe it is not too late work on a blogging career.
4.    Social worker: I rather think this would be something suitable for volunteering, instead of earning a living from it.

Then I came across an interesting article on Motorcycle USA today. It was on the motorcyclist John Hopkins, who had part of his middle finger on his right hand amputated (Team Suzuki News Service, 2012). Hopkins had fractured that finger in an accident in 2011 and complications have prolonged the healing process. He was faced with the choice of sitting out competitions in 2012 or amputating the finger up to the first knuckle and start training after a 10 day recovery period. He decided to amputate his finger. Is that being passionate about what you do or it is a sign of not being in a right frame of mind? I cannot think of a situation, where I would willingly get rid of a body part without it being necessary from a health point of view. Maybe I have not yet found my passion.

Team Suzuki News Service. (2012, January 15). MotorcycleUSA. Retrieved January 23, 2012, from http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/838/11998/Motorcycle-Article/John-Hopkins-has-Fingertop-Amputated.aspx

Tragedy needed to shake up my world

How often have you heard someone say something like, “After I lost my job and couldn’t find another one, I was so desperate that I decided to give my dream a try. Now I am happy and living the life I have always dreamt of.” Maybe not necessarily a tragedy but a wakeup call of some kind that chucks us out of our rutted routine we call life.

Today I read a story about how the early death of her mother due to extreme obesity led a woman to lose about 115 pounds herself (Cuffey, 2012). She has wanted to lose weight for a long time but she needed a death to seriously tackle the issue and be successful too.

I had something like this in mind, when I made my New Year’s resolution and wanted to live this year as if it were my last. But I have the feeling that I am still not making the most of my time. All because a tiny voice at the back of my mind keeps telling me that this probably won’t be my last year. My life is comfortable, why change it? I hate this tiny voice. I tell you; comfortable is the killer of greatness. But I am wondering, how can I get out of this comfy trap without being triggered into action by a tragic occurrence? I will let you know, if I find a way out.

Cuffey, A. (2012, January 18). Yahoo! Health. Retrieved January 21, 2012, from http://health.yahoo.net/articles/weight-loss/how-i-lost-115-pounds