Story: A world of her own

She lived in a world of her own; a world that existed only in her head.
A world where she could see beautiful faces and kind souls; where love existed even when it seemed impossible. Where she felt warmth, and support, and everything nice she had never had. Where she could go places and feel hope. Where she could experience new things with those that mattered and know that she too, meant the world to someone else. Where no-one judged; where she could be who she wanted to be.
Where for the first time in ages, she could be happy.

But this world had a different face.
It was filled with fear. She saw things she wasn’t sure had happened; but she suspected it would have. It was likely to have happened in reality…
It was filled with sadness. She saw the things that would become of her; though she wasn’t sure, it seemed just like what she had predicted of her future…
It was a place that she saw her downfall; a place that she recognised pain and tasted tears and knew that she was just as worthless as reality had shown her to be.

“It would kill you,” a voice told her. But it wasn’t going to help.
She didn’t want to be in this world, but she didn’t want to give up the good parts of it.

Photo: Snippet of Life


You see, most of life is a blur at first. Then comes the obstacles – rocky, challenging, numerous. But as we keep going, they seem to get a little more manageable. They didn’t lessen; they merely become less important. Even the barriers put in place cannot stop us from flowing through.

At the end? At the end we finish off as ashes in the sea, mixed within the rocks that line the shore.

Story: No-nonsense

He wasn’t upset.
He wasn’t tired or stressed.
He definitely wasn’t angry.

He was just being himself.
“Serious as hell,” someone whispered, in sync with the rustling of paperwork that piled on his desk.
“Moody bugger,” another said, as he frowned at the 600 e-mails he had to clear.
“Authoritarian!” a murmur was heard just as he backed his chair away and hurried to the next meeting room.

No, he wasn’t upset – not technically. He wasn’t tired or stressed – not really. And he definitely wasn’t angry.

He just want to get the work done and move on with life, preferably without the fools that lingered in his presence, trying with their limited capacity to speculate his emotions.

Story: Imagining Imaginations

You have no idea what Imaginations can do to you.
They clamour into your bed at night, hide beneath your sheets, and wrap themselves around your head, taking you on a journey far beyond what the mind can ever comprehend.

They sit across the table in the morning, fusing into the scent of your coffee as you inhale, bringing you on a adventure far more exciting than your day job can ever offer.

They seep insidiously into your life and leave you wondering – was that real or not?

How does it really matter, it would ask you when you wrangled the Imaginations and interrogated it.
If you liked what you saw, heard or experienced – why did it matter whether it was real or not?
Why did you have to insist on holding it down; apprehending it; encaging it? Why can you not accept it for who it is?

Imaginations – it had the power to persuade, convince and mesmerise.
Imaginations – it would whisper into your ears and embed itself into your mind.

But never, ever, try to capture it. Let Imaginations run wild.

What are you imagining today?

(PS: They are also very committed to their friends and would often visit. See, Imaginations came by not too long ago here

dissatisfaction can be motivational

Many around me have expressed support for an encouraging statement by American author and motivational speaker Richard Carlson: “If you are grateful for your job rather than complaining about it, you’ll do a better job, be more productive, and probably end up getting a raise anyway.”

I understand. And at times I say the same – be grateful that you have a job.
But I cannot concur that it is a motivational quote.

I tried to break down the statement: be happy that you have a job – you’ll be more productive and somehow you’ll get a raise. Probably.
Indeed we need to work to sustain our livelihood, especially given the current state of economy. However, such mindset deflates motivation and drive to look for a better opportunity, or to improve status quo when you search for a job that you like. When you like the job, you’ll care for it enough to work hard and make things happen. Someone will (or rather, should) recognise it and reward you for it. I know – it’s idealistic – but it’s also possible.

Similar to my previous post, a complaint comes from recognition of a shortfall, and if you take action to make the change, you’ll improve. So let’s try to rephrase things a little:

1. If you are grateful for your job, work hard and be productive – you’ll get a raise.
2. If you’re complaining about your job, start looking for something else instead of disrupting your employer’s plans, especially if you wouldn’t see eye-to-eye in any case. Find somewhere that allows you to be productive and which recognises your hard work – then you’ll get a raise.

Don’t just ‘be grateful’, don’t just wait for the ‘probable’ pay raise. We don’t get to control much in life, let this be one thing that we can make a decision for ourselves.

if we could all make a difference with science & art…

I was recently introduced to interesting insights in molecular gastronomy. I learnt about Homaru Cantu, founder of MOTO restaurant and his ideas of ‘miracle fruit’ and a first step to saving world hunger, as well as how it extends our definition of ‘food’. I have my reservations, and I am no scientist or professional chef, but I drew a very positive lesson from Homaru Cantu’s great vision, I thought I’ll share this too.

We often think of things in their preset categories, we place things in silos and we assume exclusivity to many characteristics. We examine in-depth, but not widely. We find aerospace engineers and business gurus, experts in their specific field of studies, but no longer see the great thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle whose studies span various disciplines. Times have changed, I am well-aware, but I wonder if this change has done more good/harm to our understanding of the world.

I started to think about me – or us. My current job requires me to predict the future – meet consumers’ needs, second-guess what they desire, invent the next best technology that dominates product categories. Sometimes we try so hard to outpace ourselves, we imagine the future and neglect the past that holds the very answer we’re looking for. I recall my first encounter with the ‘History of Science’, or ‘History of Diseases & Medicine’, and realised how historians too, can contribute to scientific studies and technology. My studies of the History of Science showed me how much was known or conceived in the early years. 3D TVs aren’t a brand new thing – people wrote about highly-similar items in the past – in those days 3D TVs were probably classified as science-fiction? We mocked, laughed, and chucked it aside. Instead of re-imagining a brand new product, a close examination of past records could potentially give us new ideas which we could leverage upon. While the concept might have been impossible years back – today’s advanced technology gives us a chance to materialise it. Of course, innovation must precede invention, but science might be enhanced if history is given a chance in its playing field.

I thought about how a molecular gastronomist aimed to transform our understanding of ‘food’ with the help of ‘science’ to achieve a greater humanitarian goal. How many of us are really open to applying scientific knowledge to culinary activity? Yet how often have we associated cooking with artistic qualities? Is this an example of assumptions that may have sidelined greater potential? There are limits to what we can accept in the combinations of food and science, without a doubt – I am not entirely receptive towards ‘edible paper’ etc but sometimes opening our minds a little more can put us in a creative space which we have always strived to achieve.

Maybe, just maybe, I am not a one-dimensional office-bound individual. Maybe if I could apply some of my existing knowledge to other aspects of life, I might be able to make a difference too. I don’t purport that I can make a huge positive impact to the world but we can all start somewhere.

Try this – think about your skills or what you can do, apply it to a field/discipline that you thought was totally irrelevant – maybe you’ll come up with something interesting too! If I do, I’ll be sure to write an update here!

Cheers to the week ahead everyone!