Stay hungry, stay foolish: Steve Jobs.

Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your inner voice.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Everything else is secondary.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

If only I’d be foolish more often.

He drew a Gecko for his first studio project.

I’m not sure what his exact role was (or roles were) but one thing for sure, he’s definitely someone who’s ‘made it’!

2u58gzq.jpg

Not Rango, or Johnny Depp, mind you, but that name here that’s highlighted in yellow.

It belongs to my poly classmate, whom I happen to know as an awesome and dedicated 3D animator, one among the many of us back then.

Me? I’m not sure if I was that awesome in my craft, as almost always I barely got by in class and in my modules, but Zaini was different, in a good way.

Zaini was polished, dedicated and oh-so-good.

Finally a feature film where one of us has his name appearing in the credits.

I’m so excited and can’t wait to catch the movie at the cinema, but I’ve to recover from my chronic cough first.

Anyway, back then during our poly days, our group of friends used to sit in long after a movie has ended just to take a look at the rolling credits.

Then we’ll comment and laugh at the names and roles that fly by — at the same time not secretly hiding the fact that each of us so desperately and dearly wished to see our own names appear up there.

To us, having our names appearing in the credits of a feature film is more than just pride, it’s a sense of achievement and accomplishment — and I’m so ecstatic that Zaini got his recognition!

I recall how he ploughed through his NS period, juggling work and part-time studies at the same time — and he always seemed so busy back then.

Even during school days, he’d spend hours after hours polishing his work, while the likes of me and others will head to the pitch for soccer and such.

Zaini is probably the hardest worker among our group f friends, and indeed hard work does pay off handsomely.

I remember during our first year final project, where I had to repeat that module 3 times while Zaini aced his, taking that module just once, and oddly enough he was given a gecko to study, research, and recreate for the assignment.

I was given a lamb then, and I think Geckos are easier to draw than lambs?

Nahh, nothing is easier or harder, it’s all perceptions.. anyway..

I tremendously admired his craft back then, and even though I’m still not sure which are his handiworks in the movie Rango, I’m pretty sure that I’ll admire it just as much, where I’ll probably be thinking at the back of my mind, oh why does Rango looks oh so familiar to Zaini’s gecko?

He’s definitely made it, no doubt, and I’m pretty proud to say that this is a fella whom I know for some time, even if my works could never compare to his.

How I wished my name was up there too, and though it’s a little gut-wrenching that I’m veering away from my dream career path, I’ll continue to work hard in anything that I do and hopefully I’ll get a chance to dribble myself back into this animation line.

I’m pretty sure that that chance won’t be coming anytime soon, but I won’t be loosening my grip on it just yet.

Though I may be dedicating tons of efforts into the printing and advertising industry at the moment, the animation industry will never stray too far from the core of my heart.

To the ones who’ve made it, like Zaini, I wish them well and hope that they continue to achieve greater accomplishments in years to come.

And now, for a bit of Rango..

Her new blue guitar.

My sis got herself a pretty, blue, wooden guitar last Friday, after I took her to a guitar place earlier in the week, wherer she spent the late evening with me at the office.

Why was she at the office?

Oh, because it seems that having a big brother, whoose company is expanding and looking for new designers, means that you have first priority in getting that position~

And also, she was ‘surveying’ the new workplace — or was it the new workplace ‘surveying’ her?

Lucky her~

I can’t remember who, but someone once told me (or was it that I read somewhere???) that in life (especially careers), it’s not about what you know, but about who you know that gets you advantage.

Back to the guitar now.

Do you know what it tells me about her, after she’d gotten that pretty, blue guitar?

It means that finally, my Sis is showing signs of decisiveness, and I think this has been a very crucial characteristic that’s been missing from her, but with this guitar, I’m so happy that she ‘took it and went’ with it.

‘Take it. And go.’ — Famous words of Canadian/Indian comedian, Russell Peters, and check out one of his classics “Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad!”!

Alright, back to the guitar again.

She’s been chirping at me to teach her to play the stringed instruments for as long as I’ve known her, and for as long as she’s known me, I’ve not done so.

Perhaps with this latest ‘decisiveness’ episide, I think I might just reward her with a quick introductory lesson in guitar handling eh?

With the added impetus of me missing my guitar playing days, I think I might just finally sit down with her and get her to learn some tunes.

In any case, I think that making music, be it simply strumming the guitar or mastering an album, is a good way to express yourself, where at the same time you release that little bit of tension or stress in you.

For as long as I know, everytime I feel down or a little sad, I do tend to reach for that rusty, trusty old guitar of mine and play a chord or two, at the same time coming up with horribly rhymed verses.

Oh, I’m not that awesome a guitar player, but I do know how to put a tune or two, but just like any other motor skills, one can only get better with practice.

I hope my Sis will get herself busy with learning and dedicating herself into the safekeeping of her new guitar and her tunes, and then who knows, maybe we might be seeing a new Singapore Idol to come?

Wishful thinking, perhaps, but nothing wrong with aiming for more rights?

Do you love your job?

She asked me this, though I wish it wasn’t of my job, but nevertheless my consequential thoughts were — No, I don’t love, per se, my job, but I do love it.

Huh?

Quickly I thought that it was strange and confusing of me to react so, but thinking back about it, I think that there’s a little bit of truth in there as well.

I knew why she’d posed the question, cos I was continuously devoting my precious time at the office daily, and yes that includes saturdays and sundays, and in the wee hours of the days as well.

A majority of my friends, and family as well, are clueless as to why I spend so much time at work, and give so much of myself to work.

Honestly, I cannot pinpoint to any particular one answer, but there are a number of substantial reasons as to why my commitment is as such.

First, let’s begin to assume that I am always trying to be the best professional that I can be — note that I’m not trying to be the best professional out there, but just whatever it is that I can be.

Being professional means carrying out the duties of my job professionally, which leads me to working efficiently, cohesively and productively — or what I’d like to term it as the ECP professional.

No, it’s not the East Coast Parkway professional, even though I travel towards that expressway nearly everyday when I commute to work.

Secondly, let’s say that this job or work that I do, is something that I’m really good at — so why drop what you’re really good at for something else?

This means that I hardly face any problems with my work processes, where the best challenges that I regularly face are the ones that arises from managing teamwork and customer expectations, which is really beyond my control so I don’t quite lose sleep by this concern.

I do what I can, and what I can’t, I’ll do my best to work around it or work without it,

Thirdly, let’s roughly imagine that you have a little darling baby born into this world, where it is helpless if you simply leave it to grow and fend for itself.

IF it’s your baby, wouldn’t you do anything and everything that you can to ensure its well-being?

With this analogy in mind, my job, or work, is quite literally my baby here, and I know just how vital it is to exhaust yourself as much as you can during its malleable baby years.

I’ve had the rare pleasure of watching it in it glow in its embryonic stage, tender to it’s natal and infancy stage, and now joyously running along in it’s toddler stage.

Seriously, how many of us have the opportunity to say that the company they work with have been shaped from scratch with their bare hands or groomed with love and ecstasy?

From the cleaning of smelly, disgusting diapers to the first time that you watch your baby make its first step, I can vouch first hand that it’s somewhat the same analogy that I can apply to my company here.

Thusly there is this deep sense of connection that I have with this company of mine, where, and if I may add so in Navi language, some calls it tsa’haylu, or the bond.

Founded by 3 clueless but hopeful guys in mid 2007, with a combined total of 0 hours of entrepreneurial experience, we brought this ‘baby’ of ours into this world with fears of failures, low expectations and much uncertainty.

Thankfully, with much sweat and tears, literally, it’s now grown into a ramshackled group of 15 oddballs of raucous, hard-knitted personnel.

Sure there were lots of fears initially but if there’s one thing that contributed to our growth, I’d say that it’s our inability to succumb to our fears.

Now, after all these outpouring of mine, wouldn’t you say that it’s love that I have for this job of mine?

Perhaps, casually and where I was slightly distracted, I’d honestly and outrightly say that I do love my job, if only because I don’t hate nor only merely like it.

However, given the time to put some thoughts into it, strangely enough, I can’t admit that I love it as much as how I love my family, my football and my passions (gaming/music/movies/etc~).

There are just stuffs which are almost always more important than work, imho.

But why do I spend so much time at work?

Commited, devoted and passionate, yes I am, but love, well…. I don’t know, why don’t you tell me?

Or maybe I’m just waiting for something, somewhere, or someone to spend my time with?

So… do you love your job?

Delegating Authority with Authority

There’s a saying, don’t just do things right, but do the right things.

For some of us, this sentence may be mere words in our heads, but for some of us, the impact of its weight echoes across floors, and I especially think that anyone in a managerial position will have to digest it more often than not.

When you’re in the lower ranks of the hierarchy, when your boss(es) commands you to do things, well, you do them nice and right.

In other words, it’s doing things right that matters most.

However when you’re in the upper echelons of a company structure, i.e. involved with the management side, doing things right just don’t suffice anymore, because you have to ensure that you’ve got to be doing the right things, everytime.

Think about it, just how much more expensive, not just in terms of financial means, does a bad decision by someone in the management side will incur, when compared to someone in the lower ranks of the company structure?

htu25u.jpg

Sometimes cracks appear within the company when the person doing the delegation starts assuming things and then expects the delegated person to understand fully what needs to be done.

For example’s sake, let’s say we have a company that’s shifting office and there’s renovation work that needs to be done.

Then the boss asks you to take control and to liaise with the contractor on the office furnishings and deco, but then he starts to feel as if there’s something that he wished that was to be furnished in another manner, so he makes a grumpy face and when you see it, both of you feel as if something’s not right here.

That was theoretically speaking, but it could have unfolded in a myriad of events, where delegation is handed over and then this teeny weeny bit of ‘trying to reign back control’ takes place.

It’s discombobulating for the delegated person, man!

When you delegate authority, you’ve got to do it with authority and show some responsibility, and not appear childish when something doesn’t go to your liking.

Remember that it may not be to your liking, but it’s the best way that has been thought up of by the delegated person.

So how does one delegate authority with authority?

Well, at the start of that process, ensure that you lay down the requirements, what is expected, and any constraints that needs to be considered, and when the delegated person carries out the job, meandering all the laws and constraints, then you shouldn’t fault him for any mislikings that you might encounter,.

Put it this way, since you were supposedly in charge, but didn’t wanna take charge, then take responsibility for the end results.

So why am I ranting on this?

Because I see all too frequently in Singapore’s small companies’ culture, where delegation is seldom done with authority, which usually results in strained relationships due to miscommunications.

Oh, and um, I lost a good colleague due to this, whom I thought worked fairly well for whatever tasks that was in the jobscope, but too bad that colleague of mind took a decision to end the journey with the company.

A sad case indeed, but one which could, and should have been prevented.

Remember, do the right things, and then doing things right.

Flying at the speed of light.

..Flying at the speed of light 
Thoughts were spinning in my head 
So many things were left unsaid 
It’s hard to let you go…
(Full lyrics here.)

I realised that my previous post sounded a tad too depressing, but I’m not going to pull its plug, but perhaps a little something that sort of gave me a little pick-me-up as I listened to its familiar lines and rhythms.

Early on, I have much criticised my idolised rock band, Linkin Park (LP) for it’s ‘concept album’ decision for ‘A Thousand Sun’, but I guess it’s only apt that these guys take a new turn in their music genre and tastes as they get older.

I actually thought that LP has gone nuts or ‘lost it’ when I first heard the album, but these are the still same 6 guys that have been bewitching me with rock tunes for over the past decade, and no, they’ve not gone nuts nor lost it.

Perhaps a ‘concept album’ was just the perfect pick-me-up that the band needed?

Nothing like a little bit of raggae on a Sunday morning..

Lovely, lovely, lovely video.

Loving the upbeat tempo of this song despite the lamentable nature of the message, once again, I had to count on LP to give me that little bit of lift that I’ve been needing lately.

Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve given the band some listening and I actually spent close to 3 hours of my Sunday afternoon just reminiscing their tunes and feeling good all over again.

It’s a lot like the Dalglish effect — like how Liverpool’s performance have massively improved under his guidance and familiar hands, eg. thrashing Man Yoo 3-1.

It’s a reminder, at least for me, that despite the thrashy and diabolical performances that my Liverpool team have been displaying at the starting few months of this season, those same players are still very highly capable players and that all they needed was a Dalglish ‘pick-me-up’.

Except for a certain Torres (Torres-who?), the team’s backbone is pretty much the same.

Sometimes you move too fast, try too much or simply lost yourself, and then you feel shitty and lousy — but take heart that all you may really need is a little familiar voice to remind you that there’s something good in the offings.

And then suddenly everything changes.

Thank you LP.

Tripping.

How rarely will you give up a chance?

How rarely will you give up an opportunity?

How rarely will you give up a sliver of hope peeking through a shroud of gloom?

Why won’t you “take it.. and go.”?

When it’s knocking on your door for a second time, do you let it pass and hope for a third coming?

What happened yesterday, is for today’s lesson and tomorrow’s preparation.

I tripped.

Then again, I tripped.

I hope I won’t trip again.

I thought I’d be safe and able to distance myself, to not wade into deeper waters, but I guess I’m still as accomodating and gullible as ever.

Maybe it’s because I was born in the year of the dog, and sometimes I think that I’m no different from a dog.

Throw a stick out and I’ll gladly chase it down.

On my paws, I’ll wag my tail and hope for a cookie to be thrown my way.

I’ll roll over, play dead and jump through rings of fire, whatever.

But l promise my loyalty and pledge allegiance, come what may.

I know I would, given the chance, given the opportunity, and given the sliver of hope.

Well, I was, wasn’t I? At least I thought I was. Wait a minute, wasn’t I?

Arrrgh, these questions bug me, like an 8 year old that’s tormenting the candy store auntie by asking her “which one is nicer?” for the 67th time, because the child can’t decide between a honey coated chocolate bar and a rainbow lollipop.

Maybe I should not chase the stick, this time? Maybe I should stop hoping? Maybe I should resist lingering?

Or maybe I should simply stop asking, and let it be?

I’d really hate to trip and lose someone dear, all over again.

But that’s what growing up is all about right?

So should I risk it or should I whisk it?

Should I risk it or whisk it?

What should I do???

Hmmm…

Gee.. now, where’s a candy store auntie when you need one?