Sky’s The Limit

I’m embarking on a few clean slates.

It’s been for the past few months now and I’m training myself to work really hard to make things work.

You know how you’re trying really hard to achieve greatness that only you seem to see the path that you’re on, while external forces moan and can never understand nor support your cause?

Well, if your big break has yet to arrive, don’t give up and keep on moving.

So I Came across this 2012 video featuring the song of Taufik Batisah and Rui En, and it felt apt.

Enjoy~

Oh, and Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and family.

October 2012

It’s been invigorating and taxing*1 to say the least of 2012 and of my role at the office, where it has begrudgingly taken its toll on my ageing body and listless mind.

*1I wanted to write it as taxful, but switched to taxing when I later found out that there’s no such thing as taxful!

Ever since the official announcement of my stepping up onto a full-fledge managerial podium, things hasn’t been a blast but it’s been a mixed tape of joy and rancour, not least towards my loved ones. Dad has consistently been weary of my commitments at the office, and while I feel as if I’m steadily chugging along smoothly my life train, I guess my loved ones do worry consistently for me.

In fact, I can’t remember exactly when but one or two weeks back, Dad and I had a heart to heart talk involving life’s philosophies, faith, and the interim future. I vividly remember how disappointed and angry he was to hear my story while sitting in his usual daddy clothes in the living room sofa. He was animated over my outlook for the next 5 to 10 years but in my defence, I was full of optimism and vigour, but I guess the gap in our opinions meant that It’s nigh I walk the talk or he’s just going to earn full vindication of his raging emotions.

Dads, will be dads and they only want the best for you, but I guess that being a slight risk taker, I’m inclined in leveraging my odds, because I do have an incumbent belief that anything is possible. Unfortunately for me, my laid-back-strollingly-nonchalant demeanour among friends and family doesn’t quite lends itself as confidence. Fortunately for me, it’s a near opposite world of appreciation elsewhere.

Still, only I know how much I’m able to last and withstand from all the onslaught of expectations and confrontations, but I’m pretty sure that I’m able to shift the gears of the life train up a notch or two. No, it won’t be easy, nor will it be comfortable, but I’m braced and all geared up for the bumpy ride.

Now if only I can get the ones that are closest to me along in this ride, because it’s going to be awesome.

The future seems amazing. Believe it, and you’ll know that it’ll come true.

A is for Awesome!

A is also for anamorphosis, something that I’d use to describe my workplace’s steady progression into a more conducive working environment.

Thankfully.

So it’s mid-April already, and it’s kind of a shocking revelation (to me at least) that it’s been 2 weeks since I last blogged here, and I blame it on work!

Oh, it’s always good to lay the blame on something else, in this case, work, even if really it’s been a case of laziness and one too many cancelled blogposts.

So what’s with work?

Well, how about we begin with ‘brand new office’?

That’s right, the company’s expanding to another level, pun intended, and this time round I even managed to rope in my sis to come work with me — and I think she’s been handling everything pretty smoothly thus far.

On the bright side of the expansion, there’s finally space for my own office now, of which is so cosy that everyone’s whispering of how it has that homely, roomly feel to it — just the way I planned it to be.

On an even brighter side of the new office, my design team will finally have a space to peacefully work away from the distraction of production, while my production team has more space and freedom of their own.

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Oh, did I mention that I’m working with a 27 inch, Quad-core, brain-haemorrhaging iMac at work now?

It’s AWESOME!

..without the helmet and suit of course..

The screen is so big, I now have to move my head to look around instead of just my eyes darting around the monitor, which I’ll probably take it as daily neck exercises.

Indeed one can’t ever underestimate the value of having an exercise regime in your weekly routine, as I’ve found it today that at 29 years young, I’m not quite the mean machine that I was 10 years ago on a football pitch.

I need to go out for a bi-weekly jog or something, ‘cos my stamina’s depleting pretty quickly during my soccer games, and it’s quite annoying as my mind wants to go further but my body is begging otherwise.

Which of course leads to cramps and aches and wishful thoughts of a bi-weekly jogging regime.

Sadly I don’t quite have the time to jog, unfortunately (or fortunately?) cos I’m spending time hitting the pool tables at work!

That’s right, there’s a pool table right in front of me when I work.

So let’s see, so far this April I’ve received my own office, a pool table,  a 27inch iMac and more colleagues (particularly my sis!) to share the workload with.

Just awesome, pure awesome.

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?

Doing the right things over doing things right.

If you’re like me, where you’re not smart, not talented, not skilled, not gifted, not attractive, not blessed and you wish to change your derailing fortunes, well then try doing this:

Work extra hard in doing the right things.

That’s right, you don’t just do work and you don’t just work hard, but you work extra hard.

Who’s smarter: The person who reads 99 books or the person who reads the same books, plus an additional 1 extra book?

Does being talented, skilled or gifted means being born with it, or does it mean putting in a few more hours of extra practice rounds in doing what you do?

And this begs the questions..

Did you do things right?

Or is it, have you done the right things?

Always put 100% into your work.

I saw this somewhere earlier and I thought, “Hey, this really should apply to anyone and everyone who has a hard time of dragging their feet to the office on a Monday morning”.

Considering that one might be overwhelmed by Monday Blues today, it’s apt that you read something that goes like..

Always put in 100% into your work.

Of course the rest of the message goes like this..

Monday: 12%
Tuesday:26%
Wednesday:32%
Thursday:22%
Friday:7%
Saturday: 1%
Sunday: 0%

And that’s why noone works on Saturdays and Sundays right, and if you’re planning to take MC, take it midweek yeah?

One down.

Interestingly, they didn’t tow away the bike even when I failed to pay up the installments after 3 months.

All they did was to call me up and ask me when I can settle the payment, and each time I’d tell them the next day. Funny enough they bought it each time too.

It wasn’t that I wanted to hold their money but rather it was mine — I wanted to hold mine and bike installments is one of those arrears where it’s still not so bad even if you don’t pay up after a month, or three in this case.

So yesterday I coughed up enough to settle the payments for 4 months instead, which includes the next’s, where at the same time, I’m finally debt free of that bike shop.

You know it does feel good to have that debt free feeling, and though I always recommend people to learn to leverage or stretch their dollar, there’s this satisfacton and no-strings attached sentiments when you’re paying off your final installments.

It’s that good.

So one commitment down, but everytime you settle one, more crops up, and that just seem to be the way of the world we live in eh?

It’s as if noone in their right mind would want to see you relaxed and free and everytime you’re sitting there, shaking the legs, someone will inevitably walk up to you and start asking for something from you, or worse, starts telling you the mistakes that you’ve done and expects you to rectify it.

Just typical eh, that nobody wants to see you doing nothing and still enjoying yourselves at it.

Pffft.

Oh btw, the iPhone 4 will be on sale 30th of the month. Hmmmmm…

WANTED: You and your business.

“I leave dis industry n nvr look back.. but I cnt help but to feel afraid of wats e future lies ahead..”

Exact words from one of the strongest and bravest lady I’ve ever met, which I received this morning and one which prompted me that I simply had to come up with this post today.

It’s true, and I’m just glad that I’ve been able to hold her hands and point her towards little nuggets of opportunities along the way.

She’s very courageous even though if’s she’s in a situation likened to a fish out of water.

In a way though, she’s never really out of the water, but rather just in a different environment, like ALF, the Angry Little Fish (remember him anyone?) and in itself, she’s got so much courage just to step up and rise to the occasion.

There’s uncertainty, hardship, uncharted waters and yet you’ll see no sign of fear in her.

She’s got more balls than most guys will ever have.

Um, I hope you didn’t read that at face value, and no, she’s not she-male or whatever it is that you may have fantasized, because I only meant that she’s a strong, tough little girl.

So what does all this have to do with you?

Simple, MKNTFN (slur the words slowly and it’ll sound meh-keen-neet-tfan, or makin’it-fun), will now have a fledgling prodigy (that’s her) who is extremely hungry with design-related requirements that you and your company are in need of.

Logo designs and rebranding of your company image, and Print supplies, such as vinyl for your wall murals and stickers and labels for your common advertising campaigns, will make up the core of this new service of ours.

In summary, MKNTFN aims to provide:

  1. Prompt & Functional Company Rebranding Opportunities,
  2. Proven Quality Vinyl Stickers For Everyday Applications &,
  3. Fun, Friendly & Communicable New Media Packagings.

Now, if you would like to find out how we can help you and your company, then let’s start a conversation today.

Oh yah, MKNTFN, Acra: 53133860J, is all registered and legal and have been so for a good 1.5 years now, and where previously I’ve had limited time to dabble and scrabble in this, she’s allowed me the opportunity to ‘go full steam ahead’ with the company.

We go full steam ahead so that you, and your company, can go further full steam ahead.

My brother’s 11th hour knotty wedding preparations.

The emotional scars disappear, the exhaustions expire and all the stubborn strengths subside as she appeared fragile, as fragile as the quivering glow of the candlelight, but most of all, and at that moment and in that frame of time, she was all I’d ever wanted for her to be — peaceful and oblivious.

Belle slept like a baby.

Switched off the cartoon box, put away the rigid frame glasses, that always make her eyes seem a set smaller, and then I whisked a portion of her fringe to the side.

I bent lower and, as soft as I possibly knew how, smooched her goodnight, for I knew I couldn’t stay for much longer, even if the drizzling rain playfully drizzled on, and even if she was too tired to hear my whispers.

The lingering cough and wheezing breathes made it hard for me to say anything much, and It wasn’t the ideal conditions for me to stay on either, but an option which I wished I could have chosen.

It’s way past 2am and I had a hunch that someone needed me more.

Like a brother who won’t mind a helping hand while tying the knot.

Brother inspects wedding hall

Yes, he’s the bridesgroom and his wedding feast is this Sunday, another night to go after tonight, and I could sense that he was caught in a teeny tiny knotty situation.

You know that a bridegroom is having a tough time when the guestbook that he orders online, comes into the mailbox in A5 size.

“I didn’t know, the text was too small.” He, the bridegroom, my brother, the anything-goes-fella, would say to me, without me even asking about it. “I thought that they were all of the same size!”

You see, you see, he could really use a helping hand, especially when things like this happened with just 1 more night to his big day.

So I offered instead of signing on guestbooks, we’d have guestboards! Huge, 3ft by 3ft posterboards where guests can scribble and doodle their well wishes at the wedding hall’s entrance, as seen in the image above.

And where I offered 3 pcs, he requested for 5 boards! Kasi betis, nak paha pulak1!

It feels good that at last I’m contributing something to his preparations, because, seriously, it feels sucky that I’m not really helping out much.

And then he suggested that we recced the halls.

Like a bridesgroom, who’s travelled too far and made too many decisions, he resigned with a grateful, satisfied comment, at the end of the recce.

Happy Bridesgroom

It is superb! Eloquent, yet simple and modern at the same time.

Black + Turquoise + White does turn out to be good choices for a wedding hall deco after all.

Thus I shall not go on about how I thought the wedding hall could be beautified and balanced out, but the truth is that it really was ample and nice, plus it was still ongoing and unfinished, so those thoughts of mine were better placed in reserve.

Surreally, everything glistened magnificiently in the night.

The colours, the props, and the misty atmosphere combined perfectly, and I’m sure my brother wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Maybe my Sister would’ve had second thoughts? She had to trim Pandan leafs through the night!

Trimmed Pandan Leaves

This was taken after we cut out the final leaf, but it wasn’t this way earlier, because earlier it looked like a pack of ‘overgrown ferns’, that threatened to make your hands numb and eyes sore.

On the bright side, the fragrance it oozed smelt like the perfect wedding, and not even the thoughts of intimidating ferns couldn’t slow us down!

So she was cutting up the leaves when I got home at about 3am and, had I not grabbed the red big pair of scissors, sat beside and starting trimming along, I bet that she’d still be trimming till the morning sun peeks into the living room.

Miraculously we managed to avoid trimming our own precious fingers, while we chatted away, both in our drowsy voices and wondrous minds — she was wondering how it’s going to be like when she begins work this Monday, while I was wondering if I could have stayed, had I brought my pyjamas along.

So no pyjamas, but just my biking raincoat, and it was enough to allow me to drift home to render these little packets of aid, gladly.

Nothing much, but at the very least, I hope it eased a troubled mind a little bit more.

Now that those minds have been put to ease, I guess it’s time for me to feel at ease — time to sleep!

I’m here hoping that my cats don’t suddenly jump on me because it’s already 6am now, which is about the usual time that they expect to see food in their bowls.

BUT, I suppose that they won’t be seeing much in their bowl till it’s afternoon. Now that’ll twist their tails in a knot!

– – – – – – – – – –

1. Kasi betis, nak paha pulak: Malay idiom which candidly refers to someone who asks for more than what he’s being offered. Literally translated as “Offered the (leg) calf, now the (leg) thighs are wanted.”

It feels good that I am not obliged to return to the office today.

Working in the printing/events line definitely has its perks and benefits, but to wake up on a Sunday morning with total detachment from your job is definitely not one of it.

And it feels damn good, this feeling of near zero work burden and it’s going to be a simple Sunday that will be spent quietly with the family.

screaming for ice-creamDils and I are gonna go chase after an ice-cream evening later today, and at this point of time I must specifically point out that I am not an ice-cream person — but an ice-cream evening does seems like the best avenue to chill, pun intended, and relax this time round.

Plus, on the bright side, I get to spend a little bit more time with her, and I don’t ever get to spend much time with people I’d like to, ever since me and my colleagues launched the company back in July 2007.

Btw I’m still not the big balls boss: to my close friends who seem to think that just because I was one of the founding partners. But there’s never been a more comfortable working level than ever, and this much I’ll confess a little.

There’s never been more sacrifice than ever as well, mostly of time spent with family and friends.

I’ve often been asked why do I have to work on days and ends, and it’s not even like I’m trying to make ends meet, so why?

Well, building bridges, pipelines, opportunites and such, and these, takes plenty of time.

I’m a preacher of that family is more important than work, but of late however, I’m in irony of that as I have been spending more time in the office than, say with my brother, who’s preparing frantically for his wedding in a few weeks time, which means he’ll be moving out already.

No more Winning Eleven nights, or what other games that might tickle our fancies, for a long time now — but all’s good, because games have to take a backseat while we mend to other priorities of our adulthood.

I’ve also been neglecting, a little bit, with my sister’s job hunt, but thankfully, a few of my friends, well customers actually, have vacancies in their company where I’ve managed to convince them that my Sister’s a scintillating prospect for their office.

Is this right? This getting a job through contacts? Like is this fair? I’m pretty sure that thousands of jobseekers who’ve gone to countless career fairs will be crying foul of this move.

She’s just graduated a month back and she’s probably going to be confirmed with a job, without much hunting to do — all thanks to her brother’s, well that’s me really, contacts.

In fact, in this real world, there’s a saying that to be successful in life, it’s not about how much or what you know, but rather it is who you know.

Now I’m not asking anyone to put down their textbooks right now and start going around and shaking strangers’ hands — actually it could turn out to be good, but mostly you’ll be seen as siao (which means crazy in Mandarin) — because that won’t work but do go out there, absorb as much knowledge as you can, continuously upgrade yourself and build as many wokrable bridges as you can, and opportunities will present itself in manners that you’d probably had least planned for.

Also, neither am I recommending on being a suck-up, just to get into the right books, because everybody hates suck-ups, and where a boss finds the time to give attention to suck-ups, it’s 99% true that they’re using them for their own benefits only.

The other 1%, they’re just ignorant, and when your boss is ignorant, find yourself a new boss.

Oh, and if by some inexplicable manner, you find that all bosses that you’ve worked for are jerks in one way or another, then there’s really only one thing left to do — be your own boss.

How about starting your own ice-cream parlour?

Whatever it is, work hard, work smart, and go have an ice-cream evening with someone you desire on a Sunday evening once in a while.