Words & Power

This year has started out in a storm for many people I know. Even the weather gods are thinking that too with thunderstorms roaring across Bangkok when usually it is dry, sunny and cool. Nevertheless, let us not keep us from enjoying the wonderful year ahead of us. 🙂 Today I want to write about something that sometimes we forget. We use it everyday, we use it all time and yet we forget to think about them. (I do forget often times) What am I talking about? Words. Yes, words like the ones you are reading now.

Words to me are powerful and should be used with care. Words spoken or written have enormous influence and have resulted in either love or wars amongst men. It is with words, that people communicate and it is with words that others sometimes feel love, compassion, sympathy and understanding. Used otherwise, they cause others to feel anger, resentment or even sadness. Words can sometimes be therapeutic and healing, yet words of angerness, bitterness, judgement can also invoke within others pain and destruction. The words you hear, you say, you read affect and influence the person you become. Sometimes decades later, you hear people talking about words that were said. It can be that powerful.

For example think of children being bullied in school. Words from bullies can break down children’s confidence, wreak them emotionally and years after some may continue to remember those painful words. Yet at the same time, words of tenderness and love may keep many going on and on for years. (I’m thinking of those movies where the girl waits for her man at war.)

Words are powerful, so use your words with care this year. Becareful of what words you use. Remember to be aware of your words when you speak for that is when we often slip. Positive words generate positive energy whilst negative words generate negative energy. The world is stressful enough. Why not make it a little more pleasant by watching what we say for words form who we are and form those around us. 🙂 If you want it to be positive, use postive words! Kill those negatives!

Socks

It’s almost the end of January, I have a zillion things to do yet right now all I am thinking about are socks. Yes, you read it right. Socks. Those soft cushy things you put on your feet to keep warm and wear with shoes. What? Are you serious? Yes, I am. I am very serious. I have to confess, I have actually been thinking about socks for a few days now so it’s about time I wrote about it.

It all started when I resumed my running schedule after a few weeks of rest. Most days, running is a bore and I do it just so that I can eat and have that delicant piece of sinful chocolate that melts in your mouth. However, one day a week or so again, I ran and ran and for the first time in a long time, I felt that running was enjoyable.

It was fun, relaxing and I enjoyed feeling my feet pacing up and down on the treadmill. I felt bouncy and my feet were happy. I could run more than I had for awhile.

I wondered if it was runner’s high, but it wasn’t. I thought that maybe it was because I had slept a lot the night before, but it wasn’t or maybe it was because I had eaten lots of carbs. It’s true these things help running, but on that day the only deviation from the norm I could think of was the socks I was wearing.

I had just rediscovered my Thorlo running socks that I had bought in the US and hardly use. I have to tell you, they are in a league of their own from the normal sports socks I usually buy. I mean, socks, you put them on your feet and stuff them in your shoe. Why spend lots on them? Now I know why. They make the exeperience that much better. There was soft cushioning on the base and the material with which it was made keeps your feet dry and cool. Awesome. Now I’m fascinated by socks and am no longer going back to those skimpy running socks I used to buy.

My sock world has now changed. I am going to splurge for happy feet. (I guess it will make me enjoy running more too) What about you? Do you have any running socks you like in particular? Please share.

In case you want to try out some cool socks, I found a review on socks on runner’s world (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-320–13925-1-1X2-3,00.html) Have fun!

Gut, follow it.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Even if you don’t celebrate it, I think it’s a great day to just go out, reunite with family friends and have an awesome day. 🙂 Today what comes to mind is how we humans are indeed funny creatures (or maybe it’s just me). Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a decision, yet a zillion different choices come up? Which choice do you choose?

What happens to me is that at first instinct, I say “This is what I like.I choose “A”.

However, to be sure that THIS is the choice that I really like, I end up going through all the alternatives in meticulous detail. I go through the pros and cons, check details on websites, read reviews and think about the choices day-in day-out.

The result? After painstakingly looking at all the details and having a pile of information, I go back to “A.” The first option I decided on.

It makes me wonder, why do I go through all these motions of checking, going through details, only to revert back to the very first decision one made months or years ago? It reminds me of the book “Blink” I read before by Malcom Gladwell. It talks about the human instinct and how instinctively we sometimes know the difference between a fake and a real work of art. It tells us that from our past experiences, our accumulated knowledge, our store of knowledge, our “instinct” or rather our gut feeling is often correct.

I suppose one should follow one’s gut more often. However, it takes gut to do this so it isn’t very easy to do. If you can,however, it will stop you going through all the motions of looking at every possible choice and save you much time. Choose what it is you want and follow your gut 🙂 It doesn’t lie.

The Accident

Accidents do happen. When they do, no one wants it to happen and no matter what kind of accident it is, it always brings up a range of emotions. Yesterday, I crashed my car into the car in front of me while waiting for a turn. A dumb accident indeed caused by my somehow stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake. Good thing it wasn’t serious. It was my first real accident ever after over a decade of driving (that’s if you ignore motorcycles leaving their paint on my side mirror or another car hitting the corner of my bumpber). I’ve been fortunate and count my blessings. Most importantly though, yesterday’s lesson reminded me of an important lesson : have a positive attitude no matter what.

When I realized what had happened and stopped the car, I immediately got out and went to see the lady in the car in front of me. Luckily she was alright and together we decided to move our cars to the side of the road to avoid causing any traffic jams. It was dark and for awhile both of us were sitting in our cars calling the insurance firms and others we needed to tell.

Then we both got out the car and started chatting. What struck me first was how positive the lady was. After I had said sorry who knows how many times, she just told me to not worry about it and smiled. She said, “It’s alright, no one wants to hit someone else. At least we both have insurance.” She even laughed and said it was indeed not such a good year for her as the Chinese Astrology says. She had earlier also been hit by another car and not yet had the opportunity to go fix her car, so the time to fix her car had finally come she said.

As she jumped around avoiding mosquitoes she told me how she had just come back from the fitness, bought food and was on her way home to have dinner with her boyfriend. The lovely part was that she was so sweet and even waved her hands around showing me how she had been exercising. Then we exchanged names and work information. We lived and worked not far from each other and she also had a friend who worked at the same place I did.

What a small world.

And so we had a lovely chat, talked about this and that and waited to see which insurance company would be faster. We laughed at how she could stick her finger into a gap between the car body and her back lights, and commented on our dated driver’s license cards. (We both have the old versions where it’s laminated pink paper) Even though, it was late, dark and we were both hungry, she made everything seem okay. Of course, we exchanged numbers. Next time she comes to my office, we will probably meet up.

Who knows what life brings you right? Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining and maybe I will have found a new friend amidst unexpected circumstances.

So next time something happens that you didn’t want to, remember this, be positive. Attitude makes a difference. If she had banged on her car and made a big affair over it it, we would both have had a horrible evening and gone to bed with angry hearts. Instead we laughed it off and went hope to a good meal and good night’s sleep. Be positive, be happy!

The Child Inside

It’s a new year and I’m getting older. Yes, these are two facts that one cannot avoid. Especially the painful truth of getting older. You sense it more when some of your colleagues no longer recognize the songs you listen to nor recognzie the ones that were famous years ago when you were still in school. No matter, I believe there is still always a child inside each of us and age are but numbers.

Amidst the different New Years present I received this year, I have to say one of my favorites was a box of 120 crayons. Of all the stationary and art supplies I’ve accumulated over the past few years, I have to say crayons are something I just didn’t have. Never thought of buying. Now I have them. Thank you 🙂 Ever since I could remember I have loved to draw and colour and cherished my box of coloured pencils and markers. To this day I still have my complete set of coloured pencils and do occasionally still take them out to use, although those times are now limited to once or twice a year.

Playing with my crayons the other day, I abandoned by adult self, threw away the mask, and became a child once more. I admired the different colours and how neatly they were arranged in the box. I looked at their names and wondered who thought of all these names of these varying shades of green or pink. I wonder if these names ever changed or if there was a standard for them. Then I started to just scribble and randomly drew a few pictures. I know I’m way past that age where you sit down with a piece of paper and draw, but who cares. If you can’t have a little fun and be a child at heart every now and then, life would be so boring wouldn’t it?

So what was something you loved doing as a child? Maybe this year find a little time out and do something you used to love. You might find that it can be quite fun! 🙂 Let the child resurface. Maybe climb a tree or jump on the trampoline. Do becareful though. Our bodies aren’t that flexible anymore. 😉

Sleep is good.

I need my sleep but sometimes I wonder, why do we sleep? Do I really need to sleep? If I didn’t sleep I could spend more waking hours doing a million more things.

Why we sleep though is a question that has been asked for centuries and still no one really knows the answer. I do not know why I sleep, but I know that if I do not get enough sleep, the next day becomes a waste of a day. I get headaches, feel groggy and my concentration level is low. This lack of sleep is what scientists have been studying for centuries in an attempt to better understand why we sleep.

Scientists study these various effects of sleep defiency to better understand sleep. Without it, our cognitive skills would be harmed and brain development probably affected. If you think humans sleep to save energy, the BBC article “The Science of Sleep” mentions that for eight hours of sleep, we only save about 50kCal which is very minimal. One piece of my Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie is already 60KCal. A cup of non-fat yogurt is 80KCal. I suppose we don’t sleep to save energy.

According to the article, continued lack of sleep will result in a shut down of part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time. Actually going 17 hours without sleep decreases your performance to the equivalent level of if you had drank two glasses of wine.

No wonder my brain feels tired after a long day. Judgements are not as good and people respond slower to situations.

The article also mentions that lack of sleep is detrimental for emotional and physical health. I agree. On days where I did not get enough sleep the previous night, I am more emotional. If I’ve been sleeping little, I also find that my weight gain is faster. This is because hormones and chemicals that control appetite and weight gain are released during sleep.

As the clock is now ticking, I think I shall have to end here and get a good nights sleep. Have a good night dear friends. Enough sleep for a person is “when it is enough not to make you sleepy during the day time”. Some need 4 hours, some need 8 hours. How much do you need? Do you know?

Here’s a positive thought…catch it!

A strange kind of peace seems to have transcended since the New Years. Maybe it is because I am just getting a little older and a little calmer. Or maybe it’s because I have been enjoying the time truly having some much needed “me” time reading books and being alone with my thoughts. I think being able to just stay home with uninterrupted time for a few hours on a weekend is indeed a time to cherish and value. It allows one time to really prioritize and define what is indeed important in life.

This year I thought about why we all like Christmas and New Years so much. I always enjoyed it but never really gave much thought to why we can’t spend the rest of our year thinking it’s Christmas or New Years. Wouldn’t life be so much more pleasant?

For me, I discovered that Christmas and New Years are a good time for one to re-tune and get back in touch with those most dear to us. It’s when we often go out to eat with our friends, reunite with those we haven’t met for a long time and truly enjoy the company of others. It’s a time of positive thinking and positive energy. It’s when we have the chance to just sit back and enjoy a good conversation without feeling rushed. It’s a time of catch up and make amends. It’s a time when we get to ‘slow’ down a little.

It’s also when we gladly buy gifts for others and enjoy seeing others’ happiness upon recieving gifts. It’s when the focus shifts away from only thinking out “me” and towards “you.” It makes the mind clearer and lighter. What’s more important is that this positive energy is contagious. Positive energy given out will result in more positive energy generally, I find.

Why can’t we all be such pleasant beings the rest of the year? Let us remember this positive feeling. I want to, so am sending everyone positive thoughts tonight!! 🙂

Catch it before it falls!