It’s all about the “L” word: Learning

The other day I wrote about how important it was to fail before you can  succeed.  I realized I did not quite emphasize enough how important it is to actually LEARN from your mistakes.  Learning is key. It is what you must do before you can succeed, for if you keep failing over and over and never learn from your mistakes, then that is a failure. That would not result in success.

As Einstein said something along the lines of ” If you keep running into a wall and expect the same result, then it is the same.  However, if you keep running into a wall and expect different results, then it is a miracle.”   Only a miracle can alter the outcome.  No matter how many times you drop the egg to the ground without any protection, it will break.  There will not be a moment that the egg will float on air.  If you keep trying to solve a puzzle, and always use the same techniques to an unwanted outcome, it will not work.

The same happens in life.  If you keep trying to talk to approach someone and it does not work, then reevaluate it. Perhaps other techniques will work. Learn from your past experiences.

If you keep getting your heartbroken because of A and B, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your likes and dislikes.  Perhaps certain kinds of behaviour are not what you want in your other half.  Learn what caused the heartache.  Learn about what effects it had on you.  Learn what caused the disagreement.  Learn how they can be avoided.  Learn what needs to change.

It can be applied to everything in life even on simple things.  Today I fell down flat on my face onto the pavement, wallet, phone, shoes flying in the air.  Yes, I am bruised and scratched. What did I learn from it?  To be more alert when I am in a rush.  To slow down. Rushing causes me to not be aware of my surroundings as much. My mind is elsewhere.  I also learnt to be careful when rounding corners and to watch out for potential threats like a sudden move backwards by someone and a potential hazard of feet
gone awry.

Simply LEARN from the experience, the mistake.  That is the greatest lesson of all.

All the World’s a Stage

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,”

William Shakespeare

I think Shakespeare was really right to compare our world to being a stage and us merely players.  We are all born onto this earth as a child, we play our parts, grow up, and then we depart.  Sometimes it’s as if we are taking part in one giant movie.  Each life is a different movie.  Sometimes they interact, sometimes they each take their own path.   Upon each path, we encounter a series of characters, each one brings with it new experiences, new emotions.  Then paths diverge and evolve.  It’s a lifelong process that ends when we depart from this world and exit the stage.

I am suddenly reminded of the Truman Show.  A life we thought we had, was simply someone else’s show.

What happens when we exit the stage?  No one knows. It’s another story, another stage. Some believe in the afterlife, reincarnation.  Some believe there is a soul that remains and perhaps we go to heaven or to hell.  Some believe we are nothing more but dust and air once we perish.  It’s an answer no one alive can ever tell you.  To find out, we’d first have to exit this stage. Then, we wouldn’t be here discussing what happens.

What ever stage we are on. Whatever movie we are taking a part in, I think what matters most is what you learn from those experiences.  What you learn from your interactions with the other players and how your react.  That is life.  A series of experiences and interactions.  Fascinating.

What do you think? Please share.

Relationships..What is it you want?

I finally finished watchng Season 4 of Gossip Girls and can’t help but wonder at its strange appeal.  It’s crazy, it’s a high school story, but somehow it’s fun to watch even if I’m way beyond my highschol years.  Perhaps it’s because it is somewhat reflective of life and it makes you think about the good and bad parts of life.  In a year of these characters’s life,  more events and scandals happen than would ever happen in my entire lifetime.  Yet, there are a thing or two one could contemplate about when thinking about these characters’s choice of boyfriends/girlfriends.  What sort of person are they looking for? What is it they want in life?  These are questions I think are relevant at any age.

Blair wants a fairy tale life with a fairy tale prince.  She finds one and they are soon engaged to be married, yet somehow she still feels for the adventurous and raw Chuck Bass.  She was almost going to give up the fairy tale for him, but then Chuck decided for her.  She’s going to marry prince charming.

I wonder if prince charming really exists.  I wonder if Blair has fully contemplated what she wants in life for all that glitters is not gold.   Perhaps what she wished for might not be what she needs.

In every relationship, in every life, I think it’s about learning to see the good and the bad in another person.    It involves a process of learning and understanding the other person and their needs.  It’s not only about their title and their name.  Once you understand them and see who they truly are, then you can decide if certain faults can be overlooked.  If you decide these faults are ones you don’t mind, then it work at it.   If you cannot accept them, move on.   Don’t wait for someone perfect for there’s no one perfect in this world. By definition, perfect does not exist.

Then there’s the issue of what is it you value in life?  What are the things you hold most important and dear?  What is it you want most in life?

Some want fame and money.  Some want someone to be by their side.  Some want honesty.   It depends.  There’s no right or wrong answer, each person has different needs and wants, you just have to find out what your need is and if they match.  It’s not easy.  Some spend a lifetime trying to find out what it is they want in life.  Some never find out.  Some lucky ones have.

I think these are things that Blair should think about. I know it’s a series, but maybe we’ll see them grow up next season.  Chuck already has somewhat, for now he knows it’s better to let someone go and let them be happy than hold on to them for himself.  If everyone knew what they want, imagine what a happy world this would be.  Less scandals, less heart break, less sadness.

Do you know? What do you think? Please share.

Take for grant not.

The other day whilst having lunch with my colleagues we discussed the issue of food stalls and their evolution from “hit” food stalls to one with hardly any customers.   What causes this sudden change?  The food is still equally tasty, but how come there are no longer any long lines where the food runs out?

Before I continue, let me give you a little background note.  My company canteen has a number of revolving food stalls that come various days.  For example, the famous rice with chicken topping comes on Mondays whilst the tastiest pork noodles come on Fridays.  Selected famous food stalls take turns coming to sell at our canteen along with our regular stalls.  These special stalls are always a hit and long lines form waiting to get a taste of the famous chicken rice, the pork noodles or the pad thai.  One day per week seems like it isn’t enough.

The chicken rice stall decides to come twice a week.

The famous chicken rice now comes on both Mondays and Tuesdays to meet customer demand.  Unfortunately, the customer base somehow suddenly dwindled and now the chicken rice stall stands lonely with but a few loyal customers. (I am one of them.  Some days I have two servings!)

What causes this sudden drop in customers?  The quality hasn’t changed and the chicken rice remains as tasty as ever. What do you think is the cause?

Upon discussion, we decided that this must be because we humans tend to take things for granted.  Now that we have a delicious chicken rice stall two days a week, it loses its appeal.  The chicken rice is no longer special.  It’s there always when we want it, on Mondays and Tuesdays.  We come when we want.  However, beware.  When its gone we will miss it dearly and wish we had eaten it a little more often.

The same case happened with another Vietnamese style noodle stall.  Though extremely delicious, it came everyday and the customers dwindled.  It eventually left and everyone was left wishing they had appreciated it whilst it was there.  Another case of taking good noodles for granted.

I suppose this is a concept that can be applied to everything in life, in relationships, and in work.  If you take the other person for granted,  that they will always be there for you, that they will always be there working for you the same as before, then perhaps you should take a step back and think.

Didn’t that chicken rice once before gave you great happiness and satisfaction?  Wasn’t that guy/girl the one you had appreciated so much when just a little gesture was given?  Now that you get it all the time, why don’t you appreciate it anymore?

Perhaps you have taken it for granted.  When that happens, one side most probably leaves.  Then it’s too late.

What would you do if that special somone were no longer there?  You would miss them dearly.  If only you not taken them for granted, they might have stayed.    Therefore, take not for grant the chicken rice, the people around you or what you have.  Let them still give you as much satisfaction as before.

An April Birthday to Remember

Friendships are important and tonight I want to dedicate this post to a wonderful friend whom I’ve known since primary school. It was her Birthday yesterday on April Fools Day and I had intended on writing this yesterday, but the internet connection somehow died on me. I hope it lasts until I finish my post tonight 🙂

This post is about my lovely friend Suki whom I’ve known since primary school. I remember like it was yesterday. We both wore the school white shirt and navy skirt uniform. She had a sweet smile that made you feel warm and at ease, something I have to say she still does. Never angry, never moody, she is always the image of calmness and sweetness. Always positive and happy. She is also a person who is so caring and attentive to everyone around her. If you mention you like something, she’d remember it clearly even as the years go by. You know she cares.

We had both spent our childhoods growing up in different countries before eventually finding ourselves in Bangkok. I remember her telling me of her life in Saudi with the sand and the scarves. Life there was so different from the life I had in Brussels.

Our paths diverged a few years later. I to Poland and she to Japan. We kept in touch. In those days, computers were rare and internet had not existed. No emails, we wrote letters to each other, back and forth. I have to admit, I still have every single letter, every postcard, every mailing I ever received from her. I remember receiving literally a message in a bottle. It was a plastic bottle with a scroll of paper inside. I love it and still do. 🙂 I have it in my box if you want to see it.

We graduated, she from New Zealand and I from the US. We came back to work and after over 7 years of not seeing each other we met up. It was wonderful to meet old friends. My first few years in Bangkok, we’d meet up every Friday evening for our “movie” night at a theatre that now no longer exists. We walked around, shopped and fell in love with shoes and bags as most girls do. We tried new restaurants and talked about this and that. I enjoyed it so and have to admit I miss our Friday hangouts. I hope you do too.

Almost a quarter of a century after our first meeting we still meet up and keep in touch though the medium of exchange has moved from letters to icq, msn messenger,and now to mobile chats and facebook. Technology evolves and so do our lives, but good friends are rare and few in between. Friends who remain the same throughout all these years are even harder to find.

Thank you for being such a wonderful person. Thank you for being such a great friend. Happy Birthday Dear Friend and see you very very soon!

Little Things That Matter

Last night I opened up my email and read a lovely forward from an old childhood friend I’ve known since my age was still a single digit. We haven’t lived in the same country for decades, but we always keep touch and she always sends such good forwards. This particular one though I could not let it past without sharing it with everyone. Thank you for sharing it with me. You know who you are 🙂

The story is a bit long but please read it all the way through the end. It’s a great reminder to us all of what is important in life, in relationships and how we view the world. Sometimes we go through life, trying to do everything that’s expected of us, until we lose sight of the person we really are and the people who surround us. We are too busy performing our “tasks.”

Take a “pause” every now and then, look at the person next to you, and really see them. Are you spending “quality” time together? Are you taking care of each other and really understanding how they feel? It doesn’t have to involve money or expensive gifts. All that matters is that you look up from your busy day-to-day life, smell the roses, and remind yourself of why you are with the person next to you.

It’s the little things that matter. Don’t take anything for granted, especially those who are closest to you. Value them and cherish them with all your heart before it’s too late.
Enjoy the story!


When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce.. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!

That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did notcare so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.

She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal alife as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning.. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions.. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully..

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention wasexplicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her inmy arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time.. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realised that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead.. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.

By: Joey Gabinete Acebron

Everyday is Valentine’s Day

Tonight is my third and last post on Valentine’s for the year.  No more for 2011.  What else can I write about when the day we have been looking forward to (or dreading) has finally arrived?  I think overall it was a good day, or perhaps I am a little biased and always towards the positive side.  I somehow felt that today was filled with more “positive” energy than on other days.  On facebook since early morning, people were wishing each other “Happy Valentine’s Day,” sending out words of love.   On the streets and in my office, there were people receiving bouquets of flowers and looks of happiness filled the air.  People were smiling everywhere.

On my way home, I unintentionally spied two guys staring each other in the face while a girl stood by.  I think there was something going on there, but then it was going on for love.  There’ll probably be lessons being learnt tonight about love and relationships, but then that’s all part of life.  We go through experiences and we learn from them.

At this age, I’ve decided that going out for dinner on Valentine’s day isn’t really for me, even though I still love the notion of Valentine’s Day, but the Bangkok traffic and the crowds of people are just a bit too much for me.  I prefer to stay quietly at home and keep in touch with those I care through phone calls instead.  Time perhaps to make a short call to that good friend you haven’t spoken to in a long while.  Oh how wonderful life is really, this is all one really needs:  Knowing that one is loved and loved in return.  Make everyday Valentine’s Day and everyday you can be just as happy 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s that time of year again when couples walk hand in hand and everywhere you go there are red roses and heart shaped goods for sale. Everything is in “chocolate.” Chocolate hearts, chocolate bears, chocolate drinks, and chocolate flowers. Tomorrow, flowers will be everywhere and looks of happiness from those who give and those who receive. Those without, might just choose to escape somewhere far away from all this heart wrenching mess. Yes, its a huge marketing fiasco out there every Valentine’s and sometimes it gets a bit too much, but I have to say that there is some merit to it.

For many who dare not mention words of “love” on other days, Valentine’s sounds like a good opportunity. It gives one an excuse to reach out to those who matter to us. It basically gives one a good opportunity to overcome our “fears” and just go do it. What da heck, everyone is doing it! Although it could be said to apply mostly to youngsters and teenagers, I think it’s something that can be and should be applied to all ages. Why can’t older people feel equally excited about V-day?

So if there is someone out there you like and love (doesn’t always have to be a boyfriend/girlfriend) or friends and family alike, inlaws, just go ahead and tell them how much you love them on Valentine’s. It’d be great if everyday could be Valentine’s Day but we humans are forgetful beings and these “little” gestures of love can be forgotten in the rush of everyday life. “Little” gestures that make a big difference 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! :):)