Tuesday, January 28

Being overreacted.

Hi everyone. I think I may have overreacted on the issue of allowance.

Well, apologies for those people that are affected by that not that there are any obvious apparent effect.

This makes me realise how fragile we are as a human being. I mean when we are in such a distressing situation, we tend to overreact. Don't we?

I suppose there are several things that I would like to change about myself with regards to this.

I have a little bit of savings but it was just barely enough to sustain my basic living.

I read a book by Adam Khoo. Can't exactly remember the book and don't even bother to look it up but it is something along the line of being successful financially. I'll tell you guys once I had time to look for it. He said in his book one of the criteria of being financially free is able to sustain present living for at least six months without much difficulties from savings alone.

In other words, enough savings to sustain current living for six months or more. Even better, the money comes from passive income not ordinary income. It is way more complicated in his book but I just take a gist out of it.

At the moment, I have only ordinary income and to Robert Kiyosaki, author of 'Rich Dad Poor Dad', that is the most dangerous situation at all.

However, it is important to note that I am still a student and I am guaranteed a funding at least until I graduated in 2016.

Despite being a student, I should not overlook this matter because after all, we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle).

Therefore, I should start incorporating some of the ideas behind behind being financially free so that it become a habit.

The most important thing to ask right now is why not how because why will keep you going but how will only gives you ways to get there.

Why I should be financially free?

In the world that I am living, everything needs money. Without it, it is very hard to proceed with normal life. Not just that, it is hard to do good deed if you have no money. I am not saying that we can only do good deed when we have money. What I am saying that if you have no money you have to employ other resources to do good deeds like your time, your energy and everything else apart from money.

One thing about that is that it is very counter productive especially if you want to incorporate good deeds as your routine. Just imagine. If you have to use your time and energy to do good deeds, what is left of your time and energy for your Creator, to do things that will enhance yourself so that you can get more money and hence more good deeds?

It is not wrong to use your time and energy once in a while to help people. Not wrong at all and in fact it is something that you must consider. However, note 'once in a while' not every single day of your life.

I am happy to work on projects that help people so long as it was plan and executed properly.

Therefore, it is important to be financially free to do good deeds and live a healthy happy life.

With regards to what entails to be financially free, it is another topics on its own. I will make another post on that.

Just to put future Syafiq in context of what is happening, I am going to write a bit about what is happening the past couple of days.

Usually, JPA will bank in allowances on 24, 25 or 26 of every 3 months. This past 1 and a half years, 24, 25 and 26 of every 3 months have always fall on weekdays. Hence, not much problem. This time it was Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Due to the fact that everybody in the banking world has a life on weekends, it is understandable that they do not operate on weekends hence, I need to wait for weekdays for my payments to be processed.

It is distressing for me. Couldn't sleep with ease for the past few days because I worry about all due payments.

Coincidentally, the late in allowance coincide with the fact that the value of Malaysian ringgit drops to one of its lowest level. Yesterday, the value of Malaysian ringgit against pound falls to RM 5.545 for every £1. Previously it was around RM4.9++. I wonder what would the value be in 2025. To future Syafiq, please update me what is the value of MYR against GBP in 2025.

That is not important. What important is how I respond to it. I manage to not be so emotional but I did over react a little bit. I should not complain especially not in Facebook. Hence this reflection.

A point of reflection. Go check with JPA when exactly are they going to bank in your allowance. Don't just complain. Do something. Don't expect people to feed you with everything. Work for yourself.

There are a couple of points I would like to check with future Syafiq though. I hope you still remember this day. The day where you are determined to be financially free not just to live a happy healthy life but also to do good deeds to mankind. Do you still keep this aspiration of yours?

One more thing, are you the CEO of any company now? Have you started your own venture? How many children do you have now? Did you managed to get PhD from Stanford? I am dying to know how are you getting on with your life right now. Tell me ye.

Oh.. before I forgot. Next time, in the face of challenges like this remember to acknowledge people who might be affected by it way before hand before it occur so that we did not create distressing situation like this. Remember to be proactive and don't create avoidable problem for people. It would have been nice if there is anyone to tell me exactly when allowance is coming in so that we don't have to be in such distressing situation. Even though this is the ideal case, we never know what is really happening. I wouldn't mind giving them a bit of a leeway with regards to this because I believe they have thousands of students to look after to and I don't want to be such a burden to them. You know who I refer to right.

However, when it comes to you Syafiq, you won't get away with this kind of behaviour. You will answer not just to me but to the Creator why you did not prevent this problem when it could have been easily avoided with a simple e-mail explaining how things will go every single freaking month.

You know why I am so strict on you? Because you are different. You have the potential to reach the stars and you won't reach them unless you push yourself to the limit. Most people says they have done their very best. Don't bother what others told themselves. It is their life so respect it. Important thing is to ask yourself. Really? Is that the best that you can do? Seriously?

This brings me to the next quote. People seldom do things to the best of their abilities. They do things to the best of their willingness.

Whenever you thought of giving up Syafiq, know that you have reached the limit of your willingness not your abilities. You can do more even though you fail so many times.

OK. I guess I wandered off for a lot now. Don't want to stray more from the topics. The point I would like to remind myself and future me, be absolutely prepared for everything even things that you are unprepared.

Speaking about this, I am currently thinking about how to prepare for things that we can never be prepared of or things that we are unprepared simply because we haven't thought about that. This will be one of the title of my next post. Lots of ideas coming in. Need to brake it one way or another.

In essence, be a thinker and you will be able to keep improving and achieve your dreams.

The problem is not important. What important is how you respond to it. (Prof Muhaya)

With that, I rest my case.

For now.

Monday, January 27

Productivity #1: Write what you think

To kickstart my post on productivity, I would like to emphasise one point. Note #1: You need to write what you think in order to plan it effectively. Sounds straight forward isn't it? In reality it is not as easy as that.

Think about it. Many processes involved in writing thoughts. You need to know what to write, how to write, how to keep it organised and most importantly sense of organisation. Having no system to effectively write what you think will make your tasks even harder because without some kind of organised ways it is hard to keep track.

On top of that, putting thoughts into words is difficult.  Can't believe what I say? Grab a piece of blank paper and write your life now. Every single bit of it. Tell me how long it takes for you to do that. It is difficult right but it is not impossible though.

Without being clear of your life and being organised about it, it is difficult to keep track of it and consequently hard to spot rooms for improvement. Being clear and organised comes in many ways. It doesn't have to be the methods that I suggest but it has to be some kind of ways in which you are able to continuously keep track of your progress and reflect on it. So choose what suits you and continue improving your system.

So before we explore further on how and what to think, should we invest some time in creating a self-improving system that enables effective capture of our thoughts?

In high school, I use paper. Lots of it. Not just it is not environmentally friendly, it is hard to organise.

Nevertheless, I managed to survive with just paper. Personally, it is not very relevant now because there is a more powerful solutions to this. However, there is instances where you need to use paper. 

I use Evernote. Not just that it allows organisation of my notes, occasionally if there is a need for paper usage, the application seamlessly organised it. I will tell you more about it.

In simple words, Evernote is a great application that I use to capture everything. I highly recommend you to search on youtube on how people use Evernote to manage their tasks and increase their productivity. My personal recommendation is to watch videos created by Evernote Scott. Also, look at their website on what features are available. Let me just list some of the awesome features that I find particularly useful.
  1. Cloud-based Storage. Ensure that I have access to my content no matter what device I am using ipad, iphone or macbook. There is also android, windows and web versions of the apps so it is very practical. Also, you don't have to worry if one of your devices get corrupted for whatever reason. Ends the day when you need to actively back up your data. This app will do that for you. Ever heard of people losing valuables data from their hard drive due to virus or physical accidents? Well, with Evernote you can pretty much reduce the risk of losing valuable information. What if the information you entered is confidential? There are ways to tackle those but for highly-sensitive data I wouldn't recommend using Evernote just in case breach might occur but what is the probability of having highly-sensitive data in our mind unless we are top government officials. In that case, more specialist advice is needed. For the purpose of managing our life, I think Evernote is sufficient.
  2. Searchable pdf and images. I can just scan my paper notes and slides into Evernote and I can simply search for it without the need to look at all my notes. Remove the hassle of looking all the notes to look for specific information
In the next couple of posts, I will tell you how I organised my Evernote to do what I want it to do, capturing my thoughts, declutter my mind and hence enable me to daydream more without worrying too much.

For now, I suggest you guys to take a look at Evernote and think about how it can help you in managing your life.

A bit of a teaser. I use it not just to plan my goals but also to organise my class notes, keep track of my fitness, explore interesting things, plan my holiday and travel, as well as keeping list of recipes I learned.

This brings me to note #2: Focus more on doing things you enjoy rather than doing things that you should not be doing.

Have you experience a time when you are supposed to do something and as a result of procrastination you have to do more work. For example, you know that the garbage bin is full and you know you need to throw it away. Being a normal ordinary human being I guess you keep forgetting to throw it away until it becomes so smelly and watery. You have now two jobs to do, throw the garbage away and clean up the mess that it cause. This may seems unrelated to what I am advocating but trust me if you are not organised, even simple thing like throwing the garbage can be such an obstacle to your life. All this unnecessary problems take up your time. You could have spend it doing things that you enjoy.

Don't worry. In the next couple of posts on productivity I will share some methods on how to ensure that you never miss anything in your life, that you can life a happier life and most importantly that you don't have to deal with unnecessary avoidable problems.

The key is to plan and have a check list. How to do that? Wait for the next post

Sunday, January 26

Self ground rule

Hey everyone.
It's my first post of the year. I really miss writing here. Cliche, I know but it is true. Now that my first quarter of my new me has started, I thought there is one thing that I should do more seriously and that is writing blog.

When I was a high school student not so many years ago, I craved for light readings that tell the life of university student. The reason is so that I can see into the future of what my life might entail in other word daydreaming about it. That has always been my favourite activity especially in the shower. I always imagine my life in the next 5 to 10 years and it is changing everyday. The only thing that can help me realise what I am dreaming is by writing it down. I have several systems in place to keep track of my dreams, goals, and execution of it but it is not for public view unfortunately. However, I would like to share some of the gist of my plan with the eye of inspiring young people to day dream about the life ahead of them. Also, by doing so it helps me remember my past and how it helps me get where I am today.

One obstacle that I foresee is the fact that I am shy. When people read my blog and talks about it with me or in front of me, I feel that I want to hide my face under my comfort pillow. However, I am more matured now that I guess I could handle those kind of stuff. So anyone of you thinking of doing that, be mindful of others feelings ye.

The first thing that I would like to do to set the scene for the next series of blog post is to put up some ground rule for myself that I can use to review how I am getting on.

Every week, I shall write a post on each of the following:

  1. Story of my life here in London
  2. Productivity
  3. Lifestyle points to ponder
  4. Inspiration
  5. Article review
That makes 5 posts every week. With God's willing, I will try my best.

I would also like to point out that one of my dreams is to become a prominent writer. This blog is supposed to be the safe ground in which I practiced those skills. Hopefully, it is not just a chimera or as Malay-speaking people called it 'angan-angan'.

That is all for now.

This is me in the 'tube'. I am on my way to visit Syuk. I was trying a new apps hence this picture. Can't remember the date though.