All posts tagged: People

Permission To Course-Correct

Yes, you have permission. You’ve always had permission. Our whole lives, social constructs and institutions put so much pressure on us to get life right the first time around. And when we don’t get it right—as humans are prone to mistakes and bad judgment—we know in our heads that we have the choice to course-correct, but most people don’t dare. And when we do dare, we go through this whole internal crisis. But still, most won’t dare. Why? Because it’s easier to stay the course, to keep on smiling as we play the part we’ve created and built up for ourselves over the years. And all the while, we’re dying inside. Think about it: how are we to make the most informed decision about our future career paths at age 16? How can we make a lifelong decision about whom to marry at age 21 or 25 when we haven’t even quite understood who we are? Chances are, those choices are made based on very limited knowledge of the world, of ourselves, and what we …

Personal Struggles Aren’t Any Less Important During A Pandemic

When the world essentially shuts down in the blink of an eye, where even the humdrum of daily life grinds to a halt, the world’s busiest cities in a state of complete emptiness we never would’ve imagined possible, it’s fair to say, it’s shocking. I’m probably still in shock. The speed, gravity, and all-encompassing way this pandemic has permeated and disrupted every aspect of our individual and collective lives is — based on sheer scale — impressive. Such a massive event triggers our fight or flight instinct, it takes us off balance, and for many of us who suddenly find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands to ruminate and a lot less human contact, it shifts perspectives and perhaps makes us come to realisations we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Like every single one of you, I have personal struggles of all shapes and sizes. But since home confinement began, I’ve learned to see the bigger picture and really found a renewed sense of not sweating the small stuff. I am but a …

What Will You Change In Your Life When This Is All Over?

It’s Monday, another week in Covid-19 home isolation, and frankly, it feels just like yesterday and will probably feel the same as tomorrow. Who knew ‘Manic Mondays’ or the ‘Monday Blues’ could feel a tad outdated and trigger a slight bit of nostalgia. I woke up this morning with a burning question in mind: what will you change in your life when this is all over? I sent a message to a few close friends, curious about whether this life in forced isolation and all the emotions brought about by a global pandemic that’s bringing every man-made system to its knees, has created any lasting shifts in the way they thought, felt, and viewed their lives. I would love to hear your thoughts. As for me, here are a few things I’d like to really practice in my day to day life starting now: Really be present. Like many of you, I’ve also been thrust into an introspective space and state of mind. The key learning: be present. That’s not new in and of itself. What …

Life In A Pandemic: Don’t Waste Its Valuable Lessons

How do you find calm in a world gone mad? How do we stay sane amid border closures, flight cancellations, total lockdown, panic buying, and an invisible enemy that’s ruthlessly and indiscriminately claiming lives, breaking down healthcare systems, and bringing the world economy to its knees? I took the photo above in a town by the coast last week, day 2 of what was supposed to be a two-week holiday that had to be cut short that very same day. How blissfully unaware that little boy was to the chaos and madness fast unfolding in the wider world. Must be nice, I thought. The tense atmosphere and drastic disruptive changes to daily life brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have been rude awakenings. I cried the first two days upon our return from that long-anticipated trip that ended almost as soon as it started. The wave of emotion felt like an all-encompassing, overwhelming force that I couldn’t quite break down into comprehensible pieces. That’s the most difficult part of this pandemic …

In Honour of the Medical Profession

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Health Organisation declared the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In our new recent reality, coronavirus stories abound — from panic buying of toilet paper to entire countries going on lockdown. But the most heartbreaking stories come from the men and women on the frontline of this fight: doctors, nurses, medics, medical volunteers and other health professionals risking their own safety and that of their families to put others’ lives and safety first. The men and women who, in the worst affected places, are put in the horrible position of having to decide essentially who gets to live and who dies. Let’s take a moment to remember that this has been the daily reality of doctors in war-torn places like Syria for years, or simply a fact of life for doctors practicing in extremely poor countries with very limited resources. Since news of the virus broke, I’ve been constantly discussing the science, the news, virology, epidemiology, people’s reaction (both overreaction and brash dismissals) with several doctor …

Feel like a fraud? Stop right there.

“We’d like to make you an offer,” the e-mail began. I gasped, whispered yes!, briefly soaked in the feeling of sweet victory, and breathlessly shared the good news with a few people. Then, a few minutes later, it turned to disbelief with a tinge of doubt. Wait, what? They chose me? I wonder why… Note to self: STOP right there. I should’ve Googled it much sooner. Type > > I m p o s t o r   S y n d r o m e, and within seconds, I would’ve realised that I wasn’t alone—that feeling like a fraud was more common than I thought. It wasn’t until I came across Natalie Portman’s Harvard Commencement 2015 speech that it dawned on me: it’s NOT just me. Natalie Portman experiences it. Even Natalie Portman. The Natalie Portman. I felt a huge sense of relief. I was then able to detach myself from the “feeling” and look at it objectively. I read article after article and found out that it’s more common among women, and it’s common …

Credit: Steve Sawyer on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevesawyer/90354559/in/photolist-8Z6ge-P8uT7-P8kQ5-5WxosS-o2MMrW-b2JNaF-huYC7K-U62Qeo-5wh4EJ-4z9LEf-V9DNYB-iWejNE-iozhsS-nqegmH-qeekaF-4z9NVY-UJoGgU-4z5xaM-apgM7j-761JzB-5v4Yw1-5yFToJ-eBWbNx-d34hh3-mDXh72-n1jAYB-swb1eV-fP2Brz-4GKBNy-8msyYh-5y1ZbY-byphy4-9LE1CS-egmXRX-qGwHfU-RQ2EBc-pBR2Eo-8kwnWt-P8xG1-WdVgoR-a7XzWj-81JzpW-5T4V7s-ahsP8v-b633GT-5iqA1f-GkBCdy-azTBfD-RN39XN-4z5wrn)

Stereotypes: 5 reasons why you’re on the losing end

It’s a natural response when encountering the new or unknown, be it a person, place or thing—human beings size up whatever is before them, instinctively deciding whether it’s a friend or foe, a threat or an opportunity.

I am a so-called ‘third-culture’ kid. I am one type of Asian with mixed ancestry, raised in another Asian country with a completely different culture, studied in Chinese, British, American, and Canadian schools, speak four languages and later worked and lived in Russia and Europe.