May 29, 2016

Self-esteem issues

So a friend of mine told me that her friend met me once at some assessment centre and apparently I left a strong impression. He was telling her something along the lines of how he thought I'd definitely get the job, from how I carried myself and what not.

I had zero recollection of meeting him. At all.

I asked for a name and pictures. I was pretty certain that he wasn't in my group (the 8 of us were split into 2 groups) and hence concluded that I would have only met him for a brief period of 5 minutes. I only remember being 20 minutes late for the assessment centre (thanks to public transport) and met with members of the other group for a brief moment. I just sat my ass down and started asking where everyone else was from.

I immediately thought he just made everything up, but it didn't make sense because no one does that and my friend was pretty close with him. I couldn't make any sense out of it.

Today, another friend of mine (which is also a friend of my aforementioned friend, which happened to be there as well) said she had this mutual friend who would always tell her how he and I were classmates. I was a little surprised that he would bring that up because we were only close back when I was 7, 8 and 9. We pretty much lost contact after.

The aforementioned friend then commented on how people always wanted to be associated with me but I seem as if I couldn't be bothered.

It's funny, because it's really flattering, but it's a result of low self-esteem. It would be a nightmare to me if I hyped up my association with someone only to find out that the other person doesn't feel the same, like calling someone a best friend when the other person doesn't reciprocate. This then manifested itself into a defense mechanism to prevent myself from putting so much value in a particular relationship, unless the other person very overtly does the same.

Started thinking about it and suddenly other occurrences start to pop up in my head. I remember chatting with the guy that sat next to me during my graduation ceremony as if we were friends for some time, when in reality we really just talked a little back in Year 1. There was also this dude from Hong Kong that I was talking to when we were collecting our graduation robes. He remembered that I could understand Cantonese because I watched a lot of Hong Kong drama series, which I told him during the only conversation we had about 2-3 years ago.

I'm not sure what exactly to make out of this. I guess I'll just remind myself that I'm capable of leaving an impression.

The Bucket/Wish List *updated*

Thought I'd started listing down stuff here that I may or may not update in the future.

Bucket List

  • Stay at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and dine at Raymond Blanc's restaurant
  • Visit some of David Chang's many restaurants in NYC
  • Visit one of Gordon Ramsay's Michelin-starred restaurants
  • Have super high-end sushi (Jiro, anyone?) in Japan
  • Watch Hamilton on Broadway
  • Watch Ramin Karimloo perform Phantom or Val Jean
  • Watch Jacky Cheung live
Hmm, there's some common theme to this ... 

Wish List
  • Get a copy of The Food Lab. Just waiting for the right opportunity, really.
  • Get a desktop. Now that I've settled back home, why not?
  • Ergonomic swivel chair, solid work desk, all that.
  • Kitchen Aid mixer, but I haven't been baking much
  • Le Creuset stuff, but I haven't been cooking much
  • A deep fryer since I can't afford a Le Creuset pot ...
  • A pair of open back headphones, hmm
Welp, gotta start making more money.

May 21, 2016

Being tired at the start of the race

Today was quite pleasant. Met up with my A-level Maths and Further Maths lecturer along with my friends for lunch, had a nice cup of coffee with my dad, walked around a little and had a simple dinner with my dad.

So I've been talking to people around me about grown-up stuff these days. My senior/colleague would always talk about how hard work beyond work hours is crucial to advancement; my lecturer was talking about buying properties and tax; the conversation then went on about saving for marriage ...

It all sounds so tiresome and annoying. What's the point in working so hard? What's the point in investing and investing and being a slave to capitalism? What's the point in spending loads on money just to fulfil some arbitrarily made-up societal norm just because you want to officiate being with someone?

What's with all these pointless exercises?

Once again, existential crisis has struck.

Is there something more meaningful out there? I can't seem to find any meaning in doing anything. It just seems to me like an unnecessarily huge amount of effort and time spent thinking and doing things related to getting more money.


May 7, 2016

Of grit and deliberate practice

**warning** rambling ahead. Not like any of my other posts are particularly refined, but I think this one is particularly bad. Beware.

Bored out of my mind. Want to do some work but I can't connect to my work laptop for some reason. Want to go out and grab some coffee but no one to do it with. Want to visit a shopping mall but not a fan of the weekend crowd.


Anyway, was listening to some podcast during my commute to work about what it takes to become good at something. It talked about how people that are now experts in their field did not achieve such levels of success by just being born talented but rather have spent many, many, many hours trying to be better, which is very relevant to where I am right now.

I'm at the point where if I want to excel in the industry that I'm in right now, I should be putting in as much hours as I possibly could. My concern is that I don't have a history of being super gritty and resilient. Or have I?

So here's an attempt to think of all the things--whether small or big--of times where I've unknowingly exhibited resilience, as sort of a motivation to myself.

But before that, hold that thought.

** 10 mins later **

Right, much better. Now I'm sitting in a cafe by myself, typing away on my iPad like some insufferable hipster. Never mind, I have my coffee with me now.

Back to where I left off.

So I've had pretty decent results in the past, not without hard work at all, but not with super gritty hard work either. I've always found maths practice therapeutic, so working on homework wasn't much of an issue for me. As a result, my scores for maths subjects in primary school, secondary school and pre-university have been pretty good.

Then there's also the resilience that led to me shedding the amount of weight equivalent to another petite female person. Now if only I could channel that resilience to exercising ...

I guess having good results for my degree was a result of some form of resilience too, as well as for my CFA exams, so there's that.

I guess I've been pretty resilient at blogging too? Which I believe helped me become much more articulate than I otherwise wouldn't have been. Not that I'm no where near being a writer or anything, but I wouldn't say it was all for naught either.

A swimmer interviewed by researchers studying resilience among successful people was asked whether he enjoyed training. He said something along the lines of not enjoying the daily grind as it involved getting up at ungodly hours every day, pushing the limits of his physical capabilities every day, but what he enjoyed was the whole picture.

I don't think people find something to be passionate in before committing the grittiness and resilience required, which sort of is what I appear to be doing right now. But I hope this is something that the thing that would define me, I guess?

To be fair, the past three weeks have gone by pretty quick, which I guess is a good sign.