Archive for the ‘inspirational’ Category

Great Quote

Posted: December 27, 2010 in inspirational

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt


I was part of a dance group when I was in Junior College. But I joined it mainly because of the hot girls in the club. I like dancing but it wasn’t one of those art forms that moved me. My appreciation of dance was mostly restricted to oogling at dancing girls at nightspots. I have always been more of a movie guy. However, it all changed when I watched this particular performance from “So you think you can dance.” Watching this performance, I actually shed tears and felt the goosebumps all over my body. It truly moved me and made me realize how true art can and should truly move hearts.


Have you ever been so desperate in your life that you have considered borrowing money from a loan shark? Today, I was flipping The New Paper and saw many advertisements on licensed money lenders. I figured these guys can’t be as bad as Ah Longs right? As my rent was due and I really needed cash till I get payment from my client in January, I decided to give these licensed money lenders a call.

The papers are full of snazzy promises like “95% approval”, “interest as low as $1.88 per day”, “Bad Credit? No problem”, “Immediate Approval.” “Instant Cash”. It all sounded too good to be true.

So I called the largest advertisement which was A1 Credit. A woman with a lovely voice picked up the phone. She sounded almost like a seasoned telemarketer. I asked her what are the criteria for the loan and she mentioned that income has to be above 1.7K per month (20K per annum), and must be in current job for more than a year.

Note: After some research, I found out that the reason why they only entertain those with 20k per month income is cause there is a ‘loophole’ in the moneylenders act. Basically, if your income was below 20K per annum, they can only charge interest cap at 18 percent per annum. Obviously they won’t be interested to do such business.

“These provisions regulate access to credit and provide that where
a borrower has an annual income of at least $20,000 and not exceeding
$30,000, he can only obtain unsecured credit of up to two times his
monthly income. If the borrower has an annual income of at least
$30,000, he can only obtain unsecured credit of up to four times his
monthly income. Borrowers with an annual income of less than $20,000
can only take a small unsecured personal loan not exceeding $3,000,
with the interest capped at 18 per cent per annum.”

Anyway I continued the conversation to ask about the interest they charge. The woman was reluctant to reveal at first but upon more persuasive techniques from me, she revealed that interests are between 8 to 23 percent per month. Upon more prompting, she revealed that the rate is more like 20 percent per month. Unless you can pay back like within a week or two.

Also, for new applicants, it is unlikely they will lend more than 2k. 1K is probably the norm. She also revealed that she’s merely a telemarketer (bingo!) and the person assessing my case would be someone else. Very smart of these guys to hire sweet sounding frontdesk telemarketers!

I thanked her for her time and proceeded to dial other numbers. Most of them led to some Ah Beng sounding dudes who simply asked me to go down to their office to talk. After talking to at least ten of these guys and the occassional lady, I found out that most of them operate in the same way. The criteria are the same and the interest rates are approximately the same as well – 20 percent per month. I guess the only difference between them and ah longs is that they can’t do all the harrassment to you if you defaulted on paying them. After all, they are supposed to be licensed and have to abide by regulations based on the money lenders act.

Their interest rate of 20 percent per month is similar to a loan shark’s. It doesn’t take a genius to realize the interest rates are super exorbitant. I pondered long and hard and was THIS CLOSE to actually going down to take a loan. But I decided to tear up my pride and ask a business associate and friend for help. I told him I would pay him the same interest rates as those quoted by the licensed money lenders.

He replied immediately to say that he would lend me the money but would not take the interest. I was very touched. I think it’s times like these that we truly see the goodness of humanity. Also, sometimes when we think there is no way out, it’s only a limitation of our minds. There is a solution for every thing in this world. We just need to believe.

Abundance to all.


Today, an interesting experience happened to me. I was literally bolted and locked in from inside my house.

The story behind this interesting experience is that I owe the landlord rent payment. Actually it’s only two weeks late but unfortunately I was too embarrassed about it and tried to avoid all contact with her. As a result, she panicked and locked the door using a huge new lock.

I think this is an experience that most people would never get to experience in their lifetime. I mean to be bolted and locked from the inside of your house. It’s like a scene out of a loan shark movie.

My first reaction was a tremendous sense of panic. The landlord probably came when I was sleeping in the afternoon. She probably thought no one was at home and locked the gate, forcing me to contact her. I remembered mumbling to myself “Xiao liao. Xiao liao!” (this is nuts! this is nuts!).

I closed the door, walked into my room and just froze. I think I didn’t move for a good 30 seconds. My initial thoughts were all negative.

These were the thoughts running through my mind, not in order of importance:

You are a good for nothing dimwit. At your age, you actually struggle to pay rent! What an idiot!

Everybody hates you, including your landlord.

Your reputation is zero! In fact, it’s so far below zero that Mas Selamat would appear as an angel if he stood beside you.

I even envision myself jumping down from my flat which is 10 storeys high. It was horrible. Absolutely horrifying.

It took me a good ten minutes before I finally relaxed and commanded myself not to panic. My next thoughts were — was there enough food for my dog? Was there enough food for me? There was only one packet of magee mee left and thank God I bought three pieces of peanut cake this morning when I went out to buy breakfast.


Worrying thoughts but at least they were better than suicidal thoughts.

After another half an hour of worrying, I decided to switch from a worry mode into a mode of thankfulness. You see, I fully subscribe to the idea that everything in life happens for a reason. So the fact that this incident happened is a good learning ground for me. There must be something I can learn from it. Then I remembered a phrase from Napoleon Hill’s book.

Within every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

So what benefit could I possibly gain from this adversity, I thought.

I sat down and imitated the pose of a spiritual monk. I started to reflect and meditate. What exactly has caused this situation to happen? I thought long and hard about it and finally came up with an answer: It was my fear.

I realized I had been running away from people out of fear that they would think I am worthless, useless, good-for-nothing (insert whatever derogatory phrases you can conjure). But did these people really think that way? If I was being honest with myself, I don’t think so. My mind had started to believe all these thoughts which were not even true. I had conjured up all these negative thoughts because that was the impression that I had of myself. Again, these thoughts did not reflect reality.

I think in life we experience fear simply because we create and think of scenarios in our heads that aren’t real. For example, I used to have a tremendous fear of public speaking. I always imagined that I would forget what to say, and that people would laugh and I would be very embarrassed by the whole experience. Again, these thought projections were not real but merely something my mind created as a stumbling block.

I thought about how I have been avoiding all my friends because I created scenarios in my head that they would look down on me, pity my situation and I would lose all respect from them. But again, these thoughts are not real and merely my own projections of my self worth. My friends (at least those I truly care about and are close to me) would love me no matter how much I have in my bank account. They have proven their loyalty to me even when I was in prison. Why would they condemn me just because I was broke? The truth was that I was condemning myself.

I felt tremendously enlightened after that. In fact, I think I broke into a huge smile. What if everything that came into our lives were merely projections of our consciousness? What if I can step out of my body and watch myself doing things? Would I still be afraid? I think the answer would be no. I would feel detached from myself, and instead of experiencing fear or embarrassment, I would merely be a silent participator. Perhaps this is what Buddha meant when he mentioned Nirvana?

I felt a new sense of power. I took out my cellphone and dialled the landlord’s number. I told her quite frankly I was having money issues and that I won’t be able to pay rent till perhaps another week or so. I told her to please unlock the door. I half expected her to scream her head off at me but to my pleasant surprise, she was pretty nice and understanding about the situation. She was just unhappy that I wasn’t contactable.

I think it’s time for me to stop my fears and start living my life in peace. And I believe it’s time I started to contact all my friends again.

Our doubts and fears are not true in themselves.
Our deepest beliefs about ourselves
and the nature of our world
are not true in themselves,
but our thinking makes them true in our experience.
We can change our thinking and change even our
deepest core beliefs.

Cheers.


I have a dog that I love very much. Without fail, every single day, when I return home from work, she would be waiting for me, eyes wide, tail wagging, seemingly in ecstacy.

If only human beings could learn to love like a dog. No  matter how ugly, fat, poor, sick or down you are, the dog will love you just the way you are.

cheers.


“keep on keeping on till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.” – Joseph Murphy.

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Well some readers actually wrote me to ask what is the reason for posting a post about a sleazy karaoke joint? To that I would reply …. no particular reason. That was part of my life in the past and it was a pretty funny incident so I posted it up and I never imagined the post would garner more than 3000 hits in one day ….

What exactly is happiness? It is one of those questions in life that almost everyone has an answer to.

I found myself searching for this answer from a very young age. I had a dream of becoming a writer and even a movie director from a young age. I taught myself how to write a screenplay and after numerous failed/rejected attempts, I finally won the top prize in the Screenplay awards in my country. I was in ecstacy. For a long while, it made me really happy to know that I am one of the top creative brains in the industry.

But the happiness didn’t seem to sustain.

I spent a good part of my life living the ‘good life’ – parties every other night, surrounded with beautiful women, lots of sex, lots of booze and the occasional drugs. I partied at Zouk’s seemingly innocent Mambo Jambo Nights

to the more hardcore parties in karaoke lounges and thai discos.


Yet I found no real happiness as most of the time I would wake up with a bad hangover and a feeling of emptiness the very next day. No happiness there it seems.

Then I went to the other extreme of turning to religion. I was so into the whole concept of Christianity that I literally read the bible every single day, evangelize to whomever would listen, and even started leading a small group. I think the most extreme thing I ever did was actually lead my group and we started evangelizing to people on the public bus!

I left the church after about two years. No happiness to be found there too.

So have I learnt anything from these experiences? The answer is a BIG FAT YES!

I truly believe now that in order to achieve happiness and to live our lives fully, we must fulfil the three aspects of life – physical, intellectual and spiritual. If we even neglect one of these, we would not be truly satisfied. I find that I have been pursuing these three aspects at various stages of my life IN EXTREMITIES. And also, in order to fully pursue these three aspects, it is essential that we are rich. Only when we are rich, are we able to fully purchase the tools around us to fully explore our physical, intellectual and spiritual needs.

Cheers.