How do you want to live your life?

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde

Reason to continue my work

Had to share the story of this amazing young man. I met him in the course of my work and yes although it can be emotionally exhausting at times. I look forward to seeing him whenever I go to work. He inspires me so much! In a nutshell, he suffered a stroke not too long ago which resulted in very minimal movement on the right side of his body. But instead of feeling sorry for himself or give excuses to not attempt challenging activities. He is always the first one to volunteer himself. He also instinctively helps out others in need. Be it helping them pick up something they dropped or stand up to an injustice.

He epitomises the spirit of resilience and grit (A new theory in positive psychology). I am so proud to have been a part of his growing process. It is moments like this that propels us forward. I am truly humbled.

 

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Choose to be happy – Happiness project

Yesterday I posted on my facebook page that I will be embarking on a happiness project which is what I will be starting today. Reason? Simply because happiness like many things in life are within our control. Yes, what I am saying is to be happy, all you have to do is to choose to be. That is not to say that one is rid of unhappiness forever. It means that we choose to be more mindful of the good things in our lives and take more active steps to do that things that we want to. Be it doing something nice for someone or to stand up for what you believe in.

Whatever decisions you make, it should be one that you want to or at least willing to make. So this is how I am going to do this. We tend to take things for granted, what I am going to do is start posting things that makes me happy. Gratefulness is the key to the door to happiness. Please feel free to share what made your day as well!!

My motto in life is this: “We are not here for a long time, so why not have a great time!”

Okay, just to add in some housekeeping details. I usually post directly on this blogsite when I have something to say but as this is a very spontaneous type of project. I much prefer to be able to post whatever I want when things happen. You can like my page on facebook (Look for how do you want to live your life), that way you can follow me whenever I post anything. Alternatively, if you are on instagram, search for #ichoosehappy, it should be what I posted.

Let the party begin!

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What kind of children are we raising?

This post was inspired by something that I encountered recently. Through this incident, it became very clear to me that our intentions for our children can greatly differ from society’s norms. But as parents, do we persist or do we give in to these norms that used to shackle us in our past? Here is how my story unfolds, there is no right or wrong, it is something that I hope as parents we will take seriously because ultimately, how we react will directly impact who our children will become in the future. Will they become doormats/ followers? Or will they become leaders or at the very least a fighter for their own rights?

My children attend a local school in Singapore, nothing wrong with that at all. I still believe that there are lots to learn. We just need to be able to moderate ourselves. Sometime during the first term of school this year, my older son came home really upset. He confided in me that his whole class got punished because some of them were misbehaving and his teacher concluded that it is ‘all for one and one for all’. Sure, I do get this concept, I even use it myself sometimes. In a way, it is to encourage students to become more actively involved in peer monitoring. So, I told him that although he felt that he was being unfairly punished, this is how it is like to be in a team, You take glory and heat together. Now, this incident did not just happen once, twice or even 3x, it was ongoing. And every time, I would try to find something positive that he could learn from it. The usual punishment given by the teacher is to write a personal reflection about what happened and how to improve it. Many times, my boy would get really upset because he said he does not know what to write because he did not misbehave, so what is he supposed to write? So, essentially, it is like a confession. One of these times, I told him to simply write how he felt about the situation, To my understanding, a reflection is meant to reflect how you feel. Guess what? He got into even bigger trouble for not complying with the topic!

Fast forward to 3 days ago. Again he came home really upset. And needless to say, it was the same issue. But this time something about his reaction changed. He asked me,” Mum, if my teacher is going to punish me whether I behaved or not? Then what is the point of trying so hard to be good?” Well, that’s it! All my years of instilling confidence and self-esteem is getting very close to being destroyed by a teacher who does not care about building up someone’s self-esteem. To her, it is all about compliance. In our household, even when my kids are caught red-handed, they are still given the opportunity to defend themselves. Because sometimes, people make poor decisions. It is our job as the adult to guide our children. I was really upset by the whole incident but I wanted to know if my sentiments was only an emotional reaction as a mother. So, I asked a few friends and their answers shocked me! They simply shrugged their shoulders and said, “Yea, that was how it was like when we were growing up. It’s very normal.” The only different answer I got was from a teacher who is teaching in a school that takes in students who failed their Primary school leaving exams. She understands and values the importance of instilling self-esteem in children at a very young age.

I had to spend a lot of time trying to undo the damage that she had created. To me, raising children is not about making them do everything you ask them to do. Sometimes, it is okay for them to question. Because if you changed the person asking them to do stuff, your view will change. For example, teach them to question friends who ask them to try drugs. Teach them that it is okay to stand their ground when it is something they believe in. We have so much responsibility as parents to ensure that we instill as much positive values and outlooks in life in our children. And personally, I feel that being a teacher is such a special calling. Even up til now, I meet teachers who continue to touch my life. So, thank you to all dedicated teachers out there. The world would not be the same without you! And parents, like I said earlier, there is no right or wrong reaction to this post. But surely this is something that all parents should consider. Are you raising someone with self-esteem or self-doubt. And the choice is in the action you take this very day!

‘I choose…

to live by choice, not by chances;

to make changes, not excuses;

to be motivated, not manipulated;

to be useful, not used;

to excel, not to compete;

I choose self-esteem, not self-pity;

I choose to listen to my inner voice,

Not the random opinion of others.

I choose to be ME.

 

I choose

 

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