Sunday, 20 March 2016

Beware - The Ego Trap

One of the pitfalls that many people encounter when embarking onto something novel in a bid to for self improvement is this very thing called the ego trap. The more commonly used abbreviation could be something along the lines of "one-upmanship", or constant comparison and thinking that one human being is better than another because of [x]. 

Here is an simple example: "I ran 10km today while you sat on a couch walloping the entire bag of kettle-chips when you should have been doing kettle-bells. Chips are not bells. I ran while you snoozed, therefore I am superior to you."

The ego is inherent in every human being, and whilst the ego itself is innately not a bad thing, one should learn that falling into the ego trap, where you mistakenly think that you are better than someone because of something you have or have not done or possess, is a sure way to allowing Kali, the Goddess of Destruction, a field day pass of fun and games into your personal relationships. 

After all, Fat Bob the Builder whose couch territory you have just invaded there, does not even want to hear how General Maximus Aurelius, Commander of the Armies of the North is superior to him (something that might actually be a fact...), much less Tan Ah Kow who in the past 6 months, has only just slogged out one 10km run on a threadmill in an air-conditioned atmosphere, and then openly or indirectly hinted that he's a better man... 

So how can one manage his ego better? My thoughts revolve around being more aware of your surroundings and social environment, and to focus on developing yourself as a better person in every way on a daily basis, instead of being competitive and bench-marking yourself against your peers or environment - i.e. in other words, adopt a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset (social psych buzzword of the last couple of months), which though it does make a lot of sense, is something that is extremely hard to adopt and make a solid habit out of.

Every day a better man, in every way. I think that itself is a hard enough target, but certainly a worthy one to strive towards. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Was digging up old photos for one of my best friend's wedding that's coming up real soon and wow, those memories back in JC and secondary school sure came flooding right back into my life.

Close friendships that were formed previously, and of course the sweet budding relationships that couldn't last the test of time and the lack of maturity. Add a strong dose of the Cranberries belting out their ever enduring tunes in the background, and voila, one enters into an overwhelming sense of nostalgia :)

More than 15 years have passed since my sec school days, and I am extremely grateful to have had kept that bunch of sec sch / JC friends close to my heart, something which I do admit to having taken for granted at times. Looking back, it seems like the bonds forged during the innocence of youth have certainly endured the test of time, and they most certainly look well poised to build for the future.

To lasting and genuine relationships with the friends in our lives, that is certainly the one thing that money can't buy. And to future milestones in life, that have been shaped through emboldened conversations out on that third floor balcony after a few rounds of drinks and our trusty XBOX 360. Yes, you guys know who you are.

These are most certainly one of the moments that gives meaning to living.