Sunday, January 21, 2007

V's Quote of the Day

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful, it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful, it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident, it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better - King Whitney Jr.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

14 days through.... are you on the right track?

Its been two weeks since 2007 begin. Are you on track with your new year resolutions? If I may, it is not surprising if one of your resolutions would be work-related, and it goes along this line, "I wish I could get a better work life balance, spend my days and time wisely, and do things that I always wanted to do." Well, you are not alone. 70% of working people have the same thinking. And that includes me. A wish will remain a wish, if we do nothing about it. So lets get retarded.. err.. I mean started, for it to come true.

Our No. 1 stumbling block: Where got time?
The new year always begin by catching up with work (wherever you left it last year). But the last couple of week you have been skipping lunch, coz there's just too much to do to take a break, and that you have a 260-page report that u have to complete ASAP, or that you are so ambitious that things get done at work when you are around (u think so?), but does that really make you happy?

Come to think of it, we do have the time. Regardless of how hectic or stressed our life can get, we must work hard to find the time to pursue other interest. We must know what makes us happy, and we must know how to make the time to get out there and do it. We got to get out of our comfort zone and unleash a more adventurous us. We need a varied personal life to develop wider interests, to relax and be confident.

I did some calculations. We have more than 100 days of spare time. To begin with, we have at least 12 days of holidays. Of course, working as an international staff here in Timor-Leste, you cannot ignore the fact that everyone is looking at different calendars ranging from the TL public holidays to the UN official holidays, your own country holidays (so as to plan your own holidays!), those religious holidays and school holidays (more holidays!). Together with 2 days per week (2 days x 52 weeks in a year= 104), and at least 12 days of Annual leave (thats what we get here - use to have 28 back home!) , we have a total of 128 days of free time!

So get started. Start planning your time and get in control of your life. If you can just afford few days at a time, there's a lot that we can do here in TL. Take a day trip to Atauro Island, climb the highest mountain here, go diving, fishing, travel to Jaco Island and rent a boat or something, or simply run up to the hills that u have been looking at everyday and see how beautiful life can be. You could kick back and relax, take up a hobby, have an adventure, or all of the above. The possibilities are endless. So don't think that every year is just 365 days of the working grind. As much as we work hard here, we must also work hard for a balanced life - Make the most out of every last second of that fabulous free time, coz life is just too short too be ignored....

For those who don't know where to start, I have a compact calendar here for print, with your own country version of holidays (thanks to david seah). Simple to use, add in TL and UN holidays and start planning your activities. And most important of all, have a good time and fun!

» Australian Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from “A Random”
Brazillian Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Paulo Rodrigo Teixeira
Canadian Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from “Quanta”
Chinese Versions of 2007 Compact Calendar from Camelot Castle
German Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Lennart Groetzbach
French Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Le Tisseur De Toile
Hungarian Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from “Kobak”
Italian Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Luca Magnani
Japanese Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Yoshiomi Kurisu
New Zealand Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from bignoseduglyguy
Portuguese Version (European) of 2007 Compact Calendar from “Rip”
Singaporean Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Chew LH
South African Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Jason Bagley
Spanish Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Jeroen Sangers
Swedish Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Jim Carlberg
UK/Wales Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Clive Griffiths
UK/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland Version of 2007 Compact Calendar from Bruce Marriot

Seize the days!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

V's Reminder

"You, the Timorese people, must stand up against anyone who tries to divide you on regional or ethnic lines ... Let no one deprive you of your hard-won freedom, of your right to live in security and without fear."
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. Secretary General, speaking amid violence between government troops and a breakaway faction of soldiers in East Timor's capital, Dili, that has killed at least 27 people.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

V's Discovery in DILI... traffic lights??!!

You may have noticed a sudden sprung of traffic lights all over DILI, though not operational as yet. Spent the last half an hour figuring out the reasons why, with my buddy from Turkey:

Possible reason No. 1: Busy traffic especially at traffic junction.
But we don't have crawling traffic like what we have in Bangkok, Jakarta or even in KL. OK, perhaps on some mid-afternoon where everyone is out for lunch, may be at a couple of locations. But then again what happen for the rest of the day? And who is going to obey the traffic lights late at night, when people stayed in-doors due to lack of street lights?

Possible reason No. 2: There's an increase in traffic accidents.
But where are the rest of the traffic signs? Or the lane markings between two lanes, no-stopping signs and speed limit signs? And the number of pot-holes in the middle of the road that went un-noticed, only after you went through it? Or that people just don't notice these signs and pot-holes due to lack of street lights?

Possible reason No. 3: Allow pedestrian to cross at road junctions.
But people jaywalk everywhere in the streets, despite some visible pedestrian crossing (you didn't notice that too?). Perhaps street lights will let people see where they are walking?

Possible reason No. 4: Too many roundabouts, therefore need traffic lights to control traffic at the roundabout. ??
Don't make sense right?

Possible reason No. 5: There is an increase in number of vehicles in DILI.
Really? I don't think so. Once you get those vehicles without registration plates out of the streets, the number will reduce significantly to less than half. And traffic accidents will decrease. Perhaps we need street lights to check if all the vehicles do have licence plate?

In summary, we wonder if you have ever seen a traffic light on a street without street lights?

So, we conclude that:
We need street lights, not traffic lights. And for that to happen, we need continuous supply of electricity. So when there are street lights, people are not afraid to go out, shops will be open, traffic will get busier... then maybe.... we can ask for traffic lights...

Friday, January 5, 2007

V's Song

Knew of this song four years ago. And it means a lot to me...

Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark

And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake, in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way
to show her every day
That she's my only one

And if my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

'Cause I've lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved her
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed

So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there's no second chance to tell her how I feel

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one

And if my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes...

"If Tomorrow Never Comes" – Ronan Keating

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

V's Salute

My salute to Kofi Annan - 10 years tenure as a Secretary General is no mean feat...
“It is when leaders find a way to marry necessity and interest, morality and purpose, that true progress is made.” - Kofi Annan

Below is an abstract of a leadership paper I submitted for my assignment during my Masters' programme last July , featuring Annan's undaunting task.....

Imagine you are the chief executive of a company with 191 directors, all of whom fund your organisation, all with different and conflicting interests. You are responsible for spending US$ 6.2 billion a year, but some of your directors regularly refuse to provide funds, or they delay paying them. You have 15 agencies under your wing, offices in almost every country, and 17,652 employees; 54,000 if you include associated bodies. The most important ‘director’ is extremely hostile to the organisation and has previously suggested it would be better off without the top 10 floors. Your office is on the top floor. And your mission statement is the same as a beauty queen's: world peace. Welcome to the world of Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations. This paper aims to analyse the effectiveness of Kofi Annan’s leadership using three levels of analysis of leadership theories....

V's Quote of the Day

When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package - John Ruskin