Monday, January 12, 2009

Year of the Golden Ox

Wishing all my Chinese friends and acquaintances a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Golden Ox.

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Below are some photos I took at the entrance of Sg Wang Plaza when I was there last weekend.

The golden ox is drawing the cart of prosperity towards the complex through a field of abundance.

Friday, January 9, 2009

6 Simple Strategies to Stay Happy

Email from M&Y Group (Thank you Koh Tong Seng)

It is a fact that if you want something too badly, it is likely to evade you. And this is truer for happiness than anything else. The reason why happiness seems to evade the millions of people searching for it is because they are looking in the wrong place.

Most people look for happiness "outside" themselves and not "inside". Some feel that they would be happy if they could afford a house of their own. Others feel that they just have to own all the latest gizmos to finally find happiness.

There are some who may not seek happiness in material things but they are still not looking in the right place. They feel that they would be happy if they found the right life partner or if their children loved them more. Even in such cases, these people are searching for happiness "outside" themselves.

Have you ever wondered how most infants are extremely happy almost all the time? Physical discomfort can make them cry for a while but such aspects are transient and last for only a few minutes. The reason why infants are almost always in a state of natural happiness is because they are in constant awe of nature and the world around them. Unfortunately, it is the society, parents, friends, teachers and relatives that influence them with regards to what happiness should mean.

It may be difficult to undo all the layers of perception that have formed on the mind over time. However, it is never too late to try and address the issue and train your mind to be happy. There are some tips that can help you in shedding your inhibitions and breaking away from the shackles of predefined definitions of happiness.
  • Accept yourself One of the key reasons why people are unhappy is that they do not really like or love themselves enough. It is essential that you accept yourself as what you are without any caveats and conditions to attain happiness. Don't get too critical about yourself your looks, your brains, your capabilities or your financial condition. Just learn how to love yourself as you are. You will realize that once you are comfortable with what you are, others will accept you more willingly.
  • Happiness is a state of mind It is important that you understand and appreciate that your happiness lies within. Consider this no one can make you unhappy if you have decided for sure that you will be happy in every situation. If you have made up your mind to be happy, you can always seek out the positive aspects of a situation and remain happy. Life may throw challenges at you but solutions will come faster and to you if you face them with a smile on your face.

    Prioritize your life As we grow older, the demands that various people and circumstances they lay on us increase. While on the one hand your job pressures increase, you may also feel the need to spend time with your family and children. At the same time, you may also want to enjoy life personally by doing the things that you have always wanted like going to the gym or taking off on a mountaineering trek.

    It is important that you learn how to balance the various responsibilities that you may have. If any one of these tasks becomes paramount, you are likely to ignore the others. For example, if you get extremely preoccupied with your work, you family life are likely to miss you. On the other hand, if you are too consumed with your plans for your various hobbies, your job and family are likely to suffer. You may achieve momentary happiness but neither of these situations can result in happiness in the long run.
  • Take care of your health an unhealthy body cannot be the home of a happy mind. It is important that you understand the strong link between physical health and mental happiness. If you are fit and healthy, you are likely to exude positive energy.
  • Stay in the company of happy people Ensure that you seek out people who are happy and cheerful all the time. Being in the company of people who have a habit of cribbing and criticizing is likely to divert your mind towards negative thoughts. Avoid getting into the sulk mode by choosing the company of happy people.
  • Be grateful Saying a small "thank you" for what you have can make a lot of difference. When you make it a habit to be grateful, you seek out the things that you do have. This helps you divert your mind from negative thoughts of what you do not have. This does not mean that you give up trying. On the other hand it encourages you to think of future goals and achievements in a positive manner.
Take time off to enjoy nature, life and the small things that we take for granted on a daily basis. A beautiful sunset can bring you joy, if only you would take a few minutes out of your daily schedule and look at it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

you are legend

It's within you: the answers you seek, the direction you want, and the power to be whoever you want to be. Your dreams are not yours by mere whim. They've been meticulously matched to the gifts you're now developing. Designed to lure you within, where your true power lies, and then out into the world, beyond imagined limitations and fears. Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. You have the right stuff, you know what to do, and it can all be yours.

- from Notes from the Universe (

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Money, Money, Money

I'm quite used to finding business cards for money lending services in the mail box and placed on the windshield of my car. Stickers are also pasted on lamp posts, gates and grilles of shop-houses or any surface that will accomodate such stickers. Banners and buntings are also hung all over the place to advertise such services.

So its no surprise that such a banner was hanging from a tree somewhere in Wangsa Maju. What caught me was the line at the bottom proclaiming "Specially for Muslims only". I wonder under what Islamic lending concept the loans will be lent and how will interest be charged.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Our Future: 2009 & After

This piece was posted as a note on Facebook, by my dear friend Azlan.

Analysts have commented that the current global (it's not just American)economic crisis is a direct consequence of unsustainable consumerism. Factories in China are closing down every day due to canceled orders from the US & Europe; China being the cheap 'sweatshop factory' of the world.

The solution to all this is the simple central message in THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by the Dalai Lama - fulfill your needs, not your wants.

All humans need hydration, best fulfilled by plain water - yet the doctrine of consumerism insists we purchase from a whole host of unwanted products from Coca-Cola to Lipton to Starbucks to Carlsberg to Dom Perignon.

Unless you're a baby, in which case milk is a sensible drink (even then, breast milk is free), there is no nutritional need for you to drink anything but plain water. Everything else is a want, all unwarranted by your body's needs but insisted upon consumerism.

It them comes as no surprise that post-modern man suffers a host of diseases unknown to our forefathers - we have been feeding our bodies with preservatives, food enhancers, coloring, conditioners and other gunk (all processed meat, including sausages, contain sodium nitrate).

One in four people will contact some form of cancer within their lifetime. Pancreatic cancer is the forth largest killer among cancers, yet no progress had been made towards finding a cure since the 1930s. It would not take too much funding to get this cancer licked, not too much compared to the huge amounts we spend on things we want, rather than need.

Please do a big favor to yourself and to the rest of humanity: spend a few minutes listing down the things you purchase as a result of thinking it is something you want, rather than fulfilling an actual physiological, nutritional or emotional need. Then promise yourself never to purchase them again. It may be the most profound New Year's resolution you'll ever make....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1, 2009

Google's New Year logo (above) is cute, that's why I'm re-producing it here.

To commemorate the new year, I started a new blog "Shaik's Kuala Lumpur" where it's my intention to share my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories, experiences and what-not concerning KL with others.

Do drop-by there and give your feedback on making it more interesting and enjoyable.