My Year 2015 New Year Revelations

It's that time of the year again where everyone goes on and on about their new year resolutions.

I want to hit the gym at least twice a week.
I want to ask that girl that I've always wanted to ask out, but didn't have the guts to do so.
I want to save enough money to go to Sentosa.

Come on, everyone knows nobody keeps their new year resolutions.

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Instead of setting unrealistic expectations for the coming year which we know 99% of us will not even achieve half of what was set out, why not reflect on the past year and take those experiences and new knowledge with you into the next year?


I call them my 2015 New Year Revelations.


Having gone through both pleasant and unpleasant experiences in the past year, I've come to realise that there are many lessons we can learn from all these experiences to mould us into someone better than who we were last year. And I believe we can all learn from each other's life experiences too.

So here are of some of the life lessons that I've picked up over the course of 2014.

*puts on my philosopher's suit*

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1. To gain something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.

One of the most powerful sentences that stuck with me from the very first time I heard it. It's simple science of action and reaction ladies and gentlemen. If you do the same thing everyday, you're most probably going to get the same result at the end of every day. If you are unhappy with your job, your life or your friends, bitching about it to your BFFs isn't going to change anything. You want a different result? Do something differently.



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2. Respect is to be earned, not demanded.

Just because you are currently seated higher up in the company organisation chart, or family tree or even just because you are old enough to be my parents, does not automatically mean that I have to respect you. Yes, I will be polite and nice to you, but that's because I'm polite and nice to everyone, until they get on my nerves. If you want respect, you've got to show that you are deserving of it.



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3. You can control your own appearance, but your prestige and status is something that is given to you by others.

Translated from the Chinese saying "脸是你的,面子是人家给的". Yes, you can go ahead and act flashy with your branded clothes and accessories, fancy sports cars and extravagant lifestyle, but at the end of the day, if you act like Justin Bieber a spoilt brat and have no respect for the people around you, no respectable man is going to give 2 hoots about who you are, no matter how much money you throw in their faces.



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4. Real lessons are never taught. They are learnt.

What you learn in schools are the basic academic skills. But you can never find a class that teaches real, life lessons. Because it doesn't exist. It's like trying to find a unicorn. But life has a strange way of giving us the chance to learn these lessons without ever telling us how to. So the next time that you are faced with a difficult situation or task, instead of complaining about how horrible your life is, take it up as a challenge to learn a new skill. If you can master this mentality, you'll find that life is so much more rewarding that it used to be. Which brings us to my next point...



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5. Everyone makes mistakes, even me. 

Being a perfectionist, I hate it when I make mistakes, and I am very hard on myself when I do. But not everything in this world can be done "One Times Good One". It's great that we try to minimise any mistakes and errors, but when they do happen, we have to learn to take it in our stride, learn from it, and make sure we don't repeat the same mistake again. Ever.



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6. Everyone wants to be the striker who scores the goals, but nobody really appreciates the hardwork and dedication of the defenders.

This is especially true in our unbelievably-high-standard-of-living Singapore. Money talks. Everyone brags about how much sales they managed to close for this month. But have you seen anyone from the operations or backend bragging about how many mission-critical problems they managed to solve this month? No? That's because most people see the sales and marketers as "revenue-centers", while the operations and backend staff are all "cost-centers".

But think about it, what happens if all the sales and marketing staff decided to stop coming to work? Well, the company would probably be scrambling to hire new sales and marketing staff, but at the same time, the main core business can still go on.

However, if all the operations and backend staff decided to stop coming to work, well, basically everything. would. come. to. a. standstill. The company wouldn't be able to run their business, and would probably get sued by every single customer they should be serving.

So moral of the story is that everyone should learn to see the importance and take pride in whatever job they have. Friends working the backend, be proud and sure of your contributions to the company. And for the bosses out there, please take a good look at your backend staff and make sure they are treated as equals to the "revenue-centers".



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7. The challenge is not to be able to find the right person for the job, but to find out how to get the person to do the job right.

Right time. Right place. Wrong guy. That's how fair this world usually is. It's almost impossible to find "the right person for the job". More often than not, you just make do with whatever or whoever is dumb enough to help you you have on hand.

Just like how God gave his powers to Bruce Almighty, knowing full well that he was going to screw everything up. But at the end of the day, it's not about who you give it to, but how you lead and nurture that person so that he actually ends up doing a pretty decent job.



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8. Humans learn by falling down.

Well, maybe with the exception of Justin Bieber. But you get my point. You can tell a child not to climb the tree a hundred times, but he will never listen to you. But just let him climb up once, fall down and scrape his knees, and invite him to climb up that tree again. I'm pretty sure his response will be a resounding "No!".

So don't be afraid of falling down sometimes. And don't be afraid of letting your kids/team members fall sometimes. It's the best way to learn. Take it from a kid that was over-protected for more than 20 years in his life.



I could go on and on with lots more words of wisdom taught to me by my great master, Gnahc Niloc, but since it's the new year, I'll stop at the ever auspicious 8.


I'm sure many of you out there have learnt a few life lessons and grown as a person in the past year. What are some of the words of wisdom that you can share with others? Remember, sharing is caring. Unless you're talking about Sexually Transmitted Diseases...


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