Lessons from a long walk

May 5, 2008

So, a couple of days ago I walked home (I stay in Tampines) from Victoria Concert Hall. More specifically, I walked from Victoria Concert Hall to the Singapore Flyer, to Kallang MRT, then along the MRT track to Bedok MRT, then through Bedok Reservoir and to Tampines and home. For those of you not from Singapore and have no idea what I’m talking about, it was a walk of slightly over 11 miles (based on Google Maps).

And well, the walk reminded me of two lessons.

Firstly, at a point during the walk (in Bedok), I made a wrong turn. I could have turned back, retraced my steps, and gone the original path. And it would have taken me just as long (or even longer). Instead, I went on, kept in mind the big picture (the rough direction I was headed), and adjusted my route accordingly. Eventually, I did make it back, and I learned more about the area because of that.The same lesson applies in life. We’re human, we’ll all make mistakes. If you’ve got the big picture in mind, if you know the general direction you’re headed, you’ll be able to readjust your plans accordingly when you do.

Secondly, and more importantly, the walk started out as just a short stroll, because I didn’t feel like going home yet. But after a while, it became a challenge, to see how far I could push myself. Honestly, I wouldn’t have expected to be able to walk all the way back home. I just wanted to see how far I could go, and in the end, I managed it.

Just goes to show that you never know how far you can go until you push your limits – and more often than not, it’s further than you’d expect.

Are you pushing your limits and stepping out of your comfort zone? Are you really going as far as you can?

Sunday Shortlist #2

Dec 9, 2007

Here’s another Sunday Shortlist, for you. 5 links for today.

Tip: Breaking Schoolhouse Habits
– Behance Articles

Behance is a great network, with some awesome articles. This is one of them. 3 habits that formal education teaches us, which in fact set us back. As the article says, “Nothing extraordinary is ever achieved through ordinary means.”

10 mistakes that changed the world – HELLO, my name is Blog

Mistakes aren’t all bad, if we learn from them and make the most of it. Scott provides us with 10 examples of that. I’m really starting to like his blog, and highly recommend that you subscribe to it. Consistently produces great articles.

HomeTips: There’s a Lot to Like – How to Change the World

Guy Kawasaki takes a look at the winner of Google’s Adsense Story Contest. Good lessons that we can all learn, including doing what you love and finding a niche for yourself.

The Age of Microcelebrity: Why Everyone’s a Little Brad Pitt – Clive Thompson from Wired Magazine

In today’s world, with the connectivity of the Internet, personal branding is more important than ever. Everything we do reflects a a message about ourselves. Clive Thompson analyzes this new trend, the age of microcelebrity. Good read.

Young Chimp Beats College Students – Wired News

Just an amusing story that caught my eye. Really goes to show that the important part of intelligence isn’t memory work. Or (if memory work really is that essential) maybe chimps really are smarter than us.

If you’ve come across an interesting page/site that you want to share, feel free to
email me or add a comment. I’ll be glad to take a look at it and share it. Self promotion is accepted as well.

Falling Down

Dec 6, 2007

This was a thought inspired by Vera’s comment in my post on snowboarding. She said “[falling is] incredibly humiliating. 🙂 But falling down doesn’t really hurt me I guess.” I think it was a great comment.

To continue with the same analogy, in snowboarding, falling down doesn’t really hurt. It’s humiliating at times. But it doesn’t really hurt. That’s the case sometimes in life as well. Falling can be humiliating. Failing can embarrass you. But sometimes, it doesn’t really hurt. And you should just get up and move on.

Of course, that’s not always the case. Take the example of skateboarding (chosen mainly because of the relation to snowboarding). When you skateboard, you aren’t on snow. You’re on wood or concrete. Falling on concrete or wood hurts. That’s why you learn how to fall when you learn skateboarding. It minimizes injuries.

Two tips on how to fall (from the National Safety Council):

  • If you fall, try to roll rather than absorb the force with your arms.
  • Even though it may be difficult during a fall, try to relax your body, rather than go stiff.

The best way to fall is to go with it. And the same applies in whatever you do. You are going to fail sometimes. And if you try to force the issue, if you insist that you didn’t make a mistake and steadfastly try to continue what you’re doing, it’ll hurt you more in the long run. The best thing to do about it is to just relax, and let it happen. Then get up, and move on.

How do you react when you fall?