Friday, January 15, 2016

A Guide to a Meaningful Life

Upon reading articles about what makes a life of purpose and happiness, I tend to find recurring themes. People who are successful and perceived their lives as happy and meaningful were the ones who never set money, social status and fame as their life purpose. Here I have summed up the recurring characteristics I found about people who reach the end of their lives feeling that they lived a meaningful life:

1. They believe in a religion / God
2. They have close relationships with family, friends and the community
3. They have a stable marriage
4. They do what they love everyday; or better, they make it their career
5. Their daily working hours are flexible; or better they are their own boss
6. They often travel to discover new things
7. They are easy to give charity
8. They are debt-free (it is interesting to note that this  point still refers to money. But being debt-free doesn’t mean being rich. It is about living within your own means. You don’t need to be rich to be happy, but you do need to be free of debts)

It is also important to discover these things when we are still young, the earlier we set out how we want our lives to be, the higher chance that we will be successful. Once we are aware of these things, we are able to escape the ‘rat-race’ of our career and be above it. You will soon discover the false things that people think is important. The fact is, what a person thinks as important in a career, might not seem important to another. 

So if what you pursue is social recognition in career, you would most likely fail, because the one you are trying to impress is a just a small fraction of the worldwide population, whereas people outside your field wouldn't care much about your position in the company / government. What people care is how much you have touched their lives.

So I hope this serve as a simple guide and reminder to the youths, and I will end by attaching a poster of this beautiful manifesto on living a full life:

Friday, January 1, 2016

First Day of 2016, Full of Optimism!

As I am writing this, I am sitting at HBB Clinic Phnom Penh, on 1st January 2016, 3.35 PM. The weather has been very good throughout the day, clear skies, warm but windy. One side of our clinic is surrounded by water, which makes the environment around our clinic yet cooler and serene.
The clinic is much lively today, with our HBB team members, HBB clinic staffs, and 30 volunteers from 3 different universities all gathering here for a briefing followed by training session for a community survey around the clinic area tomorrow. Perhaps seeing the crowd of people at our clinic, many of the local kids also came to see what was going on, and in the end joined us at our clinic.

All of them just had lunch at our clinic this afternoon, followed by a briefing session led by my cousin who volunteered with us for the past 2 weeks. Right now the 30 of them are broken down to 5 groups, each having their training session at different parts of the clinic. Some stayed at the lunch place, some into the meeting room, some went to our consultation room.

I love to see all these students at work, and am very thankful for their hard work for HBB. As I look around the clinic, I see faces full of hope and lighted up with excitement. As I sit here writing at the consultation table as each group is having their own session, an overwhelming feeling came over me. It is the kind of feeling that I can never begin to explain. A feeling of happiness, thankfulness, peacefulness and purpose. It feels good to leverage a whole group of talented people coming from all corners of Malaysia, to come here to a piece of foreign land 2000 kilometres from home to do this house-to-house survey and medical check-up.

I know I can never capture this moment into a single picture, and the only way to do justice is to write about it.

Right from the beginning, I know I want to do this all my life. I want to spend a lifetime of service, not just doing it myself, but influencing and convincing more and more people to do the same. For all of us, HBB is not just an organization, it has a lot more to do with our personal lives. We didn't have to compartmentalize any of our life’s ambitions: family, good friends, professional passion or philanthropic mission. They all converged into a single goal. Someday when I can sustain HBB to be a full-time career, I will never again have to choose the time between family, friends, work, and charity. With HBB, it all converges into one. I guess this convergence will be my new year’s resolution…this year and years ahead

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