Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Passion vs Commitment

My husband said he wants to start up a blog titled "The Adventures of My Wife, The Pig."

I've been overeating again, and this time, I seem to have surpassed his highest expectations. Although he pretends to be shocked, I know he's actually proud of my piggy achievements. But just to rub it in and give him a rash of goosebumps, I went on and on about how nice it is that he is so proud of me. And asked him what else is he proud of me for?

To my surprise, he took me seriously and said he's proud of my mindset towards work, and my passion to reach out and make a difference to people, and my commitment to 95%.

That shut me up for a moment. I had to deal with my own goosebumps!

Funny, it was only recently that I was sharing my views on passion vs commitment.

What I believe is that it is easy to be committed when the passion is strong, and I am loving what I do. So giving my all to 95% is mostly a joy. Even when I am exhausted. Actually, I think in the past 3 years, I have only had one brief spell of dreading to come to work. It requires very little effort to do what I do. It is easy, it is natural, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

Now, I don't call this commitment. Or rather, my commitment isn't being called for yet.

I think that commitment is called for only when passion fades. Passion provides energy. Commitment is what keeps you going when you have no energy left, when you'd much rather be doing something else. Commitment is keeping your word, even when your body, mind and heart is crying out for you to run away and lead an easier life.

This is what I have seen Sonny doing. At his previous job, and now again at his current one. He goes in with a purpose, and no matter how tough it becomes, no matter how tired he gets, or how much he dislikes doing what he does, he will see it through. He will not leave until he has fulfilled his word and turned the place around. Now that is what I call commitment. That is what I admire and respect.

I think it is the same with relationships too. When passion is strong, no problem. But when life kicks in, that's when commitment is called for. It takes commitment to remain open when you'd rather shut down, to be accessible when you'd rather be left alone, to listen and empathise when you'd rather be blaming and judgemental.

Actually I see this quality in many people around me: my brother Ken and his wife Wati of course, and Mom & Dad who will be celebrating their 60th anniversary soon. And also my dearest friends and colleagues Peter and Shahnaz - we've been through rough times and still going strong!

Whether it is at work, or in relationships and friendships, I'm glad I have people to show me what commitment truly is.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My first Cannes!

The ad that Norman and team at Dentsu Msia created for 95% was just awarded Finalist for the Press Section of Cannes. Wow, no metal also nevermind, this is a first for me. Also first time winning an award as the client!
And it's even sweeter cos it was the work of my graduate...yay-yay!

Click on the title to view results. Here's the ad they created.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Be still... and see butterflies

This was a rare Sunday where I was absolutely free. No workshop, no training, no appointments. Just me and one whole day in which I can do anything at all.

I decided to take our new puppy Magnolia down to run around in the garden. She's been sick and we've been keeping upstairs on the balcony. Now that she's recovered, she's so frisky and needs to run.

So we went down and I saw Dad sunbathing. Must be his mat-salleh blood! I sat next to him while Magnolia ran and ran laps around the garden. Bandit (who is now unwell) was hiding under a car, totally ignoring the boisterous youngster.

I woke up with a bad headache - been hurting for the past few days. But after some time in the sun, it faded away. And dad said his skin problem also fades if he spends time in the sun. Then we moaned about how we spend too much time in air-conditioned places and not enough time doing things in the sun.

After a while, he went up. I stayed down to allow Magnolia to get familiar with the garden - no way is she going to be an in-house dog.

The longer I sat, the more I noticed. At first, I was so aware of my sweat, the mosquitoes, the bugs buzzing around me, sticking to my sweaty skin.

Then as I sat there too lazy to move, I started to notice the butterflies planting kisses on flowers. As my eyes followed their flight, I saw red dragonflies, three of them, hovering above the fish pond. A movement on the grass caught my eye - I turned and saw two mynah birds walking and plucking goodness knows what from the grass. Then farther away, a small brown squirrel jumped down from a tree branch and scampered past.

It was a moment of perfect peace, where I was in perfect harmony with nature.

As I write this, a pigeon just fluttered by, and John Lennon's 'Imagine' just came on over the Astro Nostalgia channel mom was listening to upstairs. What a beautiful Sunday...

There is something so magical, so incredibly soothing and uplifting to just sit still... and allow my eyes to flit with a butterfly. Or follow a bird. Oh the squirrel just made a brief appearance. And Magnolia has followed Bandit's example and gone to snooze under a car.

I remember in training, we always say that when you're going through a tough time with inner conflict and lots of noises in your head (big time mm!), just focus out. Focus on people and the world around you. Look for the beauty and appreciate it in your surroundings.

This morning I realised that when I focussed on the butterflies, I forgot about the sweat, the bugs and mosquitoes. They're still there but I'm not fretting cos I'm so caught up in the joyful flight of butterflies.

I remember my teachers saying "wherever your attention goes, energy follows" So if I am focussed on my sweat and the bugs, I energise and magnify the discomfort. But when I pay attention to the butterflies, I energise the beauty and godliness of the world around me. My own discomfort fades from lack of energy. Beautiful ...

Happy Sunday to you, and may you focus on the 'butterflies' around you all day!