Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yes, No, Silence

Just some thoughts coming across my mind, sometimes when we ask people something, its difficult to get a 'Yes'. Indeed, it would be fair to give them a chance to think about it, consider it, sleep over it and then only make their decisions.

However, I find that especially in Asian culture, it is very difficult to reject or say no to someone. Sometimes, especially when its from someone you know well, it is really hard to turn it down (whatever it is, favor, request etc). 

Thus, through my experience what happens is mostly silence. In my opinion, this can sometimes lead to further frustration and misunderstanding. Of course, we don't immediately say no, usually we always say 'see first'. But it is important to bear in mind that the other party is waiting for an answer.

Honestly, having no answer and waiting is really tiring as there is uncertainty. In my opinion, perhaps we can say no. In business, sometimes they won't give you a reason, like 'we don't need your products/services anymore'. Well, I feel if we wish to improve and gain feedback, we could perhaps find out the reason. For some websites, when I wanted to delete my account, they do ask me to fill in some reasons or select from the options given.

Bottom line is I think getting a No is better than silence. Just my two cents, when we don't know what the other party's decision or action is, we can't plan and do not know what to expect or prepare for. 

To ensure the best decision is made, don't say no right away, think it through, but be sure to provide an answer if the person approaches you later on. The key is two way communication, and if we perhaps say No, at least the person knows and can move on knowing we do not need the product/service.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dealing with depression

Are you feeling down and everything around you seems to be anything but making your life better? Perhaps someone you have trusted all the while has just betrayed it, leaving you dumbfounded why such a misfortune should happen. Critical events that may not be so pleasant are some causes that lead to depression.

What actually is depression? It is basically a mental state where a person is extremely pessimistic about life, and this leads on to affecting physical and emotional health. Our mind controls our body. Thus, when one loses all hope in life the impact will spillover to the overall wellbeing and people around us. It is really more than feeling disappointed, angry or sad. It is so severe that we are not able to control our emotions or the problem is simply ringing in our head all day long. 

Some telltale signs of depression include isolating oneself from society, getting frustrated or irritated for no reason, constant crying and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, it may lead to attempts of suicide.

Depression is not a disease, and you are not along if you are in this situation. The environment around us commonly becomes a cause, as it is difficult to face tough situations alone. Therefore, seek the counsel of more experienced or older people if you find it difficult to handle a problem. Besides, two heads are better than one. 

It is true that some things are better left unsaid. However, if a specific issue is really really bugging you, do not hesitate to settle the problem. Do it in an amicable manner, discuss and  using physical force (fighting, beating etc) is not encourage as it will aggravate the situation. If the other party refuses to settle it or simply ignore that you have a problem with it, nothing much can be done except to cut ties and have no dealings. Painful decision, but better than harming yourself.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Bullying is a very common activity among all ages. It starts as early as childhood and can even extend till adult stage. Bullying can happen both mentally and physically. In cases of mild bullying, the person could be joked about and in severe cases it could end up with beating or even life threats. In simple terms, bullying means picking on someone for several reasons like weight, sex, race, social strata and so forth.

In my opinion, bullying can happen for no reason. Sometimes, the victim is not at fault at all. Rather, the bully has an attitude problem. He or she might be suffering from neglect or abuse at home. In turn, they vent it out on others as they have no room to express themselves elsewhere.

What happens if you feel you are bullied? Don't stop there or keep it to yourself. Make sure you tell your parents or your trusted relatives and friends. In mild cases, they would go away like in cases in school sometimes. However, if the bullying persists, it must be stopped to avoid any serious problems which could affect the person's life negatively. Remember that everyone deserves to be treated right, and no one is made to be bullied.

If you are a bully, stop it! Don't let out your own anger or your insecurity on others. You have no right to do so, and remember you can ruin your own life and of others. This is because bullying is closely related to other activities, like gangsterism, extortion, stealing and drugs.

We all have one life, live it to the fullest and make someone else's life better instead of trying to pick on weaker people.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No Plastic Bag Day-Is it really working?

The new trend now is for businesses to go green, or at least participate and support in campaigns to be environmentally friendly. One common campaign is the No Plastic Bag Day. Yes, it is undeniable that plastics are generally not biodegradable, and throwing them all around may cause environmental problems. However, I must say that it is still impossible to go without plastic bags. Simple reason, without them, how to throw rubbish? It'll be so messy to just dump the trash in a bin without a bag-probably worse health hazards due to unhygienic  conditions.

It is very common in Western countries for people to bring their own shopping bags. But in Malaysia, I observe that many people are still used to getting plastic bags as we may not remember to bring along a shopping bag all the time. In Taiwan, no plastic bags are given at all, but they are fair too as you only need to pay about 10 cents to get a plastic bag.

I went to a mall in Kuching, and they have this no plastic bag day three times a week. However, from my observations, many people did not remember at all or they probably seldom visit that place. The customers who went to the cashier all did not have shopping bags. When you pay at the counter, there won't be any plastic bags and you'll have to buy the 'environmental' bag if you have a few items. I'm not sure how much it costs but at least a few RM.

I saw this family that bought one whole trolley of things, imagine how many environmental bags they would have to purchase to carry the stuff. It's ridiculous. Instead of giving any plastic bags, the family had to wheel the trolley out and search for some boxes to put in their stuff.

Well, I know various business organizations have to appear to go green but being practical is obviously important too. If I were that family and it was my first time, I don't think I would return. In my opinion, companies have to learn to bend the rules to retain customer satisfaction. After buying so much stuff, can't they be given at least some bags? Though its No Plastic Bag Day, consider the practical side of how customers would view your company. If companies stick to hard and fast rules, they are certainly losing sight of their most important priority, that is customers. Every experience counts, and once customers have an unpleasant situation, they will leave and not only that, they will tell others too.

I believe plastics are still an indispensable material in life. We can be careful on our use of plastic, like recycling the plastic bags for other things, and disposing them off appropriately. I think that this works better than supermarkets depriving customers of plastic bags. Even if none are given, sell them at a price that does not penalize customers, like Taiwan-10 cents.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Gamble of life

A few weeks ago, a scene at one of those typical gambling premises caught my eye. It wasn't a long queue of people waiting for their lucky number, nor someone screaming for joy for striking the jackpot. Sadly, a man was kneeling on the floor, bowing his head constantly like someone begging for pardon, on a mat, which I presume was begging for money. No other reason crossed my mind that a reasonable person would be in such a state. Why in the gambling premises? I never know the real reason but one of the possibilities is that he's indulged all his money in gambling. 

Personally, I do not believe in this activity, but one thing for sure is that gambling eats away your money bit by bit. Its just a few dollars, but day by day it builds up and one may start to put in more and more cash if they believe they might just be lucky that day. Addiction to gambling is of no surprise, especially if someone they know of has managed to win something. The temptation to continue is very strong, cause they keep hoping one day "it'll be my turn too". 

Gambling may be thrilling for the player, but this activity may have negative effects on life:

1. Money problems
2. Emotional problems
3. Physical abuse on family
4. Burnout for family members earning income
5. Try to gain money illegally-stealing, extortion
6. Miserable life due to so much uncertainty and loss of direction

Of course, some lucky people may get some big bucks through gambling at the casinos or hitting the jackpot when it's their lucky number. Nevertheless, the odds of losing is very high. If not, all the gambling companies would be out of business. Just a personal opinion here =)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I am stressed, this is my self tutorial

This is a note to myself, since its a stressful period and I can't seem to concentrate at times.

1. Calm down
Never, never panic. It's the last thing to do to ever get out of a problem. Stay cool, and work things out slowly. Everything has a solution

2. Analyse
Whenever something happens and you get really angry, it may not be due to the current issue. It is probably because of a past experience and as history repeats, it triggers off anger. Human beings do not forget events of the past easily, and sub-consciously we get reminded automatically if the same situation occurs. Sit back and think what has caused such anger.

3. Never pull yourself down
This is the biggest mistake-self-condemnation. What will people think of me? What if it doesn't work? What if I look so silly? All these fears only aggravate stress. If you're not sure of something, ask your family or if its to do with work, check out the opinions of your group members and lecturers. Then, put in your best, and never blame yourself or anyone else. Tell yourself that it can be done, no matter how hard it is.

4. Stop worrying
Worrying is also a major contributor to stress. It is such irony that worry takes a toll on people when it does not even help at all. The truth is, worry really is unavoidable but it can be managed. When there's an issue or problem, stop worrying and instead think carefully about it, then step into action. And don't worry what happens after that, if we've made a mistake, admit it and move on.

I guess everyone has their own ways to manage stress and worry. Handle everything one by one, and kick stress 100 miles away.

Break time

I find that taking a break by looking through photos or pictures of sceneries and nature is quite relaxing, thought I'll post some here :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

SMS kills

Although it's just a movie, the message it is trying to get across is the danger of using sms while driving. No matter how professional one is at the wheel, we may get away many times but texting while driving can be fatal. It is undeniable that it is difficult to concentrate on the phone and the road at the same time. It endangers both our lives and  of others too. Think before you act, it can save yourself unnecessary heartbreaks =)

A brand new week!

The weekend for me, has really passed too quickly. Before I know it, it's Monday already, time to get back to work. Despite the stress and busyness, it's not so bad after all by making the best out of everything. Besides, being busy is better than letting the mind be idle and unproductive. Some ways to get through a hectic week while staying happy are:

1. Get organized

Planning your schedule of all the things you need to get done is important. It will save you a lot of hassle of forgetting to settle whatever needs to be done, and also allows you to plan out your time accordingly. With technology, keeping track of our schedules is so much easier- we can just set alerts or save our schedules in our laptops or cellphones. Whatever method is being used, keeping track of what needs to be done can help avoid missing out important details or deadlines.Also, reduces the probability of panicking and rushing since you've got it all jotted down somewhere.

2. Eat proper meals

No matter how busy you are, eating 3 proper meals a day is vital to prevent ourselves from falling sick.If we keep working, and only eat snacks or junk food, our body will not have enough nutrition, we'll get tired and may incur risks of falling sick. Once we get tired or sick, we won't be able to complete what we need to do efficiently. Thus, ensuring intake of proper meals is extremely vital. If you're too busy to cook on weekdays, you can stock up your food and cook extra on weekends instead of eating fast food everyday-pretty unhealthy. 

3. Get sufficient rest

Getting enough sleep is vital to get you through the week. Some studies say that adults should get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep. I think these figures are quite true, as sleeping for about 5 hours can make us feel really tired the next day. Honestly, if there's something on the following day, I won't feel tired at 
all but at the end of the day, I'll be flat. Of course, it holds true that if we get used to sleeping for shorter hours, there is no problem at all. However, it may not be too good in the long run since we're overworking the body and depriving it from sufficient rest.

4. Stay positive

Life is not a bed of roses-sometimes things that we've planned may not go as we have hoped for. Staying focused and objective is important even in times of failure in order not to lose sight of our goals in life. Even if things go wrong, take it positive as a stepping stone to achieving something better by learning from our mistakes. Do not ever belittle yourself, but be motivated that you have the ability to move on instead of dwelling on past mistakes. In addition, what people say about us usually have a large impact. Take in whatever you feel is constructive, throw out whatever that will only hurt or harm yourself. 

I hope that everyone has a great week ahead =)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ways to relieve stress!

Are you feeling like this now?


Maybe even like this?

Especially for those who are studying, I think this period is really hectic as assignments, tests and other matters are running on full gear. Every week seems to pass in a blink of an eye. One thing for sure, is the deadlines don't change. Hence, the only way is for us to change and manage time in order to finish up stuff on time. Nevertheless, taking a break is good to give the mind a break once in a while. In fact, you can probably think better and have more motivation or ideas after a relaxing time. Some simple ways to chill out:

1. Sleep!
If you're trying to crack your head for ideas, or solving a complex problem and feeling too tired to do anything- don't force yourself. Shut down whatever you're doing, and head for a good rest, even if it's only for half an hour or so. Sleeping actually helps to relax your mind, shuts you out from reality, and you're feel much better and ready to work after that.

2. Sports
Going for games, a workout at the gym or the park can help boost energy level while keeping healthy at the same time. Simple reason is that exercise increases blood flow to our brain and keep us feeling fresher and more energetic. Better still, exercise can help you sleep better at night. If you're really stressed out, sports is a good channel to release all that pressure in a good way.

3. Entertainment
If you feel you can't concentrate any longer, watch some movies or even some humorous videos on Youtube. For me, this Japanese game show is really funny and you get to have a good laugh plus clean fun. If staying at home is too boring, hang out at the mall or any other place you're comfortable with. The whole idea is to let your mind divert away from all the work for a while. Our brains are not machines, they need a break too :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

A new start

I've finally decided to switch over to a domain name, since the address is really more suitable with my blog title :) The website, Daily Living Guide will feature a variety of posts in areas such as travel, finance, food and how-to articles. I'll love to write and research about other areas too, you are welcome to leave a comment if you'll like me to write about certain topics. Basically, I write about my daily observations and opinions on current issues, and interesting events I have gone through.Thanks and keep reading :)

Attractions in Toronto -Part Two

Toronto is not only for outdoor lovers but indoor lovers too. It does not offer you to breath in the fresh air at the parks and garden but walk in those magnificent buildings too. To enjoy both nature and blocks, all you need to do is to look out for cheap flights to Toronto. If you're working, you can try going during off-peak seasons and perhaps you could get a good bargain. 

You can never miss the biggest natural history museum in Canada, the multidisciplinary Royal Ontario Museum when you visit to Toronto. Many people find the main building which involves a magnificent explosion of architectural crystals on Bloor St fascinating. It houses many new galleries including the new Renaissance ROM building. The ROM’s collections of natural science, ancient civilization and at exhibits are worth a visit to the museum. Some of the best collections in the world such as the Chinese temple sculptures, Gallery of Korean Art and costumes, textile collections and others. There are even dinosaur rooms, Egyptian mummies and Jamaican bat cave replica to serve the kids’ curiosity. After visiting the largest natural history museum in Canada, let’s pay a visit to another museum, Bata Shoe Museum. It is designed by well known architect, Raymond Moriyama to resemble a shoebox. Over 10000 pedi-artifacts which are collected by Sonja Bata of Canada’s famous Bata shoe family all over the world are displayed in the museum. Guided group tours can also be reserved.     

CN Tower has reached 34 in this year. Nevertheless, it is still cool and iconic as it was when it established in 1976. The main function of the tower is to act as a radio and TV communication tower. One thing about visiting the tower is its expensive fee. However, riding the great glass elevators all the way up the highest freestanding structure of 553 meters in the world is one of the experiences you need to have. The views from the observation deck are definitely astonishing. Of cause, it is only limited to clear day. For the adventure lovers, take a try on the knee-trembling glass floor deck or continue climbing an extra 101 meters to the top most sky pod viewing area. If you are a high spirited person, you may join the annual CN Tower Stair Climb which holds every October.

Have you heard of Elgin & Winter Garden Theater Centre? This stunning theater was built in 1913 is the world’s last operating double-decker theatre. The upstairs, Winter Garden was built as the flagship for a vaudeville chain whereas the downstairs, Elgin theatre was converted into a movie house later on in 1920s.  The restoration in 1981 took around 29 million dollars where bread dough was used to uncover the original rose garden frescoes, beautiful foliage hanging from the Winter Garden ceiling was replaced. The restoration was done diligently by craftsmen. Public tours run by passionate volunteers are absolutely worth every penny.

Since there are so many magnificent buildings in Toronto, why not take a holiday to Toronto? Visit every corner in Toronto to ensure your holidays are worth beyond the price of flight tickets.   

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Attractions in Toronto -Part One

Standing in the middle of greenery, lying on a bed of carpet grass, chasing over a flock of birds… If you have been dreaming of merging yourself with the nature, flights to Toronto are easily available. Once you are there, all the hectic bumble bee lifestyle will be forgotten as though you have always been living in the leisurely Toronto.

Tommy Thompson Park is a 5 kilometers long man made peninsula between the Harbourfront and the Beaches. This park, one of the world’s largest nesting places for ring-billed gulls was constructed from Outer Harbour dredging and fills from downtown architecture sites. The world population of ring-billed gulls is declining from year to year. So, a sight of ring-billed gulls is definitely worth the flight ticket to Toronto. Other than ring-billed gulls, you too can capture black-crowned night heron, turtles, owls, foxes and even coyotes in their habitats. As I mentioned, these animals are living in their habitats, therefore, vehicles and pets are prohibited to prevent any disturbance on the ecosystem at Tommy Thompson Park. Meanwhile, you may walk to the lighthouse located at the end of the park to enjoy some awesome city view.     

Julie Moir together with the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma designed the sculpted Toronto Music Garden. The landscape is portraying a treble clef shaped pathway through grassland and a grass-stepped amphitheater by an arc shaped thicket of conifers. The amphitheater is not solely for magnificent view but it is used to hold free concerts in the evening. There are many gardens in Toronto. Toronto Music Garden is only one of them. After visiting the delightful Toronto Music Garden, you have to take a look at Toronto’s biggest garden, High Park. Won’t it be a waste to visit gardens which are all about the same with the trees and flowers around? You are absolutely wrong if you are thinking that way. It has a different theme from Toronto Music Garden. High Park is fully accommodated with tennis courts and outdoor swimming pool. It is a perfect spot for family outing. You can cycle around with your kids and have a good tennis match with them. High Park is also a right spot for couples. You can have a romantic picnic at the park while watching the sunset with your loved one. You will experience something different if you visit High Park in winter that is you are allowed to ice skate on the Grenadier Pond! 

St Lawrence market has been a neighborhood meeting place for over two centuries. There are more than 50 specialty food stalls such as cheese vendors, fishmongers, butchers, bakers and pasta makers. What is the point of visiting a market? By visiting St Lawrence market, you can experience the spirit of the neighborhood as well as the soul of Toronto. Listening to yelling of prices in silly native voices, watching lots of action come with the yelling and sandwiching among the people allowing you to be a Torontonian temporarily.

Nature lovers and city life escapists, take a flight to Toronto during your annual leave :) With all the nature and outdoor, parks and gardens as well as markets in Toronto, you are guaranteed with remarkable holidays.  

Do check these out too :)

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