Adjectives of life

Dear Boys,

We live a literate life. We study and learn language for the purpose of helping us communicate.More importantly, it is about the communication we have with ourselves.

We are the main ‘subject’ of our lives, it is all about, me, myself and I.

So the ‘verb’ part is the doing. We ‘do’ all the time. even when we are doing nothing, we are still ‘doing’ nothing.

These are the basic, you cannot, not exist, and you cannot not do.

That brings us to the description of the doing, the Adjectives.

Look at it this way, boys, let’s take an example:

I write.

I write terribly

I write slowly

I write beautifully

I write with great anger

I write by the ocean

I write forever

You see, the adjectives, or adverb phrase describes the action. All of our lives are described by our choice of adjectives. So you need to know the adjectives to use in life. Good, constructive adjectives frames your thoughts and attitudes. Destructive and self-depreciating adjectives, dis-empowers you, robs you of positive vibes.

So it is not just about the doing, the verb. But it is also about how you describe the doing. That will determine if your doing is going to be fabulous or your doing will be sub-par.

Communicate with yourself, using the best choice of adjectives, the most empowering adverb phrase. and you’ll see more value n your doing, and purpose in your doing.

Adjectives will help you reach goals and make the abstract, material. Learn and make the best adjectives out there, your best friend.

Finders Keeper

“Mummy! Papa found a two dollar!”

“Mummy! Papa found a two dollar!”

Ian bellowed across the supermarket aisle at the frozen section.

Dear Ian,

Sometimes it is not the best way to tell people about your serendipitous wealth.

The Law of Finder’s Keepers.

Your mum told me about something like this when she was about 5, your little brother’s age. She was with her mum, on a Sunday going to the market, her mum was walking in front, when your mum was blocked by a $50 note lying on the ground in front of her.

She too shouted for her mum. This time she said: “There’s a $50 on the ground!” repeatedly, whilst her mum was gesturing repeatedly at her to pick it up and shut her gap.

She did, pick up the wet note and her mum took it away from her.

That was her.

For us, I saw the lonely $2 on the floor, unbelievably, no one saw it, and it is not as if the aisle is vacated. I walked a pick it up and kept it, of course. But not without Ian telling the whole world your dad’s keeps.

Well, boys, it isn;t the easiest thing to do as to explain the law of such finds. I mean, what is someone walks up and say, hey that is my $2! What can I say? What can you say?

This is one of life’s grey area, there is no right no wrong to it, but you cannot simply just leave the $2 buck on the floor! If you don;t pick it up, someone else would and guess what, finders keepers!

Knowing your failures

Dear Boys,

You will become aware and learn about this great man Thomas Edison. He is the person who ‘invented’ the light bulb (although the details to that remained arguable) (

More importantly, I want to bring to your attention, the number of times he attempted before he was successful in his invention. He was famously reported to have ‘failed’ 1,000 times. Of course we can did the truth and historical about that; that wasn’t my point. I’m not going to blog into a ‘success story’ thing. You boys are going to get a lot of that on your way growing up.

What is more important is Mr Edison’s ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Let’s be frank about it, how many people can go around with a record of 1,000 attempts? The point is, Mr Edison, makes an accurate records of his attempts failures, tries and tribunals. He is clear, lucid and very specific about his work. In his try, trying, and tried, he never lost sight of where he is going and where he will end up.

How many of us, document our failures? We all want to document our success! Failures, attempts and tribunals are like the dark, little ugly siblings we don’t want people to see, much less document them, and talk about it. But Mr Edison, uses that as his source of motivation. He documents them, counts them. (I’m very sure he did, otherwise how he is famous for the 1,000 failures? why not 2,000? 2,314?)

He counts them, because every mistakes counts, and contributes to his success. We all need to count our misses as much as we count our hits. perhaps more so! Because most of our lives will be filled with misses, not hits. How we get our hits, will depends on our attitude when we miss.

And we need to remember how we miss, so that we find a new way to get the hit. I don’t think Mr Edison will subscribe to the mantra ‘don’t make the same mistake twice’, because simply, no 2 mistakes are the same, they may look the same, but they are not, and Mr Edison, knows that, and makes that differences. At any given space and time, nothing stays the same and happens the again at the same spot and circumstances.

I’m also quite sure, that Mr Edison, analyse his mistakes and argues that they are not the same! And even if the mistakes looks apparently ‘similar’, his learning from the first mistake will implanted him with an experience that will change the way he looked at the second mistake. and  he builds on that, the third, the fourth, and so on.

He also knows when he has succeeded. The final product of a light bulb, could, of course, be improved, could be another mistake, he could have gotten so addicted to counting he mistakes, he failed (pun intended) to see his success when it comes knocking on his door. He didn’t

He know very clearly his Eureka moment, that ‘A-ha!’ and ‘I got it!’ and stops his count. At 1,000. Well, perhaps, it was 1,300. perhaps it was 1,050. The media gloss over the details, but the we get the drift, I hope you boys gets the drift too. Knowing our failures will be the single most important fulcrum in our ascend to success. Our failures counts as much as our success, Mr Edison is a testament of that formula.


Loss for words

Dear boys,

For a user of WordPress, it seems terribly embarrassing for me to admit that I can run out of words for this blog.

It happens, as in this case I was ‘away’ from my this blog for about 2 months.

There is plenty to write, the antics and behaviours you two do on a day to day basis leaves me with plenty of experiences, as a father, as a parent, as a man, as a human being. It is just that the words didn’t find my fingers.

But I have to continue and tell you boys about things that is happening and let you boys know about the things that has happened from your dad’s view and continue to hope that it can make a difference when the both of you becomes an adult and a father, a parent in the near future.

Be Victorious

Dear Boys,

Your dad is not a competitive person, there is no medals at home to boast about your dad’s winning. I’m just average, competitive yes, but not to a level where I am first, second or third.

I’ve never find a need to do that, frankly, because there is no value I can associated with a piece of metal hanging around your neck. if you lose everyone makes a big deal. My ego is frail, perhaps, I’m not a brave person.

Well, whatever it is, you must, as a human being, be victorious. This is more important than winning. When you compete, there is only two outcome, you either win or lose. But victory is another thing altogether. You can lose and still be victorious.


As long as you measure you against your greatest enemy; you. Whatever you do, do you best and measure it against yourself. The other guy just happened to be there. And if the other guy happens to be better than you, well, that is where he wins. But if he wins and he remains unsatisfied, he will not feel victorious.

Similarly, if you fight a good fight, you did your baddest best, and you prepared, came prepared for all contingencies, and yet you still fail, you still lose, then walk away learned, but never feel that you have been defeated, because there is always an element out there that you cannot factor in. That is Murphy’s Law. The more you go out there and fight, and compete, the more you will get ot know about Murphy’s Law and the more you know about Murphy’s Law, the better prepared you will be, in experience and in skill. So you will be victorious, as long as you tried your best, winning is a by-product of a well prepared, well executed game plan. if you lose, don’t lose that victor’s attitude. If you can do that even in defeat, then you have already won.

We are your memory

Dear boys,

We are your memory, period. We remember things for you long before you can remember them, which is what parents and grand parents are for.

There will be events too young for you to remember, situations, and embarrassing moments caught in memory. Things you did unwittingly and wittingly! Those ‘candid camera’ moments.

Sure there are cameras, and video cameras to help along with that. we can see the pictures and watch the videos, but who is the one who add some context to the pictures? And give more than the sights and sounds?

Parents and grandparents tell stories about you and the deeds done, more than that we tell you stories about our struggles and pains, the trials and tribunals of our lives, we give you our ‘been there, done that’ epiphany so that you can have some perspective. Not every challenges you faced are new, and sometimes in our stories, we are able to share our solutions and how we handled our lives’ difficulties.

Life is more than reinventing the wheel. We are telling stories for your memories, so that you can see while you may have encountered some new developments in your lives, nothing in life is really ‘new’. The ‘new’ in this equation is perhaps your input into your situation, your action and decisions, to an age old problem.

Our stories are like recipes, some bake wonderful cakes, and some are for disasters. Sure you can get the recipes easily (during my time, we “Google” what we want to find out, you grand parents’ time, the good old brick and mortar library, perhaps?), information is everywhere. but who is to give you the experience? Our Recipes gives you the taste, the experience of texture, timing. You’ll need to see the level of the creaminess of the cake batter, the colour of the rise,  how long you let the cake set. we know and we know how to work the recipes.

And we are your walking dictionary and encyclopedia of life, we have baked, we have danced, we have failed, we have triumphed , we have lost, we have gained, we have loved, and hated, we have all been there, and now we will bring all that in a wonderful, versatile package of information, ready for your access.

So use us, we are the memory of a life you didn’t remember, those memories will give you life context, help you make sense of who you are, and how the world was like before you are more, we are you link to your past. Talk to us and learn, miss that and you’ll miss the past you have but never knew.

Penmanship is not Handwriting!

Penmanship BookDear Ian,

When I bought this book for you, I was hoping that with practice, you can write better.

Frankly speaking, your handwriting is terrible!

Yes, we are at the digital age, we type, we ‘QWERTY’ a hell lot. and in fact, academics and other experts who is bothered with handwriting, is bothered that the quality of our handwriting is deteriorating! In short, penmanship is a dying art!

Here is one dad, trying in vain to stem that trend, well at least my 2 kids.

Penmanship is important. It is you.

Like what I told you last evening, Your attitude towards this book is that of ‘handwriting’, you are aiming for the mirage of perfection. What I saw was you, copying letter for letter. I don’t see a practice of writing, I see an attempt, a lousy attempt by a human boy to do a computer’s job. There was almost e-q-u-a-l spacing between the letters, there is no word, there are letters.

What I want is ‘PENMANSHIP’ not handwriting, what I want is writing, not copying letter for letter. what I want is READING, reading the phrases and transferring them into the book.

Writing as I mentioned, has everything to do with reading. you cannot read properly, you cannot write properly, period. You read it wrongly, you’ll for sure, write it wrongly!

So please, I hope by the time you read this, your penmanship is at least up to speed and in decent character and dignity. And you can read this post, in retrospective, in amusement.