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Truly a World of Color

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

– Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

I love the above quote by Mark Twain. To me, it is the true goal of travel – by discovering new lands and new cultures with open hearts, one can acquire new perspectives of the world, understand and see things differently and therefore, increasing one’s acceptance towards men from other backgrounds and diminish misunderstandings amongst cultures.

We are entering a new year. Before you do that, try reflect on the past year – what have been the greatest and worst events and I think most importantly, what are your most grateful for.

2013 has been an amazing year for me. It has probably brought me to more people from so many different backgrounds than any one time in my life, which really boosted my love for travelling.

It was not just an eye-opening experience but also humble and prejudice-killing, which as I said before is the true goal of travel.

It made me come to realise that the perception of one place is really shaped by how the local people are – everyone who lives in that place is responsible for the reputation of that place regardless of how that place looks like, beautiful or not so beautiful. In a sense, we are responsible for the perception of the place we live in.

For 2013, I am truly grateful for these people from all these different places whom I had met along the way for sharing their lives, experiences and knowledges with me.

Make it one of your goals for the next trip – to really connect with someone local, no matter how you think of them (funny, snobby, kind, dirty, lazy, ungrateful, etc), listen to them, see the world through their eyes and you just might see beyond what is presented superficially.

With so many different people, the world is truly a World of Color.

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Back to Basics

It has been over a year…

I have seen, heard and learned about creativity and I am still learning about creativity non-stop.

At this point, I have decided to stop and think what this is all about – what is creativity?

Let’s go a little back in time. Creativity used to be associated with industries such as Fashion, Art, Music, Movies, etc. Creativity has, in the past, mainly associated with industries which are aesthetic. This can be observed directly on their products.

Not until recently, when current business environment allows even start-ups to conquer large corporations and when large corporations such as Apple which have efficiently and effectively practiced innovation into their business model, that creativity has been seen in a new light. It is suddenly a thing of importance. Never has it ever been that the creativity of a company can determine its fortunes.

Creativity is power.

Is creativity a kind of philosophy? I’m sure there are philosophers out there who write about creative philosophy.
Is creativity a way of life? It certain does for a lot of people.
Is creativity a happiness? I certainly think so.

Having read books and observed people from all walks of life practicing creativity, I strongly believe creativity is not a skill possessed by a certain type of people. Creativity is an ability ingrained in all human beings.

Creativity is even spiritual – that is I think why some people found happiness in it. It is, to some, a way of discovering themselves. I think no one explains this better than Napoleon Hill, author of his widely popular book, Think and Grow Rich, which I think everyone should read. It’s a book of more than 70 years old but the principles still apply.

“It [your imaginative faculty] can be revived and made alert through use…The faculty of creative imagination is the direct link between finite mind of humans and Infinite Intelligence.”

Whoever you are, you have creativity – you just need to find it in you.

What is your way of creativity?

Perception

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
– William Shakespeare

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, which I believe is the most popular maritime disaster of our history. Therefore I am going to honour this by writing something about the Titanic today.

First of all, I believe we could all use a minute of silence to honour those who did not make it through the disaster……and the perish of a wonderfully built ship……

For the most part of how Titanic became so popular during our time is because of the famous Titanic film, directed by the acclaimed director, James Cameron. The film was nominated for a record of 14 Academy Awards, winning a total of 11 Academy Awards including Best Pictures and Best Director.

The sinking of a ship, I think, to everyone is never a good thing. It’s at best some form of material loss and at worst, the loss of lives. And in the case of Titanic, lives of many were loss. It is sad. And to those who had survived the disaster, it was scary and an experience that they will not forget easily for the rest of their lives. Negative words tend to associate with the event.

When Titanic, the movie was released in 1997, it was a phenomenon. No doubt James Cameron is an amazing director. The film received a lot of positive commentaries. In a very simple sense, James Cameron associated a love story with the real events of the sinking ship of Titanic. To many, I’m sure Titanic is one of the greatest love movies of all time. It was romantic, very romantic. And it changed the perception of people viewed the event. Positive words somehow were associated with the film.

What amazes me is how the change in contents or thoughts can potentially change perceptions.

The original event, on its own, was negative but somehow, with the addition of a love story, it can somehow allow us to see a new light from the event.

As much as how new perceptions can be formed in a film, I believe that new perceptions can be formed for our lives by changing how we think.

There are always two sides of the same coin. WHATEVER in life, there seems to have always two sides. Instead of looking at one side, maybe we should look on the other side as well – it allows us to see things from different perspective and explores our creativity.

I supposed this is also a reminder to all of us that whenever there are setbacks in life, it is always possible to change how we see things by changing our thoughts. That could be the one thing we need to make life for the better.

Some tidbits for you. You see, Rose could have chosen to stop living following Jack but instead she carried on and from those photos shown at the end of the movie, you’d knew she kept her promise to Jack to live on.

CHANGE

We must become the change we want to see.
– Mahatma Gandhi

Two months, we are nearly two months now into the year of 2012! I guess we say it all the time but let’s say it again – time really passes fast and for some of us, time passes without us knowing it. Let’s take a moment to stop and reflect.

In a general year, today is supposed to be the last day of February! But this year, it’s not a general year, it’s a Leap Year! We have one more day in February tomorrow! Have you noticed that? If you have not, maybe you are too busy. But don’t worry, take a moment and read the following.

To me, the 29th of February is a really special day – it comes only once every four years, meaning I only get to experience it twice every decade. I will be four years older the next time I experience it.

Two years ago, I watched a movie called Leap Year (what a coincidence!) and from this movie, I discovered that there was this Irish legend which says that on a 29th of February, a yearning woman can propose to a man! I found it very interesting!

Having done a little research online, I found out the 29th of February is used as a tool to fix a problem on the calendar. It takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours for the earth to make a complete revolution around the sun and since we only have 365 days in a general year, we would have one more day extra every four years.

29th of February is a tool to fix a problem. It inspired Irish women in the past to fix a fundamental problem in their society, gender inequality; they wanted CHANGE.

CHANGE, that is word that we hear a lot these days. Look into the newspaper today (or news websites!) or any other media and you will see the need for CHANGE in the world.

The Occupy Movement happening all around the world wants CHANGE. The unrest revolutionary groups in Arab want CHANGE. All non-profit and non-governmental organisations in the world want CHANGE.

These movements are events which will go down in history. The question is what have gone so wrong that causes people want CHANGE so badly? I have a feeling most of the reasons given will be external factors.

I would like to suggest a more fundamental reason today. Before we CHANGE anything external, shall we look into ourselves internally first? Do we need to CHANGE ourselves first?

Inspired by Alain de Botton’s speech on TED, he says that all major religions have calendars which ensures us encounter ideas in a structured way. That’s even more true in the modern world, we have Mother’s Day to remember the love of Mother, Father’s Day for the love of Father, etc.

How about making 29th of February a day to reflect the need of CHANGE in YOU? Sit down, even for just one minute for you busy people, and reflect how you have changed in the last four years? Are you doing your best to live life to the fullest everyday? Are you happy? Are you doing the right thing? Is your dream for the future still the same? Where do you see yourself in four years?

Ask questions which are relevant to you and maybe you will find that the answer has always been in you and not outside. Try it, maybe the next time you remember to do is in the next four years!

29th of February, Happy CHANGE Day, specially dedicated for you! And maybe do something memorable while you’re at it!

Love at First Sight

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear to an end.
– Unknown

First blog! And I am feeling the excitement already. A great start is half of the success, as the Chinese like to say.

Coincidentally, next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I thought to myself, why not start a new creative blog with some love?

The roots of Valentine’s Day is unclear or even unknown depending on whose ideas you are seeing, watching, reading or referring from but one thing we do all know – Valentine’s Day is for the celebration of love, mainly romantic love. When it comes to Valentine’s Day nowadays, people, in general, would think about roses, candlelit dinners, chocolates or maybe even going for a romantic movie together (For you couples and romance enthusiasts out there, The Vow is out next weekend, do watch!).

Valentine’s Day has now largely become a commercial opportunity. Despite an easy way for people to express their love with commercial Valentine’s Day products, it does have a losing effect on personal touch which seems to be the essence of a romantic relationship. So what to do?

Why not do something a little different this year? The suggestion is, explore how you and your girlfriend/boyfriend would be like as children/toddlers couples! If you have not done this already, you should do it! Take out your childhood photos, yearbooks and better yet, videos sand start sharing! Imagine what it be like if you both had met when you were (a lot) younger! And for those who want to show the efforts, make a video with your and your significant other’s childhood photos!

The love of a child is a love at its purest – no expectations, no judgements, just pure love. Exploring your relationship with your lover at its purest love level allows you to find that feeling of why you both fall in love with each other in the first place all over again. It will strengthen the relationship between you both. Use this day where every couple in the world celebrates their love to reminisce your love for all time with your lover and to rejoice!

And for those who discover their lover’s childhood the first time, maybe you will find another side of her/him that you love about. You may not have been together during your childhoods but at least you would know how you both would be like as couples now. You are now complete – now you have the beginning and with efforts, I know you can make it to the end and through eternal!

Here’s a photo of pure love between Wall-e and his love, Eve! He has nothing to give her but his heart!

Happy Valentine’s Day!