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Thread: I Need A Long Long Long Holiday

  1. #1
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    I Need A Long Long Long Holiday

    Dear People - The cry is nothing new. Nothing original. I heard that from the radio in the car this morning. I read a report that some of the most stressful cities (in terms of work) is Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is getting better in that when the clock hits 5, more people are thronging out of the doors to do their own things - either in the pubs with friends, shopping in the malls or with their families. For the life of me, I cannot find this report now. Share with all of us about how you look at stress, how you perceive it and how you manage it.

    A short article from Susana Parker on Stress Management:

    "If we were lucky enough to meet our ancestors somewhere in the past and tell them about the way we live today they would probably say: "Wow, it must be wonderful". And in truth, it should be! Although we no longer have to hunt in order to survive, conquer continents by the sword or have to work seven days weeks in deplorable conditions, we seem to lead miserable lives.

    Hardly one day goes by without us hearing the word "stress". So, what’s gone wrong then? Some will say too much work, others will blame the family or their poor health… Of course, all these reasons are valid ones but not new to mankind. After all, life has never been perfect!

    I often hear people who live in the city complain about their busy lifestyles and wishing they had a nice cottage in a rural village, or, people who live in quiet places dreaming of the bustling city life!

    Some will make the move but may find the city life too much and return to their initial place and yet those who find the countryside so dull that they start longing for the stress of the city!

    We tend to create mental images of how we would like life to be and when things don’t match our dreams, we get frustrated! This is true for career, for relationships, finances, etc.

    It’s not uncommon for people to feel deluded by their dreams and expectations but that is where the learning process begins. All my life I wanted to live in London and after visiting a few times, I realised that what I really wanted was to be a tourist there and nothing else! I still love London, as a visitor, as I get the chance to see and enjoy things that residents don’t always have time for but I would never even endeavour to live there!

    Can you see now where we have gone wrong? Yes, that’s it! Too many unrealistic expectations fed by a world full of opportunities! Whereas our ancestors would be happy with being able to survive, we are eager for success, wealth and always seeking to add more commodities to our lives. Worse even, we always desire things we don’t own!

    And it is so easy to get lost with "wants" and "desires" in this world! Turn on the television and you will be showered with commercials with appealing images that make you want to buy things that normally you would not even think of.

    But, do you really need that promotion to be happy? Do you really need that new car to put a smile on our face? Do you really have to travel abroad every year to enjoy life?

    There are techniques that you can use to help you see the world from a different perspective. The benefits of meditation have been widely discussed but there are times when it’s particularly difficult to switch off, so I have to resort to a pre-meditation exercise.

    If you had a bad day at work, at home or your bank account is in the red again, meditating can prove to be quite hard. What I tend to do in this case, is to visualise myself leaving earth, quietly… my body feeling as light as a feather…I start rising towards the sky and I slowly enter space and move as far as I need to see the earth. Then I sit down on an imaginary seat and just stay there observing everything that is going on in the planet… I see people rushing about, shouting at each other, I see wars, I see people departing and leaving the planet and lastly, I review my bad day!

    After observing all these events happening in our world from a safe distance, my problem, whatever it was when I started this pre-meditation exercise, has become much smaller compared to everything else! All my material belongings have been reduced to what they are: effects that are here to help me on my journey and that are not meant to be the centre of my existence. My mind has gone from being an ocean of agitated waters to being a placid lake…I am then ready to enjoy the stillness I have created inside my being and enter a deep meditative state.

    Meditation has the power of making us drift into a more realistic world. When you’re at peace and feeling at One with the Creation it is easier to understand who you are and the world around you. You then realise that illusions is what the physical world is made of.

    Nevertheless, dreaming and wishing is important. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of having a successful career, an expensive car or travelling around the world. As long as chasing these things do not cause unbalances in other areas of your life or lead you to believe that you will be complete once you reach your goal, then the pursue can only be worth it!"
    Cool Hand Luke

  2. #2
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    sometimes our own stress is due to our own desires. To own that new 3 series. To have a house in Bangsar. etc. We add on our own requirements like having that neat Prada backpack that your secretary has. The list goes on. If we can have simpler needs like having basic transportation, roof over the head, food on the table, etc without all the frills, we would not be so stressed. Or would we? Perhaps having the latest these days is now a necessity rather than extravagance? Just the other day, my colleague told me he was getting a new mobile computer. What's wrong with his old one? Well - this new one has WiFi and is lighter. So? What are you doing to be doing that you cannot already do with your PC at work and at home? Do you need to be so in touch? Surfing with a PDA at hotspots is so trendy? Why blow half a month pay on something you don't really need? Why does everyone need to change their mobile telephone based on the model release frequencies of Nokia and Sony Ericsson? Why indeed? If we all can be like CHL and be content just keeping the dogs off his plot of council land, we will be less stressed as a community.

  3. #3
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    All depends on environment we are in. Just like in USJ, every morning and evening the traffic is so bad save for the next few weeks (school holiday). It is a tough act not to be at least a bit stress up when you are struck in traffic day in day out.

    And if you are rich then you can lead a stress free lifestyle easily.

    Just for instance this weeks is a stress free week for me. At the moment I'm in HK enjoying the cooling autumn breeze. Because of the excellent public transportation system wherever I go, I don't have to worry much about the traffic like back in KL. Heck I'm going to TST this afternoon to send my phone for repair and while waiting for the phone to be ready, will grab some new trousers and then a Korean dinner with my friends. But too bad, I can only afford it for a week and not more than that.

    Joecool,

    Don't be fooled by CHL. I think he is reall stressed up having to juggle time between MsNikeBeautiful and MrsCHL and 2 MsCHL.

  4. #4
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    Joecool - You are right. There is a difference between needs and wants. But it takes a very wise man/woman to know the difference and even more difficult still, to persist at it with all the peer pressure and temptations of advertisement and display of material goods and services around. Sometimes I used to think that it would be great if I have a bungalow with an outdoor jacuzzi. It would be great to have a shining metallic silver Mercs SLK instead of a Proton Tiara. Won't it be nice to be able to go for overseas holidays with your loved ones? And won't it be nice not having to worry about putting bread on the table? It has to do with contentment, I guess and it is so difficult to achieve that.
    Last edited by Cool Hand Luke; 18-11-2003 at 11:42 AM.
    Cool Hand Luke

  5. #5
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    3 years ago I left my job in KLCC because of the stress induced by driving to work. Now I am back in KLCC. Luckily for me, someone told me about the existence of KTM Komuter which means I merely have to drive to the KTM station at Carrefour and then it is the train all the way. Travel time is total of 35 minutes. Plenty of exercise climbing stairs and standing throughout the journey. I also gave up on some of my wants so that I don't have to work so hard to get that "performance bonus".

  6. #6
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    Yes. We are forever chasing that illusive dream. I was very high up in the corporate world years ago and it almost killed me. They have to call in an ambulance to rush me to hospital. I am now living a relatively stress free life. The money is hell of a lot less but I am more mellow, happier and I have time to do the things I want - including writing a novel and yes, posting in the forum. I have time for my family. I also have time to enjoy a few glasses of wine in jazz bars. All these things I did not have time to do. A friend of mine told me this: "We always worry about work, trying to meet deadlines, trying to impress our bosses and colleagues. I bet you when you are on your death bed, the last thoughts which go through your mind are not going to be whether you should have spent more time in office but cursing yourself for not spending enought time with your loved ones".
    Cool Hand Luke

  7. #7
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    i disagree. i want these things in life, but i'm not going to kill myself over it. some people want the house in bangsar and the mercedes NOW, but they fail to set goals and work blindly around it. most get stressed out that the money's going out, but they fail to see their short term need to go to bangsar and splurge, or to the shopping mall, has overshadowed a bigger financial plan they should have put together in the first place.

    i used to work full time jobs in PR. i found that working nine to nine for a company, getting paid a fixed (low) salary, and doggiing myself out was all for my bosses and not for me. and they were people who did not appreciate and respect the fact that fellow employees were working hard to make them rich.

    i quit, finished my studies and now i work part time at my own pace. always make sure the clients like the quality of the work, and not blindly promise to deliver crap at their doorstep. the money is not a problem, in fact there's more of it than when i worked like a dog.

    i noticed in europe they have more sensibilities where work is concerned. in germany for instance, they're highly productive during the work time, but they always knock off at five to go home and be with the family.

    unlike in malaysia, everyone finds it so difficult to go home early. they sit down and dilly dally, take their own sweet time, look busy when the boss comes around and leave work late. those who are efficient find they have a losing battle, as the oppurtunist boss thinks "he's not getting enough work" and piles on more.

    the only companies in malaysia that i'm aware of that don't do this are shell, petronas, and the other oil and gas corporations. they stress on a high degree of quality, rather than quantity.

    two weeks holiday allowance per annum is another thing that's such a piss off. in europe they get a month a year fully paid, holidays for two weeks in christmas, and italians get two to four weeks siesta break in august because the heat is excruciating.

    you cannot go to work enthusiastic if you don't get the time off for yourself, your family and your kids. malaysian's don't get enough of a break.

    i really do think we're overworked. just look at how relieved people are on a friday evening to get out and let loose.

    just my views.

    don't work too hard.

    ///ej

  8. #8
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    I completely agree with EJ - that Malaysians are overworked and underpaid. All of my friends working in Malaysia complain about it (some more than others), which annoys me quite a bit as they are part of the problem. "Why go home at 9pm?" "Because I have to". No you bloody don't. It is written in your contract if you cared to read it before you signed on that your working hours are XXX per week. Stick to that and shut up. Employees are too scared to voice up and take action, all they know how to do is complain to their friends. So, in my opinion they deserve it. I for one am not going to get stuck into a situation like that, as long as I follow the conditions of my contract, I will go home when I choose, and take leave whenever I choose to. If I want to take all 20 days leave in one stretch I will do so. It is my right, or am I wrong?

  9. #9
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    EJ & Timo - Both your words warm my heart. I share your belief to the hilt. Thus my first post - " read a report that some of the most stressful cities (in terms of work) is Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is getting better in that when the clock hits 5, more people are thronging out of the doors to do their own things - either in the pubs with friends, shopping in the malls or with their families". It sucks in Malaysia. Employees are falling over each other to stay behind to impress their bosses. There are situations where the bosses are only happy when there are still people around when he leaves the office. Stupidity begets more stupidity. In the end, it becomes a vicious cycle where everybody is trying to outdo each other by staying back at the expense of their own lives and those of their families. When can we break out of this chained environment?
    Cool Hand Luke

  10. #10
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    Strange. Just yesterday during a meeting with my boss, I was rejecting his motion for me to have a weekly meeting with my staff instead of monthly. Seems my excuse that we are already squeezed for time does not work. His simple reply was - schedule the meeting after office hours. Surely it will not affect their schedule. I stared in disbelief for a while and then walked away. Guess he meant it.

  11. #11
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    Seems in Taipei some jobs require less stress. Here's one.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../14/2003075781


    Sorry if I offended anyone. If this is too extreme, moderator please delete this post.

  12. #12
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    I do not think Malaysians are overworked and underpaid. The reason why a lot of people stay back after five is so that the boss would not think that they are not hardworking and so give them less in promotions,increments or bonuses. So what do they do, in the day time they skive off and do their own thing and when the boss is around act like as if they have a lot of things to do and never leave the office earlier than the boss. I used to have a boss who starts work only at 5!!. During they day he would go here and there and be a busy body and he proudly tells us how he goes back only at 9/10pm everyday. I pity him as that tells me that he has nothing better to do away from the office. He used to hang outside my office at 5 something and when he sees me leaving asks me where i was going. I tell him straight in the face that I was going for a drink and if he was free he could join me. After that he never asked me. I think if people are more productive during their working hours, there is really no need to act or pretend that they are working. Most of the time people are just acting busy.

    A couple of days ago I went to a bank and out of the 9 people working, only one was serving the customers. Whe my turn came I asked they what kind of an institution that they think were running. You have a situation where the queue was up to the corridor and you have the whole lot of them acting as if they were very busy with doing something, shuffling papers back and forth but actually nothing was done. I practically raised my voice and they glared at me as if I was an alien until someone more senior came to apologise. Banks to me are the worse culprits aside from the public servants of course.

  13. #13
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    I received an email from a friend with an image attachment of a graph showing working hours per year for some capital town around the world. This was based on year 2000 survey done by UBS (an International bank based in US).

    And to make things interesting, we here in KL are overworked(ranked 2nd after Santiago among 34 capitals choosen). And it is true that Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta and even other developed capital worked less than us.

    I tried to attached this image file to this forum, but it doesn't work. Does anybody knows how can I attached it so I can share the info with you all?
    -Tepen mali...tatak sombong munya..-

  14. #14
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    Tepenpucong - I believe that was the article I talked about in my first post. Thanks.
    Cool Hand Luke

  15. #15
    kwchang Guest

    attaching images to forum postings

    Tepenpucong,
    You cannot attach images to your postings. The only way to display images is to first get your image on a website (maybe you have a private website) and then insert the URL (web address) for us to click on. Since the graph was probably obtained from a website, find out from your friend the address of the original source and tell us here.

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