Friday, September 21, 2012

Life's Journey

Look at yourself today. Whatever it is you have achieved for yourself – be it career, confidence or family, all came step by step. Achievement means different things for different people.  With age, I find that people define it differently.

Looking back at my own journey, there is one common denominator that pushed things forward: accepting change. Yes, change. It is a commonly used word in quotes, yet when it finally looks at us in the eye, we sometimes chicken out. Change often means re-learning something, becoming humble once again before we can be on our way to greatness.

I used a PC when I started my career 12 years ago. When I switched over to my very first MacBook back in 2006, I was humbled (and oftentimes I was upset). Why? Because everything that I knew and felt I was good at seemed to have gone down the drain. I felt like a novice computer user who needed help every now and then. Perseverance pays and after using it for a month, I have picked up both skills – PC and MAC.

Other personal experiences which forced me out of my comfort zone: marrying a French (I am Chinese), moving to Malaysia (I was from Manila), driving on the “right” side of the road, working for a big software company at the Twin Towers (immersing with Malaysians) and quitting after 4 years, delivered soft-skills trainings to Air Asia, Digi  and Hong Leong via a friend’s company, then ventured into media (BFM 89.9 and the Star newspaper). All this took courage because it was different from what I used to know. All this meant change. It meant taking a tough decision and choosing the less travelled path. All this brought me to TODAY.

Accepting change into your life is a scary thing.  People often choose the simpler road, which is to stay the same. Whenever you are at that point of decision making, I urge you to only think of this: WE LIVE ONCE. Life is short. Do you want to live your life only knowing what you know, or do you want to experience something new?

So when the day comes that something new is being offered – whether it’s moving to a new country, volunteering for a new project at work, sending yourself to soft-skills training for self-improvement, or even engaging with unfamiliar people with an open mind, choose the path of change. Only when you have taken that journey and reflect back will you realize how much it has enriched your life.

Most especially for mothers -- those who have moved to a different country, finding themselves as expat wives... do not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Continue the search. Believe in yourself. Many possibilities are out there -- whether it is part time work, charity work, full time work or even starting something of your own. It is encouraging to know that some of my friends have indeed taken giant steps -- borrowing money just to start up her company -- wow. Last week I met up with her and had the most amazing discussion. This really encouraged me and I hope it will also do the same for you. The reason why I write these things is to reach out to people out there who may feel there is little hope to find something worthwhile to do -- despite being a mother and having that role of running the household. We can be superwomen. They exist. And you can be one of them.

The key thing that you need to remember is that whatever that unfamiliar path you are about to take, it is neither all that impossible nor strange. Someone out there has already done the same thing. Reach out. Talk to people. Ask friends and family because their network may point you to someone who could give insight. Search online. Read blogs and articles. There is a wealth of knowledge out there. All you need to do is make that decision to change and make a move on your life.

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