Friday, April 29, 2011

Full steam ahead!

That’s it! I’ve gone ahead to register and paid a deposit to do my MBA. It’s now a “do or die” thing!

The idea of doing my MBA has been in my head for years..!!! Last year, I was fully adamant and motivated to get it started by early 2011. Somehow, something came up at the beginning of the year, that sort of delayed it, and geeez…. delay it did! And the delay somehow started a chain of doubts and considerations in my mind that almost had me giving up the idea. It wasn’t a pleasant period, I tell ya! The conflict that was going through me, whether to proceed or to abandon plan, whether to take the easy way or the hard way, that was a tough one.

Anyhow, it’s done! The money has been paid, I am now waiting for the college to provide me the letter and documents required for the application of EPF withdrawal, to fund the study. That should take about a month, after which, I should be able to start my 18 months journey, depending on what is the earliest available course being offered.

It’s a tough route that I have chosen, I can’t deny that, but it’s something that I have decided to go through with and go through I will (...I WILL...!?!? wtf...!?!? What have I gotten myself into..?).

Why am I making such a big fuss over such a common thing, you may ask. It’s just an MBA, for goodness sake, everyone is taking it and almost everyone has it. Well, to be honest, I am not the study material type. 

If normal people take 1 day to understand something, it will probably take me 2 weeks to do so. Yeah, that’s me! I will have to work like 200% if not more, than most people in my studies. That’s why it is such a tough decision for me to actually decide to pursue my MBA. Just the thought of it itself is enough to make my knees wobble in weakness, and my hands tremble in fear.

With the deposit paid, there’s no looking back anymore, it’s just looking forward and moving on, no matter how difficult. And boy! Am I mighty nervous about it….!

Will need all the luck I can get, to get through this! Here, wish me again....

and again....

Aaaah, that is better. Ok la, will have to do for now... :-D

Love that pendant up there woooo... :-P


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking the final step

Okay....! The last hurdle has been cleared! Finally..!! It wasn't easy, but it's cleared. Now, can I proceed and push myself to take the last and final step...?

Is it gonna be the easy way or the hard way..?


Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Monday, April 25, 2011

The hare and the tortoise

The Moral
Up and be doing, is an edifying text for; action is the business of life, and there’s no thought of ever coming to the end of our journey in time, if we sleep by the way.

UNNECESSARY Delays in all pressing Affairs are but just so much time lost, beside the hazard of intervening Contingencies that may endanger a total Disappointment. Let not the Work of Today be put off till Morrow: For the future is uncertain; and he that lies down to sleep in the middle of Business that requires Action, does not know whether he shall live to wake again: Or with the Hare in the Fable here, out-sleep his Opportunity. A plodding Diligence brings us sooner to our Journey’s End, then a fluttering Way of advancing by Starts and by Stops; for ‘tis Perserverance alone that can carry us thorough-stitch.

The above is extracted from here


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful food

                  Water melon and roasted beet salad with fennel and feta from Yoga Journal - June 2010
Don't you just love looking at such beautiful food pictures? It goes to show the prominent role that color plays in making people accept or get more attracted to certain food. The beautiful combination of flavors, textures and colors invites you to a sensual indulgence. Feel free to click on any pictures for a much clearer view.

Looking at such pictures certainly makes me feel hungry and wish to cook and eat healthily.

                            Roasted eggplant salad with balsamic dressing from Yoga Journal - June 2010

Smoked tofu paella from Yoga Journal - June 2010

Taste the love. Make meals that nourish body and soul by combining fresh ingredients with culinary inspiration and loving intentions. For details, click here.


Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Strike a balance

                                                               Picture taken from here

Do you recognize this symbol? If you don’t, here’s another one, to help you jog your memory.

This symbol represents the complementary yet opposite nature of the masculine (Yang) and feminine (Yin) energies. The shape of the yin and yang sections of the symbol, actually gives you a sense of the continual movement of these two energies, yin to yang and yang to yin.

The shapes are not completely black or white. They have a “seed” of the other color in within them as a reminder that things in life are not completely black or white. Everything is inter-connected.

The Chinese refer to the sky as yang and the earth as yin. Yang is active and yin is restful. Thus, as activity culminates in rest, which in turn culminates in activity, yang becomes yin and  yin becomes yang. These two elements are inseparable since they imply each other.

Imagine the round symbol of yin and yang as our earth . It’s filled half with white and half with black. What does black and white means? Can it mean the evil/bad and the good? And in within the white, there’s a seed of black. In within the black, there’s a seed of white. 

Can the earth be fully black or fully white? Is that possible? If it is indeed possible, where is the balance then?

And to maintain a balance, must it be necessarily half black and half white? If it is? What does that mean in our life?

Points to ponder...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recovery pose for sitting whole day and looking downwards

My yoga pose of the month – Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Most kids and adults now spend most of their time sitting and looking down. For the adults, it’s work or reading. For the kids, it’s classes/study, homework and on the pc.

The human body is made to move, but many of us spend majority of our waking hours sitting and bending over.

By bending most of the time, our back and neck goes through tremendous stress and it’s being in one position for far too long. This results in most people having hunch back, improper alignment, back ache and neck stiffness.

The cobra pose is a good pose to counter the time spent hunching over the whole day. Remember to push your shoulder to the back and push them down instead of bunching them up. 

Camel pose is another good alternative for the more experienced yoga practitioners.

For quick stretches while seated at your desk, refer to my previous blog – Relief for stiff neck and upper back, by clicking here.

Benefits of cobra pose
1) Affects the adrenal glands, sending them a rich supply of blood
2) Limbers & strengthen the spine
3) Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders and abdomen
4) Beneficial for back ache due to over work or long hours of standing
5) Firms the buttocks


Monday, April 11, 2011

Why is group discussion necessary and important?

Group discussion makes high quality decisions. Most group communication disrupts progress towards accomplishing these functional tasks, but counteractive communication can bring people back to rational inquiry. Group interaction has a positive impact on the final decision by coming up with a quality solution.

Previously, the role of group discussion is commonly reflected in the following not so favourable statements :
1) If you want something done, do it yourself.
2) Too many cooks spoil the broth.
3) A committee is a group that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
4) Committees lure fresh ideas down a cul-de-sac and quietly strangle them.

Hirokawa & Gouran says that group interaction actually has a positive effect on the final decision.  They speak of quality solutions. Talk is regarded as the social tool that helps groups reach better conclusions than they otherwise might. Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.

Four functions of effective communication
Complex living organisms must satisfy a number of functions, such as respiration, circulation, digestions, and elimination of bodily waste, if they are to survive and thrive in an ever-changing environment.

Group decision-making process – need to fulfill 4 task requirements if members are to reach a high-quality solution.

1) Problem analysis
Hirokawa note that the clearest example of faulty analysis is a failure to recognize a potential threat when one really exist.
Is something going on that requires improvement or change?

2) Goal setting
A group need to establish criteria by which to judge proposed solutions.
If the group fails to satisfy this task requirement, it’s likely that the decision will be driven by politics rather than reason.

3) Identification of alternatives
Coming up with alternative solutions which group members could choose.

4) Evaluation of positive and negative consequences
After a group has identified alternative solutions, the participants must take care to test the relative merits of each option against the criteria they believe are important.

All the four above functions need to be accomplished to maximize the probability of a high quality decision, but no single function is more important than the others.

Group that successfully resolve particularly tough problems often take a common decision making path.

                                                         Picture taken from here

The role of communication in fulfilling the functions
Discussion among members has a significant effect on the quality of group decisions.
Verbal interaction makes it possible for members to :
a)      distribute and pool information
b)     catch and remedy errors
c)      influence each other

Communication is best when it doesn’t obstruct or distort the free flow of ideas.

3 types of communication in decision-making groups 
a) Promotive – interaction that moves the group along the goal path by calling attention to one of the four requisite decision making functions

b) Disruptive – interaction that diverts, retards, or frustrates group members’ ability to achieve the four task functions

c) Counteractive – interaction that members use to get the group back on track


How can you and I use the functional perspective to facilitate better group decisions?

1) Ensure we do not come to the discussion table with the sort of closed-minded attitude that contributes to the problem rather than the solution.

2) Also, we should be careful of pushing any “intuitive hunch” or “gut feeling” that we can not back up with reasonable evidence.

This article is extracted from Randy Hirokawa & Dennis Gouran’s theory - Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making from the book A First Look at Communication Theory.


Blog name – carrot head and applemint

You might like this :
1) Five facts about me
2) What's up, Doc?
3) My heartfelt thanks

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keep cool the sweet way

                                        Picture taken from Women's Weekly, May 2009 Edition

The hot weather is here…!!!

Everyday around noon, the thought of getting into my sauna car that’s been out in the sun, is enough to make me think three to four times about driving out just to grab lunch. That’s because most likely before I’m able to start driving the car, I would have melted onto the floor mat.

So..., uuh.. have you ever seen anyone carry an umbrella from the house to the car just outside the gate? Or from the car to the coffee shop/restaurant, that is like 10 steps away. Well, I do that. Or if it’s much further than 10 steps, then you will see me scooting & darting from tree to tree or from shade to another shade.

We are now undergoing transition in the weather and temperature again. The rain seems to be fizzling off slowly but surely. And the heat will only get worse as we proceed further into 2011. Actually, I do not know anymore whether it's supposed to be hot or rainy weather now.

Anyway, when the weather turns hot and dry, nothing beats a sweet “cooling” drink (the Chinese prefers to call it cooling tea) to keep the heat at bay and to sweeten up the grumpy mood.. :-D

In most Chinese households, barley drink is normally served to cool heated bodies when the temperature rises. The idea is to maintain a correct balance of yin (cool) and yang (hot), and achieve a healthy equilibrium within the body.

In our modern busy life, we somehow seemed to have forgotten about those home brewed sweet cooling drinks that our moms used to make, and in its place, we now opt for everything instant. Like the “wong lo kat”or “air cap badak” (rhino something something in a bottle) sold by herbal shops/pharmacy or roadside vans, by those restaurants, which are pre-packed and mass produced. Even barley drink now comes in instant form, ie. in the form of powder, no longer boiled over the stove.

Perhaps it is time we slow down a bit and take some time to boil them ourselves. I am sure it will taste 1,000 times better.

Most cooling drinks need some hours of brewing/boiling and are sweetened with rock sugar or sugared winter melon strips to make them tastier. The rich brew would then be served either warm or cold. I just love them..!!!

Here are some of the more popular cooling sweet tea :

4) Buddha’s fruit (Luo han quo)

6) White fungus – double boiled pear, white fungus and red dates

So, stay cool and stay sweet!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's up, Doc?

Nothing much happened lately, except that I've been busy with work, expos and bejeweled blitz.. :)))

And oh yeah, it was Qing Ming last weekend for us. I bunked in with my nieces coz we're supposed to leave the house real early for breakfast and then to Kajang to pray to my dad. Hence, the bag up there. And yes, that's my little teddy bear peeking out & a little Oreo for the girls .. :-D

So, here's what we do in the Kajang cemetery.

 Clearing up the surrounding area..

After we finished praying, we headed over to Cheras to pray to my mom. She was cremated and her bones and ashes are kept in an urn, now placed in a temple. Nothing much to show over there, coz you see nothing but people and their teary faces, and smoke every where.

And since the Qing Ming festival is over, we now freaks our butt out with the Income Tax season.

This is what I've started to go through and will be going through for the next few weeks.

                                                  Click on picture for a clearer view

And oh how I wish there is such a thing as this.................

Last but not least, for you ladies who need to give your nasty partner a last farewell gift...

If still cannot resolve the tax returns by end of the month, the last resort will be to do this & be happy... :)))


Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eat breakfast like a King to overcome your Monday blues

Monday mornings always seem to be here too soon. No matter how much we moan or groan, there is no escaping the M days.

Here is a tip on how to chase the blues away.

Plan your Monday breakfast over the weekend, to ensure you eat like a King on that  morning. Having a good start and a good meal on the first morning of the week will get your spirits up and help you charge on with full steam ahead.

Now when I say to eat breakfast like a King, I mean that it should also be healthy (one that has all the important components such as calcium, carbo, protein, vitamin C). 

This is what I would consider as breakfast for a King (in this era, at least).

Option 1

                                                Click picture for a clearer view

Option 2
A plate consisting of all the four pictures below would be a great choice too, as long as you do not pile on too much of them (especially item 3 - the cold cuts and meat). In fact, with most of us working in the office, that item can be non-present as the other three is actually good enough. Remember, keep it all in one plate, that's all you need.

Option 3

A bowl of cereal (weetbix & all bran) with nuts, seeds & raisins and low fat milk. Do not forget to take some fruits, this will complete the entire breakfast.

Option 4

Muesli or whole grain cereal with low fat milk and fruit

Option 5

Fruit breakfast with a glass of low fat milk, the easiest to prepare. Can be prepared overnight.

Option 6

Salmon and egg sandwich

Option 7

Yoghurt parfait with nuts and seeds. Healthy..!!

Some of you might prefer to down a cup of coffee in the morning, but I would very much prefer a cup of tea, which in my humble opinion, is healthier. 

                                                     Picture taken from here

Tea reduces stress level and enhances your metabolism rate. I would normally reserve my cup of well-deserved coffee for the afternoon.

Of course, to plan and execute a healthy and hearty breakfast, would mean having to get up a little earlier to prepare, which most of you would wince even more. But think of it this way, you’re gonna get a good delicious healthy breakfast. And DO NOT forget to ENJOY it slowly...!

And once you are able to do it, it would mean you’re ready for work when it’s time to get ready to go, rather than still agonizing in bed and trying to drag yourself out of it. Of course, you could do this to help you jump start your day.

1) Hop out of bed the moment you wake up in the morning. Lingering in that comforter will only draw out the agony.
2) Take a cold refreshing shower before you head down to prepare your breakfast


Related Posts with Thumbnails